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Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

Learn more about “Clinical Groupware”

Learn more about “Clinical Groupware”

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image On my HealthBlog post of June 24th I posed the question, “Is it time for Clinical Groupware?”  Well, apparently the answer is YES!  Since June, a number of my colleagues have come together to form what is now known as the Clinical Groupware Collaborative.  The Collaborative’s mission is to promote lower-cost, flexible, easier-to-use and implement healthcare ICT solutions. Although the pure vision for clinical groupware is to deliver many of the ICT solutions a medical practice, clinic or hospital might need as “services in the cloud”, a blended model of software on local servers or PCs plus services in the cloud is probably more realistic.image

For those of you interested in learning more about the Clinical  Groupware Collaborative and what you can do to participate, some of my colleagues will be hosting an informal get together on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, between 6:00 and 7:30 PM at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, Aqua Room 304.  The gathering will take place immediately following the close of the DMAA conference (DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance).

Members of the Clinical Groupware Collaborative working group who will host the meeting are:

Vince Kuraitis, Prinicipal, Better Health Technologies

Steve Adams, CEO, RMD

John Haughton, MD, MS; CEO, DocSite,

Ravi Sharma, CEO, 4Medica

Martin Pellinat, CEO, VisionTree

Here is some additional information to answer questions you might have about Clinical Groupware.

image Q. What is Clinical Groupware?

Clinical Groupware is a new and evolving model for the development and deployment of health IT platforms and applications, the characteristics of which include use of the Internet and the Web as a platform, explicit design for health data exchange and online communication among providers and patients/consumers, a modular or component architecture upon which applications can be aggregated to meet specific clinical and workflow tasks; while allowing interface standards and protocols for data exchange to emerge in a market-driven manner.   Clinical Groupware applications can be distributed as software-as-as-service, and are intended to support today's mobile health care environment by supplying the right information, at the right time and the right place.

Advocates of the Clinical Groupware approach are not limited to software developers and technologists, but also include practicing physicians, executives and managers from health care provider organizations and care management companies, patient advocates, and leaders in life sciences, home monitoring, and medical device manufacturing firms.

 image
Q. What is the Clinical Groupware Collaborative? 

What unites the members of this collaborative is a shared desire to see the growth in the acquisition and use of affordable, easy-to-use, and interoperable EHR technology, especially among the  very large group of "non-consumers" who have found legacy EMRs cumbersome, expensive, and technically challenging to use.

The CGC is in a formative stage.  To-date, representatives from over 40 companies have expressed interest.  The Collaborative is working to be formally incorporated before end of 2009.

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So, if you are attending the DMAA conference, or you just happen to be in the San Diego area, check out the Clinical Groupware Collaborative.  You’ll be glad you did!

Bill Crounse, MD  Senior Director, Worldwide Health     Microsoft

  • Having been involved with the Federal and Commercial Health IT market since 98 while at the Interop. Clearinghouse institute, I can attest to the significance of Steve Adams efforts to use collaboration as a way of engaging buyers of Health IT Solutions.  Sounds like they are taking a page out of Google's playbook, and appears to be working.

    As a solution architecture advisory to the federal government, I see where this capability can be leveraged in transforming the multi-billion dollar CHCS, ALTA and VISTA systems towards a plug and play architecture, and advance Obama's transformational agenda.  

    The challenge in the federal Health IT market is that users, IT shops and acquisition offices do not communicate well.  Requirements are processed into an arcane acquisition process that almost never delivers on time or on budget.  

    We at the ICH welcome this initiative and invite you to engage our federal Health IT community.  703 768 0400.

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