Microsoft Announces Alliance to Accelerate Consumer-Centered Delivery of Health and Human Services

Thursday, June 12, 2008 General News
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WASHINGTON, June 12 Today at the GovernmentHealth IT Conference & Exhibition an alliance of partners unveiled its work ona comprehensive, multivendor connected health and human services (HHS)technology architecture that is connecting disparate state and jurisdictionalhuman services systems to give providers one comprehensive view intocitizen/customer needs. The group supports today's release of version 2.0 ofthe Microsoft Connected Health and Human Services Framework, which presents aflexible, individual and family-centered approach for addressing thechallenges that face HHS agencies, departments and programs as they respond tocomplex social needs and problems and deliver services to individuals andfamilies in need.


Launch partners include ACS, Atlanta; Avanade, Seattle; CGI, Fairfax, Va.;EDS, Plano, Texas; ESRI, Redlands, Calif.; Harmony Information Systems,Reston, Va.; IDV Solutions, Lansing, Mich.; MidTech Partners, Centennial,Colo.; Netsmart Technologies, Great River, N.Y.; Nets To Ladders, Austin,Texas; NWN Corp., Waltham, Mass.; Plexis Healthcare Systems, Ashland, Ore.;Saber Government Solutions (an EDS company), Portland, Ore.; Unisys, BlueBell, Pa.; and VisionWare Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland.

"The extensive engagement of current and future partners in this frameworkwill allow all of our state customers to provide a holistic approach toserving the citizens with whom they are engaging," said Bill O'Leary,executive director of HHS for the U.S. Public Sector at Microsoft Corp. "Thisgroup of partners is coming together to put a stake in the ground aroundconnecting information technology and cross-agency processes so citizens arethe beneficiaries of top-notch service."

Consumer-Centered HHS

Historically, HHS integration efforts have run into roadblocks, oftenrequiring dramatic restructuring of organizations, ripping out and replacinglarge investments in technology systems, and transferring data ownership fromhost agencies. Many HHS agencies, departments and programs are disconnected,both in terms of information technology and internal processes. Multiplelegacy systems that support services to the same individuals or families haveoften been built without reference to each other. Individuals and families,consequently, are forced to traverse programs from different entry points,providing largely the same personal information to receive components ofservices that address only some of their needs.

In response to these challenges, Microsoft, in working with industrypartners and numerous HHS state and federal agencies, noticed the need for aconnected HHS framework that links people, information, systems and devices tohelp expand access to care, improve quality of services and outcomes, and helpprotect the safety and well-being of clients and the community.

Enabling consumer-centered scenarios across government empowerscaseworkers to have a complete case history on the individuals they areservicing. The Connected HHS Framework provides support for a systematic andleveraged road map approach to program enhancements so caseworkers can morerapidly gain insight to the multiprogram interactions that are common to theclients they serve -- not only in HHS, but across other agencies as wellincluding justice, public safety and education, for example. The frameworkfosters an industry-standards-based shared-services model that facilitatesefficient and effective reuse of business and technical functions commonacross the numerous stand-alone programs representative of state HHS agencies.

Through the new alliance, the group will combine industry-leadingapplications, information infrastructure and delivery expertise to acceleratethe bridging of legacy program silos to better serve state and municipalityconstituencies across the country. The framework does this by

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