Instead of a National Patient ID Number...

Press Release from Sequoia Software

October 24, 1997

Columbia, Md. USA
Sequoia Software Chosen to Link U.S. Patient Records
The new nationwide index could save lives, prevent fraud, and lower costs Columbia, Md.-based Sequoia Software Corporation earlier this month won a multi-million dollar federal research and development grant to develop a national Master Patient Index (MPI) that would link patient records throughout the country.

The Index will correlate and cross-reference computerized patient records from different health care organizations while matching key identifiers with a high degree of accuracy, all without the need for attendant human operators. Such a system could save lives by providing immediate access to summary medical records in emergencies, according to company officials. In addition, it could enhance detection of fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs, reduce the costly duplication of medical tests, and increase provider productivity.

The grant, awarded to Sequoia Software by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), provides cost-sharing funding and is given to a winner of the Department-sponsored Advanced Technology Program competition in the category of "Information Infrastructure for Healthcare."
The goal of the research and development endeavor is to form an MPI for "Massively Distributed Medical Records System" across a national computer backbone. The need for such a system has been increasing dramatically over the last few years due to consolidations and collaborations between health care providers. According to NIST program officials, "the awardprogram concentrates resources on key technical barriers and business challenges in specific technologies judged by the industry to offer the potential for major economic benefits to the nation."
Currently, the electronic flow, interchange and use of patient medical records between health care organizations, and, in many cases, within large health care institutions, is hampered and often impossible. Until now, there has been no common indexing to correlate and cross-reference patient identifiers such as name, birthday and Social Security number while accurately and automatically matching patient records.This MPI will provide the link for these records.
The proposed Master Patient Index could also reduce paperwork, which accounts for a substantial portion of U.S. health care costs. Department of Commerce support for the Sequoia Software proposal will accelerate development of the MPI and potentially save billions of dollars. John Carpenter, worldwide healthcare manager for the Microsoft Corporation, said, "Sequoia has become a very successful Healthcare SolutionsProviders with Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system and the SQL Serverúdatabase management system. As one of our Industry Solution Award winners for 1997, we are confident that Sequoia's MPI project will bring real value to both health care organizations and independent software vendors marketing products to the health care industry."
About Sequoia Software Sequoia Software is a healthcare transaction server developer. Healthcare transaction servers are a set of "back-office" technology services for developing, maintaining, transferring and accessing records generated by disparate applications in a distributed, heterogeneous health care delivery network. These transaction servers are available for use by health care organizations as their technical foundation, or can be embedded as an OEM product in vendor applications.
Sequoia's product is Medstarú, an SGML/XML-based solution for summary patient records and health care transaction management. SGML (Standard Generalized Mark-up Language) and XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) are vendor neutral, formal, international standards for information interchange that enable the seamless flow of data across different technology platforms throughout widely-spread networks.
Medstar recently earned top honors from a panel of industry experts with Microsoft's 1997 Industry Solution Award in the Managed Care-Clinical/Patient Information category. Sequoia's products also helped Kaiser Permanente win the 1997 Computer-based Patient Record Institute's (CPRI) Nicholas Davies Award of Excellence in computerized patient record systems.
For More Information Information about Sequoia Software Corporation and white papers on Medstar can be obtained through Sequoia Software's corporate website