Provider alliance Premier Inc. is substantially expanding its database capabilities using integration, analytics and data warehouse technologies from IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Premier will add outpatient data to its existing database of more than 300 million hospital discharges, previously known as Perspective. Outpatient data will include diagnosis, treatment, outcomes, and supply and labor costs, among other information. The expanded database will feed data to Premier's safety, quality improvement, labor and supply management software products, with some data from the products flowing to the expanded database.

The goal is to support the collection and analysis of data across a health care enterprise or continuum of care, and enable organizations to benchmark their performance against peers. For instance, linking costs to outcomes can aid in comparative effectiveness research, and analyzing labor efficiency data can aid in improved operational management.

Participants of Premier's Accountable Care Implementation Collaborative--more than 90 hospitals and 5,000 physicians--will first contribute data, with the rest of Premier's 2,400 member hospitals and 70,000 other provider sites able to contribute this spring. Organizations can start pulling data by the third quarter of 2011.

--Joseph Goedert


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