A Medical Device Daily

St. Jude Medical (St. Paul Minnesota) reported a partnership with the Microsoft Health Solutions Group (Redmond, Washington) to research the integration of data from implantable devices with patient-controlled, personal health records.

St. Jude and Microsoft will work with physicians to determine the optimal level of integration between the Merlin.net Patient Care Network and Microsoft HealthVault that will allow physicians to efficiently and confidentially share device information with their patients.

Merlin.net PCN is a secure Internet-based system that collects and displays information from implantable devices, such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). It stores data that is captured during implant procedures, in-office follow-up visits with physicians and remote follow-up transmissions in patients' homes. Transmitted data includes reports of irregular heart rhythms and real-time electrograms (EGM) which show patients' heartbeats at the time of transmission.

Microsoft HealthVault is an Internet-based consumer health record system that allows individuals to collect, store and share their health information privately and securely.

In other agreements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported selecting Cerner (Kansas City, Missouri) as one of six healthcare IT suppliers to participate in a project that will test information technology solutions to facilitate the submission of Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) measures data gathered from electronic medical records (EMRs).

The testing project will use the data elements needed for five PQRI measures three related to diabetes, one to coronary-artery disease and one to heart failure. The submission of data gathered from EMRs may serve as one of several alternative ways eligible professionals choosing to report PQRI measures could submit their quality data if CMS decides to move forward with EMR-based submission in the future.

The PQRI provides financial incentives to healthcare professionals who report quality data on services provided under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. PQRI is a first step toward linking healthcare professionals' payments to quality on a national basis, consistent with Medicare's ongoing transformation from passive payer to active purchaser of high-value healthcare.

Cerner develops software that catalogues healthcare records.