IBM (news, site) is extending the reach of its analytics software in the healthcare market with the announcement that they are joining up with one of the US’s largest healthcare providers, Premier, to create a new platform that will link data across more than 2400 hospitals across the US.

The partnership between the two is a logical one. Premier collects and analyzes clinical and financial data from its member hospitals, while IBM, using its information management and analytics portfolio, can provide the technology to assess access and link information.

Ultimately, the companies said in a joint statement, the new platform will streamline the finding and delivery of information to the hospitals and healthcare sites that are part of Premier system.

IBM’s Analytics

While anyone that has been following Big Blue’s acquisitions even in recent times will be aware of the huge investment in analytics it has made, it is not always clear how they will work together or where they will be deployed.

With this new platform, IBM is creating an analytics platform that runs across multiple sites and one that will be entirely integrated across those sites providing complete information on patients at any location.

IBM has built analytics platforms for other hospital systems in the US, but the alliance with Premier is the largest. Its database is the biggest compilation of patient data in the US with its combined system containing the data of nearly 40% of all US hospital discharges.

IBM’s Healthcare Platform

But there’s more than just the analytics part of IBM’s business that will be applied here. The pre-integrated platform for data acquisition is built on the IBM Health Integration Framework and powered by IBM Smarter Analytics System with DB2 data warehouse.

Its information management portfolio will be used to acquire and populate the data model, while Initiate software master data management and WebSphere Healthcare ESB will provide a single view of the data. WebSphere software provides clinical and business rules management.

Tivoli will provide security and service management while application development will come from Rational software. Finally, a common user experience will be offered across the entire system through Lotus software.

Health Benefits

The new platform will be applied across Premier’s health network called Accountable Care Implementation Collaborative, which consists of 25 health systems with 90 hospitals and 1.4 million patients who are cared for by 5000 physicians.

A previous data sharing model developed by Premier across 157 hospitals called Quest saved an estimated US$ 2.13 billion in costs. Premier estimates that if all hospitals in the country were linked savings could be as much as US$ 23 billion.