FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 13, 1998
Sequoia Software to Launch First
XML Transaction Server for Health Care
WEB-BASED TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS PATIENT RECORDS,
ENCOUNTERS, TRANSACTIONS TO BE EASILY
ACCESSIBLE BY AUTHORIZED USERS
LOWER COSTS, BETTER CARE WILL RESULT
COLUMBIA, Md. -- In a few days, the health care industry will get its first opportunity to tap the benefits of the Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), the Web-based standard that is easing electronic transactions and making data searches more effective by vastly improving the way data is organized. Sequoia Software, of Columbia, Md., in conjunction with Microsoft Corp., will introduce what it describes as an XML transaction server for health care at the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), conference in Orlando on February 25. The product will increase interoperability in health care - allowing organizations to manage, index, and transport patient data to and from client applications ranging from radiology equipment to popular billing systems - eliminating costly, time consuming integration problems.
While patient records and other health data will be managed through Web technology, they will be accessible only to authorized health care professionals and health organizations.
"This is not just an XML application," said Anil Sethi, Sequoia's chief technology officer. "It works behind virtually all applications so that very different, widely distributed systems can actually work together to do business. In health care that means often vital patient records can be at a doctor's fingertips in seconds. And that means lives saved and lower costs."
At HIMSS, Sequoia will demonstrate its transaction server by linking to applications of several very different hardware and software manufacturers on the floor of the show. Unlike software described in many new product announcements, Sequoia's XMLTransaction Server is ready for commercial use now and is being embedded by several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Company officials point to changes in health care that, to date, have forced organizations to invest in costly and inefficient interfaces and expensive data conversions.
"The new reality of health care makes demand for this product unlimited," said Sequoia president Mark Wesker. "Consolidations are forcing dissimilar systems to work together. Huge subscriber networks are linking providers and patients over widely distributed areas working primarily in an outpatient environment. And new competition, more than ever, has put pressure on costs and the premium on efficiency," Wesker said.
Microsoft is strongly committed to XML and will collaborate with Sequoia to launch the new transaction server.
"We are excited about XML and Sequoia is delivering it to health care," said John Carpenter, Microsoft's World Wide Health Industry Manager. "This is an important development that will allow people in different health care roles--doctors, pharmacists, vendors, buyers, and administrators--to communicate."
XML is a meta language, which means it describes information about information. It allows more programming tags than HTML and can be used to describe information more precisely. The XML standard is quickly gaining the endorsements of organizations that establish protocols for new technologies, including the World Wide Web Consortium, the Open Trading Protocol (serving the retail trade), and health care's HL7. Late last year, Sequoia was selected by the U.S. Commerce Department to develop a national Master Patient Index (MPI) based on the XML standard.
Additional information about Sequoia Software Corporation and healthcare's first XML transaction server can be obtained from white papers, fact sheets and backgrounder through Sequoia's website at www.sequoiasw.com.
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