ARMONK, N.Y. - 19 Nov 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM ) announced today that the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) has adopted IBM's WebSphere Lombardi Business Process Management (BPM) software to help automate its donor and patient management process. Both processes are critical to facilitate the matching of donors to patients needing cellular transplants.
IBM's software incorporates advanced analytics, social networking and reporting to streamline the record matching process by automatically comparing millions of data records nationwide. These records include donor information, geographic location as well as patient and recipient data. The objective of the project is to dramatically speed the time to transplant for bone marrow transplant patients, which currently average 96 days.
The NMDP estimates that as many as 10,000 patients may benefit from a transplant each year in the US alone.
"Many of these patients need a transplant quickly to treat their life-threatening disease," said, Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the NMDP. "We expect our newly combined application suite to significantly reduce the time to transplant. This will help more patients get the transplant they need, when they need it."
"This breakthrough at the NMDP is a prime example of how health analytics can be used to mine data in new ways and streamline processes," said Dan Pelino, general manager, IBM healthcare and life sciences. "New approaches to analyzing patient data are advancing the state of medicine and influencing research. IBM has made a significant investment in analytics over the years and applied this expertise to healthcare with literally life-saving results."
Each year in the U.S. thousands of patients like Teresa Hurtado-Diaz (on the left) receive life saving transplants from donors such as Lydia Gonzalez (on the right). NMDP and IBM are working to dramatically reduce the time required to find matches.
A bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant can be used to treat patients with life-threatening blood, immune system or genetic disorders. The NMDP currently facilitates more than 5,000 transplants using unrelated donors or cord blood units each year. The NMDP operates the Be The Match Registry® of more than 8 million potential donors and more than 160,000 cord blood units. Through cooperative relationships with international registries, the organization provides access to a total of 14 million potential donors worldwide.
IBM's WebSphere Lombardi software gives organizations the ability to quickly adjust their business processes to support sudden and changing needs—especially those that rely heavily on collaboration to complete a task or project. As a result, the NMDP is able to automate its screening processes, eliminating the need for complicated and time-consuming technical intervention and allowing staff to focus on facilitating the search process more effectively.
IBM is working with partners and clients to create a smarter, more connected healthcare system that delivers better care with fewer mistakes, predicts and prevents diseases and empowers people to make better choices. IBM supports the nation's leading healthcare providers such as Mayo, Kaiser, UPMC, Duke University Health System and Geisinger Health System with a broad range of technology and business solutions. This work extends from connecting electronic medical records among doctors, hospitals and pharmacies to improving care and reducing cost, to accelerating medical research with deep analytics that discover how well drugs work, to providing genomic advances that will help shape personalized patient care.
About the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
As a leader in the field of unrelated marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is dedicated to ensuring all patients who need a transplant receive access to this potentially life-saving treatment. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the nonprofit organization has been entrusted by the federal government through the C.W. Bill Young Transplantation Program to operate the national registry, publicly known as the Be The Match Registry, which provides a single point of access for transplant centers and patients to marrow donors and cord blood units. The organization also facilitates transplants worldwide; supports a global network of hospitals, blood centers, public cord blood banks, laboratories and recruitment centers; conducts research; and provides education and support to patients, donors and health care professionals. The NMDP has facilitated more than 40,000 transplants since operation began in 1987. For more information, visit www.marrow.org  or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.
For more information on how IBM is helping clients and partners make smarter, faster healthcare decisions and increase their business performance, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterhealthcare .
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