IBM and UNC Health Care are teaming up to combat diseases with a new data base of patient information that researchers will be able to access much more quickly than through traditional services.

The Carolina Data Warehouse for Health utilizes IBM software and hardware.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"With the deployment of the Carolina Data Warehouse for Health, we have been able to increase the timeliness of the information available to our researchers, staff and physicians," said Donald Spencer, associate director of medical informatics at UNC Health Care. "Because the system can also support general queries that relate to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of patients, we are now able to make more intelligent decisions leading to improved patient care."

According to Spencer, queries that once took weeks are executed within seconds.

IBM and UNC Health Care specified three primary subject areas:

• “Cohort Selection – primary users are researchers who need to determine cohort availability for studies, grants, clinical trial recruitment using de-identified (all personal information removed) data.

• “Diabetes Data Mart – primary users are clinicians and analysts in the practice area. They utilize the data mart to gain access to information and statistics on diabetics, and pre-diabetics for disease management, performance reporting and analysis.

• “Inpatient Data Mart – primarily used by the Quality Improvement Office and hospital analysts to support performance improvement efforts, core measures reporting and hospital patient population studies/analysis.”

The data warehouse utilizes that uses InfoSphere and WebSphere software. Hardware includes System z mainframe and System p computers.