Greater Houston Healthconnect Uses InterSystems HealthShare® to Create Largest Known COVID-19 Outcomes Study

Nick Bonvino, CEO of Greater Houston Healthconnect

GHH has assembled a cohort of more than one million COVID-19 positive cases with all associated medical histories for outcomes analysis

InterSystems, a data technology provider dedicated to helping customers solve the most critical scalability, interoperability, and speed challenges, and Greater Houston Healthconnect (GHH) health information exchange (HIE)  announced the initial results of the largest COVID-19 outcome research study to date. Conducted using InterSystems HealthShare, the study examines more than one million COVID-19 cases to identify comorbidities that may represent risk factors for severe illness or death.

GHH is one of the largest HIEs in the United States and is connected to more than 95% of hospitals and healthcare systems in the greater Houston area. In total, GHH reaches over 15 million unique individuals and is linked to more than 1,500 healthcare facilities across greater Houston, South and East Texas, and Western Louisiana.

Since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, GHH began identifying positive-tested patients into a cohort, then queried for the medical histories of the cohort, aggregating and standardizing the data. A community-wide collaboration of specialists and researchers performed extensive analysis to determine symptom complexes and other risk factors resulting in bad outcomes.

Using InterSystems HealthShare, GHH collected and refined sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical, and laboratory data from these individuals in order to track the proliferation of the pandemic across geographical areas and provide situational awareness to Public Health Authorities, healthcare providers, and health services researchers.

“This is one of the most impressive case studies about the power and promise of clean data,” said Dr. Russ Leftwich, Senior Clinical Advisor of Interoperability at InterSystems. “The modern healthcare system relies on organizations like GHH to source local health networks and build trust in the quality and actionability of their data, especially in times of crisis when real-time data is the difference when it comes to providing the best possible care.”

Nick Bonvino, CEO of GHH explained, “This effort represents community-wide collaboration at its finest, as we enable the collective study of massive amounts of clean data to surface how this virus behaves and evolves. GHH continued to build four distinct cohorts throughout the peak cycles of COVID-19 cases — totaling over 1 million individuals, and will follow these cohorts longitudinally for years to come. The initial findings for cohort 1 were published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, a clear demonstration of the essential need for regional HIEs.”

Underpinned by InterSystems technology, GHH taps into each participating provider’s electronic health record (EHR) system with multiple interfaces. These touchpoints allow for the real-time monitoring of patient encounters and the collection of their clinical and demographic data, documents, and diagnostic images. They include:

  • Admission, Discharge, Transfer (ADT) that feeds messages in real-time to populate its master patient index.

  • A two-way interface that enables the exchange of clinical information unique to the participant’s EHR.

  • A set of interfaces feeds discrete clinical data and transcribed reports from laboratory, pathology, radiology, and other ancillary systems in real-time.

For more information about InterSystems HealthShare, please visit