Allina Health System has signed an agreement with a Utah company to enhance its “data warehouse” system and related tools for improving care while lowering costs.

The agreement has a value of about $10 million per year and could stretch for 10 years, with much of the financial contribution from Allina coming in the form of health system employees who will work on the project.

The sum also reflects the value of data tools the workers will use from the Utah company, which is called Health Catalyst.

“These are annual expenses as long as the performance of the partnership is maintained,” said Dr. Penny Wheeler, the president and chief executive at Allina, in an interview.

As part of the agreement, Minneapolis-based Allina receives an ownership stake in Health Catalyst, Wheeler said.

The companies worked together in 2008 on a data warehousing system, which lets care providers pull information not just from electronic health records but also other databases. After 18 months, they went their separate ways, but are now partnering again.

“This brings all that information together in way that ties it together so we can see what outcomes people are having, and at what cost,” Wheeler said. “And that helps you also highlight and predict things ahead of time, so you can predict when people are going to get into trouble.”

As part of the deal, Allian will outsource its data warehousing, analytics and performance improvement work to Health Catalayst. That includes the transfer of about 60 Allina workers to Health Catalyst. In addition, Allina gets access to the company’s services.

“This long-term relationship brings all of those elements together, including a stellar team of data architects, process improvement experts and clinicians who we are excited to welcome to the Health Catalyst family,” said Dan Burton, chief executive at Health Catalyst, in a statement.


Twitter: @chrissnowbeck