TEAM Technologies and Iowa Health System (IHS) today announced their partnership in a data center planned for Waukee.

The joint venture, TEAM Des Moines Partners LLC, calls for shared ownership of the new data center, which will be built in three phases at The Crossing at Alice's Road.

According to a press release, IHS will use half of the data-center space developed in the initial phase, which is expected to be completed in September 2009.

Cheri Bustos, vice president of communications for IHS, says her company already has a "good, long-standing relationship" with Cedar Falls-based TEAM, a major vendor of data management for the health-care organization for the past three years.

"Electronic medical records are a major growth area for Iowa Health System," Bustos said. "We would like to have electronic medical records in every hospital and doctor's office in the state."

IHS, which has 26 hospitals in Iowa, including three in Des Moines and one under construction in West Des Moines, has a total work force of more than 19,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the state. In 2007, the organization's hospitals and clinics managed more than 1.8 million patient visits.

Bill Leaver, president and chief operating officer of IHS, says that as data management needs continue to grow, TEAM appears to be a "natural partner" that will best meet those needs, while allowing IHS to save capital for other investments, such as the purchase of clinical equipment that will directly benefit patients.

"When we're dealing with millions of records every year that contain confidential and critical information, it requires the utmost care and expertise," Leaver said. "Iowa Health System and TEAM Technologies thoroughly and completely understand the responsibility associated with maintaining and managing this data. We don't take that lightly and never will."

IHS will continue to manage a portion of its employee and patient data internally, out of its offices in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. The remainder will be handled by TEAM at its 25,000-square-foot Cedar Falls data center and the new one in Waukee.

"Between the two, we will provide secure, redundant systems for Iowa Health so all of their records are safe," said Mark Kittrell, vice president of business development for TEAM. "The agreement we're finalizing means Iowa Health System will have two copies of everything, 100 miles apart. TEAM employs proven methods of securing power and Internet connectivity redundancy so its customers' data is secure at all times. We're making sure they have duplicates of everything."

Waukee Mayor Bill Peard says TEAM is on the "cutting edge of technology" and expects the endeavor to attract other businesses to The Crossing at Alice's Road.

The Alice's Road data center will employ 11 people earning salaries between $40,000 and $100,000.

The announcement of the project - TEAM's third center in the upper Midwest and its second in Iowa - follows a surge of interest by other companies that plan to build data centers in the state.

Google Inc. announced a data center project for Council Bluffs last year and Microsoft Corp. said recently that it would locate a data center in Greater Des Moines.