Health-IT Briefs


The National Alliance for Health Information Technology is donating the contents of its Standards Directory to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Alliance's Directory is the premier collection of health-IT standards, with more than 2,100 listings for health-IT standards as well as links and information for the 430 organizations that created them. This vast body of knowledge will be used to expand NIST's HealthCare Standards Landscape Web application and database. The Landscape database, containing information on healthcare standards, organizations, and related information, is a key tool for the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), which has been charged with harmonizing the abundance of health-IT standards to enable and support widespread interoperability. This effort is critical in the drive toward a National Health Information Network. Sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Alliance turned over the contents of the Directory to NIST on June 5, 2006. For more info, visit

McKesson announced the acquisition of RelayHealth, a leading provider of online physician-patient communication services. The acquisition of RelayHealth follows a strategic investment made in 2005 by McKesson with the goal of expanding its commitment in the personal health management space. McKesson also announced a new Personal Health Solutions group within its Provider Technologies segment. Personal Health Solutions will serve the growing market for interactive technologies that empower consumers and patients through secure electronic access to healthcare providers, personal health records, healthcare financial management systems, and other tools. The group will leverage McKesson's broad-based strengths in disease management services across the entire continuum of care, from hospitals and outpatient facilities to physician offices and into the home, the company says. In addition to RelayHealth, McKesson's personal health solutions include in-home patient monitoring, Web portal technology, triage software and personal emergency response systems, to name a few. Read the press release.

Sculptor Developmental Technologies, a subsidiary of St. Clair Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pa., announced it has entered into an agreement with Leading Information Technologies Institute Inc. (LITI) of Tokyo, Japan, to market and distribute Sculptor's VeriScan medication administration system to healthcare organizations in 15 Asian nations. VeriScan is the first medication verification system to utilize the dual technology of bar codes and RFID tag readers to track medication administered by the nurse directly at the patient's bedside. Under the license agreement, LITI will incorporate VeriScan software technology into its products and then market those products to hospitals and other healthcare organizations in countries such as Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and China. For more info, visit.

The first annual National Conference on Health Information Capture will debut September 18-20, 2006, in the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference will focus on strategies to improve efficiency, accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of health information capture for physicians, nurses, and other practitioners. According to industry reports, for most healthcare organizations, information capture is the single most expensive line item under health-IT. Inefficient information capture costs hospitals $5,000 to $20,000 per clinician per year. Educational sessions will explore topics involving information capture techniques and related issues including medical transcription, handwriting recognition, direct computer input by clicking or touching, document imaging, speech recognition, natural language understanding and processing, macros/template management, principles of health information communication, and new technologies -- digital paper, tablets, smart phone entry, etc. For more info, visit.

MEDecision announced that the CollaboraCare Consortium LLC has welcomed two new member organizations: DiagnosisONE, a provider of solutions for clinical and public health environments, of Nashua, N.H., and Medem, a national physician-patient communications network of San Francisco, bringing the total membership to 15 leading healthcare-IT vendors. Established in 2005 by MEDecision, the CollaboraCare Consortium is a group of vendors with a common mission to provide a more cost-efficient and timely method to build a national health information exchange. Working as a team, the consortium members deliver more tightly defined and targeted options to prospective customers than could be possible by any single vendor. Consortium members currently are providing services or submitting proposals to approximately six RHIOs. Acting similar to a general contractor, the Consortium's collaboration of software products and services is designed to quickly and incrementally deploy patient data exchange between payers and care providers, reducing both the cost of, and time needed for, exchange deployment. For more info, visit.

PatientKeeper announced that it has closed an $8 million round of funding. This round of funding includes a syndicate of leading healthcare venture capital firms including Frazier Healthcare, Mediphase Venture Partners, Mosaix Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Pacific Venture Group, Saints Capital, and Whitney & Co. The proceeds will be used to expand operations to meet growing customer demand and invest in new product development. PatientKeeper's applications allow physicians to access their patients' electronic records, write prescriptions, enter charges for services, document patient encounters, and securely send messages to other caregivers PatientKeeper's customer base now includes more than 100 organizations, representing more than 300 hospitals. Read the press release.

With the nation bracing for the 2006 hurricane season, the Markle Foundation released Lessons from KatrinaHealth, a report outlining lessons learned in posting secure, online information about prescription drug histories of Katrina evacuees in the aftermath of last summer's disaster. In the days following Hurricane Katrina's landfall near New Orleans last August, a group of private and public health and information technology experts created ww.KatrinaHealth.org, an online service for authorized health professionals. The Web site provided access to evacuees' medication information to renew prescriptions, prescribe new medications, and coordinate care. Several organizations, including the American Medical Association, Informed Decisions LLC, Markle Foundation, SureScripts, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are being recognized today for their leadership of the KatrinaHealth program with a 2006 Pinnacle Award presented by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation (APhA). This is the ninth year for the Pinnacle Awards, which APhA established to celebrate significant contributions to the medication use process. More than 150 organizations participated in the planning, testing, launching, and facilitation of KatrinaHealth.org, including the American Medical Association, Gold Standard, the Louisiana and Mississippi Departments of Health, RxHub, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SureScripts, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For a full copy of the Lessons from KatrinaHealth report, log onto http://www.markle.org/.

Allscripts announced that one of Ohio's largest networks of pediatric physician groupshas selected HealthMatics Electronic Health Record (EHR) from Allscripts subsidiary A4 Health Systems to connect and automate its 14 practices. Children's Hospital Physician Associates (CHPA) is a network of 50 primary care pediatric physicians and 38 residents in small group practices throughout Northeastern Ohio. The group is a fully owned subsidiary of Akron Children's Hospital, the largest pediatric care provider in Northeast Ohio with nearly 400,000 patients and more pediatric surgeries than any other hospital in the region. HealthMatics features robust clinical tools that support safe medical practices, including health maintenance alerts, clinical decision support, electronic prescribing, and automated drug interaction checking. The physicians group selected Allscripts following a six-month evaluation process and visits to several other groups that have successfully implemented an EHR. Read the press release.
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