Deals, Deployments, and Short News

SureScripts is launching The Center for Improving Medication Management in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), Humana, Intel Corporation, and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) created SureScripts in 2001 to improve the safety and efficiency of the prescribing process and enable the electronic exchange of prescription information. Since then, the pharmacy industry has invested millions of dollars in upgrading its hardware and software systems and in developing the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, the network service operated by SureScripts that facilitates the electronic transmission of prescription information between pharmacists, physicians and the patients they mutually serve. By collaborating with leading provider organizations, payers, and employers, The Center for Improving Medication Management extends the pharmacy industry’s leadership in pursuing unique and creative ways to improve the overall safety, quality, and efficiency of the patient medication management process.

The state of North Dakota has chosen Initiate Systems to implement a new Master Client Index (MCI) as part of the state’s conversion to a new Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS). Initiate Systems is a leading provider of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions that enable organizations to create real-time views of data spread across multiple systems and databases. This initial project is expected to index up to 500,000 records currently contained within the state’s 20-year-old master client index and used by Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, Child Support Enforcement, Developmental Disabilities and the Child Welfare Information Systems.

Physicians and pharmacists in the state of Alaska are now legally allowed to exchange prescription information electronically. On the heels of similar announcements over the past year by Georgia, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and West Virginia, Alaska becomes the 50th and final state to pass changes to its laws and regulations to allow for electronic prescribing. The news marks a major milestone for the United States healthcare system and its efforts to transform how patients receive prescription drugs.

Leading e-signature provider Silanis Technology is pleased to announce that MultiPlan, a growing healthcare preferred provider organization (PPO), is among hundreds of organizations to have selected Silanis solutions to eliminate paper from business processes. MultiPlan, with some 40 million consumers accessing its network every year, is using Silanis' ApproveIt Desktop electronic signature solution to make internal administrative processes more efficient. For example, the use of Silanis e-signatures for procurement allows organizations to keep purchase orders and other documents electronic, rather than having to print and sign them, saving time and effort -- not to mention paper.

A recent report indicates that the cost to purchase and implement an electronic health record (EHR) system prevents some osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) from using them in their practices. The research, recently released by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Center for Research and titled “Assessing Electronic Health Record Use by Members of the American Osteopathic Association,” shows larger medical groups (51 or more full-time physicians) tend to have more funds available for information technology investment, and adopt EHRs at a rate of 55.1 percent. Solo physician practices with an EHR system, however, reported only a 25 percent adoption rate. Study participants rated “lack of capital resources to invest in an EHR” as a primary barrier to implementing EHR in their practices. Researchers found that the median EHR purchase and implementation cost was $20,000 per physician, with an additional $250 per month per physician for maintenance. MGMA conducted the study of AOA members in spring 2006. While the D.O.s who responded were primarily in smaller single-specialty or solo practices, sufficient respondents came from large practices to allow researchers to understand how EHRs affect practices of all sizes and specialties.

Allscripts has forged an important partnership with Medical Reimbursement Services, Inc. (MRSI), a leader in the field of emergency department (ED) coding and reimbursement. MRSI has successfully developed content and software that enables consistent optimized reimbursement for both facilities and physicians, and this content will be used to enhance Allscripts HealthMatics ED, making it the leader in Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) reimbursement capture. The partnership will provide Allscripts’ customers an average potential revenue capture of more than $25 per visit, which equates to over $1 million in additional recurring revenue annually for a typical 40,000 annual volume emergency department.

BARMER, Germany’s largest health insurance provider, has started evaluating the effects of the personal health record (PHR) on patient health behavior and on health care delivery in a Germany-wide research study. A research working group led by Dr. Hanna Kirchner is responsible for the design and execution of the project. An interdisciplinary scientific advisory board is providing support for the research study. The eHealth specialist InterComponentWare AG (ICW), with its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, and U.S. offices in San Mateo, CA, and Malvern, PA, was chosen as technology partner to provide the Web-based personal health record, LifeSensor, for the three-year research study. As part of the research study, BARMER enables its over seven million insured to use the personal health record.

London-based City and Hackney Primary Care Trust (PCT) has partnered with mobile healthcare specialist iPLATO and seven local GP surgeries to pilot the use of advanced messaging services to reduce the prevalence of smoking. Supported by the PCT, GP surgeries will use iPLATO’s platform, Patient Care Messaging, to engage directly with patients around smoking status updates, invitation to stop smoking clinics, on-going quit support and follow-ups. By engaging directly with smokers through their mobile phones rather than the traditional method of broadcasting population-wide messages via posters or advertisements, PCT hopes to significantly and cost effectively increase the number of people seeking support from the quit smoking services and, therefore, the number of smokers kicking the habit.

Siemens Medical Solutions and Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center of East Patchogue, N.Y., announce that the 321-bed community hospital is live on Soarian, Siemens' next-generation, workflow-engineered healthcare information system that supports patient-centered care. Brookhaven Memorial Hospital is the first facility in the New York City area to go live with the Soarian Clinical suite of solutions, which will enable the Medical Center to re-engineer processes throughout its organization, helping to drive efficiencies, address patient safety initiatives and enhance clinical decision-making. Brookhaven Memorial Hospital's use of Soarian allows the medical staff to access an electronic patient record, including images and test results, from any workstation within the hospital, or a home or office computer. Soarian also enables staff members to better coordinate patient care through the comprehensive order processing and work lists.

TeleTracking Technologies will automate patient flow at New York City’s Montefiore Medical Center as part of an initiative to accommodate expected patient increases when several surrounding health facilities close. The 1,122-bed health system will adopt a suite of TeleTracking solutions designed to manage existing bed capacity more efficiently and avert hospital overcrowding. Already among the nation’s busiest emergency care providers, Montefiore annually serves more than 65,000 inpatients and nearly two million outpatients in the Bronx and Westchester County.

BridgeForward Software, a leading provider of application integration technology to the healthcare IT market, today announced that Karl Reti has joined the company as chief technology officer. Reti brings 20 years of experience in product development and interface engine architecture. He has produced a host of successful interface engine products and is regarded as a thought leader in the field of application integration. A list of integration products he has designed and developed include: TALK Integration Engine for ICS Medical Ltd; MicroScript Message Engine for MicroScript Corporation; eBiz2000/ClearSpan Server for New Era of Networks (NEON); and Sybase WorkSpace for Sybase.

Healthphone today announced the appointment of former Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jim McLay, as its non-executive chairman. Healthphone Solutions is a worldwide health software company with offices in United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Singapore. McLay is also executive chairman of investment bank Macquarie NZ Limited, chairman of Goodman (NZ) Limited and chairman of publicly listed Just Water International Limited. In addition to significant governance experience, McLay has healthcare experience as chairman of listed New Zealand retirement care provider Metlifecare Limited and was formerly chairman of retail pharmacy company Pharmacybrands Limited.

nTelagent, a fast-rising player in self-pay management solutions for healthcare service providers, has partnered with eMids Technologies to leverage information technology outsourcing capabilities as a component of nTelagent’s overall IT development strategy. eMids will work closely with the nTelagent IT development organization to assist with the healthcare company’s efforts to continually enhance the company’s expanding product line and deliver new offerings that meet the needs of nTelagent’s growing customer base.

Fujitsu Computer Systems has announced the palm-sized LifeBook U810 mini and the ultra-portable LifeBook T2010 convertible notebooks delivering unmatched mobility and versatility with no compromises. The new notebooks are packed with the features and capabilities health professionals and on-the-go consumers demand. Weighing a scant 1.56 pounds, the LifeBook U810 boasts a 5.6-inch WSVGA Crystal View LED display and a newly designed, ultra slim QWERTY keyboard. As a standard notebook, it’s easy to access mail, work on presentations, or just surf the web. Twist the screen and the LifeBook U810 notebook is now a handheld Tablet PC with a touch screen for finger or pen input. The LifeBook U810 notebook is equipped with the energy efficient Ultra Low Power Intel A110 processor optimized specifically for highly mobile devices. With a standard 4-cell battery, it delivers up to 5.5 hours of computing time. The LifeBook T2010 notebook, weighing in at approximately 3.5 pounds, is one of the lightest in its class. It is the first convertible notebook that comes very close to the weight of a slate tablet while maintaining exceptional battery life. The 1.3-inch chassis features a 12.1-inch WXGA indoor/outdoor display with a bi-directional swivel. Its LED-backlit screen provides an exceptionally bright display for an improved visual experience even in sunlight. A spill-resistant keyboard adds extra protection against accidents.

CalRHIO, through a grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation, is funding four safety net organizations up to $85,000 each to strengthen, advance, or expand existing health information exchange initiatives aimed at improving clinical efficiency, quality of care, and patient safety. The four awardees are Alliance Medical Center, Healdsburg; Community Health Partnership, Santa Clara; San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, San Francisco; and Tehachapi Valley Health Care District, Tehachapi. CalRHIO is the nonprofit statewide initiative to improve health care safety, quality, and efficiency through the use of information technology and the secure, confidential exchange of health information throughout California.

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