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Leapfrog’s new survey; Microsoft announces first Azyxxi customer, Fujitsu add solid state memory to tablet pcs; Cedars-Sinai opts for Thomson’s InfoButton technology

The Leapfrog Group, best known for the Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey – a freely available resource, is expanding survey questions to include the types of questions asked by other national initiatives such as the Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, and Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 Lives campaign. Following are new survey questions that will have important impact for consumers this year: What Will Your Hospital Do If They Make a Big Mistake? How Well Does My Hospital Treat My Condition? How Open With the Public is Your Hospital? If you need one of eight high risk procedures, including delivering a high risk pregnancy, this year’s survey offers a more complete picture of how well a hospital performs the procedure and how adequately they can treat low birth weight babies. Other new questions ask what percentage of a hospital’s surgeons meet the expert-defined standard of volume for those procedures. For example, what percent of surgeons perform enough coronary artery bypass grafts to meet the expert-determined number of grafts that surgeons should perform each year? The first round of survey results will be posted in early June. Leapfrog will use these results to determine the list of Leapfrog Top Hospitals 2007. Click to see Leapfrog Top Hospitals 2006.

Microsoft announced Monday that New York-Presbyterian Hospital selected Azyxxi, Microsoft’s unified health enterprise platform, to improve its cross-organizational access to clinical, administrative, and financial data. Microsoft will support the implementation of the software, and NYP will serve as a development partner. As an early adopter, NYP will also help Microsoft prepare for the commercial general availability of Azyxxi. Microsoft and NYP have already begun the planning efforts to implement Azyxxi across its organization of more than 5,000 physicians and 2,300 beds. This is Microsoft’s first customer implementation of Azyxxi since the company acquired the technology last year. New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City is the nation’s largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,335 beds.

Fujitsu Computer introduced pen-enabled notebook computers with solid state drives (SSDs), a first says the company. The 2.2-pound LifeBook P1610 and 3.2-pound LifeBook B6210 ultra-portables will offer an option for an SSD, an advanced NAND flash-based replacement for traditional hard disk drives. SSD configurations have 16 GB or 32 GB capacities and offer lower power consumption, added ruggedness, high reliability, and improved performance. SK&A Information Services announced availability of PrescriberPlus, a product to help healthcare sales and marketing executives identify and target physicians and other prescribers based on their prescribing habits. SK&A is able to link prescription-based decile data to physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and dentists, and maintains the largest and most accurate database of these practicing professionals at their business location.  SK&A telephone-verifies every record in this database every six months and guarantees its accuracy.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center moves from homegrown search application to InfoButton Access, provided by Thomson Healthcare. Cedars-Sinai is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the western United States, licensing 848 beds and serving five counties in Southern California. “Cedars-Sinai is a four-year user of homegrown infobuttons and an eight-year customer of Thomson Healthcare evidence-based knowledge,” said Robert Jenders, associate professor, UCLA School of Medicine, and informatician at Cedars-Sinai. InfoButton Access is an Internet/intranet-based and context-aware knowledge search and retrieval technology. It will provide Cedars-Sinai physicians and other clinicians with patient-specific and context-sensitive links from medications, laboratory tests, and other data that appear in a patient’s electronic health record (EHR).

Avnet Technology Solutions announced today a new distribution agreement with Plasmon to deliver storage solutions for the healthcare market. Avnet will distribute Plasmon’s Ultra Density Optical archival solutions, expanding its storage portfolio beyond disk and tape to include optical media. Plasmon's optical-based solutions are designed to meet the archival storage demands of large corporations, small- to mid-sized businesses, healthcare facilities, and government agencies. In addition, healthcare organizations working with Avnet’s reseller partners can leverage HealthPath University, Avnet’s healthcare practice and training program. Through HealthPath, partners learn how to develop business practices to address the types of solutions, such as Plasmon's, that will enable them to meet the unique needs of its healthcare customers.

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