One week after being sold, the former healthcare division of Eastman Kodak Co.
has announced ambitious plans to create “centers of excellence” in health-IT and digital imaging at select hospitals in the U.S. and around the world.
The company, now known as Carestream Health (Rochester, N.Y.), on Monday named 15 healthcare facilities around the globe, including four in the United States, to serve as research and design centers for Carestream information systems and Kodak imaging products. The facilities also will employ the technology to develop best practices in various medical modalities, according to Dave Rizzo, Carestream’s worldwide director of customer loyalty and centers of excellence.
“We’ve identified what we believe are the best-of-breed hospitals,” Rizzo says. All are current Carestream customers, mostly with radiology information systems, picture archiving and communication systems, digital x-ray technology, and imaging management software.
On May 1, Kodak completed its $2.35 billion cash sale of its Health Group to Onex Corp., a Toronto-based investment firm. The deal could be worth up to $200 million more, based on future performance.
The former Kodak Health Group is a relatively new player in hospital-based electronic medical records, hospital management software, and pharmacy information systems, and does not have an EMR for physician offices. But the centers of excellence may help Carestream develop and grow its product line.
“This is not a tactical relationship. This is a strategic relationship,” Rizzo says.
At each of the selected hospitals and imaging centers, Carestream personnel will work with executive management to understand their business goals, as well as with clinical leadership. “Where do they want to be in five to ten years?” Rizzo asks. On the clinical side, questions to be answered include: “What are the day-to-day challenges you face, and how will your needs change over time?”
Each center of excellence will form a medical advisory board to help Carestream understand the parts of the hospital the company traditionally has not served. Rizzo says the company plans to expand, either by organic growth or through acquisitions or partnerships.
“This really gives us an opportunity to become very intimate with our customers and learn and understand what their needs are,” Rizzo says.
U.S. centers of excellence will be created at Long Beach (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center, and, in Carestream’s hometown, Rochester General Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center. Also in Rochester, Carestream is opening a center for excellence at Borg Imaging Group, a private radiology practice.
Elsewhere in North America, centers will be located at Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa and ABC Hospital in Mexico City. Other program participants are in Sweden, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Kuwait, Australia, and Japan.
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