Deals, Deployments, and Short News – March 18, 2008

March 18, 2008 | MediNotes Corporation has completed its acquisition of Bond Technologies. The two companies announced on Feb. 25 that they had signed a letter of intent for MediNotes to acquire Bond Technologies, which offers the industry’s most advanced integrated, award-winning .Net-based EHR and Practice Management (PM) solution. Following the merger, MediNotes renamed that solution from Bond Clinician to MediNotes Clinician. It also created separate national sales forces to market MediNotes Clinician EHR/PM solution as well as MediNotes e, its best-of-breed interoperable EHR. MediNotes is the only health care IT vendor offering physicians the choice of either a stand-alone EHR or an integrated, single-vendor EHR/PM system.

Kaiser Permanente and Microsoft have agreed to sponsor a Value of Personal Health Records (PHRs) study by the Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL), a nonprofit research center based at Partners HealthCare System in Boston. Based on CITL's industry simulation, this study will define the national potential impact, costs and value of this emerging technology. Initial progress on the project, due to finalize in late fall 2008, established a PHR taxonomy based on review and synthesis of the deepest available evidence of current PHR practices. The PHR study is based on proven CITL academic methodologies and will provide a framework indicating market readiness, critical adoption issues, and potential PHR penetration. CITL employs a rigorous, multiphase research process in its analyses, including literature reviews, technology definition, expert panels, evidence synthesis and simulation model development. Previous evaluations include analysis of the value of ambulatory EMR provider order entry, provider to provider telehealth, information technology used in diabetes management, and health care information exchange and interoperability (HIEI). CITL is currently in dialogue with additional sponsors for the PHR study.

Researchers at the Northeastern University Computer Architecture Research Lab (NUCAR) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS) are teaming with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) on a promising new breast cancer detection technology that improves breast cancer screening accuracy. The team is applying supercomputing technology to a 30-year-old imaging modality called tomosynthesis, which until now has been relegated to research labs due to its massive and expensive computational requirements. NUCAR scientists addressed the computational hurdle by creating a DBT reconstruction application on their desktop PCs using MATLAB, and then running the code on an affordable Linux parallel cluster using Star-P software from Interactive Supercomputing (ISC). Reconstructing DBT used to take many hours and now can be completed in just a few minutes. General Electric is developing a commercial DBT device that should be generally available in 2009. The Northeastern team has been supported by a NSF Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project with ISC, the NSF’s CenSSIS, and by Mass General Hospital.

GetWellNetwork has announced a partnership to co-develop a comprehensive suite of pediatric patient education content specifically designed for parents, kids and teens. The KidsHealth patient education videos will be exclusively accessible at the patient bedside through the GetWellNetwork PatientLife System. The partnership is intended to help hospitals engage pediatric patients and their families in their own health care process while addressing objectives from the Joint Commission and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

The University of Michigan Health System has selected McKesson’s Horizon Medical Imaging picture archiving and communication system (PACS). By replacing its legacy PACS with McKesson's highly-rated enterprise-wide system, the organization expects to vastly improve the efficiency of its radiologists, who currently conduct approximately 550,000 exams on an annual basis. McKesson is assisting with the migration of 2 million archived studies into the new PACS at the health system, which includes three hospitals and nine clinical centers. A simultaneous go-live of the PACS systems is expected in early summer 2008.

The TriZetto Group has announced the general-availability release of Facets 4.51, the newest version of TriZetto’s enterprise-wide core administration software to help health care payers improve productivity, enhance service and enable growth. The Facets product is part of TriZetto’s suite of core administration systems that help payers efficiently execute core administrative functions, including claims processing, premium billing and customer service. With enhancements to Facets 4.51, customer service representatives at health plans can use a new keyword feature to more easily find specific benefit information when fielding telephonic inquiries. The Facets application can now be supported in other languages, and the new version includes a feature for customization of screen views. New functionality in Facets 4.51 enables payers to make changes and corrections to debit cards used for medical services by members enrolled in consumer-driven health plans. Additionally, flexible spending account claims that cannot be auto-adjudicated can now be handled using the Workflow feature to increase administrative efficiency. As part of an ongoing effort to support TriZetto customers who administer Medicare health plans, Facets Billing now supports expanded split-billing processing so that multiple entities (i.e. member, employer groups and CMS) can each be billed for specific percentages of an insurance premium.

Time Domain Corporation has announced that Paul Reitmeier has joined the company as chief executive officer. Reitmeier will lead the company's growth in commercial applications for its high-performance UWB and dual-mode precision real-time location systems (RTLS) solutions in the health care, manufacturing and retail markets.

Wayport has announced a new master services agreement has been reached with Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), to enable Wi-Fi Internet access for patients, visitors and other invited users. The Wayport services will be available to SCA’s more than 130 surgery centers throughout the United States. Each center will choose whether to utilize the services at their facility. Wayport will also make a Wi-Fi network for employee and staff use available to each location that utilizes its services. The Wi-Fi portion of Wayport’s larger service offering is important to many health care facilities, although it is only one aspect of the custom network services Wayport can provide to health facilities.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) has selected Kryptiq’s eScriptMessenger (eSM) as its enterprise ePrescribing solution. This purchase, the largest eSM order to date, will enable BMC prescribers to securely send prescriptions from within GE’s Centricity EMR directly to retail pharmacy computers using the secure Pharmacy Health Information Exchange operated by SureScripts. This solution will improve patient safety and service while also assisting BMC to comply with upcoming federal prescribing mandates. eSM will help BMC meet the requirements of the Medicaid tamper-resistant prescription pad rule, currently scheduled for October 2008. In addition, legislation recently introduced in the House and Senate will require physicians to adopt electronic prescribing by 2011 or face possible financial penalties.

Nemours, one of the nation’s largest children’s health systems, has selected the My Patient Passport Express for its kiosk based patient check-in program. A D2 Sales product, My Patient Passport Express kiosk provides patients with the convenience of easy check-in, records updating, co-pay payment acceptance and wayfinding and mapping features.

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