Deals, Deployments, and Short News – June 10, 2008


Merge Healthcare has announced the reorganization of its business operations and a change in executive management.

  • The company is reorganizing and renaming its operating divisions. Merge Healthcare North America (MHNA) has been renamed Merge Fusion; and Cedara, its operating division located in Toronto, Ontario, will be renamed Merge OEM.
  • Total worldwide headcount will be reduced by approximately 60 people, to approximately 300 employees.
  • The company expects to also incur additional costs associated with the early termination of certain vendor contracts, which it cannot currently estimate and non-cash charges during the second quarter ending June 30, 2008 associated with the reorganization.
  • The company accepted the resignations of four Company officers: Kenneth Rardin (CEO); Steven Norton (CFO); Gary Bowers (president, Merge North America); and Loris Sartor (president, Cedara/Merge OEM). The Company’s Board of Directors has determined that, in light of the above-described restructuring steps, these officers are entitled to full severance benefits under their pre-existing employment agreements.
  • The company appointed the following four new company officers: Justin Dearborn (CEO); Steven Oreskovich (CFO); Nancy Koenig (president, Merge Fusion); and Antonia Wells (president, Merge OEM).

Misys Healthcare Systems announced its new Reseller Partner Program, which enables partner organizations to profitably grow their businesses, improve their overall health care product and service offerings, and drive widespread electronic medical record (EMR) adoption. Members of the new Misys Reseller Partner Program will be authorized resellers of the physician-friendly Misys MyWay, an integrated EMR solution. Misys Reseller Partner Program members will have full access to an array of high-quality Misys services and benefits, including sales, technical and marketing support. The Reseller Partner Program is comprised of three tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold partner status, which result in varying incentives and earned margins. Reseller clients will be able to implement a fully-integrated, easy-to-use EMR solution from an established vendor, while accessing the personal support they have come to rely on from the trusted partner organization.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System is expanding its use of advanced information technologies and automation solutions from McKesson to better connect clinicians and staff members across the enterprise and enhance patient outcomes. Houston-based St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is the first health care organization in the country to implement the new Horizon Clinicals Care Team Release, which supports a “one patient, one care team, one plan” approach to care delivery. In addition to adding extensive new clinical functionality to the health system, new automation solutions will further expand St. Luke’s “closed-loop” approach to medication and patient safety.

The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (NAHIT) announced new leadership and a new strategic and operating framework for promoting and influencing the efficient and effective use of health information technology. The board of directors announced that it has recruited George Lynn, former chief executive and president of AtlantiCare and past chairman of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and John Glaser, vice president and chief information officer of Partners HealthCare System Inc. and CHIME Fellow, to serve as its co-chairs. The board of directors also named Jane Horowitz, formerly NAHIT’s vice president and chief marketing officer, as its new chief operating officer. To strengthen its efforts in addressing health IT as a strategic, rather than a purely technology issue for senior executives, NAHIT has established formal alliances with the AHA and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), both founding members of NAHIT in 2002. AHA is providing core staff, back-office support and other services that provide connections to critical distribution and education channels and linkages with leaders across the field. CHIME, too, will contribute full-time staff and functional support for key NAHIT member services such as education, communication, web site and content development and connections with over 1,200 information and technology leaders and providers of IT products and services. UCLA Medical Sciences chief information officer and CHIME chairman Rodney Dykehouse also has joined NAHIT’s board.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) conducted a comprehensive evaluation of CCHIT certified electronic health records (EHRs) over the past 12 months. As part of this initiative, referred to as the EHR Partners Program, over 1,300 ACP members currently using EHRs were surveyed. The results have been made available to ACP members and participating vendors. The e-MDs’ EHR, named the Solution Series, received “by far” the highest scores on the survey and was the only EHR to achieve a 3 star overall rating. The ACP evaluated pricing models and found that the e-MDs EHR/Practice Management integrated software package was one of the lower cost vendors in the program. The e-MDs Solution Series was the only EHR in the Partners Program with the unique combination of extremely high satisfaction scores and relatively low cost.

Drugs.com has launched its professional edition for the iPhone. This new mobile edition of Drugs.com provides physicians and health care professionals with a free drug information service for easy access to medication summaries, dosing information, warnings and built-in drug interactions for all medications commonly used in the U.S. With this tool, physicians and health care professionals can protect patients and increase their productivity by being able to quickly find the answers they need to make informed decisions. Unlike installed applications, the Drugs.com mobile edition offers information that is updated in real-time. The Drugs.com iPhone edition can be accessed by any person with an iPhone who is a registered member of Drugs.com and is looking for accurate, in-depth medicine and health information, at any time and anywhere there is WiFi or network access.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) today announced their participation in “Get Connected,” a new program designed to help more of the nation’s prescribers begin sending prescriptions to pharmacies electronically. The program aims to help thousands of prescribers comply with new Medicare rules scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2009–rules that require all computer-generated prescriptions covered by the Medicare Part D program to be transmitted electronically. The focal point of the Get Connected program is an online portal–www.GetRxConnected.com–where prescribers can follow a step-by-step process designed to help them transition from paper-based prescribing to e-prescribing.  In the three months since the program’s launch, over 1,700 practices representing 13,000 prescribers have used GetRxConnected.com to begin the transition from paper prescriptions to e-prescriptions.

 

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