Deals, Deployments and Short News - July 1, 2008

The Montgomery County [Maryland] Health Information Exchange (HIE) Collaborative has kicked off its efforts to improve care for Maryland’s uninsured and underinsured population through the establishment of an electronic information exchange between “safety net” clinics and hospital emergency departments. The Collaborative will expand upon the infrastructure developed for the Metro DC Health Information Exchange (MeDHIX) under a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in collaboration with the Community HealthLink clinics and hospitals in Montgomery County. Montgomery County HIE Collaborative will leverage the MeDHIX initiative, which focused on the electronic exchange of information between clinics and mainstream health care institutions, to establish a governance structure and business model. The Collaborative will also initially utilize the first five phases of Mosaica Partner’s nine-phase HIE formation approach, including identification of leadership; development of stakeholder value propositions and the business case for the exchange; establishment of the governance structure; privacy and security issues; and identification of the technical architecture and feasibility demonstration.

Health Level Seven (HL7) has announced the addition of HL7 Singapore to its growing number of affiliates. HL7 Singapore was officially launched at a half-day networking and information exchange event. Like HL7, Inc., HL7 Singapore is an open, not-for-profit and consensus-based organization. HL7 Singapore has a three-fold mission for the Singapore health care industry: To support the development, promotion and implementation of HL7 standards in ways which meet the needs of health care organizations, health care professionals and health care IT practitioners in Singapore; To match Singapore’s national requirement with HL7 standards, and if necessary, develop Singapore-specific messages, profiles and implementation guides; and To educate the Singapore community and health care IT practitioners about HL7 standards, as well as to promote effective and consistent implementation of HL7 standards.

Wellsoft Corporation has participated in the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology’s (CCHIT) Pilot Study, designed to gauge the testability of CCHIT’s Emergency Department EHR 08 certification criteria and demonstrate the effectiveness of its process. Wellsoft Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) is a comprehensive system with core functions that include patient tracking, clinical documentation, image capture, order management, medication management, and discharge planning and reporting. As part of the solution, Wellsoft creates an E H R for the emergency department patient visit. Wellsoft is currently working to provide the specific Emergency Department patient content and EDIS functionality to support the evolving standards for a more universal Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and Continuity of Care Document (CCD) under the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA).

VeriSign has announced that it has been selected by Microsoft as an OpenID provider for users of HealthVault, a free service that enables consumers to store and manage their health information online. HealthVault’s acceptance of VeriSign OpenIDs will begin later this week. VeriSign combines the convenience of OpenID single sign-on with the security of strong authentication via VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) credentials. Acceptance of VeriSign’s OpenIDs secured by the VeriSign Identity Protection Service gives consumers another choice when signing into Microsoft HealthVault to help safeguard their personal health information. Microsoft HealthVault members who have activated their VIP credential on their VeriSign OpenID can also utilize the same VIP credential on eBay, PayPal, AOL and a number of other sites that participate in the VeriSign Identity Protection Network.

HealthMedia’s Succeed Health Risk Assessment (HRA) received a two-year Health Information Products (HIP) Certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the most trusted source for information about health care quality. As a result, health plans that undergo NCQA Accreditation surveys will receive automatic credit for using the Succeed HRA, since responsibility for adherence to NCQA HRA standards under HIP has been delegated to HealthMedia. Succeed measures and quantifies productivity impairment and identifies health risks by epidemiological need, stage of change, motivation, self-confidence, and barriers. As each individual navigates through the questionnaire, the question sets are dynamically changed based on the individual’s response to previous questions, pinpointing measures of motivation and self-confidence. Based on each individual’s evaluation, Succeed produces a 16-page individually tailored action plan around the participant’s top health risks.

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company has announced the availability of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1, the first ultra mobile PC (UMPC) to integrate the new low power Intel Atom processor in a rugged handheld computer for use in the field. With the introduction of the extremely portable Toughbook CF-U1, health care workers such as doctors, nurses, and home health providers are able to connect to critical information and applications in real time, thus improving organizational efficiency, increasing information accuracy, and enabling field-based decision-making. Reinventing handheld computing by integrating robust features previously only available on a full size Toughbook PC, the CF-U1 can be used in a range of health care applications including Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), vitals capture, review of electronic medical records, and home health care.

iMetrikus and NaviMedix have announced a strategic partnership that marks a new approach to care management. The combination of iMetrikus' remote patient monitoring technology and NaviMedix' NaviNet platform will enable physicians who are treating at risk and chronically ill patients to be more actively engaged in patient care occurring outside the provider office. NaviNet, the industry's leading multi-sponsor health care communications solution, is used by over 540,000 providers across the country to interact online with health plans and health care services companies to perform sophisticated clinical and business transactions. iMetrikus will leverage NaviMedix' physician network and the NaviNet platform to create a first-of-its-kind care management solution that allows providers to access data from iMetrikus' low-cost remote patient monitoring solutions.

Lawson Software announced that Community Medical Centers, a 727-bed not-for-profit health system with 6,000 employees in California’s San Joaquin Valley, has licensed Lawson Smart Office and the Lawson S3 Human Capital Management, Enterprise Financial Management, Supply Chain Management and Business Intelligence Suites. Lawson made the announcement in conjunction with its participation in the 2008 HFMA Healthcare Finance Conference taking place this week in Las Vegas. The health care provider will use the Lawson system to help consolidate business processes, simplify IT management and increase worker productivity. Community Medical Centers operates three acute care hospitals.

Marshfield Clinic’s electronic health record (EHR) software suite—CattailsMD—has been chosen for use by Ministry Health Care for the majority of its hospitals and Ministry Medical Group, Ministry’s network of physicians and clinics. Through CattailsMD, Ministry Health Care will automate its medical records. Those records will be combined with Marshfield Clinic’s electronic health records, creating the largest patient database in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the U.S. More than 1,000 providers in the Marshfield Clinic system, at Ministry Medical Group and Ministry hospital locations will share access to 2.5 million patient records. CattailsMD is commercially available to other health care organizations as well.

Riverside Medical Center, a 336-bed hospital in Kankakee, IL, recently selected Practice Partner Patient Records, Appointment Scheduler and Medical Billing as its solution of choice for affiliated physicians in the community. Using Practice Partner software, the hospital’s goal is to strengthen its physician relationships in the community and enhance the delivery of care with the ability to quickly transfer patient information between the hospital and physician practices. Hospital executives selected McKesson’s Practice Partner fully integrated electronic health record and practice management solution because of its ease of use for physicians, flexibility and ability to interface with other McKesson hospital products. Riverside Hospital is starting the roll out the Practice Partner solution this summer beginning with a five physician pilot program. In addition, the hospital has plans to target about another 100 physicians in the community.

The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, a 347-bed county hospital known locally as The MED, has successfully implemented a physician portal from MEDSEEK, the leading provider of enterprise portal connectivity solutions. Since the portal went live in February 2008, the University of Tennessee-affiliated teaching hospital has supplied its resident and attending physicians with seamless access to all clinical data in its MEDITECH information system.

Elderplan (Brooklyn, NY) has selected Vangent to optimize its contact center operations to meet the growing needs of its Medicare members and provider network throughout New York. Vangent will improve Elderplan’s overall contact center infrastructure and operability with new contact center technology, develop a sophisticated data warehouse for member and provider information, and create a Web portal for 24/7 member and provider education and self-service. Vangent’s informis is the cornerstone solution that will enable Elderplan to provide an outstanding experience for its members, prospects and providers. Developed specifically for Medicare health plans, informis offers a complete turnkey solution for member interaction management through multiple channels, including phone and self service encompassing e-mail, chat and the Web. Elderplan will deploy informis Contact Management, a fully integrated desktop solution, to empower its customer service representatives with knowledge that will enable them to operate more efficiently, while ensuring they meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) compliance and service levels.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) have selected TriZetto’s Provider POS Direct application. BCBSKC has nearly 900,000 members and 4,000 network providers; BCBSRI has more than 680,000 members and nearly 3,900 network providers. Additionally, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee last year incorporated the software to serve 2.3 million members and the 75,000 providers in its network. The Provider POS Direct application will be hosted for BCBSRI in a TriZetto data center. TriZetto’s Provider POS Direct software determines the patient’s financial liability, the provider’s negotiated charge and the health plan’s expected payment at any time—before, during or after care, enabling providers to collect the patient’s liability when the appointment is scheduled, at check-in or at check-out. The Provider POS Direct application helps improve cash collections, reduce unnecessary billings and minimize bad debt because the application enables real-time and direct access to accurate billing information much earlier in the revenue cycle between the member, provider and payer.

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