Deals, Deployments & Short News--Nov. 11, 2008

By Allison Proffitt, Digital HealthCare & Productivity staff

November 11, 2008 | GetWellNetwork, Inc. has announced the release of the PatientLife System 3.0 (PLS 3.0). Designed as an interactive tool to help empower, engage and educate patients and their families, the latest release of the PatientLife System enables hospitals to provide better patient-centered care through enhanced decision support, improved usability and additional opportunities for revenue generation. New features available as part of PLS 3.0 include: executive Reporting, revenue Generation, and Improved Usability.

A study published in the November issue of The American Journal of Managed Care, Supporting a Patient’s Role in Guidance Compliance: A Controlled Study of a Clinical Alerting System,” by Stephen N. Rosenberg, MD, MPH, et al. measured the incremental impact of sending clinical alerts to patients, as well as their physicians. The study demonstrated that clinical alerts based on evidence-based medical guidelines were followed at a greater rate when they were sent to both patients and their physicians, compared to when they were sent to physicians alone. ActiveHealth’s clinical alerts, called Care Considerations, communicate gaps in care, potential medical errors and opportunities to improve care. They are derived from the CareEngine System, ActiveHealth’s patented clinical decision support technology. The CareEngine continuously gathers the medical, pharmacy and laboratory claims data for members and compares it against the latest findings in evidence-based literature. Care Considerations were initially only sent to physicians. In 2006, ActiveHealth started communicating Care Considerations to patients. According to the study, sending Care Considerations to patients increased compliance by 12.5% and Care Considerations recommending screening, diagnostic and monitoring tests experienced the greatest increase in compliance (26.4% compared to the control group).

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) at Oregon Health & Science University has issued a report to identify and catalog the factors that influence the use of home computer-based health-IT systems by the most at-risk subgroups of the population and to review the evidence on health outcomes attributable to the use of these technologies. The review was directed by lead investigator Holly Jimison, Ph.D., an associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, OHSU School of Medicine. Among the study's findings: The most effective systems are those that provide routine and timely tailored clinical feedback and advice; patients prefer systems that send them information on devices that fit into their normal daily routine, such as cell phones; the lack of a perceived benefit is the primary barrier to wider use by patients of interactive IT technologies; issues of access, ease of use, and convenience of technology systems were also found to be key barriers to wider use; the most frequently used health IT functions are online peer group support bulletin boards and disease self-management tools; and patients value the anonymity and nonjudgmental nature of interacting with a computer system, especially those with HIV/AIDS or mental disorders.

MobileAccess, in partnership with Sprint, has extended the MobileAccess Universal Wireless Network to Clarian Health’s three hospital campuses located in Indianapolis. With this state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure, Methodist Hospital, Indiana University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children can now support the next-generation medical applications and communication devices that enhance the quality of patient care and boost the efficiency of mobile clinicians and staff. Clarian’s clinicians, staff, patients and visitors can enjoy access to wireless voice and data services from Sprint and other operators throughout the campus, using the mobile phones and PDAs of their choice. The breadth of wireless coverage supports use of untethered clinical devices and applications including Patient Keeper data management system, Alaris wireless IV pumps, Vocera badges and Cisco 7921 VoIP phones.

Rosemary Kennedy, chief nursing informatics officer for Siemens Healthcare has been selected by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) as a 2008 Fellow. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon her, along with 89 other nurse leaders, during the Academy’s 35th Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., November 6-8. Kennedy was nominated for this honor by two current Academy Fellows and was selected by the Academy’s 15-member Fellow Selection Committee for her outstanding achievements in the nursing profession.

Luther Midelfort-Mayo Health System has announced that it has installed Isabel Healthcare’s diagnosis decision support system. Based in Eau Claire, Luther Midelfort operates as part of the Mayo Health System and offers a wide range of medical services in six locations in western Wisconsin. Using the new system, physicians are provided with a checklist of likely diagnoses from a database of 11,000 potential diagnoses in seconds. They can then download the latest pertinent medical research and recommended treatments for the case. The Isabel system is now in use at 18 major medical centers in the U.S., including Carle Foundation Hospital, Loma Linda Medical Center, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, University of Virginia Health System and Washington University School of Medicine., a new offering from Doctations, is a comprehensive suite of health care web browser applications with distinct advantages for both doctors and those who depend on them. The result of extensive focus group testing and research into what would make doctors’ lives easier and more productive, includes: a Shared Patient Database that enhances a doctor’s effectiveness by supporting a complete history of his or her care for a patient; a built-in Patient Health Record, accessible by the patient, that contains all the patient’s test results and other pertinent medical information; integrated dictation and transcription services that allow doctors to document the same way they do now, only faster and at lower cost; complete insurance documentation that generates financial reimbursement commensurate with care; and facilitated collaboration between doctors, and between doctors and patients.

McKesson has signed a distribution agreement with Swissray International, the pioneer and worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of state-of-the-art Digital Radiography (DR) systems. In addition to its industry-leading Horizon Medical Imaging picture archiving and communication system (PACS), McKesson will sell Swissray’s DR technology. Together the systems provide imaging departments and centers with enhanced workflow and performance capabilities to speed the patient care process.

Beaver Dam Community Hospitals (BDCH), Inc. (Beaver Dam, Wis.) has chosen McKesson to provide a fast track to electronic health records (EHRs). BDCH selected the Paragon community health care information system (HIS) to provide integrated clinical and financial information systems and comprehensive EHRs for its new state-of-the-art hospital and facilities. Additionally, the organization will implement McKesson’s document management solution, which will enable doctors to sign electronic patient records online and streamline the management of information for all hospital personnel – from physicians to coders.

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