ElectronicHealthcare 3(1) June 2004 : 90-92

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HIMSS Update

HIMSS Names Michael Nusbaum and Guy Paterson as Fellows
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recently awarded Fellowships to two Canadians, Guy Paterson and Michael Nusbaum. HIMSS Fellows must have contributed substantial service to the healthcare industry at the local, national and international level through publications and presentations, and through their ongoing professional development, continuing education and participation in healthcare organizations.

Michael Nusbaum has been professionally active in the field of health informatics for almost 30 years. Since 1983, he has been providing management consulting services, in private practice, to a large variety of healthcare provider, vendor and professional organizations. Michael is President of the HIMSS Washington State Chapter, and is also President of the Healthcare Leaders' Association of B.C.

Guy Paterson is a Healthcare Information Management Professional, with over 30 years of experience in the delivery of Healthcare Services including clinical practice, information management and business development. He is currently an independent consultant based in Saskatoon, SK. He is currently on the volunteer Board of Directors of Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation and a Director of HL7 Canada.

HIMSS Applauds President's Plan Proposing Most Americans Have Access to EHRs Within the Next 10 Years
HIMSS applauded and supported the steps announced by George W. Bush to ensure that all Americans have access to electronic health records within the next 10 years.

One of these steps includes the appointment of a National Health Information Technology (NHIT) Coordinator reporting directly to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide the leadership and coordination needed to achieve this 10-year goal.

HIMSS recommended in its April 2003 advocacy agenda, the formation of a senior-level official reporting directly to the HHS Secretary to coordinate the creation of a National Health Information Infrastructure, a step suggested to ensure access to the staffing and funding needed for the development of the NHII.

According to comments released by the White House, the new NHIT Coordinator will be:

  • Guiding ongoing work on health information standards and working to identify and implement the various steps needed to support and encourage health information technology in the public and private healthcare delivery systems
  • Coordinating partnerships between government agencies and private sector stakeholders to speed the adoption of health information technology.

HIMSS Announces Dave Garets as CEO of New Research-Based Subsidiary
David E. Garets has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the new HIMSS subsidiary company that will provide research and information services to the healthcare information technology field.

A well-recognized leader in the industry, Garets now serves as Executive Vice-President of Healthlink Incorporated. He is formerly a hospital CIO and industry analyst. He was a faculty member for executive education courses offered by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and sits on several editorial advisory boards of healthcare industry journals and trade publications. Garets is chairman of the HIMSS Board of Directors, but will resign that position when he assumes the role of CEO of the new HIMSS subsidiary.

Patient Safety Institute Becomes Sponsor of Continuity of Care Record
The ASTM International, Massachusetts Medical Society, HIMSS, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Medical Association welcome the Patient Safety Institute (PSI) to their ranks as the most recent sponsor of the effort to develop a standard for the Continuity of Care Record (CCR).

The CCR will enable healthcare providers to base future care on relevant and timely patient information. It is a core data set of the most relevant and timely facts about a patient's healthcare, prepared by a provider at the conclusion of a healthcare encounter in order to enable the next provider to readily access such information. It includes a summary of the patient's health status (e.g., allergies, medications, vital signs, diagnoses, recent care provided) and basic information about insurance, advance directives, care documentation and care plan recommendations.

The Patient Safety Institute (PSI), formed in 2001, is a not-for-profit membership organization governed by consumer, physician and hospital advocates who work together to improve healthcare safety and quality while lowering the cost of healthcare. PSI was formed to provide secure real-time access to clinical information at the point of care.

Supplier News

McKesson Reshuffles Business Lines
McKesson Corp., San Francisco, has reorganized into three business divisions-Provider Technologies, Pharmaceutical Solutions and Medical-Surgical Solutions-to try to become more efficient in the selling and servicing of products.

The Atlanta-based information technology division, formerly called Information Solutions, now is part of the new Provider Technologies division. The division also includes hospital pharmacy robotics and other medication automation technologies, and multi-business sales operations that previously were in other divisions. Pamela Pure, formerly COO of Information Solutions, now is president of Provider Technologies and executive vice-president of McKesson Corp.

Payer-oriented software and services have been moved to the new Pharmaceutical Solutions division, which retains its old name. The payer products were moved because of their alignment with mail order pharmacy and reimbursement cycle operations in the division. Payer solutions include claims auditing, disease management, medical guidelines and criteria, and analytical software. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.

Prescription Software for $250
Mindware Medical LLC, a vendor of electronic medical records software for small physician practices, has introduced a prescription writing module that costs $250 per prescribing provider.

The RXMinder product enables physicians to write up to 30 prescriptions in a single encounter, which can then be printed out or faxed to a pharmacy. The software also enables physicians to electronically track patients' medications, according to the Chandler, AZ-based vendor. More details and a trial version are available at www.mindwaremedical.com.

Claims Software Targets Payers
Physmark Inc. has introduced software it touts as an "off-the-shelf" clearinghouse for payer organizations. The Clear-It product supports direct payer receipt from providers of HIPAA-formatted claims and related transactions. The software translates the transactions into proprietary formats to enable payers to continue using legacy information systems, according to the vendor. Optional modules support real-time, web-based enquiries such as eligibility verification and claim status, repricing of claims, and data mining functions. While targeted to payers, the vendor also will market the software to large provider organizations that want to bypass claims clearinghouses. For more information, go to physmark.com.

IBM Launches $250 Million Global Healthcare Initiatives
IBM has announced major healthcare initiatives to help healthcare providers and payers manage costs, reduce medical errors and deliver better patient care. The initiative will infuse an estimated $250 million of investments into IBM's healthcare business over the next three years for new hiring of healthcare specialists, solutions development, research and development projects, IBM Business Partner collaborations and other programs.

Highlights include:

  • Groundbreaking collaborations with Duke University Health System and the Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
  • New healthcare solutions designed to support information-based medicine initiatives and bring safer, more efficient approaches to healthcare
  • The formation of the IBM Center for Healthcare Management
  • Creation of the IBM Research Healthcare and Life Sciences Institute
  • New IBM Clinical Transformation consulting practice and IBM Information Based Medicine business unit

Per-Se's Connective Healthcare Solutions Enable Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations to Achieve Their Income Potential
Per-Se Technologies has announced a new class of services created to help organizations navigate today's complex and often frustrating healthcare business environment. As part of the company's Connective Healthcare strategy, Per-Se has introduced a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that help hospitals and healthcare organizations achieve their full income potential by improving and accelerating the flow of funds.

Connective Healthcare solutions for healthcare organizations create operational efficiencies and foster revenue growth in two categories: Revenue Cycle Management and Resource Management. These solutions increase revenue and decrease costs by streamlining reimbursement and operational processes, maintaining compliance and improving the use of existing assets and IT investments.

Agfa and Evolved Digital Systems Come Together to Deliver an IMPAX Integrated Solution
Agfa, a leader in digital imaging solutions, and Evolved, the first Managed Services provider in the diagnostic imaging market, have announced that McKenna Memorial Hospital, a 132-bed acute care facility serving the 36,000 residents of New Braunfels, TX, has implemented a community-wide digital solution that will see the RadWeb¨ technology from Evolved implemented as part of an Agfa IMPAX¨ integrated solution. Via the Internet, RadWeb enables physicians and radiologists rapid and secure access to radiology images and reports, as well as the full patient exam status.

Two Irish Clinics Choose CoPathPlus From Misys to Enhance Pathology Operations
Misys Healthcare Systems has announced that two leading private laboratories in Ireland have selected CoPathPlusª from Misys, its anatomic pathology information system. Bon Secours Clinic in Cork, a member of a large international private network, and Blackrock Clinic in Dublin are replacing their pathology legacy systems with CoPathPlus, establishing Misys as one of the fastest-growing laboratory system suppliers in Ireland.

Designed to meet the unique workflow requirements of the anatomic pathology department, CoPathPlus provides comprehensive patient and specimen information viewable in a wide variety of formats. The system incorporates images and diagrams, and comprises an integrated report writer, a library of more than 200 report options such as cytology screening statistical requirements and Quality Assurance and fast report turnaround functions. Other features include histology protocols, automated billing and SNOMED coding. CoPathPlus is HL7-compliant and offers the scalability to integrate with Misys CPRª as well as any other computer-based patient record system.

Companion Makes a Coding Deal
Companion Technologies will resell the CodeScan product of White Plume Technologies as an integrated charge capture and coding module for its physician practice management software, called Companion PM. Terms of the alliance with Birmingham, AL- based White Plume were not disclosed.

CodeScan is designed to capture charge data through document imaging of an encounter form, via an electronic form on a Tablet PC, or imported from other information systems.

Companion Technologies also sells electronic medical records software for physician practices and claims management software for hospitals.

QuadraMed Launches ASP Services
QuadraMed Corp. has introduced remotely hosted versions of its Affinity clinical/financial hospital information systems and Quantim suite of health information management software via the application service provider computing model. The products, hosted by data centre partners of the Reston,VA-based vendor, are available for a monthly subscription fee.

Software Centralizes Scheduling
SpectraSoft Inc. has introduced Web-based, centralized patient scheduling software for multi-site provider organizations. The AppointmentsCS software enables schedulers at any site to book patients at another location without confirmation telephone calls or manual reentry of data, according to the Tempe, AZ-based vendor.

Each location requires an Internet connection to access the software. Standard features-which may require integration with a facility's practice management software-include insurance eligibility verification and exporting records to a billing service.

Optional features include automated patient reminders via telephone or e-mail.

Linux Finds another Booster
Westboro, MA-based eClinicalWorks has introduced new versions of its electronic medical records and physician practice management software that support the Linux operating system.

Version 6.0 of the records software, called eClinicalWorks EMR, also supports Microsoft Corp.'s Digital Ink technology that enables chart annotations on Tablet PCs and electronic signatures on prescriptions. Further, the records software integrates with Dragon Systems' Naturally Speaking speech recognition software, and supports electronic test results from laboratory chains Laboratory Corp. of America and Quest Diagnostics. Earlier versions of the software supported the electronic transmission of test orders to these labs, but not the results.

Scanner Grabs Data at the Desk
ICS Software Ltd., a vendor of physician practice management software, has introduced a device to electronically capture patient insurance information at the physician office front desk. The Sammy Card Scanner images the front and back of an insurance card, and downloads and stores the document in the patient's file within the practice management system, according to the Oceanside, NY-based vendor. For more information, visit sammyusa.net.


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