Announcements from health information technology vendors in recent days cover meaningful use, HIPAA 5010 readiness and health information exchange initiatives, including:

* Cottage Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Woodsville, N.H., has successfully attested to Stage 1 meaningful use of electronic health records. The facility has used the hospital information system of Nashville, Tenn.-based Healthcare Management Systems Inc. for more than a decade. It completed a 90-day reporting period on July 15 and attested the same day.

* Claims clearinghouse ZirMed says it now is processing HIPAA 5010-compliant claims and electronic remittance advice transactions with "virtually" all insurers who are 5010-ready. While the number of compliant payers remains small, the Louisville, Ky.-based vendor contends it now has the ability and is "conducting business in the 5010 format." Further, ZirMed is testing transactions on a daily basis with payers that represent more than 80 percent of its claims volume, says CEO Jerry Merritt.

* Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago will use the iConnect software of Merge Healthcare to enable pediatric radiologists and referring physicians to access diagnostic images onsite or remotely on demand. The application includes a vendor neutral archive and enables authorized access from any approved Web-enabled device.


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