Vendor News from HIMSS

Some 900 vendors exhibited at the HIMSS 2010 Conference in Atlanta and that means multiple announcements about new products, features or services. Among them:

The Take Care Health System subsidiary of Walgreen's will use in some 380 worksite health clinics the practice management and electronic health records software of Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., Carrollton, Ga. In addition to operating clinics at employer sites, Take Care also operates hundreds of clinics in Walgreen's stores.

Three health information exchanges in California have successfully transmitted data on multiple patients among their disparate data exchange platforms. The HIEs are the Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange using a platform from Axolotl Corp., EKCITA in Tehachapi using a platform from Browsersoft, and the Long Beach Network for Health using the platform of MedPlus Inc. The organizations also are using the federal government-sponsored CONNECT software,

Epocrates Inc., a vendor of drug and disease reference content via mobile computing devices, is developing an electronic health records system for solo and small group practices. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company expects to introduce the EHR this fall.

Milwaukee-based Merge Healthcare has introduced eFilm Mobile, an extension of its eFilm Workstation for managing diagnostic medical images. The mobile application enables clinical access to worklists and studies from iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Tampa-based Sage Healthcare Division has joined an expanding number of physician software vendors by issuing a guarantee that its electronic health records software will meet certification criteria for meaningful use of EHRs. The guarantee also covers the practice analytics and practice portal modules. The company will provide a credit of up to 12 months of software support if the software does not meet criteria.

Verizon Business has launched the Verizon Medical Data Exchange, a platform to exchange transcribed and digitized physician notes. The vendor developed the platform for the Medical Transcription Service Consortium, established last year by the Medical Transcription Industry Association and the ICSA Labs division of Verizon Business. Two transcription firm members of the consortium, MD-IT and MedQuist, are using the platform. The other vendor members--MxSecure, Sten-Tel and Webmedx--expect to be on by August. The five firms support 350,000 physicians, 2,700 clinics and 2,500 hospitals.

Electronic prescription network vendor Surescripts will integrate its technology with the electronic laboratory reporting and results network of Quest Diagnostics. Making the networks interoperable will enable the exchange of prescription and lab data through either network.

Disease registry vendor RemedyMD Inc. has introduced an on-demand registry exclusively for research on rare diseases. The registry enables the management of electronic health records, biospecimen repositories, imaging and clinical applications, gene panels, and claims data, among other functions.

Emdeon Inc., a vendor of claims clearinghouse services and revenue cycle management software and services, has introduced a claim management platform for use with smart phones. The application is compatible with iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Palm smart phones. It supports accounts receivable monitoring, claim tracking and error corrections, and dashboard reporting to analyze claim rejections.

Data analysis vendor MedeAnalytics has introduced a module to measure clinician performance. The Clinical Performance Manager application aggregates disparate cost, revenue, utilization, patient satisfaction and core measures data to analyze service line margins, physician cost variability, clinical resource utilization and quality outcomes. The Emeryville, Calif.-based vendor also now offers a performance management consulting service.

Health information exchange platform vendor Medicity Inc. is collaborating with the clearinghouse services of Emdeon Inc. to create a "converged" platform. The collaboration will enable such financial transactions as claims submission, claims status, eligibility verification and electronic remittance advice--as well as the exchange of clinical data--from a single HIE platform.

Microsoft Corp. expects in the third quarter to launch HealthVault Community Connect, which is software to manage care coordination. The application enables hospitals to give patients and referring physicians access, after discharge, to electronic copies of patients' personal health data generated at the hospital. It also enables patients to pre-register for hospital appointments online and have pertinent personal health records data auto-populated on hospital forms.

Physician software vendor eClinicalWorks Inc. in the second quarter will offer on-demand deployment of its practice management/electronic health records software and related modules. The optional service will enable clients to independently install applications. Clients, for instance, could go in the EHR, click on Portal and create then download a customized portal. Other downloadable modules include financial and clinical reporting, peer-to-peer networking, data access via smart phones, and secure voice or text messaging services.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is pilot testing electronic health records access via Blackberry smart phones. Access is gained through the 20-hospital delivery system's interoperability platform from dbMotion, also in Pittsburgh.

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, a physician software vendor that recently entered the inpatient arena via acquisitions, has launched special financing for inpatient systems for rural and community hospitals. Until June 30, hospitals can receive software from the NextGen Financials suite at no additional charge when they purchase the NextGen Clinical application.

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