A large contract, new investments in population management and ICD-10 testing readiness are among recent announcements from health information technology vendors:

* Texas Health Resources will implement patient education software from Emmi Solutions in its 14 hospitals and offer it to affiliated physicians with admitting privileges. Chicago-based Emmi offers interactive presentations on hundreds of medical conditions and related procedures. The presentations educate patients while providing informed consent documentation. Physicians using Emmi's content give their patients access codes to view presentations on computers or mobile devices. The software can be used standalone or integrated into information systems or patient portals.

* Ambulatory electronic health records vendor eClinicalWorks, which invested $25 million during 2013 to launch patient engagement tools, will add another $50 million to the project during 2014. The company launched its Health & Online Wellness unit in early 2013 starting with a patient portal that includes secure messaging with providers. By the end of 2013, it will add home monitoring tools to submit vital signs directly into an EHR, enable patients to search for physicians online and schedule appointments, and to check in via a kiosk or by scanning their QR code (the newer type of bar code) via their smart phone. In 2014, eClinicalWorks expects to hire a total of 500 new employees including 100 software developers, but says little about what they will build. “For population health management, we will be enhancing and adding new functionality based on customer feedback, as well as support new shared savings plans,” according to a spokesperson.”

* RelayHealth Financial, a unit of McKesson Corp. that offers software-based and outsourced revenue cycle management services as well as a claims clearinghouse, has announced it is ready to help clients conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing with insurers. The free testing program includes self-supported testing where providers send test files to payers, end-to-end testing where test claims are processed through Relay Health Financial, and a Payer Readiness Dashboard that shows current testing status for more than 300 insurers, the range of testing that they offer, test completion dates and connectivity success with the payers.

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