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What is in a Software Name?

January 27, 2012
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Vendors tend to change the names of acquired products, it’s impossible to keep up.

Our industry often expands as some companies acquire others. As customers and industry watchers we grow accustomed to the various names of products and know exactly what it does based on its name. Ingenix Claims Manager scrubs electronic claims before sending them to payers. Initiate offers a tool that helps you determine the amount of duplicate medical records that are in your data base. Finally, IDX was the software used for practice management, EMR, radiology and HIS. These are just a few products that have been “rebranded.” But some habits are hard to break. I still call it “IDX”; most of the customers still call it IDX although it was rebranded in 2005 when GE acquired it. If you are not familiar with their product line, here is a little primer: The IDX Company had a product line it referred to as “Flowcast” for ambulatory, Groupcast (formerly GPMS) for smaller practices, Carecast (formerly Lastword) for hospitals, Imagecast (formerly IDX Rad) for radiology imagining, and Logician EMR (formerly MedicaLogic). After it was acquired by GE everything was rebranded again. Flowcast is now called Centricity Business, Groupcast is now Centricity Group Management, Carecast is Centricity Enterprise, Imagecast is now Centricity PACS, and Logician is now Centricity Practice Solutions which now includes the old Millbrook PM product if you needed it. 

Are you confused yet?! You should be. You almost need a crosswalk table to figure out what you purchased and what they are calling these days. During my undergrad marketing course one thing they drilled home was that branding is everything. I did a case study once on Proctor and Gamble. You would be amazed the amount of products P&G offers. But you don’t go buy a P&G product, you buy Bounty, Cascade or Tide, etc. Brand loyalty is a very powerful thing. The one thing they do not mess with is the product name.

Look up Initiate and you will find that it is now IBM. Their old web site dumps you into the IBM home page, just like if you look up IDX and you end up in the GE site. Even for an experienced web surfer it is hard to find what you’re looking for, a desktop computer, a washing machine, MRI…OH! there it is, software for physicians. Ingenix is now Opitum. You have to drill down to OptiumInsight to find the old product. However, to their credit it is still branded as Ingenix, and when you click on the link for OptiumInsight it takes you back to the Ingenix web site. I wonder how long it’s going to be until Ingenix Claims Manager will be something like “Optimize Claims Suite III.”

My ideal solution would be to adopt hyphenated names like married hyphenated names. This makes it easier to track the software family tree. This has been working well for all the GE-IDX clients. Old habits are hard to break.



The Name for UHG Data & Analytics is OptumInsight ( Beyond changing their name with more often than a presidential term, jamming words together without a space is the other thing UHG does with it's corporate divisions. I don't know if it's just to try to shed "bad-will" associated with Ingenix or they just like changing their letterhead every 3 or so years but for the time being the data and analytics are managed by OptimInsight (yes I know there 'Should' be a space except that it's their trademark and has no space.. Go figure?)