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February 25, 2009
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McKesson: Paragon® as a Platform for Hospitals' Growth

“A lot of the hospital representatives we talk to these days aren't just looking for a replacement HIS,” says Walter Reid, vice president of product management and marketing for McKesson's Paragon® community hospital HIS. “They're looking for a platform for growth.”

Reid notes that community hospitals in particular tend to rely on very old hospital information systems built on individual solutions added over several decades. This kind of infrastructure requires beleaguered IT staff to manage a huge number of interfaces and disparate applications from multiple vendors.

“Hospitals want to get away from the complexity,” says Reid. “They want to modernize and simplify. But they also want to promote patient safety as well as physician and nurse job satisfaction.”

McKesson's Paragon solution, the Best in KLAS Community HIS for the third year in a row1

KLAS client commentary, August 2008, Platinum KLAS. ©2009 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.KLASresearch.com

, is well-situated to establish these platforms for growth.

“Paragon runs on a Microsoft platform that uses SQL Server, the industry standard,” says Reid. “It's the only way to achieve the stability and performance hospitals need for the future.”

Take the clinical data repository (CDR) function, for example. While other vendors offer CDRs separately, Reid explains that Paragon customers don't need one. “Paragon is a contemporary, innovative solution designed as a person-centric, clinical and financial data repository that stores every transaction, and data never needs to be archived,” he says.

Paragon is well-positioned to support hospitals' growth because it's in a growth phase of its own. All products have a lifecycle: development, market introduction, growth, plateau, maturation and decline.

“We're just at the initial stages of the high-growth phase, whereas many products in this market are declining,” says Reid. “In the last 12 months, we've introduced seven products within the Paragon portfolio, ranging from denial management to emergency room and pharmacy management.”

McKesson's customer base for Paragon has more than doubled in the last three years. Such growth often comes at the expense of customer service. However, if the KLAS ratings from 2006, 2007 and 2008 are any indication, it's a good time to be a customer growing with Paragon.

  1. 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services, December 2008, pg. 18, http://www.klasresearch.com, © 2008 2009 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Perot Systems: Getting Organizations Ready for the Healthcare Reform Ride

“Some people like to compare healthcare reform to climbing a mountain,” says Dr. Harry Greenspun, chief medical officer of Perot Systems healthcare group. “But it's more like whitewater rafting. There's some smooth water, but it's constantly broken up by rough rapids.”

Healthcare reform is flowing again. In such an era of uncertainty, consulting partners need more than technology expertise, and healthcare organizations need to be strategically positioned to navigate the unexpected.

The ability to take advantage of change is one of the primary explanations for Perot Systems' success and, undoubtedly, its Best in KLAS rating in the Clinical Implementation Principal market segment. According to Dr. Greenspun, Perot Systems' accomplishment derives from three interrelated qualities.

For more than 20 years, Perot Systems has used its depth of experience to help healthcare organizations elevate their ability to collect, analyze, and exchange data. “But in the face of current trends like pay-for-performance, public health reporting requirements, evidence-based medicine, and consumer-driven health, Perot Systems also plays a role in adding confidence to our clients' decision-making,” says Greenspun. “We have an army of physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists who bring a wealth of domain expertise. And because knowledge transfer is one of our strengths, clients pull from a very large field of experience.”

Depth and expertise are necessary, but not sufficient. Perot Systems' reputation for flexible technology solutions is complemented by infrastructure, application and business process capabilities. “Anyone can install a clinical application,” says Dr. Greenspun. “But to get the most out of it, you need to master change management principles, understand how people interact with technology, and apply concepts from the provider, payer, supplier, and government sectors.”

Because Perot Systems is vendor neutral, its consultants draw on a full range of options to meet client needs. Neutrality becomes an asset in such a complex environment that calls for complex solutions.

Regardless of how wild the ride gets on the political front, healthcare organizations will continue to look for deep expertise, a global perspective and a partner, like Perot Systems, with a clear solution.

Alpha Systems: Bringing Electronic and Paper Documents Together with Ease


“Even in hospitals with an aggressive EMR strategy, as much as 50 percent of patient information still originates on paper,” says Brett Griffith, president of Alpha Systems. “We work with healthcare organizations to combine scanned paper records with electronic records to create a truly complete online medical record for every patient encounter.”

Alpha Systems was recognized in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report, as the leader in the “Other Business Process Outsourcing” category, with an overall score of 93.8 out of 100.

Underlying its document scanning services - including pick-up, preparation, scanning, quality control, and customized data loading - Alpha Systems has developed a patent-pending workflow process. It's a process the company has been perfecting since its founding in 1975.

The company complements its scanning services with its electronic document management software solution, Alpha ImageWorks 9000. Alpha Systems offers provider organizations either an enterprise EDM solution or the ability to fully integrate with legacy systems needed to develop a fully-comprehensive electronic record. Alpha ImageWorks 9000 serves health information management, patient access, patient accounting, human resources, medical staff and any other department in need of rapid access to patient, administrative or financial data.

Ease of use is one of the main reasons EMR adoption generally remains so low. But it's one of the strengths of Alpha Systems products. “The convenience is remarkable,” says Dr. Christopher Pezzi, director of surgical oncology at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Penn. “I've been very impressed with the ease with which I can access medical records any time of the day or night, from any location, in the hospital, in my office, at home. It's really made it much easier to take care of patients, and easier for the doctors as well.”

“Overall, Alpha Systems converts more than one million pages per day to electronic format,” says Griffith. “And we guarantee the highest service levels in the industry in terms of accuracy and turnaround timeframes.

The company exceeds that mark in another important way, too. When KLAS asked Alpha Systems customers “would you buy from this vendor again?” 100 percent said yes.

Sunquest Information Systems leads in the labs

Sunquest Information Systems received “Category Leader” awards in two separate areas in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report: Sunquest topped both the Anatomic Pathology system and the Blood Bank system categories.

As a company, Sunquest also had made it a priority to earn a spot on the 2008 KLAS Top 20 list and succeeded: The Tucson, Ariz.-based company rose to the 4th spot in the 2008. “Overall Software Vendor Rankings” list.

The current KLAS commendations are the latest reflections of Sunquest's reinvention of itself, says President and CEO Richard Atkin. After being relaunched as a private company in late 2007, Sunquest spent 2008 honing its strategy on the developing needs of the primary market it has always served best: Laboratory information systems and laboratory workflow.

“Our strategic focus has been in workflow excellence for labs, and in enabling them to connect to their customers inside and outside the hospitals,” Atkin explains. “But there are also a lot of changes happening in diagnostic medicine and genomics and the whole area of ‘predictive, personalized medicine.’ Since the labs are so important to healthcare delivery, they have a significant role to play in improving the safety and effectiveness of that delivery.”

Sunquest's anatomic pathology system not only gathers and reports lab data, but also provides deep workflow tools to assist in the timely and accurate dissemination of lab data between the growing numbers of healthcare parties involved in the continuum of care. These robust software capabilities will become even more important as healthcare further embraces the burgeoning areas of molecular and genomic testing, Atkin notes.

“Software is the answer to doing that in a cost-effective and timely manner,” he says. “But to do that well, you have to understand how your customers work in their world, how they work with their customers - clinicians and patients - and then look deeply at their workflow.”

Focusing on providing superior products for the specific laboratory niche seems to have paid off: At least 91% of the anatomic pathology and laboratory users surveyed in the report said they would buy Sunquest's CoPath again. For Sunquest's Blood Bank product, 96% of surveyed customers said they would buy it again - which Atkin views as an important seal of approval.

“In the blood bank area, there are a lot of regulations, so it's very critical that the products work and that they have the needed functionality,” he says. The Blood Bank system uses barcoding to ensure accuracy as the samples are processed and transferred among entities both inside and outside the hospital, and is able to monitor quality assurance overrides and automatically transmit billing.

As a company with an installation base of over 1,400 hospitals and clinics, Sunquest already has a presence in 20% of the U.S. hospitals over 150 beds. The company made two significant, complementary acquisitions in late 2008, achieving significant milestones toward realizing strategic goals of increasing their international footprint and providing the best solutions available for U.S. laboratories who provide outreach services.

Atkin also notes that the range of healthcare IT decision-makers has expanded over the past few years, and so has the range of the hospital user's functionality needs: “The laboratory piece is absolutely critical to the delivery of all healthcare, since about 70% of clinical decisions made are based on the laboratory results,” he says. “When you look at the continuum of care, from the doctor's office, to the hospital and the laboratory, and all those results going back out - You have to do all that exceptionally well, to ensure that the right test is performed at the right time, and that the information is going out for the correct patient, resulting in the right clinical decisions.”

Keeping in tight contact with its user community long after the sale is important to Sunquest, since engaged customers provide a constant stream of ideas for possible inclusion in future product releases, Atkin explains. Customer input is one of the best ways to keep the company's R&D focused on true needs of the quickly changing laboratory IS environment, he adds.

“Hospitals are very innovative,” Aktin says. “They're thought leaders in pioneering IT solutions and integrating them with instruments and workflow. Since we can work so closely with them, they get a lot of input into our new product development, and they are able to help shape our new development.”

Wellsoft: Single Focus on Emergency Departments Produces Multiple Awards

“Our sole focus on emergency medicine is one of the keys behind our success in developing an easy-to-use EDIS that's evidence-based, standards-driven and real-world tested,” says Wellsoft President John Santmann, MD.

For Wellsoft users, this approach has ensured optimal ED workflow, patient throughput and operational efficiency. For Wellsoft, it has earned appreciation and consistent recognition from those users.

“Best in KLAS” once again for 2008, Wellsoft also placed first in KLAS' Emergency Department Systems 2008 specialty report. And in November, Wellsoft became a CCHIT Certified® 08 Emergency Department Electronic Health Record, a designation awarded by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.

The Wellsoft EDIS includes core functions such as patient tracking, clinical documentation, orders management, medication management and more. In addition to supporting core, PQRI and performance quality measures, Wellsoft also integrates with virtually every HIS or ancillary information system. This compatibility with complementary systems ensures that Wellsoft can serve as an effective, efficient solution for any emergency department.

Indeed, standards-based data exchange is one of three key criteria evaluated for CCHIT® certification. “We make every effort to apply industry standards because they represent the most efficient, reliable, and cost effective method to exchange clinical data,” says Santmann. “Our CCHIT certification demonstrates Wellsoft's continued commitment to interoperable systems.”

Enhancing workflow and improving patient throughput, however, begins with a collaborative implementation, according to Santmann: “Working closely with each client, we review the goals of the ED, analyze current and planned workflow and patient flow, and recommend changes that, with Wellsoft, can help them reach those objectives. In that sense, we're a partner for operational and clinical excellence.”

With Wellsoft, hospitals gain a feature-rich solution from a vendor that has over 20 years of experience in the field. “When installed, Wellsoft has an immediate impact on the ED,” says Santmann. “Core measures tracking improves, wait times fall, and patients are less likely to leave without treatment.”

These results translate into user satisfaction and superlative KLAS ratings: For the past three years, Wellsoft has placed first in the emergency department information systems category.

NovaRad's NovaRIS Best in KLAS

NovaRad Corporation, American Fork, Utah, received a top category ranking for its NovaRIS system and was named the “Category Leader” in the community radiology category of the 2008 “Best in KLAS Top 20” report.

Tim Law, NovaRad's president, says that keeping their products robust yet simple has been the key: Instead of including every whistle and bell, the company has honed its products toward radiology department efficiency and workflow.

The company's R&D strategy comes directly from the users, Law adds: “In our user-group meetings we listen to the issues they're having in their workflows, and ask them to vote on features they would find most important to their facilities,” he says. “We take the top votes and make them our priorities for the next release. The users know they're being heard - they're not saying something to a corporate blank wall.”

NovaRad's NovaRIS and NovaPACS clients receive not only the software systems, but also a lifetime service contract for all upgrades and any hardware adjustments needed, Law says. The products include both hardware and software, including free future software upgrades, he says. This business model is helpful for smaller hospitals that may not have IT departments, yet also serves as a no-nonsense contract for even the largest hospital enterprises.

The recent KLAS commendations set NovaRad above the pack when serving the needs of community-based radiology: In addition to being named a “Category Leader” (with the top overall score of 81.9) the NovaRIS product also earned impressive scores for functionality, scoring 72% in the KLAS survey question of whether the product “has all the functionality needed.”

The company's business strategy has also kept it from being a victim to the recent national financial turmoil, said Law: “Our business model relies on keeping our continuing service relationships with our customers. We don't have to rely on that next ‘big sale’ to keep our company alive. It keeps us focused. We know that our customers have the choice to not continue with the service contract if we're not getting it done for them.”

Navicure: A First among Clearinghouses on the Strength of Financial Results and Client Service

In the first, full-year ranking of Clearinghouse Services reported by KLAS from the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report, physician practices rated Navicure first among the country's leading clearinghouses.

Atlanta-based Navicure offers Web-based account receivables management solutions that automate receivables processes, including patient eligibility verification; primary and secondary claims reimbursement; rejected and denied claims management; electronic remittance posting; claims and remittance reporting and analysis; and patient statement processing.

Though the KLAS findings in this market segment are new, their conclusion will be a familiar one to Navicure's clients.

“Overall, we couldn't be happier with the changes we made within our patient accounts department,” says Christopher Salisbury, who serves as chief financial officer for Horizon Eye Care in Charlotte. “Adopting innovative clearinghouse technology to automate our receivables management and posting processes paved the way for improved efficiency and better use of our human resources.”

Seeking to support the multi-specialty practice's growth and empower its staff to perform more value-added tasks, such as identifying the causes of reimbursement delays, Horizon turned to Navicure.

Between 2005 and 2007, Horizon added five physicians, increasing net revenues more than 10 percent. With Navicure in place, there was no need to add staff in patient accounts. According to Salisbury, with their previous clearinghouse they most likely would have had to hire two more people - at a cost of roughly $90,000 annually - just to handle the increased transaction volume.

Navicure made Horizon's existing staff more productive, too. Measured in full-time equivalents, the patient accounts staff now dedicates only one-third of its total time to payment posting instead of 60 percent.

In terms of A/R days, workflow improvements and claims editing have helped Horizon measure an 18 percent improvement. This figure fell from 32.5 at the end of 2005 to 26.7 by the end of July 2008.

In Littleton, Colorado, Ascend Billing Services had a similar experience. “In our line of work, there's a misperception that providers and billers are at the mercy of insurance companies,” says Agnes Radz, MBA, Ascend's chief executive officer. “There's often a sense of resignation - that we can't do anything but re-submit, appeal and take payers at their word. But re-engineering the revenue cycle process has paid off in cash flow enhancement, rejection rate improvement, and better service to our clients as well as a stronger position in our business relationships.”

Seeking to diversify its business and elevate its service levels, Ascend switched to Navicure in 2007. With Navicure, Ascend no longer had to contend with batches of tens of thousands of dollars in lost, unfiled claims. And they gained a tool with which to re-organize its staff roles and responsibilities on a more logical basis to make the best use of each staff member's expertise and experience.

In addition to the ability to track every claim and hold payers accountable, Navicure has allowed Radz and her colleagues to offer enhanced services to clients. “With a user ID and password we provide, physicians can now view real-time reports to see where their practice stands,” she explains. “They have come to value this function, and it serves as a competitive advantage and selling point for Ascend.”

Ascend exceeded its A/R improvement goal of a five percent reduction. And after eight months with Navicure, revenue had grown by 23 percent. At the same time, Ascend is more productive. It brought on 10 new doctors - increasing volume by about six percent - without hiring additional staff.

The enthusiasm for Navicure extends to all KLAS evaluation respondents, and it includes an appreciation for the company's service and support. On a scale of one to nine, Navicure received an 8.18 for their “real problem resolution,” the highest score among all vendors in the category.

“There is not a more gratifying compliment than to have our valuable clients speak so highly of us, especially to their peers,” says Jim Denny, chief executive officer of Navicure. “The Best in KLAS distinction also validates our tireless efforts to provide innovative technology and industry-leading client service. We are truly humbled by this recognition and certainly share it with our clients, employees and partners.”

Avreo: RIS-PACS Flexibility Now Serving Community Hospitals Well

Avreo has been a KLAS category leader in the Radiology (Ambulatory) Category in the past, in 2006. For 2008, Avreo's interWORKS RIS-PACS and interVIEW PACS products were rated first in the PACS for community hospitals category. This recognition across categories demonstrates Avreo's broad appeal.

“We fill a real need for community hospitals,” says John Ciccarelli, vice president of sales and marketing at Avreo. “Avreo has offered a full RIS-PACS solution for years. Smaller hospitals value our product's flexibility because they can get a PACS product and selectively choose the RIS components they need.”

interWORKS' success was the result of many prudent decisions Avreo made during product development.

First, rather than assembling a solution through acquisition, Avreo developed its radiology workflow solutions from the ground up. “interWORKS is the only solution that incorporates all radiology workflow services in a single-database, single-server system,” says Ciccarelli. “These services provide scheduling, registration, technologist quality assurance, diagnostic and clinical viewing, dictation, transcription, automated report distribution, insurance verification, precertification, mammography viewing, and referring physician access. All services report from the same database, which eliminates data synchronization issues between services.”

Second, interWORKS and interVIEW are hardware neutral. Hospitals and outpatient centers fully utilize their existing, complementary systems. “Every hospital has its own IT strategy,” explains Ciccarelli. “When you dictate storage requirements to a hospital that recently purchased a SAN, they're understandably turned off.”

Third, Avreo's recurring “simplicity” theme is reflected in interWORKS' Masterfolder interface, which emulates a traditional radiology jacket. This approach makes the system easy to learn. “At one client site, a technologist was on maternity leave while interWORKS was implemented,” recalls Ciccarelli. “When she returned, her co-workers trained her in just 30 minutes.”

Avreo's flexibility extends to its business model, which offers both standard license-based software options and fee-per-study, ASP solutions.

Avreo constantly works with its customers to develop radiology workflow solutions to meet their changing needs. By cultivating these partnerships and providing superior technology and workflow solutions, Avreo achieved the highest KLAS rating in the PACS for community hospitals category.

InterSystems leads interface engine category

A repeat performer in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software and Professional Services* report, the InterSystems Ensemble® rapid integration and development platform was named the 2008 Category Leader for Interface Engines. Ensemble, from InterSystems Corp., Cambridge, Mass., also earned the top spot in 2006 and 2007.

“The fact that we have been the Category Leader for Interface Engines for the past three years reinforces what we've heard directly from our customers,” states John Joseph, InterSystems' director of Ensemble product management. “Ensemble is the best interface engine choice for large, medium, and small organizations. It's amazing how many interfacing products, especially those that support HL7, just don't seem to work. It's a difficult challenge. So we're pleased that our product is viewed as one of the most reliable and successful in the industry.”

As one Ensemble customer in the KLAS report** is quoted, “InterSystems Ensemble is really amazing. The product is stable and easy to use. We can easily develop a new interface. The system is easy to test, easy to monitor, and easy to maintain.”

According to Joseph, Ensemble includes InterSystems Caché, the database known for its object technology, high reliability, impressive scalability, and clear-cut speed advantages. “These same characteristics make Ensemble the highest performing choice for HL7 interfacing and messaging,” explains Joseph.

Joseph emphasizes that Ensemble provides much more than just interfacing.

Ensemble provides a unified and architecturally consistent technology stack that combines advanced HL7 messaging with additional integration and data management capabilities, plus workflow, business process orchestration and management, business activity monitoring, Web services, and a rapid development environment. Having all this together makes Ensemble a “high-performance development platform for integration, composite applications, and SOA initiatives,” Joseph says. “It's a powerful combination that enables users to improve care delivery and reduce costs by orchestrating information flow and business processes throughout healthcare organizations.”

Ensemble is seeing great success worldwide as a platform for connected healthcare systems. In the United States, Ensemble is installed in hundreds of leading healthcare organizations, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, New York City Health and Hospitals, Partners Healthcare, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

InterSystems' business model is based on the core values of excellent products and personal customer service. The company will offer any prospective client a detailed proof-of-concept, based on the site's own architecture and workflow, for free. None of the company's tech support is outsourced, and Joseph estimates that “90% of the tech support calls are answered live,” reducing the number of call-backs.

This business model has proven successful: In 2008, privately owned InterSystems increased its revenue to $255 million, with 80% of its client base coming from healthcare. More important, Joseph says, are the customer satisfaction scores revealed in the KLAS report: Of the Ensemble clients surveyed by KLAS, 100% said they would buy the system again.

The recent KLAS recognition underscores the company's mission to keep pace with the rapid changes in healthcare technology and the interfacing capabilities needed to connect and disseminate the data, Joseph says. This includes providing support as organizations begin to implement enterprise-wide service-oriented architectures (SOA). The latest version of Ensemble includes support for the WS-Security 1.1 standard, the e-business XML protocol family, and binary XML data within SOAP messages for high-performance Web services. Ensemble now includes an HL7 Sequence Manager, which prevents messaging cross-ups by organizing HL7 messages from diverse senders and routing them in the sequence established by the sender, Joseph adds.

InterSystems' 31 years in the market and its successful track record have become additional selling points, Joseph says. “We have a lot of sales reps and engineers that have been here for 20 years,” he says. “Having that experience means we can provide stability and long-term advice for our customers and partners. It's not like you have one team selling you something and another team supporting you - and maybe someone else supporting you next year. Our main goal is to make our partners and our customers as successful as they can be.”

Digisonics has the pulse on cardiology PACS

Houston-based Digisonics earned a 2008 “Best in KLAS” award for its DigiView system, which was ranked #1 in Cardiology PACS. In addition to the “Best in KLAS” ranking, DigiView also received the highest score among surveyed clients in this category for having “all functionality needed.”

“Our DigiView system is a complete cardiovascular information and image management system,” says James Devlin, Digisonics vice president of sales and marketing. “We provide professional, site-configurable reporting for all cardiovascular modalities. Digisonics provides both the image analysis with over 1,100 default measurements and calculations as well as databasing all report information for accreditation and research purposes.”

The system also includes the ability to search deeply for specific target fields - such as demographic data, clinical condition, measurements, etc. - using a query structure that is easily customizable by the client. Founded in 1974, Digisonics has the longest corporate history in the development of cardiology and OBGYN software systems. Devlin describes the company's main strategy as being all about clients' workflow, and in keeping keenly abreast with the latest advances in technology and medicine to ensure the greatest efficiencies as well as seamless integration with all EMR, HIS, RIS, PACS and billing systems. The key to their continued success, he says, is eliminating a manual workflow and its human input errors by providing a consistent, systematic, yet highly site-configurable workflow.

“We're primarily focused on the DICOM standards, but what we're finding today is that a lot of the vascular labs are actually still using videotapes,” Devlin says. “We can convert those tapes and also do clinical analysis on video tapes directly in our workstations. We can then convert these analog signals to DICOM and make them available via the Web, where clients have the same capabilities for image analysis and report editing that is available on a fully functional workstation.”

During the last six months of 2008, Digisonics has doubled its R&D team: “We've received the 2008 Best in KLAS award which is an excellent achievement in such a highly competitive industry but in the next three to six months, our clients will begin see even more benefits from our enhanced support teams,” Devlin says.

Better Safe Than Sorry: MEDSEEK

The current economic downturn mandates that healthcare executives find safe, yet innovative, ways to develop leaner and more cost-effective operations. At the same time, executives must balance operational efficiency with patient safety and physician satisfaction.

According to Press Ganey's Hospital Check-Up Report 2008: Physician Perspectives on American Hospitals, when physician participants were asked about the ease of practice, they felt the largest number of improvements could be made around information-sharing and patient flow. One surveyed physician responded, “Seventy-five percent of our time making rounds is dedicated to locating the patient, finding the chart, finding the labs, finding the graphics, finding the order sheet×b;none of which are in the correct location.”

It's proven that swift access to information guides better diagnostics and treatment decisions, thereby improving the quality and safety of patient care. But as all healthcare executives know, the biggest barrier to successful IT implementation is gaining physician adoption.

MEDSEEK's Clinical Portal solution, eConnect, provides the capability to electronically move clinical information among disparate healthcare information systems and display that data in a standard Web browser. The information can be securely accessed from anywhere the physician has Internet access. The solution dramatically improves the overall physician experience.

“We have had tremendous adoption because eConnect is really easy to use. It is very easy for the physicians to navigate with little to no training because it is so simple,” commented a MEDSEEK client and 1KLAS respondent.

“We are pleased to be named by 1 KLAS as the 2008 Category Leader for our Clinical Portal because it reflects the real-world experience and successes physicians have with our solutions,” explains Peter Kuhn, chief executive officer of MEDSEEK. “It demonstrates our ability to deliver on our projects and uphold an unparalleled level of customer service.”

MEDSEEK's Clinical Portal leverages the organization's existing IT investments and infrastructure to enable electronic data flow between providers and stakeholders, with whom they exchange information most commonly, including independent laboratories, radiology centers, pharmacies and even physician practices. MEDSEEK is constantly pushing the boundaries of automation to engage consumers, patients, physicians and employees in working collaboratively toward better quality and more efficient and proactive health care.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in Hamilton, Ontario, implemented eConnect and now has 2,400 users. Dale Anderson, IT manager of HHS, said, “Many health information services systems are data-rich, yet information-poor. Physicians want more clinically relevant views of data. The right Web/portal solution can do that. Our portal gives physicians and other clinicians secure, real-time access to electronic patient records. Whether they're at the hospital or elsewhere, our physicians can quickly access all clinical reports, lab results, PACS images, pharmacy med lists and much more.” Today, health information for 5.6 percent of the Canadian population is available through MEDSEEK's Clinical Portal.

“One of our orthopedic surgeons monitored patients while he was in Bangkok and he was elated. We've also developed a version that can be used with PDAs via Wi-Fi.” Anderson continued, “We look at MEDSEEK as a true partner. They're solutions-oriented and they provide great service. They're the best vendor I've been associated with in my over 20 years in health care.”

Because of its overwhelming success, HHS will expand the capabilities of the portal early this year with the addition of MEDSEEK's EMR Download solution, providing electronic download of discrete lab results and transcribed reports to several independent physician office EMRs.

The current economic climate requires hospital executives to consider not merely the qualitative benefits of an IT investment, but the ability to measure the economic benefits of healthcare technology and healthcare information exchange.

In Western North Carolina, 16 independent hospital systems jointly save $1.4 million annually by using MEDSEEK solutions to provide geographically dispersed clinicians with timely and comprehensive patient information. Member hospitals range in size from 25 to 740 beds and are spread across 15 western North Carolina cities and towns. The portal enables providers to better control healthcare costs by eliminating redundant and unnecessary laboratory and radiology tests, as well as reducing the potential for medical errors and extended hospital stays or re-hospitalization.

“MEDSEEK received the highest overall score from users rating products in the Clinical Portals category in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report. In fact, our eConnect Physician Portal solution received the highest quality rating score in the market segment. While other MEDSEEK solutions do not currently fall within an existing KLAS market segment or category, we apply the same principles that led to this ranking across all products and services within our organization,” said Kuhn.

12008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services, ©2009 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com

Healthcare Informatics 2009 March;26(3):13-28

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