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Healthcare Informatics 100 Company Profiles

July 21, 2009
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“Vitrea is the product we've always been known for, and now it's available via the Web,” Carrel says. “As a Web-based solution it provides anywhere, anytime access to all of our clinical applications including tools for oncology, cardiology and other applications.”

In early 2009, the company also rolled out a new Vital Information Management System, scalable for multiple-site enterprises: “Our clients are throwing millions of images at it every day,” Carrel says.

Meanwhile, the company has its eye on emerging imaging markets: “We're getting deeper and deeper into vascular surgery,” he says. “And, if you look at the ‘ology’ market, we'll be seeing a lot more in women's imaging, as well as a continued interest in cardiology and in neurosurgery and stroke protocols.”

Vital Images continues its international efforts with a milestone reseller agreement with Chindex International, Bethesda, Md., a provider of medical equipment to China. The agreement, signed in June, will introduce Vital Images' advanced visualization imaging systems to Chindex's expansive reach throughout China, including Hong Kong. “Chindex is well established in China,” Carrel says. “We are excited to expand our reach and more broadly impact patient care through our partnership.”

In most U.S. hospitals, the focus is now on connectivity and anywhere-anytime access to advanced imaging and its clinical tools. But these days, connectivity means more than connecting departments within the hospital walls: Medical images and communication now need to cross facilities, physician offices, and referral offices.

“Hospital CFOs and CIOs are looking at broad-based solutions now, rather than the verticalized ones,” Carrel explains. “It's about distributing our software and data management capabilities to provide enterprise data exchange in a seamless and fast way, enabling better patient care.”

Through enhanced workflow tools and the ability to share robust images far beyond the radiology department, advanced visualization imaging will continue to find rapid growth in the specialty markets, Carrel predicts.

“Specialty areas like neurology, oncology and orthopedics will soon demand imaging for better clinical information,” he notes. “If you look at trends for the next five years, it's all about integration of images into the EMR. It's about getting healthcare imaging data available at the point of care and available to the patients themselves.”

In addition to high-tech solutions, Vital Images is committed to service excellence. In 2009 it became the first and only advanced medical visualization provider to achieve certification for Excellence in Service Operations by the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA). The SSPA, together with J.D. Power and Associates, conducted a rigorous in-depth audit of all aspects of Vital Images' customer support organization and operations, evaluating the company against more than 290 best practice criteria. SSPA noted strengths in the company's practices including executive support for service excellence, appropriate metrics, support call responsiveness and follow up, among many others.

Philips Healthcare: A Decisive Focus on Patients, Care Givers

“Whether it's financial systems, electronic medical records or image management, all healthcare IT companies have to focus to be successful,” says Deborah DiSanzo, CEO of the Healthcare Informatics and Patient Monitoring (HI-PM) business at Philips Healthcare. “Even if your objective is to serve a small segment of your market, you really must be committed. That's something we've done well in recent years; we've refined our focus and pursued a strategy with a very clear value to the medical community.”

At number eight in the Healthcare Informatics 100, Philips Healthcare is a major, global resource for healthcare providers. The company serves a broad cross-section of the care continuum, including both the hospital and the home, providing products and services that span from disease prevention to screening and diagnosis to treatment, monitoring and health management. Despite $11 billion in revenues across its five primary business units, it maintains a well-defined mission.

“Our guiding philosophy is to approach our work by first carefully looking at the people - the patients and the care providers - not the technology,” explains DiSanzo. “We search for insights into how patients and clinicians actually experience healthcare, and based on that experience, we can identify the urgent market needs and clinical opportunities. From there, we research solutions that do three things. We want to simplify clinicians' workflow. We want to save lives or improve the quality of care. And we want to enhance the organization's financial performance.”

This mindset has guided the Philips HI-PM business, which focuses on a discipline that accomplishes all three of these objectives: clinical decision support (CDS). These CDS applications perform a range of functions: expediting communications, helping to prevent errors, predicting potential complications, extending clinicians' reach through remote access, supplementing clinical expertise, or identifying patterns within large amounts of data. But they all work together toward productivity, improving workflow, quality, and economy.

A focus that generates results

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