Staff Report

Capsule Tech (Andover, Massachusetts) said it has introduced its SmartLinx Medical Device Information System (MDIS) at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference in Orlando this week. According to the company, SmartLinx was developed to connect medical devices into an integrated system that not only provides connectivity with electronic medical records and other information systems, but also delivers monitoring, management, and analysis of real-time patient data.

Through powerful surveillance tools and actionable information, SmartLinx will enable clinicians to recognize the signs of a patient's physiological deterioration and take immediate action before the onset of adverse events, or even mortality. Operational analytics tools assist IT and clinical engineering to easily manage and optimize the server, software and hardware components of the MDIS, Capsule Tech said.

"In launching SmartLinx, Capsule is addressing recurring requests from healthcare organizations to do more with their medical device data, to provide early identification and notification of patient deterioration and sepsis detection, and to help them better manage the life of their connected devices, among a number of capabilities," said Stuart Long, Capsule's chief marketing and sales officer. "Unlike the laboratory, cardiology, radiology and other various types of hospital information systems that are comprised of a system of components that manage and provide a variety of services for their users, medical devices are not managed as a system, yet they provide the most accurate, real-time feed of a patient's vital signs and other critical biometric data. By taking these devices from just moving data to enabling real-time surveillance and useful analysis of the data, the impact on the quality and cost of care is profound."

In other HIMSS news:

• Toshiba's Digital Products Division (Irvine, California), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems (Tustin, California) reported a strategic relationship with OmniMD (Tarrytown, New York), a provider of electronic health records and revenue cycle management. Through this strategic relationship, OmniMD will deliver its software on Toshiba premium business notebooks to provide healthcare organizations with convenient access to EHRs and increase clinician mobility and productivity.

"Because of physicians' and other caregivers' reliance on digital databanks, laptop performance and dependability are essential," said Patrick Mani, VP of sales at Toshiba America Information Systems, Digital Products Division. "Through our strategic relationship with OmniMD, we are providing the technology needed to deliver point-of-care excellence and improve health outcomes."

"Through our delivery of industry leading cloud-based solutions, OmniMD and Toshiba are committed to delivering best services and IT solutions that will help healthcare providers in the delivery of higher quality and better patient care," said Divan Dave, CEO of OmniMD.

• Allscripts (Chicago) unveiled the latest addition to its population health management suite, Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve. Utilizing the Allscripts FollowMyHealth consumer portal and wireless devices, the solution engages patients directly in the management of their care, and enables providers to monitor patient status in their homes and quickly initiate interventions when appropriate.

According to the firm, Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve represents a transformative approach to population health management by incorporating consumer-centric technologies and engaging patients within the actual clinical workflow. The solution likewise supports the primary care physician's emerging role as the "chief executive officer" of the care team, a key to success in the healthcare reform and accountable care environment. This technology-plus-engagement strategy activates a broader team of stakeholders to oversee and advance care—increasing the number of touch points critical to facilitating behavior change without requiring additional costly, time-consuming office encounters.

With Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve, providers can enter care management instructions for four disease states – congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity –into Allscripts TouchWorks EHR, which then are made available to their patients through their Allscripts FollowMyHealth account. Patients can carry out the orders at home, using consumer wireless devices such as scales, glucose meters and blood pressure monitors that can be interfaced with the portal. Readings and results are automatically forwarded to Allscripts TouchWorks, where they are incorporated within the patients' medical record.

The firm said Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve can also allow a care team to be immediately notified via EHR messaging if patients fail to comply with the care plan or if results exceed rules-based parameters established by the ordering provider. These notifications can enable the care team to review the results and take action, such as calling the patient with a reminder to take blood pressure readings or to schedule a follow-up appointment with the provider to adjust medications or the care plan.

"Healthcare is looking for viable solutions that directly improve the health of patients, particularly those with high-risk, high-cost conditions," says Jim Hewitt, senior VP of solutions development at Allscripts. "With Allscripts FollowMyHealth Achieve, care teams will have real-time indicators of patient status. They will be able to monitor and intervene—which will help prevent escalation of the disease state, interrupt development of comorbidities and reduce the need to care for the patient in acute settings. The result is healthier patients and lower costs."

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