Vital Data Technology (Newport Beach, California), a developer of emergency medical information systems, said it has signed an agreement with Health Plan of Michigan (Detroit), one of the state's larger Medicaid health plans, serving about 175,000 residents.

Health Plan of Michigan will utilize Vital Data Technology's MyVitalData PlanLink, a comprehensive service with specifically designed tools and applications designed to securely provide patient-specific real time and historic healthcare data at the point of emergency care.

MyVitalData PlanLink leverages the core functionality of Vital Data Technology's MyVitalData consumer platform, the only service of its kind that electronically connects members' essential health information to a secure network of authorized and authenticated emergency care personnel. Utilizing the enhanced speed and accuracy in which PlanLink both disseminates patient information and alerts health care professionals of plan member ER encounters, Health Plan of Michigan expects that MyVitalData PlanLink will assist in helping its member's:

Continue receiving the most appropriate and highest level of emergency medical services possible when emergency care is needed

Further engage in available disease management/ wellness/preventive care services

Enhance their continuity of care/follow-up care compliance

"As one of our state's larger Medicaid health plans, we face a unique set of challenges in serving our member population – many of whom don't have established primary care physicians, don't schedule annual screenings or other recommended wellness services, and often use emergency departments for non-emergent care. We believe MyVitalData PlanLink increases our ability to address these and other issues, complementing our commitment to provide the residents of Michigan with the best possible medical services available." says Dr. David B. Cotton, MD, president/CEO, of Health Plan of Michigan.

Patient-specific health information provided at the point of emergency care leads to better, faster triage and treatment plans, and can decrease the incidences of unnecessary testing or treatment errors.

Hospitals often lack access to patient data at the point of emergency care. Consequently, emergency department professionals must collect this information from a patient who is under medical distress or opt to move forward in treating the patient without key medical data, including a patient's allergies, existing health conditions, previous surgeries, or current medications, as an example. MyVitalData PlanLink securely places a patient's "need-to-know" health information in the hands of those who need to make rapid and accurate treatment decisions.

MyVitalData PlanLink also moves beyond the hospital setting to help improve a health plan's continuity of care with members. The service provides fast, accurate data that better enables health plan nurse/case managers to immediately follow up with members after emergency care visits. This follow up can assist in ensuring that members understand their after-care instructions, fill and take prescribed medications and encourage dialogue about participation in disease management, wellness programs or preventive care services that may be appropriate to the members' condition or age. Patient compliance with physician-ordered protocols is critical to recovery from an illness or injury, and can help prevent avoidable re-hospitalizations or frequent emergency room visits, thereby helping patients maintain their optimal levels of health while managing overall costs.

"A key driver of change to our healthcare system will be the development and implementation of technologies capable of delivering not only a return on a financial investment, but more importantly, long-term benefit to the health and wellness of patients and our healthcare system," said Matthew D'Ambrosia, president/CEO of Vital Data Technology.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• DocuSys (Atlanta), reported it has signed an agreement with Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC; Dothan, Alabama), a 370-bed regional referral center, to transition maintenance from their current vendor and to upgrade to the latest version of the DocuSys Anesthesia and Drug Management Suite. SAMC has also purchased DocuSys' Presurgical Care Management System, software that assesses patient risk and ensures patient readiness for surgery by tracking that all presurgical testing has been completed and reviewed prior to the day of surgery.

• Excell Home Care & Hospice (Minneapolis) has entered into a business relationship with Cardiocom (Chanhassen, Minnesota) to provide home telehealth technology to patients with chronic illness. Cardiocom's telehealth system provides an interactive opportunity to proactively manage patient care. Every day, Excell Home Care patients use the system to communicate with an Excell Home Care nurse.

The Commander Home Telehealth System guides the patient through an interactive health check that includes the collection of symptoms, care plan compliance, and vital signs such as weight, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate and blood glucose readings. This information is immediately transmitted via a standard telephone line or cellular connection to the patient's clinician for review.

• Global Med Technologies (Denver) an international HIT company, reported that its Wyndgate Technologies (El Dorado Hills, California) division has licensed its SafeTrace Tx transfusion management software to a 40+ hospital healthcare system. The organization will also be contracting validation services, another cost-effective business solution, from Global Med's PeopleMed (also El Dorado Hills) subsidiary. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

SafeTrace Tx is transfusion management software which provides comprehensive tracking of orders, specimens, blood products, derivatives, and accessories with a complete testing and transfusion history in one consolidated record. These features will assist the hospital healthcare system's staff in selecting appropriate blood products for their patients and help to reduce waste and increase efficiency in their blood banks.

• iMedica (Dallas), a developer of healthcare software solutions for physician practices, reported that it had been selected as a preferred electronic health record (EHR) vendor by NJ Physicians (NJP), a physicians' advocacy organization in New Jersey.

Formed in 2007, with roughly 1,600 members, NJP works closely with physicians and healthcare organizations to find better and more efficient ways to assure access to quality care in New Jersey.

As part of its efforts to help doctors make the transition to electronic health record technology, NJP established an EHR committee to research and evaluate EHR systems and make recommendations to members. After evaluating numerous EHR systems, NJP certified iMedica's Transition and PRM 2009 products for inclusion as part of a select group of vendor-partners.

iMedica's PRM 2009 is a CCHIT-certified single-database integrated EHR and practice management (PM) system that was designed to address the business and clinical needs of all medical practices. As an alternative, iMedica's Transition EHR offers e-prescribing, document management, lab results, automated PQRI capabilities and more, without PRM 2009's full note documentation capability.

• iMedicor (Nanuet, New York) has entered into an agreement with myLEADERBOARD (Camden, New Jersey) to complete the development of a mobile application of its online communications platform, responding to the growing demand by physicians who rely heavily on their handheld devices to deliver a higher quality of care to their patients. The application will be available at no cost through the iMedicor portal.

"iMedicor is working with myLEADERBOARD to deliver this new functionality within 60 to 90 days," said iMedicor CEO Fred Zolla. "According to Manhattan Research, over 64% of all physicians use mobile devices such as an iPhone and / or BlackBerry in their daily practices, up 20% between 2008 and 2009. We look forward to integrating these and other proven mobile applications to enhance iMedicor's ability to support physician workflow."

The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS; East Lansing, Michigan) is collaborating with Microsoft (Redmond, Washington), Compuware (Detroit) subsidiary Covisint (Detroit) and MedImpact Healthcare Systems (San Diego) to be first in the nation to provide statewide connectivity of medical and pharmacy data for Michigan. Patients and physicians who use the medical society's electronic portal, MSMS Connect, will now have access to critical health care data in one location – Microsoft HealthVault. This new collaboration expands MSMS' nation-leading effort to help implement electronic health care technology statewide.

Roughly 3.5 million patients in Michigan receive their pharmacy benefits through MedImpact, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit management company that does not sell drugs. Now, patients will be enabled to easily view their prescription information through HealthVault and MSMS Connect. In addition, with patient permission, physicians also will have access to this information through MSMS Connect, enabled through Covisint's cloud-based technologies.

Patients seeking quick, accurate and reliable information about the safety of their prescription medications and over-the-counter supplements have a more powerful resource available as the result of a newly forged partnership. The partnership between (Philadelphia) and (Princeton, New Jersey) creates a way for consumers to learn about their medicines and get the information they need to protect them from adverse drug interactions and other medication safety issues.

• Phase Forward (Waltham, Massachusetts) has inked an agreement with INC Research (Raleigh, North Carolina), a contract research organization (CRO), to extend the benefits of its InForm Integrated Trial Management (ITM) solution to INC Research's customers.