A Medical Device Daily

Allscripts (Chicago), a provider of software, services, information, and connectivity solutions for physicians and hospitals, and Henry Schein (Melville, New York), a distributor of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners, reported a strategic partnership to market the Allscripts Professional electronic health record (EHR).

Henry Schein's national medical sales force of more than 625 field and telesales representatives will market the solution to physicians nationwide, including Henry Schein's customer base of more than 100,000 physician practices. Henry Schein also will work with its medical device and productivity partners to drive full integration of their solutions into the Allscripts EHR, eventually providing a fully integrated patient experience that also helps to drive the bottom line performance of Henry Schein's physician clients.

According to Henry Schein, adding the Allscripts Professional EHR to its portfolio enables the company to serve as a one-stop provider for physician practice needs. At the same time, the agreement vastly enhances Allscripts ability to sell into physician practices across the country, where EHR adoption is expected to increase exponentially in response to new federal incentives for their use, the company said.

Henry Schein will also refer to Allscripts, on a non-exclusive basis, leads for other Allscripts software solutions.

"Our mission is to help our customers succeed by offering the technology needed to operate an efficient practice and deliver high-quality healthcare, and Allscripts is the ideal partner," said Stanley Bergman, CEO/chairman of Henry Schein. "Given that the federal government is providing significant financial incentives for physicians to adopt electronic health records, we expect that many of our physician customers will be looking for a quality solution and are proud to represent Allscripts."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, provides maximum incentives of between $44,000 and $64,000 over five years, beginning in 2011, to physicians who deploy and use a certified EHR to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Physicians who have not adopted a certified EHR by 2014 are expected to have their Medicare reimbursements reduced by up to 3% beginning in 2015.

A recent Allscripts survey of 1,888 healthcare professionals revealed that 98% of physician practices would take advantage of the incentives or would be closely evaluating the opportunity.

"As physicians move to take advantage of the stimulus incentives and quickly select an electronic health record, who better to trust with this critical decision than Henry Schein, a company they already rely on for all of their practice needs," said Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman. "We're proud to help Henry Schein's customers into the information-based healthcare system of the future with an electronic health record that has the depth and breadth they need to deliver high quality care cost effectively."

According to the company, the Allscripts Professional EHR is an easy-to-deploy, physician-centric solution that improves the delivery of safe, cost-effective, high-quality care.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• ShiftWise (Portland, Oregon), a provider of end-to-end workforce solutions, reported a partnership with the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC; Los Angeles) to deliver Software as a Service (SaaS) to Southern California hospitals. Through its partnership with ShiftWise, HASC will offer comprehensive software solutions and services for managing contingent labor to its expansive list of more than 150 hospitals.

"The journey to find a workforce solution partner for HASC member hospitals so that they can more effectively manage contingent labor usage clearly led us to ShiftWise," said Scott Twomey, senior vice president of HASC. "Our member hospitals requested a solution to their workforce needs and, after an exhaustive review of what was available in the market, we are pleased to recommend the ShiftWise solution to our constituents."

ShiftWise's web-based, end-to-end workforce solution enables hospitals to effortlessly manage their internal and external contingent labor usage. Hospitals ultimately benefit from unmatched control over their staffing process as the service consolidates ordering, license and credential management, billing and self-scheduling into a single, easy-to-use online service. ShiftWise is currently used in over 750 hospitals nationally.

• Initiate Systems (Chicago) has partnered with Axolotl (San Jose). Following product integration in Axolotl's engineering labs, the two healthcare technology companies will deliver solutions that enable interoperability between healthcare information systems in hospitals, Integrated Delivery Networks, Regional Healthcare Information Organizations and statewide healthcare exchanges.

The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC; Oak Brook, Illinois) reported that the five-hospital Greenville Hospital System (GHS; Greenville, South Carolina) has selected UHC to provide supply chain services. Effective immediately, GHS will transition its supply chain services to UHC from its former group purchasing organization, Premier.

• Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) said new agreements for wound draining products have been awarded to C.R. Bard Medical Division (Covington, Georgia), Cardinal Health (Dublin, Ohio), and Medline Industries (Mundelein, Illinois).

Effective Aug. 1 the agreements are available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.