etrials Worldwide (Morrisville, North Carolina), a provider of eClinical solutions, and Ockham Development Group, a global contract and research and development organization and a subsidiary of ASG (both Cary, North Carolina), have entered into a five-year technology transfer agreement, which enables Ockham to provide its customers with etrials' Trial Intelligence electronic data capture (EDC) solutions.

Under etrials' CRO Partnership Solutions program, the five-year in-licensing agreement allows Ockham to offer its sponsor customers a more comprehensive suite of eClinical capabilities for aggregating, monitoring and analyzing data with the ability to develop and deploy studies on their own.

According to the organizations, Ockham will be self-sufficient in terms of developing and deploying studies using etrials' EDC solutions, and etrials will provide best practices, training, hosting, development, technical, as well as sales and marketing support.

"This joint venture further allows ASG and Ockham to expand our service capabilities and better serve sponsors," said Ockham President Dr. Joshua Baker, who leads clinical operations for the group. "The addition of etrials' adaptive solutions to Ockham's offering portfolio increases our ability to provide an even greater breadth of integrated solutions with a highly flexible, robust EDC system delivered directly from us."

"This agreement gives ASG and Ockham the opportunity to transfer etrials' knowledge of EDC design and deployment best practices and support and meet their sponsors' clinical trial development requirements more holistically," said Denis Connaghan, etrials' president/CEO. "At the same time, etrials' EDC solution will serve a wider sponsor base."

etrials provides eClinical software and services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, as well as contract research organizations, offering adaptive, Web-based tools that work together to coordinate data capture, logistics, patient interaction and trial management – turning data into intelligence and shortening the pathway to an actionable study endpoint.

ASG provides contract research, functional outsourcing, and specialty staffing services to CROs, pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies that require clinical operations, GCP, GLP or GMP auditing, data management, statistical programming, biostatistics and medical writing solutions. Ockham, a subsidiary of ASG, is a privately held contract drug development.

In other agreements:

• MRO (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania) reported a contract with DeKalb Medical (Decatur, Georgia) to provide the non-profit health system with the company's release-of-information (ROI) online software service.

According to MRO, the ROI processing solution will allow the medical records department to exert more control over the ROI process, efficiently respond to ROI requests and streamline delivery to internal and external requesters. The 775-physician health system, which is comprised of three hospital campuses, went live with MRO's ROI online solution in March.

• SunGard Availability Services (Wayne, Pennsylvania) said it has partnered with Phoenix Health Systems (Richardson, Texas), a provider of healthcare IT outsourcing, consulting and revenue cycle management solutions, to help hospitals improve information availability for electronic medical records and other technologies essential to quality of care. SunGard and Phoenix plan to help community hospitals by developing cost-effective business continuity plans that address requirements to access critical data in the event of an IT systems outage as well as providing staffing and application support.

Global Med Technologies (Denver), an international e-Health, medical information technology company, reported that its Inlog (Limonest, France) subsidiary has licensed and deployed its EdgeLab laboratory information management software (marketed as "Labo Serveur" in France) to the Eugene Andre Hospital (Lyon, France). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Richmond Academy of Medicine (RAM; Richmond, Virginia) and TSI Healthcare (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) have reported a definitive alliance in which TSI will provide electronic health records (EHR), Billing Systems and other IT Services to members of the academy under a preferred client arrangement.

Financial details of the new partnership were not released. However, the new agreement includes preferred pricing and additional incentives for physicians seeking the advantages of the U.S. government stimulus bill.

Dr. Johnny C.L. Wong, president of RAM, said, "Since EHR is becoming such a vital part of today's medical practice, we are working to provide Richmond Academy of Medicine members with outstanding EHR information and vendor affiliations."

TSI is working to provide RAM members with the necessary services to implement the appropriate EHR solutions. The systems offered by TSI are designed to provide physicians with increased efficiencies and profitability while simultaneously helping to improve patient care.

TSI President/CEO, David Dickson Jr., said, "This partnership represents our shared interest in propelling the advantages of the new law for the mutual benefit of physicians and their patients. We believe RAM members can provide and receive great value through the successful implementation of TSI's proven products and services."

• Precyse Solutions (Wayne, Pennsylvania), a provider of clinical documentation software, workflow tools and consulting services, has signed a two-year consulting and training agreement with Iasis Healthcare (Franklin, Tennessee). The agreement includes peer-to-peer training regarding quality clinical documentation for Iasis physicians.

Precyse was awarded the contract based on its ability to utilize physician trainers to conduct high-level education for the Iasis medical staff. Most other firms in the clinical documentation improvement space do not have the resources to offer this type of peer-to-peer consulting and training.

"Our training requirements and range of services needed for clinical documentation vary across our 16-facility system," said Iasis Healthcare's director of health information management operations Kyle McElroy. "It was important for us to partner with a single vendor who could not only tailor its training to meet our various needs, but could do so while providing an underlying consistency in both the messaging and quality of service."

• Global Med Technologies (Denver), an international eHealth medical information technology company,reported that its Inlog subsidiary has licensed and deployed its EdgeLab Laboratory Information Management Software (marketed as Labo Serveur in France) to the Eugene Andre Hospital (Lyon, France). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Since EdgeLab was introduced into the hospital market in 1999 as Labo Serveur, it has become a leading laboratory information management system in Europe with more than 150 licensed laboratories. EdgeLab is connected with more than 1,000 analyzers and interchanges data with all major hospital healthcare software applications.

EdgeLab can be configured to meet the business needs of large, diverse, multi-site hospital laboratories, as well as small, single-site hospitals.

At Eugene Andre Hospital, EdgeLab is directly connected to six laboratory analyzers, the hospital management system and several other external systems, including Inlog's EdgeBlood blood center information management system at the French Blood Establishment (EFS). EFS uses EdgeBlood to recruit, collect, process and label 100 percent of the blood drawn in France.

• MedAssets (Alpharetta, Georgia) has reported a strategic business agreement with SCI Solutions (Los Gatos, California) to provide extended patient access solutions to help hospitals and health system customers improve the productivity, patient satisfaction and reimbursement as part of their admission process.

The management of patient pre-service processes is critical to ensuring the accuracy of patient insurance and financial information in order to secure net revenue reimbursement. Through this agreement, MedAssets will promote SCI's comprehensive Web-based front-end patient access management tools that include enterprise scheduling and registration, outpatient order management, as well as unique customer self-service solutions.

D.T. Nguyen, president, revenue cycle management at MedAssets, said, "By pairing MedAssets' and SCI's solutions, hospitals will have access to a full suite of front-end patient access management solutions to streamline processes, increase efficiencies and ultimately, improve net revenue and cash flow."

CEO John Holton of SCI Solutions said, "Web-based patient access tools are significantly enhancing the quality of the patient-physician encounter. SCI and Medassets are both committed to transforming healthcare Access Management with solutions that will increase market share, strengthen physician and patient relationships, reduce administrative costs and improve workflow."

SCI Solutions' patient access management tools include Order Facilitator, ScheduleMaximizer and RevenueAccelerator, as well as patient and provider self-scheduling portals.

MedAssets' patient access management solutions include patient bill estimation tool CarePricer, ABN Manager, as well as other services such as workflow management tools and point-of-service collections consulting.