The Image and Knowledge Management (IKM) business unit of Siemens Healthcare (Malvern, Pennsylvania) and Harris (Melbourne, Florida) are joining forces to offer healthcare providers solutions critical for picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) disaster recovery to support business continuity.

The value placed on information technology for healthcare providers is ever-increasing, along with the amount of data they are generating, making the need to protect this information, data, and IT infrastructure in the event of an emergency a critical requirement for them. And yet, while healthcare providers clearly recognize the need for such a disaster recovery plan, they often lack the infrastructure and resources required to safely replicate large amounts of clinical data and images.

Siemens' IKM business unit and Harris created an initiative that will help make PACS disaster recovery easily attainable and affordable. This collaboration is intended to provide customers with the synergetic competencies acquired by decades of combined experience in healthcare and network technologies. The greatest benefit to the customer is fast and secure recovery in the event data is lost in a natural or human-induced disaster. The solution provides access to dedicated fiber-optic, microwave, satellite communications, and land lines that are part of the Harris Wide Area Network, which will connect the local PACS deployments to the disaster recovery capabilities at the Harris network operations facilities.

Because this offering is based mainly on the infrastructure and resources available from Harris, and leverages the hardware and software within the customer's existing PACS solution, the customer is not required to make any major upfront capital investment. In addition, the managed disaster recovery services that come with this solution make recovery easily attainable.

In other news from HIMSS:

• Keane (San Francisco) reported the launch of Keane Optimum, a one-source solution for healthcare organizations to improve both financial performance and patient care. This software minimizes the expense associated with managing discrete IT solutions to give hospitals a unique level of visibility into their business operations, to improve accounts receivable cycles, reduce medical errors and simplify complex third-party billing. Keane Optimum leverages the strength of Keane's Patcom with its iMed product, to include a full suite of integrated financial, clinical, and EHR applications to simplify the management of the entire healthcare IT environment.

• Allscripts (Chicago) has introduced Allscripts Remote, a new iPhone native application that provides physicians virtually anytime, anywhere access to and control of Allscripts electronic health records (EHR). With Allscripts Remote, physicians can now safely make critical medical decisions even when they are away from the office, with all relevant information available on the one device they keep closest – their phone. Also available for the Apple iPod touch, Allscripts Remote delivers an interactive connection to the Allscripts Enterprise and Professional EHRs. Capabilities include quick access to real-time patient summary information; fast communication to local hospital emergency rooms; ePrescribing to the patient's regular pharmacy; and real-time access to all the information a physician needs to make decisions, including medical history, lab results and medications.

• Ergotron (St. Paul, Minnesota) unveiled its new point-of-care products at HIMSS. Attendees are among the first to see Ergotron's latest StyleView monitor solutions for point-of-care technology, including the VL Enclosure, Vertical Lift, HD Combo and Neo-Flex WideView and Dual WideView WorkSpace Carts.

The StyleView VL Enclosure represents Ergotron's most secure wall mount to date, designed to maximize security and maintain patient privacy, including keyed and keyless locking mechanisms. StyleView Vertical Lift is intended for high-traffic areas and patient rooms. The StyleView HD Combo gives healthcare professionals the ability to easily re-position an entire workstation – one can adjust the display, keyboard, mouse and barcode scanner in a single motion. Neo-Flex WideView and Dual WideView WorkSpace Carts are designed for radiology, clinical PACS access, telepresence, labs and corporate settings.

More than 80% of information technology (IT) decision makers within the healthcare industry stated that mobile technologies are more important to their organizations today than they were in 2008, according to a recent research study commissioned by Motorola (Schaumburg Illinois). Respondents cited key benefits such as increased order fulfillment accuracy, reduced manual errors and increased employee productivity due to the utilization of mobile technologies within various clinical settings.

The Motorola Enterprise Mobility Healthcare Barometer identified that the key applications driving investment in healthcare include electronic health records (EHR) driven by increasing regulations, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and medication administration. Interestingly, surveyed decision makers also noted investment growth in asset tracking and asset/inventory management, reflective of increasing financial pressures due to the weakening economic climate.

"Doctors, nurses and orderlies in the healthcare industry are experiencing increased pressures from greater numbers of patients and the need to become more efficient while still providing exceptional patient care," said Vivian Funkhouser, principal, Global Healthcare Solutions for Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions. "With a vast array of mobile computing and bar code scanning devices and RFID and wireless network technologies, Motorola is addressing the identified industry pain points by mobilizing applications to provide more efficient patient care without boundaries across the continuum of care."

• Dell (Round Rock, Texas) and Perot Systems (Plano, Texas) reported a strategic alliance to provide fully-integrated global IT solutions that unite their technology and services solutions to provide virtualized desktop, storage and server solutions for hospitals, health systems and physician practices – virtualized on premises or hosted either off-site or in secure, private clouds.

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