A Medical Device Daily

Sunquest Information Systems (Tucson, Arizona) said that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has signed a strategic agreement enabling UPMC to expand use and deployment of the Sunquest laboratory information solutions (LIS) for an extended period of time.

As part of the agreement, UPMC will extend the Sunquest system, already in 15 of its 20 hospitals, to additional sites. Additionally, after a successful pilot installation that resulted in eliminating laboratory specimen labeling errors, UPMC's nursing staff will expand use of the Sunquest Collection Manager.

UPMC's long-term plans include deploying Sunquest's LIS to all sites.

In other agreements/contracts news:

• London & Pacific Healthcare (El Segundo, California) said that its subsidiary, Ambulatory Surgical Group (ASG; Los Angeles), has entered into a strategic relationship with MBC Systems (Santa Ana, California) that is geared to significantly increase the service offerings and revenue potential of the company.

The billing, collections, and coding services of MBC have been consolidated with the management and advisory services of ASG to provide current and prospective clients with a more seamless and cost-effective way of running their healthcare businesses. The combined services of ASG/MBC eliminate the need for clients to purchase, install, maintain, and update in-house hardware and software, freeing up capital for other areas of their healthcare practice, the companies said.

MBC provides healthcare clients with revenue cycle management services. London & Pacific develops and manages healthcare companies.

• Nonin Medical (Minneapolis) has been awarded a 36-month contract with Premier Purchasing Partners, the group purchasing unit of Premier (San Diego). Under the agreement, Premier's more than 2,100 hospitals and 54,000 total healthcare member sites will have access to special pricing and terms pre-negotiated by Premier for the most extensive selection of products using Nonin's PureSAT pulse oximetry technology.

Premier's members also will be able to take advantage of Nonin's leadership position in Bluetooth wireless technology with devices such as the innovative Avant 4000 tabletop pulse oximeter. Nonin's SpO2 monitoring devices are designed to simplify the delivery of care and will provide Premier-affiliated clinicians with accurate and durable patient monitoring solutions.

• Terason (Boston, Massachusetts) signed a three-year agreement with Premier, effective April 1, that covers Terason's complete product line of portable ultrasound imaging solutions, including the Terason 2000+, Terason t3000 and Terason Echo Ultrasound Systems.

• CareView Communications (Plano, Texas) has executed an agreement with Saline Memorial Hospital (Benton, Arkansas), a 167-bed facility that has served Saline County and beyond for more than 50 years. Under the agreement, Saline's engaged CareView to provide the CareView System in its patient rooms as well as additional areas throughout the hospital.

The CareView System is a suite of products that brings the information technology of the 21st century directly to patients, families and healthcare providers by connecting them through one easy-to-install and simple-to-use system.

• Aetna (Jackson, Mississippi) said it has signed a multi-year agreement with Mississippi Health Partners that adds three new hospitals to the Aetna network in the Jackson area. Under the new contract, members of Aetna's network-based plans will be able to receive covered benefits, at in-network rates, from St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital and Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (both in Jackson); and King's Daughters Hospital (Yazoo City). The contract took effect April 1.

It is the first time any of these facilities has been part of Aetna's network of contracted hospitals in the state.

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