A Medical Device Daily

Allscripts (Chicago) reported that Edward Hospital & Health Services (Naperville, Illinois) will implement the company's Enterprise Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) solutions to automate and connect clinical and administrative processes for more than 50 physicians and mid-level providers.

Another 40 providers affiliated with the health system will implement PM, initially without the EHR component.

Edward will provide the integrated Allscripts solution to employed physicians in Edward Medical Group, which operates 12 clinics across suburban Chicago. Non-employed physicians in the region who contract with Edward to handle their billing and other management services will receive the stand-alone practice management solution.

"We believe Allscripts will help Edward provide a seamless connection to critical patient information along the entire continuum of care," said Pam Davis, president/CEO of Edward. "Our goal is to develop a hospital-based community model under which Edward Hospital and all of our staff physicians are able to connect electronically to provide truly integrated care for our 250,000 patients."

Allscripts' EHR provides instant access to patient information when and where physicians need it — in their offices, at the hospital, or while on-call at home. The web-based solution automates everyday clinical tasks such as prescribing and refilling medications, ordering and reviewing tests, and documenting patient care.

PM combines scheduling and revenue cycle management tools to help physician practices become more productive while improving service to patients. Important features include advanced billing and reconciliation, referral and eligibility indicators, and automated patient appointment reminders.

"The physicians who participated in the Allscripts demonstration were impressed with how intuitive the electronic health record was and how quickly and easily they could move through their workflow in a natural fashion," said Ron Glas, MD, Edward's medical director of ambulatory informatics and a physician at Edward Medical Group. "Allscripts clearly designed it with physicians in mind because it enhances the clinical work space, streamlines the order process and really reduces the number of clicks necessary to finalize entries."

In other agreements and contracts news:

• GE Healthcare (Waukesha, Wisconsin) reported new initiatives to deliver the future of healthcare information technology (IT). Through collaborations with several medical institutions, GE said it is helping to deliver the promise of lower cost, higher quality healthcare that spans the entire continuum of care – from the doctor's office to the patient's home.

"The use of digital technology is a key component to tackling the most difficult issue facing the healthcare system today: globally accessible, low-cost delivery of high-quality care," said John Dineen, president/CEO of GE Healthcare. "As GE and its partners have demonstrated, collaboration between organizations that bring different perspectives and expertise is critical to success. These three IT-based solutions provide a snapshot of the future of healthcare, which GE Healthcare and its partners are delivering today."

The new IT collaborations start with Digital Day One, an initiative that seeks to enhance performance from day one with IT starter kit offerings to ensure physicians offices and new hospitals perform at full potential.

The collaborations are with Aspetar Hospital (Qatar), Qatar Foundation (also Qatar), Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota), Montefiore Medical Center (New York) and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

• Dilon Technologies (Newport News, Virginia) has formed an alliance with Terason Ultrasound (Burlington, Massachusetts) to offer an expanded imaging capability when molecular breast imaging and ultrasound may be required.

Breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) is a molecular breast imaging technique that can see lesions independent of tissue density and discover very early stage cancers, particularly for women with high risk factors or that present with questionable mammograms. With BSGI, metabolic activity is assessed and cancerous cells generally display as "hot spots."

The Terason t3000 Ultrasound System offers premium imaging performance with the portability and functionality of a laptop. When used as a complement to the Dilon 6800 Gamma Camera, physicians are able to move from BSGI to ultrasound without leaving the exam room.

• Premier (San Diego) reported a new agreement for general laboratory products, equipment and service with Fisher HealthCare (Houston). Effective Jan. 1, the 36-month agreement is available to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.