A Medical Device Daily

Sun Microsystems (Santa Clara, California) reported the introduction of the Sun B2B-enabled Electronic Master Patient Index (EMPI), as well as two OEM offerings, iPACS and uPACS, Integrated and Utility Picture Archiving and Communication Systems, at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS; Chicago) conference in New Orleans.

Sun said that the launch at HIMSS is part of a focus building on the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) to transform healthcare, continuing to deliver infrastructure software designed to enable easier data sharing across the healthcare spectrum, for both payment processes and for electronic health records (EHRs).

The B2B-enabled EMPI solution, a part of the Sun Java Enterprise System, is designed to provide infrastructure software for hospitals, insurers and other healthcare organizations that are sharing patient data across organizations.

The debut of iPACS and uPACS provides a platform that enables PACS OEMs and Systems Integrators to rapidly build and implement eHealth solutions, Sun said.

"Sharing patient data allows greater efficiency for medical billing and clinical record document sharing processes," said Joerg Schwarz, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Sun Microsystems. "By linking patient data and records across a network of providers and insurers, Sun technology is helping to make it possible for doctors, nurses and other care-givers to have complete patient information at their fingertips to provide the best possible care. Further, helping our PACS vendors to reduce capital costs and improve scalability by enabling a utility 'pay-per-use' model, brings value to our partner community."

Sun's B2B-enabled EMPI means that a primary patient data provider, such as a hospital group, can provide secure access to its EMPI data-store to partners outside their four walls — essentially making the EMPI service available for queries over the Internet. The solution gives large organizations, such as Regional Health Information Organizations and Integrated Healthcare Delivery Networks, the infrastructure to serve as the regional hub for master patient data indexes.

Sun said it is also driving momentum in the healthcare industry through its OEM program for picture archiving and communication system (PACS) vendors. With 80% of new PACS implementations being outsourced in the U.S., the program creates opportunities for healthcare informatics organizations to collaborate with Sun in developing solutions for providers, payers, regional and national healthcare organizations.

In other product news from the conference:

• IntelliDOT (San Diego), which focuses on patient safety and workflow management solutions for healthcare, reported the future availability of a new handheld system featuring radio frequency identification (RFID) capabilities for use with the CAREt System, IntelliDOT's handheld barcode patient safety technology. According to the company, it is the first nurse-centered workflow manager to connect caregivers with the information systems they need at the point of care (POC).

The POC coexistence of barcode and RFID capabilities provides the ability to increase nurse efficiency and streamline patient identification, IntelliDOT said.

The CAREt System handheld will combine barcoding, RFID, 802.11 and Bluetooth capabilities in the same handheld device.

With the RFID feature, the nurse no longer needs to see the patient's wrist to scan the barcode. Instead, the reader can be within a few inches of the patient's wristband to verify the five rights.

IntelliDOT will also read RFID information on clinicians' name badges to ease workflow, in addition to wristbands for patients. While patient wristbands are meant for short-term use during their stay in the hospital, the RF information written to the clinician's name badge will be permanent, and meant for use over the course of months and years to identify the caregiver.

• Medseek (Solvang, California) introduced its Master Patient eID solution, a patent-pending, HIPAA-compliant technology that identifies duplicate patient records in disparate hospital information systems "without disruption to current clinical and business processes," it said.

Master Patient eID is designed to enable healthcare organizations to improve the healthcare process on many fronts, including enhanced patient safety, cleanup, corroboration and consolidation of duplicate medical records and more accurate billing processes.

Medseek said that Western North Carolina Health Network (Asheville, North Carolina) is one of the first clients to go live on the solution at its health information exchange in western North Carolina.

• Neoware (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania), a supplier of thin client software and devices, is showcasing a recent product development designed to provide healthcare organizations with greater mobility and security.

Healthcare professionals are working on the road at client sites, home offices and other remote locations away from the office with greater frequency, and management is challenged with providing employees secure access to critical company data via mobile devices without compromising compliance with HIPAA regulations.

The Neoware m100 is designed to enable healthcare employees to roam to locations away from the office that are critical to their jobs, without exposing critical data outside the company's network.

"Healthcare professionals' jobs continue to extend further away from the office, which is particularly challenging for a highly-regulated industry," said Klaus Besier, CEO of Neoware. "Neoware has proven that healthcare organizations can provide such mobility, while meeting HIPAA standards and easing overall IT administration."