May 2007

NEWS REVIEW – BUSINESS

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Belgium hospital gears up to deploy Agfa’s solution

Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of IT enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic imaging solutions, has announced that the Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol hospital in Belgium has awarded it a significant contract to unify its medical workflow through the company’s ORBIS solution. ORBIS is Agfa HealthCare’s integrated hospital and clinical information system, specifically to manage the entire patient-centric information flow through all hospital departments. The implementation of ORBIS is expected to start in April 2007.

Explains ICT Manager Benny Peeters, “Teaming up with a provider of solutions that we know to be of high quality will help us to position our hospital at the forefront of modern medicine in our region. We were the first hospital in the region to implement PACS, and now ORBIS will help us to strengthen our pioneering approach. We are proud to be among the first hospitals to implement the ORBIS platform, adapted to the specific healthcare needs in our country”.

Agfa HealthCare’s ORBIS solution will provide the Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol hospital a comprehensive view of clinical information processes, including medical and nursing records, scheduling, order management, results reporting and medication workflow. The hospital has worked with Agfa HealthCare for almost 4 years, successfully using its Picture Archiving and Communications System / Radiology Information System (PACS/RIS) solution.

The Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol hospital’s nine-month decision process involved information scouting, several medical workgroup meetings, and an elaborate request for proposals, as well as a field visit to the Troisdorf hospital near Bonn, Germany and interviews with users.

Says Benny Peeters, Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol’s ICT Manager, “With ORBIS, we will be able to address the needs of our entire healthcare enterprise. We have chosen ORBIS because it offers us a complete hospital-wide solution, which allows us to integrate advanced functionalities more easily. Agfa HealthCare’s vendor neutral solution was the ideal choice for us as it allows us to integrate our existing solutions with ORBIS.”

Informs Hans Vandewyngaerde, Cluster Manager, Benelux & France: “Supporting our customers over a longer period, by helping them enhance and improve their overall solutions offering, is a key priority for Agfa HealthCare. We have always treasured our positive relationship with Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol and we look forward to further enhancing and evolving our leading solutions with them, for the benefit of the hospital and its patients.”

Heilig Hartziekenhuis Mol provides a comprehensive range of health services to the eastern ‘Kempen’ region of Belgium’s Antwerp province. The hospital has positioned itself as a modern healthcare provider, applying significant resources to staff education and advanced infrastructure. Its 500 staff members and 60 doctors manage approximately 18,000 hospital stays per year.

New version of CareXML solution announced

Stalis Ltd, a leading player in the information and data management solutions to the NHS and private healthcare organisations, has released its CareXML� data migration, cleansing and reporting platform. CareXML� is established within NPfIT as the most advanced solution for extracting data from any legacy system, cleansing the data and migrating the data to the Care Record Service (CRS).

Data profiler ‘unlocks’ access to the source data from legacy Mumps based systems, allowing Trust users to identify data quality discrepancies and anomalies and providing seamless access with no additional log on back to the source systems for updates and amendments. Trusts have estimated that this approach saves considerable man time when carrying out a data migration project. Following constraints experienced in placing the amount of legacy data that can be moved to the CRS, CareXML� has been developed to provide the Data Repository for maintaining legacy data. The new version of CareXML� introduces several new features as a result of joint working with Stalis customers.

The features include, Integrated case note tracking. It also supports and stores updates to patient case note locations for all non migrated data from the legacy system. Web based browser access to the patient case notes allow users access from anywhere in the hospital to amend and update historic case note locations.

Fully configurable to allow administrators to filter delivery of reports by GP surgery and/or GP. Electronic transmission of reports speeds up the delivery of diagnostic reporting to the referring doctor. Automated integration of patient records from disparate systems.

ISOFT completes RIS project in London cluster

ISOFT has installed its RadCentre radiology information system (RIS) at Chelsea and Westminster and Ealing NHS trusts as part of its contract with BT under the National Programme for IT (NPfIT). iSOFT is one of the UK’s largest providers of radiology information systems. RadCentre has been installed at 43 NHS trusts currently. The systems played an important role in helping BT meet its target of delivering picture archiving and communications systems to 21 trusts across the capital by the end of March this year.

Linked to Philips picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), RadCentre is now running at the 660-bed Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and 350-bed Ealing Hospital.

Eight more NHS trusts in London use iSOFT’s RadCentre outside the NPfIT. These include early adopter Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust. Other non-NPfIT RadCentre customers in London are St Georges, Lewisham, Royal Free, Kingston, North Middlesex, Whittington, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Epsom St Helier and West Middlesex.

iSOFT is a leading player in Europe in the area of healthcare software applications with a strong presence and experience in the Asia Pacific region. Its core strategic application, LORENZO, is noted for the technology revolution taking place in healthcare globally. iSOFT products are used to manage patient information in more than 8,000 organisations in 27 countries. With annual revenues of �180 million, the company has offices in 12 countries and more than 3,000 employees, over 1,400 of whom are engaged in software development and design.

Effective searching solution offered for Health Professionals

Getting the right information from a sea of infinite information in the Internet is indeed a big task. It is pretty hard to sort out the right information. However, this problem is addressed by Transinsight GmbH in Dresden, a company that develops knowledge-based search technologies in cooperation with the Technische Universit�t Dresden.

Now, after a development period of only six months, Transinsight GmbH has created MeSHPubMed, the worldwide first knowledge-based search engine for the medical sciences to be made available on the Internet. The search platform www.MeSHPubMed.org intelligently searches and, thus, finds the desired results much faster and much more precisely than a standard search engine can. For the first time, the technology for the intelligent search developed by Transinsight GmbH, in cooperation with the TU Dresden, has been used on the well-known search engine for molecular biologists-www.GOPubMed.org. Says Dr. Michael R. Alvers, CEO of Transinsight, “Now, medical professionals will be able to work much more efficiently, because they will be able to utilize the search engine MeSHPubMed which sorts the 16 million presently available scientific articles in such a way as is intended by the knowledge network MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), an initiative of the National Library of Medicine, USA,” The search engine allows the search time for relevant scientific information to be drastically reduced.

For example, a search for the tumor suppressor protein P53 delivers about 10 million articles through conventional search engines and more than 40,000 articles in the case of standard medical search engines like www.PubMed.org. For the user, it is impossible to browse this quantity of texts. However, with www.MeSHPubMed.org, by means of interactive navigation in the knowledge tree of the MeSH, clicking the hierarchical entries “Diseases” -> “Cardiovascular Diseases” -> “Heart Diseases,” means the search results can be restricted so that only six relevant articles are shown. This is a great time saver indeed.

Prof. Dr. Michael Schroeder, co-founder of Transinsight and Professor of bioinformatics at the Technische Universit�t Dresden, is enthused to see the practical use of technologies developed partly within European research projects such as REWERSE, Sealife and EFRE. “We are proud to have developed technologies that reach a speed and precision that currently cannot be achieved by anybody else in the world. Our ultra-fast and very precise algorithms provide an enormous customer benefit: the noticeable shortening of search times! Having already two products online is a good example of a great knowledge transfer between university and industry,” says Schroeder.

This fruitful cooperation between Transinsight and the Technische Universit�t Dresden is based on a cooperation contract. “In Dresden, there is an atmosphere like at Stanford University, at MIT in Boston or at Cambridge University,” says Alvers.

On this fertile ground, Transinsight GmbH wants to open new horizons. To that end, two new search platforms are already in the beta test. Moreover, with a partner, Transinsight wants to address other areas such as the job search field, because the technology of sorted searching is global and can be used in non-biomedical areas as well. Transinsight is also focussed on software solutions.

Australia’s health providers pitch for e-health

A report by the Australian Centre for Health Research has suggested a broadband network of health services to allow patients to be tracked, no matter where they go for medical services. Monash University e-health research unit director Michael Georgeff has said that about one-quarter of all Australians suffered from a chronic illness and many had complex health needs.

According to Professor Georgeff, “Complex illness requires close monitoring and, often, intensive management by a team of health professionals. But because of the way our health system currently operates, one doctor will often not know what tests or medications have been prescribed by another doctor even when they are members of the same team.”

Voicemails to enable patients to pick up medicine

A message system that enables pharmacists to leave an automatically-generated voicemail for patients whose prescriptions are ready for collection is getting ready. To be offered by a major pharmacy systems supplier, Message Dynamics has reached a heads of agreement to integrate its messaging system with Cegedim Rx’s Pharmacy Manager and Nexphase. The agreement covers two Message Dynamics products: the Repeat Rx prescription reminder and the MUR [medicines use review] Reminder.

Message Dynamics director, Richard Jackson, explain that that the system’s facility for leaving voice messages on both landline and mobile phones made it very useful.

Text messaging to communicate with patients is getting more common – and Message Dynamics includes this function – but Jackson points out: “The main users of the service are over 65 and most don’t have mobiles. Those that do tend to keep them for emergencies and don’t use SMS text messaging very much.”

The voice-mail facility is expected to bring immediate benefits but should be especially useful in helping to keep patients in the loop when Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service starts to make the paperless prescription a reality later this year.

“Under Release 2 the doctor will automatically send repeat prescriptions to the pharmacy. Patients may be less sure of what will happen next,” Jackson explained. An automatically generated message from the pharmacist’s system will aim to make the process work more smoothly by reminding patients that their medicines are ready and saying which pharmacy they need to go to. From the pharmacist’s perspective, the number of uncollected prescriptions � many containing expensive medicines – should be reduced. The MUR reminder will also help to cut the number of reviews forgotten by patients. Message Dynamics says that the service is available in 47 languages, manages patient consents for use of the service and maintains accurate and up-to-date details. Using secure servers and PIN access patients can maintain phone numbers, PIN, contact times and preferences.

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