Agfa HealthCare Selects OnX as Canadian Managed Services Provider

OnX Enterprise Solutions, a leading enterprise data center IT solutions provider, today announced that the Company has been chosen as one of two preferred vendors in Canada to Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and IT solutions for hospitals and other healthcare centers.

As an Agfa HealthCare preferred vendor, OnX can provide managed services, data backup, and disaster recovery solutions designed to help deploy Agfa HealthCare's imaging software to hospitals across Canada. Hospitals today are increasingly investing in software solutions to improve diagnostics and care, but often choose not to manage these solutions and data centers on their own. As a part of a joint solution, Agfa HealthCare will manage the diagnostic imaging software solutions, while OnX will supply the infrastructure in the company's managed data centers, including data backup, firewall security, OS management and end-to-end monitoring and reporting. For Canadian healthcare institutions that already have Agfa HealthCare's solution in place, OnX can provide secondary failover and disaster recovery.

"OnX has a very solid record and reputation in the healthcare industry with a dedicated healthcare team and the specific expertise we need from a managed services vendor," said Jeff Merrill, Vice President, Services, Agfa HealthCare North America. "The OnX team understands our issues including the application layer, and is committed to provide the needed support for data security, backup, and recovery, which are important in the delivery of quality care. We look forward to working with OnX's experienced Healthcare and Managed Services team to deploy our diagnostic software to healthcare organizations across Canada."

The healthcare industry is shifting to avoid large capital budgets for high availability and to improve time to deployment. OnX has a long and credible history of providing vital IT solutions to the healthcare industry, where security and high availability are major concerns. OnX's top-tier data center redundancy and SSAE16 certification offer peace of mind to healthcare organizations whose first priority is to keep their patient data secure. In 2014, Branham300 honored OnX Canada with the #5 ranking in the Top 25 ICT Professional Services, #5 ranking in Mixed-play Healthcare ICT Companies, and #17 ranking in the Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies.

"We are pleased to achieve preferred vendor status with a trusted healthcare integrated IT provider like Agfa HealthCare," said Paul Khawaja, President, OnX Canada. "Our focus and investments in providing the highest security measures and data center certification, coupled with our experienced and knowledgeable healthcare team makes us a great fit for clients in the growing healthcare industry. We especially look forward to a fruitful relationship with Agfa HealthCare and to helping them provide the best IT solutions available to their customers throughout Canada."

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Child at St. Louis Children's Hospital One of First in the Midwest to Receive Implantable Heart Pump

Ten-year-old Jacque Fair is one of the first children in the St. Louis area to receive an implantable heart device commonly used in adults.

“The internal ventricular assist device has been used in adults for years,” explains Mary Mehegan, RN, VAD coordinator for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, “but it’s only recently become an option for smaller patients due to Heartware’s smaller technology.”

Jacque, who was diagnosed this summer with myocarditis and cardiomyopathy, became the hospital’s fourth patient to receive a Heartware device since it began using the technology in 2012. Jacque will likely require a heart transplant. First, her organs need a chance to recover from several months of deterioration. Her problems began over the summer, when she started having trouble breathing. She assumed it was asthma. “I have a history of asthma,” she says. “I was back and forth from the emergency room for weeks.” X-rays at her hometown hospital revealed an enlarged heart, so doctors referred her to the children’s hospital in Kansas City. Further medical evaluation revealed the complexity of Jacque’s needs, so the team transferred her to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where the medical team led by Dr. Charlie Canter, determined her heart failure had progressed to the extent she’d need an assist device to bridge her to a heart transplant.

“Application of this technology in children may eventually allow physicians to ‘defer’ a decision on transplantation and give a child’s native heart a better chance for recovery,” says Dr. Canter, director of the heart transplant program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Lois B. Tuttle and Jeanne B. Hauck Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine. “It also allows patients with end-stage heart failure who are not heart transplant candidates to have effective therapy.”

Relatively new to the pediatric population, it is believed fewer than ten children’s hospitals in the nation have used implantable ventricular assist devices.

“This is the forefront for care of children with heart failure resistant to medical management,” explains Dr.Umar Boston, pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, who implanted Jacque’s Heartware. “We don’t have an ideal device for kids right now, but we’re learning how to adapt this adult device successfully in adolescent sized children.”

Heartware is a disk-like device sewn into the heart’s left ventricle that pumps blood when the heart is too weak to do so on its own. It is connected by a lead through the abdominal wall (drive-line) to a controller and battery pack that fit into a small handbag and weigh less than 4 pounds, making it possible for a child to be discharged from the hospital and return to normal activity while awaiting transplant. Teenagers and children as small as 65 pounds can now be candidates for the internal pump. “We discharged a child on the device late last year and that child has actually returned to school,” says Mehegan.

“That’s a really big deal.” Small children and infants don’t have the space in their small chest cavities to accommodate most implantable technology currently available to adults. Smaller kids would still use a Berlin heart, an external pumping device that was championed and FDA-approved – with help from St. Louis Children’s Hospital – for children of all sizes, including infants. Both internal and external pumps allow patients in heart failure to become more stable.

“They allow a patient to build strength and rehabilitate before having a transplant,” says Mehegan. It also buys them time to wait for donor organs. Jacque hopes to go home from the hospital with her Heartware pump in the next 1-2 weeks. “I’m not sure if I’ll be comfortable sending her back to school,” says Jacque’s mom, Katrina. “That will depend on how willing the school is to learn about managing the device.” But it will allow Jacque the opportunity to be home-schooled, play with her three siblings, and continue building back her strength as she awaits a heart transplant.

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US Healthcare IT Market Outlook to 2017

The U.S. Healthcare IT market has been growing rapidly and offering immense opportunities for players involved in the business.

The market is performing on the back of new product introductions and evolving industry standards. With the cloud computing making a buzz, the U.S. Healthcare IT market is poised to reach new heights. Increasing acceptance of E-health and M-health among medical professionals and hospitals; growing awareness for quality among patients; active participation of players; and new government measures towards rural areas will augment the market growth.

In their latest research study, “US Healthcare IT Market Outlook to 2017”, RNCOS’ analysts have identified and deciphered the market dynamics in important segments to clearly highlight the areas offering promising possibilities for companies to boost their growth. The market is slated to grow at a CAGR of nearly 22% during 2013-2017. The tremendous growth of the market is driven by factors such as rising adoption of EHRs/EMRs, propelling E-health market and remote patient monitoring.

In the report, the U.S. healthcare IT market has been studied in its market scenario, market components, potential growth areas, and key players existing therein. For market performance analysis, the IT hardware dominates the market by acquiring a share of around 53%, followed by IT services market and IT software market.

Further, the market has been broken down into four distinct component segments while their current and future outlooks to 2017 have been analyzed. In addition, the report also covers a detailed analysis of the potential growth areas which helped in clearly identifying and highlighting the segments that offer the maximum opportunity for growth in the country.

The study further delves into the detailed description of the major players in the industry covering description of their businesses and their recent developments. This will help the reader to gain a deeper insight into each key market player. Moreover, market drivers and trends have been discussed along with regulatory frameworks to provide an understanding of the market dynamics. In a nutshell, the research provides all the prerequisite information for intending clients looking out to venture into these markets, and facilitates them to devise strategies, while going for an investment/partnership in the U.S. healthcare IT industry.

Get a copy here: http://www.reportbuyer.com/countries/north_america/usa/us_healthcare_market_outlook_2017.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=e-Healthcare

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Mayo Clinic Signs Strategic Agreement with Valurise Health Solutions in China

Mayo Clinic today announced that it has entered into a multiyear agreement with Valurise Health Solutions, Inc. (VHS), known as Haorensheng in China, to integrate components of Mayo Clinic's suite of Healthy Living services into their existing product line for employers and insurers in Greater China, including the PRC (People's Republic of China), Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

As part of the deal, Mayo Clinic will provide its Ask Mayo Clinic triage algorithms; EmbodyHealth programs, tools, and newsletters; health information content; Mayo Clinic Health Letter; and condition management content and materials. VHS will be responsible for translating, culturally incorporating and integrating the Mayo Clinic content and knowledge into its products and services, and for marketing, selling, delivering and supporting the resulting products/services in China. For its contribution to the collaboration, Mayo Clinic will receive equity in VHS and royalties over the multiyear term. Simultaneous with its license and collaboration agreement with VHS, Mayo Clinic and SAIF Partners are investors in VHS. SAIF Partners is a leading growth venture capital fund focused on China and India.

"Mayo Clinic's legacy of providing exceptional patient care and advancing the science of health care delivery through the transfer of knowledge and information allows us to extend the hope and healing of Mayo Clinic to people everywhere," says Paul Limburg, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Office of Wellness. "We are excited to provide Mayo Clinic knowledge to the people of China, where the demand for high quality health and wellness offerings is growing rapidly. We welcome this opportunity to inform, inspire and partner with the people of China in their quest for better health."

"We aim to meet the phenomenal demand for chronic disease management and prevention programs in China," states Dr. Rico W. Tang, CEO of VHS/Haorensheng. "Haorensheng is a leading brand in this rapidly expanding health risk management market and we represent the highest standard in China in providing innovative and one-stop health solutions. By partnering with other healthcare providers in China, Haorensheng is now providing services to more than 50% of all life/health insurers and over a million people from leading enterprise employers, government agencies and social security departments. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to receive investment and support from Mayo Clinic, one of the true pioneers of high quality health and wellness in the world."

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Automating User Provisioning Minimizes Risk, Saves Money for Healthcare Providers 'Going Digital'

Avatier Corp., a leader in risk-driven identity management software, advises healthcare providers to leverage identity and access management best practices before digitizing medical records to avoid risk in its blog, "Dare to Go Digital: Automating HIPAA HITECH Compliance." In following this advice, healthcare providers under constant budget pressure will save time and money, reduce critical IT time, while ensuring HIPAA privacy statutes and HIPAA HITECH information technology audit requirements are met.

"While digitizing medical records is necessary to provide improved patient care, streamline operations and reduce costs, it also puts the healthcare provider at risk for a security breach. With today's binding HIPAA statutes around patient privacy, any breach can spell real trouble," said Nelson Cicchitto, chairman and CEO of Avatier. "By following identity management best practices -- which include automating user provisioning protocols -- healthcare providers are better able to meet their regulatory mandates and keep private information from getting into the wrong hands." As in any industry, government and competitive bottom-line pressures force healthcare organizations to put greater focus on cutting costs and generally doing more with less.

Digitizing medical records is one way to cut costs, but it also introduces privacy risks, which are closely monitored through rigorous HIPAA compliance regulations. To be effective, identity and access management programs must be automated from end-to-end. "A truly automated solution isn't one that provides partial automation only to end up generating help desk tickets that still need manual attention," Cicchitto adds.

He also points out that automating identity management and access provisioning should begin with role-based system access. The system should automatically update permissions based on a business user's new position when their role changes. And automated access provisioning should be a centralized repository for a clean and clear identity IT audit trail. With the right tools in place, user access certification and verification audits that used to take days can be completed within hours without taxing IT staff. In an environment where HIPAA PHI compliance audits are stringent and frequent, simplified access certifications save approver aggravation and valuable time, thus allowing decision-makers to focus on more important healthcare-related activities.

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Final HHS Health IT Safety Plan issued

  • The Joint Commission to expand capacity to investigate Health IT-related events

A plan to guide health information technology (IT) activities across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to eliminate medical errors, protect patients, and improve the quality and efficiency of health care was issued today by HHS. The final Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan addresses the role of health IT within HHS’ commitment to patient safety.

The Plan builds on recommendations from the 2011 Institute of Medicine report, titled Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care, and from public comments. “When implemented and used properly, health IT is an important tool in finding and avoiding medical errors and protecting patients,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, M.D. “This Plan will help us make sure that these new technologies are used to make health care safer.”

  • The Plan, implemented by the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), outlines the responsibilities to be shared across HHS and details significant participation from the private sector.
  • Through the Plan: ONC will make it easier for clinicians to report health IT-related incidents and hazards through the use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will encourage reporting to Patient Safety Organizations and will update its standardized reporting forms to enable ambulatory reporting of health IT events.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will encourage the use of the standardized reporting forms in hospital incident reporting systems, and train surveyors to identify safe and unsafe practices associated with health IT.
  • Working through a public-private process, ONC will develop priorities for improving the safety of health IT.
  • ONC and CMS will consider adopting safety-related objectives, measures, and capabilities for CEHRTs through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and ONC’s standards and certification criteria.

To accompany the Plan’s surveillance of safety-related capabilities in CEHRT, ONC today issued guidance clarifying that ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies will be expected to verify whether safety-related capabilities work properly in live clinical settings in which they are implemented. In addition to the Plan, today Dr. Mostashari announced ONC has contracted with The Joint Commission to better detect and proactively address potential health IT-related safety issues across a variety of health care settings.

The Joint Commission will expand its capacity to investigate the role of health IT as a contributing cause of adverse events and will identify high priority areas for expected types of health IT-related events.

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Philips announces FDA clearance for its AlluraClarity interventional X-ray system

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its innovative AlluraClarity live image guidance system in the US. In close collaboration with leading clinicians in the field of minimally-invasive medicine, Philips has been driving innovation in interventional imaging for more than 50 years, helping to guide procedures such as the catheter-based treatment of obstructed coronary arteries, brain aneurysms, heart rhythm disorders and defective heart valves (heart valve replacement).

Philips’ AlluraClarity system with its powerful ClarityIQ technology provides high quality imaging for a comprehensive range of clinical procedures, achieving excellent visibility at low X-ray dose levels for patients of all sizes. To reflect the cost pressures that modern hospitals and health systems face, ClarityIQ technology will also be available as an upgrade for the majority of Philips’ installed base of monoplane and biplane interventional X-ray systems. “All patients treated via X-ray guided interventions benefit from the advantage of low radiation exposure, but it is especially important when you are treating patients who have to undergo lengthy and complex procedures,” said Dr. Marco van Strijen, interventional radiologist at the St. Antonius Hospital Utrecht/Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. “We have been using Philips’ AlluraClarity system for more than a year now and have really grown to appreciate the low dose settings. This technology is making a difference where it really matters."

“The transition from highly invasive surgical procedures to minimally-invasive image-guided therapies, with all their intrinsic patient benefits, is a transformation in the delivery of healthcare that is rapidly accelerating around the globe,” said Gene Saragnese, CEO Imaging Systems at Philips Healthcare. “It is an area where technology innovation and procedure innovation go hand in hand. AlluraClarity is a perfect example of how Philips’ close collaboration with clinical partners has combined these two areas of innovation to facilitate more advanced treatment while at the same time managing radiation dose.”

AlluraClarity’s low X-ray dose settings are a radical new development in the healthcare industry that will help clinicians to better manage their patients’ and their own exposure to X-ray radiation. This achievement is the result of a multi-year development program that formed part of Philips’ continuous investment in healthcare R&D, totaling EUR 803 million in 2012.

Philips’ AlluraClarity was commercially introduced outside the US in mid-2012, and since then more than 200 systems have been ordered. With this important milestone of FDA clearance, the system can now be marketed in the world’s largest healthcare market.

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Ziehm Imaging Receives "Top100" Seal of Approval

Ziehm Imaging Receives

German manufacturer of mobile C-arms recognized for innovation management in the SME sector Ziehm Imaging was honored last Friday in Friedrichshafen, Germany as one of the country's most innovative medium-sized enterprises. Ziehm Imaging, with headquarters in Nuremberg, has been manufacturing mobile C-arms for 40 years and is now the acknowledged technology leader in the industry. With its innovative solutions, Ziehm Imaging has played a significant role in the rapid development of mobile X-ray technology in recent years and brought numerous revolutionary developments onto the world market.

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Philips Sparq ultrasound provides high quality images at high paced Yale-New Haven Hospital emergency department

Philips Sparq ultrasound provides high quality images at high paced Yale-New Haven Hospital emergency department

WHAT: Philips has sold six Sparq ultrasound systems to Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), a non-profit, 1,008-bed tertiary medical center receiving national and international referrals, located in New Haven, Conn.

WHY: Given the often hectic pace of an emergency department, each timesaving measure can make a significant difference. This is especially true at a Level 1 trauma center like YNHH which triages more than 80,000 patients a year. In an effort to bring a new level of productivity to emergency ultrasound, Philips offers the Sparq ultrasound system. Sparq combines ease-of-use with efficiency-enhancers like a Simplicity Mode that presents only the ultrasound functions used most often and AutoSCAN, which continuously adjusts the image gain while scanning, and can help a clinician identify tissue type. YNHH recently purchased a half dozen Sparq systems to help meet its high volume ultrasound imaging and needle guidance needs.

The department is led by Christopher Moore, M.D., a world-renowned thought leader, researcher and instructor in emergency medicine. Dr. Moore was involved in the early product development of Sparq. “Sparq puts Philips image quality into a compact, affordable package that is designed for use at the point of care,” said Dr. Moore.

“Innovations like a large articulated screen, embedded wireless capabilites and long battery life allow it to be used effectively at the bedside. The glass touch control panel is intuitive to use and button-free, which allows for easy cleaning.”

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Qualicode and CellTrak Deliver Integrated Mobile Scheduling and Health Record Solution

Qualicode and CellTrak Deliver Integrated Mobile Scheduling and Health Record Solution

  • New partnership brings together industry solution leaders to provide a new and improved experience for clients across Canada.

Qualicode Software and CellTrak Technologies announced today that they have entered into an expanded partnership agreement whereby CellTrak will contract its healthcare scheduling solutions (HC) to Qualicode and expand its strategic relationship with them. The new relationship will provide an integrated mobile solution with Qualicode’s industry leading scheduling software and CellTrak’s mobile solution platform bringing the new solution to Quebec and the rest of Canada. Qualicode is the leading software company in home and community care field in the province of Quebec. Their cost-effective software solution is found in over 125 health care facilities throughout Quebec, serving 65% of Community Health and Social Services centers (known as: Centre de santé et de services sociaux or CSSS) and 85% of Home Help Social Economy Companies (ÉESAD).

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