Healthcare Technology Magazine News

Azalea Health® Announces Agreement to Merge with simplifyMD®

Azalea Health, a provider of cloud-based healthcare solutions and services, announced today an agreement to merge with simplifyMD, a complete electronic health records (EHR) provider.

The merger positions the two privately held companies to become a leading provider of a fully integrated, cloud-based healthcare management and medical billing solution. With a focus on patient engagement, Azalea's integrated EHR and billing solution has the flexibility to accommodate multiple specialties of any size practice or hospital. The company provides Electronic Health Records (EHR), Practice Management (PM), Revenue Cycle Management Services (RCM), and a Patient Health Records Portal.

John Glushik, with Intersouth Partners, commented on the agreement: "simplifyMD provides physician practices with a simple, document-based approach that enables their users to make an easy transition to using electronic health records (EHR) technology. Azalea Health has a complete cloud-based practice management and medical billing solution. The two solutions complement each other nicely. With this merger, the new company will be better positioned to provide customers with a broader offering and enable the company to aggressively pursue market opportunities."

Baha Zeidan, Founder & CEO of Azalea Health, who will lead the new company, says of the merger: "This is simply a great fit. Both companies have considerable talent and experience in the healthcare technology industry and are dedicated to simplifying the life of physicians and administrators by providing a complete solution that is easy to implement and use. With our combined skills, we'll be able to offer expanded services and product options, as well as the tools and resources to help our customers with meeting their Meaningful Use and ICD-10 requirements."

"The significant investments that continue to be made in the health IT industry are a clear indicator of the region's access to quality talent and customers," said David B. Hartnett, vice president, Bioscience-Health IT Industry Development. "Bringing these two innovative companies together under the visionary leadership of Zeidan is a recipe for success and further underscores why metro Atlanta is the nation's health IT capital."

During the transition, the companies will continue as simplifyMD and Azalea Health, with the products and services of both marketed under the Azalea Health brand. After closing, the two businesses will continue to operate from their main offices in Alpharetta and Valdosta, GA, with satellite offices in Macon, GA, and Gainesville, FL.

"The key to our success is that we make the transition to EHR easy for physicians, and we are constantly striving to add value to our EHR that will help our customers succeed," said Michael Brozino, CEO of simplifyMD. "This is the next step in meeting that objective and an opportunity to offer even greater value to our customers. The bottom line is that we are helping doctors to be doctors so they can focus on their patients' needs rather than on software."

Medicom Health Interactive Announces New CEO Will Sigsbee

Medicom Health Interactive, a trusted leader in online personal health solutions, announced the appointment of Will Sigsbee as CEO effective July 7, 2014.

Mr. Sigsbee brings more than 20 years of leadership in the healthcare industry to his new role having previously served as President of ApeniMED, Inc., a Minneapolis-based health technology company recently acquired by IOD. At ApeniMED, Mr. Sigsbee led the development of interoperable Electronic Medical Record (EMR) technology for Minnesota’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), the Michigan Health Information Network, Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinics and many other hospitals around the country.

“We welcome Will’s experience and leadership to the Medicom Health Interactive community,” said Barbara Goergen, President and Founder of Medicom Health Interactive. “In Will’s new role as CEO, he will be responsible for guiding the company with his results-oriented approach and ability to think strategically, which will play an important role in extending our successful track record of innovation and growth in the healthcare industry.”

“Medicom Health Interactive is at the forefront of developing online health assessment, self-care, and risk management software. The most reputable hospital systems, associations, and healthcare organizations are using our software to address current challenges in the healthcare industry,” said Mr. Sigsbee. “I am excited to be a part of an organization that understands the need to dynamically engage patients and deliver personalized care-coordination plans incorporating self-care modules and health education individualized for each patient’s need. Today hospitals, HIEs, accountable care organizations and other healthcare professionals are racing to implement interoperability and patient engagement strategies to meet Meaningful Use requirements. Medicom Health Interactive has cutting-edge solutions with robust content that can change the way patients and physicians interact.”

Mr. Sigsbee earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Iowa State University. He is an active member of LifeScience Alley and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and has presented regularly on Meaningful Use and interoperability strategies around the country.

Eighty-One Percent of Physicians Want More Direct Connection Between Continuing Medical Education and Patient Health Outcomes

Amazing, LLC, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, released the results of its second Amazing Charts User Survey, revealing new insights into what physicians want from their continuing medical education (CME).

A total of 316 Amazing Charts users completed the online survey from March 26 to July 9, 2014. When asked whether users would like to see a more direct connection between the CME they take and patient outcomes, eighty-one percent responded affirmatively. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said "yes" when asked whether CME delivered at the point of care (in the form of decision support) could lend valuable insights into the management of patients. The survey also found that less than one percent of respondents currently consume CME through an EHR system, demonstrating a significant unmet need in the marketplace for new approaches to CME delivery.

"Since Pri-Med and Amazing Charts combined in November 2012, we have been working to push the boundaries of what clinicians can achieve through an EHR system -- such as integrating clinical data analytics and CME to facilitate more prescriptive education, close knowledge gaps, and improve patient outcomes," said John Squire, president and COO of Amazing Charts. "Our survey points to a clear demand for medical education to help improve the treatment and improvement of patients. Beyond using data analytics to help bridge the divide, what's needed are the technology tools that can help clinicians access personalized education and resources to address the needs of their specific patient population."

Agfa HealthCare Wins Competitive Bid for VNA and Enterprise Imaging Workflow for Two Major Academic Hospitals In The Netherlands

Agfa HealthCare announces that it has won a highly competitive bid for a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) and an enterprise imaging workflow solution, for two major academic hospitals in the Netherlands: the Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum (VUmc) and the Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC).

This agreement is the result of a tender for the “EVA” project, a collaboration between the two hospitals for implementing a new electronic health record (EHR).

In a first step, VUmc will implement Agfa HealthCare’s ICIS comprehensive enterprise-class imaging clinical information system across 28-32 imaging departments. VUmc and AMC are both spread over several sites.

VUmc has 733 beds and around 6850 staff, while AMC counts around 1000 beds and 8500 staff. The hospitals will share an EHR program called “EHR VUmc & AMC”, or “EVA”. As part of EVA, the hospitals released two tenders: one for a VNA and a second for an enterprise imaging workflow solution.

Agfa HealthCare won both tenders with ICIS. The ICIS solution to be implemented includes the following components: ICIS Connect, ICIS Workflow, ICIS Verify, ICIS VNA and ICIS View. The agreement will connect multiple imaging departments, and includes workflow analysis and optimization. ICIS is the “gold standard” for image-enabling the EHR. It integrates and links multi-facility, multi-departmental and multi-specialty imaging data, providing the ability to capture, collaborate, manage and exchange images generated by a health system, usually directly through the electronic medical record (EMR).

“Our ICIS solution is an integrated and consolidated system, which is more cost effective to manage while also providing greater standardization,” comments Hans Vandewyngaerde, President EMEA at Agfa HealthCare. “In terms of clinical functionality, these hospitals will gain not only a VNA; but also a fully customizable, workflow engine-based solution; and an integratable viewer that can be used throughout the entire enterprise as the standard viewer in the EMR.”

“We were looking to make a huge step forward in consolidating and digitizing clinical image management. We chose to exclude radiology from the tender to focus on the non-radiology departments,” explain Ernest van Beckhoven of VUmc and Walter de Haan of Academisch Medisch Centrum Amsterdam. “Agfa HealthCare was able to bid for both parts the VNA and the enterprise imaging workflow part with an integrated solution at a very competitive price. They are a dedicated solutions provider that can deliver both the goods and the services.”

drchrono Is Now Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certified; Voted #1 Mobile EHR in Black Book Rankings 2014

drchrono, the free Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform on the iPad, iPhone and cloud, today announced it has officially been certified for Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2.

The company enhanced the EHR platform with new features as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services EHR Incentive Program, i.e. Meaningful Use. InfoGard Laboratories completed the platform certification review.

Michael Nusimow, Co-Founder and CEO, states, "I am proud to announce that we are officially Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified." Michael goes on to say, "drchrono is focused on the mobile experience, we are the only company to use iPads during the certification process and have a native iPad app Stage 1 and Stage 2 dashboard. The MU2 dashboard has a status progress bar telling a doctor what requirements have been completed."

In addition to getting certified, drchrono announced today the drchrono iPad EHR has been ranked as the #1 mobile EHR for the second year in a row by Black Book Rankings, winning in 2013 and 2014. Black Book Rankings invited 22,000+ physicians, medical providers and professionals to evaluate medical software. drchrono ranked #1 in innovation, value and customer care.

Dr. Trenna Sutcliffe MD, a pediatrician who specializes in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in Los Altos, CA, mentions, "It is great to see the drchrono team being recognized by Black Book Rankings for creating such a great EHR for the Web and iPad."

Dr. Sutcliffe goes on to mention, "The design and functionality of the app was exactly what I was looking for when I started my practice. It allows me to send tasks to my staff, exchange e-mails with my patients and I have all patient data in one place that's easily accessible. I am looking forward to seeing what the company does next."

Daniel Kivatinos, Co-Founder and COO, states, "We were delighted to see drchrono picked as the top iPad EHR by physicians. Our simple yet powerful point-of-care iPad EHR app is a big step forward in mobile health design and the Black Book Rankings survey findings validate that."

Clinisys Expands Its Cloud-Based EMR Product Line To Ontario And British Columbia

Edmonton-based Clinisys EMR Inc., a company providing health informatics solutions, today announced its entry into the Ontario and British Columbia markets.

Alongside this market expansion, the company also announced a range of its new cloud-based solutions including EMR for Allied Health & Speciality; CliniBill – a stand-alone billing solution; and Patient Portal platform. Clinisys released its first intelligent-platform EMR product in the Alberta market in late 2012. Since then the company has expanded its product and market range and has collaborated with well-known names in the medical informatics industry.

With its latest release, Clinisys has now expanded from its original EMR system for general practitioners to include other areas of family medicine, specialists and the allied health domains. The Patient Portal Platform will allow patients to book appointments and access their medical and prescription history online. In its three year history, the company has brought forward a range of new-generation software solutions to the healthcare domain providing vital administrative and clinical information to clinicians.

"We are excited about the Ontario and BC market entry and are looking forward to further strengthen our vision to be a pan-Canadian EMR solution provider," said Mehadi Sayed, President and CEO of Clinisys.

Clinisys products are built to run on a variety of platforms designed for new-generation devices such as Android, iOS and Windows, and provide a secure access to patient administration and clinical tasks. Clinisys solutions are designed with the latest interoperable, secure and robust data standards that allow seamless exchange of health information between labs, pharmacies, referral directories, provincial networks and diagnostic devices.

In the information technology age where 'anytime, anywhere' access to patient records is vital, Clinisys is one of the very few Canadian companies to come up with a range of cross-platform solutions with embedded business intelligence based on the latest and most robust architecture in recent times.

House Call Doctor Los Angeles Innovating in Telemedicine

In today's hurry-worry climate, who has time to visit the doctor? Fortunately new technology means you don't necessarily have to see a doctor, with services such as the burgeoning telephone medicine offered by House Call Doctor Los Angeles.

Breaking ground in the kind of telemedicine Los Angeles residents need and want, board certified internist Dr. Michael Farzam provides a valuable resource for patients who have the ability to care for themselves, but who need direction in their course of primary care. Dr. Farzam offers newly emerging telehealth assistance along with his increasingly well-known home visit services and concierge medicine for Los Angeles and its surrounding communities.

Dr. Farzam and his House Call Doctor Los Angeles team provide high-tech telehealth services that patients can benefit from without leaving the home or workplace. Telemedicine involves exchange of medical information using electronic communications to monitor and gauge a patient's health. Utilizing a video chat service, patients can tap the expertise and direction from Dr. Farzam without having to wait for the doctor or plan a visit to a doctor's office.

Originated from the concept of extending care to patients in rural or remote areas, Dr. Farzam considers telemedicine a natural extension of his home visit-based practice. The Greater Los Angeles Area is enormous and spread out, and Dr. Farzam acknowledges the desire by patients for the ability to have a primary care physician monitor their health without having to travel to a doctor's office. One factor in support of the new service is the fact that more health insurance companies are offering reimbursement for telemedicine in Los Angeles, including for Dr. Farzam's consultations with patients.

Telemedicine, also called telecare, provides medical attention in a number of areas including for primary care with live interactive video; for the remote monitoring of patients for specific vital signs, blood glucose or other factors for homebound patients (which can supplement concierge nursing services); and medical education for groups with certain conditions. Telemedicine from House Call Doctor Los Angeles provides personalized health care attention from a board-certified physician who can help direct treatment remotely.

Southern California residents are extremely busy working, commuting, caring for families and trying to work in personal and recreational time. Surrendering a great chunk of a day, or even an entire day, to a doctor's visit can be frustrating, especially if it's for attention to a relatively simple condition. House Call Doctor Los Angeles is dedicated to bringing compassionate health care services to meet the broad needs of the community of Los Angeles. Dr. Farzam serves as his patients' advocate in the complex health system. If hospitalization is needed, he coordinates his patients' care with the emergency and admitting doctors and supervises every aspect of the patient's care.

Global Telemedicine Market Outlook 2018

The deployment of telemedicine services is galloping with continuous development of telecommunication. The shortage of physicians in rural and remote areas provides opportunity for telemedicine to increase its services to millions of patients and this widespread deployment of services will continue at a rapid pace in future as well.

The increase in telemedicine applications are surging due to high prevalence of chronic diseases, consistent need for improved quality services and rising elderly population across countries which thereby urge telemedicine to deliver improved products with higher patient satisfaction. In the latest research study, "Global Telemedicine Market Outlook 2018", RNCOS analysts identified market dynamics pertaining to specific countries to highlight the initiatives taken by several market players and healthcare providers to boost telemedicine sector's growth.

The market, which stood at US$ 14.2 Billion in 2012, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.5% during 2012-2018.

On the geographical-front, the report presents a detailed analysis of key geographies and the recent telemedicine-oriented developments. The Government and market players, particularly across US, have taken a step forward to support benefits of telehealth/telemedicine services via proposed Medicare and Medicaid programs. Recognizing the potential of telemedicine for the development of healthcare in the country, the USDA has provided funding that are expected to deliver positive outcomes in the field of telemedicine.

Besides, in the US, uneven distribution of physicians across states has created immense demand for telemedicine. The report provides information on the top ten states with most number of physicians per 100,000 population and top ten states with least number of physicians per 100,000 population. This is followed by a rational analysis to support the logical conclusion of how these ten states in either category can be connected using telemedicine solutions to bridge the gap in physician availability.

Further, a thorough analysis has been done on the disease statistics (diabetes, hypertension, obesity) to identify top ten states with maximum number of people in need of telehome services. Reimbursement policies in states where the government support telehome care have also been provided. The report provides extensive information and rational analysis of the global telemedicine market.

It also provides an insight into different telemedicine processes along with a segment-wise analysis to present an overview of the developments taking place. In the end, the report concludes with a competitive analysis of key market players, providing business overview of each player along with its product portfolio. In addition, it elucidates key developments of players related to telemedicine which enable clients to formulate market strategies and assess the opportunity areas in key geographies.

St. Anthony Hospital Expands Telemedicine Program With Telepsychiatry

St. Anthony Hospital is excited to announce the launch of the newest component of its existing telemedicine program- telepsychiatry.

St. Anthony is an Oklahoma City area hospital within the regional SSM Health Care of Oklahoma network. St. Anthony has a large network of affiliate health centers that shares its services with an even wider network of hospitals, Critical Access Centers, and primary care centers across several states. As a forward-thinking organization looking to constantly improve patient care, St. Anthony recognized telemedicine as a solution for increasing access to needed specialists and physicians within their network of sites, many of which are in rural and underserved areas.

Rather than travel between multiple rural facilities, telemedicine allows physicians, including St. Anthony's newest telepsychiatrist, Dr. Rebecca Siegel, MD, to transition seamlessly between its 8 participating sites, thus saving time that might otherwise be spent traveling between appointments.

St. Anthony's telepsychiatry program will largely be used for children and adolescent psychiatric care. Because of the option to utilize remote providers, telemedicine represents unprecedented access to specialists like child and adolescent psychiatrists who are difficult to have on staff in rural and underserved areas.

A striking 96% of US counties have a shortage of psychiatric prescribers, but by leveraging technology, existing psychiatric prescribers and specialists are able to extend their reach into rural areas like those served by St. Anthony in Oklahoma. Dr. Siegel, the telepsychiatrist serving

St. Anthony's eight hospitals, works for InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry service provider. Dr. Siegel has gone through a rigorous vetting and orientation process and has worked to learn the team procedures and protocols at each of the St. Anthony sites that she serves. The goal of this orientation was to integrate Dr. Siegel into the onsite care teams and facilitate a long-term working relationship just as if she were an in-person physician.

Effective health care requires collaboration and communication across patients, providers, caregivers, and administration. This new telepsychiatry program will allow St. Anthony's providers, patients, and families to collaborate with Dr. Siegel while remaining at their local facilities.

"Keeping health care local is an integral component of a strong, healthy, and cost-conscious community," notes Dr. Robert Rader, medical director for clinical integration at St. Anthony. "Being able to meet the patients where they are vastly improves care."

The need for care in rural Oklahoma is immense, with few specialty health care providers available for a population spread out over many miles. A recent report by the United Health Foundation listed Oklahoma as one of the unhealthiest states in the nation, ranked 48th based on measures of health outcomes, disease rates, and access to care. Many residents of the state live more than four hours away from a metro area, and have extremely limited access to specialty services and in some cases, even primary care. The telepsychiatry program is just one component of St. Anthony's plan to improve Oklahoma's health status by addressing high priority needs in behavioral health, substance use, heart disease, obesity, and co-occurring disorders.

"We recognized an acute need," said Dr. Rader. "We had already implemented successful telemedicine programs that improved access to specialty services throughout our network, so adding in behavioral health was a logical next step. InSight is the leader in the field of telepsychiatry so they were able to increase St. Anthony's access to excellent psychiatric specialists like Dr. Siegel."

St. Anthony is the largest telemedicine provider in Oklahoma, and each of its 13 hospitals have telemedicine rooms equipped with videoconferencing equipment. To date, St. Anthony's telemedicine program has centered on teleradiology, telecardiology, tele-endocrinology, and teledermatology services offered by its own providers.

"Telepsychiatry, particularly when utilized across multiple facilities, eliminates barriers to timely, effective psychiatric care," says, James Varrell, MD, Medical Director of InSight Telepsychiatry, "We are pleased to work with St. Anthony on improving behavioral health care in Oklahoma."

Health Information Exchange Systems Critical To The Integration Of Healthcare Services

The need to contain hospital operational costs, improve workflow efficiency, and to provide better access to healthcare, has led to the integration of healthcare services.

In turn, integrated systems have supported the development of innovative and patient-centric delivery models such as patient-centred medical homes and care-at-a-distance solutions. A strong information system infrastructure will further facilitate affordable, accountable and integrated delivery of services along the continuum of care.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Technologies Enabling Home Medical Devices and Integrated Care Systems, finds that health information exchange (HIE) systems are a key technological driver of new healthcare models. HIE refers to the digitisation of health records to create a central data repository that will ensure continuity of care, data legacy and data-drive health analytics.

Ongoing and imminent changes to regulatory and legislative policies pertaining to healthcare delivery, such as incentivising electronic information sharing and mandating meaningful use of patient health data, will encourage the adoption of information systems like HIE in many countries.

"These changes are likely to have far-reaching consequences for healthcare delivery, particularly in predictive diagnosis and population health management," said Technical Insights Research Analyst Bhargav Rajan. "Instead of functioning merely as workflow aids, information systems are likely to transform the very nature of healthcare planning and delivery, ushering in predictive analytics and coordinated care management."

One challenge to the adoption of technological frameworks is the fragmentation of the healthcare market in several countries, causing interoperability issues. Healthcare providers are also unwilling to make the high initial investment required for these systems. Technology providers need to design systems-agnostic solutions that can be used across technology platforms in order to allay client concerns about interoperability and compatibility. Healthcare providers too must gauge and understand the value information systems bring to their practice in effecting affordable, quality service in line with patient needs.

"A fully functional, integrated healthcare system is a product of innovations in technology, management and implementation," noted Rajan. "Of these, a solid technological infrastructure, led by dynamic and interactive information systems, will be key in establishing home and integrated care systems."

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