A leading provider of laboratory information systems is expanding its footprint in the burgeoning market for electronic health record software but insists it remains committed to its laboratory business. Medical Information Technology, or Meditech, is rebranding itself as an EHR company and plans to introduce the first component of an integrated, Web-based EHR system this month.
With more than 1,000 LIS customers, Meditech will continue to develop, market, and support its laboratory software solutions, says Paul Berthiaume, manager of corporate communications. The company also sells microbiology, anatomic pathology, blood bank, and outreach laboratory products.
The rebranding is as an evolution rather than a departure from Meditech’s core business, Berthiaume says. The company introduced its first LIS in 1969 and steadily expanded its portfolio to include software for clinicians and other hospital staff, followed by products for home care and the ambulatory care setting. Meditech acquired its home health care partner, Patient Care Technologies, in 2007, and its ambulatory care partner, LSS Data Systems, in 2011. “So we’re really taking the next logical step as a vendor in delivering one cohesive EHR under the Meditech brand,” Berthiaume says. “There will be one record of care that follows the patient at every stop, whether it’s the primary care physician’s office, the hospital, or a post-acute care facility.”
Meditech is demonstrating the ambulatory care component of its EHR system on tablet computers at the annual conference of the Health Information Management Systems Society, being held this month. The company will solicit feedback from HIMSS attendees, says Berthiaume, that may be used to tweak the product in preparation for its official launch in early 2013.
Because not all patients receive care from medical facilities that use Meditech systems, the company has collaborated with the software vendor Forward Advantage on products that allow Meditech to share lab data with other companies’ ambulatory solutions. “Interoperability will be expanded in the new EHR system,” Berthiaume says.
Meditech’s focus on EHR systems is a direct response to the evolving needs of its customers, which include about 25 percent of U.S. hospitals, Berthiaume continues. The company has approximately 275 clients that have attested to stage one meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Laboratorians using Meditech’s LIS may not notice a dramatic difference when a hospital moves from the company’s client/server model to its Web-based system, Berthiaume says. But “the look, feel, design, and interaction will be improved as these systems continue to evolve. Our LIS already is quite well integrated within the hospital and functions well right now. What’s more groundbreaking is the sharing of the laboratory data beyond the hospital walls.” To this end, Meditech has included in its new EHR system a portal that will allow health care providers and patients to access laboratory data.
With nearly 4,000 employees worldwide, Berthiaume says, Meditech has been “hiring like crazy” in the past five years and anticipates further robust growth. The company has undertaken a publicity campaign and is enhancing its presence at industry trade shows to support its rebranding efforts. In addition, a team of physicians will function in a marketing and advocacy role, visiting hospitals to demonstrate Meditech’s software to physicians. The feedback these physicians receive will play a role in ongoing development of the EHR system, Berthiaume says, resulting in a product that is “more physician-friendly and physician-intuitive.”
OneLabSpace, operator of a next-generation collaborative laboratory informatics platform, has launched its Web site and a cloud-based informatics solution for research laboratories.
The platform, a product of Axle Informatics, extends and complements traditional laboratory information management systems. It is designed to meet the needs of researchers at laboratories operated by federal and state agencies, universities, hospitals, biotechnology firms, and private labs seeking a collaborative toolset for research informatics.
OneLabSpace offers a customizable intuitive user interface, cloud-based software-as-a-service delivery model, and direct integration with a variety of third-party statistical lab systems and other custom and legacy laboratory systems. It is available at www.onelabspace.com.
Mediware Information Systems has purchased most of the assets of Transtem, a provider of software that manages the collection and transplantation of adult stem cells used in cellular-based therapies and medical research.
“Managing the collection, processing, and therapeutic use of multiple fractions of adult stem cells is a highly complex process, but it is also a natural extension of Mediware’s core blood management focus, where we have deep clinical and regulatory expertise,” says Thomas Mann, Mediware president and CEO. “It’s also an area where our existing customers in the U.S. and abroad have expressed a desire for additional support. By acquiring Transtem’s products and expertise, we have the opportunity to take a leadership role in an emerging area of health care as well as bring innovative new capabilities to our large base of hospitals, academic research centers, and specialty outpatient providers.”
The Transtem solution can support the collection and processing needs of cell therapy labs and cord blood banks and the clinical needs of transplant centers and research facilities.
Transtem software was developed by cellular therapy professionals.
Mediware Information Systems,
NovoPath has reported that its NovoPath anatomic pathology software platform, version 8.0, has been certified as an electronic health record module by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, an Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certification Body.
By receiving ONC-ATCB 2011/ 2012 certification, the software is deemed capable of enabling providers to meet stage one meaningful use requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Siemens Healthcare and Social Media Today have entered an agreement under which Siemens will provide exclusive sponsorship of Healthworks Collective, an editorially independent, moderated online community for thought leaders in international health care.
As part of its ongoing sponsorship, Siemens will contribute to the group’s discussions content and resources about aspects of medical technology, health care informatics, and health care reform. Healthworks Collective, www.healthworkscollective.com, hosts discussions about innovative medical technologies and health care policy ideas, and it provides a forum for health care professionals to debate the latest issues and advances. Bloggers on the site can also examine issues such as remote diagnostics, hospital administration, education, and the future of global health.
Siemens does not have influence over Healthworks Collective’s independent bloggers, and the blog is not intended as a venue for any company to promote products or services.
Dr. Aller is director of informatics in the Department of Pathology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hal Weiner is president of Weiner Consulting Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached at email@example.com.