Raymond D. Aller, MD,
Hal Weiner and
Michael Weilert, MD
still pressing on Capitol Hill
Just as health
care organizations are getting a handle on HIPAA, a new set of privacy
regulations is making headway on Capitol Hill.
The proposed federal Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act,
introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) June 26, would require
businesses, including health care institutions, and government agencies
to notify customers whose personal data may have been accessed by
an unauthorized party, such as a hacker. The act defines personal
data as an individual’s Social Security, driver’s license, state
identification, bank account, or credit card number. The bill exempts
encrypted data from the disclosure requirement.
The proposed legislation is modeled in part on a recently enacted
California law, the Database Security Breach Notification Act. The
law, which took effect July 1, requires all companies doing business
in the state to report security breaches of personal data to their
California customers, even if the companies are not based in the
state. Reece Hirsch, a partner with the law firm Sonnenschein Nath
and Rosenthal, which has nine offices nationwide, including two
in California, told CAP TODAY the state law will affect company-wide
security practices. "If you do have a significant security breach
and you’re putting people on notice in California," he says, "it’s
a bad public relations strategy to notify the California residents
of the breach without notifying anyone else."
Hirsch suggests that health care and other companies doing business
in California amend their security incident response plans to provide
for customer notification. Companies should notify legal counsel
as soon as a possible security breach emerges. Hirsch also urges
companies to evaluate their network-monitoring capabilities and
contracts with third parties that involve the transfer of personal
Systems to acquire Triple G
Information Technologies and Triple G Systems Group have signed a
definitive transaction agreement whereby GE will acquire Triple G.
Triple G’s laboratory information systems are licensed by more
than 110 health care facilities, representing more than 450 clinical
laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Asia
Combining Triple G’s laboratory information technologies with GE’s
advanced clinical information systems and experience in implementing
information technology will provide clinicians with a comprehensive
end-to-end clinical information system spanning all care areas,
says Don Wilson, president and CEOof GEMedical Systems Information
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2003.
GEMedical Systems Information
Technologies, Circle No. 191
Triple G Systems Group, Circle No. 190
hip, the new, the inside view
editor Hal Weiner attended the 2003 Clinical Laboratory Management
Association/American Society for Clinical Pathology conference and
exhibition. Following is a smattering of what Weiner learned and observed
at the 27th annual conference, held in Salt Lake City in June.
Among the more than 160 educational sessions at the CLMA/ ASCP
meeting, ranging from regulatory compliance to personal development,
was a panel discussion titled "Key trends and developments in the
lab industry." Discussing the future of this marketplace were top
executives from the in vitro diagnostics and reference laboratory
Randy Daniel, president of North American customer management for
Dade Behring, predicted that labor shortages will continue, with
a further reduction of more than 25 percent during the next 10 years.
He forecasted that workstation consolidation, streamlined specimen
management coupled with workflow optimization, will be needed to
handle the paradigm shift that will take place in laboratory testing.
Echoing Daniel’s assertions was Herb Steward, vice president of
commercial operations for BioMérieux. Within the next five years,
said Steward, health care costs in the United States are predicted
to rise about 16 percent of gross domestic product. By 2007, 40
percent of the U.S. population will be approaching age 65, he added,
which will cause an even larger strain on aggregate health care
Some of this strain, however, will be offset by new laboratory
diagnostic technologies, such as molecular diagnosis, which will
shift the onus from managing illness to preventing disease, said
Steward. There will be an explosion of readily available molecular
tests and new protocols for patient management, concurred Ronald
Weis, MD, senior vice president and director of business development
for ARUP Laboratories.
Reinforcing these speakers’ claims, companies such as Gen-Probe,
Athena Diagnostics, and Digene displayed new testing kits and services
for molecular diagnostics on the CLMA/ASCP exhibit floor.
Also stationed on the exhibit floor were more than 100 other vendors
touting a broad range of laboratory products.
Perhaps the "coolest" new technology on the exhibit floor was the
Coolscope from Nikon (www.coolscope.com),
available for $19,995. Coolscope is a fully integrated microscopy
system contained in a compact box. It integrates microscope and
digital camera functionality in a simple-to-use system.
Coolscope uses a monitor and a mouse in lieu of a traditional microscope
eyepiece. The user inserts a slide into the front of the unit and
the Coolscope creates a micro and macro image of the slide. The
user can select any area of interest, zoom in and out, and store
the desired image in the unit’s memory or on a network disk drive.
The unit can be accessed and manipulated remotely, which potentially
opens up its use to telepathology.
With the Coolscope, slides can be scanned in less than a minute,
which makes it a useful device for capturing images for placement
on pathology reports. Nikon plans to develop a bar-code reader and
automated front-end loader for the unit.
The youngest company to exhibit at the meeting may have been ASP4healthcare
which announced that it will provide products and services to the
health care community via an application service provider arrangement.
The company’s first offering is Order Online, which allows hospital
transfusion services to order blood products from their suppliers
via the Internet. The company is also marketing a face-recognition
security system from Acsys Biometrics for use in positive patient
identification and access control.
Among the most prevalent products at the CLMA/ASCP meeting were
Internet-based physician order entry and result return systems.
Among the vendors displaying POERR products were Rhodes Group (www.rhodesgroup.com),
Skeva Technologies (www.skeva.com),
Park City Solutions (www.parkcitysolutions.com),
and Sysmex (www.sysmex.com).
Several established laboratory information system vendors also
showcased their latest products in Salt Lake City. CCA (www.ccainc.com)
introduced CyberLab version 7, its new browser-based LIS written
in Java; Siemens (www.siemensmedical.com)
presented its browser-based MedSeries4 health care information system;
and Sysware (www.syswareinc.com)
displayed its Apara pathology system, which offers full image management
and touch-screen cytology entry.
Also of interest at the CLMA/ ASCP meeting were new products from
Leica Microsystems (www.leica-microsystems.com).
With the new Leica IP-C and IP-S printers, users can place bar codes
on cassettes and slide labels using chemical-resistant inks. The
IP-S slide printer can hold up to 450 slides and can print standard
and two-dimensional bar codes as well as text. The IP-C cassette
printer can hold up to six magazines with 80 cassettes each. Interfaces
to LISs are available.-Hal Weiner
broaden portfolio through alliance, acquisition
Systems recently entered a marketing alliance with Wyndgate Technologies
and signed an agreement to acquire Per-Se Technologies’ CPR/CPOEproduct.
Under the terms of its agreement with Wyndgate, a division of Global
Med Technologies, Misys will offer the Wyndgate SafeTrace integrated
blood donor management information system as a complement to its
Misys Laboratory information system suite. Terms of the marketing
agreement were not disclosed.
"With this alliance and the SafeTrace system, Misys can provide
a robust, scalable donor management system that meets the requirements
of our clients who have large-scale donor programs," says Andrew
Lawson, chief operating officer for Misys.
In a separate announcement, Misys reported that it has signed an
asset purchase agreement to acquire Per-Se Technologies’ Patient1
computerized patient record/computerized physician order entry product
Under the terms of the agreement and pending final transaction
closing, Misys will develop, market, and support the products, which
it will rename Misys CPRand Misys CPOE, and it will assume the support
agreements for current Patient1 clients. Misys will also assume
ownership of Decision1, Per-Se’s clinical data warehousing and advanced
reporting tool companion to Patient1.
Misys Healthcare Systems, Circle No. 192
Wyndgate Technologies, Circle No. 193
Per-Se Technologies, Circle No. 194
with Persys Technology
entered a strategic agreement with Persys Technology that will allow
physician offices to order lab tests using 4Medica’s Web-based software
applications without having to re-enter patient demographic and insurance
The Persys practice management interface and Persys-4Medica transport
module will automatically capture patient data from physician information
systems for use in 4Medica applications. Information that is updated,
changed, or added to the physician information system will automatically
be transmitted to 4Medica at user-defined intervals, ensuring that
correct patient information will always be available to users of
the 4Medica system. 4Medica, Circle No.
Persys Technology, Circle No. 199
MAK-System collaborate on blood center system
a subsidiary of the medical technology and health care company Gambro
AB, and the blood bank software developer MAK-System International
Group have formed an alliance to integrate MAK-System’s Progesa software
suite with the Gambro BCT Vista information system.
"Integrating Progesa with Vista will enable the seamless sharing
of critical donor information, creating a real-time, high-performance
automated blood collection management system for blood centers,"
says Stephane Sajot, vice president of sales for MAK-System.
Gambro BCT, Circle No. 196
MAK-System, Circle No. 197
announced that it will incorporate electronic prescription management
services into its eMaxx physician portal as a result of its recent
acquisition of RxMadeSimple, a company specializing in electronic
prescription writing and management.
EMaxx users will be able to electronically write and transmit prescriptions
and store historical prescription information within the patient
chart. The new features are expected to be available in late 2003.
Physicians will be able to send prescriptions directly to a patient’s
preferred vendor, and users will be able to access drug-to-drug
interaction alerts and a patient’s medication history from the prescribing
physician group, says Richard Mahoney, president of MedPlus.
The e-prescribing features will be offered to eMaxx users over
the Internet via a desktop computer, wireless handheld device, or
MedPlus, Circle No. 252
Blood Bank Computer
Systems has signed an agreement to be the software provider for the
blood donation operations of the National Institutes of Health Department
of Transfusion Medicine.
BBCS will provide its donor and transfusion management software
to 26 NIH facilities that support more than 1.1 million units drawn
Blood Bank Computer Systems,
Circle No. 195
Dr. Aller is director of bioterrorism preparedness and response for Los
Angeles County Public Health Acute Communicable Diseases. He can be reached
at email@example.com. Mr. Weiner
is president of Weiner Consulting Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr.
Weilert is director of laboratories, Community Hospitals of Central California,
Fresno. He can be reached at email@example.com.