College of American Pathologists
Printable Version







November 2007

Raymond D. Aller, MD
Hal Weiner

bullet Misys business unit reemerges as Sunquest Information Systems

Sunquest Information Systems, established when Vista Equity Partners recently acquired the diagnostics systems business of Misys Healthcare, has announced that it is operating as a privately held corporation.

Sunquest now owns all business assets, technology, and products associated with Misys' hospital systems diagnostics portfolio. This includes laboratory, commercial laboratory, and clinical financial products, as well as stand-alone systems for radiology and pharmacy.

bullet WHO and IMIA strengthen efforts to boost health care informatics worldwide

The World Health Organization and International Medical Informatics Association recently stepped up their collaborative effort to give all countries the will and skill to develop a modernized approach to health care.

The organizations, which have a long-standing relationship, will focus over the next three years on the Global Observatory for eHealth, a WHO initiative dedicated to studying the use of information and communication technology for health-related purposes; using such technology to develop the skills of the health care workforce; and promoting the provision to resource-poor countries of products and services related to intellectual property.

The WHO's eHealth strategy was developed in 2005 to track efforts to promote the use of information and communication technology worldwide and identify best practices. A goal of the eHealth initiative is to create a national observatory group in every country to monitor these efforts. The group could be developed from any of several sources, including professional medical or other societies, universities, governmental agencies, or nonprofit organizations.

The collaboration will also focus on how to better use communication and information technology to educate the health care workforce, particularly in resource-poor countries. For example, a Web-based e-learning program is being used to train health care workers in Africa on how to evaluate and treat patients. The program is able to incorporate established electronic tools, such as Power Point slides and even voice data, because the Web pages have been designed to run well at the low-speed Internet connections found in Africa. "One of the aims is to make that program multi-lingual," says Steven Huesing, executive director of IMIA, noting that most of the current instruction is in French.

As part of the cooperative venture, the WHO and IMIA will solicit from publishers donations of intellectual property, such as books and software, that can be used as health care resources. "A laboratory in the United States might be able to afford a million dollars to buy a laboratory information system, while in the resource-poor country, that could be their entire country's budget," says CAP TODAY "Newsbytes" editor Raymond Aller, MD. Dr. Aller attended a presentation on the WHO/IMIA collaboration at the MedInfo 2007 World Congress on Health and Medical Informatics, in Brisbane, Australia.

By promoting health care informatics worldwide through charitable efforts and education, Huesing says, IMIA hopes to empower resource-poor countries to develop an e-health culture. He adds, "You need to have the enthusiasm coming from within."

bullet Mediware to purchase Integrated Marketing Solutions

Mediware Information Systems has signed an agreement to acquire Integrated Marketing Solutions, a provider of software products and services for blood and plasma donation centers.

Mediware will incorporate IMS's comprehensive software suite for managing blood center recruitment efforts, orders and inventory, customer service, blood drives and other events, and sales activities.

bullet Practice Fusion launches free EMR suite

Practice Fusion recently launched its free practice management and electronic medical record suite.

Practice Fusion's online gateway for new members allows them to begin charting in less than a day, says company CEO Ryan Howard. (Related article: "With Practice Fusion's Online EMR System, Cost is No Object,"August 2007) Practice Fusion, Howard adds, wants to make the experience of acquiring an EMR "less risky and more approachable—as easy for a practitioner to start using our EMR as setting up an e-mail account."

bullet MTuitive system adds online diagnosis tool

Elsevier is now offering its PathConsult online diagnosis resource tool through mTuitive's xPert for Pathology system.

XPert for Pathology is interactive software for reporting malignant tumors according to CAP protocols. PathConsult is a clinical decision-support tool that provides the latest clinical content and thousands of images online.

bullet Free Webinar on Medicare changes and health care informatics

TheraDoc is featuring, at, a free Webinar to help hospitals understand the latest Medicare reimbursement changes and the role information technology can play in reducing and preventing hospital-acquired infections and other medical errors.

The Webinar's panel presentation, titled "New Medicare Medical Error Reimbursement Exclusions: Tracking and Preventing Errors with IT," features experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a TheraDoc client.

The online program will be available through September 2008.

bullet ARUP Laboratories releases new version of ARUP Consult

ARUP Laboratories has introduced ARUP Consult 2.0 - The Physician's Guide to Laboratory Test Selection and Interpretation. The new test-selection support tool provides expanded content and more than 40 algorithms to assist in diagnosis.

ARUP Consult 2.0 offers more than 1,500 tests categorized by disease-related topic. The topic entries include clinical background information, test-ordering suggestions, and diagnostic advice. They are congruent with and link to national guidelines and relevant references and are updated with new content every eight weeks.

The new version also provides index tabs and full-screen-width Web pages to improve navigation.

ARUP Consult is available at no charge at or for mobile users.

bullet EHRConsultant offers videos on speech recognition for EHRs

EHRConsultant has announced the availability of a free educational Web-based video series about integrating speech-recognition software and electronic health records.

The videos show multiple examples of speech-recognition software combined with EHRs in general and specialty use. They provide step-by-step instructions for dictating patient history and plan of care and information on using predetermined macros. "From working closely with physicians, we determined there was a need to show—not just tell—how using speech recognition with an EHR leads to additional gains in practice efficiency," says Eric Fishman, MD, president of EHRConsultant.

The videos are classified according to manufacturer and specialty. The first set of videos demonstrates the integration of Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical speech-recognition software with EHRs from vendors serving all market sizes. The videos are available at

bullet Clarient adopts Xifin services for revenue-cycle management

Clarient has announced that it will adopt Xifin's comprehensive revenue-cycle-management services.

"We believe Xifin can provide Clarient with superior billing and AR [accounts receivable] functionality, as well as management resources employed by the largest laboratories," says James Agnello, chief financial officer for Clarient, a provider of technology and services that focus on the oncology genomic testing market. Xifin offers a Web-based application with integrated infrastructure services to support laboratory accounts receivable and financial management operations.

bullet Contracts

Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, NY, has contracted to deploy McKesson's Horizon Lab laboratory information system and Horizon Clinicals solutions in its four hospitals and 23 community health care centers. Bassett will use Horizon Clinicals to create an electronic health network. The health system specifically will use Horizon Clinicals for computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support, bar-code medication administration, and Web-based business intelligence.

Chicago-based Holy Cross Hospital has implemented Aspyra's CyberLab laboratory information system, version 7.2.

Dr. Aller is director of automated disease surveillance and team lead for disaster preparedness Focus B, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He can be reached at Hal Weiner is president of Weiner Consulting Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached at