Two Siemens health care solutions nominated for prestigious Computerworld Smithsonian Award

Dallas 11 April 2000Two Siemens health care solutions, namely a smart card project for dispersing benefits to those on government health and food assistance programmes, and a digital imaging technology which has helped a regional hospital in Southern California go filmless, have both been nominated and named laureates in the Computerworld Smithsonian awards programme. Both technologies have been demonstrated at the Health care Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) trade show in Siemens' booth.


In a medal ceremony at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C., the "Health Passport Project" of the Western Governors' Association and the Filmless Medical Imaging Department at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center were both recognised to be among the year's most innovative applications of technology. These laureates join others from 38 states and twenty-one countries whose case studies have now become part of the Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. A list of finalists in the awards competition will be announced later.

Supported by the top 100 technology companies in the United States, the Computerworld Smithsonian programme is among the most prestigious international award programmes to honour outstanding achievements in the application and use of information technologies. Established in 1988, the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Programme is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and Computerworld, the nation's technology newspaper. The awards seek out and honour individuals and organisations whose use of information technology produces positive social, economic and educational benefits to society.

The "Health Passport Project", designed and implemented by Siemens Information and Communication Networks, is the nation's largest-ever smart card pilot programme to manage health information and simplify administration of the state's health and food benefits. With a target of nearly 25.000 participating families, the two-year trial programme illustrates how electronic health cards can be utilised to improve information sharing and administrative efficiency among public and private health care providers.

The "Health Passport Project" assists pregnant women, mothers and children who are eligible for assistance from a number of public health programmes, including Medicaid; Immunisation; WIC; Head Start; and Maternal and Child Health Services (MCH). The goal is to streamline patient check-in, provide up-to-date health information, support referrals among providers, facilitate patient access to medical records, automate appointment reminders, and promote access to preventative health information.

The Information and Communications business segment is part of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse in electrical engineering and electronics with more than $75 billion in sales. Information and Communications consists of three groups including the Information and Communication Networks with 59.000 employees and $13 billion sales, Information and Communication Products with 33.000 employees and $11 billion sales, and Siemens Business Services with 21.000 employees and $4 billion sales. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc. provides integrated voice, data and video communications networks to carrier and enterprise customers. Last year the company's 7000 U.S. employees generated sales of nearly $2 billion.

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) is a newly constructed public medical facility in San Bernardino County, California, that has completely replaced traditional film-based imaging with high-resolution PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) digital imaging from Siemens Medical Systems. Using Siemens' Sienet PACS system, images are stored on-line and are also instantly accessible to qualified medical staff on high-resolution monitors located throughout the hospital. The images do not require development time in a darkroom and can be easily shared among users.

Furthermore, the images can be integrated with electronic patient records, eliminating the paper trail that accompanies a patient on his/her visit to a hospital. ARMC is one of the Western Hemisphere's first health care facilities to deploy a completely digital network of medical imaging equipment, such as X-Ray, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and fluoroscopy machines.

Siemens Medical Systems provides solutions across a broad range of U.S. clinical environments. The company develops and manufactures advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and monitoring equipment, imaging systems and provides cost-out consulting services. Employing nearly 4500 people in the United States, and reporting annual sales of approximately $1.8 billion, it is the U.S. affiliate of the Medical Engineering Group of Siemens AG, with divisional headquarters in Erlangen, Germany. Worldwide, Siemens Medical Engineering employs approximately 19.000 people and has annual sales of approximately $5 billion.

Leslie Versweyveld

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