Good-bye to travel, welcome to the virtual care environment at Shriners Hospitals for Children

Jacksonville Beach 07 September 2000e-MedSoft.com, a leading Application Service Provider (ASP) of comprehensive health care portal solutions, has been chosen as the Vendor of Choice for network medicine solutions by Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals and clinics which provide no-cost orthopaedic and burn care to children in the United States, Canada and Mexico. As Shriners' Vendor of Choice, e-MedSoft.com company will become the sole supplier of network medicine solutions to Shriners' global organisation of 22 hospitals and clinics.

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For years, many Shriners Hospitals have been faced with the task of providing care to patients in vast geographic areas. In addition to patients having to travel great distances to receive care at Shriners Hospitals, also the surgeons and hospital staff are frequently on the road to go and see patients at geographically dispersed outreach clinics. Expenses for patient travel are covered by the Shrine Temples, but with increasing costs associated with air fares, this has become a heavy financial burden for the Temples. With pilot installations already up and running at four of its 22 locations however, the Shriners Hospitals have begun to realise the benefits of e-MedSoft's network medicine solutions.

By leveraging e-MedSoft.com's innovative network medicine solutions across its entire network of 22 hospitals, Shriners' health care providers ultimately will be able to fully interact with patients in a virtual environment. At the same time, Shriners Hospitals will have the opportunity to drastically reduce the costs associated with patient and staff travel, thereby delivering quality care in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

e-MedSoft.com's network medicine solutions allow the physicians to deliver remote examination, diagnosis and treatment to patients via secure, private interactions using advanced Internet technologies. In addition to performing patient evaluations, e-MedSoft's solutions allow digitised X-rays to be stored and sent to the surgeons. The network system also enables to maintain an electronic patient record, whereby each physician can access their patients' file, complete with physician notes, lab results and X-rays.

Dr. Peter Armstrong, director of Medical Affairs at Shriners Hospitals for Children and member of the American Telemedicine Association's board of directors, commented that Shriners Hospitals needed to find a way to bring their services closer to where the patients live. "After having evaluated numerous competing technologies, we arrived at the final conclusion that e-Medsoft's network medicine solution performed this function exceedingly well. The e-MedSoft's network medicine application provides an integrated solution to serve the needs of our hospitals."

As Dr. Armstrong added, "The e-Medsoft system is built on an open architecture design, which will enable us to quickly and easily link up with other telemedicine programmes currently under development within the medical community. It is a win-win for both our patients and us, thanks to e-MedSoft's solution. Our patients receive high-quality care delivered in a convenient manner, while we are able to deliver that care more efficiently and cost-effectively."

Commenting on the announcement, e-MedSoft.com chairman and chief executive officer, John F. Andrews, stated that the company is pleased to have been chosen by the prestigious Shriners Hospitals as their Vendor of Choice for network medicine solutions. "We believe that this further validates our leading position in providing innovative care management and delivery solutions into the medical community. As contemplated, Shriners' telemedicine network will be the first of its kind, including twenty-two sites domestically and internationally in several major market areas, all connected to major university teaching hospitals."

Shriners Hospitals for Children constitutes a network of paediatric speciality hospitals, founded by the Shrine, where children under the age of 18 receive excellent medical care absolutely free of charge. There exist 18 orthopaedic Shriners Hospitals; three Shriners Hospitals dedicated to treating children with severe burns; and one Shriners Hospital which provides orthopaedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. Shriners Hospitals are located throughout North America. Twenty hospitals are in the United States and one each in Mexico and Canada. All these "Centres of Excellence" serve as major referral centres for children suffering from complex orthopaedic and burn problems.

e-MedSoft.com is leading a major transition in the medical industry, being the first subscription-based health care management system available for delivery through the Internet. Via the Internet and its Java-based integrator which utilises Sun Microsystems' Java technology, the company's software facilitates communication across a wide variety of platforms and languages in unlimited capacity, allowing for the interlink of doctors, hospitals, clinics, HMOs, insurance companies, financiers and government agencies. The ease and low cost with which it can be implemented, its Web-based ASP model, which reduces the need to build internal IT infrastructures, and its ability to allow for the exchange of information across diverse platforms and systems bode well for its widespread adoption by the medical community.


Leslie Versweyveld

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