HEALTHvision partners with PacifiCare Health Systems to provide e-prescription solutions

Irving 21 January 2003HEALTHvision Inc., a health care Internet company, recently entered into a strategic alliance with PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. to provide e-prescription solutions to payers and physicians throughout the country. The alliance, which includes a technology licensing agreement and acquisition of the e-prescribing assets of wholly owned PacifiCare subsidiary MEDeMORPHUS Healthcare Solutions Inc., allows HEALTHvision to assume responsibility for MEDeMORPHUS' existing contracts with more than 1600 physicians. Collectively, these physicians write roughly 180.000 electronic prescriptions per month. The agreement includes the delivery of MEDeMORPHUS' handheld devices and wireless functionality.

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"We believe our alliance with PacifiCare and acquisition of MEDeMORPHUS is a great accelerator for us", stated Scott Decker, chief executive officer of HEALTHvision. "By leveraging the collective investment, intelligence, and experience of MEDeMORPHUS, we can enhance our position as a specialist of e-health solutions at the point of care. The robust e-prescribing capabilities of MEDeMORPHUS are one more piece in the puzzle, as we rapidly develop and deliver the next generation of Internet-based ambulatory solutions."

The agreement creates an opportunity for physicians to better utilise resources that automate traditionally paper-based tasks - thereby helping save time, streamline processes and improve patient safety. As HEALTHvision works to fully integrate the MEDeMORPHUS e-prescription tool with its own robust clinical applications, physicians will have enhanced access to practice management, lab ordering, results viewing, and secure messaging solutions.

"Now more than ever, physicians need at their fingertips a multitude of cost-effective applications and resources to help them save time and enhance patient safety", stated Jacqueline Kosecoff, Ph.D., PacifiCare's executive vice president of Pharmaceutical Services. "In order to bring the MEDeMORPHUS solution to the next level, PacifiCare and HEALTHvision are working together to leverage each company's technology to create a solution that combines the strengths of MEDeMORPHUS' e-prescription solution with those of HEALTHvision's Web-based clinical applications."

Industry experts point to wireless technology as nothing less than essential in the continuing efforts to create a safer, more efficient and more effective health care environment. Manhattan Research, a New York-based health care market information firm, recently listed the growth of handheld computing in the clinical environment as one of its "Seven Key Physician Market Trends in 2003".

According to a 1999 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, deaths due to medical errors exceed the number attributable to the eighth-leading cause of death. A similar report added that more people die in a given year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents.

Also, a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that hospitalised children experience potentially dangerous medication errors three times as often as do adults. The study revealed that most errors occurred at the point of prescription and involved incorrect dosing. The study added that computerised prescription systems could have prevented more than 90 percent of these errors.

Looking to gain a head start on addressing these trends, HEALTHvision has begun to consolidate the MEDeMORPHUS features and applications onto its single, integrated application service provider (ASP) technology platform, e-healthSOURCE.

e-healthSOURCE allows clinicians to "plug-in" to a comprehensive, secure Web infrastructure through a customised portal that contains resources defined by the physicians themselves. The result is an easier, more cost-effective method for physicians to access these leading-edge technologies.

This "pay-as-you-go" model stands in stark contrast to the substantial upfront expenditures required with other solutions. At the same time, it facilitates a faster implementation and upgrade process, allowing physicians to begin using the solutions quickly and to receive enhancements for their applications without any additional labour required of them or their office staff.

"HEALTHvision recognises the dynamic and often hectic work environment faced by physicians, an environment where automated applications can play a key role in improving patient care and physician work flow. Our strategic alliance with PacifiCare helps us address these issues head-on", Mr. Decker added. "More than anything, we are approaching this move as a simple extension of what we have always done: provide the right resources at the right time to improve the health care process."

PacifiCare Health Systems is one of the nation's largest consumer health organisations with approximately $11 billion in annual revenues. Primary operations include health insurance products for employer groups and Medicare beneficiaries in eight states and Guam, serving more than 3 million members. Other speciality products and operations include pharmacy and medical management, behavioural health services, life and health insurance, and dental and vision services.

HEALTHvision is focused on helping health care organisations address the needs of physicians, patients, consumers, and employees through locally branded, Web-based solutions. HEALTHvision was formed in July 1999 through the merger of the Internet-based products and resources of Eclipsys Corporation and VHA Inc. The company's Web-infrastructure, e-healthSOURCE, is the most widely used in the industry, hosting more than 3 million unique patient records. Additionally, more than 300 health care organisations use a customised version of the company's portal solution, a number that represents more than 14.000 clinicians including 8000 physicians, thousands of patients, and millions of consumers.


Leslie Versweyveld

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