Bluegate selected as IT outsourcing partner for new Houston Town and Country Hospital and secure ISP for physician professional building

Houston 08 September 2005Bluegate, a provider of IT outsourcing and managed security solutions for all points in the health care network, has been retained by GP Medical Ventures' Houston Town & Country Hospital as its IT outsourcing partner, as well as the secure Internet service provider for the hospital's adjacent physician professional building. Bluegate's open-ended contract with the hospital, which is slated to open in November 2005, includes implementing directory services using Microsoft's Active Directory and a groupware and collaboration solution using Exchange 2003.

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Bluegate will also host the hospital's exchange server in its secure data centre facility while final construction on the hospital is completed. The contract also calls for integration of the hospital's 150-PC network. Bluegate will receive recurring revenue opportunities via the exclusive agreement to be the secure ISP and firewall provider for the five-story building, which will house 60-70 physicians representing diverse specialities. GP Medical Ventures, based in Nashville, is the first firm to "pre-light" and exclusively sponsor a physician medical office building with Bluegate secure Internet connectivity.

The state-of-the-art 99-bed facility, Houston Town & Country Hospital, which is owned by a joint venture formed by GP Medical Ventures with local physicians, is investing approximately $1000 per medical practice for each tenant in its adjacent medical office building to ensure that the physicians are working with secure systems. By sponsoring a secure Internet infrastructure that is easy and economical for its physicians to use, Houston Town & Country Hospital will ensure secure collaboration and transmission of medical information, enhancing patient care while ensuring compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security requirements now in effect. Physicians will begin moving into the "prelit" Bluegate building in October 2005.

"We recognize the importance of implementing a secure medical network for our hospital and physicians as well as the potential value proposition and now, due to Bluegate, it's becoming a reality for us", stated Tom Gallagher, Co-Founder of GP Medical Ventures. "We chose Bluegate for optimum security, their dedication to securing patient records, and their excellent reputation for servicing physicians' practices."

As part of the team supporting a hard-wired and wireless system for the medical office building, which will have PACS imaging to complement the comprehensive diagnostic imaging facility, Bluegate also enables physicians to interface with Houston Town & Country Hospital's patient database via a Web browser using SSL encryption.

Because the entire hospital is on a secure network, physicians can safely access patient records anywhere in the hospital or the adjacent professional building without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Bluegate helps protect the integrity of the secure network by leveraging the hospital's Cisco routers, which are remotely managed to respond rapidly to threats. In addition, Bluegate is being contracted to help manage remote-based VPN connectivity to UNIX-based portions of the CPSI system.

"This is a very strategic contract because it puts Bluegate in partnership with GP Medical Ventures to provide the core of IT outsourcing for Houston Town & Country Hospital and its physician professional building", stated Don Corley, Bluegate Executive VP of Sales and Operations. "We're excited to have this unique opportunity to work with GP Medical Ventures to deliver a totally secure medical network that encompasses their new hospital and its diverse physician practices."

Bluegate plans to complete the project's first phase by the end of August, deploying the hospital's servers in Bluegate's data centre and providing a secure VPN link to those servers while Houston Town & Country Hospital is under construction. Bluegate will take the system live during Phase 2 in November, after which Bluegate will provide ongoing maintenance and IT support.

Leveraging Bluegate's secure system, GP Medical Ventures' Houston Town & Country Hospital will have the capability to quickly and easily deploy new content and enterprise applications to its physician network. Moreover, both the hospital and physician practices benefit from Bluegate's single point of contact for technical support, reducing the burden on the hospital's IT staff. By delivering a variety of HIPAA security-compliant services to the physicians in its professional building, Houston Town & Country Hospital is well-positioning its physicians to utilize a fast, secure, and reliable communication network that will enable optimum patient care.

GP Medical Ventures (GPMV) develops and operates hospitals, outpatient surgery centres, and other health care facilities in joint ventures with leading local physicians and in some cases local hospitals. Founded in 2002 by experienced health care executives, GPMV believes the cornerstone to providing high quality, cost-effective medical services starts with pro-active physician ownership and involvement in the hospital/facility. GPMV's flexible business model centers on returning the primary focus of health care to physicians, nurses, and patients. In doing so, the company develops and manages its facilities with the philosophy that they are extensions of the physicians' practices, not the other way around. GPMV is privately owned and has offices in Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and Houston, Texas.

The first of its kind, Houston-based Bluegate Corporation provides IT outsourcing and managed security solutions for the health care industry to enable secure, HIPAA-compliant data communication between hospitals, medical facilities and physician practices from all locations, ultimately enhancing patient care. Bluegate also provides affordable access to compatible medical-focused content and applications over the infrastructure to improve practice efficiency and service. Bluegate extends IT best practices to the edge of the health care network ensuring every physician and facility they touch is as secure as the hospital itself.


Leslie Versweyveld

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