Sun Microsystems teams with Health Network Ventures to create Web portals for health care

Palo Alto 24 September 1999Sun Microsystems Inc. and Health Network Ventures Inc. (HNV) have closed a strategic partnership to offer health care providers practical solutions for sharing clinical and administrative information. As part of their alliance, the companies will help customers deploy intranet and Internet portals to deliver increased access and flexibility.


Since 1992, HNV has become a leader in comprehensive Internet-based e-commerce solutions to more than 40 hospitals, 25 health plans and 15,000 physicians. Health care is a unique environment demanding in-depth knowledge and expertise to develop effective technology applications, states Bruce Elder, who is Sun's market development manager for the health care industry. Sun is looking forward to work with HNV to provide the health care industry with viable, Web-enabled solutions that can reduce administrative overhead while delivering clinical benefits that improve the quality of patient care, as Mr. Elder continues.

Tapping their complementary strengths in technology and health care, Sun and HNV will work to help hospitals, health networks, physicians and health plans efficiently exchange and also better utilise administrative and clinical information. Available content and capabilities include lab and other clinical results, access to clinical pathways and drug formularies, as well as health plan member eligibility and benefit information, referral processing, provider directories, claims submission, patient education and daily medical news and research.

Knowledge is the most important asset in health care and our role is to make it available anywhere, anytime in a secure fashion, according to Christopher Assif, president and chief executive officer of HNV. Mr. Assif is convinced that Sun's flexible, reliable and scalable technology further enhances HNV's ability to provide customers with products and services to support critical decision making. He believes that the greatest challenge in health care e-commerce usually occurs on the front-lines, that is the offices and clinics, where physicians and their staffs may be using an intranet or the Internet for the first time. Helping these individuals take full advantage of the new capabilities provides significant benefits, including reduced operational costs, enhanced patient flow and improved quality of care.

Connecting facilities is easy; what's difficult is getting people to do things differently, claims Jack Steinman, chief information officer for Aurora Health Care, a large integrated delivery network in Wisconsin comprised of fourteen hospitals, 75 retail pharmacies and numerous clinic locations. For nearly a decade, HNV has provided the applications, technology and know-how to connect thousands of health care professionals and physicians throughout the United States. Health Network Ventures Inc. is dedicated to transforming communications, information sharing and collaboration amongst physicians, health plans and health systems.

Its products include PowerLink, which consists of an Intranet application, enabling health care organisations to create private networks for clinical and administrative information access and Health.Net, HNV's own secure portal for physicians, office administrators and hospitals. Health.Net provides access to clinical information including results, pathways, drug information, patient education, medical news and knowledge bases and health plan related information including eligibility, benefits, claims, referrals and provider directories. In addition to hospitals, health systems and physician practices, HNV's clients include commercial health insurance companies, including large Blue Cross plans. The company is an affiliate of Cerner Corporation, a leading provider of health care information management solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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