By John P Desmond
Popular BI technology components today include multi-dimensional aggregation, real-time reporting with analytical alerts, interpretation of unstructured data, rolling forecasts, statistical inference, simulations, optimizing key performance indicators (KPIs), and process management.
BI tools provide a view of historic, current, and predicted business operations. The functions of BI tools include online analytical processing, data mining, performance management, text mining, predictive analytics, and marketing management.
The overall market for software, hardware, and services for business analytics is approaching $100 billion, according to market research firm IDC. “The focus on big data is driving interest in the rest of business analytics solutions,” says Brian McDonough, analyst, IDC.
IDC identifies additional interest in the business analytics market including the acceleration of acquisitions to extend into new markets, new product entries, acquisitions of software suppliers by service firms, acquisitions of application (app) vendors by tool vendors, and growth of cloud business analytics products at a faster pace than the overall market.
For large and mid-sized organizations working on adopting business analytics products and services, the challenges include data governance, security, and privacy; enabling business users with self-service capabilities; deciding on the organization structure needed to support enterprise-wide business analytics needs; finding appropriate IT talent; and support for the multiple technologies needed to address the range of requirements, according to McDonough.
In this piece, we review the services offered by top ranking suppliers of BI software tools in the 2013 Software 500.
SAS Institute ranks number 43 on the 2013 Software 500, reporting $2.9 billion in software and services revenue in the ranking year of 2012, and five percent growth over the previous year. The company is a player on all BI fronts. Based in Cary, NC, SAS is one of the world’s largest privately held software companies. It is rooted in a research project at North Carolina State University, which is headed by a team including James Goodnight, who continues to run the company as CEO.
Marketing automation tools from SAS are at work in Staples, the major office supply retailer chain with stores in 27 countries. Understanding that the best way to build loyalty is to target customers individually, Staples has come to rely on SAS Analytics for predictive modeling and SAS Marketing Automation for fine-tuned marketing campaigns.
“A substantial part of the retail customer base engages us online by using the Web site to research a product,” states Jim Foreman, director of circulation and analytics, Staples. “They might use it to find the closest stores or quickly see what’s currently on sales. My team is involved in the analysis of online and offline customer behavior, building linkages between the two to provide us with a complete picture of the company,” he says. “The marketing automation product enables Staples to bridge work on the analytics side with campaign generation and execution.”
Staples also utilizes SAS products to reduce customer attrition. When spending for a regular customer drops, the company sends personalized offers to bring them back to the store. “Our data is among the most valuable assets we have,” notes Foreman. “We want to be able to mine it effectively and discover nuggets that can generate incremental sales and profit. SAS Marketing Automation does that for us.”
Verint Systems, Inc., ranking number 96 on the 2013 Software 500, grew more than seven percent to reach $839.5 in revenue for the ranking year. The company describes itself as a supplier of “actionable intelligence” solutions for the enterprise. Its products are reportedly in use by more than 10,000 organizations in more than 150 countries.
Verint’s Impact 360 product line employs BI process management for workforce management and BI monitoring to track KPIs. For example, AAA Washington, the travel and insurance firm, uses the Impact 360 Quality Monitoring and Impact 360 Speech Analytics products to identify issues that affect its overall service to customers and to comply with insurance industry regulations.
“We are in a constant state of improvement,” states Janet Ryan, director of call center operations, AAA Washington. “We are always looking for ways to optimize operational efficiency and the customer experience.”
Using the Quality Monitoring product, AAA Washington says it achieved a 400 percent gain in efficiency of agent evaluations, enabling twice as many evaluations to be done in half the time. The Speech Analytics products help the organization focus on interactions that matter most to its business, from customer complaints to frequently asked questions. This leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Qlik Technologies, number 151 on the 2013 Software 500, grew at 21 percent to reach $338.5 in revenue in the measurement year. The company offers the QlikView Business Discovery software platform to help organizations use data strategically; the software’s in-memory architecture is designed to speed performance. Its intuitive user interface helps the analyst connect the business to the technology.
The formula worked for Surgical Information Systems (SIS), which recently announced an expansion in the integration of the QlikView platform and SIS Analytics product set to enhance operative information systems—addressing the time before, during, and after patient surgery.
SIS was recently selected by San Francisco Generation Hospital and Trauma Center to help automate surgery and anesthesia documentation processes. SIS integrated with the Siemens Soarian enterprise health information system, covering operating room scheduling, pre-admission testing, nursing documentation, and an anesthesia information management system.
San Francisco General selected SIS to help providers share information, reduce redundant documentation, and free up more time to focus on patient care. The anesthesia information management system resides on a single database to enable care providers to document the continuum of surgical care. “We are looking forward to comprehensive perioperative analytics with SIS to drive efficiency, reduce waste, and improve value to our patients in the operating room,” comments Dr. Jenson Wong, anesthesiologist/chief medical information officer, San Francisco General Hospital.
Ellen Derrico, director of global market development, life sciences and healthcare, QlikTech, adds, “in an industry where improved access to information enhances patient care, QlikView’s flexible platform enables users to navigate and drill in any direction to get the most pertinent information fast. We look forward to continuing our work together with SIS to deliver an advanced analytics solution.”
Actuate, number 245 on the 2013 Software 500, reached $138.8 million in revenue in the ranking year. The company is the first to propose the BI and Reporting Tools (BIRT) open source software project to the Eclipse Foundation in 2004. The project was approved and the initial project code base designed and developed by Actuate was donated to the Eclipse Foundation.
The BIRT project aims to provide reporting and BI capabilities for rich client and Web applications, and to address a range of reporting needs including multi-dimensional online analytical processing. The project is supported by an active community of users at BIRT Exchange and developers at the Eclipse.org BIRT Project page.
BIRT is the foundation of the ActuateOne platform, which allows developers to rapidly build business analytics apps that can integrate any data, including unstructured sources. Among its 5,000 customers is Johnson Controls, a $32 billion facilities management company. The company sought to benchmark performance and compare regions across 500 measurements used in 33 contracts. The data gathering required for this proved time consuming and inefficient.
Johnson Controls selected ActuateOne for its Global Performance Scorecard application, which has resulted in performance metrics viewable in a single place, and greater efficiency calculated to produce a $500,000 return on investment in one year. “Upper management can look at top-level measures while service delivery, human resources, safety, finance, and customer satisfaction managers can drill into the details. The ability to view performance metrics worldwide, in a single place is phenomenal,” says David Mercier, manager, Johnson Controls.
He says the scorecard app provides the company with a competitive advantage.
Tableau Software ranks number 250 on the 2013 Software 500. The company grew at 104 percent in the measurement year to reach $127.7 million in revenue, which was spun out of research at Stanford University into visualization techniques for analyzing relational databases. The founders created a database visualization language called Visual Query Language—or VizQL. The product queries relational database, cubes, cloud databases, and spreadsheets, and then produces a number of graph types that are combined into dashboards and shared over networks.
Tableau’s customers include Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer. The company uses the software to help keep production on schedule. One advantage Tesla notices is greater speed in producing new types of reports. Will Bishop, senior test engineer, Tesla, states, “the speed of making, publishing, and sharing with folks has vastly accelerated. It is starting to unify different groups in Tesla looking at the same data, in a much more integrated effort. It’s a mix of empowering people to connect to data, and the adventure of exploration. I can’t imagine going back.”
Another Tableau customer, the Millard Public School district in Omaha, NE, uses the product to report on student data for teachers, administrators, and district leaders. The district relies on dashboards on Tableau servers to provide insight. “When someone has a data request, or a question that needs to be answered, we’re able to provide that answer in a timely way,” says Tami Williams, director of assessment, research and evaluation, the Millard Public Schools. “I used to spend a lot of time merging multiple spreadsheets of random data on students. Tableau allows a building administrator to select the assessments they want, and the student they want, and create a grid quickly, saving hours.”
Future plans call for the district to use Tableau Public to make data more accessible to public stakeholders.
Personify, which changed its name from TMA Resources in August 2013, ranks number 365 on the 2013 Software 500, reporting revenues of $34.4 million. The new name is derived from the company’s flagship customer relationship and association management software product Personify, now called Personify360.
Personify aims to help leading associations and non-profit organizations optimize relationships and achieve sustainable success. “Our company is at the forefront of change in our industry. Our solutions and services help clients personalize their relationships with constituents. The name Personify helps us communicate that promise in a single word,” says Edi Dor, president/CEO, Personify.
“We recognize that associations and non-profits face multiple challenges today, such as changing demographics and increased sources of completion. Our products and services help such organizations get in front of these challenges,” adds Paul Gannon, VP, marketing, Personify.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the national trade association serving U.S. credit unions, provides services to its 7,000 members. Interested in having its members be better enabled to maintain its own data and to automate more of the backroom processing of registrations and product purchases, CUNA made the move to Personify several years ago. “Our main goal for the e-Business Suite at launch was for it to put power in the hands of our member credit unions,” ntoes Timothy York, senior project manager, CUNA. “We believe that our members’ information is their own, so they should have the control to manage it, from paying bills to updating profiles to signing up for meetings.”
Products from SecondFloor BV, based in the Netherlands, rank number 204 on the 2013 Software 500. With revenue of $17.4 million and growth of 15 percent, the company focuses on analyzing risk and gathering data needed for regulatory and management reporting.
The company’s eFrame 3.2 recent release of the governance, workflow, and process control software, controls data gathering and aggregation of reports produced in IBM Cognos. The new version also integrates with IBM’s Algo Financial Modeler, which helps with regulatory compliance and actuarial modeling challenges, and with Matlab, the technical computing language developed by MathWorks.
eFrame’s integration with Cognos enables Cognos users to produce reports with greater confidence, from relying on eFrame’s taxonomy driven data model. “Data management and data quality are issues beginning to surface at the board level. It is ultimately the board’s responsibility to ensure that reports and submissions are accurate,” states Martin Knook, CEO, SecondFloor. “To encourage healthy practices, you have to make it intuitive for people to make their contribution. This is what eFrame’s Structured Data Viewer achieves.”
A European bank used SecondFloor’s Analyzer product to map its current systems and data to help meet the deadline for a new regulatory requirement. The Analyzer product report hierarchies, processes, people, and responsibilities within a complex organization to uncover inefficiencies, gaps, and dependencies. The SecondFloor consulting team modeled 13,000 data points in Analyzer, then deployed the software to discover and map where each of the data points currently existed, or should exist, with the organization. In a matter of weeks, the exercise helped the bank position to meet the new requirements.
In the short term, IDC’s McDonough predicts that more vendors will provide analytic services and content as well as technology; a shortage of big data technology skills will drive more buyers towards cloud alternatives and packaged analytical applications; the skills shortage will lead to a greater focus on automation and outsourcing of analytic services.
For the longer term future, McDonough says that transaction-based pricing for analytics services will become widespread, such as price per recommendation; commercial use of artificial intelligence will widen to combine audio, video, and image recognition software; and big data analytics into intelligent response systems. Moreover, IDC projects that a new generation of consumers will increasingly give up some privacy in exchange for more personalized services, such as in call centers, retail stores, and automotive.
We’re entering an exciting time for BI, with solutions consistently improving and new products emerging. As organizations realize the benefits of leveraging data, these tools become an essential component of future business performance and growth. SW
Apr2014, Software Magazine
By John P. Desmond
Healthcare software is riding the wave of U.S. government efforts to expand healthcare, including the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) of 2010 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, with large, established companies and innovative startups all getting a lift and seizing opportunity.
ARRA is a $787 billion stimulus package that includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which directly impacts growth for technology suppliers in the healthcare information technology (HIT) sector.
At the same time, the involvement of the federal government poses a paperwork burden and litmus test screens to prove worthiness. For example, ARRA authorizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals that make the decision to adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.
Meaningful use of EHRs is defined in stages, with stage one being data capture and sharing, rules released in 2011 and 2012; stage two being to advance clinical processes, with rules to be released in 2014; and stage three being to improve outcomes, with rules scheduled for release in 2016. The rules are promulgated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
To meet the meaningful use criteria, EPs and hospitals must adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specific objectives.
The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization, also influences healthcare software. It codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases. The 10th revision of the list—referred to as ICD-10—is the most current.
The classification set allows more than 14,400 different codes and permits the tracking of many new diagnoses. The codes can be expanded to over 16,000 by using optional sub-classifications. The detail reported by ICD can be further increased with a simplified multi-axial approach by using codes meant to be reported in a separate data field.
Disruptive technologies including big data and cloud services also affect healthcare software markets—albeit slowly, given the sensitivity of healthcare data.
Here is a look at how established and up-and-coming players in the healthcare software market of 2014 respond to trends.
McKesson Corp. Tops Software 500 in Healthcare
McKesson Corp. is the top company in the healthcare software sector of the 2013 Software 500, coming in at number 41 with $3.2 billion in revenue. The company has a long reach in pharmaceuticals—the backbone of its business—ranging from pharmacy operators to pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, physicians’ offices, insurance providers, and healthcare sponsors, which are referred to as payers.
“Those of us in the healthcare industry know that many patients are at a significant disadvantage with pharmaceuticals because they can’t keep track of what they are taking, why they are taking it, and what the correct dosage is,” says John Hammergren, president/CEO, McKesson. “Addressing all of these compliance and adherence issues is central to creating a better healthcare environment for the patient and a better economic environment for the payer and the healthcare system as a whole.”
Outside of the pharmaceutical focus, McKesson offers a range of related software for hospice management, home health, retail independents, and pharmacy management.
McKesson’s VITAL Platform, for example, is designed to support case and disease management services for health insurance providers or healthcare sponsors.
Recent enhancements in version 7.2 help payers analyze patient populations to identify at-risk and high-risk members, understand gaps in care, and prioritize members for outreach efforts. Version 7.2 assesses 41 condition or disease states, helping payers deliver member-centered programs.
“In this era of healthcare reform, payers look for robust solutions that help coordinate care and put members on the road to better health,” says Naoise Colgan, VP, Care Management Solutions, McKesson Care Management. “The VITAL Platform supports that need by integrating utilization, disease, and case management into a single workflow.”
Version 7.2 of the VITAL Platform includes the latest version of InterQual Coordinated Care Content, which uses evidence-based clinical content to develop an integrated care plan specific to each member to support whole-person health management. InterQual Coordinated Care Content version 4 helps manage the care of patients with high-risk conditions and complex cases as well as mitigate readmissions, enabling payers prioritize members for outreach and objectively measure care management program performance over time.
Integrated with the VITAL Platform 7.2 is the data output from the VITAL Identification & Stratification service, which identifies and stratifies those high-risk members who will benefit the most from a care management program. The service, which is customizable and specific to each payer or health plan, uses a proprietary predictive model to give payers the business intelligence they need to more effectively leverage care management resources.
Also offering wellness software is Cerner Corp., a company that reported a growth of 21 percent in the ranking year. The firm came in at number 46 in the 2013 Software 500, reporting $1.1 billion in revenue. In late 2012, Cerner acquired Anasazi Software, a developer of EHR software and related technology.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), rated among the nation’s best health plans for member satisfaction and quality, recently selected Cerner Wellness as its new wellness engagement technology partner. BCBSMA chose Cerner Wellness to benefit from its flexible program design and ability to deliver customizable, incentive programming for employers in the market while also leveraging existing assets.
Cerner participated in a highly competitive selection process held by the MA-based health plan for a wellness technology solution during Spring 2013.
“We understand each employer has a unique set of programmatic requirements based on the health profile of their employee population,” says Cathy Hartman, VP, prevention and wellness, BCBSMA. “We believe it is imperative to the success of a wellness program to take into consideration these unique needs when designing and implementing a wellness solution. Cerner’s wellness platform gives us the flexibility to do this, while providing the end user with a dynamic, intuitive, and seamless wellness experience,” adds Hartman.
The Cerner Wellness platform was introduced to BCBSMA clients in January 2014 as part of a series of enhancements the health plan is making to its wellness offerings.
athenahealth, a provider of EHR, practice management, and care coordination services to medical groups and health systems, reached number 141 on the 2013 Software 500 ranking, reporting revenue of $422.3 million, a growth of 30 percent over the previous year.
In a recent win, athenahealth’s EHR and practice management services were selected by Rush Health, a clinically integrated network of physicians and hospitals in the Chicago, IL area with more than 300 affiliated private physician members following an evaluation process that took over a year. Rush Health aims to deliver efficient healthcare services covering the spectrum of patient care from wellness, prevention, and health promotion to disease management and complex care management.
“We believe the EHR and practice management services from athenahealth will support our goals for true clinical integration, and make things like physicians’ transition to ICD-10 and compliance with Meaningful Use simple for our affiliate network,” says Brent Estes, president/CEO, Rush Health. “When it comes to HIT, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t feasible. athenahealth provides a nimble set of cloud-based services that our affiliate physicians can operate within and connect with the rest of the Rush Health physician and hospital members. We provide our physicians with options that we believe to be the best in HIT services so they can focus on care delivery in a truly integrated and innovative environment.”
Rush Health plans to use athenaClinicals, supporting ambulatory electronic medical record; and athenaCollector, the company’s practice management service, will be available to all Rush Health private physician members. Today, athenaCollector is used to process more than $11 billion in client collections per year.
“Physician practices and healthcare enterprises of all sizes, including leaders such as Rush Health, realize the value of service-backed, nimble, cloud-based solutions that don’t require up front capital, have a very short onramp to get up and running, and are always improving based on knowledge learned across the network,” adds Jonathan Bush, CEO/president/chairman of the board of directors, athenahealth.
Quality Systems, number 154 on the 2013 Software 500, grew 19.3 percent to reach $382.5 million in software and services revenue.
The company promotes the use of its NextGen Healthcare and QSIDental Web units to help hospitals and physicians qualify for ARRA financial incentives for adopting and using EHR technology.
“We view the HITECH portion of the economic stimulus plan as a potentially significant opportunity for Quality Systems,” says Steven T. Plochocki, president/CEO, Quality Systems.
One example is at Blackstone Valley Community Healthcare, a federally qualified health center in Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI. The organization provides a range of services in pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, midwifery, and OB/GYN, as well as dental and behavioral health services. The center’s goal is to provide the highest quality, lowest cost healthcare possible to the patients in its community.
The center found the paperwork burden to be onerous and slow and administrative tasks time consuming, making it more difficult to concentrate on delivering quality care. The company evaluated software options and chose NextGen EPM and NextGen EHR from Quality Systems to streamline office administration, improve documentation, and qualify for quality based incentives.
The effect is dramatic. Dr. Sam Ambewadikar, pediatrician, Blackstone Valley, says, “We work in an extremely under served and poverty stricken environment. NextGen EHR software helped improve the efficiency of my documentation and our overall office workflow. Not only am I using time more intelligently now, but I’m delivering better care to my patients. I like to say that NextGen software is so easy and logical, if you can use a computer mouse, you can use it.”
The Shenandoah Community Health Center is another example of a NextGen user. Located in Martinsburg, WV, the organization is a federally qualified health center with about 30,000 patients that averages 129,000 visits per year, working on implementing EHR and achieving meaningful use.
Omnicell, number 173 on the 2013 Software 500, grew 28 percent to reach $314 million in revenue. The company provides automation and business analytics software for patient-centric medication and supply management across a range of healthcare providers, from acute care hospitals to post-acute skilled nursing and long-term care facilities to the home.
In a recent announcement, Omnicell announced an interoperability between the Omnicell automated dispensing cabinets and Cerner Corp.’s Millennium EHR, via the CareAware iBus, resulting in more efficient medication administration. This enables nurses to save time and increase patient safety.
The Billings Clinic of Billings, MT, a 285-bed hospital featuring a 90-bed skilled nursing and assisted living facility, is the first hospital to implement the latest functionality. “At Billings Clinic, one of our primary missions is to ensure that we get medications to our patients safety and efficiently,” states Kyle Townsend, director of pharmacy, Billings Clinic. “We are excited to partner with these two leading healthcare technology companies to find innovative ways to improve our medication delivery and demonstrate the efficiencies that interoperability is bringing to healthcare.”
Additionally, the Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, IA is a 378-bed hospital seeking to optimize efficiency, control costs, and improve care. Previously, it could take up to 1.5 hours for patients to receive medication.
“We found that we needed to increase automation,” says Darwin Cooley, pharmacy director, Great River Medical Center. “We were doing too much manually, which wastes both pharmacy and nursing time. We were overwhelmed by the number of calls from nurses and physicians waiting for medication.”
Great River implemented Omnicell’s G4 automated dispensing cabinets with Anywhere RN and integrated Medication Label Printers at nursing stations, a pharmacy carousel with WorkflowRx inventory management software, and Anesthesia Workstations in the heart and vascular catheterization labs.
The results showed reduced patient medication delivery time from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes, a $400,000 reduction in inventory costs and expected ongoing annual savings of $300,000. In addition, pharmacists spend less time on routine tasks, freeing up valuable clinical time that can promote better patient care.
Medidata Solutions, number 208 on the 2013 Software 500, grew 18.4 percent, reporting $218.4 million. This could be credited to the strength of its cloud-based offering supporting clinical research in life sciences. The Medidata Clinical Cloud is focused on clinical testing of promising medical treatments, from study design and planning through execution, management, and reporting. The firm’s customers include more than 90 percent of the top 25 global pharmaceutical companies; biotech, diagnostic, and device firms; leading academic medical centers; and contract research organizations.
The recently announced Medidata Clinical Cloud Study brings the firm’s cloud-based platform to single studies as an option that is ready in weeks, providing unified planning, setup, and execution of a clinical trial.
“The Medidata Clinical Cloud Study is a new clinical research solution designed to produce immediate, measurable value by bringing the Medidata Clinical Cloud to a wider set of life sciences organizations,” says Glen de Vries, president, Medidata Solutions.
Customers include U-Systems, a leader in dedicated breast ultrasound systems. U-Systems selected Medidata Rave as its standard for electronic data capture (EDC) systems to perform a clinical study of an automated breast imaging ultrasound system for early detection of breast cancer. U-Systems started a six-site, 20,000-patient study using Rave in six weeks. U-Systems sought to replace its paper-based data collection with an affordable EDC system that would increase efficiencies across its clinical trial process.
“After evaluating several EDC solutions, we found that Medidata was the only vendor that could meet our specific requirements,” says Kathy Quiroz, director of clinical programs, U-Systems. “With Medidata, we are getting a state-of-the-art EDC tool and the service and support our team needs, and we are also able to eliminate unnecessary costs and manage the project on a lean budget.”
Greenway Medical Technologies
Greenway Medical Technologies, offering patient population management services, is number 256 on the 2013 Software 500 with revenues of $124 million and growth of 38 percent. The company offers services to improve financial performance and automated clinical and administrative workflows. More than 100,000 providers in over 20 specialties partner with Greenway via more than 13,000 medical organizations.
Greenway recently introduced Intergy version 9.0, an enhanced version of its clinical and financial product set that prepares providers for the ICD-10 transition, charts progress with other regulatory measures and helps document patient visits in a more intuitive way.
Intergy 9.0 was developed by Vitera Healthcare Solutions, which recently combined with Greenway. “The way ICD-10 is handled within Intergy 9.0 is impressive,” says Dr. Richard Beane of Family Medicine of Carthage, NY, a practice currently coding in ICD-10 with Intergy 9.0. “With all the tools added to the product, I feel well equipped to handle the transition from both a clinical and financial perspective,” he adds.
IMS Health applies analytics and applications (apps) based on the IMS One intelligent cloud to connect more than 10 petabytes of healthcare data on diseases, treatments, cost, and outcomes to enable clients to run its operations more efficiently. In August 2013, IMS Health acquired the assets of Diversinet.
IMS Health draws on information from 100,000 suppliers, and on insights from more than 40 billion healthcare transactions processed annually. The firm has over 5,000 healthcare clients globally, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health manufacturers and distributors.
The company recently announced AppNucleus, a customizable, cloud-based hosting platform that enables developers to build secure, industry compliant healthcare applications at very low cost, leveraging IMS Health’s comprehensive data on diseases, treatments, costs, and outcomes. The product addresses the growing demand for secure mobile apps that drive patient engagement and enhance the delivery of care.
“Today, there is growing recognition of mobile health’s potential to transform healthcare—to advance doctor/patient engagement and empower consumers to better monitor and manage their own health,” says Stefan Linn, SVP, strategy and global pharma solutions, IMS Health. “IMS Health establishes an intelligent, secure infrastructure for mobile health, backed by our market-leading real-world evidence, capabilities, and the most advanced technology platform in healthcare.”
Medicity of Salt Lake City, UT, provides software to power health information exchanges (HIEs), with more than 800 hospitals and 250,000 physicians connected to its product. Medicity, which is part of the Healthagen business unit of Aetna insurance, offers the iNexx platform that customers use to build their own apps.
“Third-party developers and Medicity customers can use the iNexx platform to develop apps that can be accessed or purchased by physician practice and leverage the health information being exchange in the Medicity customer base,” says Lynne Dunbrack, research VP, IDC Health Insights.
Medicity customers include Banner Health System in AZ, BayCare Health System in FL, and statewide HIEs in DE and VT. “As the system of healthcare reimbursement evolves, HIE networks, both public and enterprise, will play a key role in helping care providers manage risk and lower costs. Medicity remains the company best positioned to deliver an exchange foundation that can help healthcare organizations successfully coordinate care and manage patient populations,” says Nancy Ham, CEO, Medicity.
Some are skeptical about the potential of EHRs to deliver on the promise to create efficiencies that lower healthcare costs. Recent IDC research showed that 58 percent of providers were dissatisfied or neutral about their EHR system and 22 percent have already replaced their original EHR. In addition, providers are looking beyond the EHR suppliers for analytics, mobile, cloud, and financials.
Security remains a top concern. “There is ample evidence that healthcare organizations need to do more,” says Dunbrack. For example, the HITECH Act requires the government post a list of breaches of health information affecting 500 or more individuals. The breaches are posted on the health.gov Web site.
Still, the government programs are spurring software innovation. “The changing care delivery and reimbursement models are driving the need for certain types of technologies,” says IDC’s Dunbrack. “Specifically, analytics to monitor and measure clinical, operational, and financial performance.”
Catamaran Corp., a pharmacy benefits manager, is number 234 on the 2013 Software 500 with revenue of $155 million and grown of 33 percent. The firm, which helps organizations take control of prescription drug costs, manages more than 250 million prescriptions each year on behalf of 25 million members.
This fall, Catamaran acquired Restat, also a pharmacy benefit manager, for $409.5 million in cash. Restat provides prescription claim processing for self-funded employers, workers’ compensation plans, and unions.
Another organization, e-MDs, offers products to support EHR and practice management. The company announced that its e-MDs Cloud Solution is EHR 2014 compliant and is certified for meaningful use Stage 1 and 2.
“As more healthcare organizations look to the cloud for their EHR solutions, we are excited to have achieved this latest Meaningful Use 2014 certification,” says David Winn, MD, CEO/Chairman of the Board, e-MDs. “With this certification, healthcare providers can now demonstrate attestation to qualify for 2014 Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments. e-MDs Cloud Solution will also help providers to be successful as they work with emerging, value-based care models such as Accountable Care Organizations and shared savings programs.”
Healthcare is an important software segment poised for much innovation in the coming years as the latest trends advance in terms of security and functionality. SW
Feb2014, Software Magazine
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