This Week’s Health IT Business News
The week that brought devastation across the Eastern seaboard, and particularly to New York and New Jersey, impacted every business sector. Wall Street was closed for two days, the Jersey Shore and Staten Island utterly ravaged. Early estimates of the economic loss comes in at $50 billion. The human loss, now at 110, is of course incalculable.
Superstorm Sandy will go down in history. Experts are already beginning to rank the super storm the 5th worst in U.S. history. How climate change contributed to or even created this storm made headlines news. Read Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s It’s Global Warming, Stupid and The Hill’s Hurricane Sandy gives climate change a moment in the sun.
The storm also brought attention to the need for health IT and information exchange. In a Medcity interview with New York eHealth Collaborative Executive Director David Whitlinger:
“What we have heard across the [past few] days is as patients have been moving from one hospital to another, there is a great benefit of being connected to a health information exchange,” Whitlinger said in a phone interview.
For Whitlinger, the storm’s impact on hospitals’ data centers in the region underlined the relatively short amount of time since the industry began the shift to digitizing records. It also called attention to how the healthcare industry has historically underspent on health IT relative to other industries. For some providers, the storm will be a source of some instructive insights not only on how they back up their data but where they store it.
While five days have passed help and support is still greatly needed. There are many non-profit organizations on site helping victims. Here are just a few to consider:
- Visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- The Salvation Army has set up mobile feeding units and shelters in the heaviest hit areas. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
- Feeding America is working in disaster zones to distribute food. To donate, visit www.feedingamerica.org.
- Save the Children is providing relief to families and their children. Visit www.savethechildren.org to donate.
- And don’t forget the pets, make an emergency donation to the Humane Society. Visit www.humanesociety.org
While the storm completely dominated news this week there was, nevertheless, business transacted. In M&A news Deloitte Consulting announced it has acquired Recombinant, an analytics and business intelligence firm. Recombinant’s business will reside within Deloitte Consulting Innovation under the name Recombinant by Deloitte. “Joining forces with Recombinant represents a bold move around innovation that will open new horizons for Deloitte in the life sciences and health-care sectors,” said Andrew Vaz, principal and chief innovation officer at Deloitte Consulting. Read the full press release.
CareStream Health has acquired Genesis Digital Imaging, a developer and distributor of imaging software and systems. Carestream officials say the acquisition will help the imaging and IT firm expand its customer base. Read the full press release.
In contract news Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit system of 22 hospitals, has selected SA Ignite’s meaningful use attestation and reporting tools. CMS has awarded a five-year, $100 million task order to General Dynamics IT to provide IT services for the Medicare secondary payer program.
In funding news this week QuantiaMD, an online physician community and collaboration network, has secured $12 million in expansion funding from Fuse Capital. This marks just one in a string of recent funding deals in the Social Media space for physicians. Read more at GigaOM.
In other news, IDC Health Insights announced its launch of an accountable care IT strategies advisory service. The service aims to provide in-depth research for both public and private accountable care programs. Designed for those involved in establishing an ACO program the research “will address the key challenges facing healthcare organizations such as the right level of IT investment, how to mitigate risk while selecting vendors in a very early-stage market, and the critical role of data in financial and clinical performance of accountable care.” Read the company’s press release.
EHR provider SOAPware and practice communications management company Updox announce there alliance to improve health information exchange. The two will work together to provide SOAPware EHR customers with a fully integrated, bi-directional, electronic faxing and document management solution. Read more here.