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HP Announces Alliance Program With Healthcare ISVs

HP's Healthcare Alliance program expands its relationship with independent software vendors to develop innovative technology for small and midsize healthcare providers.

Health IT On Display: HIMSS12 Preview
Health IT On Display: HIMSS12 Preview
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

As HP seeks to push its technology deeper into the healthcare market, the company announced today that it has launched the HP Healthcare Alliance program, which will offer independent software vendors (ISVs) a chance to develop innovative technology tools that will run on HP technology for customers at hospitals and other health organizations.

The announcement, made at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference and exhibition in Las Vegas, seeks to help small to midsize health IT developers as they design tools to organize patient data, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce costs in care. Among the companies participating in the Healthcare Alliance are Quest Diagnostics and its Care360 EHR; ACR 2 Solutions, which provides automated risk management software; Status Solutions, which uses HP workstations for its Situational Awareness & Response Assistant (SARA) tool that enables caregivers to monitor their patients' vital information; and MedWeb, which uses its mobile picture archiving and communication system (PACS) viewer on the new HP Slate 2 and its virtual PACS tool on HP Mobile Workstations.

"This is the formalization of an ongoing program which unites emerging ISVs with HP technology to deliver innovative solutions to healthcare organizations and hospitals and even the physician marketplace," Chris Mertens, vice president, HP PSG Americas Healthcare Practice, told InformationWeek Healthcare. "We have extensive relationships with many of the biggest ISVs out there, such as Cerner, Epic, and Allscripts. This is an extension down to those emerging ISVs that can benefit from a partnership with HP, whether that partnership is how to tune their solutions with our technology across the HP spectrum of technologies or having access to our broad distribution and partner community."

[ Read about some of the top don't-miss events at HIMSS12, taking place this week in Las Vegas. What To See At HIMSS12. ]

As the healthcare industry continues to rely on technology to drive the changes brought about by the health reform law of 2010, the health IT industry will continue to see partnerships like the one between HP and their ISV partners, according to Judy Hanover, research director at IDC Health Insights.

"HP has great resources as far as services, delivery, cloud-based hosting, and infrastructure," Hanover told InformationWeek Healthcare. "Because of the pace of health IT adoption that's going on, every vendor I talk to right now is stretched in terms of implementation, resources, and people to go into hospitals and implement these applications. The Alliance HP has announced will help these ISVs get access to HP teams that are trained and have experience in the healthcare field. There are a lot of places where these relationships can go."

Under the Healthcare Alliance program, HP officials say, ISVs will have the help of HP's sales force, its reach into the healthcare marketplace, as well as the broad distribution channels that HP can offer. Officials at HP said the Alliance will be looking for opportunities at small to midsize medical facilities and physician practices where physicians and clinicians need help implementing EHRs and other technology.

Furthermore, with much of patient-related data being unstructured, Doug Cusick, HP's vice president and general manager, Health and Life Sciences, explained that HP can differentiate itself in the market by supporting payers, providers, and companies in the life sciences to enable them to structure and organize their data so that it can be accessed easily and shared with care teams.

"From an infrastructure perspective, HP wants to support how customers access data and then how they pull all of that data together--in both structured and unstructured environments-- to present it to those who need to see it. We want physicians to utilize that data across the continuum of care to help drive the efficiencies in process, to reduce costs, and more importantly, to improve the quality that patients are demanding."

Richard Mahoney, president, MedPlus, and vice president, Healthcare Information Solutions, Quest Diagnostics, said the Healthcare Alliance program will go a far way in assisting physicians who are implementing health IT.

"Combining our easy-to-adopt Care360 EHR solution from Quest Diagnostics with one-stop shopping for HP's hardware and services has given physicians an easy path to EHR adoption that allows them to take full advantage of its benefits to achieve better patient care, capitalize on meaningful use incentives, and improve efficiency for their practice."

Healthcare providers must collect all sorts of performance data to meet emerging standards. The new Pay For Performance issue of InformationWeek Healthcare delves into the huge task ahead. Also in this issue: Why personal health records have flopped. (Free registration required.)

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