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Health Care & Medical: E-Health Revives Health-Care IT

Better patient care, more access to specialists, and move to electronic health records are pushing tech innovation

Using its existing 802.11 Wi-Fi network, CareGroup recently began testing at its flagship Beth Israel Medical Center a wireless voice-over-IP application from Vocera Communications Inc. and an active RFID asset-tracking system from PanGo Networks Inc. The tracking system elec- tronically locates equipment, wheelchairs, IV pumps, and eventually even doctors and patients. CareGroup hopes the analytical capabilities of the tracking systems will help it to better understand usage patterns of equipment so it can make more-informed decisions about whether, say, testing equipment needs to be purchased or if underutilized gear can be reallocated to other floors in a hospital.

Health-care products distributor Cardinal Health Inc., meanwhile, is looking at potential ways RFID-related services can help its customers, CIO Jody Davids says. Among them is placing RFID tags on products used during medical procedures to make sure items aren't left inside patients during surgery.

Whether they're dealing with RFID, E-health records, or wireless technology, it's clear that health-care companies realize that business technology has become integral to the health of their companies and their patients.

INDUSTRY LEADERS
Company Revenue in millions Income (loss)
in millions
Cardinal Health Inc.
$50,467
$1,406
Express Scripts Inc.
$13,295
$250
Catholic Health Initiatives
$6,071
--
Sutter Health
$5,800
--
Catholic Healthcare West
$5,195
--
Quest Diagnostics Inc
$4,738
$437
Owens & Minor Inc.
$4,224
$54
UPMC Health System
$4,000
--
Universal Health Services Inc.
$3,644
$199
Henry Schein Inc.
$3,354
$138
Kindred Healthcare Inc.
$3,280
$75
Laboratory Corp. of America
$2,939
$321
Community Health Systems Inc.
$2,835
$132
St. Joseph Health System
$2,740
$27
Group Health Inc. (GHI)
$2,158
--
Texas Health Resources
$1,900
--
Baylor Health Care System
$1,713
--
Unicef (United Nations Children-s Fund)
$1,678
--
Dade Behring Inc.
$1,436
$48
CareGroup Healthcare System
$1,200
Geisinger Health System
$1,200
--
St. Luke-s Health System
$907
--
Sun Healthcare Group Inc.
$834
--
Adventist Health
--
--
Grenada Lake Medical Center
--
--
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc.
--
--
Inova Health System
--
--
Lifespan
--
--
Maimonides Medical Center
--
--
Oncology Therapeutics Network
--
--
Poudre Valley Health System
--
--
Staten Island University Hospital
--
--
Financial data is from public sources and company supplied.
Revenue is for latest fiscal year.
Dashes indicate companies requesting financial information not be disclosed.

SNAPSHOT
INSIDE COMPANIES
Average portion of revenue spent on IT 3%
Companies using radio-frequency identification 19%
Companies globally sourcing products and supplies 36%
HOW COMPANIES DIVIDE THEIR I.T. BUDGETS
Hardware purchases 19%
IT Services or outsourcing 14%
Research and development 4%
Salaries and benefits 31%
Applications 21%
Everything else 11%
INDUSTRY FINANCIALS
Average year-over-year revenue change 4%
Average year-over-year net income change -15%
DATA: INFORMATIONWEEK RESEARCH
See year-over-year shifts in business-technology practices for this industry.
Compare and contrast this year's data with last year's.

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