New treatments for health care IT

 
 
By Grant Du Bois  |  Posted 2000-12-04
 
 
 

It managers in the health care industry are getting more options to manage the myriad information sources they deal with. This week at eHealthcare World in New York, Healthcare.com will announce WebConX, a Web-to-legacy application integration tool kit for health care delivery organizations and health care information system vendors.

WebConX enables Internet application servers to access data in proprietary and industry-standard formats, including Extensible Markup Language. It also enables IT departments to create new Web-based composite applications from disparate legacy applications.

The tool kit facilitates real-time transactions such as queries about patient admission, transfer, discharge and billing, said officials of the Marietta, Ga., company. Because patient data may be in different systems, the kit retrieves the data; combines or divides it, based on the request; and updates it in the disparate applications after a transaction occurs, officials said.

For health care organizations looking for customer relationship management software, SoftWatch Inc., of New York, last week released Version 2.2 of its SoftWatch Relationship Server. SRS 2.2 helps health and medical businesses deploy marketing and e-business initiatives for their Web sites.

The customer-facing side of SRS 2.2 has new management capabilities, community functions such as voting and surveys, and an "ask an expert" tool. On the back end, new features include a workflow engine, an automated regulatory approval process, data mining and analysis, and online call center support with interactive chat to allow patients to interact with health care workers on the diagnosis of some symptoms.

Besides support for Oracle Corp.s Oracle8i database and connecting into more corporate back-end systems, SoftWatchs SRS 2.2 can synchronize information from health care devices, such as a blood glucose monitor, with the Web site.

WebEBM Inc., a provider of medical diagnostics information and treatment plans, enables hospitals and health plans to improve the quality of their care by helping patients to better monitor their medical conditions, according to CEO Paul Keckley. The Nashville, Tenn., company uses SRS to collect and maintain different types of medical data and navigate deeply through it.

For example, after diagnosis, SRS can monitor an outpatients compliance with a treatment plan by asking follow-up questions such as, "Are you taking your prescription at the required intervals?" WebEBM then reports this data to the licensee, which interacts with the patient.

"The movement of data between guidelines is important," Keckley said. "[SRS] gives us more potential applications in terms of product development and data reporting. We can look at data and isolate aspects of a guideline and apply them to a discharge planning product for hospitals."

In a separate announcement in the health care industry this week, MedCenterDirect.com Inc., of Atlanta, will unveil a new type of e-procurement system called Preference Cards, which enables doctors to share information on surgical procedures and order the same equipment that a previous doctor used.

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