iSoft has announced that it has been chosen as a partner by SingHealth to provide health IT solutions to help deliver healthcare reform in Singapore. The decision follows SingHealth’s award of a contract earlier this year for iSoft to deliver its Lorenzo clinical system.

The new agreement will create a development partnership between between iSoft and SingHealth, which will see SingHealth contribute to the ongoing and future product development of iSoft’s flagship Lorenzo application.

One of the areas to be explored in the partnership will be the development of citizen services and personalised healthcare, though no agreement has been reached on by when full services would be launched.

SingHealth will be the third health organisation to join iSoft’s Global Innovation Partner Programme, the other members being Germany’s Robert Bosch Hospital and The University Hospital of Aachen.

The SingHealth group is Singapore’s leading public healthcare provider. The regional delivery network consists of three hospitals, four National Specialist Centres and a network of eight polyclinics, providing integrated, treatment and care.

iSoft says that the expert clinical feedback from the partnership will help it develop new clinical software, and benefit the citizens of Singapore by helping SingHealth’s remain at the forefront of healthcare information delivery and management.

An iSoft spokesperson told E-Health Insider that under a new contract signed with SingHealth earlier this year SingHealth will upgrade from their existing iClinical Manager (iCM) to Lorenzo, "replacing all the existing functionality in iCM as well as delivering additional functionality". No details of the contract value or structure were made available.

iSoft say that implementation of Lorenzo at SingHealth is due to begin later this year with initial releases being delivered in September and SingHealth-specific enhancements due to commence in December. Rollout is due to be completed in 18-24 months.

The health IT supplier confirmed to E-Health Insider that it was also currently in discussion with "a number of prospective customers in the region".

SingHealth first signed their contract for Clinical Manager with Eclipsys six year ago, when Eclipsys was taken over by iSoft the product was rebadged as iClinical Manager (iCM). Implementation of the system began in 2000.

"There are 800 concurrent users at present and it is expected that concurrent users will exceed 3,000 once rollout is complete in 2007," the iSoft spokesperson told E-Health Insider.

Although a next generation integrated solution Lorenzo will incorporate both iSoft’s existing iCM and Patient Administration System (iPM) as core modules.

For the past two years SingHealth has carried out a detailed evaluation of potential replacement solutions. Their evaluation led to their selection of the Lorenzo solution.

Mr TK Udairam, chairman of SingHealth’s IT Steering Committee and CEO of Changi General Hospital, said: “In the medical world today, IT is an absolutely critical platform that allows the efficient delivery of high quality, integrated and multi-disciplinary health care. It has been a challenging but liberating journey for SingHealth since we embarked on the EMR initiative three years ago.

He said that the iSoft partnership would help ensure a more flexible technical architecture for SingHealth to migrate to without creating disruptions for patients and staff. "This means SingHealth can protect its current IT investment while expanding its capabilities and new functionality from Lorenzo.”

Following evaluation of all the leading healthcare application vendors worldwide, iSoft was selected as a preferred supplier earlier in 2005. Following testing, iSoft was ultimately selected as the partner of choice.

Commenting on the partnership with SingHealth Tim Whiston, iSoft’s CEO said: “Our global innovation partners are carefully selected from organisations at the forefront of healthcare, realising the reforms necessary to manage the provision of leading-edge care."

Whiston added: "Working with SingHealth we will create an exciting new international reference for Lorenzo.”