Microsoft acquires hospital IT software from GCS

  • 31 October 2007

Microsoft Corporation has continued its push into the health IT systems market with the acquisition of a number of assets from Global Care Solutions, a Bangkok, Thailand-based, developer of enterprise-class health information systems.

GCS offers several health-care IT products that run on Windows, including software that automates patient record keeping, billing, regulatory compliance, and clinical workflows.

The GCS deal further strengthens Microsoft’s growing portfolio of health solutions within its Health Solutions Group and will provide hospitals across international markets with a new alternative to achieve improved workflow and patient safety through information technology.

Earlier this month Microsoft launched its HealthVault personal health record initiative. Also earlier this year the company acquired Medstory Inc. – a US developer of health search engines. In 2006 Microsoft acquired health data integration specialists Azyxxi.

As part of the latest GCS deal an unspecified number of GCS employees will join Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group, which will manage product development and delivery. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GCS’s key reference site is Brumrungrad International hospital, which treats more than 1.2m patients from 190 countries annually.

“We were impressed by Global Care Solutions’ state-of-the-art health information system, which has enabled a hugely complex facility like Bumrungrad International hospital to achieve amazing outcomes related to improved workflow and patient safety,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president for the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft.

Neupert added: “The international, fully integrated nature of the GCS technology, and the fact that it is built from the ground up on scalable Microsoft technology, makes this a great addition to our portfolio of health enterprise products as we look to power developing and emerging hospital systems around the globe.”

Global Care Solutions designed and developed its end-to-end system in collaboration with Bumrungrad hospital, which uses the GCS solution to efficiently manage clinical workflow, billing, regulatory compliance and medical records. Microsoft says it will continue to work closely with Bumrungrad to further build out the functionality and features of the GCS technology.

“We have a diverse patient population at Bumrungrad, with over 400,000 foreign patients every year; half of the 3,200 patients we see each day arrive without appointments,” said Mack Banner, the chief executive officer of the hospital.

Banner said the GCS solution allows the hospital to manage scheduling demands, multiple languages and medical records “so efficiently that the average waiting time to see a doctor is only 17 minutes”. The GCS software is a key to our service delivery, medical quality and financial performance, and we look forward to collaborating with Microsoft on extending its applications across our organisation.”

GCS has a Windows-based acute care, clinical-patient information solution. The system is a fully integrated suite of 50 clinical and back-office application modules designed and optimized to run all hospital clinical and administrative operations on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. It is implemented and in use in seven hospitals around the Asia-Pacific region.

The new Microsoft offering based on the GCS technology will complement the company’s current Azyxxi solution, which provides a data integration capability for hospitals with legacy systems already in place.

“We have been developing this product passionately for several years and are thrilled to see a company with the resources of Microsoft poised to bring it to a bigger world stage,” said Pat Downing, CEO of Global Care Solutions.

“This is the perfect time in our company’s history to accelerate worldwide availability and allow our product to bring new light to health organizations across the globe, where the deployment of information technology can translate directly to better healthcare and, ultimately, healthier people.”

 

Jon Hoeksma 

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