ISoft, one of the key software providers for England’s National Programme for IT in the NHS, has acquired the Belgium-based health IT company UltraGenda BV for £9.3m (€10.6m).

ISoft said the deal would provide it with enterprise-wide multi-resource scheduling software to enable organisations to schedule and manage appointments and resources.

The software, which is used in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, can be used over the internet to enable patients to staff to book and schedule resources online.

ISoft paid an initial consideration of £7.2m (€8.2m) for the acquisition. These will be followed by to two cash payments of £1.1m (€1.3m) each in January 2011 and 2012, subject to revenue growth performance targets.

The news follows indications that Lorenzo, the electronic patient record software that iSoft is due to provide to the North, Midlands and East of England under NPfIT, will stop at Release 2.

If subsequent releases are axed, Lorenzo may not provide the functionality needed for scheduling, theatres and possibly maternity, among others.

ISoft recently signed a global stratetic partnership with Picis for its high acuity systems. It has also announced new investment in its laboratory information systems, backed up by the creation of a UK-based development team.

ISoft says the UltraGenda solution is integrated with iSoft’s hospitals systems and numerous sites in the UK and Netherlands. It is NHS Spine compliant and contains functionality that can be incorporated into Lorenzo development.

Gary Cohen, executive chairman and chief executive officer for iSoft, said: “UltraGenda has an outstanding reputation as a world-class niche software developer, and we warmly welcome them into the iSoft fold.

“The deal is part of our strategy of building a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that can be leveraged across our global footprint, as well as providing an immediate boost to our Lorenzo roadmap under the national programme.”

ISoft’s continental European business unit will manage UltraGenda, which will be introduced to the global market in March at HIMSS conference in Atlanta and at the World of Health IT conference in Barcelona.

In a customer announcement, the chief executive of UltraGenda, Hugo Schellens, said: “For our existing customers, everything you have come to count on will remain the same. You will still contact the same people, including me, and our service will be impeccable, as always.

“Joining forces will allow UltraGenda to bring its solutions to distant markets while iSoft will enrich its solutions with the strength of our scheduling component.”

Links: UltraGenda