Sunquest Convenes Industry Panel To Deliver Key Insight Into New HITECH Ruling

Key aspect of User Group meeting this week

Sunquest Information Systems, Inc.r, a leading provider of healthcare diagnostic information technology and outreach solutions, provided insight into the recently adopted final rule provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) during its 29th Annual Sunquest User Group (SUG) 2010 Conference and Exposition. This final rule provides hospital laboratories with guidelines for meeting the meaningful use and electronic health record (EHR) provisions driven by the HITECH Stimulus Act.

"It is our mission at Sunquest to deliver industry leading solutions for diagnostic information technology. Interoperability combined with the meaningful adoption of our solutions has enabled Sunquest to become the recognized leader in the laboratory market space," says Richard Atkin, Sunquest President and CEO.

"Almost 80% of medical decisions are based upon laboratory results. At Sunquest, we recognize that laboratory test results are fundamental to the healthcare continuum, and are among the most requested pieces of data throughout the entire healthcare value chain. Sunquest has taken a leadership role within the industry, advocating the need for `meaningful laboratory results' as a foundational effort to successfully meet the full spectrum of meaningful use standards."

"Temporary `modular certification' of our products has begun," according to Sunquest Chief In-house Counsel Tom Wilson. "This will help improve decision making at the point of care and meet the stated goals of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator.

"Health and Human Services will thus enable eligible providers to combine certified modular solutions in order to achieve meaningful use provisions. This effort will deliver added assurance to customers and potential clients that Sunquest products are certified by a respected third party."

SUG Panel
The final implementation of this rule was made July 13, 2010, by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. This same date, Sunquest hosted a panel discussion focusing on the impact and implications of these new rulings, recent healthcare reform, and HITECH legislation on laboratory providers.

The Sunquest User Group ARRA panel included Gayle Harrell, Policy Committee Member for the US Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health Information Technology (HIT). Stanley Huff, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Intermountain Healthcare as well as Terri Ripley, Director of Systems/Programming at Centra and ARRA Coordinator, were also on the panel with Chris Callahan, Vice President of Product Management with Sunquest Information Systems.

"I am pleased to see the Final Rule gives providers the flexibility to pick their own path toward full EHR implementation and meaningful use. The exchange of lab data is one of the most critical components of using an Electronic Health Record effectively and the Final Rule acknowledges that by requiring that EHR's incorporate at least 40 % of clinical laboratory test data as structured data in an EHR. With the widespread adoption of Electronic Health Records we will be taking a giant leap forward in improving the safety, quality, and efficiency of healthcare," said former State Representative Gayle Harrell, one of the 20 members of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee

This final rule clarifies the requirements physicians and acute care facilities must satisfy to earn financial incentives for interoperability and the adoption of HIT under the HITECH Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The final rule was accompanied by a second rule setting standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology in an effort to help physicians ensure their purchases will deliver the value the rule is designed to drive, according to HHS.
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About Sunquest Information Systems
Sunquest Information Systems, Inc. delivers market leading diagnostic information technology and outreach solutions designed and implemented to fulfill the business objectives of today's healthcare leaders. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the company has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina; Norwich, United Kingdom; and Bangalore, India. Sunquest serves the global marketplace with reliable technology required for mission critical applications. These solutions provide the foundation to optimize the healthcare experience, deliver safe, effective, and timely patient care, expand community reach, and transform the delivery of healthcare with predictive and personalized medicine.
For more information please visit www.sunquestinfo.com, or phone +1 (800) 748-0692.