Industry news: GE Healthcare, MediNotes Corp, SIIM, WebMD

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GE Healthcare is partnering with Joint Commission Resources (JCR), an affiliate of The Joint Commission, to provide an ongoing series of original programs addressing quality and safety for hospitals across the country. The Joint Commission Resources Quality & Safety Network will present 12 original satellite, live web, and web archive programs beginning today. The programs feature case studies from hospitals across the nation demonstrating best practices and afford opportunities to interact with industry experts.  Topics include: National Patient Safety Goals, Creating a Culture of Safety, Strategies to Help Prevent Infection, and many more. The Joint Commission representatives and national health care experts will comprise the faculty. More: www.gehealthcare.com/education


EMR system provider MediNotes Corporation announced that it will unite its direct and indirect sales teams. To coincide with the realignment, several key members of the MediNotes team have taken on new roles within the company. Davin Hills, who has been with the company since its inception in 1996, has been promoted to senior vice president, where he will oversee the development of the MediNotes e EMR. Tom Edgeton has been promoted to vice president of business development, a newly-created position that will be responsible for promoting MediNotes and its products to the broader physician community. Finally, Cathey Halsten and Peggy Peterson have been promoted to regional vice presidents of sales. Halsten will oversee and manage the western region, while Peterson will focus on the eastern U.S.


WebMD Health Corp. has made available free access to its Personal Health Record, as well as announced the newest version of its health information portal. WebMD claims it will provide every American with access to its PHR though the Health Manager, where consumers can securely store and maintain their personal health history. Health Manager provides the health assessment tools that enable people to learn their personal health score and take a more active role in managing their families' health. The new portal will enrich the user experience for the more than 35 million people who turn to the WebMD Health network each month, the company said. A preview of the new site can be accessed on the homepage of WebMD.com or at http://www.pv.webmd.com/


The Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR), has launched its new website: http://www.siimweb.org. The new website coincides with the re-branding of the society and the intention to use the Internet as a much stronger platform to serve its members throughout the year. The website provides valuable content for the entire medical imaging community and serves as a resource for the emerging field of imaging informatics. The website features include the following:
  • The SIIM Expert Hotline has been integrated and archived on the site. The Hotline taps into SIIM members' expertise and background in PACS technology and imaging informatics applications;
  • More podcasts and streaming video of SIIM educational content;
  • Improved search function with the capability of performing full-text searches of all content on the website; and
  • Communities of Practice that are "learning communities" within SIIM.

Burnaby, British Columbia-based Ultrasonix Medical Corporation, an ultrasound developer and manufacturer, saw a jump in worldwide demand for its Sonix Series of Smart Ultrasound products in 2006, with nearly a 250 percent rise in sales over the same period in 2005. The company sold more than 750 Sonix Series units in 2006, compared to 300 in 2005.