McKesson poised for growth

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McKesson Provider Technologies anticipates growth in the healthcare industry and is ready for it, Joe Biegel, vice president of product management for the medical imaging group, said at SIIM 2007 in Providence, R.I., last week.

Implementing PACS is not about saving film costs, he said. People are looking at this as an IT problem and an IT solution. PACS and RIS dramatically change workflow but McKesson is experienced with a deployment process that quickly gets its customers experiencing the improvements and benefits.

Biegel said he’s been seeing increases in integration between radiology and cardiology and McKesson has been making efforts to push the market. The main groups of PACS users are radiologist and cardiologists, IT users and other emerging clinical users. “We are listening to [the first two groups] and our company is organized to look at both. We are the only strong player in this market that is also an IT company.” Since PACS is no longer a department purchase, more and more, deployment requires collaboration from people in different departments and a fully engaged IT staff, he said.

Another big chunk of the company’s business is the PACS replacement market. Customers looking to replace their system are very savvy and ask very good, detailed questions, Biegel said. Cost and support usually drive replacement, not feature function, he said. In the PACS market, customers are looking for operational efficiency and getting there as fast as possible. “Almost everything else is secondary,” he said.

The market has been unstable so “people feel comfortable with the McKesson brand and name,” Biegel said. Also, he has seen an increase in interest from smaller hospitals because they are recognizing that they will get the same level of support as much larger facilities. All help calls go directly to experienced engineers.

“This is a very exciting time for us,” Biegel said. “Business is growing and we are positioning ourselves for growth.”