iSOFT claims HealthSMART win

E-health giant shrugs off troubles to complete Victorian healthcare project

iSOFT announced it had completed the rollout of new patient management systems in mid-June to Victorian hospitals under Victoria's delayed HealthSMART project begun back in 2003, as financial problems continue to plague the Australian e-health giant.

The overall HealthSMART project was initiated under the Bracks Labor government back in 2003 with a pricetag of $323 million and a due date of 2007. It has since had another $37 million pumped into it, with the due date gradually extending — several years ago it was slated to be finished in 2009.

The iSOFT implementation reflects one substantial chunk of the project — other vendors involved include US-based Cerner and InterSystems subsidiary TrakHealth. iSOFT won an open tender for its portion in December 2005.

An iSOFT statement issued to the Australian Stock Exchange noted its component of the project had resulted in the company completing 33 major implementations over four years, 29 of which took place over the past two years. Seven million patient records were migrated from existing systems, and the entire platform has some 80,000 registered users on 122 hospital sites — with 15,000 logging in at any one time.

“iSOFT looks forward to continuing working with the Victorian Department of Health in modernising the public healthcare sector and helping it realise the long-term vision for connected healthcare," said iSOFT Australia and New Zealand managing director, James Rice, said.

"For iSOFT, this also represents the first step in a long journey to enable healthcare agencies across the country to meet growing healthcare demands."

iSOFT's implementation saw it deliver a number of different modules of its software — including systems for a master patient index, appointments, referrals, caseload management, waiting lists, theatres, patient document tracking, billing, financial management and reporting and so on.

The news came as iSOFT's share price continued to languish in the wake of news the company was suffering problems with its UK operation — delays in its massive contract with the National Health Service, uncertainty associated with the change in UK government and a weak European economy.

iSOFT also revealed it had secured a $30 million line of credit facility with US-based investment fund YA Global. The facility will be used to provide flexibility in regards to iSOFT's cash management — replenishing cash balances drawn down for acquisitions and other investments in iSOFT's 2010 financial year.

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