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McKesson Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Awarix
McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Awarix, Inc., one of the first companies to offer an enterprise patient care visibility system. The Awarix solution is designed to drive a high-quality, efficient experience for each patient while providing real-time feedback to the care team for better management of capacity and patient throughput. The solution identifies and helps to eliminate the bottlenecks that delay treatment and extend the patient stay. To highlight activity and patient status, the system provides color-coded, at-a-glance views of the hospital’s floor plan mounted throughout the facility.
The acquisition is expected to close by the end of July, subject to customary conditions.
“The enterprise patient care visibility system is a new category of healthcare technology focused on delivering accurate, real-time information to speed clinical decision time, reduce care delays, and manage scarce resources,” said Pamela Pure, president of McKesson Technology Solutions and executive vice president of McKesson Corporation. “Our customers have requested systems that can help maximize throughput and associated revenue while recommending the most efficient strategy to move a patient through the care process. This solution provides visibility, and visibility equals efficiency. The addition of the Awarix solution reinforces McKesson’s goal of providing customers with technology to improve performance.”
The high-impact Awarix system is designed to drive workflow and wait-time improvements, which are particularly important in the emergency room. According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, 91% of the nation’s emergency departments report overcrowding as a problem, with 73% of surveyed hospitals diverting at least two patients per day.
“Emergency department challenges are most often caused by ‘downstream’ capacity issues in care areas such as the ICU, surgery, and observational beds,” said Gary York, founder of Awarix. “Bed management and departmental tracking boards can’t address system-wide bottlenecks. Our breakthrough enterprise patient visibility system materially reduces the need to go on emergency department diversion. More efficient inpatient management also precludes the need for new construction.”
Information aggregated from clinical, ADT (admission, discharge and transfer), housekeeping and transportation systems are displayed on large electronic “whiteboards.” The whiteboards increase productivity by enabling caregivers to quickly identify patients with orders pending or critical laboratory results as well as patient locations and wait times, discharge status and room availability. Identification technologies such as RFID and ultrasound can also be linked to proactively monitor patient activity. All of this information can then be aggregated into key performance indicators to drive workflow and process improvement.
In 2006, Awarix received the North American Healthcare Information Technologies Enabling Technology of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company.
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McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 18th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. McKesson is the longest-operating company in healthcare today, and will mark 175 years of continuous operations in 2008. Over the course of its history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients.