SunQuest emerges from Misys' shadow

ORLANDO, FL – When Misys Healthcare sold its diagnostic systems business to a private equity firm last July, it allowed the Sunquest name to re-emerge from the shadows.

Richard Atkin couldn’t be happier.

“The return of the Sunquest name was icing on the cake,” said the president and CEO of the Tucson, Ariz.-based supplier of diagnostic information systems. “We felt that it was absolutely the best thing that could occur for this business.”

Atkin calls this year’s HIMSS show and conference “a coming-out party of sorts” for Sunquest Information Systems, which was founded in 1979 and acquired by Misys in 2001. The company had its own booth this year in Orlando, and Atkin and his staff are busy pointing out a string of product enhancements and new solutions that Sunquest has announced since its departure from the Misys world.

To wit, Sunquest traveled to the Arab Health Conference in Dubai in January to show off its laboratory information system software, then launched its CoPathPlus 4.0 anatomic pathology software on Feb. 4 and its Collection Manager 3.0 add-on module on Feb. 12.

Atkin said Sunquest enjoyed the support of Misys during its brief tenure with the company, but was just one part of a portfolio of Misys products. Once the company was acquired on July 22, 2007 by Vista Equity Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, he said, Sunquest was able to present itself again as a stand-along company with a specific set of products.

“We have our focus again,” he said.

Atkin says Sunquest has focused on laboratory-based solutions in the past, and is now developing pathology and microbiology protocols. He points out that more than half of the lab tests now being done by hospitals are done on an outreach basis, in that they benefit not only the hospital but the community as a whole. To that end, he said, Sunquest has to evolve, and create newer, broad-based products.