Physician Staffing Trends and Hospitalist Jobs Fuel Growth at Locum Leaders

Locum Leaders, a leading physician and nurse recruiting firm specializing in temporary medical staffing, known as locum tenens, is projecting rapid growth in 2009. The company's positive outlook is fueled by increased industry demand in key physician specialties and the company's strategic investments in technology and service.

"The economy notwithstanding, we predict strong quarterly growth in our business, especially in the areas of hospital medicine (patient care delivered by hospital-based physicians) and anesthesiology," said Will Drescher, Locum Leaders CEO. "Demand for hospitalists is surging and we are positioned as a national leader in the placement of locum tenens hospitalist physicians."

Locum tenens is a Latin phrase meaning "to substitute or take the place of." Locum Leaders contracts with healthcare facilities that have temporary staffing needs, such as vacation openings, and then recruits and places qualified physicians and CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) to fill those needs - often by temporarily relocating the healthcare provider.

Locum tenens is the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. medical staffing industry, according to analysts. "Physician turnover at hospitals and doctor and CRNA shortages are catalysts for our business," said Drescher.

Locum Leaders was launched in 2008 and its leadership team is drawn from industry veterans with a track record of success. CEO Drescher was previously a Partner and Vice President at Locum Tenens.com. Investment for Locum Leaders comes from W3, LLC of Alpharetta, GA, whose principals were partners at B2B Workforce, a leading IT recruiting company acquired in 2007.

Although a young company, Locum Leaders has invested heavily in client services and technology that Drescher views as a point of differentiation.

"Web-based convenience and service are keys for our success," he said. "All of our client and provider interactions are managed with state-of-the-art software. Our website lets physicians search and apply for jobs and gives them online access to their credentialing documents."

Other company benefits for healthcare providers include A++ occurrence-based malpractice insurance, weekly pay with direct deposit, and hassle-free transportation and housing assistance for all jobs that require travel.

Expansion into surgery staffing is part of the company's rapid growth plan in 2009, as is additional hiring at Locum Leaders itself. "Not many companies are hiring in this economy, but we are," said Drescher. "Smart, talented recruiters and account managers are critical to sustain our growth and meet the needs of our customers."

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Industry News Release

Eclipsys Completes Acquisition of Premise, Adds Patient Flow Solutions to Enterprise Performance Management Solution Set

Eclipsys Corporation, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Premise Corporation, a privately held industry leader in patient flow solutions.

Premise, based in Farmington, CT, is a leading provider of integrated and clinically focused software solutions and services that help optimize patient flow, streamline communications, enhance operational efficiency, and empower knowledge-based decision-making. With their ease of use and visualization of real-time operating data, Premise solutions have been recognized as the industry`s most intuitive systems for bed management, bed turnover, and patient transport. In 2008, the Premise bed management and patient throughput solutions received the exclusive endorsement of the 5,000-plus-member American Hospital Association (AHA), and Premise is the only Microsoft Gold Certified provider of patient flow solutions.

"Eclipsys and Premise should be a tremendous combination, with Eclipsys` recognized industry leadership in enterprise clinical and patient access systems and Premise`s leadership with patient flow solutions," said Mark L. Andersen, senior vice president of Information Systems and chief information officer of Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), a joint client. "In these challenging economic times, bed and capacity management will become an even bigger issue. The Premise solution has helped us manage our demand; since 2000, we`ve seen a 20-percent increase in annual discharge volume, and that would have been virtually unmanageable in an environment without this system."

The Advisory Board Company, a respected international industry research and analysis firm, agrees, noting that "Hospitals seeking to relieve capacity constraints in the short run face the imperative of maximizing return on current capacity; contending with increased demand in the here-and-now requires handling more admissions with the current beds and staff - in short, faster patient throughput."

Because of challenges in accessing capital in the current economy, many hospital expansion projects are now on hold. The Premise products, to be renamed Sunrise Patient Flow™, help health systems maximize the utilization of existing inpatient and Emergency Department beds. The solutions are helping clients - many of them world-renowned healthcare providers, including five of the top eight America`s Best Hospitals - reduce length of stay, nursing and housekeeping costs, while improving revenue, quality of care, and patient satisfaction.

Interpreting Advisory Board data, reducing overall length of stay by one day in an average-sized, 300-bed hospital is the equivalent of adding 49 beds and reducing nursing costs by $1 million to $2 million a year. Additionally, through greater usability of existing beds, more patients can be served, with one additional patient per day translating to an average $1.2 million of incremental annual revenue.

Relatively few health systems have implemented these types of operational improvement solutions to date, with HIMSS Analytics reporting that 61 percent of U.S. hospitals alone have no current solution for bed management. "The potential market for these solutions is significant, both in the U.S. and internationally," stated R. Andrew Eckert, Eclipsys president and chief executive officer. "They are easy to install, with rapid return on investment and minimal up-front expense. We anticipate that they will be a very popular addition to our portfolio of Eclipsys enterprise solutions."

Expands Leadership in Enterprise Performance Management Solutions

"The acquisition of Premise, together with our acquisition of EPSi last spring and the availability of our Sunrise Clinical Analytics, helps build out a world-class solution set that supports direct patient care-related activities as well as operational performance management," Eckert said. "Together, these solutions truly help hospitals and health systems effectively manage the business of healthcare and achieve rapid and sustainable improvements in operational efficiency, clinical outcomes, and financial performance."

Premise applications and services now become part of the growing Eclipsys Performance Management™ solution suite that gives health system clinical and operational managers and senior executives the tools to gather, analyze and display enterprise-wide information. This helps them more easily identify areas requiring intervention, leading to improvements in clinical quality, cost-efficiency and patient satisfaction while patients are still in the facility.

"Other vendors provide business intelligence solely in the form of historical reports that give you hindsight but limited insight," Eckert noted. "Eclipsys Performance Management solutions enable healthcare organizations to understand the past, monitor the present and predict or model potential future outcomes as leaders make decisions that keep the organization competitive and operating efficiently."

In addition to the complementary capabilities of Premise`s products with the already robust Eclipsys Sunrise Enterprise™ solution suite, Eclipsys and Premise solutions share a web-based, Microsoft SQL Server platform and go-forward technology direction, which played an important role in the Eclipsys acquisition decision.

"Premise and our other two acquisitions of the past year, EPSi and MediNotes, have definitely expanded Eclipsys` market reach and our position in the competitive HIT marketplace," Eckert stated. "The solutions enhance our existing Sunrise Enterprise solutions to make the Eclipsys portfolio an even more compelling answer for providers seeking to address the ever-changing regulatory and reimbursement environment."

As announced Dec. 31 upon signing of the definitive merger agreement, Eclipsys has acquired all of Premise`s outstanding equity interests. The purchase price was $38.5 million cash, subject to certain holdback escrow provisions and working capital adjustments.

Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as financial advisor to Eclipsys in the transaction.

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Industry News Release

The Seven Costly Mistakes Healthcare Organizations Make When Purchasing Electronic Medical Records and Health IT

Providers, Administrators, CEOs and IT Directors of medical practices and groups, community hospitals, and community health centers can now learn how to save thousands of dollars and protect their long-term interests by successfully evaluating vendors and negotiating favorable electronic medical records (EMR) and health IT system contracts.

The free white paper, 7 Costly Mistakes Made When Purchasing Electronic Medical Records and Health IT - And How to Avoid Them (http://www.ehrgroup.com/7-costly-mistakes-whitepaper), is available for download at The EHR Group's website.

Written specifically for purchasers of EMR and Health IT, "7 Costly Mistakes Made When Purchasing Electronic Medical Records and Health IT - And How to Avoid Them," illustrates seven of the top mistakes health care organizations make when it comes to purchasing EMR systems. Readers will find advice on how to select the right EMR, get the best price, negotiate a favorable contract, and ensure adequate EMR support and implementation.

"I wrote this report because I meet so many healthcare professionals who have left tens of thousands of dollars on the table by overpaying for their EMR, lost productivity by selecting the wrong EMR, and who are frustrated being tied to long-term contracts that protect the vendor - not the healthcare organization," says Michael Uretz, Executive Director of The EHR Group. "Health care executives and providers, whether part of a medical group, health center, or a community hospital, are often at a disadvantage when purchasing EMR or Health IT systems because they lack the 'insider knowledge' needed to successfully evaluate vendors, get the best price, and negotiate these complex contracts. This white paper will help them level the playing field when evaluating and negotiating with EMR and Health IT vendors."

Loaded with factual information, 7 Costly Mistakes Made When Purchasing Electronic Medical Records and Health IT - And How to Avoid Them (http://www.ehrgroup.com/7-costly-mistakes-whitepaper), is based on Uretz' 30-years of experience working with all aspects of technology acquisition and implementation. Uretz discusses each of the seven mistakes in detail and includes practical tips healthcare professionals can put to use immediately in their EMR negotiations.

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Industry News Release

Gilbert Hospital Installs New, State-of-the-Art CT Imaging Technology

Gilbert Hospital has announced that it has acquired and installed a new, state-of-the-art 64-slice CT imaging system from GE Healthcare. The Lightspeed VCT is the world's first Volume Computed Tomography (VCT) system. Gilbert Hospital now offers an innovative way for its physicians to obtain the information they need to diagnose disease and life-threatening illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and chest pain.

Nearly twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners, Gilbert Hospital new scanner is so effective, it captures images in as little as one second and can perform whole body trauma scans in as little as ten seconds.

"Our new Volume CT system will now allow our physicians to perform new and enhanced procedures and obtain information they need to diagnose patients who are suffering from chest pain or stroke much quicker and much more effectively," said Dr.

Tim A. Johns , Gilbert Hospitals founder and Medical Director. "This new Volume CT is extremely patient friendly. The fast scans can help reduce patient stress and anxiety, and some of the volume CT procedures can be done in only one simple exam."

In a single rotation, the LightSpeed VCT creates 64 high-resolution anatomical images as thin as a credit card. These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy for the physicians at Gilbert Hospital to analyze. From these images, the physicians can view such things as blockages in the coronary arteries, as well as the motion and pumping action of a patient's heart.

"We're breaking barriers in speed and accuracy of patient exams and are now able to offer new and enhanced diagnostic procedures thanks to our new CT," stated

David Wanger , Chief Executive Officer of Gilbert Hospital. "The technology is greatly benefiting both the physicians and the patients of the southeast valley. We're excited to be one of the first to offer this medical technology in the area."

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Industry News Release

 

Sachin Shetty, associate professor at Old Dominion University's Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, is excited about blockchain's potential, and is doing research with Sentara Healthcare into how it could be deployed. But privacy and scalability pose challenges, he said.