10 things to know about MEDITECH

When naming the key health IT companies, MEDITECH holds its place on the list as one of the longest-standing U.S.-based EHR vendors.

Here are 10 things to know about MEDITECH.

1. MEDITECH, short for Medical Information Technology, was founded in 1968 by Neil Pappalardo, who at the time was working at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in clinical computing. Mr. Pappalardo had recently graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and had created MGH Utility Multi-Programming System, more commonly referred to as MUMPS, which has become the industry-standard language for medical software. He developed MEDITECH out of concern for the paper processes in healthcare that were prone to errors.

2. Since 2010, Howard Messing has served as president and CEO of MEDITECH, though his roots in the company reach back to 1974 when he joined MEDITECH as a programmer. He was promoted to vice president in 1985. Mr. Messing then served as executive vice president from 1995 to 2002, when he was named president and COO.

3. MEDITECH has 2,300 customers worldwide, more than 900 customers that have successfully attested to meaningful use, more than 285 customers that have achieved HIMSS stage 6 and 19 customers that have achieved HIMSS stage 7. Additionally, the company has 11 buildings across three states, in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Georgia.

4. Though founded and based in the United States, MEDITECH has a global reach as well, with approximately 650 customers in 22 countries. The company is working directly with healthcare customers in Ireland and the United Kingdom and has service partners in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. MEDITECH also plans to expand its presence in the Spanish-speaking market.

5. As of March, MEDITECH was the most commonly used primary EHR hospitals used to attest to meaningful use, according to CMS data. MEDITECH, which was used by 946 hospitals to attest, just edged out Cerner, which was used by 931. CMS defined the primary EHR as one that is complete or meets the most meaningful use criteria.

6. For the first quarter of 2015, MEDITECH reported a drop in total revenue compared to the same time period in 2014, falling from $130.7 million to $113 million. According to the statement of income, product revenue between the two comparable time periods fell by $22 million from $55.6 million to $33.3 million. However, service revenue slightly increased, from $75 million in the first quarter 2014 to $79.8 million in the first quarter 2015.

7. MEDITECH is a member of the Argonaut Project, an initiative launched by Health Level Seven International, an authority on standards for interoperability, to accelerate the development and adoption of interoperability resources. MEDITECH is one of a handful of IT and EHR vendors to participate in the project; Cerner, Epic, McKesson and Surescripts are also members.

8. MEDITECH is also a member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a nonprofit trade association based in Boston that aims to enhance interoperability in health IT. CommonWell's founding members are comprised of EHR vendor competitors Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Evident (CPSI), Greenway Health, McKesson and Sunquest. The organization is developing a vendor-neutral platform that fosters electronic information exchange.

9. MEDITECH used to participate in CMS' Designated Test EHR Program. Along with McKesson, the two were the first EHR vendors in the program. The test program allows eligible hospitals, providers and critical access hospitals to demonstrate they have achieved meaningful use stage 2's transitions of care objective. Participating EHR vendors have their software registered on a system called the EHR Randomizer. When providers register with the program to conduct tests, the EHR Randomizer matches that professional, hospital or critical access hospital with a test EHR different from the one they use to demonstrate they can electronically share information with disparate systems. When asked why vendors such as MEDITECH move on from the program, an ONC spokesperson said, "The CMS Designated Test EHR Program is a voluntary program. Developers are not required to participate for any specific period."

10. In 2010, MEDITECH partnered with Northeastern University in Boston to integrate a new version of its EHR software into the classroom setting for health science students.

More articles on health IT:

Participation gaps in EHR incentive programs could negatively affect patient care 
6 things to know about AMA's 170th president 
How MU Stage 3 might change EHR 

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