Patient records system failure looms over CSC acquisition

It will be interesting to see what kind of fruit Computer Sciences Corporation's (CSC) recent acquisition of international healthcare software supplier iSOFT will bear in the U.S., after reports that the latter's electronic patient record system in the U.K. has flopped.

Falls Church, Va.-based CSC's $189 million purchase of the Australian company, which provides clinical and business information systems to hospitals in more than 40 countries, was finalized this week, according to a CSC announcement. While iSOFT--which conducts most of its business outside of the U.S., particularly in Australia, India, Spain and the U.K.--is supposed to help CSC expand its global presence in the healthcare IT market, CSC is expected to help iSOFT make a move into the U.S. market.

But a committee of the U.K. Parliament recently found that the National Health Service's investment in electronic health records has produced no benefit for taxpayers, according to The Guardian. The project is behind schedule and over budget, the committee report said, with iSOFT described as responsible for installing a large base of the systems in the failed venture.

In response, CSC said it continues to believe that the EHR initiative "will deliver value for money to the U.K. government." CSC noted that iSOFT already has implemented similar systems successfully in 1,800 sites across the north, midlands, and east regions of England. "These systems are already delivering substantial benefits through the introduction of electronic patient record systems into primary and secondary care," the company said in a statement.

iSOFT's plans for the U.S. include introducing an enterprise scheduling solution that will become part of CSC's accountable care organization initiative. It might also bring solutions related to interoperability and clinical analytics to the U.S. market, Bob Reese, managing director of CSC's North American health delivery practice, told FierceHealthIT.

Conversely, Reese said, iSOFT "will take advantage of CSC's broad service capabilities.

"Where there are opportunities to support iSoft in providing services to existing base of business, we'll be putting those solutions there," he said. "iSOFT is uniquely positioned with CSC to strengthen their position on a global basis."

iSOFT provides products and services to more than 13,000 provider organizations around the world and employs about 3,000 people.

To learn more:
- read the CSC announcement
- see The Guardian's article 

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