Abaton.com Will Not Be Offered As Stand-Alone Lab Solution

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EARLY-ADOPTER LABS now using Abaton.com for Web-based lab test ordering and results reporting will have to switch to a new software product.

McKesson HBOC notified existing laboratory users of the Abaton.com product that it will no longer be supported as a stand-alone solution for Web-accessed lab test ordering and results reporting. Lab customers have been given twelve months to find another software solution.

Abaton.com will continue to be sold by McKesson HBOC, but only to integrated delivery networks (IDNs) as part of an integrated suite of clinical information products and services.

Among the laboratories affected by this corporate decision are Allina Health System in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Centrex Clinical Laboratories in New Hartford, New York; and Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

Ready To Capture Market

Only 18 months ago, Abaton.com was positioned to capture a significant share of the market for Web-accessed laboratory test ordering and results reporting. It had a robust ASP (application service provider) software solution that was reasonably priced.

More importantly, unlike many of its competitors, Abaton.com was able to sign contracts with lab customers and then move rapidly to implement the product. Its functionality, combined with the fact that it could be up and running within just a few months, made it a leader in this emerging market segment.

However, Abaton.com had been acquired by McKesson HBOC in the fall of 1999. In the rush to convert itself into an “e-health” company, McKesson HBOC underwent several reorganizations which affected its new Abaton.com division.

iMcKesson Disbanded

These corporate reorganizations included the ill-fated iMcKesson effort, which was disbanded earlier this year after less than eight months of operation. Abaton.com had been put into iMcKesson.

McKesson HBOC’s current business strategy is to offer its IDN customers an integrated product suite of software products and services. Abaton.com will be part of this product offering. It will only be sold to IDNs and will not be available for purchase as a separate, stand-alone solution for use by clinical laboratories.

The Abaton.com story is another example of a robust product which has yet to get the right focus and support by its corporate parent. As an independent company, Abaton.com had a clear vision and was moving steadily into both the IDN and laboratory markets. Within McKesson HBOC, it has become an undervalued asset.

This story is a reminder that labs and pathology groups should exercise caution when selecting a software vendor. It’s still a rough and tumble market for Web-based software products.

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