"Lab Industry Watch"

Park City Solutions Acquires Chi Lab Systems of Ann Arbor

Golder Thoma-financed company moves to expand its reach into the lab industry

THERE’S A NEW PLAYER in healthcare and laboratory consulting. Park City Solutions, Inc. of Midway, Utah wants to become a recognized name in the lab industry.

As one step toward this goal, it announced the purchase of Chi Laboratory Systems, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The deal was made public on December 28, 1999.

Park City Solutions (PCS) is one of a new breed of service companies emerging to serve the healthcare marketplace. It is neither a software vendor nor a traditional consulting company. Instead, it is a blend of several types of core business services, bundled as a single solution.

Comprehensive Solutions

“There is a clear need by integrated health networks (IDN) and other healthcare companies for comprehensive solutions,” said Terry A. Pitts, President and CEO at Park City Systems. “Piecemeal consulting resources are no longer adequate to address the rapid changes now reshaping the American healthcare system.”

Asked to describe his company, Pitts responded with a simple answer. “Park City Solutions has the capability to help with integration, followed by implementation. The entire process; before, during, and after, is supported by our ‘best practices’ expertise.”

Pitts is describing a holistic approach to healthcare problem-solving. It is consistent with the management philosophies of ISO-9000 and other quality improvement systems. Because of the importance of lab data to healthcare services, PCS knows it must have expertise in this area.

Patient Health Record

“Lab administrators and pathologists know that lab data comprises 70% of the typical patient record,” observed Pitts. “We believe healthcare systems will increasingly turn toward laboratory testing as the place to improve the quality of care, lower costs, and improve both clinical and operational integration.

“That is one reason we acquired Chi Laboratory Systems,” he continued. “We believe that Chi possesses a clean, comprehensive data base on laboratory operations. Its people are also a strong resource. PCS needs these types of capabilities to provide a comprehensive solution for IDNs and other healthcare entities.”

Formed early in 1999, Park City Solutions has something in common with several laboratory organizations. It is backed by the investment firm of Golder Thoma Cressey and Rauner, LLC (GTCR), based in Chicago, Illinois. GTCR is the firm which provided financing used by Dynacare Inc. to purchase its public stock and become a private company in 1996. GTCR also provided funding for the buyers of American Medical Laboratories, Inc. of Chantilly, Virginia in 1997. (See TDR, May 12. 1997.)

PCS Executive Team

PCS was founded by three individuals, each with a background in healthcare companies. Terry Pitts, President and CEO, was a key executive for several years at Shared Medical Systems, Inc. (SMS). Scott Holbrook, Executive Vice President at PCS, was formerly the Chief Operating Officer at Sunquest Laboratory Systems, Inc. Scott Remley, Chief Financial Officer at PCS, has 24 years of management experience in various healthcare firms.

Laboratory executives and pathologists should see Park City Solutions as a new type of healthcare consulting service company. It is combining expertise in software systems, data management technologies, and project implementation into a single package.

PCS’s business strategy is to help its clients improve the collection, management, and storage of data, then use that data to drive performance outcomes in a variety of ways. This is certainly consistent with THE DARK REPORT’s prediction that real value-added for clinical laboratories is converting raw lab data into useful knowledge.

Emphasis On Best Practices

The other interesting aspect about Park City Solutions is its emphasis on best practices. “Best practices” is a concept from quality management systems. It requires careful measurement of relevant work processes which can then be compared against the best practices of that industry’s leading companies.

For PCS, offering “best practices” solutions means that it will enjoy long-term relationships with its clients, including clinical laboratories. Once PCS helps to solve a client’s problems, it continues the relationship by helping that client achieve performance levels equal to the best practices in the healthcare industry.

Until its purchase of Chi Laboratory Systems, Park City Solutions had kept a relatively low profile within the laboratory industry. Expect that to change. PCS intends to energize Chi and expand its service capabilities. That may lead to increased sales efforts by competing lab consulting companies. Certainly such firms as the Wilkerson Group, Healthcare Development Services, and Superior Consultants will not let PCS/Chi get a jump on them.

Park City Solutions has ambitious goals. Because it is well-organized and well-financed, it should be considered as a credible new competitor.

Park City Acquiring Several Companies

To create a one-stop solution for healthcare organizations, Park City Solutions (PCS) has purchased a number of companies. Here is a list of the operating divisions at PCS to which the recently-acquired Chi Laboratory Systems will be added.

  • PCS/Healthcare Technologies, Cincinnati Integration management
  • PCS/AmeriNet, Salt Lake City
    Services for AS/400 technology platforms
  • PCS/First Choice, Wichita Implementation services
  • PCS/Custom Integration Consultants, Las Vegas Data integration services involving interface engines
  • PCS/Lab Information Systems
    LIS and scheduling services
  • PCS/Decision Support System Consulting Application and technical consulting services for Eclipsys/TSI, HBOC Trendstar, and HCM decision support systems.

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