January 29, 2007 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

To make its laboratory test results available to physicians via cellular telephones and wireless PDAs, Spectrum Laboratory Network of Greensboro, North Carolina, will use the MercuryMD service of Thompson Healthcare . Spectrum sales reps will install MercuryMD on the smartphones and/or PDAs of client physicians. This service allows physicians in Spectrum’s affiliated network of hospitals in North Carolina and Tennessee to access “test results and all laboratory data relevant to a given patient via smartphone or PDA, regardless of location.”

MORE ON: Wireless Access

Spectrum’s office-based client physicians in a five-state area will also be able to use the MercuryMD service to access their lab test data. In recent years, Spectrum Laboratory Network has aggressively deployed sophisticated informatics technology to both harvest operational gains and differentiate itself in the marketplace from competing laboratories.


In recent weeks, Sonic Healthcare Ltd, of Sydney, Australia, announced it was purchasing the minority interest—approximately 18%— that it did not own in Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Inc. (CPL) of Austin, Texas. The primary minority shareholders are CPL Chairman Robert Connor, M.D., and COO David Schultz. Sonic disclosed that it will pay $82.7 million for the 18% of CPL held by minority shareholders. Payment will be 50% in cash and 50% in the form of Sonic Healthcare stock, with the stock valued at a 17% discount to current share prices.

ADD TO: Sonic Healthcare

Sonic Healthcare is rapidly developing its laboratory testing business in the United States. Since acquiring CPL in 2005, it has purchased Cognescenti Health Insitute, Inc. in Orlando, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee-based American Esoteric Laboratories, Inc. (See TDRs,September 12, 2005, September 4, 2006, and December 18, 2006). It is known that Sonic Healthcare is in active acquisition negotiations with several regional laboratory companies. By purchasing the remaining minority interest in CPL, Sonic may be establishing a new financial foundation for its business holdings in the United States.


  • Rick D. Ferguson is launching a new laboratory company in Southern California. Women’s Diagnostics, Inc., will operate a laboratory facility in Brea, California, and will focus on serving the needs of women’s health clinics and ob-gyns. Ferguson was the founder and CEO of FNA Clinics of America, Inc., which was purchased by Unilab, Inc., in January 2002. (See TDR, January 28, 2002.)
  • At Fairview Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the new President of Laboratory Services will be Priscilla R. Cherry. She was formerly Director of Laboratory Consulting at Premier, Inc., in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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