“July 11, 2005 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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There’s been strong growth at two companies featured in Fortune Magazine’s 2005 list of “America’s Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies.” Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. earned a ranking as number 28 on the list. Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. was ranked at number 64. Another company of interest which made the list was Meridian Bioscience, Inc., listed at number 80. Meridian produces materials used in laboratory proficiency testing kits.

ADD TO: Top 100 Ranking

To compile this “fastest-growing” list, Fortune identifies public companies with annual revenues below $200 million and a share price that is at least $1. It then produced the rankings by using the criteria of earnings growth and revenue growth over the past three years, along with the performance of the company’s stock.

VA GIVES I.T. SYSTEM AWAY FOR FREE AND HAS PLENTY OF TAKERS

If a health system with 1,300 hospitals and clinical sites nationally had a working I.T. system and was willing to give it away for free, would there be any takers? The answer is yes, if the system is the Veterans Administration’s Vista, which stands for “Veteran Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture.” Many foreign healthcare organizations are using the Vista system. In Mexico, the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) is preparing to install Vista in 112 of its 223 general hospitals. Premier hospitals in Egypt and Germany have extensive experience with Vista.

ADD TO: Free Software

Within the United States, 201-bed Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas is about to become the first acute care hospital in the private sector to activate and use the Vista system. Vista has been in the public domain for 20 years. It can be downloaded for free from any number of public Web sites. A copy of Vista on a CD-ROM can be purchased from the VA for $47. There is a group of developers, called WorldVista, who are developing Vista as an open-source system. Efforts are underway to adapt Vista to run on a Linux operating system and a GT.M version of MUMPS data base and programming language. Health officials in many countries consider Vista to be an extraordinary free resource that stretches their meager budgets for healthcare.

Here’s another national healthcare story where THE DARK REPORT has scooped the national media! Three weeks ago, the Washington Post ran an extensive story about how Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seattle, Washington has gone “Lean” and is using the management quality methods developed at Toyota throughout its hospital and affiliated clinics. Of course, alert readers recall that The Dark Report presented the Virginia Mason story in detail last November 22, 2005, with a special emphasis on laboratory and pathology projects.

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