SOURCE: McKesson

May 09, 2005 13:39 ET

WestCare Selects McKesson for Digital Healthcare Initiative

Paragon HIS to Transform Healthcare in Western North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, NC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 9, 2005 -- McKesson recently announced that it will work with WestCare Health System in Sylva, N.C. to implement Paragon®, McKesson's hospital information system (HIS) especially designed for community hospitals, in an effort to create a completely digital healthcare system for the six-county community that it serves. The decision stems from WestCare's desire to transform the delivery and quality of healthcare in western North Carolina.

WestCare will leverage Paragon's Microsoft®-based technology and integrated clinical and financial applications to transform its operations into a fully digital healthcare system. At WestCare, information will be electronically stored and accessible to clinicians, allowing them to deliver care more safely and more efficiently. Using McKesson's Horizon Medical Imaging™ and Horizon Patient Folder™ applications, WestCare will also integrate its medical records with electronic diagnostic and document images for a complete view of a patient's care. "Secure access to our patients' complete set of clinical information will improve patient safety and speed the delivery of care to our patients," said Mark Leonard, FACHE, president and chief executive officer for WestCare Health System.

Utilizing Paragon's WebStation for Physicians, physicians and other caregivers will have access to all current patient information and share it simultaneously via secure Internet and Intranet connections, enabling more informed decisions using accurate, timely data. This easy Web-enabled access improves patient safety by arming clinicians with complete patient information at the time of treatment -- whether it is in a hospital, office or remote setting.

"Utilizing an IP-based storage area network and Microsoft clustering technology, WestCare Health System and McKesson are changing the landscape of the community hospital market by providing a highly available architecture that was once only affordable to larger hospital facilities," said Shawn Remacle, WestCare's director of information services.

"McKesson is committed to providing WestCare with the strategic technology needed to achieve safer, more efficient and available healthcare in its community," said Jim Pesce, senior vice president for McKesson Provider Technologies and general manager of Paragon. "We are pleased at the opportunity to work closely with WestCare as they pursue their goal of becoming a regional health leader."

About WestCare

WestCare Health System is a progressive, well-respected, non-profit health care provider that delivers a full spectrum of health care for over 80,000 people living in Western North Carolina. Nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, WestCare was formed in February 1997 with the merger of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital, two long-standing, respected hospitals. WestCare employs almost 1000 full- and part-time employees and has a medical staff of almost 80 physicians representing 18 specialties that share one goal, providing you with quality, compassionate healthcare, close to home. For more information, please contact WestCare Health System at 828-586-7000 or visit www.westcare.org.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 15 healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 170-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare, and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, call 800-981-8601 or visit http://www.mckesson.com.

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