Blanchard Valley Health System Expands Merge Healthcare Partnership With Enterprise-Wide Interoperability and Cardiology Solutions for Streamlined Operational Workflow and Continuity of Care

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CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare, today announced that Blanchard Valley Health System, a non-profit, integrated health system with more than 2,000 associates serving eight counties in Ohio, has selected Merge for its enterprise-wide vendor-neutral archive (VNA), interoperability and cardiology solutions to enable a seamless flow of information and meet Meaningful Use 2 (MU2) requirements for the exchange of images. Blanchard Valley will collaborate with Merge to break down departmental silos through real-time clinical data exchange within its community to enable streamlined workflow across the care continuum, as well as develop a strong disaster recovery program.

"When it came to images, both our IT and storage processes were operating under disparate systems throughout our health system departments," said Jamie Sorg, Director of Information Services and Information Security Officer at Blanchard Valley. "By leveraging Merge solutions, we'll not only be able to update some of our initial imaging solutions across the organization, but also prepare a long-term strategy with the ability to formulate a disaster recovery program. The ability to seamlessly share images, access data under a VNA and have a plan for our archived information was key to our partnership."

While initially looking to upgrade its cardiology and hemodynamics systems, Blanchard Valley realized they needed to invest in other solutions and incorporate a broader IT investment for a comprehensive, enterprise-wide imaging strategy. Blanchard Valley ultimately chose Merge to support their goals and will implement the following interoperability solutions for enterprise imaging, including:

  • iConnect® Enterprise Archive, Merge's VNA, will enable providers to access current and historical critical patient information for enhanced patient care.
  • iConnect Access, a platform that combines universal viewing and image sharing into a single enterprise solution, will transport and view critical patient data from any browser-based device.

"We value the way that Merge serves as a true partner, always collaborating with our team to uncover new ways to help our organization succeed – from both a technology and clinical perspective. In this constantly changing healthcare environment, it's important that we become an advocate for our community," said Jill Jaynes, Director of Imaging Services, Cath and Vascular Lab at Blanchard Valley. "They support our goals to upgrade our foundational systems to the latest technologies, so we can continue to position ourselves for the future and stay on top of regulations such as MU2 with image access and data exchange as well as the new Joint Commission standards. With Merge, we can better align with patient expectations and provide more comprehensive care to improve the patient experience and outcomes."

As a first step, Blanchard Valley will upgrade its existing Merge PACS™ and will also implement Merge Cardio™, which recently received Best in KLAS honors in the "2013 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Services" report, and Merge Hemo™, which was named Category Leader of cardiology hemodynamics for the third consecutive year. Combined with iConnect Enterprise Archive and iConnect Access, these technologies will provide a platform that will allow Blanchard Valley to eliminate departmental silos and leverage intelligent rules to manage data and reduce the cost of storage.

"Merge is thrilled to provide Blanchard Valley with the solutions they need to create a sound imaging strategy across their enterprise," said Justin Dearborn, CEO at Merge Healthcare. "This partnership is a model of how a health system can leverage interoperability solutions to create an optimal imaging workflow as well as meet regulatory goals, such as MU2. By combining the right mix of technologies, a seamless flow of information will become real for providers enterprise wide. We're honored Blanchard Valley chose Merge as their imaging solution partner to turn this vision into a reality."

About Blanchard Valley Health System

Blanchard Valley Health System is a non-profit, integrated regional health system based in Findlay, a unique micropolitan community in Northwest Ohio. Governed by a community board of trustees representing large and small business, education, law, medicine and finance, BVHS oversees all operations. BVHS is one of the largest employers in the area with more than 2,000 associates and serves an eight-county area that includes Hancock, Allen, Putnam, Henry, Wood, Seneca, Wyandot, and Hardin Counties. The Blanchard Valley Health System mission is to provide "Caring for a lifetime." For more information, visit www.bvhealthsystem.org.

About Merge

Merge is a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare. Merge's enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides clinical trials software with end-to-end study support in a single platform and other intelligent health data and analytics solutions. With solutions that have been used by providers for more than 25 years, Merge is helping to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and enhance the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com and follow us @MergeHealthcare.

Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters discussed in this news release may include forward-looking statements, which could involve a number of risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words "will," "believes," "intends," "anticipates," "expects" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update such factors or to publicly announce the results of any of the forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Jennifer Jawor Vice President, Corporate Marketing 312.565.6825 jennifer.jawor@merge.com

Source:Merge Healthcare