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First Databank (FDB) acquires Design Clinicals

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South San Francisco, August 20, 2013 – First Databank (FDB), the leading provider of clinical drug knowledge that helps improve medication-related decisions and patient outcomes, today announced that an affiliate of FDB has acquired Design Clinicals, Inc., a healthcare information technology company dedicated to providing clinician-friendly solutions for improving medication reconciliation and the delivery of patient care. Design Clinicals, based in Seattle, Washington, began operations in 2005, is led by founder and CEO Dewey Howell, MD, PhD, a practicing family physician turned healthcare information technology software developer.

Hospitals and clinicians are struggling to find efficient ways to manage the medication reconciliation process at each transition in care – admission, at transfer points and discharge. In fact, due to these challenges, medication reconciliation has been one of the most frequently deferred Meaningful Use Stage 1 menu objectives in attestations by eligible hospitals. With escalating Meaningful Use requirements, where medication reconciliation is now required for Stage 2, hospitals are turning to more effective methods to increase operational efficiency and information accuracy.

“The Design Clinicals acquisition supports FDB’s mission of delivering solutions that help improve medication-related decisions,” said Bob Katter, executive vice president, FDB. “The optimal electronic medication reconciliation solution needs to incorporate intuitive drug knowledge and seamlessly integrate with the leading information system vendors. This is where the combined abilities of FDB and Design Clinicals are well positioned. We are extremely excited to combine our areas of expertise and partner with our customers to help make medication reconciliation work better for their clinicians and patients.”

Design Clinicals’ flagship product, MedsTracker, is a medication reconciliation software solution that integrates with an institution’s current CPOE, pharmacy and EMAR systems. It is actively deployed in 40 hospital sites across the United States and has helped customers satisfy the medication reconciliation patient safety goals of The Joint Commission. Additionally, MedsTracker currently holds modular certification for Stage 1 Meaningful Use for both ambulatory and inpatient practice for medication reconciliation and decision support and is in the process of securing modular certification for Stage 2.

MedsTracker has demonstrated immediate and measurable improvements in the medication reconciliation process. Notable advances reported by customers include increased accuracy of home medication lists; efficiency of discharge medication orders and electronic prescribing; reductions in missed medications, duplicate therapies, and incorrect dosing; and workflow efficiencies with measurable time savings for clinicians.

“When we first founded Design Clinicals, we partnered with FDB and built our entire platform around their drug knowledge and decision support tools,” said Dewey Howell, MD, PhD, Design Clinicals’ CEO. “I have always been impressed with FDB’s commitment to patient safety, clinician efficiency and overall quality. By joining forces, I am confident that together we will enable successful implementation of clinically-useful medication reconciliation and decision support.”

“I am very impressed with the success that Dewey Howell has been able to achieve so quickly with Design Clinicals and MedsTracker,” said Chuck Tuchinda, MD, MBA, executive vice president, FDB. “He has helped solve a vexing industry problem. We will now work together to develop an embedded solution so that our health information system partners can more easily integrate this medication reconciliation functionality within their systems.”

Effective immediately, Design Clinicals’ solutions are now available through FDB. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


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