Alltel Information Services is selling its healthcare division to a new company that will team it with a fledgling effort to commercialize the clinical information system of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The $154 million deal pairs one of the healthcare industry's longest-running clinically oriented information systems with one of the newest clinical systems on the block.
The new privately held company, Eclipsys Corp., will be headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla. That's the home base of the former Integrated Healthcare Solutions, a company set up just last year to market the Brigham and Women's invention, dubbed the BICS clinical information system.
Produced during a seven-year span by a staff of 30 programmers at Brigham and Women's, the system of more than 80 software applications has been collecting awards in technical circles but hasn't been implemented anywhere else yet.
Its new partner in technology, the TDS 7000 Series, has a 20-year history and a client base of approximately 200 institutions.
That system became part of Alltel Corp. in 1993 when the Little Rock, Ark.-based telecommunications company bought TDS Healthcare Systems Corp. for about $80 million.
Alltel will receive about $154 million in cash and preferred stock, which is convertible into a 15% stake in Eclipsys. The deal ends Alltel's four-year foray into healthcare information management, but it will continue to supply technical support services to Eclipsys and will be represented on the new company's board.
"Alltel's not out of the healthcare business, but they're using us to further their strategic plan," said J.D. Ducanes, an Eclipsys spokesman who comes to the company from IHS.
The BICS system is in the early stages of being threaded into other facilities of the Partners HealthCare System, which includes Brigham and Women's, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, all in Boston.
So far, a program to support chemotherapy administration and drug-interaction monitoring has been installed at Massachusetts General and Dana-Farber, Ducanes said.