Eclipsys Corp., a Boca Raton, Fla.-based clinical information technology vendor, is expanding and extending a strategic technology alliance with Microsoft Corp. in an effort to increase the efficiency and efficacy of Eclipsys products and enhance integration with existing systems, the two companies say.
Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash., software giant, will provide technical expertise to Eclipsys programmers to develop applications for the SunriseXA enterprise-wide clinical package based on the Microsoft .NET Web architecture.
According to David Lubinski, managing director for healthcare at Microsoft, this means that Eclipsys will be able to "build applications to take full advantage of XML and the Web." Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a powerful programming standard for building interactive Web pages.
Lubinski says this will allow Eclipsys to produce more work with fewer lines of programming code. It also helps ease integration of the latest generation of SunriseXA with "legacy," or existing, clinical and administrative information systems in healthcare facilities.
"Eclipsys can deliver very powerful applications at a lower cost," Lubinski says. "Because they have been working with .NET for a couple of years, they're ready to take the next step" to harness more of the potential of the Internet.
Microsoft and Eclipsys have had a relationship for about six years, according to Lubinski.
Under the new, multi-year alliance, Eclipsys still will write its own software and provide the Web infrastructure for customers opting for application service provider-type software, while Microsoft will offer technical assistance in .NET and XML development.
"We gain access to their core expertise in all of their product lines and we gain access to technical staff at Microsoft," says Curt Thornton, Eclipsys vice president for strategic relationships. "Eclipsys is doing most of the work, with Microsoft?s guidance."
The two companies also will have a joint marketing presence at major healthcare industry trade shows, according to Thornton, though Lubinski says Eclipsys will be the sole provider of SunriseXA systems.
Early beneficiaries of the alliance will include Eclipsys customers Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center and the Calgary (Alberta) Health Region, Lubinski says. Eclipsys announced its deal with the Canadian system just this week. (See story.)