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Lawson to Power Medibuy's Health Care e-Commerce Marketplace

Lawson Software, a provider of integrated e-business solutions, and medibuy, an e-commerce solution for health care supply chains, announced Tuesday (Feb 6) a joint alliance to provide back office and e-business applications to automate the procurement process for medibuy's health care customers.

The multi-year licensing agreement and strategic relationship between the two companies, said Gary Peterson, e-procurement product manager for Lawson Software, and Eddie Pearson, CTO of medibuy, will allow health care buyers that are utilizing medibuy's ASP-based marketplace to fully outsource their materials management information systems (MMIS) and integrate their procurement systems.

"We're announcing an important new relationship, a development effort between medibuy and Lawson Software," said Pearson during a conference call from the annual Healthcare Information Management System Society (HIMSS) Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. "If you look over the past year and a half, there's been a healthy amount of skepticism associated with the promises and the potential of the Internet and we believe that what we're announcing in this development effort has taken a significant step in realizing some of that potential."

"Basically with this relationship you have two well known industry leaders joining forces to leverage their strength in health care, supply chain efficiency and e-business software to address a very specific and fairly acute need within the health care industry," Pearson continued. "We are going to be working together to create a true end-to-end e-commerce solution to automate the procurement process. The solution will be offered by medibuy and will allow hospitals to completely outsource materials management information systems (MMIS)."

Medibuy operates a business-to-business Internet marketplace for management, purchase and sale of medical and non-medical products, equipment, supplies and services used by the health care provider industry, Pearson explained. Through its online marketplace, medibuy brings together buyers and sellers to help reduce many of the inefficiencies of the traditional health care supply chain. Users can also reduce processing and tracking costs and find a wealth of data related to products, equipment, services, transactions and market trends.

"We're helping hospitals and suppliers eliminate the tremendous waste inherent in today's health care supply chain," Pearson said.

Medibuy, Pearson added, serves many of the major health care providers, including 42 percent of the acute care market in the United States, representing around 2,100 hospitals. Medibuy has formed strategic relationships with Premier Inc., one of the largest group purchasing organizations in health care; HCA, the largest for-profit hospital owner and operator; Health Management Associates, LifePoint Hospitals and Triad Hospitals, he said.

Lawson, said Peterson, has a very strong presence in the health care field with over 425 customers using its products. "Indeed, we're very pleased to have formed this alliance with medibuy to provide back office e-business applications powered by the Lawson model to enable them to really offer a robust MMIS solution in an ASP environment." In terms of usage, Peterson said current Lawson customers could access medibuy's marketplace or the health care providers could subscribe directly with medibuy to deploy whatever suite of procurement applications they would need.

The advantages of this alliance, according to Pearson, are:

  • Allows hospitals to fully outsource their MMIS through this ASP offering;
  • Allows hospitals to reduce total cost of acquisition and maintenance, which is especially beneficial to smaller hospitals' budgeting;
  • Completely automates procurement process;
  • Links buyers and trade partners