Dec 28, 2010 (10:12 AM EST)
NIIT Technologies Acquires EHR Platform

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IT solution provider NIIT Technologies has acquired an electronic health records (EHR) and referral management platform -- a move that marks the company's entry into the lucrative healthcare IT market in the United States.

Announced last week, the New Delhi, India-based company said the software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, called "Preferr," short for Patient Referral System, enables collaboration between physicians, hospitals, diagnostic facilities, and laboratories. Additionally, Preferr improves continuity and quality of care for the patient and increases operational efficiency for healthcare providers.

The technology was developed by Visions@Work, a Clermont, Fla.-based company, and is a hosted application service that helps users reduce data management costs.

Company executives said the move is intended to take advantage of the federal government's EHR incentive programs as well as other opportunities that have accelerated the electronic exchange of patient information among hospitals and healthcare providers.

"The acquisition of Preferr is our first step to provide solutions in healthcare IT," Arvind Thakur, NIIT Technologies' CEO, said in a statement. "The platform enables providers to meet federal guidelines for electronic health records meaningful use criteria and will enable us to establish our presence in the healthcare arena."

Preferr was introduced as a white labeled solution by NIIT Technologies prior to acquiring the intellectual property, and has since been adopted by a number of healthcare providers in Central Florida as a tool to manage patient referrals and information exchange between healthcare delivery organizations.

Dhamu Narayanan, head of the recently formed healthcare practice at NIIT Technologies, said in a statement that the cloud-based platform will help medical facilities with their green-IT initiatives and give healthcare providers the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint.

"The platform is an innovative SaaS-based IP that collaborates between various care entities by enhancing the portability, re-usability, integrity and history of health records," Narayanan added.