This is part of iMedicalApps coverage of the HIMSS 2010 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

4b2b6c6f90f2efdd292f41123f39bacd Zynx Health was founded in 1994 by three physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Their original mission, unchanged from that time, says Carina Edwards, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, is to improve patient care and decrease costs. The challenge for physicians, then as now, is utilizing evidence based medicine in day-to-day patient care. While physicians can always search the primary literature or use a database of evidence-based clinical guidelines such as Up-To-Date or Cochrane’s, having recommendations at the critical moment of writing orders is invaluable.

This is how Zynx was created. The company was originally funded by Cedars-Sinai Hospital and now has grown to have partnerships with every major EHR vendor. The point of integration is at computerized physician order entry (CPOE) interface where the Zynx product is strategically placed. Institutions then have available to them more than 100,000 order sets, organized hierarchically. However, Zynx will simplify the process of selection by helping to choose the most popular or relevant order sets for each hospital.

The main value that Zynx adds, in addition to convenient software integration, is its staff of physicians and nurses that regularly survey the literature to produce these evidence-based order sets. When asked if there was any feedback possible from the users who may or may not agree with parts of the orders, Ms. Edwards said each institution has a built-in discussion board where clinicians can exchange comments around the order sets.

Zynx feels that it is currently well positioned since, according to Ms Edwards, Stage II of “meaningful use” states that EHRs must “include evidence-based order sets in computerized order entry (CPOE) at the point of care”. This, of course, is exactly what Zynx provides.

The order sets are available as software-as-a-service and the company has relationships with every major EHR vendor. Almost all physicians access Zynx from inside their EHR or other CPOE product. Interestingly, Zynx is owned by Hearst Publishers, who also own First Data Bank, a complementary database of medications for EHR integration. They also partner with Elsevier, which publishes First Consult. Hospitals are charged by the number of annual discharges while physician groups are charged by the number of physicians.

While many physicians complain at first about the additional time required to enter an order into a computer instead of writing it, the wide availability of carefully research evidence-based guidelines should mean that orders will not only be legible in the future but also carefully reflect the best-practice guidelines, which will have clear benefits for patient care.

Update 3/9/10:
We had a small error in the article. UpToDate is actually published by Wolters Kluwer, not Elsevier as stated.