July 27, 2001

WizOrder sent out into the world

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WizOrder sent out into the world

Vanderbilt University has sold rights for commercial development and marketing of WizOrder, the highly prized electronic order entry system created and developed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to Atlanta-based McKessonHBOC, Inc., a Fortune 40 corporation with annual sales of $42 billion in pharmaceutical supply management and health care information technology.

Under the exclusive licensing agreement, Vanderbilt receives an initial lump payment from McKessonHBOC as well as a share of revenue from future sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

WizOrder marshals an array of critical information – from patient test results to evidence-based clinical protocols to medical reference materials –at the moment that the clinician uses the program to order tests, treatments and drugs. These decision-support capabilities make WizOrder highly effective in guarding patient safety, promoting quality and lowering costs associated with unwanted variability in health care. At Vanderbilt WizOrder is credited with $5 million annual reduction in pharmacy costs (excluding the value of adverse drug event prevention) and $1.1 million in X-ray costs.

“We’ve proven the efficacy of WizOrder in an academic environment; now it’s time to put that power in the hands of physicians in other hospital settings,” said Dr. William W. Stead, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and director of the Informatics Center.

“Vanderbilt has taken order entry to the next level by pioneering a solution that integrates medical informatics with daily physician practice to reduce variability in care processes and improve clinical outcomes. The results are saved dollars, saved resources, and most importantly, saved lives,” said Graham King, president of McKessonHBOC’s information technology business.

WizOrder will be marketed under the name Horizon Expert Orders and will provide the backbone for Horizon Clinicals, a suite of products encompassing point-of care clinical documentation as well as laboratory and pharmacy solutions.

The licensing agreement makes real the vision laid out four years ago by Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. Jacobson envisioned the commercial application of university developed medical technology as an important source of revenue for the support of biomedical research and education. He and Provost Tom Burish persuaded the Vanderbilt University board of trust to allocate funds to foster commercialization, leading to the creation of Vanderbilt University Technology Company (VUTC), a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary that currently has 15 companies in various stages of development. Jacobson is chairman of VUTC.

The deal with McKessonHBOC is the first major agreement to develop VU intellectual property; in financial terms, the deal dwarfs the university’s previously existing income from technology transfer, said Mic Stadler, president and CEO of VUTC.

A pilot of Horizon Expert Orders will be launched soon at Providence Health System, a seven-hospital system in Oregon. VUMC biomedical informatics faculty will assist development, implementation and marketing of Horizon Expert Orders. Development of WizOrder is currently led by Dr. Randolph A. Miller, professor and chair of Biomedical Informatics. Leadership for the agreement with McKessonHBOC came from Stadler and from Elizabeth Dishman, vice president at VUTC; the crucial step of introducing WizOrder to venture capitalists and potential partners was handled for Vanderbilt by John M. Kunysz, Jr., and Dana S. Hensley.