“First Serve the Patients’ Needs”

Nov. 12, 2009

The Unibased executives are focused on the objectives of ForSite2020®

In July 1969, the USA landed men on the moon. At that time, the founders of Unibased Systems Architecture, Inc. (Unibased) were designing and developing hospital financial and clinical information systems in central Illinois for a Catholic hospital group, the Third Order of St. Francis (OSF). Based upon a centralized data center, which now would be referred to as an ASP environment, they, along with their fellow workers, Walter Huff and Bruce Barrington, created the first multi-hospital shared service center for 35 hospitals located in several Midwestern states. This was 20 years before Jon Castner, Dick Owens, Barry Rundquist and Jim Wilson became what is now Unibased.

After OSF morphed into McAuto, Huff, Barrington, Owens and Castner, left and became HBOC, now McKesson. Rundquist remained with McAuto and hired a young man just leaving the Navy, Jim Wilson. Rundquist eventually formed a new company, AHS, Inc. (AHS). AHS later merged with EDS, Inc. (EDS), and Wilson was recruited to join EDS.

Industry Pioneers Emerge as Proven Leaders

Wilson was assigned to head the long-term care (LTC) healthcare information systems group at EDS, managing approximately 25 LTC clients. In 1985, the product embraced a new technology under the UNIX umbrella of open systems. Since LTC was not mainstream at the EDS Healthcare Information Systems division, Rundquist and Wilson considered buying the group from EDS. This was accomplished with the assistance of Castner and Owens. Castner, Owens, Rundquist and Wilson were the founders of EPS, Inc. in 1986, which became Unibased in 1989. Castner remains as a Senior Vice President. Owens has passed away. Rundquist has retired but remains active on the Board. Wilson is the president of Craneware, Inc.

Meanwhile, McAuto had become the McDonnell Douglas Information Systems Company (MD ISC). In 1987, Larry Covington became a McDonnell Douglas corporate vice president, responsible for future strategies and information systems for the 21st century. However, by 1990, McDonnell Douglas had divested all of the MD-ISC components. Manufacturing, financial and insurance divisions were sold to EDS. The healthcare component was sold to AMEX, and eventually to McKesson. Covington, with the MD ISC advanced products think tank group, joined Castner, Owens, Rundquist,and Wilson at Unibased in 1989. Within a few months, a new client/server HIS was created and labeled Freedom 90 (F90). The first system was delivered in 1991. F90 became Med Series Open, which was marketed exclusively by GTE Health Systems, now Siemens. Eventually, Unibased reacquired the exclusive marketing rights from GTE. Today, with state-of-the-art technology, all of the capabilities of these older systems and more are reflected in the Unibased ForSite2020® – combining the best of integrated Web-based and client/server healthcare information systems.

A Sister’s Wisdom and the Unibased Difference

The roots of the early stage OSF systems and a focus on patient empathy qualities remain. In 1970, Covington, as a PMM & Co consultant (now KPMG), was taken to task by an OSF senior management nun, who reminded him that OSF hospitals do not have customers, but rather patients.  The sister also said, “Whatever you do with your computer systems, you must first serve the patients’ needs.” Rundquist was there at the time, and it probably has something to do with Unibased’s focus on quality, reliability, performance, patient convenience and realistic costs to the hospital and its patients.

With the constant reminder of the wisdom of the nuns from the 1960s in the background, the Unibased executives are focused on the objectives of ForSite2020®, which are:

1.     Expand the channels of patient access for all hospital services in a coordinated manner.

2.     Ensure services are provided conveniently, timely and safely.

3.     Ensure patient costs are reasonable through the effective use of labor, equipment, supplies and facilities, while increasing service-level volumes.

4.     Attract the best caregivers and support staff through responsive systems, sub-second access to information, fault-free software, 24/7 reliability and continuous reliable support.

ForSite2020® does not offer a customer service management system. Rather it provides a patient services management system. Thank you, sister.

Unibased Systems – www.unibased.com