Hard for we moderns to remember back when hardware dictated the HIS system, since servers are so up in the “cloud” these days…
Turnkey minis were absolutely taking over the industry by the late 70s, from shared giants SMS & McAuto, who also offered minis.
A turnkey mini system even made the cover of Modern Healthcare’s October 1978 issue, featuring Methodist Hospital of Indiana :
“ Some hospitals are finding they don’t have to change the way they operate to accommodate a newly installed, commercial, computerized medical information system – they can make it fit their routines.”
The story of Keane actually does not begin with John Keane, who formed the firm in the 60s to work in many industries, just like McAuto’s G SD ( General Services Division) presaged its H SD ( Health Services Division).
John Keane’s Boston-based eponymous firm sold IT services to anyone , e.g., they helped manned the 800 lines for MicroSoft’s “Windows 95” GUI in 1995…
The story of Keane’s HIS is the story of another man:
Ray Paris , one of the early HIS pioneers whose career both before and after creating Keane’s HSD is a mini “HIS-tory” in itself!
Many thanks to Ray for taking time off his busy retired golfer schedule to relay this tale!
Keane grew rapidly in the 80s through a series of acquisitions, just like competitor HBO was doing.
All told, Keane acquired 13 HIS vendors, including:
Pentamation – a Maryland-based firm, who had recently been acquired by Ferranti from Italy
(the first of many forays by multi-nationals into US’ HIS)
Their “ Leadership Series ” mini system was a hot in acute care, along with a surprising successful niche:
Long Term Care systems, in which Ferranti/Pentamation had become a market leader. Although low in individual system price, eventually, Keane would become dominant in this specialty market with about 4,000 clients!