Informed Decisions Recognized for Unprecedented Health Resource Instated Following Hurricane Katrina

TAMPA, Fla. - June 28, 2006 – In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Informed Decisions marshaled its forces and laid the groundwork for what would become, an unprecedented online source of comprehensive medical and prescription histories for healthcare providers treating evacuees. 

Those efforts were recognized by the American Pharmacist Association Foundation (APhA), which in May announced Informed Decisions as the winner of the prestigious Pinnacle Award. The Company also received Laureate recognition by IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program and was named one of five Finalists in the Medicine category for the 21st Century Achievement Award during the 18th Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala Awards Evening held June 5.

“We are both honored and humbled by this recognition from two of the most prestigious organizations in the healthcare and information technology industries,” said David Medvedeff, president, Informed Decisions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gold Standard Inc. “The goal of KatrinaHealth was to prevent the wide-spread public health crisis that would have resulted from gaps in evacuees’ medication regimens. That goal could not have been achieved without the unprecedented collaboration of private companies, public agencies and national organizations, all of whom came together and helped us expand our initial framework to create a service that ultimately encompassed more than one million lives impacted by this devastating hurricane.”

KatrinaHealth – which provided a 90-day snapshot of evacuee prescription histories and allergy alerts, as well as a medication identification component that allowed providers to identify tablets and capsules by querying the database using unique characteristics such as color, shape, and imprints/markings – was built upon a web interface rolled out by Informed Decisions within five days of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. That original interface provided authorized users in shelters, pharmacies and healthcare facilities with secure, online access to prescription drug information critical to the care of evacuees who were Mississippi Medicaid beneficiaries.

Recipients of the APhA Pinnacle Award, made possible through a grant from Wyeth, are recognized for pioneering innovative ways to improve the medication use process that increase medication adherence, reduce drug misadventures, improve patient outcomes and increase communication between all members of the healthcare system. Informed Decisions received the award in the Government Agencies/Non-profit Organization category in conjunction with SureScripts™ of Alexandria, Va., in recognition of the collaborative efforts that led to the creation and implementation of KatrinaHealth.

Founded in 1988, Computerworld Honors is governed by the not-for-profit Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to benefit society.

Nominated by VeriSign, Informed Decisions’ KatrinaHealth case study was recognized as a Laureate and named a Finalist for the 21st Century Achievement Award. The technology achievements honored by this program are preserved and protected in national archives, and in more than 250 universities, museums and research institutions throughout the world. Additional information about the program and a Global Archive of past laureate case studies and oral histories can be found at the Computerworld Honors website,

“As a company, our mission has always been to improve the quality of patient care by finding innovative, technologically sophisticated ways of delivering the most current, highest caliber of clinical information and solutions possible,” said Russ Thomas, CEO, Gold Standard, which was recently acquired by Elsevier. “In particular, advances in healthcare technology offer tremendous opportunities to speed life-saving information to the point of care, and KatrinaHealth is a prime example. We are proud to have played a pivotal role in its creation and are honored to be recognized for our efforts.”

To expand the reach of the program to include all evacuees in Louisiana and Mississippi, Informed Decisions worked closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create the public/private collaborative that ultimately launched KatrinaHealth, including SureScripts; RxHub; Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA); National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS); National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA); and the American Medical Association (AMA).

“KatrinaHealth fundamentally changed the way patient medical information is utilized in disaster relief efforts by establishing a blueprint that will enable a faster, more efficient response to future disasters, preventing disruptions in medication use, potential prescription errors and adverse drug events,” said Medvedeff.

About Informed Decisions LLC
Based in Tampa, Informed Decisions ( is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gold Standard Inc. that provides a full array of health information technology services to healthcare interests including state governments, commercial insurance payers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and professional healthcare associations. Gold Standard (, a leading developer of drug information databases, software and clinical information solutions, was acquired by Elsevier in May 2006.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.

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Vicki Moses
Gold Standard Inc.
Phone: (813) 258-4747 ext. 3884