McKesson Corp.

Contributor(s): Kristen Lee

McKesson Corp. is one of the largest providers of medicines, pharmaceutical supplies and health information technology (IT) products and services in the United States. The company was founded in 1833 by John McKesson and Charles Olcott in New York with a focus on importing and wholesaling pharmaceutical products. McKesson is now based in San Francisco, with more than 76,000 employees worldwide and ranked 11th on the Fortune 500 list. The company is made up of a number of departments that fall into one of two categories -- distribution or technology.

McKesson Distribution Solutions is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in North America, delivering pharmaceuticals to retail pharmacies and hospitals, while bringing healthcare products, technology, equipment and related services to medical facilities across the U.S.

McKesson Technology Solutions develops and installs health IT systems for hospitals, physician offices, imaging centers, home healthcare agencies and payers. These systems include pharmacy and nursing automation, practice management, electronic health record systems, clinical decision support systems and secure online healthcare communication. The company also provides extensive network infrastructure for the healthcare industry and was also an early adopter of technologies like bar code scanning for distribution, pharmacy robotics and RFID tags.

The company's customer base includes physicians, retail pharmacies, long-term care sites, hospitals, medical-surgical manufacturers, home care agencies, healthcare payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. More than 75% of U.S. hospitals with more than 200 beds use McKesson's hardware and software, according to the company.

McKesson is also part of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a collaborative effort by health IT suppliers to figure out how to achieve interoperability in healthcare by promoting and creating standards and policies. In addition to McKesson, this partnership also includes athenahealth Inc., Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., Cerner Corporation, CPSI, Greenway Medical Technologies, Sunquest Information Systems Inc. and RelayHealth.

Furthermore, according to meaningful use attestation data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, McKesson ranked fifth on the list of the vendors with the most clients that attested to meaningful use in inpatient settings and 10th among meaningful use ambulatory EHR vendors.

This was last updated in December 2015

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