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EHRs Get the Celebrity Treatment

Posted on August 17, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Earlier this Summer, I came across news that Greenway Medical Technologies – a developer of electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management and interoperability healthcare IT solutions located just outside of Atlanta – had taken to endorsing pro golfer Jason Dufner. It came as no surprise to me that a healthcare IT company was seeking to increase its profile among the general public. There has been a noticeable shift in increasing the public’s awareness of the impact of healthcare IT solutions on the patient care they will one day inevitably receive. It’s been a smart move on the part of providers and vendors alike to acquaint people with the technology that our government has spent so much time and energy on promoting. I was surprised, however, that Greenway Medical had chosen the celebrity endorsement route. (Golf wasn’t surprising, though. Greenway Medical’s CEO goes by the name of Tee Green.) How much increased visibility, not to mention interest, could a spokesperson bring while swinging a club on the fairway?

His first sponsorship outing at the British Open garnered little fanfare, as Dufner didn’t advance very far. Greenway Medical’s luck changed, however, as Dufner’s skill – and Tiger Woods’ ultimate absence – led him to place second at the PGA Championship last week. Held in Atlanta, the event offered a good excuse for my some of my colleagues at Billian’s HealthDATA, Porter Research and to take a field trip to the Atlanta Athletic Club, where I suspect much of the local healthcare industry put in appearances over the tournament’s several days.

I’d have to agree with the Steve Campbell at, who offered congratulations to Dufner in a recent post “for a wonderful performance at the PGA and to whoever at Greenway made the decision to sponsor Mr. Dufner. The return on investment for that sponsorship just turned very positive.”

I’d also have to agree with one of the post’s commentators that “[r]egardless of his finish, Dufner and Greenway’s [credibility] rocketed this weekend with all of the primetime PGA coverage. Hours of it. And both Dufner and Greenway are classy and humble, in victory and defeat. Bottom line: EHR industry was another winner this weekend simply based on these associations.”

Perhaps Greg Fulton, Public and Media Relations Manager at Greenway Medical, puts it best: “Our main motivation was we felt it was time to continue to bring recognition to the entire health IT industry, now that initiatives like meaningful use are proving to be successful, and we have industry partners who have had good experiences being involved with the PGA TOUR.

“With Jason, we felt like we were partnering with a person first, a golfer second. He really does believe in the goals of innovative and sustainable care coordination that EHRs and healthcare IT can bring. He set up a foundation in his home state of Alabama following the tornado damage there to help people needing ongoing health services, for example.”

When I asked if Greenway Medical would consider entering into other celebrity endorsement deals sometime in the near future, Fulton explained the company’s celebrity strategy a bit further: “At HIMSS10 [in Atlanta], we did have Atlanta radio station deejay Melissa Carter, then of Q100, speak at a Greenway reception to her definite need for EHR data exchange and automated referrals, because she is a kidney transplant patient who needs that constant care coordination. And that’s what would make sense for what type, you ask, of celebrity or sports partnerships to undertake – ones that have a foundation in or can bring industry recognition and tell the story of the advancement of healthcare.”

Is it any wonder that Greenway Medical just announced its customers have secured more than $1 million in Meaningful Use incentives? How many more providers – many of whom are, it’s safe to say, avid golfers – are now aware of the company and will soon look into its products?

I’ll be interested to see what sort of healthcare IT celebrity endorsement pops up next, and where. NASCAR seems a likely candidate. I wonder if Danica Patrick has a coordinated care story to tell?

Plenty of EHR Solutions on Hand at HFMA Show

Posted on July 6, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

My day job as Social Marketing Director for Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research took me last week to the exhibit halls of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) 2011 ANI Healthcare Finance Conference in Orlando. It was my first trip to the annual show, and to its venue, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.

Unlike my previous tradeshow experience in Orlando, at the fun yet overwhelming HIMSS, I found the HFMA event to be extremely manageable in terms of schedule, show-floor size and booth scale. Almost everyone I ran into – whether it was at our booth, at someone else’s booth, at lunch or on the shuttle – was very approachable and seemed happy to take a few minutes out of their day to speak with me, even though, as a fellow exhibitor, I wasn’t exactly their target prospect. Perhaps it was my blue exhibitor ribbon that brought out the few bad apples in the bunch – those sales reps that either refused to get off the phone when they saw me approach or those that refused to crack a smile. My only other complaint was that exhibitors were denied entry to the majority of the educational sessions.

The Blues Brothers made an appearance at the HFMA 2011 ANI Healthcare Finance Conference.

As it was my first time being in the thick of the healthcare finance world, I took the opportunity to chat with as many show-floor folks as I could. I learned a lot about how integral healthcare finance and information technology are to each other, and to bringing the overall costs of providing healthcare services down, so that providers can – hopefully – extend these savings on to the patient in the form of more accessible and coordinated care, and better clinical outcomes.

I kept my eyes and ears open for solutions relating to electronic medical/health records, and came across quite a few that piqued my interest. I found I have a soft spot for anything related to patient portals and mobile solutions. Here, in no particular order, are a few snippets of what those exhibiting companies had to offer:

Healthcare Management Systems Inc. (HMS)
– offers ambulatory EHR and practice management services
“HMS is uniquely positioned to provide community hospitals with an EHR in a much shorter timeframe. With ONC-ATCB certification for inpatient EHR, EDIS and Ambulatory EHR, HMS will ensure that you meet the health IT standards mandated by ARRA and reap the financial benefits that follow.”

I’d be lying if I didn’t disclose that half the reason I went to their booth was to grab one of their very cool, green water bottles.

Origin Healthcare Solutions
– offers integrated practice management software and EHR solutions
“Streamlines office redundancies and makes users more efficient.”

Walking into their booth made me realize why exhibitors spend a bit more for that cushy carpet – and I was in flats, mind you.

Patient Point
– offers a technology platform that aggregates and integrates in real-time with health plan data, pharmacy benefit management data, practice management and EMR systems
“Our patient-facing portal and mobile apps enable patients to securely communicate with their care team and report progress of their ongoing conditions. Patients have the choice to opt in for secure messaging via email, phone or text messaging, which enables us to close the loop effectively on patient compliance and care coordination.”

As a social media enthusiast, I wonder if patient portal solutions like these will one day find a way to securely (and privately) integrate with Facebook or Twitter. Heck, even location-based social networks like Foursquare could be used. I’m sure us patients could be incentivized to “check in” early to our appointment.

The White Stone Group
– offers the Trace Communication System
“The only system of its kind that captures any healthcare exchange – voice, fax, or electronic – for fast processing and easy retrieval.”

Based on the Trace literature and its graphics, I kept looking for the phrase EMR to pop up, but it was nowhere to be found. It seems like it could fall into this category, especially as “All communication records are consolidated in one central location for quick and easy retrieval.” If anyone knows different, please enlighten me. The fact that they cite Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which is right in my backyard, as a case study also piqued my interest. The study relates that “Trace was used to overturn $2 million in denials and prevent an estimated $4 million in denials. Productivity improvements saved 107 staff hours per month and allowed for reallocation of five FTEs.”

* Editor’s Note: Erin McCarty, Director of Marketing at The White Stone Group, Inc., was kind enough to clarify the Trace system’s relationship to the EMR: “Trace is a platform that captures communication (voice, fax & electronic), indexes the records by patient and stores them for web-based retrieval. It is primarily used to capture revenue cycle communication that occurs with payers, patients and physicians. Trace does not replace the EMR, which is documenting the patient’s clinical data. Rather, it complements the EMR by capturing communication that helps hospitals receive accurate reimbursement for care provided. Common uses include recording authorization calls to payers, out-of-pocket discussions with patients, capturing faxed physician orders, visits to payer web sites, etc.”

– offers a certified EHR to rural hospitals
“In addition to our ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certified EHR software, we also offer clients comprehensive services, support, training and financing to help them receive incentive dollars, and ultimately, provide the high-quality patient care their communities expect.”

I also noticed in their brochure that they offer a white paper on “10 Must-Haves to a Successful EHR Implementation.”


– offers an electronic patient check-in solution
“With patient payments making up $1 out of every $4 of medical practice revenue, it’s no wonder 10,000 clinicians use Phreesia as their electronic patient check-in solution.”

Patient portals and electronic check-ins were popular at the show. Phreesia’s solution stood out to me for its bright orange color. While not directly tied to EMRs, I wonder if these sorts of technologies will become interoperable with them, especially as doctors and payers begin to work more closely together in the name of more coordinated care.”

– offers integrated physician billing, practice management and EHR services

Their white paper on “The HITECH Act and Your Practice: Eight Tips for Successful EHR Adoption” caught my eye. It got me wondering how they were able to whittle it down from Healthland’s 10.

A number of other companies were on hand with EHR solutions, including:
Healthcare Anytime
Sandlot Solutions

Thanks for Having Me – New EMR and EHR Blogger, Jennifer Dennard

Posted on June 22, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Editor’s Note: The following is an introduction to a new blogger in the EMR and EHR family, Jennifer Dennard. You’ll be able to read all of Jennifer Dennard’s posts here.

Little did I know 10 years ago as I sat through my graduation from journalism school at the University of Georgia that healthcare would be the industry in which I would find my writing niche. The minor in French hasn’t been put to good use, I’m afraid, and my corresponding aspiration to live abroad, writing for French Vogue, is still in the backseat of the Ford Escort I left in Athens, waiting to be fulfilled.

I’m sure I’m not the only college graduate who has left a few dreams behind. I was, however, one of the few in my class who put their degree to good use. The poor job market left many working in retail right out of school, but I somehow landed a job with Billian Publishing, working for Textile World Magazine. French Vogue it was not, but a greater professional stepping stone I could not have asked for.

Fast forward to 2011 and the publishing industry has changed dramatically, as has healthcare. Billian’s publications came and went, though Textile World and its sister publications are still kicking. Marriage and parenthood brought me closer to the world of healthcare and a role in social media marketing.

I like to joke that it was during my second maternity leave that I became addicted to Twitter. (I’ll blame it on my alter ego, @SmyrnaGirl.) A lot of time was spent in rocking chairs – much of which became devoted to playing around with the new social network. (I’m on Facebook, but not nearly as active.) Once back at work, I convinced the higher-ups (who, thankfully, have always been supportive of my new ideas) to allow me to use Twitter for marketing purposes, which, truth be told, only furthered my addiction.

The Dennard Family, Summer 2010

The @TextileWorldMag account was booming, but healthcare soon called my name from across the hall. Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research – also Billian Publishing companies – were in need of marketing assistance and I was ready for a new challenge. With the help of a few like-minded individuals, we worked to truly understand what healthcare was all about for our business and those of our customers – no small challenge as healthcare reform was ushered in – and to transition that knowledge into effective editorial marketing. (I like the term “branded” marketing, myself.)

To make a long story even longer, I am now Social Marketing Director at Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research, responsible for their overall social media strategies. This involves daily use of LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, not-so-daily use of Foursquare, developing educational webinars around our products and services, managing editorial partnerships with industry-related websites, and staying abreast of the latest marketing developments these platforms enable. And I do a bit of writing for their websites and e-newsletter, the Healthcare Intelligence Hub.

Perhaps the part of my job that I love the most is the fact that I get paid to stay educated about a subject I have a true interest in – one that affects everyone I know. And then on top of that, I get to write about it! Which is why it pleases me so much to join the team, whose writers I’ve been following for awhile now.

Do I need another excuse to peruse my favorite industry news sites and blogs? Not really. Will I take advantage of the excuse to stay up a little later, scribbling my thoughts down on how my daughter’s pediatrician’s new EMR will affect our next office visit? You betcha.

This is one dream that won’t get left behind.