I recently had the chance to see a demo of the recently announced ClearPractice iPad EHR called Nimble. I must admit that it’s pretty slick to see an EMR on an iPad. I think it’s easy to see the potential of an iPad like device tied with an EHR.
While I loved the idea of an iPad EHR, I still think that ClearPractice was missing some of the key elements. For example, a number of the input locations were far too small. I have a feeling they were just trying to cram too much onto one screen and that necessitated the small input boxes which is just not a good design for an iPad.
I also thought it felt a little clunky for the entire iPad keyboard to come up each time you wanted to enter some data. I saw another EHR that was really designed for tablets (and supposedly works on an iPad as well) from MicroFour that did a better job of this in my opinion. For example, when you went to enter the weight, it brought up a 10 key calculator. It just felt more natural the way the data was entered.
I do think the concept that ClearPractice has implemented is going to be a popular one. Their iPad software is just another interface to the same data that’s available on the desktop computer. I’m surprised we haven’t seen this before actually. Sure, it means that the EHR vendor has to maintain 2 different software programs, but that should provide a much better user experience on an iPad than just using some remote desktop tool to access your same desktop EHR program.
ClearPractice also got it right not to implement ALL of the PMS type functions into the iPad. Most of the scheduling and billing staff don’t need to be mobile and so a desktop computer works just fine for those types of functions.
Side Note: For the internet startup nerds (like myself), ClearPractice is a division of EGHC whose primary shareholder is John Doerr, a famous venture capitalist. You can read more about the company’s story in this recent New York Times article.