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Is the End of the Standalone EHR and PM Near?

Posted on July 25, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

News this week came out that simplifMD and Azalea Health were merging companies. It’s an interesting merger since Azalea Health has been strong on the PM side of things and an EHR that’s not yet MU 2 certified, while simplifyMD has been more focused on the EHR side of things. As one company they can put together their PM and EHR into one standalone system.

As Shahid Shah recently pointed out on his Healthcare IT Guy interview with Melissa McCormack from Software Advice, buyers are decidely more interested in an integrated PM and EHR. Here’s one of the questions and answers:

1. As EHR meaningful use requirements grow more involved, standalone billing or scheduling systems are becoming less viable. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the buyers we spoke with wanted integration between practice management and EHR. The trend of PM buyers looking for robust EHR integration grows more pronounced each year, and shows no signs of tapering off since EHR meaningful use requirements increasingly require physicians to utilize charting, billing and scheduling in tandem. Vendors who can offer seamless integration between these applications will have a clear advantage over those who cannot.

I find this question interesting, because the trend towards an integrated EHR and PM started when I first started blogging about EHR software about 9 years ago. Now there are only a few standalone EHR companies left. There are more standalone PM vendors left, but most of them see the writing on the wall and know that they won’t survive as just a PM. In fact, some of those PM companies have stopped developing their PM and are just at a stand still waiting for their last customers to leave. It’s been amazing to see how long some of these extremely small PM vendors have survived.

With that said, is the end of the separate EHR and PM near? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Value of Meaningful Use – Perspective from EHR Executive at simplifyMD

Posted on February 11, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Michael Brozino, in response to the question I posed in my “State of the Meaningful Use” call to action.

If MU were gone (ie. no more EHR incentive money or penalties), which parts of MU would you remove from your EHR immediately and which parts would you keep?

Michael Brozino
Michael Brozino
Michael Brozino, CEO of simplifyMD

If Meaningful Use were no longer a requirement, we would keep our software the same. I say this because there is nothing in our system that was built within the requirements of Meaningful Use that weren’t deployed with the intent of improving patient engagement, enhancing public health, promoting health record portability and improving software interoperability. The fact that 100 percent of our users who have chosen to attest for MU have been successful is certainly a benefit, but we don’t see much reason to remove any functionality unless the user’s benefit diminishes significantly and it becomes too expensive to support and implement.

Rather, if MU disappeared, we would hope that the entire healthcare industry or government would implement centralized, universal healthcare data exchanges and/or hubs to ease interoperability and promote uniformity. Features such as personal health records, electronic delivery of labs and receipt of orders, syndromic surveillance data, state immunization records, clinical decision support rules, secure patient messaging, and many others could have been easily implemented if the government fully committed to putting them in place. By only going halfway, standardization is left to a group of players that by their very nature are opinionated and independent.

ePrescribing, for example, has thrived because a central hub exists to allow competitors to quickly join the network. Competition between these organizations is now about who delivers the best user experience, the best customer support, and who adds the most value to their product. If such a central exchange were created for the interoperability requirements in MU, we would have already surpassed the goals of Stages 2 and 3 by 2014.

See other responses to this question here.

simplifyMD New “Free” Patient Room Cartoon

Posted on April 24, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A while back simplifyMD sent me a link to their EHR cartoon gallery. I’ll admit that I was a little underwhelmed with their first set of cartoons. They looked professional, but the content and writing needed some help. I happened upon the gallery again today and found a new cartoon called, ‘Easy Street Family Practice installs a “Free” patient room.’ Check it out (click on the image to see it full size):
simplifyMD Ad Supported Patient Rooms

I thought this was a hilarious jab at our societal move to “Free” everything. It’s a bit of an exaggeration of what it’s really like to get something for free in return for time spent seeing ads. This is especially true of Free EHR where the ads are as unobtrusive as any ads I’ve seen on anything. However, it does illustrate the reason why many people aren’t comfortable with the Free EHR model.

I did have one user of the Practice Fusion Free EHR recently tell me that if the EHR weren’t free, there’s no way they’d still be using that EHR. I thought it provided an interesting perspective on the value of free. We’ll see how this plays out long term for Practice Fusion and if these type of experiences taint the Free EHR market for everyone else.

Plus, I couldn’t write about Free EHR without mentioning that just because an EHR doesn’t cost money doesn’t mean that there aren’t other costs. Some people are ok with the Free EHR costs of advertising and data. Others are not. The key is to be aware of the hidden costs of using a Free EHR.

Going back to the cartoon, I think I might prefer some in exam room advertising if it would replace my co-pay. I’d be fine with a nice Pepsi ad in the exam room in return for lower healthcare costs. Although like most things in life, it can certainly be taken too far if we’re not careful.

Full Disclosure: simplifyMD is an advertiser on this site.

Practice Management Changes During EHR Implementation

Posted on October 12, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR vendor simplifyMD has a really interesting post up that looks at what happens with Practice Management software when purchasing an EHR. In the post, they look at the results from a survey done by AC Group of 1,447 practices from November 2011 to March 2012. Here are some of the most interesting findings:

86% of Large Practices Keep Their PM When Purchasing a New EHR

88% of Smaller Practices Replace Their PM When Purchasing a New EHR

81% of Smaller Practices Hurt Their Revenue Stream by Implementing a New PM

Only 4% of Large Practices Felt an Impact to Their Revenue Stream

It tells a really interesting story about the impact of replacing your practice management system during an EHR implementation. I’ve seen the difference in choices made by small practices versus large practices first hand.

This issue is a crazy one because in the time I’ve been writing about EMR software, I’ve seen it flip flop multiple times. When I first started blogging about EMR, everyone wanted to keep their practice management software and just integrate it with their new EMR. Then, it quickly became that everyone wanted an integrated Practice Management and EMR. The above survey results seem to indicate that many clinics should consider going back to the old model of keeping their existing PM.

Full Disclosure: simplifyMD is an advertiser on EMR and EHR, but they didn’t ask me to post about it. I just found the data interesting.

Giveaways Added to New Media Meetup at HIMSS 2012 Thanks to Ozmosis – Social Media Genius Bar at HIMSS

Posted on February 8, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you’re planning on going to HIMSS, then hopefully you saw my post on EMR and HIPAA about the New Media Meetup at HIMSS sponsored by simplifyMD. Registration is going fast and I think we’ll be at max capacity this week. It’s setting up to once again be a premiere event at HIMSS.

The good news is that I’m happy to announce that Ozmosis has come on board as the giveaway sponsor of the New Media Meetup. That’s right! They’ve provided 3 Kindle Fire to be given away to those attending the New Media Meetup. I must admit. I want to get my hands on my own Kindle Fire (even though I’m not eligible to win). Thanks to Ozmosis for the giveaways. You can read more about what Ozmosis does below.

About Giveaway Sponsor

Ozmosis, Inc. brings the power of “Social Business” to the healthcare industry. Our collaborative care platform, OzmosisESP, accelerates clinical transformation by enabling hospital systems to coordinate treatment, manage clinical content, deliver virtual training and communicate more effectively.

Also, I got some pictures of the BB King’s Blues Club venue for the New Media Meetup. Check out how awesome this place is:

Register for the New Media Meetup NOW!!

HIMSS Social Media Genius Bar
For those that can’t make it to the New Media Meetup, Influential Networks is hosting a Social Media Genius Bar at the HIMSS Social Media Center. Details will be posted to the HIMSS Social Media page shortly, but here are the details:
Tuesday, February 21, 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Wednesday, February 22, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Thursday, February 23, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

During this hour-long session, social media experts will be available to aspiring and established bloggers and social media users to offer personalized feedback on their social media and blogging strategies and tactics, as well as offer direction on how to make improvements. Walk-ins are welcome or make appointments online.

I’ll be there for the second half hour each day for those interested in stopping by.