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EHR Selection Services

Posted on June 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.

Those of you who’ve read my Free e-Book on EMR selection know that one of the things I suggest you do is to narrow down your list of EHR vendors to a small group of ~5 EHR vendors to start your EHR selection process. The book has the full rationale, but the challenge is that with 600 EHR companies out there you can’t review them all.

Of course the next question I’m asked is how you narrow down the companies to start your EHR selection review process. One thing that’s really developed over the 6 years I’ve been blogging is the EHR selection services. They’re still all far from perfect, but I suggest you take a look at a couple of them to start getting a list of EMR companies that you might want to consider. Then, take those lists and ask around to your colleagues. I call this approach triangulating the EHR data points to get you down to a smaller group of EHR companies.

One challenge is that there are a lot of EHR selection website out there. Here are just a few for you to consider. If you’re just looking for a really simple way to get access to price quotes and demos of EHR software, then go check out Software Advice or EHR Scope.

If you want a deeper, more custom EMR / EHR matching system then you’ll want to take a look at EMR Consultant, EHR Selector, and Hielix Apps. All 3 of these websites have made significant investments to try and help doctors match their needs with the EHR software.

I’ll admit that I’m probably a little bias towards EMR consultant since they’ve been around ever since I first started blogging about EMR. Plus, I love that it’s free. Although, a little birdie told me that EHR selector is considering a Free EHR selection option as well. There’s something I really love about the free EHR selection model. Basically, physicians that use it to help with their EHR selection have very little to lose.

Hielix on the other hand costs a few hundred dollars to use. They did send me a promo code for those that want $25 off their service. Just enter: “EMRANDEHR” Hielix is definitely taking a much more hands on approach to the EHR selection process so it makes some sense that they’d charge for the service. In one email exchange with them they talked about their CEO meeting with one of their customers to discuss their report. I’m sure many doctors will like this type of high touch service.

Always trying to get some good info for my readers, I got permission to publish a PDF file of a sample report that Hielix produces. I think the really good stuff in this report starts about page 7.

As I said previously, none of the EHR selection services are perfect. Although, I think using a couple of them isn’t a bad idea to start narrowing down the long list of EHR companies. I see it as an extra data point that can be used to narrow your list. Unfortunately, none of these services make it so you don’t have to do a thorough evaluation of multiple EHR vendor before you buy. I’d love it if someone figured out how to solve that problem. Until then, an EHR selection service isn’t a bad place to start.

Top 10 EMR Software per Medical Software Advice

Posted on January 24, 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.

I always find it interesting to see various list of EMR and EHR software. Most of the lists don’t have much thought put into their creation. However, it’s fun to look through all the lists and see which EMR companies end up making it on the list. Plus, it’s good to know the next time you see them talking about being a top EMR software where that list might have come from.

This list of Top EMR Software companies comes from the people at Medical Software Advice. I’m not sure how they get this list, but it’s an interesting one. No doubt the list is a bit biased by the EHR vendors that actually work with Medical Software Device. Maybe this is the top 10 EMR software companies that can market. There are some of the major EHR companies on this list though, so take a look. Always good to triangulate multiple top EMR lists to narrow down your selection process.

For those in the industry, you’ll enjoy reading through the descriptions of each company.

Emdeon’s EHR Lite

Posted on January 6, 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.

I’d been meaning to do a post about Emdeon‘s EHR lite (that’s their term for their EHR) since I first heard about it at MGMA. While I think that EHR Lite might be some good branding, I’m not sure you can really classify Emdeon’s EHR as lite. I’m sure they’re just trying to differentiate themselves from the 300+ EHR companies out there. The idea of a lite EHR is great since it gives the impression that the EHR is easy to use and implement. Not a bad strategy at all.

As most of you know by now, instead of doing full reviews of EHR software I like to try and dig into the EHR software to try and find points of differentiation. When I talked to the people at Emdeon about their EHR lite, I wanted to do the same.

I think I found the thing that most differentiates Emdeon from many other EMR companies. it’s their network. Here’s a summary they sent me of their network:

Emdeon’s network encompasses:
340,000 providers
1,200 government and commercial payers
5,000 hospitals
81,000 dentists
60,000 pharmacies
600 vendor partners

I think if you asked most people what Emdeon the company did, you’d say claims processing. The title of their website for search engine rankings (at least that’s usually the intent) is Revenue Cycle Management. However, I won’t be surprise if they reinvent themselves a little bit and become a connection company.

I strongly believe that healthcare will be a very heterogeneous environment. Some might argue that 3-4 EHR vendors will dominate the market (which I don’t believe), but even if this is the case EHR software is still going to have to connect with hospitals, pharmacies, labs, payers, government entities etc. An EHR is going to be key to integrating with these other heterogeneous software as I do believe the EHR will be the “Operating System of Healthcare.”

Today a silo’d version of an EHR is not an issue at all. However, the writing on the tea leaves that I read is that healthcare providers that have a well connected EHR are going to be at an advantage. We’ll see if Emdeon can use their current connections as an advantage in this way.

90% of Doctors Expect to Have EHR Within 3 Years per USA Today

Posted on November 30, 2011 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.

@ElinoreBoeke – Elinore Boeke
90% of surveyed doctors expect to have EHRs within three years usat.ly/tSgBNG #HealthIT #EHR via @USATODAY

The survey also sets EHR adoption at 46% and quotes someone saying there are 1000 EHR software vendors out there. Well, I think all of those numbers are way off.

First, expect that doctors won’t meet their expectations cause 90% of doctors won’t have EHR within 3 years.

Second, I think we’re closer to 25-30% adoption. 46% probably includes a lot of people who have a PMS, but no real EMR. Maybe they do 1 or 2 small EHR like function.

Third, 1000 EHR software vendors, really? Even if you expand to things like ePrescribing I’d put the number closer to 600. If you take out the partial EHR software companies, I think it’s closer to 300. Granted, there are more and more EHR software coming out each day.

The Must Have EMR Feature – An iPad Interface

Posted on November 3, 2011 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.

I’ve written many times about the amazing phenomenon that we call the iPad and particularly how EMR vendors are reacting to the widespread adoption of iPads in healthcare. As I’ve written these dozens of articles, talked to hundreds of doctors, and far too many EHR vendors it’s become clear to me that an iPad interface is basically a Must Have feature for an EMR.

No, I’m not talking about some remote desktop type connection from the iPad to an EMR. Yes, every EMR is available on the iPad using a remote desktop type application. While that’s neat that it can do that, EMR vendors whose whole iPad strategy revolves around remotely accessing your PC which can run their EMR software are missing out on the real benefits of the iPad. The love affair that so many people have with their iPad is much more than just remote connectivity and a small touchscreen device. If that was all that mattered, tablets would have gone mainstream in healthcare long ago.

If an EMR vendor wants to leverage what’s made the iPad so popular, they need to create a native iPad app that can interact with their EHR software.

I’m not talking about replicating your entire EHR software on the iPad. That would be a mistake as well. Does your biller really need to do the billing on the iPad? Do you really want to do all your documentation on the iPad? Probably not, but with some thoughtful discussions with your existing EHR users, I think vendors will find some real value in leveraging the iPad technology connected to their EHR software.

I can imagine EHR vendors that create beautifully done iPad EMR apps will do very well in the market. Why? Because the doctors that love their iPad EMR app will start showing it off to their doctor friends.

My biggest fear with this commentary is that far too many EHR vendors are busy coding for meaningful use and EHR certification that they’re not looking for smart ways to leverage technologies like the iPad. Time will tell how this plays out, but I’ll be surprised if the iPad doesn’t play a part.

Could the iPad app of an EMR vendor become a real differentiator between the 300+ EHR vendors out there today? I’ve long believed that the biggest problem with EHR software today was their interface. The iPad is all about a new interface.

Top EMR Vendors – Solo Physician Practice – Black Book Rankings

Posted on August 19, 2011 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.

I’m always interested in ways to try and differentiate the various EMR and EHR vendors. I’m completely sympathetic with doctors who are sorting through the 300+ EMR Companies in the marketplace. Most doctors I know, don’t want to become software selection experts or at least don’t want to spend their free time doing it.

However, it’s amazing the various services out there that try and capitalize on this need that doctors have to narrow down the field of EHR vendors. I think that’s basically what the Black Book EMR Rankings (listed on Amazon even) are basically doing with their EHR rankings. Yes, I know Black Book’s been around for a while, but I just saw it again and had to post.

They try and say that they sent the survey out to 70,000 “physician leaders and non-clinical administrators of publicly traded hospital corporations, private hospitals, academic medical institutions, multispecialty medical group practices, small and multiple physician practices, hospitalist groups, emergency departments, institutional members and officers of various healthcare/medical and IT professional organizations, subscribers of our media partners and previously validated survey participants.”

The problem is that they only received “4502 validated respondents ranked 174 EMR suppliers.”[emphasis mine] I’m not a statistics guru, but I wouldn’t be putting my EMR selection on an average of 25 responses per EMR. Plus, for many EMR it was likely much lower than 25. Not to mention, they only had responses from 174 companies. What about the other 126+ EHR vendors that had 0 responses?

Plus, the Black Book breaks it down even further by size of practice. They have 6 categories in just the ambulatory side. That’s an average of just over 4 responses per EHR vendor per category size. Although, it’s less since they have a bunch of acute care categories as well.

When you look at the list, I see a lot of the major EHR companies and a bunch of companies I’ve never heard of before. Not to mention there are a lot of big time EHR players from companies that Black Book probably has never heard about that aren’t on the list.

Unfortunately, there’s no real quality source to differentiate the various EHR companies. If there was I’d shout it from the rooftops (or at least my blog). Until then, the only solution is the work of reviewing your needs and evaluating the various EHR software yourself.

Since I’m sure many will wonder what EHR vendors made the Black Book list, here’s the list of Top Ambulatory EHR companies by practice size after the break: Read more..

Job Growth in Healthcare and the EHR Bubble

Posted on August 11, 2011 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.

It’s a crazy world that we’re living in today. The market is on a roller coaster. The riots in London. A lot of other crazy things happening. Not the least of which is the high unemployment in the US. Despite the challenging times, I’m not seeing as many of the same challenges in healthcare IT.

This was higlighted in some recent tweets I saw that talked about the job growth that’s happened in healthcare. That’s right, healthcare has actually had job growth. It’s quite amazing to consider, no?

Healthcare IT is especially interesting thanks to the $36 billion in EHR stimulus money. It’s a frother EMR and EHR market out there and I expect the froth is going to continue for another couple years. Is it fair to say that we’re in an EMR and healthcare IT bubble? I think so.

The question I’m starting to consider is what’s going to happen when the bubble pops? I’m not sure that we’re going to see one big pop in the EMR market. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that we’re going to see a long protracted fall out of EMR and EHR companies. I guess this type of slow failing EMR companies is better than a major pop, but it still doesn’t sound good.

Well, at least it doesn’t sound good for those clinics who are using the EMR software from the EMR companies that fail. However, it’s going to present some interesting opportunities for EMR companies that can clean up the mess that’s left. Of course, most of us won’t know the details of the mess. We’ll just see flowery announcements about EMR companies selling off to larger EHR companies. However, those acquisitions will be a great customer acquisition buy for the EHR companies who have the cash and can transition users effectively to their EHR software.

How far off is this? I’d say at least 2 years. So, the next 2 years are going to be an interesting time for EHR vendors that are trying to position themselves for these types of acquisitions.

300 EHR Vendors and the Challenge of Interoperability

Posted on July 14, 2011 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.

@GrandRounds4ODs posted an interesting tweet that caught my eye.

The tweet links to his blog post where he talks about the challenge of so many EHR vendors, overcoming a legacy model of building closed systems and the challenge of interoperability.

Here’s the money paragraph for me:

In a business sense, there is absolutely no business rationale to write software that cooperates with a competitor. Governmental regulations can “force” or “compel” interoperability, but if done with resentment, there will never be true information sharing.

I wonder what @GrandRounds4ODs thinks about the post I did on EMR and HIPAA about EMR Consolidation (or lack thereof).

Medical Care and Primary Care without Insurance Allows Technology to Flourish

Posted on June 30, 2011 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.

I’ve previously posted that I believe the real EMR innovation will likely have to come together with healthcare innovation. The basic premise being that our current insurance reimbursement system is a weight on the backs of EMR software. The insurance requirements cause much of the unwieldy interfaces that are put out by EMR software and insurance requirements and limitations are a huge limiter on the technology innovation that could occur in healthcare.

Imagine how much more streamlined the EMR interface could be if EMR companies worried about patient care and not reimbursement. Imagine the new technologies that would be implemented if you weren’t so worried about the office visit reimbursement model we have today.

This premise is why I was so intrigued by this post on the popular Tech Startup blog, Techcrunch, called “The Most Important Organization in Silicon Valley That No One Has Heard About.” In the article, Dr. Samir Qamar has been putting together a different model for healthcare. “For only $49 per month and $10 per visit, MedLion is able to provide high quality medicine at a price point nearly any family can afford.”

How is he able to do this? Here’s a quote for part of how he’s able to accomplish it:

Part of MedLion’s value proposition has been availability to its patient base. Like many direct primary care practices, they find more than half of their patient interaction is via electronic means, as they aren’t forced by reimbursement rules to have a patient come to their office for something that could be done simply over phone or email. We want to be available for our patients whether they are in the Bay Area, Bali or Boise.”

I’m not sure if Dr. Qamar has found all the healthcare Innovation secret sauce, but I’m grateful for pioneering entrepreneurs like Dr. Qamar that are willing to try something different. Plus, there’s no better place for the application of technology than in these new models for healthcare. It’s exciting to consider what technology could really do when it’s not shackled by the 100 pound gorilla.

HIPAA Violations Aren’t Happening in SaaS EHR

Posted on June 20, 2011 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.

Micheal Koploy over at Medical Software Advice put together an interesting post that looked at all the HHS breach data. He does a pretty in depth look at the various incidents of breach that occurred and even does a deep dive into the specific EMR related HIPAA breaches that are listed. He then forms an interesting conclusion:

HIPAA Violations Aren’t in the Cloud
Some have said that increasing the number of EMRs make our records more vulnerable. I’d cite the above data to argue otherwise. Paper records and portable devices are the weakest link in HIPAA security. The systems themselves – and certainly cloud-based systems – have a pretty good track record. HIPPA violations aren’t happening in the cloud. Rather, they’re happening in the doctor’s office, hospital IT closets, cars, subways, and homes.

And the statement that cloud-based EMR systems are more vulnerable to security breaches simply isn’t supported by facts. Of course, it remains to be seen if this holds true as more cloud-based systems are deployed. As more physicians move their records to the cloud, the opportunity for breaches will increase.

If my doctor asked me how to ensure patients’ data is secure, I would offer the following: go to the cloud. Web-based EMRs eliminate the most common security risks because there aren’t physical files to be compromised. And no matter your system, it’s essential to train your staff on the necessary security measures to ensure patient privacy is a systematic imperative

I think he makes a good point about it possibly being too early to really know how many cloud based SaaS EHR companies are going to have breaches. I also think it’s fair to consider that when those do happen, they’re going to be big breaches. They won’t just be a few records that are breached, but a whole bunch. Although, this is true for any electronic medical record HIPAA breach as compared with a paper chart HIPAA breach.

The other thing I can’t help but wonder is if there are more breaches with cloud EHR software, but we just don’t know that their happening. Although, that goes against the common thinking that EHR software does a much better job of tracking breaches than a paper chart. Your digital fingerprints are all over a digital chart and can be reported on quite easily. It’s a little harder to track the inappropriate fingerprints on a paper chart.

All in all, I’d have to agree with Michael and his assertion that we’re likely to see many fewer EHR breaches from a SaaS or cloud based EHR company than we will see from all the in house EHR software. In an in house system, the EHR company can just blame the clinic for the breach (in most cases). In a SaaS based EHR system, a HIPAA breach would have a much more damaging effect on the future sales of that EHR company. So, they’re more likely to put in the effort needed to avoid such breaches.