Dell offering provides everything for moving to Electronic Medical Records in one package

One of the key elements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the federal stimulus package was a way to reduce the costs associated with medical care by moving the health care industry towards digital patient records that will allow for more information to be shared in a faster manner. The drawback to this is that the hardware and software needed to move to digital patient records is expensive.

Dell announced this week that it is now offering a new Affiliated Physicians Electronic Medical Records (EMR) offering. The offering is a combination of software and hardware that makes it easy for hospitals and small to medium size physician practices to move to electronic heath records. Moving to electronic records is a key part of the ARRA and the component with the most potential for difficulty for medical providers without in house IT personnel.

Many hospitals and doctor offices are keen to move quickly to electronic medical records in order to qualify for bonus payments available if the transition is made by 2011. Electronic health records are expected to be made available to everyone by 2014.

Dell VP of healthcare of Life Sciences unit Jamie Coffin said, "In order to scale this thing in an effective way, you have to have as little complexity as you can."

Part of Dell's EMR offering allows medical practices to reduce upfront costs with financing options that make repayment cheaper until the AARA program funds are dispersed. The Dell solution includes hosted EMR, practice management software, technology, assessment services, installation, training, and performance and security tweaks along with around the clock support.

The Dell system would be hosted by a Dell partner or hospital allowing exchange of patient information, which is required for ARRA funding. The Dell solution will use a third-party medical software suite such as the one from eClinicalWorks.

EWeek quotes IDC analyst Judy Hanover writing, "This approach utilizes collaboration between Dell, EMR vendors, hospitals and other partners to facilitate the delivery of an integrated package of services, software and hardware. Providing an integrated solution that is sponsored by a local hospital is expected to allow providers to better address the non-financial issues that are barriers to adoption."

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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