Print 3 comment(s) - last by Maxfli81.. on Sep 15 at 3:00 AM

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."

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By Redfoot on 9/14/2009 10:52:02 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, the U.S. military has been doing this for over a decade. Yes, systems go down from time to time, but the efficiency and data access cannot be fully realized until you work in an archaic practice, like the one I just moved to. Missing a physical medical record? No appointment. In an EMR world, just log into the system, and bring up the patient's profile. Nursing and admin notes are just as easy.

Honestly, I think we should first subsidize the hardware and software for practices, and then after a few years fine them for not using it. Lack of an EMR is a detriment to patient care. It will take about a decade for the current generation of new docs and nurses to make it commonplace, but it cannot happen soon enough for me.

Good stuff but so-so IT vendor
By Lord 666 on 9/14/2009 11:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
There is much more to EHR than the IT aspect. In all honesty, the technology piece is straightforward and just uses best practices we all strive to do anyway. There are many local IT shops that can support ECW. What is challenging is healthcare not having their internal processes and flows mapped out or for them to think outside of paper.

For ECW, they now fully supports virtualization and Dell can do that along with most IT generalists. What Dell can't do is design the required WAN/LAN infrastructure that many multi-site doctor offices are lacking... so they are not a one stop shop for this as they make it appear in the press release.

Mdogs - The EHR vendor Dell is using is Eclinicalworks. This is the same software NYC DOH Commissioner (who is now head of CDC) pioneered in the City. Connecting the dots, Eclinicalworks is the one to watch or review. It is also the same vendor Walmart standardized on and can also be purchased at Costco with project management hours included.

What was also part of yesterday's announcement (not on the Dell press release, but at the EHR vendor's conference, they are looking to move from 12 week cradle to grave implementation windows to 4.

Disclaimer: Lord 666 is not employeed by ECW nor compensated in anyway.

Good move
By Maxfli81 on 9/15/2009 3:00:58 AM , Rating: 2
Good move by Dell by realizing a market need and having a strategy to capture that market.

Having researched this a little, this is one field where the government has a good system in place rather than the private sector. I'm talking about the VistA EHR system in place at the VA hospitals. Many nurses and doctors I know have commented on how nicely integrated the whole system is amongst all the VA hospitals - saving cost, time, and lives.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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