Print 18 comment(s) - last by KLO.. on Oct 2 at 9:16 PM

Electronic Health Records system is called Practice Fusion

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are one of the vital components to overhauling the nation's health care network. The U.S. government feels that EHR will help reduce the cost of medical care by allowing doctors, labs, and hospitals to share data faster and easier than they can currently.

Part of the economic stimulus plan has funds that are set aside to reimburse medical care facilities and doctors for money spent moving to an EHR platform. EHR provider Practice Fusion has announced that its EHR system will be made available free of charge to physicians in a partnership with BioReference Laboratories.

BioReference will feed its lab data into the Practice Fusion EHR system and recommend the product to its network of 15,000 doctors. BioReference is the nation's third largest full-service medical testing lab behind Qwest and LabCorp. The two larger labs also integrate their data into the Practice Fusion system.

"With this deal, we've gained another 15,000 physicians," says the EHR vendor's CEO Ryan Howard. That statement is a bit inflated considering that the 15,000 physicians have to choose to use the Practice Fusion system. The Practice Fusion system is a cloud-based offering that is trying to attract doctors that currently use paper billing.

The labs are keen on EHR because it saves them time and money. With EHR platforms, they only need to update one record rather than individual doctors' offices. BioReference marketing VP Amar Kamath said, "we only have to integrate the data once, not for every doctor's office."

Dell also recently announced a new EHR offering that it was offering to physicians that is a complete turnkey package physicians and facilities must purchase and share data with a provider or a local hospital. The government is enticing physicians to move to EHR systems by promising bonus payments for those who migrate.

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Solves nothing......
By brshoemak on 9/24/2009 8:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
Pushing the location of EHR software into the cloud does not solving the underlying issue that is at the core of the problem. There are no set standards for data format/interface/structure. Each EHR company comes to the table with the mindset that all others should format and store data as they do, because of course their own way is the right way. Because of this, the providers will not sit down and work together on this issue. This impasse won't ever be overcome in the private sector - it's been 20 years and counting thus far.

The government needs to (and has been trying) to create a set of standards that all EHR software can follow. This doesn't mean government control or oversight of patient information. It just means that someone with authority needs to step in, spend time researching and come up with data formats/interface/structure that all software can abide by.

If you think the need for federal standards is unwarranted consider this, I've seen a firm spend $50K and 3-4 months on an interface that allowed two systems IN THE SAME PRACTICE to be able to share data. Multiply that cost and time by the number of different systems in a practice, multiplied by the number of practices (big and small) throughout the country and you get a better understanding of the obstacle EHR implementation faces on a nationwide scale. They can subsidize the cost of the EHR software, but are they going to subsidize the cost of the interfaces of every system that would need to be created to share information within and between practices?

Putting it "in the cloud" is simply a location where the software/data resides. Every single EHR software provider could run their system from a cloud, but that still doesn't mean they will all talk to one another. Without standardization of data, mandated by a group that has the authority to get it done, there is really no point in moving forward with EHR IMHO. I would love it, don't get me wrong, but it will just be the same clusterfluck it has been since it's inception.

RE: Solves nothing......
By KLO on 10/2/2009 9:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
yes, exactly the point I was trying to make but you made it way more succintly. Streamling is just about the design of software that is capable of communicating with other software and Security is getting compromised.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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