Author Archive

EHR Vendors Form Alliance On Data Sharing

March 4th, 2013

A group of health IT vendors representing a large chunk of the market for electronic health records have launched the CommonWell Health Alliance, designed to increase interoperability among their systems, it was announced Monday at the annual convention of the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando.

According to a press release "the Alliance intends to be a collaborative effort of suppliers who are focused on achieving data liquidity between systems, in compliance with patient authorizations". The alliance includes Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway and RelayHealth.

In the press release, Hammergren said, "The formation of this alliance takes health care a step closer to broad industry interoperability. A national and trusted health information exchange will break down the information silos in health care and should dramatically improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery."


Market, Technology, Vendors

EHR Adoption Is Growing As Docs Bid For Incentives

August 29th, 2012


Electronic health record adoption by physicians is growing, to judge by the results of a recent survey sponsored by Medscape, a leading website for continuing medical education. The survey of 21,200 physicians across 25 specialties, conducted last spring, found that 74% of them already were using an EHR and that another 8% of them were currently installing or implementing systems.

In 2011, 57% of physicians said they were using an EHR, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An SK&A telephone poll in January 2012 found that just 46% of doctors had EHRs.

The rapid increase in physician adoption of EHRs this year is directly related to the government's incentives for Meaningful Use of qualified EHRs and the penalties for not showing Meaningful Use, said Leslie Kane, executive editor of Medscape's Business of Medicine division, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. Indeed, the Medscape survey indicates that 44% of the respondents had already attested to Meaningful Use and that 31% expected to within the next year.


In addition, Kane pointed out, peer pressure has had an effect as EHR adoption has reached critical mass. "The number of doctors stonewalling against EHRs has dropped, and people are getting on the bandwagon," she said.

That doesn't mean, however, that physicians are universally happy about the change. Twelve percent of EHR users in the survey were strongly or somewhat against the systems before they adopted them, and 14% felt that way afterwards. Similarly, 62% of users were somewhat or strongly in favor of EHRs before implementing them–a percentage that rose to 67% afterward. The percentage of doctors who were neutral about EHRs fell from 25% before to 19% after.

To Kane, these findings indicate the importance of preparing physicians for EHR implementation. "The message to practices is to get doctors psyched beforehand, because how they feel about it before, they'll feel afterwards."

Twenty-six percent of respondents said that EHR adoption had reduced their productivity, but 15% said their productivity had increased. And while 30% of the doctors said that EHRs had negatively affected their relationships with patients, 36% said those relationships had improved.

Kane attributed much of the differences in the responses about productivity to differences in the amount of training that physicians received from vendors or hospitals. Those who received good training and support, she said, tend to adapt better and lose less productivity.

Based on comments from some respondents, many physicians find EHRs reduce their eye contact with patients. There are proven methods of avoiding this problem, Kane said.

Nearly a quarter of respondents found that EHRs increased efficiency, but only 6% said they helped increase practice revenue, and 5% said they lowered costs. So it does not appear that many doctors earned more as a result of using EHRs.

The majority of respondents did not know how much their systems cost. That may be because nearly half of them were in groups of 11 or more doctors. Among those who did know, most respondents with practice-based systems said they cost $10,000-$35,000 per physician. Monthly charges for Web-based EHRs ranged from under $300 to more than $700 per provider per month.

The most widely used EHRs, in order, were Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, GE Centricity, eClinicalWorks, NextGen, and Meditech. But the top-ranked EHRs among users were quite different: Amazing Charts, Practice Fusion, VA-CPRS (the Department of Veterans Affair's VistA EHR), Medent, e-MDs, Epic, athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, and Sage, in descending order.


General, Market

EHR Market To Reach $6.5 Billion By 2012

October 22nd, 2011

The total market revenue for electronic health records (EHRs) is expected to hit $6.5 billion in 2012, which is more than a sixfold increase from the $973.2 million posted in 2009, a study from Frost & Sullivan predicts. The rise in EHR revenues is primarily due to new licensing and upgrades as hospitals get their EHR systems ready to meet Meaningful Use requirements.

Read more about that study here.

General, Market

IT staff shortages is affecting EHR adoption

October 11th, 2010


According to a survey conducted by CHIME in early September IT staffing shortages is putting projects at risk and negatively impact healthcare organizations’ EHR implementation. The survey included responses from 182 member CIOs of CHIME.

According to the survey, more than 70% of CIOs said their organizations had inadequate IT staff to implement clinical application software, while 51% said that such staffing issues may affect their ability to implement electronic health record systems and qualify for "meaningful use" incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid.
The survey also found that 76% of respondents have concerns about retaining existing health IT staff.
The most glaring need for healthcare organizations is for trained personnel who can implement clinical records software. More than 70 percent of respondents reported that their organizations lack staff to implement clinical applications.
To meet immediate needs, CIOs reported that they were planning to use various strategies, and the use of third-party consultants was the most frequently mentioned strategy, listed by more than a third of respondents.

General, Market

EHR Products Certified For Meaningful Use

October 2nd, 2010


CCHIT just published a list of EHR products that are certified and meet the ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 requirements of Meaningful Use.

The certifications include 19 Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider (e.g. doctor practices and other clinicians in ambulatory settings) or hospital technology, and 14 EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria.


The complete EHR products (as of October 1, 2010) are:


  • ABEL Medical Software Inc. ABELMed EHR – EMR / PM 11 (Eligible Provider)
  • Allscripts Allscripts Professional EHR 9.2 (Eligible Provider)
  • Aprima Medical Software Inc. Aprima 2011 (Eligible Provider)
  • Athenahealth Inc. AthenaClinicals 10.10 (Eligible Provider)
  • CureMD Corp. CureMD EHR 10 (Eligible Provider)
  • The Doctations 2.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • Epic Systems Corporation EpicCare Inpatient – Core EMR Spring 2008 (Hospital)
  • Epic Systems Corporation EpicCare Ambulatory – Core EMR Spring 2008 (Eligible Provider)
  • GE Healthcare Centricity Advance 10.1 (Eligible Provider)
  • GloStream, Inc. GloEMR 6.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • Intuitive Medical Software UroChartEHR 4.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • MCS – Medical Communication Systems, Inc. iPatientCare 10.8 (Eligible Provider)
  • Medical Informatics Engineering WebChart EHR 5.1 (Eligible Provider)
  • Meditab Software Inc. IMS v. 14.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • NeoDeck Software’s NeoMed EHR 3.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • NextGen Healthcare NextGen Ambulatory EHR 5.6 (Eligible Provider)
  • Nortec Software Inc. Nortec EHR 7.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • Pulse Systems 2011 Pulse Complete EHR 2011 (Eligible Provider)
  • SuccessEHS SuccessEHS 6.0 (Eligible Provider)


And here are the modules/products which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria.:

  • Allscripts Allscripts ED 6.3 Service Release 4 (Hospital)
  • Allscripts Allscripts PeakPractice 5.5 (Eligible Provider)
  • EClinicalWorks LLC eClinicalWorks 8.0.48 (Eligible Provider)
  • Health Care Systems, Inc. HCS eMR 4.0 (Hospital)
  • NexTech Systems Inc. NexTech Practice 2011 9.7 (Eligible Provider)
  • nextEMR, LLC nextEMR, LLC (Eligible Provider)
  • PeriGen PeriBirth 4.3.50 (Hospital)
  • Prognosis Health Information Systems ChartAccess 4 (Hospital)
  • Sammy Systems SammyEHR 1.1.248 (Eligible Provider)
  • T-System Technologies, Ltd. T SystemEV 2.7 (Hospital)
  • Universal EMR Solutions Physician’s Solution 5.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • Vision Infonet Inc. MDCare EMR 4.2 (Eligible Provider)
  • WellCentive WellCentive Registry Version 2.0 (Eligible Provider)
  • Wellsoft Corp. Wellsoft EDIS v11 (Hospital)








General, Market, Vendors ,

Is CCHIT Dead?

June 20th, 2010

 In early March 2010 the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would name more than one organization to certify EHR software.  This implies that CCHIT might become less relevant in EHR market.

Chris Thorman, who blogs about electronic health records, has captured the potential impacts in his article and is running a poll on that topic.

General, Market


March 18th, 2010


ePrescription is an important element in improving the quality of patient care and as such it is also part of requirements for CCHIT qualifications and MIPPA incentive payment.

The data interchange standards for ePrescriptions are maintained by NCPDP (National Council for Prescription Drug Programs) for the pharmacy services sector of the healthcare industry. 
There are few companies offering transmission networks for electronic connection between Physicians and Pharmacies nationwide.  They mostly use and enable communication between HL7 and NCPDP SCRIPT Standards.
 Among the leaders are SureScripts, RxHub and ProxyMed, with SureScripts currently dominating the market with about 90% market share.
Following is the list of Companies providing solutions or gateway for Prescription transmissions: 





General, Market, Technology, Vendors

Healthcare Costs Around the World

March 1st, 2010

 Good information on Healthcare Costs Around the World from VisualEconomics



General, Market

Open Source and Free EMR Systems

December 12th, 2009

The commercial EMR systems cost physicians somewhere between $20 to $50 thousands, depending on vendor and different revenue models (subscription, lease, upfront, …)

That motivates some Physicians to look into alternative, free or open sources, options.
(Intentionally separating free vs. open source, as those are necessarily not the same)
Recently I researched available open source options that includes more than 40 products!!!
Among those I found the following three to be the best:
New Jersey’s Hoboken University Medical Center , Blue Mountain Hospital in Utah and Kern Medical Center of Bakersfield, Calif. are among organizations that have recently decided to go with Open Source EMR Systems.
Of course one pending question on Open Source EHR solutions is about CCHIT certifications.
On June 18, the Certification Commission unveiled new options for CCHIT certifications to support self-developed and open source community in an effort to better position itself as the certification agency required under the HITECH provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
At the same time some organizations and consulting firms are taking matters in their own hands, by applying for CCHIT certificate for a "modified" or "commercialized" branch of Open Source code. WorldVista is a good example.

General, Market, Vendors , , , , ,

Product Review: eClinicalWorks

December 2nd, 2009

 As part of my continuous EHR product review I recently evaluated AllScript, NextGen and eClinicalWorks. 

This post is covering eClinicalWorks. (See my previous post on NextGen)
To summarize among the three, I like eClinical the best. It is technically solid, and 
provides a fully integrated platform, including PM, EMR and Billing.
However I think the User Interfaces are not as intuitive as they could be. I hope
the product manager will put some effort in optimizing the user experience. 
That would motivate eClinical users in utilizing all the power under the hood. 
The system provides customizable templates per spatiality and provides a good 
Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS).
The company started with smaller physician groups before targeting hospitals 
and larger clinics. As such the product design is well suited for small offices.
In larger environments the community module allows patient records to 
be shared between physicians (e.g. referrals).
My favorite feature is eCliniForms, which allows to scan in or create office forms 
in the system (such as consent or hospital admission forms).
eCliniForms can be used to input data and integrate directly with patients’ chart.
Following you can see a demo of eCliniForms:

In terms of pricing eClinicalWorks has 3 offerings:
- Traditional client server (you purchase the software license outright and data lives on a server in your office).  The pricing is around $10,000 for the first physician, $5,000 for each subsequent provider. An annual support & maintenance license fee of 18% could apply, translating to about $200/month.
- Hosted model or ASP (monthly fee, data lives on a server at the vendor’s facility).  The pricing is around $500/month for the first provider, with discounts for subsequent providers.
- Lease or Subscription (monthly fee, data lives on your server in your office). $400/month for the first provider. It goes down around 10% per additional doc on the contract.
The above fees are for the combined EHR-PM product.  More details can be found on their website:
They charge an additional $250/month for billing and scheduling and $25/month for e-prescribing. Training is between $500 to $750 per day plus travel expenses at $250/day.
Here is a Flash Demo of the product:
They recently partnered with Sam Club to sell eClinical EMR, in a packaged deal along with Dell computers to cover both software and hardware. More info here:
eClinicalWorks is opening an office in Pleasanton California before end of the year.


General, Market, Technology, Vendors