No single EMR vendor is a clear leader in sales to physicians, according to Kalamora’s EMR 2010 Report. The study names Allscripts, Epic, eCW, athenahealth and NextGen among the top vendors but says no one company has even one fifth of the entire market. Kalamora also notes that brand recognition for EMRs is fairly low and no particular brands stand out when doctors are surveyed. That’s a disappointing observation if you are an EMR marketeer. In my experience its always difficult to figure out the best way to connect with ambulatory care physicians, so I suppose not much has changed.
Capario releases a new Web-based portal designed especially for physician billing services. The portal that includes real-time dashboard reporting, customizable work queues, and tools to manage parent-child relationships among customers.
KLAS launches a new HIT Buyers Guide just for HIMSS and it is free to providers, though not vendors nor consultants. The guide includes letter grades on over 700 software products and services that are offered to acute and ambulatory providers. If you are a provider and have downloaded a copy, let me know your impressions. The KLAS folks will also be distributing the guide during HIMSS.
Island Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (NY) purchases SRS hybrid EMR for its seven provider practice. According to one of the doctors, earning ARRA stimulus money is not a top priority:
“I am confident that the economic benefits we will receive from this system will far exceed any government subsidies that may be forfeited in just a few years.”
Thirteen of the country’s largest radiology practices form Strategic Radiology, an entity designed pool bargaining power with insurers and equipment dealers, as well as share expertise and best practices. The organization represents over 750 physicians.
This study finds the average number of hours worked by physicians fell 7% between 1996 and 2008, from 55 hours a week to 51. Physician residents decreased their hours even more, averaging 10% less work time over the time period analyzed. Coinciding with the decreased hours were physician fees, which fell 25% between 1995 and 2006.
Pulse Systems is one of the many companies launching new products to spotlight at HIMSS. Pulse is introducing an integrated patient portal and a self-service patient check-in solution which will be available stand-alone or integrated with Pulse’ Patient Concierge Suite.
PrimaCare Medical Centers (TX) claim that since installing MedInformatix’s practice management and EMR solutions, their insurance collections about increased about three percent. The 11-location urgent care network also uses ZirMed for electronic claims processing. So, is a three percent improvement in collections that significant? Doesn’t sound very dramatic to me, but perhaps collections weren’t too bad pre-MedInformatix.
Just published by The Huffington Post Investigative Fund: FDA is “moving closer” to regulating EMRs after receiving reports of six patient deaths and 44 injuries related to system malfunctions. Examples included an OR system whose lockups forced nurses to re-enter data from memory and another that didn’t display allergies correctly. An FDA official admitted that the agency has steered clear of regulating HIT, but says, “In light of the safety issues that have been reported to us, we believe that a framework of federal oversight of HIT needs to assure patient safety.” Reaction from vendor executives at the recent hearings was interesting: Epic’s Carl Dvorak was quoted as saying regulation wouldn’t necessarily ensure safer products or encourage innovation, while Cerner says it supports making voluntary safety reports mandatory because it’s “the right thing to do.” It’s not clear if the FDA is looking at all EMR’s or just inpatient systems.
I’m heading out to HIMSS this weekend so my next update will come direct from Atlanta. On the top of my list is checking out some of the lesser known EMR products, so stay tuned.