eClinicalWorks


Patient engagement, for better or worse, is one of those buzzwords that won’t be leaving us anytime soon.

A whole slew of companies use it to describe their products, platforms, and services, but we’re still knee deep in marketing jargon trying to figure out exactly what these tools do and how “effective” they really are.

We got a closer look at one such tool last month at HIMSS from a company that also finds itself knee deep in patient engagement.

eClinicalWorks debuted in 1999 as the Southwest Airlines of electronic health records (EHR). They offered a relatively low cost combined EHR/practice management system, which quickly made them significant players in the small practice market, adding more than 3,000 doctors in just three years.

It wasn’t until 2007 though that eClinicalWorks really broke through when then Assistant New York City Health Commissioner and future National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Farzad Mostashari selected them for installation with more than 1,300 New York City physicians as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP).

Now, eClinicalWorks counts more than 100,000 physician users in over 50,000 facilities in addition to another 14 million users on their patient engagement tool, Healow.

Continue reading “Will eClinicalWorks Win the Race to “Engage” the Patient?”

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It’s been over a month since I joined the ranks of the unemployed and started building my new practice.  For not having a job I’ve kept very busy.  Here’s what I’ve done.

I presented the idea of my practice to about 150 people.

It was a wonderful experience, and was quite emotional for me seeing a bunch of patients in one place.  The reception was wonderful.  I was hoping to get a video of this up, but the fates were fickle and it was not possible.

I wrote a business plan

My accountant didn’t even laugh when I showed him.  The idea was to look ahead at my months ahead and see when things would become profitable.  There are a bunch of huge questions that my affect this: how many staff I have, how many patients I have, what it costs to upgrade my office space, but I did a worst-case scenario (short of the Zombie Apocalypse) and the fact that my overhead is low makes it easy to be profitable quite quickly.

I got a location for the practice.

Today I went through the building with a designer and am working on getting it ready to use.  I am not doing the whole renovation at the start, as I won’t really know what the practice will need until it’s up and running.  I want it to be very comfortable and welcoming.  Most doctor’s offices are not places that say “welcome” to patients, but that’s what I want to convey.

I set a fee schedule.

· Age 0-2: $40/month
· 3-30: $30/month ($10/month if they are away in college)
· 30-50 $40/month
· 50-65 $50/month
· 65+ $60/month

Family maximum will be $150/month

Continue reading “The Doctor Is In”

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The San Francisco Department of Public Health says it is ahead of the curve in rolling out databases that keep tabs on tens of thousands of patients across a citywide network of clinics and hospitals. The rollout is needed not just to make a local form of “universal health care” work, but also to meet a 2014 deadline under national health reform.

And the city says it spent just $3.4 million on new patient-tracking technology. Not bad for an unprecedented charity care initiative whose total budget has grown to $177 million just this past year.

But while clinics and hospitals across the city are now linked up to a common intake tool that eliminates overbilling and duplicated medical appointments, that is only the first step in making the Healthy San Francisco program successful, directors of local health centers and technology experts say. Continue reading “Medical Records Supporting San Francisco’s Universal Care Add Millions to Official Cost”

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It turns out, there was no cage at the experimental debate earlier in October between me and Girish Kumar Navani of eClinicalWorks. And Girish was wearing a shirt…and no mask.

These, plus other anticlimaxes, sent our PR guy John Hallock into a deep, week-long depression.

“He could have gone for the jugular!  Why didn’t he go for the jugular?!?”

This was all he said for days.

The truth is that it’s hard to get too snippy with a guy who has built such an awesome company—WITHOUT VENTURE CAPITAL!  It’s just an incredible accomplishment.  That, combined with his incredible intuition around software design, made him a guy I really wanted to hear from…rather than jump on.

Also though, I heard Girish start to say words that for most plain ol’ software company leaders are “un-sayable.”  He said he wanted to host for his clients.  He said he wanted to maintain their data for them.  As a private company, I think Girish is in the best place to go the rest of the way.  Why not insist that all ECW clients get on a shared instance?  Why not start to take on some of the functions that cause so much frustration (34% of new athenaClinicals clients are actually frustrated software-based EMR clients!) These acts would destroy ECWs profits for a few years but they would emerge a genuine candidate for national HIT backbone, along with athenahealth.

We need that…a lot more than we need more versions of software.

Jonathan Bush co-founded athenahealth, a leading provider of internet-based business services to physicians since 1997. Prior to joining athenahealth, he served as an EMT for the City of New Orleans, was trained as a medic in the U.S. Army, and worked as a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in the College of Social Studies from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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