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…
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.