Press Releases and News that Every EHR Consultant Should Know About

There is never a dull moment in the world of Healthcare IT.  Throughout this winter almost every EHR vendor has made some major announcement regarding either an acquisition, merger, expansion of service, or new market focus.  As consultants it’s truly important we stay informed on where EHRs are focusing their attention and expanding.  These changes all can have impact on how we support our clients and, more importantly, how our clients shift their prioritization of IT investments and initiatives. 

Below are hyperlinks to these press releases and my brief take on the announcements.

  • Cerner’s announcement, regarding being sold to Oracle, dominated the news at the end of year. The $28.3B deal is the largest EHR acquisition in history and will no doubt result in continued international market growth.  Take a look at the article because the big opportunity they spell out here is to expand cloud, AI and machine learning applications for Cerner’s healthcare clients.  I can’t even start to list all the areas of impact to current and new Cerner health systems regarding physician burn out, reduction in clinical documentation, and improved workflows.
  • Athenahealth also made an announcement at the end of the year regarding their planned acquisition by Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital for $17 Billion. Take a look at the article as they talk about their specific modules including patient engagement, revenue cycle, telehealth, payments, population health, and value-based care management.  The Ambulatory EMR software company clearly is continuing to grow and they’ve taken advantage of the press release to really point out their presence in the market space.
  • eClinicalWorks sent out a press release regarding their integration with Payground.  If there is one word that seems to be a trend in healthcare process improvement right now, its automation.  Take a look at the article as it outlines how offices will be able to accept payment at the point of care and immediately and automatically post the payment to the patient’s account.  Think workflow improvement and direct capture for those of you in RCM consulting.
  • Allscipts announces their new Allscripts App Expo, the company’s developer program that enables developers to connect with multiple Allscripts EHR and practice management solutions.  Healthcare systems can expand third party vendor solutions via the App Expo while new technology companies now have a way to integrate with them directly.  Huge opportunity for those of you who are always looking for process improvements using various technologies, not always offered by the EHR directly. 
  • Allscripts also announced in March that they had entered into an agreement with Constellation Software’s N. Harris Computer Corporation to acquire their hospital and large physician practice business segment which includes Allscripts’ Sunrise, Paragon, TouchWorks, Opal and dbMotion tools.  Take a look as Harris has a digital platform offering that would expand some capabilities in this marketspace…and as we’ve all been reading, digital is another huge buzz word for us right now. 
  • MEDITECH had a press release come out on March 1st regarding their release for a MEDITECH Ambulatory Expanse offering aimed at independent and physician-owned practices. The subscription cloud based solution offers an alternate EHR choice and offers variations of automation much needed in the ambulatory setting.  They are clearly preparing for an aggressive sales approach to hang on to those who may be looking at shared licensing agreements via Epic or Cerner nearby hospital systems.
  • Epic came out with a press release that announced Garden Plot, also an Ambulatory focused solution that includes Epic’s software for independent medical groups through a hosted and supported Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which includes several integrated products.  As a possible alternative to Community Connect model, Ambulatory facilities may be more intrigued with this more independent offering.  Take a look at the extensive list of integrated products from revenue cycle to pharmacy.

Most interesting to me on all this is the heavy focus on the Ambulatory space.  While some of the specific companies above have always targeted the Ambulatory market, now it seems to be an opportunity for everyone.  It will be interesting to see how these changes impact our customers’ needs over the upcoming months.   I’ll also be interested in hearing from you all on how new opportunities are emerging for you because of these new service offerings and changes.

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