Sunday, July 1, 2012

Free Cloud-Based EMRs

I ran across this post by Paul Levy the other day:

"By the way, speaking of electronic medical records and meaningful use, we cannot fail to mention the upstart company Practice Fusion.  Focusing mainly on independent physician practices, Practice Fusion CEO's says, "We’re effectively the Salesforce for doctors, and the Facebook for health.”  Doctors can sign up for free for an EMR that will meet the meaningful use criteria, making them eligible for the $44,000 in federal incentive payments.  The service offers labs, e-prescribing, scheduling, charting, and billing.  The revenue model is based on advertising by labs, pharmacies, and drug companies who want to be seen by these medical decisions-makers.  The company promises that the basic EMR services will always be free, but I suspect that future revenue may also come from enhanced services."

What a thought that we now have fully functional and integrated EMRs hosted entirely in the cloud that are free for the end users (docs and clinics).  Since it's cloud based, you also don't need to have servers to host data and don't need to worry about updates to a proprietary piece of software.  

I wonder what a product like this will do for the free clinics and other small primary care practices in our country that previously may have been resistant to adopting electronic record systems because of prohibitive up front costs (of both time and money)!