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Thoughts on Practice Fusion Raising $70 Million

Today, Practice Fusion announced that they have just closed a $70 million round of funding. This series D round of funding brings Practice Fusion’s total funding to $134 million and a valuation estimated at $700 million. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, OrbiMed Advisors, and Deerfield Management Company.

We’d heard that this round was close almost 2 months ago. I’m not sure what took them so long to finally close the round. I also found it interesting in this Forbes article about the funding round that “Practice Fusion leads vendors this year in acquiring Allscripts’ former customers.” I have a feeling Aprima might have something to say about that.

In that same article, Practice Fusion declined to disclose revenues, but Ryan Howard suggested that he expects Practice Fusion revenues to triple next year. Then, it was suggested in the article that payments from labs connected to Practice Fusion customers would make up a significant source of revenue. You might remember that Practice Fusion lost one revenue stream when Kareo decided to launch their own free EHR. Practice Fusion has since rolled out 3 new billing companies and so they could have made up that revenue.

The article also suggests that revenue is available from Pharma for mining the Practice Fusion data for insights. Then, they’ve always talked about the potential for pharma advertising in the Free EHR. I also had someone suggest to me recently that Practice Fusion could be making money off of selling leads to the various healthcare education companies out there. Considering the number of emails I get from these healthcare education companies, they definitely have money to spend on targeted leads.

The question I’ve asked for many years isn’t whether Practice Fusion has created value. No doubt their current user base and data set has value. The question that remains is whether they’ve created a company that merits a $700 million valuation and whether the $134 million investment will yield a quality return. Plus, can Practice Fusion build the company’s revenue while still maintaining physicians’ trust in Practice Fusion. They now have $70 million in funding to find out.

September 24, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Glen Tullman Steps Down as CEO of Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX)

The news is just coming out that Glen Tullman has stepped down as CEO of Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) along with Allscripts President Lee Shapiro.

Paul M. Black has been selected by the Allscripts board as the new President and CEO. Mr. Black was COO at Cerner for 12 years before he retired from Cerner in 2007. He has served on the Board of The Truman Medical Centers for 12 years, most recently as Chairman, and as a director of Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE:HAE). Plus, Mr. Black is currently sitting on the board of Allscripts.

It’s an understatement to say that it’s been an incredibly tumultuous year for Allscripts. Allscripts chose to discontinue their Allscripts MyWay EHR, Allscripts sued NYC after losing an EHR deal, and then Allscripts started looking for a private equity buyer.

This latest round of firings was predicted by Anne Zieger when she wrote about the previous Allscripts Management Shakeup and the investors desire to fire Glen Tullman a while ago.

I imagine the board was waiting to see if any of the strategic alternatives (ie. Private Equity buyouts) could save Glen’s job, but Allscripts also announced that “the Board has formally concluded its evaluation of strategic alternatives.”

Usually there’s a lot of shakeup after a change like this, but Allscripts EHR users have already been through a lot. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Black does with Allscripts going forward.

Here’s the details of the Conference Call that will be held tomorrow about the changes:

Conference Call

Allscripts will conduct a conference call tomorrow, Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 8:30 AM Eastern Time to discuss today’s announcement. Investors can access the conference via the Internet at http://investor.allscripts.com. Participants also may access the conference call by dialing (877) 303-0543 (toll free in the US) or (973) 935-8787 (international) and requesting Conference ID #83012880.

A replay of the call will be available two hours after the conclusion of the call, for a period of four weeks, at http://www.allscripts.com or by calling (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 – Conference ID #83012880.

December 19, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Allscripts MyWay to Allscripts Pro Migration

We’ve been tracking the major news that Allscripts was discontinuing MyWay since the news first came out. One of the major questions I had was how the VARs were going to react to the news. Aprima has made a big case for MyWay users to go with them and they have a pretty compelling case to make.

I got an email that a VAR sent out to its users that makes a pretty compelling case for Aprima versus Allscripts Pro. I copied part of the email below. When you look at the list of items that won’t be moved from Myway to Allscripts Pro, I think my prediction that few users will make that transition is ever more solid. Although, the question still remains how many will go with Aprima versus some other EHR. If Aprima does a solid job with the VARs, then it could be a really big win for them.

Here’s part of the email the VAR sent:

Aprima’s Upgrade Program Gives You…

  • Free Aprima licenses for Allscripts customers whose product is being migrated – no need to re-buy software!
  • Same core product – the Allscripts product being migrated started as Aprima 2008
  • Same look and feel with nearly 1,000 enhancements
  • Minimal learning curve of new features, minimal to no downtime
  • Your existing data intact; this is a proven product upgrade, not a conversion
  • Live webinars and on-site training available
  • Ongoing upgrades and development of the product, no end of life sun setting
  • Product will meet Meaningful Use and support ICD10
  • Support is U.S.-based

It is important to note with the migration to Allscripts PRO, data will be exported from one system into another and not all data will come across during this process.  MyWay and PRO are very different.  As a result, you will need to be retrained on the new system and create new workflows. Most significantly, none of the financial data will be included, so you will be left with running down old balances in MyWay while setting up the new PRO PM. See below for a list of data points that will not be migrated:

  • Financial Transaction Data
  • Financial History, Superbills, Payment, and Adjustment transaction detail will not be migrated into the Allscripts PM system.
  • Allscripts MyWay clients will continue to use their current system to work down their previous Accounts Receivable for a period of time.
  • Current Patient account-forward financial balances in Allscripts MyWay will not be migrated to Allscripts PM.
  • PM reporting details and history will not be migrated from Allscripts MyWay into the Allscripts PM system.
  • Practice management reports will be replaced by the Allscripts PM reporting capabilities.
  • Insurance claim status and reimbursement history will not be migrated from Allscripts MyWay into Allscripts PM.
  • The Integrated Easy Pay credit card processing feature in Allscripts MyWay is not compatible with Allscripts PM and will not be migrated. Clients can use the Intuit Pay Page functionality in Allscripts PM or use a non-integrated credit card solution for credit card processing.
  • Allscripts MyWay Audit Trail detail will not be migrated into Allscripts PM.
  • Will require retraining for you and your staff
  • Will require additional data conversion
  • Online training + potential weekend time if you want live, hands-on sessions
  • Possible reduced patient load during transition
November 26, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Allscripts and Aprima Settle MyWay Lawsuit

Many of you will have read my post talking about the news that Allscripts was discontinuing development of their MyWay EHR product. It was very big news because so many had adopted the MyWay EHR and so many Vars were affected by the decision. Aprima saw it as a great opportunity to “rescue” MyWay EHR users since Aprima (formerly iMedica) created the MyWay software in the first place and then licensed it to Allscripts. Although, they retained rights to the software as well and with that they changed iMedica to what is now known as Aprima.

With this history it made a lot of sense for Aprima to offer Allscripts MyWay EHR users an alternative. In fact, I think you can make a great argument for why MyWay users could more easily transfer to Aprima than any other Allscripts EHR product. Although, considering the dissatisfaction I saw from MyWay users, I expect many will be looking for a complete EHR change. I’m sure Aprima would argue that their almost 1000 enhancements make it a much better product than what current MyWay users have been given.

Regardless of the choice that current MyWay users make, Allscripts didn’t take kindly to the nature of Aprima’s marketing when the news of MyWay’s condition was announced and so Allscripts filed a lawsuit against Aprima.

I just received a copy of a press release from Aprima stating that Aprima and Allscripts have reached a settlement in the lawsuit that Allscripts filed. You can see the press release below.

If you’re a MyWay user or MyWay Var, I’d love to hear your perspectives, plans, and thoughts. Feel free to leave them in the comments or privately on our EMR Thoughts contact page.

Settlement reached ON ALL LEGAL MATTERS and the Aprima Rescue PlanTM remains in place for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM.

Dallas, TX (November 8, 2012) – Aprima Medical Software announced today that it has reached a mutually agreeable settlement in the lawsuit brought on October 19, 2012 by Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, LLC. In that lawsuit, Allscripts alleged that some of Aprima’s advertising copy violated various state and federal laws. The parties reached an amicable resolution and will continue pursuing their respective business goals. Under the settlement terms, Aprima has modified some of the advertising copy associated with its Aprima Rescue Plan™ for those who currently use the Allscripts MyWay™ product, and who may be looking to replace that product in light of Allscripts’ October 3 announcement about its future.

Allscripts MyWayTM is the EHR product offered by Allscripts that it has opted not to develop or update to be in compliance with government incentives and requirements such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10.

The Aprima Rescue PlanTM remains in place for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM. Many believe this program – and Aprima’s EHR and PM products – to be the most practical and viable option for providers, since the original Allscripts MyWay™ application was based on the source code that Allscripts licensed from Aprima in 2008.

Allscripts MyWay™ resellers and customers can maintain and even strengthen their current business relationships. Aprima is offering an easy upgrade for practices that may feel frustrated by Allscripts’ announcement about MyWay™ and anxious – or even outraged – about the prospect of a potentially expensive conversion if they want to demonstrate 5010 and ICD-10 compliance, or qualify for government incentives including Meaningful Use Stage 2, PQRS, e-Prescribing, and others.

Providers who bought Allscripts MyWay™ for a specific reason, such as the unique non-template approach to charting, the speed and ease-of-use, and the adaptive learning feature, are typically averse to having to change to something that is very different.

Aprima Rescue PlanTM for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM includes:
• Free Aprima licenses for each Allscripts MyWayTM license – no need to repurchase software; up to an $8,500 savings per provider
• Similar look and feel; Aprima has made nearly 1,000 enhancements since it licensed the original source code to Allscripts in 2008, including hundreds of substantive improvements to the Practice Management system
• Minimal learning curve, since it is only needed for the new features
Allscripts and Aprima Settle Legal Matters, continued
Aprima is a registered trademark of Aprima Medical Software. All other trademarks are the property of their
respective owners. Allscripts MyWay™ is a product of Allscripts HealthCare Solutions, LLC. Aprima is not affiliated
with Allscripts HealthCare Solutions, LLC. Page 2 of 2
• Minimal downtime compared to what is typical when changing systems and having to re-learn many new workflows
• Existing data remains intact; this is a proven product upgrade, not a conversion
• U.S.-based support

Aprima is pleased to be able to offer a lifeline to these users for minimal cost and with virtually no downtime. This will circumvent the need for Allscripts MyWayTM users to switch to another Allscripts EMR product, which would require a change in systems, plus a potentially arduous data conversion and retraining period, thus creating additional mental, physical and financial disruption to the practice.

“Ironically, Allscripts MyWayTM users can avoid such a potentially expensive and disruptive situation by switching to Aprima instead of another Allscripts product. We welcome these customers to the Aprima family and we are thrilled to be able to easily upgrade our ‘cousins’ to the Aprima way,” said Aprima president and CEO Michael Nissenbaum. “The difference between a conversion and a simple and proven upgrade can also make the difference on whether practices will achieve compliance on important healthcare initiatives. We are very pleased with the outcome of this legal situation.”

More Information
For more information, or to sign up for the Aprima Rescue PlanTM for customers of Allscripts MyWayTM, visit www.aprima.com/rescue, call 866-960-6890, option 7, or email rescue@aprima.com.
About Aprima Medical Software, Inc.

Aprima provides innovative electronic health record, practice management and revenue cycle management solutions for medical practices. The Aprima EHR/PM is an integrated system built on a single database. Aprima uses a fast, flexible design that adapts automatically to a physician’s workflow and sets the benchmark for ease-of-use, speed and flexibility. Aprima is one of the few companies with a 14-year track record of success, including CCHIT Certification consistently every year as well as ONC Certification for 2011/2012. Thousands of Aprima users are benefiting from improved quality of care, improved patient satisfaction, improved quality of life and an improved bottom line. Based in Carrollton, TX, Aprima performs all development, support, and implementation from the U.S. To learn more about how Aprima can help your practice, please visit www.aprima.com, call us at 866-960-6890, option 7, or email us at info@aprima.com.

# # # #

Contact:
Judy Friedman jfriedman@aprima.com (214) 466-8093

November 8, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Allscripts to Discontinue MyWay EHR

The rumblings are starting to get more and more solid about Allscripts plans to discontinue MyWay. It seems they’ve started by informing their VARs and that’s where the word has gotten out most. Allscripts hasn’t quite said that they’ll be sunsetting MyWay, but the writing is on the wall.

One person I talked to about this said that the fact that Allscripts discontinuing MyWay wasn’t much of a surprise considering what a terrible product it’s been. The term he used most often to describe the product was “buggy.” This wasn’t surprising to me since one of my most discussed posts was one on Evaluating Allscripts EMR which I wrote on my EMR & EHR website.

It seems that Allscripts plan is to discontinue MyWay and try and move those users to Allscripts Professional. The migration of the data seems like it will be free, but it doesn’t seem that Allscripts has yet indicated whether they’ll tack on an extra fee for the more expensive Allscripts Pro product.

I was told that Allscripts did say that they’d be incorporating the best features of MyWay into Allscripts Professional. The person I talked to about this laughed a bit since there were very few features in MyWay that users loved. He assumed that it HAD to be referencing the Full Note composer in MyWay which he said providers seemed to like for documenting the clinical side of things.

I’ve also heard a rumor that Allscripts might be looking for a way to do the Allscripts professional training through some sort of online means. Considering the complexity of Allscripts pro and the configuration and training required to make it functional and workable, this seems like a failed strategy to me. We’ll see how this plays out since I’m sure Allscripts is still defining this strategy.

Of course, the VARs that are supporting all the MyWay implementations will be scrambling with their own plan. I expect many of them won’t be happy with the idea of switching from MyWay to Allscripts professional and will consider other EHR. The obvious option is Aprima since they created the original MyWay and then forked the project to create their current Aprima EHR offering.

I’m told that Aprima has totally redone the PM side of their Aprima EHR which is a good thing since many weren’t satisfied with the PM in MyWay. It certainly makes a lot of sense for Allscripts MyWay VARs to consider Aprima since it will provide a similar user experience for their users and I have little doubt that Aprima will be able to port the data out of MyWay and into Aprima. My only question is if that’s the right move. Should you move to Aprima because it’s an easy transition or should a Var instead search to find the best EHR out there (which could be Aprima in the end anyway, I’ll leave that judgement to others)?

No doubt many of the other EHR vendors out there are going to look at this as a great opportunity for them as well. I’d be interested to learn more about Allscripts MyWay technology structure and how well the data can be ported to another EHR.

It must be an interesting time at Allscripts with this happening along with talks of Allscripts considering a sell out to a Private Equity Buyer.

UPDATE: Aprima sent out the following offering for Allscripts MyWay users.

PLEASE NOTE: In some earlier communications, Aprima had used the word ‘ABANDON’ to describe Allscript’s approach to its MyWay customers. Instead of using the language ‘ABANDON,’ what we should have said is that it is no longer developing or updating the MyWay product, including compliance for government incentives and requirements such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10. We apologize for any confusion.

APRIMA OFFERS LIFELINE TO ABANDONED MYWAY CUSTOMERS

According to Allscripts, the MyWay product will not be enhanced to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use and customers are being told they will need to convert to an alternative Allscripts product starting in January 2013. There is an announcement posted at this link: http://blog.allscripts.com/2012/10/05/evolving-industry-evolving-ehrs/.

However, that is not the only option MyWay customers have. You may not be aware that MyWay is based on Aprima’s PRM 2008 version. Since that time, Aprima has made almost 1,000 enhancements to the product!

With the Allscripts announcement to discontinue development efforts on MyWay, and force a conversion to another product, the time and effort required of a practice will be enormous. The lost productivity of converting could negatively impact the practice for many months if not a year.

Providers are not “stuck;” they have the opportunity to UPGRADE to Aprima.

Aprima will not charge a license fee to any MyWay customers who sign a maintenance and support agreement. You may continue to work with your existing MyWay reseller (requires the reseller to become an Aprima Reseller), and your data will migrate as part of the UPGRADE. Training is limited to only learning the new features so there is virtually no downtime.

Aprima has successfully UPGRADED MyWay customers with no data loss – there is no conversion required. (Small UPGRADE labor fee required per database.)

Please contact Aprima at mywayrescue@aprima.com or your current reseller for more information.

I also got this message from Allscripts about their decision to end MyWay EHR:

It’s no secret that the healthcare IT market is changing rapidly. To enable our clients to succeed, we must change as well. That’s why, to better meet the needs of small and mid-sized practices, we are providing a free upgrade from Allscripts MyWay to a new converged platform that leverages the Professional Suite.

This upgrade better equips our clients to meet increasing regulatory pressures and shifting payment models to value-based care. And, by focusing our investment on a single EHR for this market, we can deliver innovations faster. Innovations like Allscripts Wand™, our native iPad solution, which is getting rave reviews from clients. Over time, we will deliver a converged clinical platform that delivers the best of both solutions.

We based this decision on client input on prioritization of new features and functionality. The upgrade will immediately deliver key benefits of our converged platform:
• Powerful Practice Management
• Robust Analytics
• Community Connectivity, and
• Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Access.
We’re working closely with our clients to deliver a simple upgrade process that included advanced toolkits, pre-built templates, and customized training. We’re confident this move will enable our clients to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare industry.

October 5, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Care Innovations Summit Challenge Announcements

Today was the Care Innovations Summit in Washington DC. If you want to read more on what’s been happening at the Care Innovation Summit, you can check out the lengthy #cisummit Twitter hashtag to hear what’s being talked about.

One of the things that seems to be sweeping Washington (I think Gingrich mentioned this in one of the GOP debates recently) is the idea of challenges. I like the idea of challenges and encouraging people to strive to do something interesting and useful and rewarding them for it. I don’t know why, but for competitive people like me, the idea of a challenge gets the juices flowing.

In the morning Ignite section of the Care Innovations Summit a number of challenges were presented. Here they are for those who like a good healthcare challenge:
Sanofi Diabetes Challenge

KP HIV Challenge

Janssen at Johnson & Johnson Connected Care Challenge

Allscripts Million Hearts Challenge

Pfizer + Janssen Alzheimer’s Challenge

HHS ONC Care Transitions Challenge

What do you think of these healthcare challenges? I think it’s great that you can earn some reward while doing something beneficial for healthcare.

January 26, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

EHR Related Stocks Up 82% Since EHR Stimulus Package

If you’re like me and work in the healthcare IT industry, you know that we’re in a really amazing environment right now. Turns out, healthcare IT related companies are enjoying the EHR stimulus money from the HITECH act as much or more than anyone else.

In an analysis by USA Today, they found that since 2009, the healthcare IT related companies stock value increased by an average of 82%. 11 of the 45 companies they analyzed they increased by a combined total of at least $20 billion since the HITECH act was passed.

They also break down how much each healthcare IT and EHR related stock increased since the HITECH act took effect:

  • 194% for Cerner;
  • 134% for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions;
  • 105% for Computer Programs and Systems;
  • 105% for McKesson;
  • 96% for Siemens;
  • 89% for UnitedHealth Group;
  • 83% for Accenture;
  • 55% for athenahealth;
  • 51% for Dell;
  • 34% for General Electric.
  • During that time, the stock value for Quality Systems dropped by 3%

Some pretty amazing numbers. Plus, it’s interesting to think that the stimulus money is just getting started. Greenway EHR users have gotten $5 million and Cerner EHR users have gotten well over $2.2 million in EHR incentive money.

I’m not stock analyst, but I’m sure these stocks will continue to grow in this frothy healthcare IT environment.

November 22, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Healthcare IT Market Grows to $162.2 Billion in 2015


RT @: Healthcare IT market to grow to USD 162.2 billion in 2015 – http://t.co/JcXDvb1 #EMR #EHR #HITsm #HealthIT
@HITExchange
Jenny Laurello

I found this EMR and Healthcare IT forecast pretty interesting. That’s a pretty big market. Here’s an interesting bit about the growth of sections of the healthcare IT market:

EMR is expected to the highest growing market with a CAGR of 16.7% from 2010 to 2015. CPOE is also a fast growing segment with a CAGR of 16.5% from 2010 to 2015. Point of care information systems, specialty care information systems (cardiovascular information systems, oncology information systems), surgical and intensive care information systems are expected to have a combined CAGR of 15.1% from 2010 to 2015.

They also assert in the report that Meditech (U.S.), Cerner Corporation (U.S.), Mckesson Corporation (U.S.), Siemens Healthcare (Germany), Epic Systems (U.S), Allscripts (U.S.), Philips (The Netherlands), and GE Healthcare (U.S.) account for the majority of the market.

September 13, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Finding Jobs for ONC Workforce Program Participants

In response to my post about the ONC Workforce program, I got sent the following message:

I have also completed the ONC Workforce Program. Ms. Feldman is not exaggerating about its difficulty, though my program did not have assignment deadlines. Her comments prove to be another verification that the programs present the standard materials differently. We were told that the course work would take 15-20 hrs/wk, but found we had to double that to complete within 6 months (and work around the high attrition from instructors). When she mentions spelling errors, and missing or duplicated material, it may sound trivial until one sees the extent of the errors. In May, a “corrected” version of the material was released, however. I don’t know the extent of improvement because I completed the program with the beta version.

Perhaps worth discussion is the fact that there are few internships and NO positions that want HITECH graduates without Epic, NextGen, Allscripts, or GE Centricity experience. These vendors do not have classes/seminars on their software, except for facilities who have purchased their product.

When added together, I believe the Workforce Development Program has put people through an enormous amount of pressure, lost many capable people along the way (7000 entered, 2280 completed, according to ONC) and, because back-end gaps for transitioning into entry-level HIT positions exist, we are unable to gain entry to the fastest growing segment for the labor force. That helps nobody.

My heart definitely goes out to these people who’ve gone through the courses and can’t find the jobs. I was particularly taken back by the comment in the middle about there being no positions that want HITECH graduates without the specific EHR experience. Although, I think that might be location specific. Or maybe I just got lucky getting my first job in the EMR world without any EMR experience. I still remember when they asked me to tell them about my experience in healthcare and I responded, “I’ve been to a doctor.” So, there are exceptions, but you have to find them.

I took a few looks at the jobs listed on my EMR and EHR jobs board. Based on past postings, I can definitely say that it’s competitive to apply for an EMR job. Even if there’s a real need for a well trained healthcare IT workforce. I’m not sure if that’s a function of a down economy shifting many workers into healthcare or what.

I welcome other ONC Workforce Program participants to share their experiences in the comments. What have you found that works? Where can other graduates look for EMR and healthcare IT related jobs? I’ll be interested to hear your stories and suggestions.

August 25, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Certified Allscripts Enterprise v11.2 (The One for Meaningful Use) Is Delayed Until Fall 2012?

I got this interesting email from someone who works for a REC:

I caught word that Allscripts Enterprise v11.2 (that will allow ambulatory physician practices to reach meaningful use) will be delayed until Fall of 2012. I haven’t seen anything on the Internet or through my social networking connections. I was just curious of you heard about this and if you can help determine if this is just a rumor or fact.

I haven’t heard this and I’d be surprised if it were true. Could Allscripts really be that far behind on releasing their Certified EHR that will be able to get users to meaningful use?

I did a search on the ONC-CHPL website which lists all the EHR software that’s been certified. The Allscripts Enterprise EHR 11.2 has been certified as a complete EHR. In fact, it’s certified twice as a complete EHR and once as a modular EHR. I assume that’s based on the various configurations and third party software it can connect with to meet the complete EHR certification requirements.

So, the software is at least in good enough shape to be certified. Will it really take until next year for them to roll the software out to their practices? I recently found out that Practice Fusion has taken a month or so to get out their certified EHR. However, they’re a SaaS EHR and a month is much more reasonable than a year.

I wonder if the timeline might be very clinic specific. For example, Allscripts might be ready to deploy their certified Allscripts Enterprise EHR right now, but the clinic that already has it installed might need the next year to project manage the upgrade. Still seems like a long time to upgrade, but I’ve seen worse.

With that in mind, I’d have to call this a rumor for now. Although, I’m going to send this post to some of my contacts at Allscripts and see if I can get a response.

June 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.