Over ten years ago SalesForce.com introduced the world to the concept of Software as a Service (SAAS). While there were skeptics for years, SAAS took off in enterprise computing. Today SAAS and cloud computing are finally starting to make their presence known in healthcare technology.
Testament to the momentum of SAAS is the introductions of web-based subscription oriented electronic medical records (EHR) offerings from General Electric and Emdeon. Both organizations recognize the costs and overhead associated with traditional install based EHR solutions is keeping many providers on the side-line. Making substantial investments in hardware, software and on-going support are hard to justify when the returns associated with EMR adoption are still unverified.
The offerings from GE and Emdeon change the paradigm. Physicians and their teams can be up and running on the systems almost instantly. You can literally create an account over the Internet and settle the modest monthly payment with a credit card. There are no long-term commitments or burdensome support contracts. In Part 2 and Part 3 of this post, I am going to provide a little more background on each of the two offerings including insights gained from my discussion with Miriam Paramore the SVP of Clinical and Government Services at Emdeon and a HIMSS Board member.
With these product introductions, the market will be watching to see what transpires with adoption. If providers embrace this low-cost path to EHR adoption, we’ll likely see these systems receive lots more development muscle and the rest of the market will have to follow.
Here is a video from GE Healthcare that does a nice job simplifying the rationale for EHR adoption.