As the Federal stimulus bill is winding its way through the Washington sausage factory, some details of the thousands of individual new spending programs manage to get attention from the press. It seems like we’ll be getting a “National Coordinator of Health Information Technology” as part of the stimulus. Of course, the precise purpose of the new bureaucracy is not yet known, but the goal seems to be to have all Americans get hooked on electronic medical records. (Never mind that the majority of health care expenses arise from defensive style of medicine, whereas clinicians order unnecessary tests to shield themselves from trial lawyers, and from caring for the growing elderly population.)
As is usually the case, there is a myriad of private EMR solutions already in existence. Many are very expensive, while some are absolutely free. As the Federal government is getting ready to establish new goals for future action many years from now, you don’t have to wait to get an EMR handout from Uncle Sam.
For example, Practice Fusion, the free web based EMR solution, is reporting 1,300% growth last year and a subscriber base of 13,000 customers. Being free and not requiring clinicians to invest in any new IT infrastructure, maybe President Obama should appoint Practice Fusion to coordinate the national IT program.
From a press release obtained by Medgadget:
In terms of subscribers, Practice Fusion is the fastest growing Electronic Medical Record provider in the country. Practice Fusion’s customer base has grown 1,300% since the beginning of 2008.
“Just one year after we introduced our vision of ‘The Free Electronic Medical Record,’ our scale and scope today confirm the wide market readiness and acceptance of our model,” said Ryan Howard, CEO and chairman of Practice Fusion. “As the new administration ponders a multi-billion dollar plan to computerize the nation’s health records, Practice Fusion has proven itself as a viable no cost solution to solve this problem, as well as the leader among electronic medical record providers.”
Three major factors support the expansion of the Practice Fusion community: free licensing, hosting, support and training for its products. Because Practice Fusion is web-based, the program requires no special hardware, software, or IT knowledge, enabling physicians to log on anytime, anywhere. No risk functionality provides simple, lowest total cost of ownership and low investment over time.