Thursday, April 15, 2010

Practice Fusion, Inc - An Innovative Web-Based EHR

Key Words - Practice Fusion, EHRs, Electronic Health Records, Meaningful use, certified, innovation, speech recognition, e-prescribing, Internet, cloud computing, business model


When the government passed its $787 billion stimulus in February 2009, it included $20 billion for Health Information Technology and up to $44,000 for each doctor adopting certified EHRs with “meaningful use.”

This government act set off a chain of innovations for EHR companies and physicians.

There's nothing mysterious about successful medical innovation - it is about attracting venture riches, filling niches, adding sons of niches, anticipating physician bitches, and satisfying government hitches.

Practice Fusion, Inc, a San Francisco –based EHR startup had all of these ingredients when it was founded in 2005.

• It attracted venture “riches,” i.e. funding from Band of Angels and Felicis ventures

• It filled “niches” - 1) appealing to Primary care doctors and specialists seeking easy-to-use, easy-to-install, free, certified systems to capitalize on the $44,000 federal largess; 2)adding multiple practice management features its management team was familiar with; 3)relying on the Internet, which allowed doctors to off-load all their needs to the Internet using nothing but personal computers and broad band access without installing hardware and software in the office. On top of all those niches, it was free, web-based, and no-risk.

• It added “sons-of-niches” - Those multiple other features such as new speech recognition programs – Dragon Naturally Speaking, MacSpeed Dictating, scanning paper documents, e-prescribing programs, and Personal Health Record programs.

' It anticipated physician "bitches" - complaints such expenses of installing, training,difficulties of data entry, loss of productivity.

• It satisfied “hitches ” for government reimbursement – such as those hard to understand conditions such as what EHRs qualified for “certification” and what constituted “meaningful use.”

And if that were not enough, it could be installed quickly , required no lengthy training or instruction, could be up and running in five minutes, and it had a business model, similar to Google’s Adsense, that allowed it to be “free” for clinicians. The business model is based on advertisements from insurers, suppliers, and drug companies when certain keywords appeared during Practice Fusion use.

Small wonder, then, that Practice Fusion has grown rapidly and now has 30,000 users.
Here is how Ron Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion explains its acceptance.

“Practice Fusion is an electronic health record, which is provided to Physicians at no cost for licensing, hosting, support, and training of the application. Right now we’re the fastest growing physician practice community in the country.”

“Every feature that’s included with the product in any capacity is offered at no cost, so it’s truly free. It’s offered with support, training, and hosting. It’s the only totally free model on the market.”

“ Practice Fusion competes with most major systems in the marketplace. It’s fully-featured. It has everything from front office scheduling to patient management to full-charting templating, prescription writing, lab management, the entire gamut of services. From a major competitor standpoint, we compete with them relatively well, especially over the next few months where we’ll be extending our products to include Quest Lab integration and e-prescribing.”

“Within our product we have a vast template library. We are servicing over 25 specialties today. Templates are created by everyone from our Chief Medical Office to our Physician Advisory Board to our end users. It’s one of the things that’s unique about the product. The product is not only free and web-based, but we have a process called Live in Five. If you go to our website and register, you can actually start using the products within five minutes.”

8 comments:

Emily said...

Great analysis Dr. Reece! I'd be glad to put you in touch with our team here at Practice Fusion if you have any questions.

Emily
Practice Fusion EMR

Emily said...

PS: Would you change "Ron Howard" to "Ryan Howard" when you have a chance?

patrick said...

Greater template! web application

Anonymous said...

....not so fast. It is my understand both the State of California and the Feds are looking into this company's practice of selling HIPAA protected patient information. We were one of PF's early customers but later dropped the service when the Class Action lawyers began to call. Good luck if your practice is named in a Case Action Suit, I for one do not have time for that.

Anonymous said...

....not so fast. It is my understanding both the State of California and the Feds are looking into this company's practice of selling HIPAA protected patient information. We were one of PF's early customers but later dropped the service when the Class Action lawyers began to call. Good luck if your practice is named in a Case Action Suit, I for one do not have time for that.

Anonymous said...

All your patients confidential data will be elsewhere, out of your control and oversight.
Your patients can sue you for breach of confidenctiality and the Feds can come after you for the same reason.
On top of that, you have no way of having a local onsite copy of your patients medical records; for that you have to ask Practicefusion to do it for you.
I really do not understand how so many MD's has gone along with this violation of elemental medical resposabilities.

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Anonymous said...

God know what else they are looking at? As a practice owner, they are many things that is internal to my business. I am deleting my free account.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/10/24/practice-fusion-reviews-whoops/