The EHR world is abuzz with the Walmart announcement that it would be selling EHR software through their Sam’s Club division. In case you missed it, here’s the important details from the NY Times:
The company plans to team its Sam’s Club division with Dell for computers and eClinicalWorks, a fast-growing private company, for software. Wal-Mart says its package deal of hardware, software, installation, maintenance and training will make the technology more accessible and affordable, undercutting rival health information technology suppliers by as much as half.
They also make a projection of how much Walmart EHR will cost:
The Sam’s Club offering, to be made available this spring, will be under $25,000 for the first physician in a practice, and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. After the installation and training, continuing annual costs for maintenance and support will be $4,000 to $6,500 a year, the company estimates.
Walmart estimates that 200,000 health care providers are among the 47 million Sam’s Club members. I also found the following quote from the same article interesting as it talks about how Walmart got into the EHR business:
Wal-Mart’s role, according to Mr. Osborne, is to put the bundle of technology into an affordable and accessible offering. “We’re the systems integrator, an aggregator,” he said.
The company’s test bed for the technology it will soon offer physicians has been its own health care clinics, staffed by third-party physicians and nurses. Started in September 2006, 30 such clinics are now in stores in eight states. The clinics use the technology Wal-Mart will offer to physicians.
“That’s where the learning came from, and they were the kernel of this idea,” Mr. Osborne said.
I’ll save my commentary on this subject for tomorrow. There’s certainly plenty to say about it.