Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

Quest EHR Lab Interfaces

Posted on March 7, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

While at HIMSS I had the pleasure of spending some time talking with Rohit Nayak, VP of Physician Tech Solutions at Quest Diagnostics. Not only is Rohit a very nice gentleman, but he also provides a number of really interesting perspectives on the healthcare industry. Quest is obviously known in the lab world, but as I mentioned last year, Quest is shifting from being a lab company to a technology company. This is clearly seen by their Care360 EHR product.

At one point, Rohit and I started talking about Quest’s approach to interfacing with EHR software. When you consider that Quest has the lab results that many EHR companies want and now Quest is offering their own EHR it makes for an interesting situation. Rohit told me that Quest has 120 EHR interfaces. He told me Quest’s approach was to be open when it comes to sharing data.

Before I talk more about these interfaces, I think it’s worth commenting on the 120 EHR interface number. The number of EHR vendors is often debated and discussed. I personally like to use the 300 EHR companies number. I’ve seen some go as high as 600 EHR companies, but I think those people are counting any software regardless of if it offers a comprehensive EHR product. For example, they might include an ePrescribing app which is part of an EHR, but I wouldn’t count it in my number.

With that as background, I find the 120 EHR interfaces with Quest quite interesting. Outside of some very localized EHR companies, you’d think that most legitimate EHR companies would have been almost forced to build an interface with Quest. Although, someone did recently tell me that Quest and LabCorp only have 7% of the lab market so maybe I’m overstating EHR vendors need to interface with Quest. I’d be interested to hear from EHR vendors who don’t interface with Quest and why they haven’t yet done so.

Heading back to interfacing with Quest, I was interested in how Care360 EHR users that don’t use Quest for their labs would be handled. Say I was a doctor who used LabCorp for my labs, but wanted to use Quest’s Care360 EHR. Would Quest support a lab interface from Care360 to LabCorp? Rohit told me that Quest would have no problem integrating Care360 with Labcorp, but that LabCorp wouldn’t let them do it. Don’t you love competition?

Of course, I only had the chance to talk with Quest about this topic. I don’t remember ever even seeing LabCorp at HIMSS. Considering LabCorp hasn’t taken the EHR route directly that could be why. I’m not sure many LabCorp users would want to use the Care360 EHR, but it is interesting to consider.

Rohit and I also started an interesting discussion about how well EHR software is consuming the Lab data that’s being sent across these lab interfaces. I’ve asked him to do a guest post on the subject, so I hope to bring you that in the future. You can also check out this 5 EHR Questions with Rohit Nayak video I did while at HIMSS as well.

Care360 EHR, MedPlus and Quest Diagnostics

Posted on March 8, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

While some might consider the following commentary an ad for Quest Diagnostic’s Care360 EHR, it’s not. I don’t even have them as an advertiser. Plus, you could easily submit a number of other companies name in the place of Quest. However, the following were some thoughts I had after talking with the people behind Care360 EHR at Quest.

First, let me clarify some name issues so we’re all on the same page. Quest Diagnostics is the company. It’s publicly traded on the NYSE with the ticker DGX. Most of you will know about Quest since they’re one of the leading lab companies in the US. MedPlus is the subsidiary within Quest that covers the healthcare IT portion of the company including their EMR software. Care360 is the name of their SaaS EHR software which they sell. Although, Care360 is also used to provide lab results amongst other functions as well.

Now why am I talking about Care360 and Quest? I find it completely fascinating that a company like Quest is part of the EHR landscape. Certainly we have plenty of large and even many publicly traded companies that already provide an EHR, but I see some potential differences between Quest and many of these companies.

One of the biggest fears that doctors have when selecting an EHR company is that they’re afraid of how long that company will be around. Even in the cases of very large companies, there’s still the fear that the large EHR company might get bought out or merged into another company and the EHR software will be left on life support (see Misys being bought by Allscripts for an example). This is a reasonable fear that should be considered during the EMR selection process.

I believe that Quest and Care360 EHR has a distinct advantage in this regard. Quest is not likely to go out of business or even sell off their EHR software to another company. In fact, their Care360 EHR is so tightly coupled with the rest of Quest’s lab services, I’m not sure it would even be possible for Quest to sell off their EHR software if they wanted to do it.

That’s not to say that something couldn’t happen to Care360 that would make Quest change their direction. They could essentially “sell” their users to another EHR vendor through some sort of referral process or they could just choose to shutdown that division of the company because it wasn’t profitable. However, you can be quite sure that they’ll be interested in the transition process. At least if you’re a Quest lab customer. They’re not going to want to lose lab customers because they decided to stop doing EHR.

This is only one factor related to selection of an EMR (see my free EMR selection e-Book for more). There should be some discussion related to how tied you are to Quest if you use their EHR. For example, I can’t remember if Care360 has an interface with LabCorp or not. You might even ask yourself if a Lab company can make great EHR software. They also don’t have a practice management system, but said they’d consider creating one in the future.

It’s like most things in life. There’s pros and cons to everything. You could certainly argue some of the other benefits of going with Quest and Care360 EHR. For example, Quest’s been doing the SaaS based model with their Care360 lab results for a while on a very large scale. They have some expertise in that regard which they can carry over into their EHR product.

Now the question I’m interested in finding out is, what is Labcorp’s approach to EHR?

HIMSS11 EMR Company and EMR Market Wrap Up

Posted on February 25, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

It’s going to take a couple weeks to really process all that I saw and heard at HIMSS 2011. In fact, there’s no doubt that much of the content I publish over the next month or two will be things I learned from the people I learned from at HIMSS or influenced by what I saw and heard. However, after a good night’s sleep in my own bed I’m really happy with my experience at HIMSS. The energy and passion for healthcare IT that was found at HIMSS was really powerful and wonderful to be apart of.

I think those people out there that are asking if we’re in a healthcare IT bubble right now are on the mark. There’s very little doubt in my mind that we’re in a healthcare IT bubble. It’s a feature of $36+ billion in EHR incentive money being given out by the government. I can’t remember the size of the EMR market numbers off the top of my head, but $36 billion in money coming into what is a relatively small market is going to change things dramatically. So, it makes sense that this type of infusion of money would create a bubble of sorts.

One person in their comments that we’re in a healthcare IT bubble asked if the bubble would pop before HIMSS 12 in Las Vegas. I believe we have at least one or two more years before the healthcare IT bubble pops. In fact, if you thought that HIMSS 11 in Orlando was big, I predict that HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas will be even bigger. The EHR incentive money will have started flowing and the trench battles will be in full swing as the 300+ EMR vendors battle each other for customers.

EMR software was obviously my focus at the conference and despite my comments about the lack of innovation by EMR vendors and the future of EMR, I think there are a ton of really interesting EMR approaches that in aggregate are going to impact the EMR world in really dramatic ways. Here’s some examples:

  • Azzly described a meeting of EHR vendors they attended with ONC. The question was asked which EHR vendors in the room started development after the HITECH act was announced. Azzly was the only one to raise their hand. I’m sure there’s other EHR vendors in that same boat, but it will be interesting to see an Azzly EHR that was built post incentive go up against the legacy EHR software.
  • ClearPractice was the first native iPad EMR (called Nimble) that I’d seen and there’s no doubt they’ve made a big play in that space. Will that combined with the backing of John Doerr and their internet driven sales change EMR as we know it?
  • Will larger companies like Greenway and Sage continue to gain market share as they go after the EMR market while maintaining their customer experience? Or will they head the way of the Misys of the world and be bought up by other EMR vendors?
  • What about NaviNet‘s entrance into the EMR world? Can they leverage their existing connections with so many providers to be a major player in not just interoperability but in EMR as well?
  • Even the big behemoth of a company, GE surprised me when I visited with them. There was a polish and a professionalism that I loved about my visit with GE and GE’s Centricity Advance people. I think there’s a fair comparison with Microsoft. Something about the nature of the US loves the underdog and hates the big name player. Yet, the big company just keeps executing their vision and many doctors are going to happily buy and use their products.
  • What about Ingenix‘s multiple EMR offering strategy? Will it just be confusing to clinicians or will they effectively differentiate their various offerings while providing a backbone for interoperability as well? Is the future large EMR vendor one that aggregates a bunch of niche specific EMR companies?
  • What impact will the transcription based EMR vendors have on the market? I wrote about the change from transcription company to EMR vendor earlier this week. Watch for the names MD-IT, FutureNet, Intivia, and MxSecure.
  • Many people probably don’t recognize the name MedPlus. However, everyone knows the company behind the MedPlus Care360 EMR: Quest Diagnostics. There’s something powerful about being able to turn on an EMR in a medical practice with basically the flip of an electronic switch. That’s what MedPlus can do since Care360 is already being used in so many clinics that use Quest for their lab work. Add in their existing lab sales staff that already have relationships with large numbers of clinics and they’re going to be a very interesting player in the EMR space.
  • Free EMR is a really compelling marketing tool. There’s a reason that Practice Fusion and Mitochon Systems free EMR offerings get so much press and so many doctors evaluating their EMR offerings. While many might disagree with their model or even believe that it will fail, these companies have and will have an interesting impact on the EMR landscape.
  • MicroMD offers an interesting approach. First, because of their existing LONG term practice management clients. Second, because of the interesting integration with the supply side of their company. Not to mention, the executives that I met with were some of the most realistic people and well thought out people I met at HIMSS.
  • Props to EMR company MIE that could use a fake EMR company (Extormity) to launch themselves into the EMR discussion while also helping to open up the discussion as well.  If I were a doctor, I’d want to demo their EMR just so I could see if I could find any Extormity features in their EMR.  Although, maybe that’s just the blogger in me.

I could keep going on, but that gives you a bit of flavor of some interesting EMR vendors and their market approaches. Plus, this is just 16 of the 300+ EMR companies that are working in this space. Each one with their own interesting story.

The most exciting thing for an EMR nerd like myself is that we’re really only at the beginning. Wait until we get beyond 15-25% adoption and reach 50% adoption. Then, the fun really begins.

Full Disclosure: Practice Fusion, MD-IT, MxSecure, and Mitochon Systems are all advertisers on this site. EMRandHIPAA.com’s HIMSS11 coverage was also sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.

HIMSS11 Thoughts – Day 2

Posted on February 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Hopefully none of you were expecting Meaningful Use Mondays. We’re taking the week off thanks to HIMSS, but there will certainly be some meaningful use discussion in my day 2 experience at HIMSS11.

I must admit that my morning was a little disappointing. I’d wanted to see Reich speak, but it ended up being too early for me. So, I followed what he said on Twitter. I’m afraid to say that following it on Twitter might possibly have been better than being there. There’s something really cool about the Twitter back channel conversation at a conference.

I was excited to go to the session Dr. No: The Response to HITECH, but it was a dud for me. Maybe it means I’m just too involved with the HITECH act that she didn’t offer me much to chew on. Plus, the presentation was pretty dry and flat. Oh well, at least I could enjoy the interesting Twitter chatter about the social media session by Mayo Clinic. Makes sense that Twitter would go wild during a social media session.

Next I attended the HIT X.0 presentation with John Glaser and Aneesh Chopra. Aneesh brought the rock star energy like usual, but John Glaser was pretty terribly boring. It’s not a good sign when the most memorable part of their presentation was Aneesh calling him Johnny G. I also was glad that they had the Twitter comments on screen. Too bad they were too strict with the filter of it, but baby steps.

Lots of interesting content from my meeting with GE healthcare. I loved how organized and professional they were about it all. Plus, their government liaison made an interesting comment about how the time frame for delivering meaningful use stage 2 details (Summer 2012 I think) and when hospitals need to show meaningful use stage 2 (October 2012 I think) is too compressed.

I also got a chance to look at the GE Centricity Advance iPad app. They’re following the same iPad EMR strategy I suggested previously where you only implement a subset of the EMR functionality on the iPad and as native iPad app that maximizes the iPad interface. I see most EMR vendors doing the same.

I had a very interesting chat with Jonathan Bush from Athena Health. I was excited to meet with him since you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. I took a video of him where I did a “Tell me something I don’t know” with the most common HIMSS buzzwords. Once I get home, I’ll upload the video and post it on the blog.

After that I met with Rohit Nayak, from MedPlus (Quest Diagnostic’s EMR company that offers the Care360 EMR). Another day I’ll do a post to talk more about the Care360 positioning and what makes them unique. It’s really fascinating to see how a lab company is attacking the EMR market. It’s pretty unique.

Care360 recently made an announcement about Care360’s participation with Microsoft HealthVault and the Direct Project. Aneesh actually made the prediction in the session mentioned earlier that by the end of 2012 80% of doctors will have a direct project address. Rohit agreed that it was possible and that Care360 would be playing a major part. He even said that Aneesh was considering a leaderboard for which company assigns the most direct project addresses. I’d be very interested to see that happen. It’s amazing how having your name on a leaderboard will motivate companies.

After this I met with a whole set of people from Henry Schein (which offers the MicroMD EMR). The dynamics of a large successful company with an EMR division (similar to Quest) I find really interesting. Plus, Henry Schein has had their Practice Management software for a long time (14,000 PMS users).

I was impressed by MicroMD’s approach to marketing their software. They acknowledged that it’s hard to be all things for every type of potential EMR user. So, they’re all about focusing on those specialties where their EHR fits well.

I was interested in how they were approaching meaningful use. Similar to how they’ve done ePrescribing tracking, they’re meaningful use certified EHR will be reporting back how many of their users are meeting the meaningful use requirements. I’m hopeful that once they start collecting this information in full, that they’ll share that information on here. They sounded open to the idea. It would be quite interesting to know which meaningful use measures doctors were generally finding hard to meet.

I already wrote about my time at the MTIA name change. Go and read it if you’re someone that transcription is dead.

Then, off to HIStalkapalooza. I was actually surprised that the event was pretty empty. Much nicer than last year where you basically couldn’t move. Plus, it was great to see the ESD people and see them get featured for their great set of shoes. They also loved the special ESD HIMSS top 10 shirt I was wearing. It was perfect for the event. Here’s what was on the shirt:

The Top 10 REAL Reasons I’m at HIMSS Orlando:
#10 Disney World totally beats Coke World.
#9 Orlando won’t have snow like Atlanta did last year.
#8 ESD’s plantable seed card which turned into a real dill plany for ccooking. The swag that keeps on giving!
#7 I’m secretly hoping Colbie Calliat will do an encore performance this year.
#6 I need to walk off those holiday cookies.
#5 I hope I get scanned by the RFID devices and magically transported to a tropical island.
#4 Booth Babes!
#3 Can you say parties?
#2 I’m just here for the food.
And the #1 reason….Anything for the EMRandHIPAA.com fan girls.
Enterprise Software Deployment – We Implement IT

I thought about going to a couple other events, but just opted to come back and write a few blog posts. Lots lots more planned tomorrow. Be sure to find me at HIMSS tomorrow so you can win a free HD TV.

EMRandHIPAA.com’s HIMSS11 coverage is sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.