Friday, May 11, 2012

Providing a platform for learning

With physician adoption of electronic medical records still woefully low, some healthcare technology vendors are looking to the next generation of doctors.

Practice Fusion, a San Francisco-based provider of free EMR technology for physicians, has launched the Academic Program, a modified version of its EMR software designed for universities, students and residents.

“I don’t think those guys are coming out of the gate with any software experience right now,” says Ryan Howard, Practice Fusion’s chairman and CEO, whose software is now being used by the University of West Florida. “This gives us the ability to get in on the ground floor.”

Spring Medical Systems, a Houston-based developer of SpringCharts EHR and SpringCharts Essentials, is working with McGraw Hill to have its technology included in educational textbooks. According to CEO Jack Smyth, medical schools that purchase these textbooks also gain the right to download training versions of SpringCharts for educational use.

“We’re finding that doctors are still leery of EMRs,” says Smyth, pointing out that the typical journey for a physician these days is to come out of school and join a hospital or large physician organization that still depends on paper-based solutions. “A lot of them coming out of school now at least have e-mail addresses and are computer-literate, but (EMR adoption) is not going to be as fast as people think it should be.”

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