PracticeFusion brings Web 2.0 to doctor’s offices

Ryan Howard, CEO of PracticeFusion.com, showed me how they are transforming doctors offices with its Web service. Half a million doctors are on board already. Saves money and is free for doctors, while competitive systems are tens of thousands of dollars. Interesting look inside his business and how he’ll make money. Interesting for the rest of us to see where our medical records might be stored in the future.

[viddler id=512e443a&w=437&h=370]

19 thoughts on “PracticeFusion brings Web 2.0 to doctor’s offices

  1. what happens if your internet connection is down and a doctor or a locum cant look up your records and prescribes something with adverse recations or misses somthing causing a misdiagnosis ? i can imagine there being a law suit at some point.

  2. what happens if your internet connection is down and a doctor or a locum cant look up your records and prescribes something with adverse recations or misses somthing causing a misdiagnosis ? i can imagine there being a law suit at some point.

  3. funny thing. I was chatting with a friend the other day and he is developing a service for a private practice doctor for medical records. Some companies out there hold the rights to the medical records produced by their products (anonymously of course) and then they sell them for millions. Medical records are one of the most expensive data one can own. i will not go into the ethics of this(assuming the data are decoupled from the patients name) but these data are truly valuable for medical research, insurance companies and, statistics agencies….

  4. funny thing. I was chatting with a friend the other day and he is developing a service for a private practice doctor for medical records. Some companies out there hold the rights to the medical records produced by their products (anonymously of course) and then they sell them for millions. Medical records are one of the most expensive data one can own. i will not go into the ethics of this(assuming the data are decoupled from the patients name) but these data are truly valuable for medical research, insurance companies and, statistics agencies….

  5. Hey Robert, like your recent interest in health care! I remember when they first got started and medical records are certainly better than paper. I wrote an EMR in VB a few years ago with 4 modules before it went to the web. Will be interesting to see how their sharing application works when released, a move in the right direction for sure.

    The government spent a whole lot of money recently on health IT terminology so everyone would be on the same track, an EMR is a system that does not necessarily integrates, the new lingo for one that does is now called an EHR, and there were a few other words thrown in this proclamation as well.

    The Stark laws have eased up now whereby hospitals (if they have the funds or can get a grant) can also subsidize the purchase for their physicians on staff with an ambulatory system for the doctors that exchanges data with the hospitals, HL7 standard minimum, just like the personal health records are starting to do. To be subsidized by a hospital though there’s another process called CCHIT certification that the systems need to have before the hospital can subsidize and that runs about 25k for the software company every year, and of course the bar and standards are raised every year. This year at HIMMS, the big focus was with integrators and accomplishing the HL7, CCR standards and more.

    Now they want to certify PHRs and this is going to be on heck of a job since the records reach out and touch so many other data areas through the web.

    Liked the look of Practice Fusion and their work with Adobe as it had been a while since I had seen any screen shots, lots of nice improvements from what it was when it first started out.

    The next move in all of this medical software though will be in the direction of what is called a Common User Interface, as one doctor can be on staff at two hospitals, or work in 2 different offices and has to learn 2 or more systems, plus some hospitals don’t have single sign ons, so they have several passwords, etc. just to get in to the system or to use the a VPN to connect when away, so vendors working together to keep their backend data, servers, etc. going while working on the User front end is somewhat kind of the next area to progress.

    Shoot even from a consulting standpoint it gets hard for me to keep up with several medical records systems too with all the revisions and updates going on to ensure I am on top of what’s happening too, much more of a chore than keeping up with the Vista OS, but then I have that too, but thank goodness they are all going to web based so at least we have the operating system part of it out of the way with most no longer being desktop applications.

    Will also be nice when Practice Fusion can share with a PHR, as it’s only a matter of time before everyone will be sharing with everyone else.

    Very nice too that they offer to do the data transfers on demographics let’s say if a physician goes on to a hospital connected system as well. The billing is a nightmare for anyone to transfer as every coder, me included, writes their SQL statements differently. Most physician practices that bill internally use a clearinghouse to scrub the claims (that in itself gives you an idea of how complicated medical billing has become with over 30,000 ICD9 codes for any ailment we have) so they are correctly done before going to the payers and Medicare.

    Then there is the 2nd part of the coding called a CPT code and that is the billing part, the money, so when you go to the doctor, you get coded at least twice. Both sets of codes are updated quarterly and the software vendor needs to keep these current for the medical offices as well and pay the American Medical Association royalties for using the CPT or billing codes.

    Some still using a billing service, but now with all the software as a service, clearinghouses are the way to go in a lot of areas due to cost. I promote one on my site that does it for free and charges the payers, while most still charge the physicians.

    That being said clearinghouses are now integrating too with medical records so the billing and chart information is all done at once, the doctor enters the code for your ailment and it also goes to the billing area as well for claim submission, so doctors have in the last few years learned a bit about coding too, something the gals in the office used to do for them.

    For the price for physicians not affiliated with a hospital based system, you can’t beat it and any electronic record beats paper! This brings about the old friend the tablet pc too, as it is obnoxious to see a doctor sitting at a keyboard too while consulting, plus they miss the eye contact, etc. Some physicians do it ok they say, but the tablet is a much better way of entering data, plus with dictation, it’s a breeze with either Dragon and even Vista dictation works pretty well too. Nuance Dragon pretty much owns the market even with the Department of Defense using it as well in the field. It really is interesting to see how each physician adapts and what method they like for input.

    I like speech recognition too, helps me do comments and my blog:)

  6. Hey Robert, like your recent interest in health care! I remember when they first got started and medical records are certainly better than paper. I wrote an EMR in VB a few years ago with 4 modules before it went to the web. Will be interesting to see how their sharing application works when released, a move in the right direction for sure.

    The government spent a whole lot of money recently on health IT terminology so everyone would be on the same track, an EMR is a system that does not necessarily integrates, the new lingo for one that does is now called an EHR, and there were a few other words thrown in this proclamation as well.

    The Stark laws have eased up now whereby hospitals (if they have the funds or can get a grant) can also subsidize the purchase for their physicians on staff with an ambulatory system for the doctors that exchanges data with the hospitals, HL7 standard minimum, just like the personal health records are starting to do. To be subsidized by a hospital though there’s another process called CCHIT certification that the systems need to have before the hospital can subsidize and that runs about 25k for the software company every year, and of course the bar and standards are raised every year. This year at HIMMS, the big focus was with integrators and accomplishing the HL7, CCR standards and more.

    Now they want to certify PHRs and this is going to be on heck of a job since the records reach out and touch so many other data areas through the web.

    Liked the look of Practice Fusion and their work with Adobe as it had been a while since I had seen any screen shots, lots of nice improvements from what it was when it first started out.

    The next move in all of this medical software though will be in the direction of what is called a Common User Interface, as one doctor can be on staff at two hospitals, or work in 2 different offices and has to learn 2 or more systems, plus some hospitals don’t have single sign ons, so they have several passwords, etc. just to get in to the system or to use the a VPN to connect when away, so vendors working together to keep their backend data, servers, etc. going while working on the User front end is somewhat kind of the next area to progress.

    Shoot even from a consulting standpoint it gets hard for me to keep up with several medical records systems too with all the revisions and updates going on to ensure I am on top of what’s happening too, much more of a chore than keeping up with the Vista OS, but then I have that too, but thank goodness they are all going to web based so at least we have the operating system part of it out of the way with most no longer being desktop applications.

    Will also be nice when Practice Fusion can share with a PHR, as it’s only a matter of time before everyone will be sharing with everyone else.

    Very nice too that they offer to do the data transfers on demographics let’s say if a physician goes on to a hospital connected system as well. The billing is a nightmare for anyone to transfer as every coder, me included, writes their SQL statements differently. Most physician practices that bill internally use a clearinghouse to scrub the claims (that in itself gives you an idea of how complicated medical billing has become with over 30,000 ICD9 codes for any ailment we have) so they are correctly done before going to the payers and Medicare.

    Then there is the 2nd part of the coding called a CPT code and that is the billing part, the money, so when you go to the doctor, you get coded at least twice. Both sets of codes are updated quarterly and the software vendor needs to keep these current for the medical offices as well and pay the American Medical Association royalties for using the CPT or billing codes.

    Some still using a billing service, but now with all the software as a service, clearinghouses are the way to go in a lot of areas due to cost. I promote one on my site that does it for free and charges the payers, while most still charge the physicians.

    That being said clearinghouses are now integrating too with medical records so the billing and chart information is all done at once, the doctor enters the code for your ailment and it also goes to the billing area as well for claim submission, so doctors have in the last few years learned a bit about coding too, something the gals in the office used to do for them.

    For the price for physicians not affiliated with a hospital based system, you can’t beat it and any electronic record beats paper! This brings about the old friend the tablet pc too, as it is obnoxious to see a doctor sitting at a keyboard too while consulting, plus they miss the eye contact, etc. Some physicians do it ok they say, but the tablet is a much better way of entering data, plus with dictation, it’s a breeze with either Dragon and even Vista dictation works pretty well too. Nuance Dragon pretty much owns the market even with the Department of Defense using it as well in the field. It really is interesting to see how each physician adapts and what method they like for input.

    I like speech recognition too, helps me do comments and my blog:)

  7. I’ve been following PracticeFusion since it first announced its partnership with Google, because I spent some time trying to convince doctors to deploy EHRs. However, only 17% of doctors’ offices have them. And the reason for that is not cost, it is effort.

    Most doctors who have switched over to EHRs think it doesn’t save them time, and sometimes makes them slower. In addition, getting all the records online isn’t easy. PracticeFusion went after the big deals, so it could get large groups of docs online at once. I’d be curious how many of the docs are actually USING the application day to day.

  8. I’ve been following PracticeFusion since it first announced its partnership with Google, because I spent some time trying to convince doctors to deploy EHRs. However, only 17% of doctors’ offices have them. And the reason for that is not cost, it is effort.

    Most doctors who have switched over to EHRs think it doesn’t save them time, and sometimes makes them slower. In addition, getting all the records online isn’t easy. PracticeFusion went after the big deals, so it could get large groups of docs online at once. I’d be curious how many of the docs are actually USING the application day to day.

Comments are closed.