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Mobile, Modular EHR Help eClinicalWorks Put Patients First

Brian Eastwood | May 21, 2013
Healthcare is rapidly moving toward a patient-centric care model, says Girish Kumar Navani, CEO of electronic health record software vendor eClinicalWorks. To meet this demand, EHR systems ought to be mobile, modular and easy to use, he tells Patients, meanwhile, need an experience that reminds them of online banking.

The initiative, which eClinicalWorks hopes to brings to college and high school athletic programs as well, is only one example, Navani says, that "the nucleus of care will shift from the hospital to the physician." (The accountable care organization model outlined in healthcare reform aims in large part to do just that.)

The takeaway for healthcare IT vendors? "Build tech that's physician-friendly; they will run the show for the next 20 years or more," Navani says. Those who invest in research and development are increasingly likely to stand out, he adds, while those who don't may struggle.

So, too, will those who continue to view EHR systems as "big, expensive things," Navani says, suggesting that the market is shifting to one where lightweight EHR apps and modules are downloaded from app stores.

Data Empowers Patients-But Too Much May Be Scary
For patients, an improved care experience means robust patient portal technology. If patients can see data but can't do anything with it, it's like seeing an airline fare on a travel site but not being able to book a flight, Navani says. That's the idea behind healow, a free mobile health management app in which eClinicalWorks has invested at least $25 million. The app helps patients find a doctor, check in for appointments and pay bills online. In essence, Navani says, it mimics the online banking experience.

However, the wealth of patient data could, in some cases, be too much of a good thing. As genomic research gets less expensive, it's increasingly poised to play a role in the care process. Right now, the technology for plugging it into an EHR system doesn't exist yet.

When it does, Navani suggests physicians use it sparingly. Using a patient's genome to choose the medication that best treats a certain condition is one thing, he says, but using that data to predict when a patient may contract a certain disease, or even die, is another thing altogether.


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