1) Could you give us a brief description of HealthFusion?
Sure, we like to think about HealthFusion as one of the best kept secrets in medical office-based software. We have been around for years – we started as a clearinghouse, and we still do clearinghouse work for small providers and large businesses such as Aetna and Costco warehouse stores, which gives us a terrific understanding of the billing challenges that physicians face. However, these days we are most known for our state-of-the-art, Meaningful Use certified EHR: MediTouch EHR.
2) What separates HealthFusion from its competitors?
We designed MediTouch to be accessible to all physicians, in both a physical and financial sense. What I mean by that is, from the physical sense our EHR software was designed as a cloud-based product that works on modern tablets, such as the iPad, and really any computer or operating system. From the financial side, because it runs in the cloud there is no need for expensive office-based servers, and we don’t charge any EHR startup fees, so it is easy to begin to adopt and implement the MediTouch system.
3) How has your medical background as a Physician helped you design and implement HealthFusion?
We like to say that MediTouch is the EHR that “thinks like a doctor”. Most EHR technology solutions are created by technologists that have never been end users of the product; with MediTouch we don’t build anything we would not use ourselves, and we keep in close communication with key physicians that are also technically savvy. They give us great suggestions; we listen and then implement them.
4) What have been 3 challenges you have had with implementing HealthFusion?
Like many EHR/EMR vendors we understand that the government is setting the bar with regard to some of the major functions related to EHRs. We believe that they sometimes create confusion in the provider community, and that results in provider frustration; good examples are some of the proposed rules for the second stage of meaningful use that mandate patient use of portal technology – some of those rules required physicians to make sure that their patients use a portal and secure messaging a certain percent of the time. Physicians have a hard enough time reminding patients to comply with basic preventive care protocols; their energy should be focused on wellness and not their mode of patient communication.
Another challenge is the lack of uniformity in standards, which we think causes delays with regard to EHR deployment. The lab, radiology, and device community need to rally around a tight set of standards. As many have commented, HL7 alone is not the answer. As a standard it is sometimes more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule – this invites many interpretations, and hence lots of extra work to achieve the promise of a “connected” EHR.
The same is true for connectivity to registries and other public health entities – there is no reason why the state immunization and cancer registries should not be rallying around a very tight set of standards for both file types and communication.
5) What can we look forward to with Health Fusion in the next 6 to 12 months?
Well we just implemented our telemedicine / e-visit module, and in our patient portal our physicians can now set up their own Amazon storefront. These 2 enhancements are special because they are modules that help the provider grow revenue. We try to think like doctors, and lately there have been too many takeaways – we like to think that our EHR is a way for docs to grow revenue for the long term. We all know that the Meaningful Use money will eventually go away, and providers need an EHR company that helps them grow revenue and reduce expenses. And, of course we will be laser focused on the imminent release of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 standards; we expect to be early adopters of those new standards.
Editor’s Note: I was especially fascinated with this Amazon Storefront idea. I have attached a screen shot that details how this works and how it has the potential to help generate revenue for physicians.