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HIT Consolidation, Integration Fueling Changes at eMDs, MEDITECH

The goal of remaining competitive in the EHR market has led eMDs to acquire Aprima and MEDITECH to integrate a virtual assistant.

EHR companies

Source: Thinkstock

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- Before HIMSS19 has even begun, EHR companies are making moves to improve the reach and abilities of their platforms.

First, Austin’s eMDs expanded its ambulatory footprint with its acquisition of Aprima Medical Software, which recently received Best-in-KLAS recognition.

According to the announcement, the combined organization will support 63,000 providers across 26,000 practices globally.

“The unique combination of our technologies and services prepares us to offer the most powerful and comprehensive portfolio of solutions available — and that means greater impact, increased productivity, and less operational burden for healthcare providers,” said CEO Derek Pickell. “Our bottom line is about facilitating the best patient outcomes, and together our companies clear the path for providers to do their best work while enhancing their financial strength.”

The two companies will remain separate in name until they are fully combined. The combined organization will be headquartered in Austin with Pickell assuming the reins. Current Aprima CEO Michael Nissenbaum will serve as an advisor until the integration is complete. A new leadership team will come out of executive leaders from both eMDs and Aprima.

In its annual report for 2019, KLAS named Aprima the leader in small practice ambulatory EHR and practice management software and services, and only several points behind Epic Systems for physician satisfaction. For the former recognition, Aprima bested CureMD, Greenway Health, AdvancedMD, and athenahealth for practices with ten or fewer physicians.

Second, cloud-based EHR developer MEDITECH kicked off a flurry of activity to end January. Most notably, the Massachusetts-based company announced a partnership with Nuance to integrate the latter’s virtual assistant technology into MEDITECH Expanse.

 “In the past decade, virtual assistants have become more and more ingrained in our everyday lives. MEDITECH is excited to bring the power of Nuance’s proven expertise in virtual assistants to the MEDITECH community through Expanse,” said Executive Vice President at MEDITECH, Hoda Sayed-Friel.

“Using this seamless integration, providers can more efficiently and conveniently engage with the EHR using a conversational user interface,” she added. “This work with Nuance continues to demonstrate MEDITECH’s commitment to improving the clinician and patient experience through the use of technology.”

The EHR company recently showed off its proof of concept that gave end-users the ability to navigate the health record using voice commands and interactions.

“Clinicians want technology that is easy to use and that gives them more time back in their day to spend with the patients they care for,” said Nuance Communications Senior Vice President Peter Durlach.

“Leveraging our broad experience with developing virtual assistant technology for 6,500 leading consumer and enterprise brands that rely on Nuance,” he continued. “Nuance is building a future where care teams can utilize the next generation of Dragon Medical cloud capabilities to become even more productive, better informed and better served through the use of advanced conversational AI technologies.”

Expanse was also at the center of a population health partnership between MEDITECH and Arcadia, a health IT consultancy focus on analytics. Through the agreement, MEDITECH users have access to external data to support population health management programs within the cloud-based Expanse.

“Through our collaboration, MEDITECH's care management and analytics workflows are now enriched with meaningful aggregated clinical data from Arcadia,” said Arcadia CEO Sean Carroll. “By providing insights aggregated from across the continuum of care, we will enable health systems to improve care delivery and financial viability under risk.”

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