Throughout a year of nation-wide economic ups and downs, Oak Ridge-based AllMeds Inc. moved only one direction in 2009: straight up. Closing figures for AllMeds’ 2009 fiscal year show the company recognized a 40% increase in core product sales resulting in a record-breaking year for the EHR provider.
EMRs convert traditional, yet cumbersome paper medicals record into a modern, computerized format. Digitizing patient records provides transformative qualities for today’s medical practices, including greater workflow efficiencies, reduced costs, and enhanced patient safety. Many experts feel the use of this technology is essential to improving America’s healthcare system, while also reducing the costs that are spiraling beyond the reach of many Americans.
ARRA & Incentives
Passed in February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided financial incentives for physicians to purchase and implement electronic health records (EHRs) in their practices. Physicians have been historically reluctant to adopt EHRs for various reasons, but the most often cited has been their overall cost. ARRA resolves that concern by providing up to $44,000 for physicians who are among the earliest to install and “meaningfully use” certified EHRs. The law’s incentives are spread across a five year period and payments are based on physicians showing usage levels that meet federal guidelines.
Specialty-Focus Brings Success
With federal incentives being tied to usage mandates and short timelines, failed or drawn out EHR implementations are not an option for physician practices. Specialty physicians require EHRs that provide much deeper clinical information than general physicians need. Traditional EHRs developed for general medical environments provide useful features and functions. However, when installed in specialty settings, these solutions require a tremendous amount of effort after implementation to truly deliver the efficiencies they promise. It is this “content gap” that has led to many failures in specialty practices; it simply takes too long and too much time to create the libraries and functions needed to make the EHR effective.
AllMeds’ co-founder, D. Thomas Upchurch, MD, experienced such issues at his own practice and knew another strategy was required. Therefore, AllMeds approached the development of EHRs in a way that is unique in the industry. Rather than providing a generalized solution for all physician-types, AllMeds focuses on the distinctive needs of specialty physicians. AllMeds developed an EHR with tremendously-deep specialty libraries and workflow automation tools at its core. These libraries include specialty-specific protocols and decision-tree algorithms, patient information forms and correspondence, template histories and specialty-focused coding tools. Since these libraries are a core part of the EHR, post-installation efforts required by most other solutions are dramatically reduced with AllMeds’ solution. Again, with federal timelines being imposed and the urgency being placed on physicians to show meaningful use of their EHRs, there are not moments to lose once practices go-live.
AllMeds’ workflow automation tools provide greater efficiencies by allowing a physician to recording diagnoses, tests and procedures with a single mouse-click. The same tool suggests appropriate encounter codes for billing and can instantly disperse tasks throughout the practice. These features better ensure that post-encounter requirements are completed and reimbursement rates are at appropriate levels.
Providing such a unique solution has resulted in good things for AllMeds’ customers, including shorter implementation periods, true workflow improvements, higher adoption rates and greater returns on investment. It has also rewarded AllMeds with intensely-loyal customers, as the company maintains the highest lifetime customer retention rate in the industry.
An Ideal Environment
Federal incentives and the industry’s intense focus on EHRs suggest an ideal environment for AllMeds in 2010. With a record-breaking 2009 at its back, the company is focused on making even greater strides in the next 12 months. William Rust, CEO, says, “AllMeds laid the foundation for growth the last 12 years by strategically focusing on our specialties and providing a unique way of serving their needs. Federal incentives might serve as a wind at our backs, but we wouldn’t be here without a product that works the way our customers need it to.”
Contact AllMeds at 888.343.6337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.