EHR in the Cloud Portends Big Shift in HIT
Any EHR carries with it the threat of lock-in. The qualifying step for switching to the Practice Fusion EHR to get the free Chromebook involves converting the physician's e-prescribing credentials over to the Practice Fusion platform, from wherever else the practice has them. Or Practice Fusion can create credentials from scratch if necessary.
Practice Fusion offers standard assurances that all data put into the system can be exported one time, free of charge. (The company also loads data from any EHR at the start free of charge.) Still, no one, small practices least of all, likes to switch EHRs. So likely as not, once they sign up for this cloud-based service, physicians practices are not likely to leave any time soon, unless perhaps they're acquired by a larger practice or healthcare system.
Understanding the Business Model
And every time they hear about this something-for-nothing proposition, physicians have to wonder about the underlying business model, and what they're getting themselves into. When I put the question to Practice Fusion co-founder and vice president Matt Douglass, he first noted how the company has raised $150 million from venture capitalists. Now I know some of those VC companies. They're not always in it to make the world a better place. They expect a handsome return on their investment.
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