Channel Innovator: Wireless Winner
Designing a modular
and scalable healthcare solution contributed to this VAR’s $75.5
million sales revenue in the third quarter of 2005.
Emdeon Practice Services is a division of Emdeon Corp., a company with aggregate annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. Emdeon Practice Services has been around for nearly 25 years, and has a strong history of selling wireless PDAs, tablets, notebooks, and PCs. But that’s not what won the company Business Solutions magazine’s Channel Innovator Award this year. Rather, the VAR’s unique accomplishment is the development of a wireless solution that addresses the needs of healthcare providers ranging from single-physician offices to practices with more than 150 users. Emdeon Practice Services launched Intergy EHR (electronic health record) in October 2004 after three years of research and development. The solution features a suite of applications that can be implemented in a phased manner, which makes it practical even for small medical practices (e.g. offices with one or two physicians). “The Intergy solution is built upon a relational database and allows for flexibility in tailoring workflows within the financial management and clinical applications,” says Tim Staley, senior VP of research and development at Emdeon Practice Services. “The suite includes integrated applications for practice management, electronic medical records, document imaging, and more.”
Create Real-Time Healthcare Bundles For
Different Sized Clients
The Intergy EHR solution uses HL7 (health level 7) application interface integration, which is a healthcare integration standard that supports real-time connectivity across shared networks (similar to an EDI [electronic data interface]). Emdeon offers Intergy on two different operating systems — one for small healthcare providers (fewer than 150 users) and one for large healthcare providers (more than 150 users). For small customers, Emdeon bundles its application suite with Windows 2003 servers. The VAR bundles IBM RISC (reduced instruction set computer) 6000 servers with AIX Version 4.3.3 processors for larger customers. Additionally, the VAR offers its solution in the traditional client/server format, or it can be implemented as a thin-client solution with the aid of Citrix MetaFrame XP server-based protocol.
“Most customers purchase the imaging module first and begin with scanning documents such as driver licenses and medical cards,” says Paul Stinson, VP of product management. “After they’re comfortable scanning documents, they add the workflow module, which includes an electronic chart application with task management functionality.” In phase three, clinicians are introduced to wireless tablets/handhelds and electronic encounter notes. “The final phase entails performing financial/clinical analytics,” says Stinson. “This provides customers with in-depth business analytical reporting at both the financial and clinical levels.”
Complete Your Healthcare Solution With
One of the key features Emdeon Practice Services built into its solution is a remote monitoring system (RMS). An RMS provides Emdeon’s service technicians with a dashboard of information about customers’ servers and applications. To enable quicker responses, the RMS uses color-coded indicators to signal a monitored server/application is outside an acceptable performance level. “For example, if a disk drive reaches 85% capacity, a tech receives a message accompanied by a yellow light,” says Staley. “If the capacity reaches 90%, a red light appears next to the message to indicate the problem needs to be resolved immediately.”
The RMS enables Emdeon Practice Services to detect and respond to potential problems before the damage occurs. This helps the VAR save its customers from costly system failures. More importantly, that proactive service helps this VAR build a strong rapport with its clients.