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2/16/2010
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Cloud-Based EMR Vendor Expects Flood Of New Hires

Looking to get into health IT, but don't have a background in healthcare? Practice Fusion might be the place for you.

Looking to get into health IT, but don't have a background in healthcare? Practice Fusion might be the place for you.The provider of free, web-based e-medical records is doing lots of hiring these days, adding about two or three people a week, and expecting to hire about 100 new employees this year--which in total will more than triple the company's current headcount of 40, said CEO Ryan Howard in an interview with InformationWeek.

Practice Fusion's hiring is "across the board," from executives (chief operating officer) to account managers, marketing people, developers and support reps, said Howard.

But the company isn't really looking for folks who have worked for other e-medical record vendors, and not necessarily for people with lots of experience in clinical environments, he said. That's because Practice Fusion--which uses Salesforce.com's cloud infrastructure to offer its web-based EMR and practice management applications--doesn't want to hire people with preconceived mindsets about EMRs, Howard said.

"I stay away from other EMR people," he said. "Everything we do is counter-intuitive to them," he said.

Practice Fusion is catching on with doctors because it's offered via the Internet--and especially because it's free, said Howard. Many doctors in small offices don't want to worry about installing and maintaining software in their practices, and they don't want to lay out a lot of (any) money to begin digitizing their medical records, he said.

In case you're wondering, Practice Fusion generates its revenue through banner ads. But through partnerships with about 50 certified consultant groups, Practice Fusion does offer some "turnkey" and add-on types of services for a fee--including scanning in doctors' archived paper-based files so that older records are digitized, Howard said.

However, most doctors don't want to spend "the few grand" charged to do that, he admits. So, Practice Fusion doctors tend to begin digitizing records as patients are seen by the physician, "running in-tandem" paper and electronic files, he said.

Practice Fusion has been signing up about 100 new doctors a day to its web-based services, and so far has about 29,000 users in 20,000 doctor practices across the country, Howard said

So, who is Practice Fusion hiring to handle all the new business?

"The market is flooded with great people" especially in places, like Berkeley, Calif. where there are lots of younger talent just starting tech-related careers, he said.

"It's awesome," he said. "I can get people at a great rate," he said.

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