With the federal incentive program for electronic health records well underway, hundreds of companies are selling EHRs. InformationWeek Healthcare has cut through the noise and identified a dozen vendors worth watching.
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Products: For physician offices: Allscripts Enterprise EHR, Allscripts Professional EHR, Allscripts MyWay. For hospitals: Sunrise Clinical Manager. For hospital-employed physician practices: Sunrise Ambulatory Care.
Allscripts is one of the many companies selling EHRs and seeking a piece of the federal money that is available to encourage medical practices to adopt electronic health records. There are more than 1,300 products certified to help hospitals and doctors meet the "Meaningful Use" standards to qualify for their share of $27 billion in subsidies. While it is hard for any single company to stand out, Allscripts offers one of the more intriguing story lines heading into 2012.
Allscripts has a long, mostly successful history with ambulatory systems, though the company suddenly became a major player in the hospital arena thanks to its August 2010 merger with acute care and enterprise systems vendor Eclipsys. The Chicago-based company now has the product line to compete with the likes of Cerner, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, McKesson, and Meditech, at least since Meditech completed its acquisition of LSS Data Systems in February 2011.
Around the time the merger was announced, InformationWeek Healthcare wondered whether the cost of integrating Allscripts and Eclipsys will be worth the synergies the combination will ultimately bring. The jury remains out on that question, as well as on the more telling issue of whether the two entities can successfully integrate their products and platforms. It took GE more than five years to develop a common platform for all its inpatient and outpatient clinical systems after a series of acquisitions last decade, and Allscripts itself built its ambulatory side by taking over the likes of A4 Health Systems and parts of Misys Healthcare Systems prior to the Eclipsys deal.