Dossia Expanding EHR Platform Reach

The employer consortium is offering its e-health record software to other companies via the cloud and is also developing an EHR package for small and mid-size businesses.

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Dossia, the consortium founded several years ago by nearly a dozen large employers to develop and offer e-health records to their workers, is now making that software platform available to other companies.

Via a software-as-a-service, multi-year subscription-fee model, the Dossia Personal Health Platform is now being offered to a wider range of employers that want to provide EHRs to their workers, said Steve Munini, Dossia chief operating officer. Those customers will be offered the same bells and whistles that founding members are provided, he said. That includes an array of applications that have been developed for or are available via the Dossia platform by third parties, including Mayo Clinic, Allviant, and MediKeeper.

Dossia will also work with employers' third parties, including benefit providers, regional healthcare providers, labs, and other sources of health and claims data, to get patient information integrated into worker's digitized health records, said Munini.

In addition to the SaaS offering for larger employers, Dossia is also developing an EHR package for small and mid-sized employers to offer their workers, said Munini. That package will be one that employers can more easily sign up to use and implement, not requiring the more intense "hand holding" that larger employers typically get from Dossia's team in order to get going on the EHRs, he said.

Although Dossia hasn't yet signed a deal with a new SaaS customer, "we have a lot of interest outside of the founder base" of companies looking to offer EHR software to their workers in addition to the original Dossia consortium members, said Munini.

Founding Dossia members include AT&T, Applied Materials, Cardinal Health, Intel, Wal-Mart, Pitney Bowes, BP America, Vanguard Health Systems, Sanofi-Aventis, and Abraxis Bioscience. About half of those companies have rolled out Dossia EHRs en mass to workers as part of their benefits offering. The other half is expected to do so by end of 2010, Munini said. Currently, workers using Dossia EHRs number in "the high tens of thousands," he said.

Employers themselves do not have access to the workers' Dossia records, said Munini.

Employers provide the EHRs to workers as part of their benefits packages in the hopes that the tools will help individuals better manage their health, wellness, and chronic illnesses, resulting in lower medical costs.

Also, unlike EHRs offered by some health insurance companies and healthcare providers, Dossia's records are "portable," said Munini. If a worker leaves the employer for another job or retires, the Dossia record can move with the individual, he said.