The question is not, “Who is jumping into the EHR pool?” but “who isn’t?” The latest player in the health IT game, announced just last week, is Texas-based computer maker Dell, which at one point was the largest seller of PCs and servers in the nation.
Dell plans to use its technical expertise to try to capture of small practices with ten physicians or less – the vast majority of the nation’s health practitioners. Dell will partner with hospital groups and offer the hardware framework, while software markers like eClinicalWorks will provide the software.
This ready-to-roll EMR is touted to be a simplified, affordable package that will help reduce medical errors, eliminates paperwork, and improves patient care.
Dell announced in April that it was partnering with retailer Sam’s Club – hey, why not bring home the toilet paper, canned goods, and an EHR? The estimated cost of the EHR system may be less than $25,000 for the first physician, with $10,000 for each additional physician in the practice, according to Sam Club projections.
Dell has been testing potential systems at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston and Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
If this EHR works, it’s just the beginning of the Wal-Mart-ization of healthcare.
Cindy Atoji is a Boston-based journalist who specializes in technology, business, and healthcare news coverage. A former Boston Herald editor, Cindy blogs for the Globe and BodiMojo.com, and writes for various national publications. Visit her Website at www.CindyAtoji.com.