News Feature | June 23, 2016

Advice To EHR Vendors From Allscripts President Drive Value By Focusing On Interoperability, APIs

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Best Business Advice You’ve Ever Received

Allscripts President Rick Poulton believes EHR vendors are missing out by focusing on regulations and instead should focus on other factors in response to Meaningful Use coming to a close.

We’re entering a new era in healthcare where vendors who’ve gotten comfortable following along with federal regulations may find themselves lost in a future influenced by different, but familiar forces. Enter the world of innovation-driven EHRs.

All the negative press and opinions MU initiatives have generated are actually coming to an end, and Allscripts President Rick Poulton weighed in on what this means for the industry in an opinion piece on Healthcare IT News.

“The regulatory oversight list of desires is not going to go away; there will continue to be a high regulatory-driven bar of capabilities that will have to be there. But vendors need to start moving from regulation-driven investments to things that will deliver value to healthcare providers, things that will allow providers to continue to be effective in a highly changing healthcare world.”

For many vendors, this means not only adjusting to a new EHR paradigm, but also listening and communicating with their MU-focused clients in different ways — especially when it comes to value-based care and reimbursement. Poulton continued, “That will require modifications if not wholesale changes to the IT tools today. Reimbursement changes and personalized medicine, for example, will become bigger parts of healthcare delivery in the future, and this change to a much more consumer-empowered world. And all of this has to be accounted for, for our healthcare providers. So these are areas we are thinking about a lot, in terms of where do we go from here.” 

Interestingly, contrary to many market observers, Poulton does not believe that providers begin dumping their old systems in favor of new ones, mostly because of the cost to bring on a new system and the investment made in existing EHRs. He does think though, that this will mean most vendors have to put a particular focus on customer service.

“From our perspective, switching costs are large when you make a switch with a large enterprise system, so we adhere to ‘the four C’s’ — confidence, competence, cost-effectiveness, and care. Do I have confidence that my vendor will be around for the long run and continue to invest in this platform? Is the vendor competent, delivering high-quality code? Is their solution cost-effective in this world of increasing financial strain? And does the vendor care about my success?”

Regardless of which way the industry heads, start getting used to communicating with your clients in terms of value-based care and industry-initiated (as opposed to federally-motivated) interoperability, as well as making an effort to understand their strategic and operational initiatives around this new orientation in the industry.