Electronic medical records not only hold the promise of eliminating inefficiency and improving the quality of care, they can also dramatically reduce the amount of paper the healthcare industry consumes. By Microsoft’s estimates, eliminating paper can help put a healthy dent in the 6,600 tons of waste hospitals generate every day.
So it’s encouraging to see that some companies are spearheading the effort and discovering business opportunities (and growth) along the way. The New York Times reports:
EClinicalWorks has added four data centers in the last year, bringing the total to 10, for hosting electronic health records as a service over the Internet. The company offers its records both as conventional PC software and as a Web service. “The software as a service is where the biggest growth is,” said Girish Kumar Navani, president of eClinicalWorks.
At Athenahealth, a supplier of online billing services and health records, Jonathan Bush, the chief executive, says his company plans to announce a marketing drive and technical assistance program later this month to accelerate the adoption of its digital records. And at Practice Fusion, a start-up offering Web-based patient records free to physicians, supported by online advertising, the government program has prompted a surge of interest, said Ryan Howard, the chief executive.
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