Associated Editor for Healthcare IT News, Erin McCann, recently wrote an article on the topic of how mergers and acquisitions may be hazardous to healthcare IT. For contribution on the subject McCann spoke with Barry Blumenfeld, Chief Information Officer at MaineHealth.
Mr. Blumefeld cited unsatisfactory product integrations resulting from mergers and acquisitions as one of the key decisions variables in MaineHealth’s transition away from Allscripts and MEDITECH. “When you get to vendors like McKesson or GE or Allscripts, the problem is that they’ve grown mostly by acquisition, and they have these potpourri of products and different platforms and operating systems,” Blumenfeld told Healthcare IT News. “It becomes very difficult – standards or not – to carve together something that feels coherent or feels consistent.”
When these systems don’t integrate well with each other, the results can be rather alarming. “Sometimes it ends up looking like Frankenstein,” Blumenfeld said. “The ear’s a little too big, and you’ve got a different head and a different arm.” Because many vendors struggle with effectively integrating their products, he added: “The vendors that have chosen that approach and have grown by acquisition are facing an uphill battle right now.”
MaineHealth selected Epic as its new Electronic Health Records (EHR) platform. With Epic not expanding by acquisitions it has been recognized for its cohesion and interoperability to industry standards. Earlier this year a Medscape report, “Physicians Rank Top EHRs” more than one-fifth of physicians recognized Epic as the best performing EHR. While other top EHR software lost market share to Epic they have in many cases grown by mergers and in lots of cases that growth has been somewhat detriment to both the software vendor and to providers. Yet even with the rocky roads of difficult mergers and acquisitions, many of these companies are still seeing their profits sore and stocks values increase as more providers are working towards Meaningful Use requirements. The EHR boom has by enlarge helped to absorb some of these management missteps that could have proved to be otherwise disastrous.
An integral part of the Epic implementation for MaineHealth was the deployment of new mobile computer Workstation on Wheels (WOWs). After evaluating several platforms, MaineHealth selected JACO UltraLite Series mobile carts for its American-Made quality, durability and performance and ability to customize to meet the organization’s particular needs. Utilizing state-of-the-art Lithium Iron Phosphate powered mobile carts, both nursing and IT staff at MaineHealth are now afforded a long-lasting and dependable solution for bringing medical records bedside to improve patient outcomes and further comply with Meaningful Use regulations.
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