I have no financial relationships with any EHR vendor, but feel a great affinity for the vendors in Massachusetts – eClinicalWorks, AthenaHealth and Meditech.
For the past few years, I’ve suggested to Meditech that cloud hosted, standards-based, web-centric and mobile enabled hospital information systems would be very welcome by the marketplace.
The industry has had a mixed reaction to Meditech version 6, a proprietary, non-standard, non-web, non-cloud, non-mobile, client/server application that requires complete hardware and software replacement when upgrading from version 5.
I spent last Monday afternoon at Meditech and can tell you that they have listened to industry feedback (and my obsessive focus on web-based applications).
The Meditech senior team demonstrated version 6.1, a cloud hosted, standards-based, web-centric, mobile enabled, ambulatory and inpatient, analytics backed, personal health record enabled, and care managed focused application that will be shipping in 2014.
What did I see?
A new ambulatory EHR written from scratch to work on iPads supporting a voice-based or typed workflow. Some vendors have created two applications often with different copies of the data- one for the desktop and one for mobile devices. Meditech has wisely optimized the 6.1 EHR application for multiple devices using the same architecture from the same database. LSS, the previous ambulatory application, will be replaced by the new application that includes very friendly medication management, clinical documentation, and order entry tools.
A new Meaningful Use Stage 2 compliant Hospital Information System that is available anywhere without Meditech specific client software. The Direct protocol for interoperability is fully enabled.
A new PHR written from scratch designed for mobile devices and including many advanced wellness/preventative care features.
A new analytics platform that includes self service data mining tools
A new "post EHR" application that synthesizes the lifetime experience of the patient and enables non-physician care managers to ensure patients are receiving optimized care per protocols.
Everything was demonstrated via an iPad.
They are also working on applications to support anesthesia, ICUs, and infection surveillance. My only advice to them was to create a few full featured, highly usable products rather than try to launch an entire suite of products simultaneously that lack comprehensive functionality. The 6.0 product was a complete re-platforming for Meditech which resulted in some upgraded products not having all the features of their 5.x predecessors.
In the past two years, Epic has gained a very large share of the hospital IT marketplace. Since competition is a good thing for the industry, I’m hopeful that Meditech 6.1 will be very attractive to hospitals which want to implement a modern platform at an attractive price.
Meditech’s new vision is bold and in my opinion, right on track.
I’m eagerly awaiting the production delivery of 6.1.
In addition to his CIO role at BIDMC, Dr. Halamka blogs at GeekDoctor.blogspot.com.