Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting Intuit: Staking Claim in EMR Territory

Thanks to the Medicare meaningful use incentive, the electronic medical records (EMR) technology industry is huge.  Ok, if it's not already huge, it's certainly growing at an exponential rate.  As doctors' demand for EMR hardware software programs increases, the supply scrambles to keep up.  Any smart business would know when to jump onto a bandwagon (stuffed with money) when they see it.  That's precisely what QuickBooks creator Intuit plans on doing.  For most, Inuit is a familiar face in town - the jack of all business trades.  It's the butcher, the baker but...not the candlestick maker.  Well, not yet at least.  

The Software Advice Blog by Austin-based consulting firm Software Advice wrote a post about Intuit's desire to make a name for themselves in the electronic medical records (EMR) industry.  The company made it's way into the doctor's office by acquiring patient portal MedFusion in May of last year, but has yet to develop an EMR system.  The blog post then focuses on who Intuit might want to acquire.

The post provided a list of requirements they're looking for in a company such as it must be a smaller vendor who specializes in EMR and patient management for small practices.  The company must also have a low price point, an easy to use interface (such as Turbo Tax), must be reputable and already have a name for itself, have an ability to work with cash-based practices (specialists like chiropractic and psychiatric therapy) and be web based.   Software Advice's blog also gave a list of the six companies in which they saw potential.  They even added a handy chart for readers to compare and share their opinion.  The list of vendor is as follows:  Medisoft/Lytec, Office Ally, Health Fusion/MediTouch, Practice Fusion, Kareo and Advanced MD. 

According to the chart, the obvious winner is Practice Fusion, who fulfilled all of Intuit's requirements.  Practice Fusion is a free (subsidized by in-program advertising), completely web-based EMR system and is partnered with Kareo, a patient management and medical billing platform.  The thing is, Intuit would have to buy both companies.  At the end of the blog post, there's a survey for readers to take where they can vote which company they think Intuit should go with.  My vote would actually go to AdvancedMD.  AdvancedMD was actually just acquired by ADP in March of this year and like Intuit, has a recognized name in other industries - ADP's being a provider of human resources and payroll solutions.  Admittedly, AdvancedMD does not meet all the listed criteria, but then again, can you think of any new partnership that has met all your requirements from the get-go?  They get my vote because they actually do rank well in three important categories: a simple user interface, a large market share and are a completely web-based system.  Another thing that sells me on AdvancedMD is that not only does ADP a name in human resources and payroll, but they also have a reputable dealer management system for auto dealers.  In other words: they already have experience in EMR systems, but for cars.  Software Advice's blog mentioned that the system might be a bit expensive for Intuit, but as with all good products you love and names you can trust, spending the extra money is usually worth it.


  1. I agree. Having a simple user interface for EMR is essential. As a nurse I can tell you that quick, simple, and easy to use EMR not only makes a health care provider's job much easier - but it allows for less time to be spent on the EMR and more with the patient. Thanks for the great post.

  2. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    Electronic Medical Records