Psst. Want a free Electronic Medical Records system?

Psst. Want a free Electronic Medical Records system?

Summary: A doctor who wants to invest some time in getting existing records online can use Practice Fusion free of charge.


Practice Fusion logoYou can have one, you know.

It's called Practice Fusion, and if you can tolerate some ads on your screen you can use it as a software service free of charge.

Chris Anderson of Wired calls this the "Google Model" having coined the term "Freeconomics" to describe the result. (Personally, I think it's just open source and Internet economics in action. But his bank account holds more zeroes than mine.)

On his own blog, Healthcare Epistemocrat, Brent Pottenger quotes from Anderson at length, but the business model stuff is key:

Financially, Practice Fusion derives revenue from similar sources as Google does: by embedding advertisements in a banner at the bottom of its electronic medical record system and by selling anonymized patient and doctor data from its system to third parties, maintaining HIPAA compliance along the way.

Doctors can opt-out of the ads for $250/month but few do.

An EMR system is the most expensive upgrade a medical office can do, and given that they're given all the financial risk but few of the benefits, most small practices choose not to.

As a result of this, gross statistics on primary health care are very difficult to compile, mistakes are made due to bad handwriting, and the U.S. healthcare system falls further-and-further behind.

But it doesn't have to be that way. A doctor who wants to invest some time in getting existing records online can use Practice Fusion free of charge.

ZDNet Healthcare has been offered an interview with PracticeFusion CEO Ryan Howard and I hope to talk with him soon. Feel free to leave your own questions for him in the comment thread.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Enterprise Software, Health, Software

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  • OpenEMR

    If you really want a free EMR solution then look no further than [url=]OpenEMR[/url] no ads and it is free unless you need support then you pay for the support you need. Can't beat that now can you? ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • Childs play compared to what is required.

      • ???

        What? ]:)
        Linux User 147560
    • Bottom line is this beats it

      I'm well aware of OpenEMR. It's free as in free and open source. This is free as in free beer.
      • .....

        So why run an application that has ads in it when you can own one without and have the function you need? ]:)
        Linux User 147560
  • Medical Record Mining

    How can you mine the medical records if the data is caputured and stored as plain text?
  • Personally i would prefer them to pay the company

    If and only if the data would not be sold.

    We are going with EClinical, although we are hosting onsite, they actually provide ASP services for smaller offices. FYI.
  • Get KAINOS Live! Like M$ Health Vault and Google Health only better!

    My team has developed an EMR called Clinic Management System. Check my blogsite to know more about it at:
    • How to input medical records?

      I am an MD (opthalmology) and I want to input data from a patient encounter. How do I do that?
    • Need to learn more about KAINOS

      I would like to learn more about KAINOS, please get in touch with me.

      brian at onehumanfamily dot com.

  • RE: Psst. Want a free Electronic Medical Records system?

    With all these systems, my first question is how well they comply with HIPAA requirements. Of course, I could just go investigate each one, but I would prefer to see articles about them explicitly address this concern.
    • They all follow HIPAA

      HIPAA is not so much a set of technical requirements as bureaucratic requirements on how you use your audit trail. It's a question of EMR to EMR exchange of data. It needs to be built-in there, in the data transfer, rather than inside any one system.
  • Don't this SaaS model promotes vendor lock-in?

    Doesn't this SaaS model promote vendor lock-in? Do any of the mentioned solutions have a standard export-import or data-exchange feature?


    • An excellent point

      Depending on your time horizon, and on whether we mandate standards for exchange of EMR data (through PHR systems), you could have a problem of vendor lock-in.

      But that exists regardless. If you buy a system and put it in, aren't you even more locked-in to the technology than if you rent it? Assuming you can get the data out, you can transform it.
  • Open Source ERP5 Health

    Check out EPR5 Health. It has everything health professionals need plus it can be easily customized. It's already been implemented in Ivory Cost and they love it.