What the Eclipsys story tells us

What the Eclipsys story tells us

Summary: While EMR software may have low penetration the business of hospital software, for decision support and other functions, is decades' old. System integration between this past and the big-time future will not be easy for anyone.

SHARE:

What is up with Eclipsys?

The Atlanta-based hospital software company lost its savior, Andrew Eckert, and the shares fell 10% just a month after a big hedge fund, Tremblant, took a big stake in the company.

Eckert had engineered a reboot of the company which included lay-offs, a move to Atlanta from Florida, and the purchase of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) outfit, MediNotes, last year.

On the surface very little is going on. The company announced a nice pop in earnings for its recent quarter, Eckert said he was just tired of commuting from Silicon Valley. The new boss is Philip Pead (above), formerly head of Per-Se Technologies in the Atlanta suburbs, which was acquired by McKesson in 2007.

Underneath a lot has gone on and continues going on. The company was once tied closely to Unisys, a lot of its technical people are on Long Island, This is an old-line hospital software outfit Eckert had to reinvent for a Windows-compatible world.   

Pead had been Eckert's CFO, and seems bent on bringing a sales focus to the company. It's easy to see Eclipsys delivering solid returns to investors thanks to the HITECH law. or gaining value as an acquisition target, with McKesson a possible buyer.

Maybe Eclipsys is ready to fly on its own.

But before you take any sales pitch from any hospital software vendor at face value consider this.

While EMR software may have low penetration the business of hospital software, for decision support and other functions, is decades' old. System integration between this past and the big-time future will not be easy for anyone, customers or vendors.

Look under the hood of any experienced vendor and you're going to find some old code. Under Eckert Eclipsys has cleaned the surface of its product line, but is everything modern under the hood?

It's a question worth asking any vendor.

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What really needs to be under the hood

    is a core structure that will work well with all the other
    systems. Guess that is why I'm a believer an agreement on
    the design of the data fields and what fields are required
    in the various databases.

    While that may seem like a bit too much "government
    control" there is a need to address the issues of a company
    pulling support or increasing support costs out of a
    reasonable range, the software company going under, or
    being sold.

    Picking a HIT package will, in a lot of ways, be like getting
    married - you better be very careful making a decision.
    Ken_z