Doctor iPhone, I presume?

Offer doctors a cool phone, a reasonable price, a monthly charge, they're going to go for it. They're going to get those Electronic Medical Records. And they're going to start working together.

Apple iPhoneThe ClearHealth guys were so anxious to brag on their iPhone customer story they didn't even wait on the press release. Instead customer happiness guru David Uhlman dragged Shawn Bellina, CTO of Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville, Alabama, hiccups and all, to a quick phone conference this afternoon. Because this news is big. Less than a month after announcing it would deliver its Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to the iPhone, ClearHealth has a finished application and proof of concept with a live customer. 

"We did this on the heels of Christmas," said Bellina, the customer. "Everyone was getting new iPhones for Christmas They were really jazzed. All the physicians got familiar with it, and we had an application.

"It's the first time I saw something happen that fast."

By "it" Bellina means 12 of his oncologists can now walk into a hospital, sit next to a patient, and pull up their chart directly from the iPhone. No more sending messages via Blackberry, or waiting for delivery. Right there, boom.

While the iPhone is cool and new, it still costs a fraction of what a comparable tablet PC would cost. The open source ClearHealth application is delivered as a service, and there's a reliable vendor behind it.

Those costs and terms for a hardware-software EMR application will do wonders for Clearview's relationships with the primary care physicians who give it referrals, Bellina predicted.

"In our market, and Huntsville is growing, we're looking how to net out the primary care physician," Bellina said, getting them into a compelling EMR solution that works.

This works, not just technically but on the bottom line. Other systems don't work, not on the bottom line anyway.

"When you get a meeting they're all ears. You hit them with a McKesson price tag and they cower. It's not because they're reluctant. They just don't have the money."

On the other hand, tell them they'll pay $600 up-front and a reasonable monthly fee from ClearHealth and there may even be enough left over for Clearview to take some referral fees out of the deal. Plus the doctors get this cool new phone.

That's what you call a business model.

This is the revolution, the real deal, Uhlman said. Offer doctors a cool phone, a reasonable price, a monthly charge, they're going to go for it. They're going to get those EMRs. And they're going to start working together.

Doctor iPhone, I presume? By the time that joke gets old they'll all be online.