Walmart, eCW and Dell EHR Package

The EHR world is abuzz with the Walmart announcement that it would be selling EHR software through their Sam’s Club division. In case you missed it, here’s the important details from the NY Times:

The company plans to team its Sam’s Club division with Dell for computers and eClinicalWorks, a fast-growing private company, for software. Wal-Mart says its package deal of hardware, software, installation, maintenance and training will make the technology more accessible and affordable, undercutting rival health information technology suppliers by as much as half.

They also make a projection of how much Walmart EHR will cost:

The Sam’s Club offering, to be made available this spring, will be under $25,000 for the first physician in a practice, and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. After the installation and training, continuing annual costs for maintenance and support will be $4,000 to $6,500 a year, the company estimates.

Walmart estimates that 200,000 health care providers are among the 47 million Sam’s Club members. I also found the following quote from the same article interesting as it talks about how Walmart got into the EHR business:

Wal-Mart’s role, according to Mr. Osborne, is to put the bundle of technology into an affordable and accessible offering. “We’re the systems integrator, an aggregator,” he said.

The company’s test bed for the technology it will soon offer physicians has been its own health care clinics, staffed by third-party physicians and nurses. Started in September 2006, 30 such clinics are now in stores in eight states. The clinics use the technology Wal-Mart will offer to physicians.

“That’s where the learning came from, and they were the kernel of this idea,” Mr. Osborne said.

I’ll save my commentary on this subject for tomorrow. There’s certainly plenty to say about it.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • This will definitely shake things up in the EHR industry but Walmart will have to give even a greater discount to compete with companies out there already selling complete ehr packages for a fraction of their cost. For example my company, DigiDMS, can give a complete hardware/software package for $14,000 for the first doctor and an additional $4000 for each additional doctor. Also our support fees would be only $1575/year and that’s AFTER the first year-first year support is FREE…

    What Walmart has that no other company can claim is a huge distribution network and a brand name known for discounts. However I would like to know what Walmart will provide for customization requests. I do know from first hand accounts from doctors that eClinicalWorks is not very cooperative when it comes to custom built modules. Our Company, DigiDMS, has no extra charges for basic customizations like financial reporting and such.

    Basically people should read all the fine print so to speak before jumping into this….



  • Ash,
    I wasn’t wowed by the price of the Walmart EHR either. eCW is known as one of the more moderately priced CCHIT certified EHR, but it is still a big chunk of money. There are many EHR out there that are less expensive. We’ll see if this comes back to bite Walmart. Although, I don’t think Walmart has much to lose in this deal.

    I’d also agree that anyone who expects much customization from eCW on a Walmart EHR is showing a complete lack of understanding of the EHR industry.

  • Thanks Barbara. It is nice that eCW can use Microsoft HealthVault tie ins as another way of selling their EHR software. Although, I think the jury is still our on which PHR is going to be adopted by the masses. I still haven’t picked my horse either.

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