Sapphire Hospital EMR

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time. You know a couple things that I rarely ever do. One is talk about hospital EMR systems (I prefer ambulatory EMR). The other is endorse specific EMR vendors (too many individualized factors). I’m not really going to do either of them here in this post either. However, it might sound like it, so I don’t want people to be confused;-)

A few weeks ago, I went to the HIMSS Hittin’ the Streets even in Las Vegas. I’ll admit that my driving motivation for attending the event was to be able to hear Marc Probst speak about EMR and ARRA. Since I inundated you with posts from that talk by Marc Probst, you can safely assume that attending was a great decision.

As part of my agreement to attend the event for free, I agreed to attend at least one of the vendor demonstrations. Looking at the schedule I decided to attend the Sapphire EMR presentation. I knew pretty much nothing about Sapphire before I went to the presentation. After the event I tried to find their website and it took me a while to figure out that the company’s name was IntraNexus.

I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed to find out that Sapphire was an EMR designed for hospitals. I would have rather seen a presentation of an ambulatory EMR. However, I’d committed to be there and so I stayed and listened to what they had to say. Plus, there’s a ton of cross over between hospital EMR software and ambulatory EMR software.

I’ll admit to being pleasantly surprised by Sapphire’s presentation and approach to building a hospital EMR. I’ve heard so many horror stories about hospital EMR softare (you know the list of software I’m talking about), but I really liked what I heard about Sapphire.

Some examples of things that I found interesting: their approach to customer service, how they handled audit tracking for HIPAA, sharing of work between various users of their system, clinical process review before implementation, etc. I can’t remember them all. Of course, I only saw a 1-2 hour presentation of what they were about, but I’ll admit that I went away impressed with what they’d done and the people behind the product. Trusting the EMR vendor you’re working with is a huge thing for me and in my short time with them, Sapphire showed a lot of promise.

I will admit that they had one MAJOR flaw in their presentation. When they finally started to demo part of the software, the application was extremely slow. They of course, blamed it on the hotel wireless. Could be true, but it left a nice black mark on what was an otherwise nice presentation. Of course, there’s a lot of factors in speed, but if you’re going to tout access to your EMR software from all sorts of devices like cell phones then it better be relatively speedy on those devices. In fact, I raised the issue of slowness and the CEO, Rick O’Pry, commented that the application would probably have been faster on his iPhone. I’m sure he was right.

I’m guessing that Sapphire will be disappointed to know that HIMSS sent me to their demo when I have little interest in a hospital EMR solution. At least they get a nice blog post covering their company. Although, this post would have been more fun for me had it been a really dysfunctional hospital EMR presentation.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, 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.


  • Axeo,
    Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been thinking about doing an EMR conference in Las Vegas. One of my ideas would be to have a panel of experts critique a number of EMR companies. Could be an interesting experience for those attending. What do you think of the idea?

  • “I’ve been thinking about doing an EMR conference in Las Vegas. One of my ideas would be to have a panel of experts critique a number of EMR companies. Could be an interesting experience for those attending. What do you think of the idea?”

    Great idea. Also something like an inside view of HIT, the IT Industry, the business of software development/maint./marketing, the cross-currents, the competing technologies and models. How the sausage is made. Outsiders might be quite surprised by what they see from the inside.

  • Yeah, I’ve been mulling over whether to do one focused on doctors/practice managers or whether to do one focused on EMR experts. Both could be really interesting. One would be about spreading the knowledge, the other would be about pushing forward into new areas of EMR.

  • Both would be helpful. Ping me anytime 7/24 with your thoughts on “new areas of EMR”. 🙂

    An issue you raised, “vendors staying in business”, is not always well understood by providers. Their procurement approach is often what I call standard RFP, features-war stuff when the dynamics of software companies and IP don’t always fit traditional purchasing molds. The issues are further complicated by sub-specialization into HIT.

    I’ve seen many vendors and systems “fail” for reasons unrelated to funding and balance sheets. And, many don’t flat out fail, but just exist seemingly forever as “walking dead”.

  • So many possibilities with new areas of EMR. Although, I have a feeling that many of the most exciting things would be the unanticipated Ah HAH! moments that could occur when a bunch of smart people get together and discuss challenging issues.

    No doubt providers rarely look at the “vendors staying in business” issue during the RFP (or other evaluation process). The problem is, what’s the best way for a provider with limited time to be able to assess an EMR vendor’s stability? That’s really really hard even with substantial time.

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