John Lynn recently posted a reaction to a comment that there will be consolidation among EMR vendors in the next few years to gobble up market share and obviously eliminate smaller companies. Anthony Subbiah added to this a concept that I had felt but not really articulated previously, the desire for:
“local touch and feel, the warm and fuzzy that the local EHR Vendors can provide also makes it attractive to the Physicians. We are talking about small businesses – which are the solo and 2 to 3 Physician practices. SaaS providers do operate conservatively and can survive, maintain, enhance and grow with a smaller base of clients.”
I have always loved that about my current EMR system Practice Fusion. It’s a relatively small company (albeit growing) but has the mom and pop feel. They know me and my manager Ken by name. We’ve been to their annual user conference (Practice Fusion Connect) in San Francisco. And as dumb luck would have it, I happen to practice in Washington, DC, so we get to see company members several times a year over networking dinners when they are in town at healthcare policy conferences. Fortunately, as judged by these meetings, they really do have the end user’s interest as their top priority.
Practice Fusion’s team has the look and feel of a family-owned business and they’re always looking to provide a great customer experience. They have an active social networking approach and are pretty plugged in. I can honestly say I’ve shaken hands and sat down with, in person, many of the company members, including the CEO. Now how many companies can you think of that give someone such an authentically personal relationship? It’s actually pretty amazing when you think about it. And the term “vendor”? It seems like such a cold and impersonal term to apply to Practice Fusion. We sincerely need more companies like them out there. Cheers to them for a great job!
Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.