Practice Vine Enables API for Any EHR

I was recently introduced to a new company that is working to take traditional client server based EMR software and connecting them to the cloud. The company is called PracticeVine. I think they have an interesting approach to consider.

While many people love to proclaim the future of cloud based EHR, they underestimate the install base of client server based EMR and some of the advantages of a locally hosted EHR. PracticeVine provides a way for client server based EMR to have some cloud based functionality. Their first implementation is a Patient Forms tool for MacPractice EHR.

When you dig into a PracticeVine implementation, you see that if they’re successful, they’re essentially building a powerful API to an EHR software. With MacPractice they started with forms, but over time I could see PracticeVine building out other features which continue to expand the API like functionality that they need to provide cloud based functionality to client server based EHR software. Could PracticeVine become the ultimate EHR API provider?

Obviously, that’s an ambitious goal and far more than what they’re trying to chew off now. However, it’s really interesting to think about what the ultimate EHR API provider would look like. It’s even more exciting to think about what could be possible if we had deep EHR APIs for all the EHR vendors.

The real challenge that PracticeVine faces is resistance from EHR vendors to let them build this out. It’s not like most EHR vendors are even thinking about an API for their EHR. In fact, most of them can’t see past meaningful use stage 2. I’ll be interested to see where PracticeVine takes this. I really hope they’re successful at getting EHR vendors to interface with them.

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.


  • I love the API concept they are trying to being to a robust fruition. So many products began as an EMR or PM and via MU and other initiatives vendors began to develop lesser quality add-ons and ancillary components that were not a strong as their initial offering and vision. Or in haste they offered a poorly band-aided solution forcing a completely integrated product offering for all of the important services a practice could need. This API (if vendors are open to it) would allow the practice the best of all worlds and a wholly unique solution that just may meet more of their specific practice needs.

  • John, thanks for introducing us and sharing your insights. It is ambitious to think we can offer a universal API for all EHRs. We think this is eventually achievable, and will make great strides towards true patient-centric interoperability. With PracticeVine, we’re starting by addressing the question, “What’s in it for me?” (WIM, a mantra from my Forrester days). For client-server vendors, we can extend their solution to the cloud beyond MU requirements (teaching to the test), for a minimal amount of effort in collaborating with us to establish an integration. In other words, they don’t have to be thinking about creating an API — that’s what we do (and they’ll have the opportunity to create a new revenue stream in the process). For their customers, we are enabling them to extend their investment of time, money, and effort in their existing solution, and provide new and beneficial services to their patients.

    Robin Roberts, you make some great points. MU adds tremendous weight to the already heavy workload of developing and maintaining a complex EHR solution (often PMS-integrated). We see this as an opportunity to serve vendors, their clients, and patients alike, by providing a la carte services that extend capabilities on an as-needed and as-justified basis.

    Our first service enables healthcare practices using the MacPractice EMR software to take forms they’ve created in their system and push them to the cloud, where patients can fill them out, at their convenience. It saves patients coming in upwards of an hour before their scheduled appointment time to fill out paperwork. It means administrative staff does not need to manually review, correct, and input the data from those forms. And it allows clinical staff to gain greater insight into the nature of each patient’s needs and expectations for that appointment, before they even arrive.

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