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Ambulatory EHR vendors having success on East and West Coasts

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As big EHR vendors battle for large healthcare system market shares, purveyors of EHRs for small physician practices are still finding success with moderately priced systems.

Ambulatory EHR vendors on both coasts are doing brisk business selling lower cost systems, as big EHR vendors dominate the market for large healthcare providers.

Rhode Island-based Amazing Charts LLC has been finding continued success with server and cloud-based electronic health records (EHRs) for small physician practices that appreciate its ease of use and relatively low cost.

Across the country, meanwhile, Practice Fusion Inc. is pursuing a strictly cloud approach to a market that is mostly the same as its East Coast competitor, with the added feature of its EHR being essentially free to its customers. Practice Fusion also targets larger practices.

Both of these ambulatory EHR companies keep costs down or eliminate them entirely by passing on costs to labs, pharmacies, imaging centers and other parts of the healthcare system. Practice Fusion charges these companies for advertising on its platform, while Amazing Charts charges connection fees to the third-party providers.

These ambulatory EHR vendors come up for discussion in the latest HIT Squad podcast episode, in which SearchHealthIT news writer Kristen Lee talks about her upcoming visit to Practice Fusion headquarters.

In the podcast, fellow HIT Squad member, SearchHealthIT news and feature writer Shaun Sutner, talks about his recent story about Amazing Charts and one of its colorful users, and about the ambulatory EHR market in general.

Sutner notes that two other East Coast EHR vendors that cater mainly to the ambulatory market, athenahealth Inc. and eClinicalWorks, both in Massachusetts, are larger than Practice Fusion and Amazing Charts and are generally considered to be a tier above them.

Lee also notes in the podcast that on her California reporting trip, she plans to attend Salesforce's Dreamforce 2016 conference, at which she'll interview Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Josh Newman, M.D.

In addition, the podcast features a brief discussion between Lee and Sutner about blockchain technology for healthcare.

Finally, Sutner talks about his recent reporting assignment at a government blockchain in healthcare workshop in suburban Washington, D.C., and he and Lee briefly discuss some of the challenges and purported advantages of this still embryonic technology.

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