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Today's announcement builds one part of Dell's healthcare strategy: to penetrate medical practices with 20 physicians or less, where limited budgets present barriers to EMR adoption.
"Small medical practices face a unique set of challenges in the U.S.; they're small businesses and they represent the front-line of our healthcare system," Scott Jenkins, VP of Dell Healthcare Solutions, said in a statement. "Our goal is to bring leading edge, yet very affordable technology to small practices and to simplify how they use and manage it so that doctors can focus their attention on serving patients and delivering the highest levels of medical care," Jenkins added.
In a recent interview with InformationWeek, Jamie Coffin, VP of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, noted that the push to digitize health records is a growing concern for many small and medium-size medical practices which can't afford EMR products, as well as implementation and maintenance costs. These barriers have precluded them from EMR adoption. According to Coffin, Dell is focused on eliminating the barriers of cost and complexity with integrated solutions.
"A practice that has 10 or 20 physicians, they frankly don't have the wherewithal or capabilities to support a technology infrastructure like that," Coffin said.
Practice Fusion provides a free Web-based EMR system that includes e-prescribing, electronic charts, appointment scheduling, and lab orders. Doctors signing up for the EMR online service can receive discounts on Dell equipment, such as desktops and laptop computers, specialized broadband hardware, scanners, and printers.
Dell's hardware is pre-configured for medical practices, can be rapidly implemented, and is verified to work with Practice Fusion's technology, both companies said in a statement.
"There is no reason for American doctors to continue using paper records. With Dell and Practice Fusion, making the switch to an electronic medical record system is affordable and easy," Ryan Howard, Practice Fusion's CEO, said in a statement. "It is exhilarating to see U.S. healthcare, at both the local and national levels, make the transition to modern, life-saving information technology," Howard added.
Customers ordering a Dell and Practice Fusion package for their medical practice will receive assistance with EMR training and configuration and phone support, among other benefits.
Practice Fusion has 40,000 doctors and nurses who use their online EMR system. The company has an advertising-revenue based business model, and is financially supported by Salesforce.com and Morgenthaler Ventures, with each owning a minority interest in Practice Fusion.