eClinicalWorks to showcase EHR and patient engagement innovations at HIMSS23

Photo: Sameer Bhat

One of the biggest exhibitors at the HIMSS23 Conference & Exhibition in April in Chicago will be longtime cloud-based IT vendor eClinicalWorks.

Westborough, Massachusetts-based eClinicalWorks was founded in 1999 to help digitize paper charts for ambulatory practices. Today the company is a major health IT player, offering cloud-based electronic health record and practice management systems for practices of all types and sizes.

The vendor also offers technologies for value-based care, patient engagement and revenue cycle management through robotic process automation. And it markets healow, a platform offering a range of patient engagement and workflow optimization systems for practices, patients and payers.

Healthcare IT News interviewed Sameer Bhat, cofounder and vice president of sales at eClinicalWorks, to get a sneak preview of what the vendor will be introducing at HIMSS23, what healthcare and health IT trends are top of mind for the vendor going into HIMSS23, and what the big message will be for eClinicalWorks at the big show.

Q. For eClinicalWorks, what are the most important healthcare trends going into HIMSS23?

A. eClinicalWorks continues to innovate and create new technologies that meet the most pressing healthcare needs, such as increased speed and reliability via the cloud, improved physician efficiency, patient satisfaction, value-based care, and reduced day-to-day administrative costs.

Healthcare professionals want faster and more cost-effective cloud options. With superior cloud-based solutions, providers and staff can shift their focus from infrastructure and hardware management to technology deployment for more efficient and flexible operations.

To take our cloud offerings to that next level, eClinicalWorks recently made a $110 million commitment to Microsoft Azure. We selected Microsoft Azure to meet scalability, security and storage requirements. It also offers our customers real-time zonal and regional redundancy.

These independent and isolated backups guard against downtime and accidental loss of original data. Microsoft Azure is also helping us deploy new technologies to our customers faster. Now, we’re using the cloud for AI, machine learning, robotic process automation and enhanced data analysis tools.

According to the American Medical Association, more than 63% of physicians report signs of burnout, such as emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, at least once a week. Many factors contribute to burnout, but system inefficiencies and administrative burdens top the list for most providers.

We’ve deployed automation technologies, like eClinicalWorks Scribe, a natural language processing and AI-based technology, to minimize these stressors by increasing provider efficiencies. With Scribe, providers experience faster, easier and more clinically accurate documentation.

Scribe helps providers capture nuances from the appointment in real time instead of documenting their notes at the end of the day. One of eClinicalWorks’ customers, Open Door Medical Center, used Scribe to significantly reduce physician burnout and operational costs, roughly $44,000 annually per clinician.

In addition, one Florida practice found providers saved more than an hour each day on every patient encounter using Scribe, leaving more time to focus on patients and achieve a better work/life balance.

Patients expect easy access to care. Healthcare organizations must streamline the pre- and post-visit experience for improved patient satisfaction. With healow, our customers already are improving the patient experience and seeing reduced costs.

Healow offers automated chatbots, online appointment booking, contactless check-in, text and email appointment and payment reminders, telehealth, and more to give patients ownership in their healthcare journey and increased satisfaction. These tools not only improve the patient’s experience, but also reduce administrative tasks and overhead for healthcare organizations.

We’re also seeing a continued shift to value-based care. Value-based care puts the emphasis back on efficiency and effectiveness. To excel in value-based care, providers and payers must proactively bridge gaps in healthcare delivery.

However, patient data currently sits in multiple care settings. To effectively analyze gaps in care and better serve patients, providers need all patient information in one place. Healow Insights brings together data from payers, hospitals, health centers, urgent care centers and other EHRs into a single source. By collating the data into a readable, searchable table or grid view, providers are able to identify and act on gaps in care.

According to the Medical Group Management Association, inefficient processes across the revenue cycle cost healthcare practices billions of dollars every year. Automation, like robotic process automation, can reduce time spent on administrative tasks in the revenue management process.

MGMA reports that manually posting payments and denials takes 2.10 minutes per claim, compared with a rate of 2 seconds per claim with RPA. eClinicalWorks integrates bots into revenue cycle management system so organizations can see faster collections, fewer days in accounts receivable, and reduced errors and delays in the billing process.

RPA also streamlines front-office operations. For example, the healow Chatbot allows patients to book appointments and make payments online and answer routine questions without calling the office. This self-service tool helps increase patient satisfaction while reducing costs.

Q. On a similar note, what are the most crucial technology trends going into HIMSS23?

A. Healthcare organizations are trying to expand their service models beyond primary care. We’re seeing a move away from bolt-on services to holistic, integrated and interoperable systems that adapt to every kind of care. As most organizations now offer a range of services within one practice – like primary care, dental, vision, behavioral health and more – they need one technology solution to meet every need.

Federally qualified health centers are a great example of holistic care. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, more than 1,400 health centers and 100 health center programs across the U.S. operate more than 14,000 care sites.

These centers typically offer every type of healthcare service in one place at a reduced cost to ensure everyone has adequate access to healthcare. eClinicalWorks provides end-to-end solutions to more than 800 health centers, helping support affordable, value-based care to medically underserved populations.

And one of the fastest-growing care areas in health centers and other organizations is behavioral health. The CDC reports that one in five Americans experience a mental illness every year. Health IT services, like the eClinicalWorks Behavioral Health Module, help health centers and other organizations meet this growing need.

The module supports goal tracking, care plan reviews, patient and care team signoffs, schedule management, and group visits. Healow telehealth is also another important piece of the Behavioral Health Module.

Many health centers and practices report that patients are more comfortable with behavioral health appointments via telehealth because they can receive care from the comfort of their homes. Healow Group Counseling is also increasing in popularity as a behavioral health service.

The eClinicalWorks Behavioral Health Module also helps health centers and care organizations track and analyze social determinants of health. These socioeconomic characteristics help prioritize referrals and interventions for high-risk patients.

By implementing SDOH screenings, providers can identify risks – such as unemployment or homelessness – and connect patients with resources to minimize the risk factors and improve health outcomes, including behavioral health outcomes.

Our Behavioral Health Module includes smart forms to help health centers and providers accurately collect and track SDOH for the best care.

Q. I’m sure you’ll be introducing a variety of new products and services at HIMSS23. Please offer a sneak peek.

A. We’ll have several new technologies on display at HIMSS23, including our latest EHR version, the multi-dimensional V12. This version of our EHR brings customers new enhancements for optimized workflows and increased flexibility, including:

Improved application performance by up to 40% faster

A module for pre-visit planning

Improved usability with click reducers and redesigned medication management screens

A floating toolbar for easy access to key workflow features – including patient records, a virtual assistant and documents

Value-based care enhancements through PRISMA, a health information search engine

New products, including healow Sign, healow Survey and healow Chatbot

Enhanced procedure documentation for all specialties

Specialty-focused workflows for OB/GYN, pediatrics, Behavioral Health, dental, vision, rheumatology, asthma/allergy, gastroenterology, ENT/audiology, dermatology, and enhancements to the Ambulatory Surgery Center module

The latest enhancement on our EHR app for iPad and iPhone, eClinicalTouch 4, also will be on display. This offers our customers:

Streamlined data entry and data access through hotlink text

Quick menu access, split screen and scrollable views, and a Quick Launch Bar for easy navigation

A documents tab for in-app editing

Full e-prescribing and renewal request functionalities

Real-time validation to minimize errors and out-of-range values

Q. What is the primary message eClinicalWorks will be trying to get out to HIMSS23 attendees?

A. Healow is now available as a SMART Health IT on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) application on any EHR platform. In addition to physician practices, it is also available to hospitals, health systems and payers to address and improve patient engagement and value-based care.

Healow for value-based care:

PRISMA – a health information search tool: With PRISMA, providers can view every patient record in an easy-to-read timeline view.

Healow Insights bridges the gaps in today’s healthcare system and drives the industry toward value-based care.

Remote patient monitoring gives providers better access to patient data to help track trends and promote better healthcare decisions.

Healow for patient engagement:

Healow Open Access: an online self-service scheduling

Healow CHECK-IN: a contactless patient intake process

Healow Pay: a secure online payment solution

Healow Chatbot, healow Sign and messenger: ability to chat 24/7 with a provider’s office, sign documents and complete surveys on the go, and securely send reminders and messages to patients

Healow TeleVisits: 91% of our customers continue to use healow TeleVisits – a secure and integrated virtual care platform.

Q. What do you think healthcare provider organization CIOs and similar health IT leaders should be focused on most now that the pandemic public health emergency is coming to an end?

A. The cloud, AI, RPA and patient engagement features are all great on their own, but they are even stronger together. The eClinicalWorks and healow suite of health IT solutions do just that – work together seamlessly to connect every aspect of healthcare.

For more than 20 years, eClinicalWorks has been playing the long game – looking one step ahead to use technology to improve healthcare workflows, patient outcomes and overall industry success.

As we look forward, listen to your patients and offer digital, automated tools to make booking appointments, checking in, and following up with providers as easy as possible. Support your providers with AI to automate tasks and give back time for patient care.

Proactively manage revenue and communicate with payers seamlessly with robotic process automation and integrated platforms.

At eClinicalWorks, we’ll continue innovating to bring new technologies to market while building off existing solutions for an interoperable ecosystem. Technology will make healthcare more streamlined, secure, automated, and, ultimately, better for the most important stakeholder: the patient.

eClinicalWorks will be in Booth 1267 at HIMSS23 in Chicago.

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