BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 6 — Sam’s Club, eClinicalWorks(R) and Dell announced today details of its turnkey electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management package. This first-of-its-kind partnership and package eliminates the traditional barriers to entry including cost and complexity and will help to increase adoption rates and improve overall patient care.
“We have thousands of members in the medical field today that buy products and services at Sam’s Club to help them run their businesses and they tell us that cost is a significant barrier to adopting EMRs,” said Charles Redfield, senior vice president at Sam’s Club. “Over the past year of our partnership, we developed a solution that is easy to use, affordable and will help them do a better job of taking care of their patients’ needs.”
EMRs have the potential to reduce health care costs while improving the quality of care delivered according to health care experts. Unfortunately, adoption rates among physicians in the U.S. have remained low. A June 2008 survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed only four percent of U.S. physicians providing direct patient care said they had a full EMR system, and only 13 percent said they had even a basic system.
The EMR package is available now in Virginia, Illinois and Georgia as part of a phased implementation. It is anticipated the package will be available to physicians nationwide this year.
The all-in-one technology solution is scalable for growing practices. The eClinicalWorks software will be delivered through a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model, enabling physicians to access the system via a secure Internet connection. Dell will provide necessary hardware and site assessment, onsite technical set-up and training as well as integration of the eClinicalWorks software with the operating system, along with hardware warranty support.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pay physicians $44,000 to $64,000 over five years, beginning in 2011, for deploying and “meaningful use” of certified EMRs. This is expected to drive up to 90 percent of U.S. physicians to EMRs in the next decade, according to a Congressional Budget Office review.