Costco expands EHR offerings for providers

Shopping giant Costco is going nationwide with its electronic health record venture. The big box retailer jumped on the EHR vendor bandwagon this past June on a test-case basis, teaming up with Etransmedia--a Premium Plus Allscripts Partner--to offer EHR systems to healthcare providers who are Costco members.

The combination EHR/practice management product, called MyWay, claims to provide "intuitive design and intelligent navigation," according to a description on the company website. Costco says that the product offers adaptive learning, template-fee charting and easy customization.

In launching MyWay, the company used the same approach it has applied to other products: making large volume purchases of inventory and passing the savings on to members, Costco Director of EHR/PM services John Conion said in a statement.

"We want our members to keep as much of the $44,000 in stimulus funds for their business as possible," Conion said. The product costs $499 a month for Costco executive members, and $599 a month for non executive members, both based on a 60 month lease-to-own contract.

This is not the first foray into the EHR market by a big box retailer: In 2009, Walmart explored a partnership with Dell and eClinicalWorks to offer EHRs to its Sam's Club members. The product was discontinued in March 2011, according to a Sam's Club representative.

To learn more:
- read the press release
- read this Health Data Management article
- check out this Costco Connection piece on EHRs (.pdf)