Recognizing the limits of electronic health records systems that only offer EHR services, some vendors are consolidating their offerings.
One example: GE Healthcare recently announced it will no longer support its Centricity Advance EHR product for physician practices.
The company will offer existing users the opportunity to transition to GE's Centricity Practice Solution, its "flagship" combined EHR and practice management system, according to a brief statement on the company's site. GE noted that the two systems addressed many of the same needs for small and medium sized physician practices.
GE's general manager and vice president for clinical business solutions Michael Friguletto told eWeek that "consolidating Centricity into a joint EHR/practice-management product will allow GE to update its healthcare offerings faster."
Friguletto also noted that Centricity Practice Solution offered more robust clinical workflow, as well as revenue cycle management dashboards and tools fully integrated with the EHR, "so practices will have more control."
As of June 30, users will be able to access the product in read-only format; that will end Dec. 31.
This consolidation/upgrade of an EHR product is part of a larger trend toward EHR products with added bells and whistles that, in theory, make them more appealing to providers.
Many EHR products are coupled with practice management systems. As we reported Jan. 12, more EHR vendors are also adding patient portal products to their EHR systems.
And EHR vendors aren't stopping there. For example, SOAPware, which already offers a combined EHR/practice management product, announced Jan. 25 that it has formed a joint venture with Ambir Technology to offer desktop digital scanners that allow users to input documents into its EHR software.
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