Wal-Mart will market electronic medical records system

You know something's a commodity when the big W gets involved--so I guess EMRs have officially arrived. Wal-Mart Stores has set its sights on the scorching-hot market for electronic health records, focusing on the small medical practices which have proven unwilling to invest in higher-end systems.

Hoping, no doubt, to capture some of the $19 billion in health IT stimulus dollars, Wal-Mart will team with Dell and EMR maker eClinicalWorks to offer a turnkey package including hardware, software, installation, maintenance and product training.

This package should be far more affordable than many other EMR offerings, undercutting some rivals by as much as 50 percent. The EMR system, offered through Sam's Club, will be under $25,000 for the first physician in a practice, and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. Maintenance should cost $4,000 to $6,500 a year.

Wal-Mart has been testing the technology in the 30 retail clinics it operates in eight states.

To learn more about the new EMR system:
- read this piece in The New York Times