HIMSS news roundup: Free EHRs, Dragon to the cloud, and more

While one- and two-doctor practices apparently aren't rushing to buy electronic health records, Sage Software had one piece of good news to report at HIMSS11 in Orlando, Fla., last week. Since August, when it began offering free Intergy EHRs to the many thousands of small practices that have Medical Manager practice management systems, 27 percent have taken the vendor up on its offer. That's according to Betty Otter-Nickerson, Sage's president, who added that the offer expires at the end of March.

NextGen, an ambulatory care EHR vendor that focuses mainly on large medical groups, is considering the possibility of a product aimed at small practices, Scott Decker, the company's president, told FierceHealthIT. This fairly basic product, he said, might evolve over time as NextGen simplifies its core application. Users could turn on more advanced functions as needed.

Nuance Communications, best known for its Dragon Natural Speaking voice recognition software, is moving that application to the cloud, said Janet Dillione, the company's executive vice president and general manager. As a result of switching from the desktop to a remote server, Nuance will have to change the software's approach to adapting to individual voice patterns, Dillione said, but the company believes it's essential to be able to dictate to the cloud from mobile platforms.

The CPOE collaborative of the large Ascension, Adventist and Catholic Healthcare West systems--designed to accelerate adoption of computerized physician order entry--is starting to bear fruit. Beginning with Zynx order sets, the collaborative added some material and shaped the sets to better fit physician workflow, said Jeffrey Rose, MD, vice president of clinical excellence informatics at Ascension. A year after the collaborative started the library, more than 200 hospitals are using it, Rose noted.

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