Remodeling EMRs

Last, but definitely not least, there's obviously still going to be activity around EMRs, but this isn't your father's Oldsmobile. While I'm at HIMSS, I think it will be smart to hit the booths of few EMR and clinical data management vendors, particularly those that I think have a chance to make disruptive changes in the business.

For example, I'm personally intrigued by Medsphere's commercial, Open Source implementation of the accolade-winning VistA platform created for the VA. Vendors such as eClinicalWorks and Wellogic are doing something worthwhile, in that their technology can merge EMR on practice management software, a model that could help give EMRs a footing in smaller practices with a slim budget. It's also worth checking out any hosted EMR models out there. All told, anything that integrates traditional EMRs (analogues of the paper record) with important additional sources of clinical information is worth a good, long look. And if it gets this done with an eye on automating clinical pathways, or creates a new business model making implementation cheap and easy for MDs, even better. Keep your eyes peeled, and I will too.