Let’s talk about some of the recent developments happening with the company: You have recently partnered (April 2015) with ePatientFinder to form the nation’s largest clinical trial network, allowing providers to use the EMR to learn about new clinical trials and see which of their patients may be eligible. What do you expect this kind of venture will yield for Practice Fusion moving forward? Other companies have tried and failed at capturing clinical trials via online technology. Why do you think Practice Fusion will have success where others have not?
We have the ability to identify the patient in real-time since we have over 110 million patients records under management. Effectively finding patients with deep exclusionary criteria has been traditionally challenging for both providers and trial recruiters. We manage over 300,000 visits a day with all the data needed to match patients to the clinical trial at the point of care. This is a partnership that works well for all involved: the patient looking for a new therapy, the doctor who is looking to treat their patient, and Practice Fusion generating revenue from the process.
Practice Fusion has been setting its sights on PHM as of late. I understand you have also recently partnered (May 19, 2015) with the American Urological Association to form a customized Overactive Bladder PHM initiative. Is this a trend we should expect to see from Practice Fusion, incorporating more PHM initiatives into the platform as PHM becomes more prevalent among providers? How will initiatives like this foster further development of the EMR and its functionality/capability over time?
Right now we run programs for COPD, asthma, overactive bladder, and diabetes. The Merck program for example, was one of the largest and most successful population management programs in history as it impacted 5.1 million patients with the propensity of doctors vaccinating their patients rising by 73%.
I believe this is what the future of EHRs looks like – the ability to effectively look over macro populations to improve outcomes. This is why billions of dollars during the stimulus act was put forth to help providers foster the adoption and get the data in one place to identify the sickest patients, drive them in for a visit, and then have the doctor intervene. Our population health management program is directly aligned with value-based care which is what health care has become over the past few years and which will continue to evolve over the next several decades.
Executing PHM effectively requires a number of serious data, decision-making, and proactive outreach tools. Are you worried that as providers demand greater functionality from their EMRs for population health management, Practice Fusion won’t be able to meet those multi-faceted demands? Are there any product development shifts we can expect to meet/keep up with these demands?
Absolutely not – empirically we deliver more functionality than any other player in the marketplace. We release at least 10 new features a month and at a dramatically faster rate than any other vendor. Beyond PHM, we have digital care management within the product, integration with major payers, and we serve care plans with real time alerts. We have a pace of innovation in the industry that is unprecedented right now.
Right now, we are seeing a huge upswing in consumer-driven, mobile products to sort of feed the patient end of PHM: in terms of wearables, etc. Do you think that kind of patient-driven data has value worthy of incorporating into an EMR like Practice Fusion, especially as you move to embrace clinical trial eligibility and PHM initiatives? How do you see that shaping any future development or focus for the company?
I think any data from a wearable is generally incremental – it’s usually steps or heart rate. There isn’t data that has been much more exciting than that coming out. I think the next wave of sensors that will be out within the next 5 years will have data that is much more relevant to electronic health records.
For example, lab data in the context of a telemedicine visit would allow diagnostics to be done remotely which could be very powerful.
What else is on the horizon for Practice Fusion? Anything direction we haven’t talked about? How does Practice Fusion plan to stay a leader in the EMR arena? What are you most enthusiastic about working on/developing in the near future with Practice Fusion?
The thing we are most excited about is telemedicine. We recently acquired a product called Ringadoc and we are looking forward to effectively taking that product and launching our telemedicine strategy.
There’s been a lot of chatter that Practice Future is going to go public in the near future. Care to comment on that?
We think Practice Fusion is the most viable company in the digital health space to go public and are looking forward to an IPO when we are ready for it.