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Will Athenahealth be able to create a competitive, large-hospital information system by rewriting BIDMC's internally developed WebOMR? (Poll Closed)

  • No
    307 votes

  • Yes
    72 votes


Posted 3 years.


  • Ann Farrell - 3 years ago

    Many vendors and HCOs attempting to "commercialize" an HCO home-grown CIS failed - often because CIS was designed to meet requirements of their organization, not broader market. Creators never considered broader market requirements or an application architecture (data & process modes) and implementation tools needed to customize system, without changing source code or underlying models, at each organization. Did BIDMC team design for broader market/"commercial use?"

    I'm unclear what is planned for the 1.5 year project but BIDMC rebuilt or added to RazorInsights (on either platform) without redesign will not likely yield an Epic-beating solution, and clearly a much longer effort. .

    Various smaller hospital-EHR vendors' plans to"scale up" to address highly complex, AMCs failed. And many HCO internally applications - even if successful in the organization - failed as commercial solutions. I applaud Athena or anyone making serious efforts to create a better solution with much opportunity to do so. But the level of talent and amount of time and money needed should not be underestimated.

    Perhaps Jonathan can clarify the plan and target solution - and what percent of time is allocated to requirements,design and testing vs development/coding.

  • Reluctant Epic User - 3 years ago

    I voted No but that's because it is the wrong question.

    If you look at the WebOMR purchase in a silo, it doesn't make sense. It only makes sense when you realize that it could be part of a strategy to grow the RazorInsight product into a viable EMR for larger organizations. Assuming RazorInsight's cloud works well with Athena's existing cloud technology, Athena's purchase of the WebOMR IP is a smart one as it gives them the IP necessary to figure out how to do just that.

    BIDMC's sale of the WebOMR IP is even smarter. BIDMC had an asset on their books that they couldn't (or were unwilling to) monetize. IP that you can't monetize is often worth less than the electrons that are storing it. So, if Athena is successful, they just got a free 20-year license to an EMR. If it doesn't work out, they lose nothing.

  • HIS Junkie - 3 years ago

    Ain't no way... this strategy has been tried a dozen times and failed every time.
    See Eclipsys, HBO, etc..

  • Just a nurse analyst - 3 years ago

    Doubter - you got it right. Epic is good. Pretty good. But also good at the Kool-aid. But honestly, not better than the other major system vendors - Cerner, Allscripts, Meditech, CPSI for small hospitals. Have significant experience with several systems. Notably a thoughtful, insightful, capable person...but found it hard to choke down the whole Epic thing. Threw away all my 'certifications' (months of travel and classes and tests) and options for consulting mega bucks to pursue working with other systems that didn't try to control my access to user group sessions, or control my contact with other users, or force me to renew my 'certifications' through bullshit classes in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin that are taught by non-clinicians with zero hospital experience. Just as I was amazed and astonished that our country elected George Bush 2 times, I am equally astonished at huge academic sites swallowing the Kool-aid and converting or buying Epic.

  • doubter - 3 years ago

    So, is the basic premise of HIStalk that every entrepreneur in the world should just cede the EHR market to Epic? I'm not sure if AthenaHealth "will be able to create a competitive, large hospital information system by rewriting WebOMR" - but I think it's the wrong question.

    However, if you parse the question into two:

    (1) will they be able to create a competitive large hospital information system? I think yes. It will take time, but to think that the teams at Epic and Cerner are the only people in the world capable of figuring this out seems wrong. And the AthenaHealth team seems capable of delivering.

    (2) will owning WebOMR make (1) more likely? It's difficult to see how it doesn't. Unless we are to believe that BIDMC is so incredibly unique that whatever AthenaHealth can learn from WebOMR is actually of no value to other hospitals.

    But as long as the question is essentially: "can they commercialize WebOMR and beat Epic"? I vote no; that would be dumb.

    Follow up question: How long with the Age of Epic last before somebody else does it better?

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