Buyouts and Sub Specialties: Kristin Walker and TechnologyAdvice Ride the Wave of the Latest EHR Trends

11401383_297165643803034_5221908511618497696_nKristin Walker, founder of everythingEHR, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share her insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology as it relates to Behavioral Healthcare. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Enjoy their write up and the Podcast here.  We were also excited to interview Charles “Drew” Settles, Product Analyst with TechnologyAdvice. He joined us on Mental Health News Radio. Please enjoy his interview here.

Kristin joined Josh to discuss everything from mobile technology within EHR, why there are low adoption rates, meaningful use, and more.

Below are a few highlights from the interview:

Technology Advice: What’s a big EHR trend, not only with practices, but with vendors as well?

Walker: What I’m seeing is an uptick in calls and vendor requests for funders looking to acquire and partner with vendors specific to behavioral health. We’ve already been through four different buyouts, which was an awesome ride for us. That’s probably the biggest trend, as we move toward primary healthcare and behavioral healthcare talking to one another in terms of technology, there are more vendors wanting to tap into that sub specialty of healthcare.

TA: Is mobile also taking off for EHR like it is for CRM or Project Management?

Walker: It is but not soon enough. The funders that we talk to don’t even want to deal with a vendor that is a Windows-based platform. For them It’s all about true browser based apps. I’m not saying those are better than Windows based apps, that just seems to be what funders are interested in.  That’s just because the ease of use is there on a browser based application (although we do have one Windows based EHR we recommend that can go toe to toe with any browser based application) and it’s much more difficult or clunky when you’re looking at some Windows based products.

TA: Why are EHR software platforms so specialized?

Walker: They require more detailed information. A lot of it is around how those services are billed. I was paid to help a general EHR get into the behavioral health market. They dominated for a while and then realized it wasn’t an affordable market for a general EHR. I was disappointed because the software was absolutely beautiful, it was like candy. The revenue in behavioral health just isn’t there like it is for other healthcare specialties. I thought, “Mental health providers deserve this software but they can’t afford it.” From a venture capital funded company, they’re beholden to their board and if they aren’t selling the software, they won’t meet their benchmarks. I understand the business decision behind pulling out of the mental health market but I am happy to start seeing other EHRs rising to that level of software design and innovation for the Behavioral Health market.

TA: Do you see any other sub-sect of EHR rising up?

Walker: It’s interesting. There are a lot of sub-specialties. I’m seeing a rise in OB/GYN software become more of a subset rather than a component of a general EHR.

At the end of the day, the talk is that there are only 1-3 years left for specialty markets in the EHR world in the cloud-based-ehrUnited States. The “big guys” will come in and buy up the little EHR organizations to get their user base or dump the product, mold them into their general EHR, and then we’re left with five EHRs that control the market.

I don’t know that this is necessarily true, but I keep hearing that again and again. I, for one, will not showcase a product that isn’t behavioral health specific. You’d have to really convince me to do otherwise.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get notifications for new episodes.

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This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice.

Interview conducted by Josh Bland.

Note – Some of the most blatant and ridiculous claims made by small EHR organizations for behavioral health are:

“Our product is so large that it will be slow in some areas of the software.” EHRs that are slow to load in multiple areas of the system are so because of outdated technology and cumbersome design, period. There are many, many enterprise level Windows EHRs that are lightening fast in every area of the application.

“We don’t support small practices because our product is so large.” Another claim made by small vendors making excuses for poor technology and design flaws.

WeLoveBehavioralHealthYou can’t make exaggerated claims about efficiency, and expect users over the long haul to be happy with the organization or the software. If a small software organization has lost more than a dozen practices in a twelve month period, there is something very wrong under the hood (of the organization and the product they created) regardless of their public facing claims of integrity, unbiased reviews, and EHR efficiency.

As we have learned from the truly successful vendors in the market: If you really do have a great product and an honest organization, you don’t need to shout this out in your marketing material at every opportunity.

everythingEHR is committed to showcasing Behavioral Health EHR vendors that were created by leaders with relevance in the healthcare industry: clinicians, software engineers, and educators. CEOs that are the face of their organization and invited to speak about Behavioral Health and Behavioral Health Technology. We’ve certainly enjoyed interviewing these leaders on Mental Health News Radio.

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