Hewlett-Packard's EHReady full-service kit for managing electronic health records will offer hardware, third-party EMR software, services and support, marketing, and financing.
Hewlett-Packard is rolling out its EHReady
program, a full-service electronic medical records
package designed to make it easier for health care facilities to adopt the
practice of electronic records storage. EHReady will also help health care
organizations take advantage of federal stimulus benefits.
EHReady, which HP officially announced July 13, will make hardware such as desktops,
notebooks, tablet PCs and scanners available to health care facilities needing
a technological revamp, along with associated services and support. HP is also
offering financing through HP Financial Services and arranging with ISVs to
offer EMR (electronic medical records)
Chris Mertens, vice president of health care in HP's Personal Systems Group,
said hospitals needed a tool kit to get physicians on board with using EMRs. Mertens
described the EHReady program as a type of "concierge" service,
making sure that health care facilities have the services and support they need.
While third parties will produce the EMR
software and HP is still deciding which ISVs to use, HP will help market the
program, install products and provide services, support and training.
Focus groups have indicated that the question of service and support worries
health care facilities the most about EMRs, Mertens told eWEEK. In addition, he
estimated that health care companies may have to refresh 75 percent of their PC
hardware to run EMR programs.
"We think that a broad number of physicians are going to refresh their
technology, including their hardware, to ensure that they've got the right
level of configuration to meet the minimum hardware specs," Mertens said.
For HP, which remains the world's largest producer of PCs,
is another way to sell more of its hardware and services to health
HP, of course, is not the only PC maker eyeing the potentially lucrative
health care market. Dell, thanks to its acquisition of Perot Systems,
actively expanding into health care, providing IT services as well as PCs,
printers, servers, storage and software. Gartner has estimated that health care
companies are planning to spend about 4 percent more on IT services, hardware
and software in 2010 than in 2009.
In addition to services and hardware, HP will provide financing options for
medical facilities and guide them on how to access stimulus money under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,
the federal stimulus bill passed in
February 2009 that provides financial incentives for physicians and hospitals
to adopt EMRs.
"Customers are looking for a comprehensive program to provide
technology solutions and service and support to their affiliated
physicians," Mertens said. "It's not just about the choice and
installation; the big thing is service and support." Smaller physician
groups need the most help setting up EMR
programs because they lack an IT staff, Mertens added.