Healthcare IT Vendors, EMR Vendors

healthcare it vendors

Here is where we will explore some of the leading Healthcare IT vendors, including EMR vendors. The main focus on this page is those who specialize in either enterprise wide systems, or electronic health records for physician practice offices. There are many more vendors in specialty areas, such as lab, pharmacy, materials management, and medical devices. Those will be covered in other articles.

 Vendor Description Employment Prospects EMR and billing system for small to medium sized physician practices. Their product is generally rated highly by the user community. The company suffered under a stormy internal struggle between the Chairman and some Directors in 2012. They have operations mainly around the Eastern part of the US, but also have some offices internationally. They do have a beginner/internship program, and could be considered a good place to start a career. athenahealth is a relative newcomer to the EMR field. Founded in 1997, they are headed by Johnathan Bush (cousin of former President GW Bush) and Todd Park, former Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Government Operations are in Watertown, MA. They have a number of open positions, but they appear to be for those with existing experience in technical, project management, and user experience areas. I don’t find an intern program on their site. Enterprise wide clinical applications for most areas in Healthcare- hospital, clinics, Lab, Primary Care, etc. Cerner is the largest or second largest Health IT vendor, depending on how you spin the numbers (revenues vs number of users and other measures).  Their products get mixed reviews in the user community. On Aug 5, 2014, they announced an acquisition of Siemens Health Systems for $1.3 Billion. Based in Kansas City, MO, with many international operations; they have opportunities for interns, beginners, and seasoned professionals. They have a reputation for demanding much of their staff. In 2015, they won a huge contract with the Department of Defense to implement a system-wide health records system, and then won the bid for the VA the following year. Presented as a much cheaper alternative to larger enterprise wide systems. They are mainly focused on Outpatient and Specialty clinics. They are based in Westborough, MA, with some operations in several other states. Being a smaller company, they don’t have numerous job openings. Their business model relies on many small technology partners, sometimes called “resellers”, who implement the product on behalf of the vendor. Preferred resellers are listed on their Partners page. Widely considered the hands-down leader in the industry, despite having lower revenues than Cerner. Admiration of Epic is due to several unique characteristics: Epic is privately held, does very little marketing, and puts a huge portion of profits back into product development. They have a reputation of responding to clients and quickly fixing problems. Their user community is highly vested and motivated to the point that Epic is labeled with cult-like references. Most notably, they develop products for just about every area of clinic and hospital areas based on a unified platform. Epic typically hires new college graduates with high GPAs, not placing emphasis on previous healthcare experience. You cannot get hired with Epic without a 4 year degree. Almost all workers are required to live near their Verona, WI headquarters. They do not have a reseller program, so if you don’t hire with them, your best chance to work with the product is to get hired at a hospital who has or is planning to implement Epic. There are also many consulting groups of all sizes who contract with healthcare clients to help with implementations.
GE Enterprise wide vendor under the direction of GE Healthcare. They have many different products for most areas of healthcare, but have a serious disadvantage over Epic and Cerner. When GE decides to go into a healthcare sector, they typically just buy out another vendor instead of developing their own product. That has left them with a rat’s nest of systems that look and operate differently, and run on different platforms. They are struggling in the marketplace in most areas except for imaging. GE has a long history with MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, and other Radiology related equipment and software. Direct hire or through a recruiting firm is the only option I know of. Their website does indicate an intern program. They have more recently sold off some of their Health IT offerings. EMR and Practice Management software for many types of clinics: Primary and Urgent Care, Specialties, and Dental. Locations across the Midwest and South. A good number of positions listed in several job functions. No intern program found on their website. Another large enterprise vendor who has chosen to buy instead of build. McKesson makes much of their profit from the supply distribution area, while their IT business flounders. They get some of the lowest ratings from customers for their software. They typically have lots of positions open in many locations. Their website does indicate an intern program. Enterprise vendor who covers many areas of hospital and clinic operations. They traditionally had a large presence in the small to  medium-sized hospitals (under 100 beds up to 200 beds). They have since lost some market share to Epic and Cerner. They have offices in MA, GA, and MN, usually listing several openings in each location. Their website lists an intern program for staff members’ immediate family. They promote hiring for entry-level positions, then promote from within.
NextGen – Mainly focused on Outpatient and Specialty operations, in addition to clinical analytics, billing, and population management. Numerous jobs in several US locations. No intern program found on their website.
Practice Unique from other vendors in that they are a free web-based EMR, mainly targeted toward small practices who don’t have much money for IT. They make their money from ads presented to users, and more interestingly from selling the clinical data on patients. What?! Yes, they sell the data but they are required to strip out any patient identifiers. Based in San Francisco, they only list a small number of positions. I believe (but am not positive) that there are independent contractors who assist clients with implementing the product. They were acquired by Allscripts in early 2017. This is an enterprise wide system used by Veterans Hospitals under the Department of Defense. It is open-source and free, meaning that users can edit the source code. It has a surprising number of modules and features, including a patient portal, which allows patients to see their medical record on the web. The downside is that it is built on very old technology and the user interface (UI) for clinicians looks very ancient In the summer of 2015, the Department of Defense selected Cerner to replace their clinical systems in VA and other military hospitals. Knowing either VistA or Cerner would be an advantage as they make the transition. They will be contracting with Leidos to manage the project.

Next, let’s look at Healthcare IT policy (not as boring as it sounds)