athenahealth reveals mobile app Epocrates Connect for EHR coordination

By Laura Lovett
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athenahealth will be debuting Epocrates Connect, a mobile app that directly connects into a provider’s EHR system, at HIMSS 2018 next week. The system uses machine learning and language processing to give providers access to information and coordinate patient care no matter the EHR or care setting. 

“Providers today spend nearly 50 percent of their time documenting in various EHR systems and another one to two hours after work finishing the task. It’s no surprise that nearly half of doctors are burned out,” Kyle Armbrester, chief product officer at athenahealth, wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. “The goal of Epocrates Connect is to untether providers from the desktop and reduce average documentation time by 30 percent. But more broadly, our vision is to enhance providers’ EHR experience, no matter what system they are required to work on. With unparalleled access to information and the ability to integrate across EHR vendors, Epocrates Connect will bring consistency to clinical care, all while enhancing provider productivity, reducing physician burnout, and increasing physician engagement.” 

Armbrester explained that providers now have to become experts in one EHR system, which can make it tough to communicate with peers using other EHRs about their patient’s care. The new app would allow providers to manage their inbox, prepare notes for each patient, send documents, and coordinate with other providers. 

“The vision for the Epocrates Connect is to be EHR-agnostic: eliminating the current need to be an expert across a wide range of EHR systems and bringing consistency to clinical care no matter when or where a patient was treated,” Armbrester wrote to MobiHealthNews. 

Across the board interoperability has been a large focus area for athenahealth. The company will also be showcasing their Apple Health collaboration. In January, Apple launched its latest phone, which includes a new beta feature in the Apple Health app where consumers can aggregate, visualize, and store health records. 

“Apple is working with a number of healthcare institutions and IT vendors to do this, one of which is athenahealth,” Armbrester wrote. “For our clients, this means that their patients will have an easy way to access their health information, including things like allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, and vitals. Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated. This is another important proof point of how athenahealth is opening up its network to enhance information liquidity across the healthcare ecosystem.”

In addition to the mobile apps, athenahealth has also been working on a machine learning component to speed up administrative tasks for its users. The company will be displaying how their product can process documents and coding, and manage authorizations and scheduling. 

athenahealth will be at The Venetian, Palazzo G at Booth 119 at HIMSS 2018 in Las Vegas from March 5th through 9th.