HIMSS10 – Covisint

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Eric Fishman, MD speaks to Brett Furst, Vice President of Healthcare for Covisint. Mr. Furst discusses Covisint’s web-based ‘cloud computing’ services. Covisint provides one uniform platform as a service to merge different applications within the ‘cloud’ to enhance interoperability and messaging of information pertinent to healthcare. Mr. Furst explains how Covisint’s ‘app cloud’ can help physicians assess lab data, disease registries, radiology/imaging, and other personal health information data. In addition, Covisint’s platform is also useful to health system administrators, with capabilities to capture data for revenue cycle management, as one example.  Dr. Fishman and Mr. Furst also talk about Covisint’s recent partnerships with the AMA and AT&T. With these partnerships, Covisint’s platform as a service will assist both the AMA and AT&T promote Health IT and their individual products/services.

Category: Featured, HIMSS10, Tradeshows
Date: March 23, 2010
Views:6,487 views

Dr. Eric Fishman: This is Dr. Eric Fishman for EHRtv and we're speaking with Brett Furst, Vice-President of Health Care for Covisint. Covisint has done a wonderful job in getting a platform that will allow physicians all across the country to utilize software in a meaningfully less expensive fashion by using cloud computing and you've just recently inked a deal with the AMA that allows a number of different EMR products to be in the cloud, as I'll call it and that's based on your platform. If you could discuss that a little bit, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.

Brett Furst: Sure. With AT & T and AMA for that matter, the service that we're delivering is helping physicians with choice. Our belief and our client's belief is that you're not going to have a traditional client server kind of approach where practices are going to be buying software and implementing it. It's going to be delivered through the web, through the cloud. What that does poses a few problems. Problems like number of sign-on's as I get all these different apps, the ability to get the information sharing between the disparate apps. So what Covisint has done with customers like AT & T is provide one uniform solution that physicians can easily adopt technology, see their data being passed between those different types of applications that they choose and also provide the metering and the auditing for Meaningful Use so they can see the outcomes and utilization taking place.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I thank you, Brett. I've routinely said that small practices - 1 doctor, 5 doctors, 10 doctors absolutely, they positively should use software as a service. What is your opinion about larger practices, the 50 doctor practice, the 100 doctor practice?

Brett Furst: The thriving market for the AMA is certainly that three to five doc office but for AT & T and in the larger practices, the IPA's even, the solution there is that they still are going to be forced to share information with other institutions, other physicians that might not be within their practice. What that does is it lends itself already to be using a cloud as far as for interoperability and messaging.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Let me differentiate. Certainly an IPA, you've got 100, 200 physicians but they're in disparate locations, cloud computing's perfect. If you have a physical location, 100 doctors, do you think that client server is a viable option or is it your opinion and doctors that all practices should be in the cloud at this point and time?

Brett Furst: I think there's really a hybrid. Our model is if you made an investment in a practice management system keep it. Or, God forbid, an EMR then great, let's utilize it right? But still there's going to be solutions that might be e-prescribing, disease registries, things that you're going to want to interact with through the cloud that poses that problem of interoperability which we focus on.

Dr. Eric Fishman: You said there will be a variety of apps sort of almost like the iPhone store, the app store. Tell me the variety of product styles that will be there.

Brett Furst: Labs, disease management and registries, radiology, imaging and actually what's very interesting, it's not just clinicals or administrative. . Streamline opportunities around eligibility, revenue cycle management and then actually in our app (unintelligible) solution we also have content providers -(inaudible) Henry Schein folks that bring this rich environment and so if you take like the AMA solution, they're wrappering their 170 year history of search and JAMA and content to provide a really rich experience for those physicians that choose to adopt.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Thank you, Brett. Can you describe a little bit more for the viewers the relationship you have with the AMA? What does it entail?

Brett Furst: Basically, we are the platform of the service model. We're the service, the underpinnings underneath the AMA brand. Then what they're doing is providing a full solution suite for the practices that's based on our technology but it's with their content and brand as I've mentioned. So they actually address the physician not only as the clinician but as they business owner that they are and also as the student that they are. So things like how to start a practice and procurement opportunities.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I read that book when I started my practice.

Brett Furst: Sure. So they're providing a more holistic experience, not only for the physician but also really targeting the administrators and the staff that practice as well. The whole point of it is and what's risk in all of this is adoption. If the physicians don't adopt it and utilize it that’s where these solutions are to fail. They're providing a more holistic approach so hopefully that will drive adoption, which I can see it already, as more commensurate with what the physicians have to deal with everyday as a business owner and as a clinician.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Very interesting. You have a relationship with AT & T as part of this process. Explain how they come in.

Brett Furst: AT &T has really two great target market segments. One is at a state-wide backbone level. The ARRA funds they just released for most of the states, they have a unique position of being that broadband connectivity. What they're doing with Covisint is leveraging our infrastructure providing the axis of movement of PHI information, vetting of credentials of physicians, movement and interoperability between EMRs and practice management systems. We're sitting on top of that broadband connectivity which is a great, great platform. Then, making it extensible to things like telehealth, mobility and also finally leveraging their relationship with hospitals where they also provide a lot of broadband connectivity as well. What AT &T announced is what they call "HealthCare Communities Online " and that has been bringing and convening together of those different ecosystems as we like to refer to them where you can bring telehealth in with health systems and interact (unintelligible) at a backbone level so we can start exposing important information around community health, surveillance, pandemic response, you name it.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I love it when somebody is excited about this industry as I am. Thank you. Are you aware of some of the companies? I was speaking with Ingenix yesterday, and they said that they have a relationship with the AMA and it's seems like it's part of this system that you're putting together. Do you know some of the others that are involved in that?

Brett Furst: DrFirst, Allscripts, Henry Schein, ((unintelligible) e-MD, LifePoint, Quest…

Dr. Eric Fishman: Quite a number.

Brett Furst: Yes. Think of the iPhone. It's a great platform but it's the app store that really makes it, right?

Dr. Eric Fishman: Of course.

Brett Furst: What we've done is our platform, Covisint, has added app cloud which allows for that again to be in the best of (unintelligible) vendors and then partners the solution so hopefully we're going to expedite health IT adoption and make it easier for brands like AMA and AT & T to get a foot in the game.

Dr. Eric Fishman: What is your name for that cloud? You've got a specific name for it.

Brett Furst: AppCloud.

Dr. Eric Fishman: You call it the AppCloud?

Brett Furst: It's Covisint's AppCloud. It's our trademark solution.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Now Covisint is part of Compu-ware. If you could describe Compu-ware as a company that would be helpful.

Brett Furst: This is great for us. Compu-Ware acquired us in 2004. Compu-ware is the ninth largest software company in the company. What they focus on and they're world class in is monitoring application availability. So now think, as we talk about eco-systems that we're powering, what we're able to do is take tools like Vantage and Gomez, world-leading solutions that monitor over the web application availability. So what we're doing is we're empowering states and large eco-systems and not only are we providing a network where you can provide interoperability and connectivity, we're giving you tools to survey the landscape. Is this application up, is this lab available, is the latency of data being provided by this payer starting to degregate. It's a full, again, platform has a service approach.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I think I touched on about two percent on what it is you might be interested in telling us, so keep going.

Brett Furst: What's interesting for us is that we often get confused with applications. If I can give an analogy, you're going to have CNN before you have Comcast Cable. So we're that cable company. You've got to have base cable in place so that you can give these vendors at the show the opportunity to plant themselves, expose their solutions and what we handle is the movement of data to and from which is right dead square in the cross hairs of where Meaningful Use is heading. We feel like we're uniquely positioned, we feel we've got a story to tell, a value proposition and because we've made about a $300 million investment in that platform that we're using to accomplish all this, I'm mitigating risk and I'm lowering the cost of entry for those solution providers that want to take advantage.

Dr. Eric Fishman: It's wonderful. So as a physician, I may be interested, I've got a one doctor office, I want to buy an EMR would I contact the AMA and they would tell me which different specific brand name products are available?

Brett Furst: Absolutely. They have a whole bundling approach that makes it very easy for physicians and even ranked by discipline; a cardiologist versus maybe an internal medicine. You know, by discipline on bringing a suite of solutions together that makes it very easy to adopt and start utilizing day one.

Dr. Eric Fishman: How recently has this service of the AMA been available?

Brett Furst: We've been actually in what we call soft launch beta for about the last nine months but now we're going to national launch in April where tens of thousands of physicians are being targeted day one and then a more retail store front approach across the country later.

Dr. Eric Fishman: You said April and you said day one. Is this an April Fool's joke?

Brett Furst: No, no, not April 1. Nobody launches software on April 1.

Dr. Eric Fishman: I know, I know. Brett, it's been a pleasure.

Brett Furst: Thank you, thank you.

Dr. Eric Fishman: This is Dr. Eric Fishman. We've speaking with Brett Furst, Vice-President of Health Care for Covisint. Thank you.

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