New Orleans at MGMA 2010, Dr. Eric Fishman speaking with Evan Steele, CEO of SRS Soft.
Eric Fishman: This is Dr. Eric Fishman for EHR TV and we are in New Orleans at MGMA 2010, and I have the pleasure right now of speaking with Evan Steele, CEO of SRS Soft. Evan, thank you very much for spending a few minutes with us. SRS has a wide variety of clients and if you could just tell us briefly about them and then I am going to speak with you about certification issues for a few moments as well.
Evan Steele: SRS focuses on typically the high volume, high performance specialist market – orthopedics, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology – the practices where productivity in the exam room is key; and it has been on market for the last 13 years since I started the company in 1997 with my brother who is an ophthalmologist, and it still remains our focus – highly productive, high volume practice.
Eric Fishman: You consider yourself a little bit of an efficiency expert and you really look to see how many clicks, and not only how many clicks it takes something to do but we have discussed in the past how far you have to move the mouse to make that click.
Evan Steele: Correct. Time in the exam room to us is hallowed ground. From a business perspective, time in the exam room generates all revenues for a physician, whether its procedures, surgeries, ancillary tests, labs. So, we just focus on the exam room and the clinical areas and make sure that they are as efficient as can possibly be because as you know, the larger trends in healthcare are declining reimbursements and increasing costs. So, the business of medicine is becoming a much lower margin, high volume business. So, our goal is to accommodate the needs of physicians to manage their productivity on the revenue side so they can maximize revenue and manage their costs on the cost side so they can maintain their incomes.
Eric Fishman: Very true, very true. Let’s now segway if we could into a certification – a subject very dear to your heart. If you can tell us about your thoughts on certification in the past, present and maybe in the future.
Evan Steele: Unfortunately, certification for the specialty groups that we service so well is very primary care focused if you read the meaningful use…
Eric Fishman: 800 and some pages…
Evan Steele: …800 and some pages, many of which I read – I haven’t read all of them – but it has a very, very sharp primary care focus. In fact, a new committee has been formed to our review stage 2 meaningful use and there are 24 people on the committee, 18 of which are doctors and there is no surgical specialist on that committee. So, it’s very clear that it’s a primary care program, not as applicable to the specialty practices like ophthalmology and orthopedics and dermatology.
Eric Fishman: And then regional extension centers are aimed also at small primary care practices. Clearly, there is a government initiative in that direction more so than for specialties.
Evan Steele: Correct. And right in the mission statement of The Rx it says “to service 100,000 primary care practices, mostly in the rural areas.”
Eric Fishman: Evan, obviously there is a tremendous amount of momentum nationwide for physicians to be eligible for stimulus finding. In order to do so, so they need to be using a certified product. Now, you have gone on record in the past indicating that efficiency in the examining room is paramount in your opinion and more important than certification for your clients; and while that may be true, is it possible to have efficiency in the office examining room plus certification? Is that something that you are thinking about?
Evan Steele: Yeah. So, I am actually going to get certified in 2011 to address the concerns of our clients that while they are looking for productivity, they are uncertain about the future and they are not sure about other payers or the government or how they are going to handle meaningful use going forward. So, we have made a strategic decision to provide meaningful use certification in our software. So, if our clients decide at some time in the future to go down that path, they will be able to.
Eric Fishman: Very good and an interesting change from your perspective as I understand it. As I understand it, there are three certifying bodies at this point in time – CCHIT, InfoGuard, and Drummond. Have you made a decision as to which of those that you be utilizing and, if so, why?
Evan Steele: We haven’t decided yet.
Eric Fishman: Okay. Evan, I understand that you recently had very large implementation. If you can tell us about that briefly.
Evan Steele: There is a group out in Illinois, in Chicago Illinois; it’s a 242-provider orthopedic group. It’s called Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. We had a pilot program with 150 users and 14 providers, it was a smashing success, and just recently we signed the contract and announced it in the press.
Eric Fishman: That’s your largest installation, I believe.
Evan Steele: Up to now, yes, that’s our largest implementation with 242 providers.
Eric Fishman: Congratulations.
Evan Steele: Thank you.
Eric Fishman: This is Eric Fishman for EHR TV. We had the pleasure of speaking with Evan Steele, CEO of SRS. Thank you.