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Most Interesting Vendor 2012: Greenway Medical

June 21, 2012
by John DeGaspari
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A flexible approach and a long-term partnership with its customers are the foundation of this vendor’s strategy

Greenway Medical Technologies Inc. has built a solid reputation based on identifying a market niche and serving its customers well. From day one, its focus has been trained squarely on the ambulatory market, with a broad range of solution sets and services.

“We offer a lot of products and services, but ultimately, customers understand that when they come on board with us, that as things change, we too are going to change our product mix and services to get them ready for what’s next in healthcare,” says Greg Schulenberg, chief operating officer of the Carrolton, Ga.-based software provider.

Greenway’s product and service offerings cover plenty of bases. PrimeSuite, the company’s flagship offering, comprises an integrated EHR and practice management solution, but the company’s expanding portfolio also includes solutions for data exchange, revenue cycle management, mobile computing, patient portal, clinical research, imaging, and dictation.

Moreover, part of the company’s philosophy has been to serve up its solution sets in any form that the customer prefers. Late last year the company added a cloud platform to its offering, with applications around analytics, care coordination, and quality. “We want the customer to have the toolset, and we will offer it in any medium that exists,” Schulenberg says.

Keeping Pace with Growth
The company’s philosophy has paid off, with 30-percent year-over-year growth, according to Schulenberg. Asked whether he has concerns about the company’s ability to maintain its loyal customer base, he says that the company’s solution set, services, and interoperability will continue to evolve and keep pace with the company’s growth. “We believe wholeheartedly that our solution set has to continue to evolve, our services have to continue to evolve, and our interoperability has to continue to evolve. If anything, we have to be better tomorrow than we are today, because we do have more customers and they are coming to us at a faster clip,” he says.

Greg Schulenberg

Schulenberg believes the ambulatory physician stands at the genesis of healthcare. “The physician sees the patient, refers the patient to the hospital, and does follow-up care with the patient. So the ambulatory physician is at the epicenter of healthcare, and every initiative out there is focused on the ambulatory physician,” he says.

He sees Greenway’s responsibility as going beyond supporting its customers every day, to helping them keep up with long-term healthcare trends, including accountable care and patient-centered medical homes. “At Greenway we look at this as a very natural movement,” he says. “We have customers that are forming patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations using Greenway services and software, and working toward certifications on many levels.”

A View from the Trenches
Alpine Urology PC, a four-physician practice in Colorado, installed Greenway PrimeSUITE in July 2010 to replace an electronic medical record package from another company. Part of the reason for choosing PrimeSUITE was the comprehensiveness of the offering, according to Bill Carlton, Alpine’s practice administrator.

Alpine uses Greenway software to update lab results to the physicians. “When we pull it up, it’s like an inbox, separated by physician. The lab results that are outside the normal range appear in red, Carlton says. The information is fed directly into the electronic medical record, he says.

Asked how Alpine’s physicians have benefitted from the Greenway software, Carlton points to the immediacy and accessibility of the information. “As soon as they do their note, it’s accessible to other physicians who are on call during the weekend or evenings,” he says. Prescribed medications are filed electronically and easily tracked to the pharmacy that filled the order, he says.

David Willis, M.D., is a family practice physician in Ocala, Fla. and medical director of the Healthy Ocala health information exchange, as well as the current president of the Marion County Medical Society. Willis has been using Greenway’s PrimeSUITE solution package, which includes an integrated EHRs and practice management feature, for about two years. He has gradually been expanding into other solutions as well.

In his experience, the solution packages are both robust and flexible. Seamless interoperability of the integrated solutions, with Greenway acting as a central information hub, is a key advantage, he says.

One valuable feature of the product line is a strong template system, Willis says. “You can create a lot of discrete data points and put in information about your encounter, and there are tools where you can actually build your own templates,” he says. He adds that there is an extensive free library to do that, and that templates are sharable between practices.

Willis has recently expanded his user portfolio with Greenway’s research solution, which has enabled his practice to participate in clinical trials, which led to his participation in an osteoarthritis study of the knee. When he expressed interest in the study, he was contacted by the sponsors, through Greenway, with the chart numbers of potential candidates. Willis contacted the patients and explained the study to them so they could make the decision to participate. Greenway “processes the information from the research agency and there is very little I have to do,” he says.

In January Willis used Greenway’s Meaningful Use Dashboard to achieve Stage 1 attestation. “It teaches you to document correctly so the system will capture the measure point. If I see that I am short on a measure, I can drill down to get to the actual patient and update the information,” he says. After three months of reporting, the actual attestation process took just 27 minutes, he says.

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