Former Allscripts CEO starts new chapter

Former executives Glen Tullman and Lee Shapiro set their sights on building new company

After 15 years at the helm of Allscripts, the EHR vendor he helped steer through years of growth and change, Glen Tullman is poised to join the ranks of serial entrepreneurs. He and Allscripts colleague Lee Shapiro, who served as president, have set their sights on starting a new company – or maybe multiple companies – in the mobile healthcare arena.

"We’re looking at what’s next – what’s coming in healthcare, and we have some ideas on where we think we’re going," Tullman told Healthcare IT News.

"What we’re going to do," he said, "is focus on where we think the puck is going to be, not on where it is today. So what are the big problems in healthcare? Chronic disease management is one area that’s of great interest to us. How you get broader distribution of apps, that’s another area of interest to us. How you better manage risk, that of interest to us."

As he usually does, Tullman attended the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, but the experience was different for him this year.

"It’s the first time in 15 years that I really got a chance to walk the floor," he said. "Most of the time I was secluded, selling, and this time I was actually out shopping."

[See also: Why haven't EHRs made us healthier?.]

He and Shapiro are shopping for the next big thing in healthcare, for companies to buy, while also thinking of companies to start from scratch. They are refining their plans and expect to make an announcement no later than the fall of 2013 – likely sooner, Tullman said. "We will in fact be in the healthcare space. We won’t be competitive to Allscripts. So you don't have to worry about a Glen and Lee’s new fabulous electronic health record coming out.”

Tullman resigned from Allscripts Dec. 20, 2012 after months of turmoil within the company, with stock prices falling and speculation about the sale of the company. The division among board members became public on April 25, 2012, when the board fired its chairman and three board members quit in protest. Paul Black, former COO at Cerner, and an Allscripts board member, took the reins.

[See also: Tullman out at Allscripts, Black in.]

Today, Tullman speaks positively of the company he helped build.

"Allscripts is a great company," he said. "When we joined the company it was $30 million in revenue, losing $14 million and had about 100 employees. When we left, it was $1.4 billion, 7,000 employees, making upwards of $200 million. So, we had a great run there. Most important, I think we made a difference in healthcare, and we made a difference in may of the communities we operated in."

"We knew when we started Allscripts with electronic prescribing that we were saving lives, and we could calculate for physicians who were using electronic prescribing, there were less errors and less deaths than for those who did not," Tullman said.

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