Med at work

Occupational health EHR modules often have to focus on the “things you just don’t find in your typical clinical system.”

FORT WAYNE, IN – "If you're not unbelievably busy in health IT these days, you're doing something wrong," says Jeff Donnell, president of NoMoreClipboard, the personal health record subsidiary of EHR vendor Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE).

Those words are true, of course, even if one's firm is "only" focused on getting physician practices up and running with EHRs and helping them qualify for Stages 1 and 2 meaningful use incentives.

MIE is doing that. Its Web-based EHR technology has helped medical practices and health clinics across the country attest to MU and get big stimulus checks. But for the past several years it's also focused its energies on a sector that doesn't much care about meaningful use: outfitting employee clinics and occupational health capabilities at companies such as Dow, Google, Disney, Chevron, Xerox and more.

What started as a pilot project with Dow back in 2005, has "frankly become the biggest growth engine for our entire organization," says Donnell.

The clinics at these corporate behemoths have very different needs from a typical two-doc shot looking to implement their first EHR system, he says. "Some of these organizations are being far more aggressive, not only in terms of what they're doing, the timetable on which they're deploying solutions, than what you're seeing in healthcare."

Most EHR developers are focused on meaningful use and dealing with demands around ACOs, and are "understandably focused on making that happen," says Donnell.

Those preoccupations can mean they don't necessarily have the "occhealth" modules and functionality employers need to manage employee populations. On the other hand, many vendors geared toward the occupational health and safety realm, "tend to lack the clinical and patient engagement" MIE and NoMoreClipboard feature in their configurable, SaaS-based technologies.

If these clinics aren't necessarily interested in meaningful use required from a stimulus check point of view, many are when it comes to tracking quality.

"They don't apply for meaningful use, but they'll want to know where they stand, relative to the industry and best practices," says MIE's president and CEO, Bruce Lisanti. "We'll often run the information for them, and on their screens they can have a meaningful use calculator that shows where they are, relative to the different requirements."

Beyond basic clinical EHR functionality, occhealth modules could include everything from travel management related to medications and immunizations for foreign trips to OSHA regulations with regard to hearing and pulmonary functions, to more esoteric realms, such as requirements pertaining to pharmaceutical companies that may deal with lab rats and monkeys. Suffice it to say, it’s the "things you just don't find in your typical clinical system," says Donnell.