Athenahealth hires PatientKeeper CEO as chief product officer

Paul Brient, who led the EHR optimization company for 17 years, will be in charge of product strategy and building out athenahealth's clinical network services.
By Mike Miliard
11:31 AM

Cloud-based IT vendor athenahealth announced Sept. 5 that longtime PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient will be its new chief product officer.

WHY IT MATTERS
As athenahealth continues charting a new course forward following a tumultuous past few years, it will be looking to Brient, who has more than 25 years of experience with a variety of healthcare technologies, with an emphasis on physician experience,

This includes 17 years at PatientKeeper, which was acquired by HCA in 2014, where he built the company from a startup and led the company's development of an array of physician-facing applications, EHR optimization tools, CPOE technology, provider portals and more.

His deep experience with physician workflow, practice automation, payer-based medical management, pharma-based disease management and medical devices will be an asset to Watertown, Massachusetts-based athenahealth, the company said, as he helps shape the company's product roadmap and continue to build out its network-enabled services for practices and hospitals.

Before PatientKeeper, Brient held senior positions at companies such as McKesson, HPR and The Boston Consulting Group.

"I watched (athenahealth) as it pioneered new solutions to truly help practitioners spend more time on patient care, and less time and frustration dealing with technology."

Paul Brient

THE LARGER TREND
Since Veritas Capital finalized its $5.7 billion acquisition of athenahealth earlier this year, the company has made several C-suite hires, including Bill Conway, who rejoined athenahealth as chief sales officer after a year-plus stint at American Well, and Simon Mouyal who was hired as chief marketing officer after serving as CMO at Medidata Solutions.

As healthcare grapples with the challenges of physician burnout, Brient's role in product development will surely be focused on creating and optimizing tools that improve the clinical experience for ambulatory and inpatient physicians.

ON THE RECORD
"I have long admired and respected athenahealth as a leader in healthcare IT," said Brient, in a statement. "I watched the organization as it pioneered new solutions to truly help practitioners spend more time on patient care, and less time and frustration dealing with technology."

"At the helm of PatientKeeper, Paul focused on creating solutions that enhance physician workflows and EHR investments," added Bob Segert, chairman and CEO of athenahealth. "He knows our customers just as well as we do, and we share a similar vision and philosophy."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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