Athenahealth to show new tech to ease burden on doctors at HIMSS18

CEO Jonathan Bush said the goal is to remove the grunt work doctors neither want nor are schooled to perform.
By Bernie Monegain
08:13 AM
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athenahealth EHR doctor burnout

At HIMSS18, athenahealth will be demonstrating new offerings designed to address a range of pain points physicians face today.

The company will introduce a new provider-facing mobile app, for instance, that it bills as untethering providers from their desktops and enhances connectivity across the healthcare ecosystem. “This goes so much further than the average ‘virtual assistant’ in healthcare," athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush said. 

Bush added that the goal is to take away the grunt work doctors often have to do – such as dealing with claims, faxes, document services, denials, authorization management – and more.

As Bush sees it, that’s work that no physician really wants to do or has been schooled to do. Moreover, it’s work that most contributes to the industry’s growing burnout epidemic.

The past year turned out to be an interesting one for athenahealth, which was forced to tighten its belt, layoff staffers and shutter some locations while an activist investor acquired nearly 10 percent of the company’s stock.

During the time, Bush noted, athenahealth has transitioned to an agile development culture – putting in place methodology designed to foster a more fluid approach to product development and innovation.

Bush said athenahealth has also made headway with its efforts to free providers to focus on what matters most.

“Instead of annual assessments, tactical plans are reviewed in 1-2 week increments, allowing us to work faster, course-correct quickly, and show regular, demonstrable progress,” he explained. “Our clients reap the benefits of this approach as we continue to open up our network, build connectivity, and work toward a platform experience that has never existed before in healthcare.”

In addition to the technologies, athenahealth will be showing at its booth, Bush is scheduled to participate alongside Jefferson Health CEO Stephen Klasko, MD in a session titled “Physician Engagement as a Catalyst for Clinical and Financial Improvement,” set for Thursday, March 8, at 4 p.m. in the Venetian Palazzo G.

Athenahealth is in Booth 119. 

HIMSS18 Preview

An inside look at the innovation, education, technology, networking and key events at the HIMSS18 global conference in Las Vegas.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com