Wal-Mart EMR debuts in Virginia, Illinois and Georgia

By Molly Merrill
10:57 AM

Wal-Mart has officially launched itself into the electronic medical records market in Virginia, Illinois and Georgia, where it has begun to sell the eClinicalWorks EMR online through its Sam’s Club subsidiary. The new distribution model is the result of a collaboration among eClinicalWorks, Dell and Sam’s Club.

The EMR package, which will be offered to practices with one to three providers, is anticipated to be available to physicians nationwide this year. The package will include EMR and practice management software and hardware at $25,000 for the first provider and up to $10,000 for each additional provider.

"We have thousands of members in the medical field today that buy products and services at Sam's Club to help them run their businesses and they tell us that cost is a significant barrier to adopting EMR's," said Charles Redfield, senior vice president at Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  "Over the past year of our partnership, we developed a solution that is easy to use, affordable and will help them do a better job of taking care of their patients' needs."

eClinicalWorks (eCW) will provide its software through a "Software-as-a-Service" (SaaS) model, enabling physicians to access the system via a secure Internet connection. eCW will also provide physicians with 12 weeks of project management, data center support, e-prescribing integration, comprehensive primary care and specialty specific templates with decision support, five days of onsite training by its staff, free unlimited online Webinars and its software support for this first year.

"eClinicalWorks has a proven track record of deploying a full-functioning EMR/PM system successfully, quickly and at an affordable price point," said Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. "Through this partnership, we are helping reduce the cost of healthcare by offering our versatile software, complete with clinical decision support functionality, to aid providers in giving the best medical care possible. Working with Dell makes it even easier for practices to take advantage of the system. Initiatives like this, along with President Obama's support of electronic medical records, could be the catalyst to wide-spread EMR adoption."

The package hardware components include three Dell OptiPlex desktops, one Latitude XT convertible tablet, one fax server and one laser printer and applicable switches. Dell will provide the necessary hardware and site assessment, onsite technical set-up and training as well as integration of the eClinicalWorks software with the operating system, along with hardware warranty support.

"Cost and complexity have been the primary barriers to EMR adoption," said James Coffin, vice president of Dell's Healthcare and Life Sciences business. "Partnering with eClinicalWorks and Sam's Club, we are addressing both by providing an EMR solution that is easy to purchase, easy to implement and easy to manage so that healthcare providers spend less time on administration and more time serving patients."

'I am pleased that Sam's Club is working with the Virginia Department of Health to build in the ability for this system to share immunization data and mandated disease reporting with the Department," added Karen Remley, Virginia's commissioner of Health.  "These voluntary features will improve childhood immunization rates and simplify reporting of certain diseases as required by law.  At a time when health needs in our communities are increasing and resources are under pressure, electronic health records and advances in health IT have enormous potential to improve the quality of public healthcare."