South Florida Hospital News
Sunday August 25, 2019
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February 2009 - Volume 5 - Issue 8

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IOS Health Systems Ready to Help Physicians Convert to Electronic Health Records

Moving health care information fully into the electronic age is a priority of the new administration in Washington.

Over the next five years, President Obama is proposing to spend $50 billion to develop and install e-health care systems nationwide, in an effort to cut costs and improve the quality of care.

This bodes well for companies like IOS Health Systems. Headquartered in Miami, IOS is a leading innovator of electronic health records (EHR) and practice management systems that takes a "revolutionary approach," says President Andrew Carricarte.

"Our system is the easiest to use and implement on the market," states Carricarte. "We leverage the power of Web-based technologies with a completely adaptable system that’s oriented toward physician adoption, supported by strong service, and totally affordable."

Obama’s infusion of funds will dramatically step up the work on EHRs that the Bush Administration began. President Bush’s goal was to automate the majority of patient records by 2014, but his progress was severely hampered by a limited budget.

"We’re looking at a leap in spending –from $125 million to $10 billion a year – to foster this initiative," says Michael Kesti, an expert in government health care issues and funding. "Sixteen percent of the country’s GDP is now devoted to health care; over the next eight years, this is expected to grow to 20 percent or more, " he adds. "We need to explore ways to decrease and control spending, and EHRs are a viable option."

To date, it’s estimated that 18 percent of group practices, and perhaps five percent of independent practices, in the United States have converted from paper to computerized records. In South Florida, the adoption rate for physicians is believed to be about 11 percent.

Carricarte and others in the industry agree that the complexity, expense, and labor involved with traditional systems have kept many doctors from coming on board. But, IOS has positioned itself to answer these concerns.

"Information technology is not physicians’ core business, so we make it extremely easy for them through our ‘plug and play’ environment," says Carricarte.

According to Carricarte, most other systems – up to 98 percent – are built on inflexible platforms and outdated software models. IOS, however, is different. "It’s like comparing a 1980s house phone with a cord to today’s iPhone," says Carricarte. "We’re very visual, very intuitive, and we welcome the opportunity to integrate with just about any one."

IOS also simplifies the transition to EHRs by adapting to what practices already have in place, from Bluetooth technology, to voice recognition and electronic templates. "We don’t completely change what offices are used to," notes Carricarte. "We improve it and enhance it with practical technology."

Because IOS is 100 percent Web-based, physicians can communicate from their office or home; through the system’s patient portal, they can communicate with their patients as well. IOS’s Web technology also spares doctors the typically high, upfront expense of servers and hardware.

Additionally, IOS’s costs and time frames are dramatically lower than most other companies. "Some companies charge up to $40,000, and take 16 to 18 weeks, just to get established," says Carricarte. "Our fees are as low as $399.95 a month, and once we understand what the practice wants, we can have a system up and running in a week."

Pedro Jose Greer Jr., M.D., assistant dean of academic affairs at the FIU College of Medicine, agrees that IOS is easy to work with. The company also delivers exceptional service, he says. "We’ve dealt with other electronic medical record companies, and have not had positive experiences. With IOS, the system was tailored toward our needs, and everything – from implementing to using the system – was simple."

Another key advantage of IOS is its integration capabilities. Currently, it’s the only system in South Florida that is able to link physicians with hospitals. It can also connect physicians with labs, including Quest and Labcorp, two of the largest in the United States; a variety of insurers; and 95 percent of the country’s pharmacies.

This interconnectivity provides access to the latest patient information, while helping to prevent medical errors and costly duplication, affirms Mark Price, president and CEO of My Home Doctor. "We can get patient records from the WEB, and send and receive them via email to physicians, hospitals, clinics, labs, and other providers who use IOS," says Price. "Physicians can also receive updated patients’ files from their iPhones, PDAs, or laptops, and treat their patients at home, or send the files to other physicians or the ER, for example."

One critical concern with e-health care systems is the privacy of patient information. IOS has met this concern with a number of safeguards, including restricted user roles, multiple passwords, and encryption levels that match that of the financial industry. It also has three sites that operate concurrently, ensuring that patient files are protected in the event of disaster. Further, IOS complies fully with HIPAA guidelines for patient confidentiality.

Achieving a safe, standardized, and integrated e-health care system is an ambitious undertaking. Yet, health care professionals agree that it’s essential. "An EHR system that links providers nationwide –one with IOS’s capabilities – is ideal for us, as we see patients from around the country," says Rolando D. Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Jackson Memorial Foundation. "Not having patients’ records significantly slows our treating them."

A recent study by the Rand Corporation shows that EHRs could save thousands of lives annually, and reduce health care expenses by $80 billion a year. Carricarte concurs that e-health care systems will bring better, more cost-effective care. In order for them to truly succeed, he adds, doctors’ needs must be met as well.

"The technology has to be physician-oriented, easy-to-use, and adaptive," he says. "Most importantly, it has to be backed by a strong service model that supports the practice before, during, and after the transition."

For more information on IOS Health Systems, call (877) 467-1467 or e-mail at info@ioshealthsystems.com. You may also visit the IOS website at www.ioshealthsystems.com.
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