Veteran ambulatory software vendor eClinicalWorks is moving into the U.S. acute care hospital market by offering a cloud-based inpatient hospital information system.

The company is joining ambulatory competitors Athenahealth, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems and Allscripts, which have decided to expand offerings to inpatient endeavors.

South Carolina-based Tidelands Health—with Waccamaw Community Hospital, Georgetown Memorial Hospital and a rehabilitation hospital within Waccamaw—is the pilot site, with the plan to have all three live during the first half of 2017, says Sameer Bhat, vice president and co-founder of eClinicalWorks.

Sameer Bhat
Sameer Bhat

However, eClinicalWorks started its inpatient effort three years ago in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa, and now has the technology in about 80 overseas hospitals. For the past 18 months, the vendor has been building its inpatient system for installation in the U.S.

Customer requests for the company to create a cloud-based, unified ambulatory and acute care platform spurred the move into the inpatient market, Bhat says. The company learned that clients wanted “one engine that runs their hospital,” he added. Presently, about eight clients have indicated a “serious commitment” to get the unified platform, he adds.

There is no limit on the size of hospitals that could get the platform because it is scalable, Bhat notes. Most candidates now operate fewer than 300 beds, “but that doesn’t necessarily mean we will not start working with a larger hospital system.”

The major lesson eClinicalWorks learned overseas and talking with clients has been the need for a platform that will support any device on any operating system, he adds.

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