Wow, will wonders never cease: Allscripts suddenly heard about ARRA (it's been a well-kept secret, huh?), and started looking for an acute-care EHR to buy and sell with their solid ambulatory EHR product. Allscripts couldn't afford Cerner, Siemens & McKesson are also too big, and Francisco Partners beat them to QuadraMed. So I guess that left Eclipsys.

Truth is, they're a bit late to catch the "feeding frenzy" for ARRA stimulus dollars. Our consulting firm does primarily systems selection and contract negotiations and our business nearly doubled last year as hospital after hospital called us for help in buying an EMR. Even small Critical Access Hospitals under 25 beds caught the bug (no IT pun intended) and went shopping for blue light specials (Wal-Mart does sell eClinicalWorks, ya know). This year, the buying market is still hot, but, just like Y2K, this boom will bust in a year or two, which is about how long it will take the two firm's techies to figure out each other's data bases, programming languages and operating systems.

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