Free EHR for handheld devices in beta testing phase

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Leveraging the growing trend of handheld device use by physicians and healthcare professionals, electronic medical records (EMR) vendor Practice Fusion recently announced that its mobile medical informatics system for tablet PCs and smartphone devices is in the beta testing stage, according to Information Week.

The clinical informatics application, which will be available for Android and iOS-enabled devices, is in a private beta testing phase. Physicians using the app will be able to refill prescriptions, analyze test results, and send and receive secure messages to and from patients. The application will be free of charge, similar to Practice Fusion’s core EMR product. The e-prescribing functionality allows physicians access to a network of more than 60,000 pharmacies.

Ryan Howard, chief executive officer of Practice Fusion, told the news source that a “mobile light” version of the software will be available next month, with a full public release of the application expected next year. The product will target small and mid-sized physician practices that may not have access to the healthcare IT infrastructure investment budget of larger healthcare facilities.

“The expectation is really to redefine EMR,” Howard told the news source. He added that small physician offices account for more than 80 percent of the ambulatory EMR market, a potential user base of more than two million doctors and healthcare professionals.

According to Practice Fusion’s official website, the medical informatics software is fully compliant with both the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use financial incentives. The secure messaging functionality of the clinical informatics software is also optimized according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulatory guidelines.