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IT vendors join forces to help urgent care centers, hospital EDs

While urgent care centers are focused on providing a quick and effective alternative to the hospital emergency room, sometimes the technology required to manage the facility fails to measure up.

CareCloud, a Miami-based provider of practice management solutions, is targeting that problem through a recent deal that will integrate its cloud-based technology with an electronic medical record from Xpress Technologies. The combined EMR-PM will be marketed to urgent care centers as well as hospital emergency departments, where financial technology often takes a back seat to clinical care.

“Medical staff at urgent care facilities need reliable, easy-to-use software solutions so that they can focus on treating patients,” said Albert Santalo, CareCloud’s CEO. “In general, doctors and nurses shouldn’t have to worry about antiquated or badly designed software programs slowing them down. Even more important to busy practices, there is a dire need for solutions that can keep up with their users. Together, CareCloud and Xpress Technologies do just that.”

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Santalo said the new offering will target urgent care centers because they’re a hot commodity, offering critical care services at a fraction of the cost of hospital ERs (while also relieving hospitals of some of the burden faced by overstressed ERs). Many integrated healthcare networks are bringing standalone centers into the fold or establishing new locations, he said, and finding difficulty in coordinating clinical and administrative services on one platform.

“People have traditionally thought of practice management as billing – there’s much more than that,” said Santalo. “There’s bringing in new patients and scheduling, marketing. Even medical records is an extension. And because so many (integrated healthcare networks) are decentralized, the need for cloud-based technology is obvious.”

Santalo said the combined platform allows urgent care staff to manage patient records while focusing on providing care, then move easily to billing through CareCloud’s revenue management feature. The combined solutions includes e-prescribing, insurance verification, patient tracking, billing, payment processing and portal management. Key metrics and analytics also help the facility chart and improve revenue streams.

“Clunky, old-fashioned practices create a huge administrative burden for staff and make patients highly unsatisfied with their healthcare experience,” said Ralph Badanowski, CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Xpress Technologies, which launched in 1984 with a focus on providing EMR solutions for the emergency department. “Combining our leading EMR solution with CareCloud’s practice management technology, we now have an even more powerful solution for emergency medicine. CareCloud’s agile software allowed us to help create a complete solution solving key administrative pain points for both busy staff and patients.”

According to Santalo, integrated health networks are giving rise as well to the specialty-specific EMR, which “go very, very deep into the needs of the target market.” He said CareCloud has integrated with several EMR vendors and now integrates its PM solution with 30 different specialties, giving caregivers the chance to pick a product that suits their specific business needs.

“Deep is what wins,” he said.