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For small practices looking to stay independent, welcome to 'Eden'

Time spent in front of a computer is time spent away from a patient. And in a small physician practice, that time is pretty valuable.

With that in mind, ClearPractice has rolled out Eden, a comprehensive, cloud-based electronic medical record and practice management solution that can be accessed on Apple Macs, iPads and iPhone devices. The system is designed to give small medical practices the ability to manage clinical and financial duties from any location and at any time – an important factor to practices looking to stay afloat and qualify for federal incentives under health reform.

“We like to look at it as going beyond mobile,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of the St. Louis-based company, which launched the Nimble iPad solution last September and recently rolled out the Fetch iPhone app to pave the way for Eden’s release. “We’re looking at the primary device that doctors will use across all locations and at all times.”

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Anderson sees the Apple as the popular choice among small practices of 2-10 physicians, which “are the least penetrated, yet have the most options.” He points to recent studies which indicate 27 percent of physicians own an iPad or tablet computer – a rate five times higher than the general populace – and of those not yet owning such devices, 66 percent say they’d select Macs.

“It has been a niche market, but we’ve found that many doctors are using Macs at home, and we’re seeing a blending of their professional and personal lives,” he said.

Anderson (who confesses he uses a PC at home, but also has an iPad and iPhone) said that while Eden is designed for Apple users and accessible on the Safari web browser, it can also be used by PC-based practices through Internet Explorer. More importantly, he said, it’s a cloud-based service, giving small practices the ability to manage all office functions without the added expense of hardware.

In fact, he said, Eden could provide that edge for small practices looking to stay independent.

“Eden recasts the line. It attracts a different type of practice,” he said. “We’re looking for those innovative practices. We’re interested in the independence of doctors.”

Among the early users of the Eden system is the Center for Executive Medicine, a three-physician practice in Plano, Texas, that specializes in concierge medicine.

“Our practice has been using a PC-based system for quite some time and, having used an EMR before and seeing its limitations, I knew what I wanted in a new solution,” said Scott Yates, the practice’s managing physician, in a press release supplied by ClearPractice. “I use Apple products at home – have a Mac, iPad and iPhone – and wanted that to translate into our practice environment.”

“But we also needed something that would be comprehensive, flexible and easy to use,” he added. With Eden, he said, “I’m already realizing the benefits I had expected.”

Anderson expects to bolster Eden’s functions in the future with more patient-facing functions, giving small practices the opportunity to communicate more frequently with their patients outside the confines of the office.

“You have to rethink the entire experience for the small practice,” he said. “There’s so many things they have to manage, and that interaction with patients is so important.”