Ambulatory health IT vendor athenahealth has developed versions of its cloud-based EHR software purpose-built for specialty medical practices and sites of care. The first two iterations are for women’s health and urgent care. The company plans to roll out solutions for additional specialties, including athenaOne for Behavioral Health, as well as solutions for additional sites of care in the coming months.

The new specialty-focused workflows integrate within the existing EHR system, athenaOne. 

In a blog post, Nele Jessel, M.D., athenhealth’s chief medical officer, explained that in recent years, “specialty-specific EHRs have promised tailored solutions that might deliver highly personalized workflows, but leave behind critical capabilities, integrations, and practice management solutions that a larger scale generalist system can provide.”

With its new offerings, athenahealth is hoping to eliminate that tradeoff. It said each solution will include the rich feature set and capabilities of one of the most comprehensive EHR and practice management solutions in the industry paired with dedicated operational, clinical, and customer service capabilities tailored to the unique needs of that specialty or site of care. 

Urgent care centers have a business model focused on meeting patients’ needs for high-quality, on-demand care. This requires strong marketing and brand awareness, the ability to create seamless experiences for “walk-in” patients, and the capacity to scale to serve more patients effectively without compromising care quality, the company said. 

“Urgent care centers fill a critical gap between primary care physicians and emergency rooms and therefore we have very unique needs in order to be successful as a business while also providing a consumer-grade patient experience that keeps patients coming back time and again,” said Mandy Cordell, clinical director at Urgent Care Northwest, in a statement. “Athenahealth understands the needs and experiences specific to urgent care centers and has been instrumental in giving us the tools we need that allow our providers to spend more time with patients and to deliver exceptional patient experiences that lead to repeat visits, an absolute necessity when running a growing business.” 

Women’s health clinicians need a solution that prioritizes the entirety of a woman’s health journey and helps them deliver the most informed, coordinated, and compassionate care for their patients, according to athenahealth. 

“As a women’s health practice, we care for our patients through many stages of their healthcare journey, seeing them through major health moments during every phase of their life. Thus, it’s important that clinicians and staff have solutions that provide a comprehensive patient view so we can provide consistent, coordinated care,” said Katherine Gregory, M.D., M.P.H., gynecologist at San Francisco Gynecology Inc., in a statement. “Athenahealth has been a critical partner in helping us provide high-quality care to our patients and has also enabled our practice to be more efficient by automating key administrative tasks, allowing our clinicians and staff to maximize time with patients at every visit.” 

The company said the solutions include new and tailored capabilities that deliver on the unique needs of specialty practices, including: 
• Specialty-specific product enhancements, including pre-configured, best-practice workflows and tailored clinical content, informed by insights derived from athenahealth’s network; 
• Dedicated and proactive specialty-focused onboarding and customer success managers; 
• Curated partnerships addressing the nuanced needs of specialty practices; and 
• An innovation roadmap geared to specialty practices and specific sites of care. 


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