Misys offers open-source connectivity, small-practice EHR

November 9, 2007

Misys Healthcare Systems, a leading ambulatory EHR vendor, has made the source code to "Misys Connect" publicly available.

Misys Healthcare Systems, a leading ambulatory EHR vendor, has made the source code to "Misys Connect"—a kind of web portal for viewing data in the company's inpatient and outpatient EHRs—publicly available. That means that any software developer-including Misys' competitors—can enable customers to use the web-based viewer to pull up documents from qualified information systems, or can build new interfaces and applications that work with Misys Connect.

The importance of this move lies in the elimination of proprietary barriers between systems made by Misys and other vendors. Physicians using other EHRs that are compliant with HIMSS' Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) standard will be able to view documents in Misys EHRs and other systems. Their vendors will also be able to use Misys' source code to give customers a way to view discrete data in all Misys systems, just as Misys users can.

The ability to view data is separate from the ability to exchange data between EHRs, explains Gamble Heffernan, a senior vice president at Misys. Thus Misys Connect's step toward interoperability has nothing to do with the Continuity of Care Record (CCR), which allows users of different EHRs to send and receive key patient data. It's also unrelated to the Continuity of Care Document (CCD), which combines the CCR with the HL7 messaging standard, she says.

Meanwhile, Misys has released more details about the impending launch of its new small-practice EHR ("Cheapo EHRs, Part I," InfoTech Bulletin, Sept. 14, 2007). Based on iMedica's integrated EHR, the software will include not only a practice management system but also will be integrated with Misys' Payerpath web-based claims submission service. (Payerpath works the same way as Misys' clearinghouse; a claim entered into the practice management system is automatically routed to the correct payer.) The EHR will include some features that aren't in iMedica's product, including the ability to create templates for more specialties, says Heffernan. But it won't be much more complex than iMedica, says Heffernan.

Now in beta testing and expected to launch in February, the EHR/PM system will be offered as a web-based subscription service for $499 and up per provider per month—which doesn't sound "cheapo" to us.