The growing ubiquity of electronic medical records has helped propel Hyland Software Inc.’s growth in recent years.
The Westlake-based company first dipped its toes into the health care industry about two decades ago. Since then, health care has grown to be the biggest industry Hyland supports today, accounting for 45% of its business.
“We actually started in financial services when Hyland first became a company, and I think that served us well because, as you can imagine, in banking business, its high transactions and security is critical,” said Susan deCathelineau, Hyland’s senior vice president of global health care sales and services. “Well, that’s important for health care, too, right? Many transactions, and security is key in protecting that patient information.”
Hyland entered the health care arena with revenue-cycle work, automating claims processing and providing electronic explanations of benefits.
In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.
Though Hyland was already in the health care space, deCathelineau said that EMR mandates “helped us further propel what we were doing” as the company began moving into the clinical space and leveraging its OnBase solution to further expand the capabilities of EMRs.
As organizations began implementing EMRs, they soon realized that more than 65% of the content related to a patient resides outside of that technology. Hyland saw an opportunity to integrate its OnBase technology as a content management system that could bring all of those other records into the EMR.
“When an end user accesses a patient record, they not only see the discrete data that’s captured in the EMR but they can access all the other types of content that support the patient record, whether it’s a scanned document, a digital photo, an EKG result, a surgical video — all of the content that is not captured as part of that electronic medical record needs to be part of that patient record,” deCathelineau said. “And that’s where our OnBase content management solutions, integrated with electronic medical records, (comes in) to support that strategy for health care organizations and to have access for their clinician to view that information.”
According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in 2004, 20.8% of office-based physicians had electronic health record systems. As of 2017, that number was 85.9%.
In 2015, more than four out of five of all nonfederal acute-care hospitals had adopted a basic electronic health record with clinician notes, and 96% of nonfederal acute-care hospitals possessed an EHR certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — a number that held through 2017, according to the office. (The HITECH law calls the technology electronic health records while much of the industry calls them electronic medical records.)
It’s taken time for providers to transition to EMRs, especially small organizations, deCathelineau noted, because it’s a sizable investment and financial commitment.
“But that is also an opportunity for Hyland, in that some organizations use OnBase to be able to digitize their paper medical record,” she said. “So, in some cases, we are the bridge to the electronic medical record. We can digitize that paper documentation and store all of this information in OnBase and the clinician can view that directly through our OnBase solution. Or they can then integrate it to their EMR when they’re ready to make that investment and move to electronic medical record technology.”
At Hyland, this EHR/EMR adoption growth has translated to a 303% growth in its health care customer count in the last decade.
Hyland’s acquisition of Perceptive a couple of years ago enabled it to manage medical images and integrate them into EMR. Historically, medical imaging was stored in numerous formats through different systems.
The next step for Hyland is expanding into areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and other ways to take the data captured as part of the patient record and leveraging it through advanced technology. Some of that work is already in place. For instance, anonymous data can be used to identify trends, conduct studies and determine different types of treatments and protocols.
“We’ve seen, definitely, growth in adoption of our solution integrated with EMRs as more and more organizations are adopting that technology, and that has impacted the growth of our health care business,” deCathelineau said. “Specifically to Hyland, health care is the biggest part of our overall business. And it’s where we continue to invest to further innovate our solutions and continue to expand our team members and expertise in supporting our customers.”
Date: June 29, 2019