April 26, 2012 | last updated May 1, 2012 8:48 am

eClinicalWorks Sets Up Shop In The Midwest

Westborough-based medical software maker eClinicalWorks sends its representatives to work with customers in all 50 states. But when it finds the travel is getting heavy to a particular area, CEO Girish Kumar Navani explained, it puts down roots.

That's what led the 2,000-plus-employee company to open an office in Chicago this month, Navani said.

"It's the increased work in the Midwest," Navani explained.

He said the logistics of sending Massachusetts-based employees to far-flung locations eventually reached a point where setting up shop made sense. And Chicago is a good location to serve customers in the middle of the country.

The office opened this month with approximately 100 employees, including a number of transfers from eClinical's other offices, based on the east and west coasts.

Speaking of the Midwest, the company just announced it landed a new electronic medical records (EMR) customer – a Kansas City-based medical group with 72 doctors.

The new customer is more than 500 miles from Chicago, but it still beats sending employees from eClinical's other offices in New York and Atlanta.

eClinical counts more than 180,000 health care providers among its customers, and its revenue has grown from $1 million in 2003 to more than $200 million this year, Navani said.

Navani said the federal HITECH Act of 2008, which includes cash incentives for providers to adopt EMR systems, is helping his company to grow. But he said it's only one factor. Providers were trying to achieve record-keeping and billing efficiencies well before the federal law was passed.

"The federal mandate is one cog in the wheel," he said.

The Facebook Of Health Care

Besides EMR software and systems, eClinical also builds online portals through which patients can interact with doctors.

Navani views the digitizing of medical records as the first step in transforming health care.

He hopes the data compiled and analyzed through his company's systems will lead to more efficiencies and better decision making for populations of patients because outcomes will be understood more quickly. That could even mean quicker drug trials, he said.

Navani wants his company can play an increasingly important role in that transformation.

"We have aspirations of being a social health care networking business not that different from Google and Facebook, but more serious in its nature of improving health care," he said.

But unlike Google and Facebook, eClinical doesn't want to be a public company.

"We crossed that hurdle long ago," Navani said. "We like to be private and we'll stay private."


photo courtesy: DigitalArt

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