The Doctor Patient Connectivity

A community for physicians and patients that offers doctors all they need to provide perfect care for their patients

The idea for Practice Fusion first crept into Ryan Howard’s mind when he was consulting for Brown&Toland. He was working on a project that should connect hundreds of disparate physician computer systems. “Just terrible, broken technology that would never deliver better healthcare. I saw the issue clearly”. Mr Howard knew that the web-based free technology models that work so well for Gmail and YouTube could be used to create a system that would transform healthcare.

He set out on a challenging venture.

“We couldn’t have picked a tougher, more regulated, more resistant-to-change area to focus“

It cost Mr Howard his house, car and the insurance money from a motorcycle accidents “to keep the lights on and the team paid.“ but Practice Fusion showed strength and dedication for 5 long years and after the economic stimulus plan outlined incentives for doctors to use health IT in 2009 and the Series A funding it received in 2010, things took a dramatic turn – for the better.

Almost a decade after Practice Fusion’s inception it has become the United States’ largest physician-patient community. The free record platform provides 150.000 medical professionals with tools for scheduling, e-prescribing, lab ordering and general connection to their 56 million patients.

“Independent physicians in small medical practices are our bread and butter. These are doctors on the front lines of healthcare across the US” and the companies main target group, however the Practice Fusion team knows that there is more to healthcare than doctors and extends its customer base to patients pharmacies and labs.

“Independent physicians in small medical practices are our bread and butter"

In order to stay true to its mission “Empowering physicians to save lives by making patient information available anytime, anywhere.” the platform model is based on a Cloud system, which allows patients and physicians to login and securely access data from around the globe and around the clock from any computer or mobile device with Internet connection.

Practice Fusion is designed to fit the requirements of the US healthcare system and the change there is progressing slowly. Currently 6% of all doctor visits in the US are conducted on the Practice Fusion platform, however more than 60% of physicians are still using paper charts instead of electronically based systems in their practices. This means that, Practice Fusion has still “a lot of work here at home” before it can think about expanding internationally.

“Five years ago it was just me and our VP of Engineering, Matt Douglass, working at a Starbuck’s”

Today Practice Fusion counts 250 employees in its San Francisco headquarters, “Five years ago it was just me and our VP of Engineering, Matt Douglass, working at a Starbuck’s” and now that the company has acquired a massive platform of doctors and patients and grown to a respectable size, it will use this backing to go beyond basic medical records features. “We’ve got a pretty incredible year ahead saving more lives and making healthcare easier for patients and doctors”.

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