iPad electronic health record (EHR) platform provider drchrono today unveiled a couple of major new additions to its platform, including support for mobile payments via Square on iPhone and iPad, as well as real-time health insurance eligibility checks. The additions make drchrono that much closer to being an all-in-one mobile practice management solution for doctors, something that should help the company appeal to locum doctors (those working on a temporary, freelance basis in medical facilities) and medical professionals who make a lot of house calls.
In an interview, drchrono co-founders Michael Nusimow and Daniel Kivatinos told BetaKit that they think these integrations represent the next logical step for their cloud-based medical services mobile app, the primary goal of which is to untether doctors and their practices from a paper-based office and routine.
“Our main focus is to allow doctors to be mobile, and to have a mobile experience when taking care of patients, and actually that’s not really possible right now,” Kivatinos said, citing the overwhelming dependence on paper most doctors and practices have as a huge impediment to instituting any kind of mobile behaviors. He said that the company sees the iPad as the next best thing to paper, in terms of changing the habits of medical professionals. “When you hand a doctor an iPad, they generally just accept it; that’s not usually been the case with other solutions,” he noted.
Of course, doctors and their staff were always free to accept Square payments in the same way that anyone else could, but drchrono has built support for the dongle and Square’s payment processing capabilities into its own app, which means the payment is instantly logged into drchrono’s practice management software, that’s a huge time saver in terms of eliminating the need for repetitive data entry down the road, and it’s also free with the existing drchrono subscription plans, which range from free to $400 per month, depending on features.
The ability to take payments on the spot, as well as the new insurance eligibility checking features, mean one thing for doctors, according to Nusimow and Kivatinos: peace of mind. They can now check to see if a patient qualifies for care instantly before delivering said care, and also make sure that whatever they are owed after insurance is accounted for gets delivered on the spot. For doctors running temporary practices especially, this is key, since it means not getting burned on missed payments or ignored invoices when they’re no longer in the right place to do anything about it.
As a certified EHR provider, drchrono gets the financial support of the U.S. government via paid incentives to doctors for use of its system. But in order to really promote the wide use of EHR, which could eventually lead to millions in efficiency and material savings in the U.S. health industry, convincing doctors that it really is much more convenient than paper is a huge factor. drchrono’s platform additions, including this timely integration of Square at a time when mobile payments are really heating up, should definitely help make that case even stronger.