Having succeeded as a medical records wrangler, Brighton-based eHealth Global Technologies Inc. plans to expand into helping its clients analyze the data it gathers.
"It's something that's evolving," said Ken Rosenfeld, president and chief technology officer. "We started in record retrieval. We now have increased capability to manage and analyze data. We're developing systems that can be tailored to a client's specific needs."
Launched some seven years ago in Rochester, eHealth Global planned to exploit an often-ignored weak point among U.S. health care providers: When patients move between offices, their medical records and imaging scans often go astray. It is a problem that at worst undermines patient safety and at least adds unnecessary costs and slows treatment.
Lost and misplaced records are particularly prevalent in larger and more complex health systems and academic medical centers, a segment that has been eHealth Global's strong suit, Rosenfeld said.
Since the company started marketing its record retrieval service nationally in 2007, eHealth Global's client list has grown from some 25 providers to more than 100, including 53 of the top 100 U.S. hospitals.
The client roster includes SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System in Baltimore, Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, the Nebraska Medical Center, the Franciscan Health System in Tacoma,Wash., New York University Langone Medical Center and University of California San Diego Medical Center.
In 2008, eHealth Global added an image exchange to its product suite, signing first with the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization. Like eHealth Global's record retrieval service, the image exchange service, which instantaneously transmits imaging studies from radiologists to other providers, is built on a licensed software platform that is part of eHealth Global's proprietary system.
The firm's image exchange clients are state and regional health information exchanges, which serve as conduits for transmitting electronic medical records among hospitals and physician practices. The company now works with 11 exchanges, including in Central New York, the Southern Tier and Buffalo, Rosenfeld said.
The company's original record retrieval business remains its main source of revenue, accounting for 75 percent of sales. However, Rosenfeld said, the image exchange service is catching up rapidly and is projected to account for half of the firm's revenue next year.
The privately held firm does not publicly disclose revenue figures. As a strictly local operation in 2007, it reported revenue of $195,000. Rosenfeld then projected 2008 revenue of $4.1 million.
Since 2008, the company's revenues have grown by at least double-digit percentages annually, Rosenfeld said this month. In 2011, it had its best year with an 80 percent increase. It expects to see its first profits this year, he said.
Employment, which stood at four in 2006, is at 83, and 73 of those people work at the firm's Brighton headquarters. Two executives-Timothy Fischer, executive vice president of sales, and Gary Larson, chief operating officer and general manager of health information exchange services-work remotely from Wisconsin and California. Outside sales personnel are based in California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida. The company expects to add staff this year, Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld does not see eHealth Global's growth trajectory being disrupted if the Supreme Court overturns the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in June. He sees trends that have fueled eHealth Global's growth-providers' increasing adoption of electronic medical records and continuing consolidation of providers into larger integrated health systems-continuing unabated regardless of the act's fate.
A key development, and one that would facilitate eHealth Global's plan to help clients manage and analyze data, was a tweak to its systems that for the past few years has let it integrate its retrieval systems as part of its clients' networks.
The University of Rochester Medical Center's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center was one of eHealth Global's first clients and remains a satisfied customer, said Wilmot clinical administrator Lynn Levandowski.
Even at the start, when Wilmot doctors had to use a separate system to access the records eHealth Global retrieved from outside providers, the service incalculably improved the cancer center's operations.
"New patients would invariably show up and forget to bring records and imaging studies, or doctors would neglect to send them," Levandowski said. "Now that isn't a problem."
And with record retrieval service's integration into the Wilmot center's network, the doctors' experience is seamless. She has been talking with eHealth Global representatives about adding data management and analysis services and expects to add them when available.
"I would see that as very useful," Levandowski said. "We could get information we don't have now, like how many of specific types of cancers we are treating, and it would help us organize electronic medical records. I would find that attractive, definitely."
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