Health IT

eClinicalWorks CEO dismisses DOJ settlement as “chapter closed”

At HIMSS, Girish Navani, cofounder and CEO of the EHR company, brushed aside questions on how it is recovering from the False Claims Act settlement, preferring to discuss interoperability.

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HIMSS is full of vendors showcasing technology advancements and spewing health IT buzzwords. eClinicalWorks is no exception. The Westborough, Massachusetts company launched its cloud-based acute care EHR and inpatient functionalities at the show.

Amid the HIMSSanity, CEO Girish Navani briefly sat down to discuss interoperability, value-based care and the aftermath of the company’s False Claims Act suit settlement.

You’re a cofounder of eClinicalWorks. What’s the story behind the company?

It’s a story that started with five people in 1999 with the idea of developing technology to digitize healthcare. It started with a focus on smaller digital practices. We grew both in numbers and in size.

It’s a story that’s focused on constant innovation and customer service. Our focus has not been on going public or trying to figure out an exit, but the constant ability to persevere and work to make ourselves better tomorrow.

After last summer’s DOJ settlement, how is eClinicalWorks recovering?

No comment. The company moved past it a long time ago. We got our Version 11 out and certified, and our customers are happy. We have a strong compliance program today. It’s a chapter closed.

Where are we with interoperability?

We think it’s happening already. The real data points are coming through. We have the ability to connect through CommonWell and Carequality.

Interoperability is here. Gone are the days when we talked about it not happening. The incentive now needs to turn to providers. Now the end users have to use it.

A recent report from Sage Growth Partners found a large portion of healthcare leaders believe EHRs have failed to deliver value-based care tools. How is your company ensuring health systems can meet their value-based care needs?

Whenever you’re in a cycle of change, change looks slow. That’s the cycle of innovation that has impacted an industry. To comment on early stages of that transition is premature. EHRs hold a tremendous amount of progress. You couldn’t have done any value-based care on a paper system.

It will take more effort and more patients. It is happening. Change is going to occur.

Allscripts suffered a ransomware attack earlier this year. What is eClinicalWorks doing to ensure patient data is safeguarded?

We don’t comment on that.

Tell me about Eva, the eClinicalWorks Virtual Assistant.

It’s along similar lines to Amazon’s Alexa, but does more. It’s for healthcare. You can speak to it, and Eva talks back. It’s got the conversational API. It’s in the early stages of what we call machine learning. It’s a full-blown area of AI and machine learning in our company.

Photo: from2015, Getty Images