Azalea Health Innovations Brings Cloud-Based Technologies to South Georgia
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Digital patient records hold the promise of improved quality of care and lower health care costs. Rules published by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Healthcare IT require that hospitals, clinics and private physician offices be able to share patient information electronically with other unaffiliated facilities by 2016 or be faced with lower Medicare reimbursement money and face penalties.
Azalea Health Innovations based in Valdosta is on the forefront of the digital frontier in patient care. The company is a leading provider in cloud-based electronic health records software (EHR), practice management software, and revenue cycle management services. Its software systems were certified last year by the ONC, which has prompted a wide range of adoption by different types of providers including hospitals, physicians, rural health clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, pharmacies, labs and other health care professionals.
"Our software helps physicians easily and efficiently access patient information. For example, we know it costs $5 to $8 to access a paper chart in a medical office – that includes labor costs to retrieve and then re-file the chart as well as real estate costs associated with storage," said Azalea Health Innovation CEO and co-founder Baha Zeidan. Founded in 2008, Azalea Health has grown from three partners to 35 employees. In the last year alone, the company created 17 high tech jobs for the South Georgia economy.
Advantages of Cloud-Based Technology
According to Zeidan, the costs to implement cloud-based software are much lower than the costs of implementing traditional server-based systems. Additionally, data can be accessed from any web-enabled devices including smart phones and tablets.
The company takes data security and reliability seriously and has taken multiple steps to protect its clients' data. Those steps include:
- Providing data redundancy through multiple back-ups at multiple data centers.
- Monitoring firewalls for security both through a third party and internally.
- Complying with all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for patient privacy.
"We advise our clients to use multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to access the Internet in case one of them goes down. Overall though Internet availability has increased tremendously with the growth in its use so we don't see that as a major issue any longer," Zeidan said.
Supporting Lowndes County Partnership for Health
One of Azalea Health's recent installations is with the Lowndes Country Partnership for Health's (LCPFH) Partnership Health Center. The company provided its Azalea EHR system and donated full training and installation services.
The LCPFH Partnership Health Center is a free primary health care facility serving the working uninsured in Lowndes County. As a nonprofit organization, LCPFH had unique data and reporting requirements to enable grant and other funding. Azalea Health worked with the LCPFH team to customize the EHR software to meet their needs.
“Part of our corporate culture is to give back to the community and help non-profit organizations. This partnership fits that profile. The LCPFH is a valuable organization with volunteers who truly care about the health of their community. Providers are working full days in their own practice before volunteering at the Partnership Health Center. We are proud to call them a partner and thrilled to provide them with Azalea EHR,” Zeidan said.
More information on Azalea Health Innovations is available online at www.AzaleaHealth.com.