In a conference call with Allscripts, we learned that they have decided to sunset their MyWay physician software, which is intended for small physician groups of 1 to 5, and merge it into their Professional Suite EHR software. According to Allscripts, this transition will be a free upgrade from MyWay to Professional Suite for existing customers. They will be transitioning from MyWay and launching an upgrade program to their installed base beginning January 2013.

The best features of MyWay EHR will remain as users switch to Professional Suite, but Allscripts has chosen to discontinue development of the stand-alone MyWay product and not upgrade it with compliance regulations, including the governmental incentives with Meaningful Use and ICD-10 initiatives. For customers that decide not to upgrade MyWay, Allscripts will continue to support it.

The migration to Professional Suite will include all software, implementation, data migration and training from Allscripts. According to Allscripts’ Blog:

This enhanced platform provides tools that can help providers deliver better patient outcomes, help enable our clients to be community-ready as well as ICD-10 complaint and also includes plans for MU2 certification.  These free upgrades will enable us to deliver a converged clinical platform we believe delivers the best of both solutions.  And by focusing our investment on a single EHR for small and mid-sized practices, we can deliver innovations faster.  Innovation like Allscripts Wand [and] our native IPad solution, which works with the Professional Suite…”

Professional Suite EHR is Allscripts’ small to medium (5+ provider groups) physician practice software that accommodates provider multi-site specialties. Customer training from Allscripts will be in the form of ‘virtual’ training by way of videos. The training also includes the ability for customers to have ‘some’ dialogue with their peers.

Product training certainly has not been easy for most IT solutions, especially through means such as virtual training. The system configuration just to make it functional and provide a solid, workable solution can be extremely complex and the level of IT knowledge from the end user typically makes even onsite training difficult; thus virtual training may have to be more thoroughly addressed by Allscripts.

Allscripts will also downsize their number of distributors from approximately 40 to about four (4) which include Etransmedia Technology, HDS Business Systems, Cardinal Health and Synnex Corporation.  According to Allscripts, these companies are their best lead business resellers and have established reputations being able to deliver customized, fully integrated solutions that will streamline Allscripts’ business processes to help customers with specific IT solutions through the Professional Suite EHR.

According to Allscripts, this consolidation of MyWay and its distributors is what their customers have requested for some time. All IT users have had experience with discontinued or sunset IT products at one time or another with at least one vendor if not several as IT companies come and go and are bought and sold. The hard part of discontinuing any IT product is the complexity of the system itself, the extensive training required to move to another product and the precious time of the end users for additional education and training sessions required for such a move.

The small provider ambulatory EHR market (< 5 provider) continues to consolidate. We have seen this with other IT companies and products such as GE with its Centricity Advanced EHR which also focused on the small provider ambulatory market and was discontinued.

Not only do these companies have to market and maintain their product(s) to be successful, it also has to provide the R&D and maintain the resources to keep up with evolving technologies such and Meaningful Use requirements, ICD-10, adding mobile devices (iPAD, iPhone, SmartPhone, etc.) and future technology. This may be a solution to sunset one product and develop another with more robust capabilities.