Q. In hindsight, what do you wish you had done differently?
A. Allscripts finished 2011 with the best results in our history: profit up 23 percent, bookings up 17 percent and free cash flow exceeding $160 million for the first time in our history. We’re proud of what our team accomplished. That said, our own internal plans were higher and we could have executed more effectively, especially along the lines of software development as it relates to product integration. This is a critical area where we need additional traction and it is now heading in the right direction, led by our head of solutions development, Cliff Meltzer, who joined us last year. Cliff has the right background, having spent many years at Apple, Cisco and IBM where he focused on user experience, connectivity and large data set analytics – perfect for where healthcare is headed today and where our products need to be. Our next version of integration (ADX 1.5), developed with client input using Agile rapid prototyping, will be delivered for early validation to the first clients within 60 days. We’re always focused on getting better and have a set of clear priorities to ensure our focus going forward.
Q. What about the claims in the class action lawsuit? (That the company made materially false and misleading statements in regards to its progress in assimilating both Allscripts’ and Eclipsys’ disparate systems and its ability to translate its fragmented product lines into revenue).
A. While I can’t discuss any pending lawsuit, I can tell you that lawsuits are common in public companies when the stock drops for any reason. We are still reviewing the claims made, so it’s premature to discuss. I can tell you that Allscripts intends to defend itself vigorously.
Q. Finally, amid these challenges, what in your view is the best thing going for Allscripts? The strengths?
A. If you ask our clients, they will say a few things: first, they love our people, who are the best and most talented in the industry. They form the basis of the long-term relationships we enjoy with our clients. Second, they love our products. Sunrise, an example, is known as the best clinical software in the acute space, bar none. And our software has higher utilization than any other software – that’s a fact and it’s much more usable. Two great examples are CPOE and ePrescribing.
We have had challenges in a number of areas and have plans in motion to address them. The key is that we are positioned for the future, where the market is heading. Our software is open architecture, based on new development languages, affordable, and geared to the changing requirements in the market where connectivity, information, and analytics are the core components of any functioning health system.
With clients in every setting in the market, including private practices, hospitals, post-acute care facilities, and at home, we can improve the lives of patients, communities and our clients by creating open systems that connect hospitals, physicians, nurses, caregivers, homecare facilities and patients to enable truly coordinated care – that’s what drives us and resonates with our clients.