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Claritas Capital invests in Entrada Healthcare, eyes EHRs
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Bill Brown hand-held the Claritas-Entrada transaction
Updated March 15: The Tennessean reported March 13 Claritas invested nearly $2MM in Entrada, although a day earlier Claritas would not discuss the number. An SEC Filing more than a month ago said the raise stood at about $1.2MM. Bill Brown told VNC over the weekend Claritas will stay mum. Renner has not responded to a request for clarification.-Ed.

Claritas Capital has invested in newly branded Entrada Healthcare, a Nashville medical-transcription company intent on providing a ligature between physicians and electronic health records.

Entrada, known until about three weeks ago as VocalEZ Inc., is promising to accelerate physicians' practice revenue-cycle, lighten transcription-cleanup workload, as well as transport electronic health data into current or future electronic health and medical records.

Entrada spokesman Kevin Renner told VNC that Entrada Founder Alexander Poston (at right, in photo from LinkedIn) will later this year be succeeded in the CEO role by Bill Brown, who is associated with Claritas Capital and a number of other prominent venture capital funds.

Reached for comment, Brown heaped praise on Poston for his work in developing Entrada, as well as for Poston's earlier achivements in founding Total eMed, which eventually merged to become Nashville-based Spheris.

Brown said Poston has also over the years been instrumental in the progress of such firms as PhyCor and had maintained what Brown said was a pioneering technology firm, MicroLink, which had an influential role in adoption of advanced healthcare IT.

Brown, 46, said he has for the past five years been active in funds created by former Federal Health IT "Czar" David Brailer, Health Evolution Partners; as well as active with Harbert Mezzanine and other investors and financial institutions. Earlier, Brown was CEO of TriCare, which supported physicians' practice management.

Asked for comment on Entrada by VNC, Claritas Managing Partner John Chadwick (at left) deferred to his colleague, Brown. Chadwick told VNC Claritas is "not disclosing investment amounts at this time," because the company is still raising capital.

Renner said Brentwood-based Entrada's latest transcription technology relies on technology that provides physicians complete files of patient information to support their dictation; and, on trained nurses who edit rough transcripts produced from physicians' dictation of notes via voice-recognition technology, which Renner said operates with speed and accuracy that are "mind-boggling."

Renner said that while penetration of full-blown electronic health records into physicians' offices is in its infancy, the Entrada system allows physicians and their staffs in offices that have not yet adopted EHRs to begin training for transmission of data into EHRs.

Renner said Entrada aims to avert physician resistance to using automation and EHRs, by minimizing impact on the physicians workflow, which he said has proven to be a major impediment to adoption of technologies in the clinical setting. Physicians, Renner said, don't want to spend time editing electronic transcription files or sitting at computers.

Entrada said in a release yesterday that Claritas' investment, which the firm did not disclose, will help the relaunched company "market the solution nationally to medical groups, hospitals, and electronic health record companies," in the wake of what Entrada said have been successful trials in the Southeast.

Entrada also asserts its technology "automates the end-to-end process of documenting patient visits and then populating EHR, billing, and other systems..."

Entrada also claims that based on customers' experience with its technology, "Customers using the system over the past three years have found that it reduces physician dictation and review time by at least 25 percent, allowing doctors to see more patients or cut back on the evening hours they work on transcription, data entry, or editing."

The Entrada announcement, with its emphasis on adding value beyond transcription support, toward providing a "gateway" to EHRs, comes after Nashville-based Spheris roiled the clinical-office IT space by filing for Chapter 11 protection on Feb. 3. Spheris has said it will sell its U.S. operations to MedQuist Inc. and its offshore India subsidiary to CBay Inc., through court-approved auctions.

Entrada said that founder Poston has more than 20 years experience in health care technology, and that the Entrada executive team includes executives with prior experience with such companies as companies including IDX, Motorola, Verizon, Mysis, GTE, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Healthways, Thoughtworks and MedicaLogic. ♦ 

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Tags: Alexander Poston, Bill Brown, CBay, Claritas Capital, David Brailer, EHR, electronic health records, Entrada, Evolution Healthcare Partners, Harbert Mezzanine, health IT, healthcare, John Chadwick, medical transcription, MedQuist, Spheris, Total eMed, TriCare, venture capital, VocalEz, voice recognition

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