Westborough firm to add 1,000 jobs in big expansion
eClinicalWorks to spend more than $50 million
The medical software company eClinicalWorks will spend more than $50 million to expand its Massachusetts headquarters and add 1,000 jobs over the next three years, the company said Tuesday.
That would more than double the workforce of about 900 at the Westborough headquarters.
The hiring spree comes as eClinicalWorks, one of the country's biggest vendors of electronic health records, continues to expand its core business of providing record systems to doctors offices and prepares to launch a new system specifically for hospitals, chief executive Girish Kumar Navani said.
The company also makes a medical app for consumers, called healow, that tracks their health information, and it sells software that helps doctors with billing and data analysis — all products that are growing, Navani said.
"The last couple years have been really important for them," said Judy Hanover, a research director at IDC Health Insights in Framingham. "They've added significant new products. They're constantly developing."
EClinicalWorks last week closed on the $21 million purchase of an office building owned by EMC Corp, the Hopkinton technology company. It plans to spend another $30 million to finish and refurbish the building, and to move in during the second half of 2016. The building has been vacant since it was constructed 15 years ago.
It is about two miles from eClinicalWorks' main offices, which straddle Interstate 495 and Route 9 in Westborough.
The privately held company, which employs about 4,300 employee worldwide, said it had revenue of $333 million last year, up from $270 million in 2013. Its customers include more than 100,000 physicians across the country.
With most health care providers completing the transition to electronic systems from paper records, Navani said that much of his company's growth now comes from medical practices that are abandoning other software programs and choosing eClinicalWorks' offerings.
"People are making the switch," Navani said. "[They're] wanting to get a system that they think physicians prefer."
IDC's research shows that eClinicalWorks is the second-largest provider of electronic health records to medical practices, behind Epic Systems Corp. of Verona, Wis., the country's dominant vendor of electronic health records.
Epic hires hundreds of people annually as its business grows.
Another competitor is athenahealth Inc., based in Watertown, which is also expanding its workforce, spokeswoman Holly Spring said. Athenahealth employs about 1,900 people in Watertown, including 650 hired his year.
And like eClinicalWorks, athenahealth has specialized in electronic records and other software for doctors. Earlier this year, athenahealth announced plans to expand beyond doctors offices and start selling software to large hospitals — a strategy eClinicalWorks is also following.
Navani said he sees an opportunity to provide a modern, Internet-based health records system that is an alternative to traditional in-house systems, which require hospitals to spend heavily on hiring technology professionals and installing data servers.
A "cloud"-based Internet system would be an attractive, lower-cost option to many hospitals, he said.
"We can offer a cloud-based modelthat can definitely cost less [for hospitals]," he said.
Doctors and hospitals have rapidly adopted electronic health record systems in recent years to comply with federal regulations and to better track and coordinate patient care.
But not everyone has embraced the technology shift.
The American Medical Association hosted a meeting in Waltham on Tuesday to discuss the problems of new software systems. Onerous technology requirements, the doctors association says, impede patient-doctor communication.