Has your electronic health record (EHR) met your expectations? If you answered “no,” you are not alone. A recent IDC Health Insights survey found 58% of ambulatory users are very dissatisfied, dissatisfied or neutral about their experience with EHRs. The key is selecting a strong EHR solution that’s right for your practice. Here’s a checklist of 12 questions to help determine if it’s the right EHR for you: 1. Is the solution the right one for your practice size? Also consider if the solution will fit your needs in the future. For example, if your practice is expanding, you need a solution that can grow with you. 2. Is the solution certified and ready for regulatory requirements, such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10? Once again, look to the future. Will the solution keep evolving to meet ever-changing regulatory requirements? 3. [...]


3 steps to managing wait times for emergency care

  • Jennifer MacGregor
  • 10/14/2014

Emergency Departments (EDs) do their best to minimize wait times, and technology is increasingly becoming part of that effort. At our annual user conference, Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), the team from Alberta Health Services talked with us about how the organization uses data to manage EDs efficiently. Alberta Health Services (AHS) Calgary Zone provides 480,000 visits each year through its EDs, which include four adult sites, one pediatric site and two urban urgent care centers, all using SunriseTM Acute Care and SunriseTM Emergency Care. The Alberta government sets targets to ensure the quality of emergency care. For example, patients must be seen by an MD within one hour of triage, discharged with four hours and/or admitted within eight hours. A new guideline requires all patients to be seen within an hour of arriving at the ED. To meet government targets and [...]


What FQHCs are looking for in an EHR

A strong electronic health record (EHR) core is important in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. It’s especially critical for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide “safety net” health care in underserved communities. The United States has more than 1,000 FQHCs operating in 6,000 locations. These are community health centers and programs serving uninsured or underinsured populations such as migrant workers, public housing residents and the homeless. They helped an estimated 20 million patients in 2010. FQHCs must make the most of every investment – including health IT – to serve their communities. We recently interviewed team members from Delaware Health Net (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.), a network of 11 FQHCs, about the network’s healthy EHR core. Using Allscripts solutions, member FQHCs have improved clinical results, met Meaningful Use and earned an estimated $6.3 million in incentive funding. You can see highlights [...]

As health care moves away from fee-for-service to value-based care models, hospitals need better tools to compete. We recently published two eBooks, one about the key trends defining a new healthcare marketplace and one about the importance of critical analytics. You may be asking yourself: Does my hospital have the financial analytics capabilities to succeed? Take this quiz and see. 1. The CMIO asks for a cost report on readmissions, organized by diagnosis and physician. Can you give it to her? 2. You suspect one physician is underperforming on profitability. Can you compare his performance with others in his peer group and drill into the data to determine clinical or operational improvements to course correct? 3. Before ordering a knee replacement device, a physician asks if you have any comparative cost to outcomes data to help negotiate with the vendor. [...]

It’s important when healthcare organizations buy a new electronic patient record (EPR)* to truly verify that it made a difference for clinicians, the patients they serve, and the organizations themselves. Many look at the impact of Health IT acquisitions using only financial measures, while a few remain purely focused on clinical outcomes. However most recognize the best way to measure the impact of EPR implementations should include clinical measures along with financial. The best is a balance. A lot of attention has recently been directed toward quantifying the early impacts of EPR acquisitions to ensure they were not just expenses, but genuinely good investments. An example of that perspective applies to recent implementations in the United Kingdom. Our clients there use SunriseTM by Allscripts. Examples: Length of stay and prescription turnaround times One of many statistically proven clinically and financially [...]

In a recent post, I explored the promising nature of clinically integrated networks (CINs) and outlined how this model differs from previous efforts to “fix” health care. Now let’s look more closely at the technological underpinnings critical to success for organizations participating in CINs. Data sharing criteria require HIT interoperability One key attribute of the current CIN model is a focus on information sharing among members—and an acknowledgement that success is highly dependent upon the use of interoperable health information technology (HIT). In other words, CINs require that members be able to share data, aggregate data and analyze data. Let’s look at what this means in practical terms: how interoperable technology is essential as a CIN focuses on reducing hospital readmissions. – When a patient is discharged, providers in the community must be informed about the treatment delivered in the [...]

One benefit of automation you might not expect? Improving morale. At our annual user conference, Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), we talked about this benefit with Terri Carlson, executive director of support services, Jeanette Harkness, manager of portering, and Wendy McCrystal, senior business analyst from Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR).  The largest healthcare system in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, RQHR uses SunriseTM by Allscripts and Patient Flow. Patient Flow helps hospitals automate bed management and patient transport, which leads to better care coordination and efficiency. The system also offers transparency that hospitals don’t have with manual and paper processes. Better transparency improved trust between departments When using a paper system for bed management and bed turnover, RQHR did not have transparency. Housekeeping staff would walk the halls looking for beds ready to be cleaned. Clinical staff assumed that housekeeping staff weren’t cleaning [...]


CIN: A new and improved recipe for success

Over the past few decades, industry thought leaders have displayed a voracious appetite for new and improved ways to fix health care—and embraced an “alphabet soup” of  acronyms to describe them: HMO, IPA, PHO, VBC, ACO, PCMH, to name a few. And now they’re dishing up CINs: clinical integration networks (aka clinically integrated networks). The difference is that CINs build on what we’ve learned from predecessor models that were only partially successful and add elements that promise to help the industry achieve the goals of reform. 3 shortcomings characteristic of earlier models While well-intentioned, previous attempts to address the challenges facing health care met with only limited success for three primary reasons: 1) Incentives intended to motivate stakeholders were rarely aligned. Often, community-wide healthcare networks were driven by hospitals, looking to build loyalty among referring physicians. Local providers, however, were [...]

What’s the fastest way to reduce clicks in the patient documentation process? Try spoken commands that the electronic health record (EHR) recognizes and documents in the patient record. I get so excited to talk about what NoteSwift for Allscripts Professional EHRTM can do for our clients because it makes an immediate and positive impact on how physicians interact with their EHRs. It doesn’t just reduce clicks – it virtually eliminates them. NoteSwift for Professional EHR is powered by Dragon speech recognition and enables the clinician to forego the keyboard and mouse. Instead they can speak directly to Professional EHR to move around in the application and work more efficiently. NoteSwift can help clinicians cut their patient documentation time in half and often use the EHR even more efficiently. Dr. Donald Smith, Indiana University Health, attests: “NoteSwift for Allscripts Professional EHR [...]


The Do’s and Don’ts of clinical IT system deployment

  • Jennifer MacGregor
  • 09/16/2014

Alberta Health Services (AHS) serves nearly four million residents of Alberta and surrounding Canadian provinces. AHS Calgary Zone uses Sunrise by Allscripts™ to improve clinical and financial results in a number of ways (read more about AHS outcomes in a new case study, which you can download for free here.) Along the way, AHS learned some valuable lessons about how to succeed with clinical IT system deployments. Here are some of the keys to success: DON’T… Let IT make decisions without clinician input Let vendors draft the strategy and tell you what it costs Under-resource content build, system design, training and support just to save money Chase unrealistic timelines Expect clinicians to automatically accommodate all new technology DO… Engage leadership in all levels of implementation decisions Keep your organizational commitment and focus Make the deployment the highest priority Align clinical [...]