Whether I’m checking off things from my to-do list, like vaccinations for my kids, or trying to see my doctor when I’m ill, sooner is better. The most effective way for physicians’ offices to reach me is through a text letting me know when there’s an earlier opening. That’s why, as a patient, I love the ease and convenience of the Allscripts Developer Program May App of the Month from QueueDr. How QueueDr fills cancelled appointments QueueDr runs in the background of the practice’s Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR or Allscripts Practice Management™ solutions, knows when an appointment cancellation occurs, and texts the ideal patients already on the provider’s schedule to fill the spot. The first patient to text back the special word gets the earlier appointment. It’s convenient for both the patients and the practice. QueueDr helps the average provider see 10 additional [...]

Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI)* is one of the most deadly hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. with a mortality rate of 12% – 25%. CLABSI can add up to 20 days to a patient’s hospital stay and carry additional healthcare costs estimated at $16,550 per case. Proven prevention techniques can reduce CLABSI incidence by 65% – 70%. Health First (Rockledge, Florida, U.S.A.) and Blessing Hospital (Quincy, Illinois, U.S.A.) shared in a recent client webinar how they are using Allscripts SunriseTM and best practices to decrease CLABSI. Blessing Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has had zero CLABSI cases in 3 years Blessing ICU Nurse Manager Kim Buck, RN, described how her organization uses Sunrise to guide clinicians through best-practice central line protocols. “Monitoring and charting patients through Allscripts Sunrise has contributed to our ability to have zero infections,” she said. [...]

The scramble to keep up with a rapidly evolving industry is taking its toll on physician practices. Regulatory compliance requires a lot of rigor on multiple fronts, including Meaningful Use, Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and electronic prescription of controlled substances (EPCS). These requirements and others are causing general fatigue. For example, according to the Top 15 challenges facing physicians in 2015, about eight out of 10 physicians feel they are overextended or working at full capacity, and 70% report that they spend more than one day on paperwork each week. Unfortunately, there are hidden costs to this exhaustion that many practices overlook. Burnout can lead to leaving money on the table Physician practices have become almost desensitized to the worry associated with regulatory requirements. For example, ICD-10 is coming down the path, but it’s not [...]

The healthcare industry is hard at work reviewing recent significant regulatory developments from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. We can be certain that elements of these proposals will change when the final versions come out, but nonetheless, there are some big ideas to process in each of them. We’re in the midst of a 60-day public comment period. Here’s a summary of the big three proposed rules from Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC): 1. CMS: Definitions of Meaningful Use – Changes to Stage 3 We anticipate CMS will finalize this rule in August or September. It focuses heavily on interoperability, laying the groundwork for a focus on quality and outcomes-based payment models. It proposes an option in 2017 of moving to Stage 2 [...]

Bedside caregivers provide most direct care for patients, from monitoring and continuity – no one seems to argue with that assertion. Still most electronic health records (EHRs) focus primarily on the combination of organizational performance and doctor-related costs of care, clinical decision efficacy, error reduction and documentation. What bedside caregivers do and need is often an afterthought. The healthcare industry needs the powerful impact of EHRs that help bedside clinicians more.  EHRs need to enhance bedside caregivers with intelligence-driven capabilities. Five healthcare organizations rigorously undertook six studies of how Allscripts SunriseTM affects bedside caregivers with nurses as the focal point – primarily both as the mainstays of the bedside presence, as well as proxy perspectives for the team of bedside non-physician caregivers. What was found, and published in peer-review*, adds enormous substance to the favorability of best-EHR impacts on bedside [...]

In a healthcare industry that is shifting from fee-for-service to value-based-care models, it’s increasingly important for practices to understand everything about their costs. To that end, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delivers a claim file to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Unfortunately, ACOs often don’t take full advantage of the intelligence available within the CMS claim file. But if ACOs can unlock these “mysteries” held within the file, they can reduce costs more quickly. Here are just a few examples: Where do all my patients receive care? Your CMS claim file can show you where your patients are actually receiving care. The answer may surprise you. For example, we helped one of our ACO clients in the rural Midwest plot on a map where its patients were receiving care. As expected, patients received a lot of care in the [...]

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3 EHR improvements nurses most want to see

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/07/2015

HIMSS Analytics conducted a survey of nurses, uncovering what they like (and what they don’t like) about electronic health records (EHRs). One of the results shocked me: about 15% nurses wanted to go back to paper-based medical records, and another 15% said they weren’t sure if they’d go back or not. I flashed back to my experience as a pediatric oncology nurse on the night shift. For example, when a patient’s fluid intake and output didn’t match up, I had to figure out if it was a miscalculation. I could spend 90 minutes poring over a spreadsheet trying to find the math error. It got me thinking. Where are EHRs coming up short? What makes nurses want to return to paper? Based on the top three reasons indicated in survey results, I have a few theories: 1) Easier to find [...]

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ICD-10 strategies: Document consistently, with the right amount of detail

  • Jeff Goldstein, MD, MS FACHE
  • 05/06/2015

ICD-10 is the largest mandate in U.S. healthcare history, and it will require diligent, comprehensive actions to be fully prepared for the transition. This is the fourth post in a four-part series that explores successful strategies in key areas of ICD-10 readiness: general approach, governance, education and standardization of documentation. “The pen is mightier than the sword,” is a famous line from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1839 play, The Conspiracy. Fast-forward nearly two centuries, we substitute the keyboard for the pen, and the idea is nonetheless the same; documentation is the quintessential element that translates one’s thoughts and actions into a durable record of key events in health care. Unfortunately, the lack of uniform documentation is the Achilles’ heel for ICD-10 readiness across the entire industry. Concise, thorough and comprehensive documentation is not only essential, but it is the required basis for [...]

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What nurses like most (and least) about today’s EHRs

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/05/2015

In honor of International Nurses Day (May 12) and Nurses Week in the U.S. this week, Allscripts is highlighting the results of a recent HIMSS Analytics survey. We wanted to know: What do nurses really think of electronic health records (EHRs)? I’m encouraged that the results were generally positive. Remembering how difficult it was to use paper records as a pediatric oncology nurse, I wholeheartedly agree. Some of the highlights include: Nurses are generally positive about EHRs, and most agree: EHRs help improve patient safety and avoid medication errors (72%) Nurses would not consider going back to paper-based medical records (71%) Mixed results on how EHRs affect collaboration: EHRs help enable collaboration with other clinicians inside their organizations (73%) Only about half of nurses agree that EHRs enable collaboration with clinicians outside their organizations (49%) Nurses are less likely to agree [...]

A recent HIMSS Analytics survey found that patient engagement is top of mind for 72% of health IT leaders. Every stage of Meaningful Use requires some form of patient engagement. Many practices and hospitals are engaging patients in their own health through patient portals. But getting patients to activate and actually use them continues to be a challenge. Practices that communicate more effectively with their patients can achieve higher portal engagement success. One option that has proven effective is HealthBanks eNewsletter, an Allscripts-certified application available on the Allscripts Application Store. Using HealthBanks eNewsletter to reach patients The HealthBanks eNewsletter is certified to integrate with Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and Allscripts Professional EHRTM and makes it easier for practices to communicate with patients. Allscripts systems automatically subscribe patients to receive e-newsletters so they can be well informed about patient portals, flu clinics, seasonal updates, [...]