The popularity of a recent blog post, 6 tips for achieving Meaningful Use Stage 2, shows there’s a lot of interest in real-world experience and advice on this topic. Physicians’ Alliance, Ltd. (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.A) just completed a whopping 61 Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestations in the third quarter of 2014. We learned more about their experience from IT Director Barbara Eberly, Physician Practice Liaison Nancy Snavely and Quality Initiatives Coordinator Vicky Martell. Much of their sage advice echoed that from fellow Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and FollowMyHealth® user Coastal Carolina Health Care, and they had a few additional tips to share: 1. Physicians need to champion the portal Barbara Eberly: When we launched FollowMyHealth, we started with the usual tactics: bulk invitations, posters, temporary employees who enroll patients. But it still didn’t get us where we wanted to be. Reports showed [...]

Imagine the registration desk employee at your physician’s office handing you a tablet, instead of a clipboard. You enter your information once, and every form thereafter is automatically populated with your information. Sound like what we expect from organizations outside of health care? Of course, registration is only one process that generates paper. Other healthcare organization departments create massive amounts of content, including Human Resources, Accounts Payable, Scheduling, Legal, Health Information Management (HIM) and more. And while patients aren’t encumbered with managing it, the clinicians and staff are. As electronic health records (EHR) permeate the healthcare industry, so should enterprise content management (ECM) solutions. The advantages of effective ECM solutions Effective ECM solutions securely capture content, make it easily accessible to those who need it and streamline processes by automating routine tasks related to that content. For patient registration, ECM [...]

As the homecare regulatory environment heated up in the late 2000s, many agencies took steps to transition from fee-for-service to value-based models of care. VNA Home Health Hospice (South Portland, Maine, U.S.A.) used Allscripts Homecare to prepare for the future of health care, and shared its story with us: AllDocs: Automated Communication Engine: Several factors spurred the VNA toward change, including regulatory pressure, acquisition by a larger health system and program growth. The former electronic medical record system was not able to keep pace with these changes. The team at VNA was not satisfied with its organizational structure, either. Admitting a patient required paperwork to travel from clinical staff, to the performance improvement department (known as the “fix-it” shop), then finally to the medical records department. It was especially cumbersome to conduct much of this work using paper forms. Clinical managers [...]

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What makes a great hospital IT workplace?

Healthcare IT News named “Best Hospital IT Departments” earlier this fall.  Out of 193 nominations, only 25 hospital IT departments made the final list, based on more than 5,000 survey responses from hospital IT employees. SunriseTM from Allscripts clients ranked #1 in 3 out of 4 possible categories. What’s the secret to their success? It’s not surprising that in healthcare, it’s not about the money. In fact, according to Healthcare IT News, only one of the 25 winners mentions salary and benefits as a motivating factor. Instead, healthcare IT employees place value on things like teamwork, respect and contributing to better patient care. Congratulations to all the award winners, including several Allscripts clients. Here are just some of the ways our clients are capturing those values in their own workplaces: Large Hospital IT Department #1: Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Phoenix, Arizona). [...]

According to recent quality reports of 220 Accountable Care Organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), Coastal Carolina Quality Care ranked third overall and second in care coordination. This ACO and its associated physician practice, Coastal Carolina Health Care (CCHC), use Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and FollowMyHealth®. We recently interviewed CCHC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Nuckolls and Associate Administrator Carrie Hagan about their success with MSSP and the Meaningful Use incentive program. For 2014 four providers attested for Stage 1, and 38 providers attested for Stage 2. What’s the secret to their success? Nuckolls and Hagan share these six tips for achieving Meaningful Use Stage 2: 1. Allow plenty of time Carrie Hagan: “We started the implementation process back in November of 2013, working towards attesting in the second quarter of 2014…We wanted that intense focus for a longer [...]

Editor’s Note: The following article originally appeared in CIO Review’s Healthcare Technology Special, October 2014. You can access the article here, pages 42-43. Open is a journey, not a destination. Open means you facilitate the exchange of information between programs; you make it easy for your software to talk to other people’s software. The need for Open technologies has shaped standards, which evolve over time to meet new challenges and address shortcomings of previous standards. It all started with punch cards, EBCDIC and ASCII Back in the ‘60s there were two competing standards for how computers would store data – one was proprietary to IBM main frame computers called EBCDIC. Pretty much everyone else used the other standard, called ASCII. EBCDIC can trace its roots back to the punch card standard, invented by Herman Hollerith in 1894 to help tabulate the [...]

I am surrounded by technology that helps me communicate with the various physician practices that help my family stay healthy.  I have three patient-portal logins, two email accounts, various health apps to triage symptoms and have visited numerous websites to get information about potential medical issues. However, despite all these readily available options, I still picked up the phone and called my family’s doctors a half dozen times for little things. I know I’m not alone. In fact, patients are calling their doctors more than ever. Telephone calls to physician practices have increased an estimated 25-50% over the last five years. This is a costly trend for healthcare providers, because it means training more staff to handle issues appropriately over the telephone. Missteps can involve liability, and telephone documentation is scarce. The demand for quality telephone triage has created an [...]

When I meet with Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR* clients, I’m impressed with how they use it to create value for their organizations. We found great examples in a recent interview with Dr. David Graham, chief information officer and chief medical information officer at Memorial Health System (Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.): Memorial Health System is one of the clients leading the way in its use of TouchWorks EHR data. Here are some of the highlights, in Dr. Graham’s own words: 1. Improve clinical results “I can use examples in all the specialties we have in our primary care, from mammogram screening rates in our obstetrics group to hypertension care in our internal medicine practice…Incredible improvements we’ve done through partnering with our physicians and putting that data that comes out of TouchWorks EHR in front of them.” 2. Spend more time with patients “[TouchWorks [...]

If there’s a power outage to the hospital’s main server room, bad things can happen to good people. Massive disruption can ensue for IT, clinicians and ultimately patients. To help minimise the potential effects of server disruption, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH) (Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom) recently improved its approach to disaster recovery. Taking a new approach LHCH is a high-achieving specialist hospital that decided to transform from paper to electronic patient records (EPRs)*. Over the course of 14 months, the organisation completed an on-time, on-budget implementation of SunriseTM from Allscripts in 2013. LHCH quickly recognised how valuable Sunrise clinical data was to the organisation’s daily workflow and asked the question, “How do we move from disaster recovery to disaster avoidance?” Let’s go back to that disruptive power outage for a minute. In a typical hospital [...]

The verdict is clear: Interoperability progress has been disappointing. Almost without exception, healthcare experts agree that the industry has fallen far short in its efforts to foster meaningful reform. Consider these assessments in recent articles: “We’ve spent half a million dollars on an electronic health record system about three years ago, and I’m faxing all day long. I can’t send anything electronically over it,” said Dr. William L. Rich III, a member of a nine-person ophthalmology practice in Northern Virginia. New York Times “While most providers have installed some kind of electronic record system, two recent studies have found that fewer than half of the nation’s hospitals can transmit a patient care document, while only 14 percent of physicians can exchange patient data with outside hospitals or other providers.” New York Times In its annual report to Congress, Office of [...]