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Global Healthcare Megatrends: Clinical challenges

  • Toby C. Samo, MD, FACP
  • 04/17/2014

There are more than 7 billion people on the planet today. Our growing global population has triggered some of the biggest healthcare challenges we’ll ever face. Listening to clients in Australia, Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States, I believe many of these issues are universal. This post is the first of a five-part series that explores the clinical, population health, financial, regulatory and technical challenges we share as a global healthcare community. Caring for more patients than ever before Worldwide healthcare providers are seeing more patients than ever before. In part, because we’re living longer. In developed nations, there has been a huge increase in life expectancy over the last 50 years, and experts believe the trend will continue. For example, U.S. citizens had a life expectancy of 68.2 years in 1950, which jumped to 76.6 years in 2000, [...]

Virdee Medical (Hornell, NY, U.S.A), a busy private pediatric practice, left paper charts behind when it implemented a hosted Allscripts solution in 2010. After migrating to hosted Allscripts Professional EHR and Allscripts Practice Management in 2013, the practice improved performance in many ways, as shared in a recent case study. 1)      No hassling with servers “We live in a physician community and saw the challenges many of our colleagues had with servers,” said Maninder Virdee, practice manager at Virdee Medical. “They constantly had to upgrade. We just did not want that responsibility.” 2)      Helps meet regulatory requirements “In the first year of having the solution, we have attested for Meaningful Use Stage 1,” said Virdee. “The hosted solution played a big part in that, especially the security risk analysis. It was much simpler than if I would have had my own [...]

When developing the Sunrise electronic health record (EHR) platform, we had a different vision than our competitors. We modeled Sunrise after one of the most intelligent networks: the central nervous system (CNS). Evaluation is at the core of Sunrise The CNS governs most processes in living organisms. It senses information, detects changes, evaluates input and takes action. Constantly monitoring, integrating and evaluating countless transactions, the CNS is the intelligent core of our being. From the earliest days of development, we envisioned Sunrise as the CNS of the healthcare organization. Our competitors started with a different approach. They designed a data repository to replace paper. Only as an afterthought did they begin to develop rules to do more than just move data electronically from place to place. In contrast, we designed (and continue to develop) Sunrise around the core concept of [...]

I recently sat down with Helen Carter of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (Salford, United Kingdom) to discuss how electronic patient records (EPR)* have resulted in positive changes for nurses. In 2008 the Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust set forth a goal to be the safest hospital in England. “That was a very brave statement,” observed Helen, Corporate Matron, with 19 years of nursing experience in the coronary care unit for cardiac patients. “We’re on our way to achieving that goal because of our EPR,” Carter said. It started with “baby steps” in one ward Helen Carter has a unique perspective on Salford Royal’s journey from paper prescriptions to electronic prescribing EPRs. She was the Ward Manager for the 10-bed coronary care unit that piloted the first system, starting in 2007. It was a smaller controlled environment, [...]

Believe it or not, processes such as budgeting, cost accounting and strategic planning should make life easier. They should simplify the staggering complexity that healthcare organizations face today. Unfortunately, they are often disconnected from each other and lack analytics, limiting their effectiveness. They should all work together in a single system. This approach is the only way for healthcare organizations to evaluate true financial performance and plan for the future. Clients have turned to Allscripts EPSiTM for integrated performance management. Here’s how three organizations have used the solution: 1.        Recovered $4.5 million in underpayments Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (New Brunswick, NJ, U.S.A.) recovered $4.5 million in underpayments its first two years of using the EPSi Product Line Analysis Contract Modeling tool. That includes recurring annual savings of at least $1.5 million. With EPSi, RWJUH better understands the [...]

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Payerpath aces an ICD-10 test

Are you ready for October 1, 2014? As most U.S. healthcare providers know, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will only accept claims that use ICD-10 codes after that date. To make sure we’re all ready for this deadline, CMS and its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) recently conducted National ICD-10 Testing Week. Because our Payerpath® solution submits claims to Medicare on behalf of our clients, we participated in the event. We had some great results. Of the 1,852 test claims we submitted, 99% passed ICD-10 related edits. And 100% of our 96 test files got a positive acknowledgement of receipt. This is a great sign that Allscripts Payerpath solution is ready to help clients transition to ICD-10. How the testing process worked Participating clients submitted a small number of test Medicare claims to Payerpath, which contained valid ICD-10 [...]

Patient engagement is a priority at Arnot Health, a regional integrated healthcare system serving patients in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York in the United States. “We’re absolutely committed to adopting the very best way to deliver the very best care,” said Gregg Martin, chief information officer at Arnot Health. “And this means recognizing that healthcare is not episodic, but something that occurs along the entire continuum, including in the home.” With various electronic health record (EHR) systems in its three hospitals and 250-member group practice, Arnot needed a solution that worked with disparate systems. It needed a patient portal that was “EHR-agnostic” and could help advance its long-term population health strategies. Arnot found what it was looking for in Allscripts FollowMyHealthTM. This universal health record enables patients to manage their own information in a secure, online environment. It also [...]

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The Power of Open

Imagine if a car company said “To control quality, we are going to make every part of the car. We’re going to make our own batteries, mine our own steel, build our own radios…” The cost of that car would skyrocket. Quality and innovation would suffer. Continuing with that analogy, Allscripts makes the car (EHR) and will help you customize it in ways that are important to you. If you want a ski rack, we have partners whose racks are safe and fit your roof. If you want a satellite radio, we DO NOT say, “You have to wait until WE invent it ourselves.” With our Open approach, we partner with experts to get the best satellite radios in the hands of our clients faster. Open enables innovation. Allscripts Development Partners have used our programmers’ toolkit to connect their great [...]

With the rise of wireless health monitoring devices, people are collecting more data about themselves than ever before. When this information feeds the electronic health record (EHR), the results can be pretty powerful. We’re helping connect this data through our newest solution, FollowMyHealthTM Achieve. It provides opportunities for patients and caregivers to work together to set goals, mark progress and achieve better health. How FollowMyHealth Achieve works We designed Achieve to help manage health for all patients, particularly those with high-risk, high-cost chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Here’s an overview: 1. Caregiver enters orders into Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR, with rules that trigger alerts. For example, a physician may require a patient to weigh herself every day. Patient-specific rules define expectations for frequency (e.g., daily), and a target for maintaining, gaining or losing weight within [...]

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Staying on course with Windows 8

Navigating the choppy seas of health care is not for the faint of heart. A patient’s care can only stay on course if the captain and crew have reliable instruments. Electronic health records (EHRs) are at the helm of healthcare delivery. EHRs pull together data to help doctors see trends sooner. To help patients avoid the rocks ahead. One of the instruments that is growing in popularity today is Microsoft Windows 8. It’s hard to buy a new (non-Apple) laptop without it. This operating system offers some distinct benefits for healthcare enterprises. Smoother sailing with easy-to-deploy technology Windows 8 enables enterprises to use the same management tools they have in place today. Why does that matter? Think about a simple update to software. There’s the client side, and then there’s the server side. Both sides have to be in sync [...]