Improving Public Health with EHRs

  • Toby C. Samo, MD, FACP
  • 10/31/2012

Often when we talk about the benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), the focus is on bettering individual patient outcomes. Increasingly, however, stakeholders have been paying increasing attention to the potential benefits EHRs can offer when dealing with public health issues. That’s why Allscripts is taking two important steps to help our clients manage the recent rash of fungal meningitis infections related to tainted steroid injectables. The Center for Disease Control posted a list of facilities known to have received the tainted medications. First, Allscripts is comparing this list against our database of clients.  We will be contacting these clients to provide any assistance they might need to identify the individual patients that received intra-spinal steroid injections since May to determine if they are at risk of infection. This proactive step can offer critical benefit to the affected patients, as fungal […]

You may recall from my last post that I’m a huge proponent of Health IT. You may also recall that it’s personal. My wife has breast cancer. She and I have seen HealthIT’s tremendous benefits and recognize much of its untapped potential. Today I am happy to report that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), recently launched the Cancer Care Video Challenge. The goal of the challenge, according to its website is “to generate personal stories that will motivate and inspire others to use health IT and consumer eHealth tools to achieve better health.” This challenge is a great call to action. It will further help an industry already trying to improve patient outcomes. Do you have a personal story about cancer and Health IT? Share your […]

A story I recently heard about a 4-year-old boy in Kentucky has reinvigorated my thinking about the need for a national clearinghouse of healthcare data. The model is already successful in the financial industry; we just need to implement it in healthcare to benefit patients. When you apply for a credit card, buy a house or take out a loan, the first thing your financial institution does is look at your credit report. It’s a check of your financial health to make sure it’s in your best interest – and the bank’s – to give you a line of credit. Your credit history is available because all financial institutions (with a few exceptions) send standardized data to credit reporting agencies. They cooperate because as an industry they know it benefits all lenders and consumers to make good decisions about credit […]

EDITOR’S NOTE: On September 28-29, Allscripts hosted a Health 2.0 Codeathan in our Chicago headquarters, challenging developers to connect their applications to Allscripts EHR. Brock Heinz of Spaulding Clinical connected his cloud-based EKG system to the UAI and saved EKG documents into a patient’s records in only 2.5 hours. Here’s Brock’s take on why open architectures are so important for healthcare IT.   By Brock Heinz, Spaulding Clinical As a society, we face unprecedented challenges to provide quality care for our loved ones.  With massive challenges comes massive opportunity and energy for innovation. Traditionally, innovation has been stifled in the health care arena because of the barrier of entry.  Data is tightly guarded within the walls of the hospital, and EHR vendors give the impression they are the only ones who should be able to provide the solutions: “it’s my ball […]

The energy just surged at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco with Allscripts announcement about our Open App Challenge. The program motivates developers and vendors to “Start a Revolution” with apps that tap into Allscripts Open EHR software and improve patient outcomes in a measurable way. The stakes are high with more than $750,000 in prizes. The overall winner takes home $250,000. I’m really excited about this challenge because the focus is on innovation that produces real solutions that can be integrated into providers’ workflows. We’re hoping to inspire developers to push the boundaries of what IT can do to improve quality of care for patients. Whether you’re a physician, nurse, caregiver or IT professional (inside or outside the industry), it’s time to get started on apps that address the two contest categories: management of high cost chronic diseases […]


Evolving Industry, Evolving EHRs

Allscripts has been delivering Electronic Health Records (EHRs) since long before government incentives, value-based care and community exchanges. Now that the industry is evolving, so must we. Otherwise, we won’t continue to meet the needs of our clients. So we’re taking action to provide solutions that we believe will help our clients to succeed in this ever-changing industry. Allscripts is offering a free upgrade program to migrate all MyWay clients to a new converged platform that leverages the Professional Suite. This enhanced platform provides tools that can help providers deliver better patient outcomes, help enable our clients to be community-ready as well as ICD10 compliant and also include plans for MU2 certification. These free upgrades will enable us to deliver a converged clinical platform that we believe delivers the best of both solutions. And, by focusing our investment on a […]