No substitutions.

I dislike it when I see that phrase on a restaurant’s menu. Why can’t patrons change up entrées a bit to suit their palates?

Maybe this inflexibility rubs me the wrong way because at Allscripts we are so focused on an Open approach.  We want developers to be able to access data from our electronic health records (EHR) system, pair it with new functionality and create a wide variety of apps that satisfy the cravings of healthcare providers.

That’s why we sponsor the Open App Challenge.  It’s a great way to showcase the innovation that emerges when inventors have access to the right ingredients to help improve health care.

For example, Mana Health’s new app taps patient records to produce visual decision trees that better enable clinicians to make accurate diagnoses at the point of care.Mana Health received an award in Phase 1 of the 2013 Allscripts Open App Challenge.

Taking advantage of computing power

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) provide vast amounts of data to clinicians at the point of care. The amount and sophistication of information will only increase. Why not harness technology to make it easier for physicians to assess patients and determine the best course of treatment?

The Mana Health solution does just that. It’s a decision support app that analyzes data in EHRs to help providers make diagnoses along with the most current treatment guidelines. The goal is to boost physicians’ judgments based on complete pictures of patients’ health and the most up-to-date standards of care.

An added benefit is the app visually organizes the decision tree in an easy-to-use manner, in line with what we’ve grown accustomed to in consumer apps and games. Results are dynamic, which means changes in patient records or updates to treatment guidelines are immediately available in real-time at the point of care.

A path to more accurate diagnoses

According to Chris Bradley, president and CEO of Mana Health, misdiagnoses are a real problem that cost billions dollars every year in unneeded tests, incorrect treatments and readmissions.

Perhaps even moreprecious is time – a misdiagnosis can lead a physician and patient down the wrong path which can delay essential treatments.

Mana Health received an award in Phase 1 of the 2013 Allscripts Open App Challenge

Visual decision trees can help clinicians provide accurate diagnoses.

A common cause of misdiagnosis is failure to consider other possibilities after an initial conclusion is reached. Bradley envisions the Mana decision support app as a physician’s trusted advisor, enhancing his or her ability to make the right choices and improve patient outcomes.

Coming soon to a healthcare provider near you

Currently in the prototype stage, the app is set to launch in pilots in the near term. Bradley is quick to point out that without open access to EHRs, the app could have lingered in development for years.

That’s why Allscripts makes it easy to pull data from the EHR. We know that true innovation only happens when we remove obstacles to keep developers focused on cooking up new apps.

 

Editor’s Note: Open App Spotlight will feature other Allscripts Open App Challenge Phase 1 recipients over the next several weeks. The challenge reflects Allscripts commitment to being Open to innovation, and why Open matters to the future of health care. To learn more read the Open App Challenge news release, or to see stories like these in person, join us in Chicago this August at Allscripts Client Experience (ACE13).

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About the author

Stanley Crane is Chief Innovation Officer for Allscripts. In his more than 30 years of healthcare and consumer-related software experience, he has led the development of award-winning software programs including electronic health record, electronic prescribing, web-based medication sales, online physician education, resource scheduling, financial systems, materials management, medical translation software and voice recognition dictation systems. Previous to his healthcare experience, Stanley was involved in Silicon Valley, where he held positions with many well-known software companies. As the General Manager of Lotus cc:Mail, he created the first remote mail products. He was also the Vice President of Engineering at WordStar International, and Director of Applications at Ashton-Tate, managing their Macintosh products as well as dBase IV. Before that, Stanley was a founder of two Internet startups – MaxMiles, an automated frequent flier mileage aggregator, for whom he built the first versions of the product; and Shopping@Home, a company that was acquired by Allscripts in 1999 to support medication sales.

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