Remember 1995? A new-fangled thing called “the Internet” reached public consciousness. E.R. and Seinfeld were the top shows on television, and a jury found O.J. Simpson “not guilty.” A gallon of gas cost about $1.15.

That year also marked an important milestone for team members at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. They started a journey in Health IT.  A short time later, Sarasota Memorial started working with Allscripts to transform the way it delivers health care.

Allscripts CEO Paul Black and I were pleased to join them to celebrate our 15-year relationship to transform health care.

“When we started it was all about CPOE [Computer Physician Order Entry), legibility, safety and how do we get that to be electronic and move away from a paper world,” said Pam Ramhofer, RN and director of clinical information systems. “And at that time it seemed almost impossible.”

But that didn’t stop Sarasota Memorial. The team pulled together to make good decisions for patients in their care. In a video Gwen MacKenzie, president and CEO, and several others from Sarasota Memorial reflect on how far they’ve come since 1995.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital celebrates 15 years with Allscripts

 Click here to view video

At the event Denis Baker, vice president and chief information officer, recalled the early days on the project team with Allscripts (then Health Vision) and hospital employees. “It was the best project team for implementing something brand new,” he said. “They had to be passionate, tolerant of ambiguity…because [we’d] never done this before.”

Denis recounted many of the technologies he believes they were among the first hospitals to use in 1995, including CITRIX and a campus-wide wireless network. For a technology pioneer in the healthcare industry, moving away from paper records was the next step.

In 1998 Sarasota Memorial was among the first to begin to roll out an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. “It was not an IT project,” said Denis. “It was an organizational project and really clinically focused.”  Clinicians and IT experts have worked closely together over the years to implement and improve the way the system works at Sarasota Memorial.

With passion and creativity, teammates at Sarasota Memorial continue to innovate, today using Allscripts Enterprise EHR™ and Allscripts Practice Management™. To date, hospital physicians have entered about 21 million orders into the system – a clear sign of how well it is working.

“We’ve changed the way health care was delivered for 1 million patients over the last 15 years,” said Denis.

Congratulations to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for transforming health care in your community. We look forward to many great years of partnership to come.


About the author

Cliff leads the Solutions Development team, and is focused on creating a world-class development organization to deliver both key product requirements and innovation. Cliff is instilling a mature, collaborative software development methodology to improve quality and accelerate product delivery. He is increasing clients’ executive engagement, interaction and feedback opportunities in critical areas such as application consistency and user experience. Cliff has extensive experience in integrating technology platforms, and has provided leadership to organizations such as Apple, Cisco, IBM, Digital Fountain and, most recently, CA Technologies, where he led a 1,400-person development team.


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