Open is a catalyst for innovation. Just take a look at the Phase 1 recipients in this year’s Open App Challenge, and you’ll see what I mean.

These developers are challenging the status quo to improve health care.  They’re creating better solutions. In the process, they’re challenging Allscripts to do better, too.

Especially a company called eDoc4u.  It used Allscripts Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to integrate its risk assessment platform with our electronic health records (EHRs).  Working as a team, we’re making healthcare information work harder and accomplish more than ever before –  to boost revenue, reduce costs, and improve quality of care.

Integrating risk assessments with the EHR

First, let me explain what eDoc4u does (you can also watch this demo video). Its Automated Physician Extender™ is a risk assessment and personal health management platform that combines patient data from Allscripts EHRs with self-reported information. It gathers information about age, weight, family disease history, behavioral patterns and hundreds of other data points.  It also factors ethnicity and race into the equation, to better determine evidence-based disease risks.

From these evidence-based assessments, eDoc4u determines the patient’s risk for 16 of the most chronic, costly diseases – including diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Clinicians can add questions to the assessment that address local health concerns. For example, caregivers might include questions about Lyme Disease in Mid-Atlantic states, where the disease is most prevalent.

eDoc4u presents a personalized care plan to the patient. Its cloud-based platform also offers programs on how to prevent or manage disease. eDoc4u monitors, reminds and measures patient engagement with the programs.  It also updates clinicians so they can see how the patient is doing and decide if the info should be part of the patient’s record.

eDoc4u has created a patient-facing app that uses EHR data. And it fits neatly in the clinician’s workflow, something neither Allscripts nor eDoc4u could have done without the other company.

Experience pays off

eDoc4u developed its first prototype in 1997, making it one of the more “mature” products in this space. With this experience, comes reliability and results. Client adoption has been exceptional, as exemplified by the State of Tennessee which reached 143,000 participating members (90% utilization) and 99% completion rate within the first six months of deployment.

eDoc4u can reduce risk for your patients, as it has already proven to do for others. As one example, almost 10,000 employees of Maine’s educational system have used the system for three years. Among other improvements, eDoc4u can show those at high risk for asthma dropped from 32% to 24% in one year.

Over time, eDoc4u has honed the product and its use of the Allscripts APIs. We’ve certified it for both Allscripts Enterprise EHR and Allscripts Professional EHR – so it works for practices of all sizes. In all solutions, each iteration we create – as a team — is better than the last.

Getting the patients involved

To improve health care, the industry is re-focusing on patient engagement. Our lifestyles and day-to-day decisions profoundly affect our health.

Health communication is no longer a one-way directive from caregiver to patient; it’s a dialogue. Both you and the practice help drive that dialogue, which is how it should be.

Technology like eDoc4U can help us connect with patients and improve their health. These kinds of applications help us do it quickly and efficiently. eDoc4u is one example of the many, many patient care options to reach beyond the four walls of the doctor’s office.  Integrating to the EHR in the doctor’s office may help these applications provide better value to patient and provider alike.

These apps are as diverse as the patients they serve. With so many choices, caregivers and patients have a better chance at finding the right apps, improving healthcare for everyone.

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 eDoc4u in person, join us in Chicago at Allscripts Client Experience (ACE13). eDoc4u will present on Aug. 21 and be at Booth #743.

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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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