Closed systems slow the pace of innovations. In a closed system, only employees of the company can contribute ideas to the corpus of work available to users. More IT vendors are beginning to recognize the value of Open systems. They know that only through collaboration and working together can we bring the best, most creative solutions to life. (For more thoughts on the value of Open, read Open is the new black.) My reaction to the news that another healthcare IT vendor is Open? I HOPE SO. It’s good for all of us. So what do I mean by Open? Open companies offer a toolkit that enables programmers (who don’t work for the company) to read and write data into and out of the database. The system’s business rules and security still govern all of those actions. That toolkit enables […]


Taming the Big Data frontier

In his keynote address at the Allscripts Client Experience, ACE13, Dr. Rasu Shrestha from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said, “He who tames the data wins.” As healthcare organizations manage evolving delivery and payment models, an analytics strategy is top of mind for many.  Big Data is the next frontier for analytics and offers them access to rich data they can use for population health, research and consumer marketing and satisfaction. Quickly emerging Big Data technologies augment traditional business intelligence technologies by efficiently and affordably acquiring and storing enormous amounts of data. Providers can query and re-query information without retooling the data model every time.  This capability is particularly important with the mountains of data we have access to today. 3 opportunities to get value from Big Data With so much data coming from so many different places, how can […]


10 things acute care nurses need to succeed

Allscripts User Experience team recently conducted a field study of 100 nurses at 10 hospitals. We wanted to better understand what problems and hindrances acute care nurses experienced and how technology can help nurses deliver better patient care. The findings will help shape our solution development efforts, particularly in mobility. We shadowed nurses in a variety of departments and watched their interactions with other nurses, techs, physicians and patients, as well as all of the tools and technologies they use during their shift. Acute care nurses have unique challenges Our research shows that nurses have very different problems than physicians do. They are constantly being interrupted while trying to maintain and manage their conversations with other clinicians and patients. One finding we saw repeated in all hospitals was the nurse reliance on paper and the creation of paper “brains” to […]


CIO Bill Phillips on the value of HIMSS EMRAM

  • Steven Shaha, Ph.D., DBA
  • 10/22/2013

University Health System (UHS) of San Antonio, Texas, has earned a number of awards and distinctions over the years. In 2008 the academic medical center was one of the first healthcare organizations to achieve a prestigious Stage 6 in the HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). UHS has shown national leadership in early successes for integrating information flow and patient care from Ambulatory to Acute, as well as a host of other care locations and data sources outside of the immediate hospital.  Only 10% of hospitals hold this distinction in the U.S., and only 2% have achieved the final level, Stage 7. We recently interviewed UHS Chief Information Officer, Bill Phillips, for his perspective on EMRAM. Here are a few highlights from that interview:   Q. Why was achieving Stage 6 through HIMSS EMRAM important to UHS? A. […]


Let’s make it easier to access data

There’s a different aspect of Allscripts Open initiative that occurred to me while I was watching a TED talk by Intel’s Eric Dishman. That idea is Care Anywhere. Previously, I had limited my thinking about Open as being a data-sharing, innovation, collaboration initiative. But Open is about more than breaking down the silos around information. It’s about helping to transform care by making it easier for patients and providers to escape physical limitations around care delivery. Overcoming physical barriers to detect heart trouble Spaulding International has an electrocardiogram (ECG) device that patients can use anywhere, with the result saved in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The patient no longer has to go to the physical hospital for an ECG. Compare that with wearing a Holter monitor, a technology that has been in clinical use since the 1960s. You go […]

What are the best ways to motivate hospital IT employees? To inspire their best work? We can learn a lot from the employees themselves. More than 5,500 of them responded to a recent survey from Healthcare IT News. The publication used the responses to determine which hospitals earned a spot on the “Best Hospital IT Departments” list. We’re proud that 20 out of the 25 “Best Hospital IT Departments” use one or more Allscripts products. Survey respondents are clear about what they want from their teams. Profiles of the winners share great examples of best practices: 1. Connect with patients. At Henry Ford Health System, clinical teams invite IT to help explain new technology during patient encounters. It’s a valuable experience for clinical and IT teams, and keeps the focus on the needs of patients. 2. Broaden skill sets. Advocate […]

You can’t prevent a Meaningful Use audit. It’s one way Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) follows up on Meaningful Use (MU) incentive payments and confirms that providers are doing the right thing for patients. But you can be prepared for an audit if you take a few simple steps before and during your attestation period. Before you receive the notice, you can: 1.  Monitor emails for notification – The 14-day clock starts ticking the moment the email arrives from the CMS auditor, Figliozzi & Co.  You don’t want it sitting undiscovered in a physician’s inbox. Consider creating an email rule for accounts involved with the attestation to catch these notices early. 2. Record EHR identification numbers – Record the CMS EHR certification ID and Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) numbers on your MU attestation application.  Auditors often […]

A wise person once said, “Save one life you’re a hero, save 100 lives and you’re a nurse.” But how exactly do you measure quality in such a heroic profession? At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) (New Brunswick, NJ), achieving quality in nursing is a top priority. The academic medical center employs 1,600 registered nurses to help manage more than 600 inpatient beds. In 2011 and 2012 the hospital took top honors for outstanding nursing quality in an American Nurses Association recognition program based on its National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®). The database collects and evaluates unit-specific nurse-sensitive data from hospitals across the United States. Methods that earned RWJ honors for quality nursing At our annual client conference, ACE, we learned more about how RWJ achieved success from Nicole Martinez, RN, director of nursing informatics. She credits […]