This week I testified before the United States House of Representatives. It was an honor to represent the healthcare IT industry and share how innovations are driving efficiencies and improvements. Here are excerpts from that testimony:

Despite some bumps in the road, as can be expected in times of change, there have been huge leaps forward in our industry in recent years that never would have happened had Congress not provided the impetus for ubiquitous adoption of electronic health records (EHRs).

These changes have disrupted paper systems that stood for decades, and the result is a new digital ecosystem of caregivers, software developers and patients, allowing all to take a fresh look at how processes can be enhanced via automation.

Fortunately, following disruption, there is innovation and opportunity. Allow me to provide a few examples:

Allscripts dbMotion™ interoperability platform brings together clinical content from across the community into a single patient view, then offering access to this data within the clinician’s natural workflow in their EHR (Allscripts or otherwise). dbMotion connects more than 350 different data sources.

In fact, at Baylor Scott and White Health, in northern Texas, a 12-year old girl was spared a second CAT scan when images from her initial ER visit were available later at another hospital with a different EHR. The ability to pull up these images prevented unnecessary radiation and saved her family almost $3,000.

In another example, at the UPMC, the wait time for patient data decreased from as long as 20 hours down to five seconds, and the time physicians spent searching for information dropped from up to 40 minutes down to one. And when physicians click this community view of their patients, they make a different clinical decision 60% of the time.

We recognize that tomorrow’s healthcare networks aren’t being built by our company alone. Since 2007, well before ONC regulatory requirements,

Paul Black represented the health IT industry, briefing Congress on recent innovations

Sept. 14, 2016 – Allscripts CEO Paul Black represented the health IT industry, briefing Congress on recent innovations.

Allscripts launched an Open approach to our EHR applications, allowing third parties to integrate with our solutions. This has grown to a network of 4,000 certified developers, and the providers using the apps will exchange information one billion times this year alone.

A few program highlights include an app that helps connect diabetic patient data directly to their doctor’s EHR; an app that helps patients quickly and accurately provide updates before a practice visit; an app that helps providers connect patients to relevant clinical trials while still on-site; and an app that rapidly fills available appointments following a cancellation, avoiding lost practice revenue and creating accelerated access to care.

Beyond our own innovations, our clients have also capitalized on this open platform, building solutions to deliver results to their patients. Clients have all built tools on top of our EHRs to drive material cost savings and improved outcomes. For example:

Dosing and Administration errors affect upwards of 3 million inpatients annually in the U.S., which in turn needlessly added an average of 8 to 12 days to a patient’s length of stay. Since a new medication dose range checking algorithm was implemented four years ago at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, providers have seen a significant reduction in prescribing errors with only 3% of all medication orders now leading to a Dosing Error alerts.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported that sepsis care cost the country more than $20 billion in 2011, with the costs rising on average by 11.9% annually. Orlando Health created an early sepsis detection workflow on top of an Allscripts solution that led to a 14% reduction in overall sepsis mortality rate, as well as an 8% reduction in the average length of stay (LOS) for sepsis.

Readmissions to inpatient facilities continues to be a big strain on healthcare systems, reflecting gaps in care and challenges with continuity of care. LACE is a tool that helps calculate a readmission probability based on Length of Stay, Acute Admissions in the past, Comorbidities and ER visits. The UH Geneva Medical Center in Ohio, used each patient’s LACE score in a program to help ensure high-risk patients receive support for post-acute care (including home visits) and closer coordination with each patient’s primary care providers. In its first year alone, this initiative achieved a 50% reduction in all-cause readmissions for that patient group.

Allscripts was also the first in our industry to make a significant investment in the area of precision medicine, aligning with Congress’ interest in this opportunity. We recently launched our 2bPrecise solution, which will help caregivers proactively identify optimal patients for genomic sequencing and make the results available, understandable and actionable at the point of care.

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About the author

Paul Black currently serves as board member and chief executive officer of Allscripts. As CEO, Paul guides company direction to fulfill its global commitment to build Open, connected communities of health. Prior to joining Allscripts in 2012, Paul spent more than 13 years with Cerner Corporation in various executive positions, retiring as Cerner’s chief operating officer in 2007. During his tenure with Cerner, he helped build the company into a market leader in healthcare information technology with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Paul also spent 12 years with IBM Corporation in a variety of leadership positions in sales, product marketing and professional services. Paul has served on several private company and nonprofit boards of directors for companies in healthcare information technology, healthcare services and consumer Internet marketing. He is currently immediate past chairman and an officer of Truman Medical Centers, a 400-bed safety net academic hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

2 COMMENTS on Briefing Congress on health IT innovation


ML Lonardo says:

09/16/2016 at 5:08 pm

Hi! I am working on my capstone for my degree in Health Information. I am a nurse as well. I am curious as to when and how Allscripts involved nurses in the design and implementation phases of your technology? I am considering the historical perspective to demonstrate the importance of nurses in the process of the Electronic Health Record. Thank you in advance for any assistance!


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