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    Interoperability, precision medicine and client success featured in Continuum

    November 6th, 2015

    2015 has been a year of great promise and progress for the healthcare industry. The recent announcement of Meaningful Use Stage 3 will strengthen efforts toward health data exchange in the United States. True interoperability will enable more predictive, personalized approaches to health care, such as precision medicine.

    We’re sharing industry insights and client outcomes through our magazine, Continuum. Highlights in the second issue include:

    • Executive Insight: CEO Paul Black on Achieving the Promise of Health IT. What the industry can do to advance interoperability and a call to stop data bullying.
    • Delivering Care When Every Minute Counts. How St. Clair Hospital’s emergency department reduced waiting times with Allscripts Sunrise™.
    • Q&A: The Rise of Precision Medicine.  Senior Vice President Assaf Halevy describes how technology will help hasten this emerging field into health care’s mainstream.
    • 10 Creative Ways to Improve Patient Portal Enrollment. Engaging patients requires thinking outside the box.
    • Battling Chronic Disease with Data. How Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR client MediSync helps medical practices earn national recognition for chronic disease management.
    • Advancing Personalized Medicine with an Open Health IT Market. Chief Innovation Officer Stanley Crane sees a huge opportunity for Health IT to improve patient care through open systems.

    To view an online version of Continuumclick here or subscribe to Continuum here. If you’re an Allscripts client with a success story to tell, share it with us at

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    Continuum: New magazine features healthcare outcomes and trends

    August 25th, 2015

    Because our clients consistently innovate and exchange best practices, they represent the best and brightest in health care. One of the ways we help fuel their progress is by staying on top of industry trends and highlighting best practices.

    To further help the healthcare community succeed, we’re sharing these insights and client outcomes through our new magazine: Continuum.

    We launched our first issue, and some of the highlights include:

    Allscripts Magazine, Continuum, 3Q 2015Exchanging patient information to improve care. Canadian client Fraser Health Authority uses the Allscripts dbMotionSolution to make all relevant clinical information from multiple source systems available at the point of care.

    Is ACO the Way to Go? What independent physician practices should consider reimbursement models shift to value-based-care models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

    Focusing on the Patient. Family Practice Associates, a large family practice in central Kentucky, U.S.A., describes how Allscripts Professional EHRTM helps it maintain its independence and remain competitive in a changing healthcare environment.

    Finding Needles in Health Care’s Big Data Haystack. Pulling the right insights out of big data has the potential to improve how we care for patient populations. But where do we start?

    What Nurses Like Most (and Least) about EHRs. A recent HIMSS Analytics survey found that nurses agree that EHRs help improve patient safety, but may not be doing enough to improve efficiency.

    Executive Insight: Q&A with Allscripts Leader Martha Thorne. President and General Manager of Population Health Martha Thorne discusses Allscripts vision for care coordination and its newly branded solution set, CareInMotionTM.

    To view an online version of Continuum, click here or subscribe to Continuum here. If you’re an Allscripts client with a success story to tell, share it with us at

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    Best client stories of 2014

    December 29th, 2014

    I’ve always admired the people who work in health care. They’re even more on my mind this month with the recent passing of my father. The outpouring of support I received made me think about the many other people whose loved ones need medical care during this holiday season.

    Our clients care for thousands of people every day who mean a lot to their families. As 2014 draws to a close, I’d like to take a moment to thank those clients for their efforts to care for others.

    To honor their work, here some of the client stories that appealed most to readers this year:

    Alberta Health Services (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) – The organization used Allscripts SunriseTM to build strategic clinical decision support tools that improved clinical results for diabetes management and saved C$600,000 with an order set for a single transfusion medication.

    “Information technology can help bring best practices to clinical activity. The clarity, completeness and consistency you get from clinical decision support just doesn’t exist on paper or in verbal orders.”

    Andrew Pattullo, MD, Senior Medical Director of Informatics Alberta Health.

    Coastal Carolina Health Care (New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.A) – Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR helps this organization and its ACO rank third in the US for collective clinical quality measures. It also reduced the average costs per patient by 19% in one year, resulting in $1.2 million in savings.

    “We used lots of programs to accomplish great clinical results. TouchWorks EHR is the main data repository and tool at the center of these efforts.”

    Stephen Nuckolls, Chief Executive Officer

    SAMA HealthCare Services (El Dorado, Arkansas, U.S.A.) – Using Allscripts Professional EHRTM, Allscripts Practice ManagementTM and FollowMyHealth®, the organization helped patients avoid 880 unnecessary emergency room (ER) visits) and earned $2 million in incentive funding.

    “We’ve actually doubled the size of our clinic in the last 18 months, so we’ve really pushed the products…Allscripts has been great about working with us to modify the product to assist us in reaching our goals of patient-centered medical care.”

    Pete Atkinson, Administrator

    VNA Home Health Hospice (South Portland, Maine, U.S.A.) – With Allscripts HomecareTM, this growing agency has significantly reduced its hospitalization rate and shorted the billing cycle to save $150,000 annually.

    “With Allscripts, we’re on target again. Our clinical outcomes are through the roof…because we’ve been able to do timely review and follow-up, to manage our patient care better.”

    Elizabeth Rolfe Director of Clinical Services


    There are thousands of other examples of how people are changing health care for the better. In the spirit of the season, I encourage you to share stories that have meant the most to you.

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    On a mission to become the safest hospital in England

    April 1st, 2014

    I recently sat down with Helen Carter of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (Salford, United Kingdom) to discuss how electronic patient records (EPR)* have resulted in positive changes for nurses.

    In 2008 the Chief Executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust set forth a goal to be the safest hospital in England. “That was a very brave statement,” observed Helen, Corporate Matron, with 19 years of nursing experience in the coronary care unit for cardiac patients. “We’re on our way to achieving that goal because of our EPR,” Carter said.

    It started with “baby steps” in one ward

    Helen Carter has a unique perspective on Salford Royal’s journey from paper prescriptions to electronic prescribing EPRs. She was the Ward Manager for the 10-bed coronary care unit that piloted the first system, starting in 2007. It was a smaller controlled environment, which made it easier to test the new system.

    A paper-based system was labor intensive for doctors in this unit. For example, they would have to handwrite drug charts. The hospital took a phased approach to implementing electronic prescriptions and then further expanding nursing and medical documentation.

    “We started with baby steps…just e-prescribing in one ward,” said Carter. Now she estimates that approximately 85% of Salford Royal’s nursing records are electronic, covering all of the inpatient ward areas. This includes nursing admission, evaluation of care, transfer and discharge documentation.

    “Now we only have two pieces of paper at the patient bedside, one for clinical observation and one for intentional rounds,” said Carter. “I think staff recognizes the advantages of electronic records. It has really changed our culture.”

    3 ways EPR has advanced safety and quality at Salford Royal

    In 2013, Salford Royal activated Allscripts Sunrise Clinical ManagerTM, three months ahead of schedule and on budget. Helen Carter shared three examples of how electronic systems have improved patient safety and quality of care at Salford Royal:

    1)      Instant access to organized information.

    “Paper seems so accessible because it’s right in front of you. Electronic records are structured and organized, therefore it makes it so straightforward and better than having to physically go through paper to look at patient notes.”

    2)      Best practice reminders at the point of care.

    “The system states exactly what you’re supposed to do and when. It has helped standardize care using best practices.”

    3)      Accountability through documentation.

    “More than anything, the audit trail is changing our culture. Look at medications as an example. Say a patient misses a dose of an IV antibiotic, before it was hard to see what went wrong because there was no way to track it. Now we can see who requested the dose, when the pharmacy received it, if the pharmacy dispensed it, and so on. It’s all very clear.”

    What’s next for Salford Royal: Seamless patient journey

    Now Helen Carter is part of a team that hopes to improve the patient experience across acute and community services. “We want the patient’s journey to be seamless,” she said. “So whether the patient is in the hospital or out in the community, staff have the same access to those patient records.” The main challenges to overcome include access to devices and Wi-Fi.

    After observing the transition from paper to electronic records as a nurse on the floor and a nurse manager, Carter said, “I’ve been to at least five different organizations; and it is fair to say that SRFT has a more structured and extensive EPR system.”

    *Editor’s Note: Electronic Patient Record (EPR) is another term for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR).

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    4 heart-warming cardiology outcomes

    February 13th, 2014

    February is national heart month in many countries, which is a perfect time to thank cardiac care givers. Sure, candy and flowers are nice for Valentine’s Day. But we’d rather pay tribute with something nearer and dearer to many of us: better healthcare results.

    Check out these stories about how cardiac caregivers have used Allscripts solutions to improve results:

    1. There’s hope for the brokenhearted.

    Alamance Regional Medical Center (Burlington, N.C., USA) established the goal of providing perfect care to its acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients. SunriseTM provides reminders and reports to help ensure high standards throughout the course of treatment. It helped improve AMI quality scores by 12.54% and the unadjusted mortality rate by 38%.

    2. Long-distance relationships are easier with technology.

    More than 120,000 patients rely on New Mexico Heart Institute (NMHI) (Albuquerque, N.M., USA). With some offices up to 400 miles away from its main clinic, NMHI spent countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars annually managing and sharing paper charts, until it deployed Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR. After just one year, the practice saved $830,400 in costs for transcription, medical records staff and labor/supply costs for creating and filing charts.

    3. Nothing says “I love you” like clear patient instruction.

    Blessing Hospital is a 287-bed independent hospital in Quincy, Ill., USA. Several Allscripts solutions improved compliance with discharge instructions for patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Since go-live, 100% of CHF patients have received documented patient instruction, a 33% improvement.

    4. Be mine, lost revenue.

    Carolina Cardiology, a practice with four physicians in Fayetteville, N.C., USA, turned to Allscripts consulting services to help make its billing process more efficient.  The results were better than expected. The practice found missing charges, enabling it to capture $140,000 in additional revenue. It also reduced accounts receivable days outstanding by 11.5 days and cut aged outstanding secondary claims by almost half.

    It warms our hearts to know that Allscripts solutions helped these providers improve outcomes. Want to send a love note to your favorite cardiac care provider? Share your gratitude in the comments below.

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    Best client stories of 2013

    January 16th, 2014

    We regularly evaluate our blog posts to find out which stories resonate most with readers. It’s a mix of topics, but it’s clear that people enjoy reading about how our clients are improving health care.

    Without further ado, here is a list of the 10 most-read, most-shared client stories in 2013:

    1. Small steps lead to big PCMH score in Litchfield by Libby Moore

    Speeding past the farm fields of central Illinois, USA, you’ll find the exit for Litchfield. The 7,000-person town is home to Litchfield Family Practice, an innovative rural health system that just achieved a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  It scored an impressive 97.5 out of a possible 100 points. In this video, the team at Litchfield Family Practice describes how it is advancing population health in a rural community. (Includes video)

    2. How St. Luke’s used Wand to speed EHR rollout by Dana Woolley

    St. Luke’s Physician Group (Bethlehem, Penn., USA) should be proud. It recently introduced a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to 80 primary care providers, and 78 of them were able to attest to Meaningful Use. Most impressively, they achieved it in less than six months. One of the keys to accomplishing this feat so quickly was rolling out the EHR along with Allscripts WandTM, according to St. Luke’s vice president of physician services, Linda Gately.

    3. Compass Pediatrics masters migration from Allscripts MyWay to Allscripts Professional EHR by Cliff Meltzer

    To meet the needs of an evolving healthcare industry, Allscripts announced a program last fall to migrate clients from Allscripts MyWay™ to Allscripts Professional EHR™.  Change is hard, but clients such as Compass Pediatrics (Odessa, Texas, USA) embraced the switch. And they’re reporting great results.

    4. How Soundview Medical aced two Meaningful Use audits by Libby Moore

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts audits to follow up on Meaningful Use (MU) incentive payments.  These audits can intimidate providers, even ones that have meticulous reporting habits. Soundview Medical Associates, a 22-physician, multi-specialty practice in Connecticut, USA, faced two consecutive MU audits for 2011 and 2012. The responsibility for completing them fell to the organization’s only IT person and executive director, Eileen Smith. (Includes video)

    5. Diabetes clinic improves outcomes across patient population by David Harlan, MD

    Diabetes is an epidemic. A study released by the Center for Disease Control notes that health IT is an essential component of chronic care models. Health IT can improve care coordination, advance self-management skills, and promote decision support. The UMass Memorial Health Care system (Worcester, Mass., USA) serves about 33,000 patients with diabetes. To help improve patient outcomes, and integrate care across our health care system, we’ve been using MyCareTeam™ Diabetes Management for Allscripts Enterprise EHR™.

    6. 8 ways Blessing Hospital improved its financial performance by Ariana Nikitas

    Our clients have great stories. I love hearing about their outcomes and how they achieved them. Readers on this blog and on ClientConnect have called for more of these accounts, too. We recently shared several strong client stories at our annual client conference, ACE. We highlighted a few with the Allscripts Client Awards.  Blessing Hospital (Quincy, Ill., USA) won a 2013 Client Award for excellent financial outcomes. (Includes video)

    7. Early adopter tests electronic prescriptions for controlled substances by Rebecca Winokur

    Dr. Azar Korbey, founder of the New Hampshire, USA-based family practice All Care Medical, is a technology trailblazer. He even programmed a patient-friendly website for his own practice. All Care Medical is home to six clinicians and a wide range of services under one roof, including an onsite lab and pharmacy. We’ve worked with Dr. Korbey many times to apply technology that helps improve patient care and efficiency for his office. One process that requires special attention is prescribing controlled substances.

    8. Springhill Medical Center takes competitive lead with outsourced IT by Karl Greiter

    A good partnership can help a hospital excel on the road to value-based healthcare. Since 2000 we’ve managed IT services for Springhill Medical Center, a privately held, independent hospital in Mobile, Ala., USA. It is also one of the most advanced users of the Allscripts Sunrise platform. The hospital recently received an award for outsourcing excellence. Springhill’s CEO, Jeff St. Clair, shared his views on our outsourcing partnership. (Includes video)

    9. Improving primary care at SAMA Healthcare by Jim Brulé

    A pilot program to improve primary care is showing signs of success at SAMA Healthcare, a family practice serving southern Arkansas, United States. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected SAMA as one of 497 practices to participate in its Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI). Funding from the program enabled SAMA to make several improvements, including new color-coordinated care teams.  (Includes video)

    10. The three C’s of hospice care: compassion, coordination and customization by Martha Thorne

    Hospice caregivers help people facing terminal illness by providing pain management and support tailored to individual needs and wishes. This model requires tremendous compassion, coordination and customization. We recently talked with two of our clients to learn more about how they use Allscripts HomecareTM to meet the unique demands of hospice care. (Includes video)

     What other types of stories would you like to see on the blog in 2014? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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    How Springhill Medical Center simplified discharge summaries

    January 9th, 2014

    Does anyone enjoy “paperwork,” even when it’s electronic? I don’t, and neither did the physicians at Springhill Medical Center (Mobile, AL).

    Last year during a routine review of health information management (HIM) tasks, doctors asked for a simpler way to complete discharge summaries. This documentation recaps events during a patient’s hospital stay and helps coordinate care.

    Unfortunately, physicians avoided finalizing discharge summaries because it was a time-consuming process. Incomplete charts caused delays in coding and billing. Springhill clinical and IT teams decided to work together to find a better way.


    In this video, Springhill Medical Center physicians and IT team members describe how they automated discharge summaries.

    The key to faster summaries is automation

    Springhill Medical Center looked to Allscripts Sunrise Acute CareTM to help improve the discharge summary process. The team started by reviewing hundreds of dictated reports and defining all the required elements. Next, they developed a Medical Logic Modules (MLM) to pull data from the entire patient visit including lab results, radiology, diagnostics, problem lists, discharge medications and more.

    With just a few clicks, physicians can now pull all of this information into the discharge summary automatically. Springhill tested and adjusted the MLM, overcoming a few challenges along the way.

    For example, the MLM had to account for inconsistent documentation styles. In their notes, physicians addressed topics in different orders and with a variety of terms. Now Springhill physicians use consistent words, and the IT team adjusted the MLM to recognize where to start and stop pulling data.

    Signs that the new process is working

    Now that the process takes five minutes, instead of 15-20 minutes, physicians are much more likely to finish their discharge summaries. Completion rates increased from 6% in January 2013 to about 70% just five months later.

    As the old way of doing discharge summary dictations started to decline, so did costs. The total monthly cost in June was 44% less than it was in January, because of the new automated workflow.

    Thanks to the team at Springhill Medical Center, physicians will spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork.  Which is good news for everybody.



    Editor’s Note: For more information about successes at Springhill, check out these resources:

    Springhill Medical Center, Achieving Measurable Performance Improvements (Case Study)

    Springhill Medical Center Chooses Allscripts Sunrise Surgical Solution to Manage, Optimize Perioperative Care (News Release)

    Springhill Medical Center takes competitive lead with outsourced IT (Blog Post)

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    8 ways Blessing Hospital improved its financial performance

    September 26th, 2013

    Our clients have great stories. I love hearing about their outcomes and how they achieved them. Readers on this blog and on ClientConnect have called for more of these accounts, too.

    We recently shared several strong client stories at our annual client conference, ACE. We highlighted a few with the Allscripts Client Awards.  Blessing Hospital (Quincy, IL) won a 2013 Client Award for excellent financial outcomes.

    Click here for a video about Blessing Hospital’s outcome

    Ideas to simplify the hospital’s revenue cycle workflow

    In 2010 Blessing Hospital began a two-year effort to transform its revenue cycle. By more tightly integrating clinical and financial data, Blessing wanted to improve its ability to deliver quality care in the face of increasing regulation and decreasing reimbursements.

    A team shadowed staff and carefully documented ways in which Blessing could improve its financial processes. Blessing automated several tasks, including:

    1. Pre-populate registration data – Blessing used Medical Logic Modules (MLMs) to pre-populate fields and create alerts for more accurate registration. (Allscripts Sunrise Enterprise RegistrationTM)
    2. Schedule shared resources – Using MLMs, Blessing queries the surgery database to prevent conflicts with radiology procedures. (Allscripts Sunrise Enterprise SchedulingTM)
    3. Save physician steps to sign-off – Physicians can now sign charts from their office, instead of physically visiting the Health Information Management (HIM) office. (Allscripts Sunrise Record ManagerTM)
    4. Identify accounts that need further review – For patient financial services, Blessing can hold accounts meeting specific criteria. (Allscripts Sunrise Patient FinancialsTM)
    5. Balance work load – By establishing work queues, Blessing better manages its productivity. (Allscripts Sunrise Patient FinancialsTM)
    6. Improve data entry accuracy – Blessing routes billing edits to the originating department, enabling better accountability in data entry. (Allscripts Sunrise Patient FinancialsTM)
    7. Communicate between departments – Messaging features enable faster, more secure messaging between partnering departments.
    8. Collaborate on future designs – To review, test and approve future designs, Blessing started a committee that includes Patient Access, Patient Financial, HIM, Care Management and Compliance. Through this committee, departments can better understand how their processes affect one another.

    These efficiencies are paying off. Since the system went live in October 2012, gross accounts receivable days decreased 23%, claim denials decreased 20% and days not final billed (DNFB) decreased 32%. Blessing Hospital significantly reduced its backlog in billing and improved its overall cash flow.

    Thanks to Blessing Hospital for sharing its revenue cycle story with the Connected Community of HealthTM.

    Are there steps you’ve taken to drive efficiency in financial processes in your organization? Please share them below.


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    Elmwood Health Center’s journey to connectivity

    September 12th, 2013

    A lot can happen in four years. Just ask the team at Elmwood Health Center (EHC), a freestanding, community-based healthcare provider in Buffalo, New York.

    Four years ago EHC’s director of clinical services, Barb Johnson, said she could “only dream” about exchanging information in and out of their program. Thanks to efforts to improve connectivity, EHC enjoys better access to real-time data and more efficient workflow, and is providing overall better care to patients.

    In 2010 EHC implemented Allscripts Professional EHRTM. This step was the first in a journey to better interoperability, one that earned EHC the 2013 Allscripts Client Award for Outstanding Connectivity Outcomes.

     Elmwood Health Center received the 2013 Allscripts Client Award for connectivity.

    Click here to watch a video about Elmwood Health Center’s connectivity efforts


    Within one year of going live with Allscripts Professional EHR™, EHC achieved Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Level 3 Status. About the same time, western New York State’s regional health information organization, HEALTHeLINK, selected EHC to join with other practices at the forefront of the health-information-exchange movement.

    With 11 of the area’s largest hospitals, radiology centers and freestanding labs involved, EHC was part of an important movement to better connect patient data in western New York State. According to EHC’s quality and health information manager, Sandi Sendor, it was an important opportunity.

    EHC is an early adopter of a variety of interoperability projects. For example, EHC partnered with Allscripts to develop a point-to-point interface with New York State’s Immunization Information System (registry). It is now involved in another project with the state’s health department to use HEALTHeLINK as an exchange between EHR and the immunization registry.

    I can’t wait to see how EHC’s interoperability journey progresses. I expect we’ll be amazed at what they can accomplish in the next four years.

    To hear more from EHC’s Barb Johnson and Sandi Sendor, watch this video about Elmwood Health Center’s connectivity outcomes.

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    Why did you choose health care?

    August 9th, 2013

    As we prepare for our annual client conference, ACE13, I’ve been on the road to meet with clients. A small team of us are gathering stories about how they are transforming health care. We can’t wait to share them.

    Our clients are accomplishing amazing things. We will share examples about how they are leading population health management, becoming successful Accountable Care Organizations and more.

    The personal side of a professional journey

    But there is one interview question that we asked clients to answer on a more personal level: Why did you choose health care?

    I loved hearing the answers to these questions. They were human and inspiring.  I share just a few of them here:

    “I had some upbringing in India and East Africa, where I could see the disparities in healthcare being received by patients. At that point in my high school level, I had this passion of how to be a participant in delivering quality health care to all.”
    Parag Agnihotri, MD, Medical Director, Continuum of Care
    Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center
    San Diego, CA

    “Healthcare chose me 28 years ago. My primary care physician of a three-man practice asked if I would come run his practice. I knew nothing about medicine, I was in the finance market. But I took the plunge, learned the new language of medicine, and have never looked back a moment.”
    Pat Bickoff, Practice Manager
    Litchfield Family Practice Center
    Litchfield, Illinois

    “As a practicing clinician, I’ll impact patients one at a time. As an informaticist, especially with big systems, the changes that we put in have a global impact. So we are able to have positive impacts on both our clinical colleagues as well as our patients — hundreds of thousands at a time — which is a huge satisfier for me.”
    Yunus A. Moosa, MD
    System Director, Physician Informatics
    Baylor Health Care System

    “To be honest with you, it’s partly an accident. I actually wanted to be in engineering. But very early in my childhood I realized that wasn’t in me. Then my mom’s medical conditions actually drove me into healthcare.”
    Vinodhini Sriram, MD
    Medical Director, Ambulatory Informatics
    PIH Health

    “I chose healthcare primarily because I was always interested in medicine and healthcare. I grew up in a family that had some physicians. I was always amazed by some of the stories… The reason they call it ‘practicing medicine’ is because you never perfect it. There’s always an opportunity to get better. There’s always an opportunity to do something that no one has ever done.”
    Brent Steineckert, Director of EHR, HIM & Patient Access
    Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center
    San Diego, CA

    It reminds me how fortunate we are to have dedicated, passionate people leading the transformation in health care.

    Why did I choose health care?

    Choosing a healthcare-related career is often personal. I learned when my mother passed away a few years ago that her cardiologist and oncologist did not have the same information, nor were they able to easily share data. I was amazed. That experience eventually led me to move into healthcare IT, where every day I see how technology improves patient care.

    I encourage you to share your own responses in the comments below:  Why did you choose health care?


    Want to stay up to date on the latest trends in health care? Sign up for a free subscription to Continuum Magazine and subscribe to Allscripts blog.

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