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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.
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.
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, TX) embraced the switch. And they’re reporting great results.
Fear of the unknown was the hardest part
Compass began the upgrade with some anxiety. “We weren’t sure how big this change would be for our practice,” said Tamara Bavousett, nurse practitioner and owner. “We were concerned because we started the process in winter, which is a very busy time for our practice.”
They didn’t have time to slow down to learn a new system. The eight staff members at Compass had an additional challenge to manage, too. The April 1 “go-live” date for the migration landed in the same week as a previously scheduled move to a new location.
To continue serving the practice’s 4,200 patients, it was imperative to make the transition to a new system as smooth as possible.
Training key to a successful transition
Compass recognized the importance of training and took full advantage of opportunities, such as simulation and weekend trainings prior to launch. Throughout the transition, Compass connected with other Allscripts clients for support.
As billing administrator for Compass, Krista Hudson dug deeply into resources available on the Allscripts online client community, ClientConnect. “Sometimes I got the answer before I even knew I had the question.” Beginning on the “go live” date and for the next five business days, Hudson also participated in Open Support calls available for clients.
With so much preparation, “It was actually a pretty easy transition,” said Bavousett. Compass reduced the number of appointments for the first two weeks, and then returned to its full schedule of 40 patients every day.
Benefits for patients and staff outweigh transition challenges
The team at Compass believes Allscripts Professional EHR offers more capabilities than MyWay. Caregivers at Compass say their patients have already realized many benefits, including:
Improved patient education. Clinicians find it easier to share information with patients and their families. For example, Allscripts Professional EHR can track a patient’s preferred language to automatically print clinical summaries and patient information in that language.
More functional view of patient records. For providers, dashboards and a simpler interface now make it easy to get to the information they need. There aren’t as many layers to the data as there were in MyWay.
Easier clinical customization. The nursing staff at Compass is excited about customization options. They can quickly review systems and create protocols in a fraction of the time.
Spending less time on billing. “There are many more capabilities with Pro that make billing so much easier,” said Hudson. “My billing time is cut in half, which is huge. I have more time to get other things done.” Reporting features also continue to come in handy.
Making progress towards Meaningful Use. Compass is working towards attaining Meaningful Use Stage 2 this year. Allscripts Professional EHR’s improved functionality makes it easier to monitor and make progress towards this goal.
While it’s not a perfect process, migrations to Allscripts Professional EHR can be smoother with a positive and proactive approach.
“The main thing is to go into it expecting a better solution, better productivity and better outcomes,” said Bavousett. “If you focus on the uncertainty or inconvenience, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
Thanks to the team at Compass Pediatrics for sharing its experiences. We hope it provides encouragement to other clients.
Allscripts has been delivering Electronic Health Records (EHRs) since long before government incentives, value-based care and community exchanges. Now that the industry is evolving, so must we. Otherwise, we won’t continue to meet the needs of our clients.
So we’re taking action to provide solutions that we believe will help our clients to succeed in this ever-changing industry. Allscripts is offering a free upgrade program to migrate all MyWay clients to a new converged platform that leverages the Professional Suite.
This enhanced platform provides tools that can help providers deliver better patient outcomes, help enable our clients to be community-ready as well as ICD10 compliant and also include plans for MU2 certification. These free upgrades will enable us to deliver a converged clinical platform that we believe delivers the best of both solutions.
And, by focusing our investment on a single EHR for small and mid-sized practices, we can deliver innovations faster. Innovations like Allscripts Wand™, our native iPad solution, which works with the Professional Suite and is getting rave reviews from clients.
I know the word “upgrade” makes most people groan. But I also believe it’s worth it. Earlier versions of Windows and Mac OS were great, but aren’t you glad you upgraded to better features? And, we’re committed to making the process as easy as possible by following best practices and tested, established protocols. The free upgrades will include toolkits, templates and simulation based training.
Best of all, the upgrade will immediately deliver key benefits of our Professional Suite:
The bottom line is that if we don’t change with the industry, we risk leaving our valued clients without the tools they need to help them meet their goals of delivering the best patient outcomes and meet government regulations. And that’s a risk we’re not willing to take.
Questions or feedback? Post a comment below.