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    What makes a great hospital IT workplace?

    November 25th, 2014

    Healthcare IT News named “Best Hospital IT Departments” earlier this fall.  Out of 193 nominations, only 25 hospital IT departments made the final list, based on more than 5,000 survey responses from hospital IT employees. SunriseTM from Allscripts clients ranked #1 in 3 out of 4 possible categories.

    What’s the secret to their success? It’s not surprising that in healthcare, it’s not about the money. In fact, according to Healthcare IT News, only one of the 25 winners mentions salary and benefits as a motivating factor.

    Instead, healthcare IT employees place value on things like teamwork, respect and contributing to better patient care.

    Congratulations to all the award winners, including several Allscripts clients. Here are just some of the ways our clients are capturing those values in their own workplaces:

    Large Hospital IT Department

    #1: Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Phoenix, Arizona). A “can-do” attitude and team spirit helps this busy IT department excel. You can read more about how the organization uses Sunrise solutions in an article featuring CMIO Vinay Vaidya, MD.

    Medium Hospital IT Department

    #1: Springhill Medical Center (Mobile, Alabama). IT support is recognized as a critical part of delivering patient care. You can read more about Springhill Medical Center’s award-winning strategies in blog posts about the Best Outsourcing Partnership Award and achieving HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6.

    #5: Blessing Health System (Quincy, Illinois). Teamwork is at the foundation of this workplace. You can read more about how this department recently helped transform the organization’s revenue cycle in a recent blog post and free case study.

    #8: Trinitas Regional Medical Center (Elizabeth, New Jersey) Empowering IT employees with the resources they need to succeed. Trinitas was also named to the list last year and offered advice in a recent blog post, 11 ways to build a better hospital IT department.

     Small Hospital IT Department

    #1: United Regional Healthcare System (Wichita Falls, Texas) Good relationships and experience drive strong results. You can learn more in an interview with CIO Dwayne McKee about the organization’s award-winning strategies.

    You can review all of the hospital IT department profiles on the Healthcare IT News website.

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    Live from ACE14: Is population health the secret sauce?

    August 14th, 2014


    We gathered some great insights today from David Nash, MD, MBA, the founding dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, the only population health school in the

    Dr. David Nash shares population health insights at ACE14

    Dr. David Nash discusses population health with Russ Cobb at ACE14.

    United States. I talked with him after his opening address at our annual user conference, Allscripts Client Experience (ACE). Here are some highlights from our interview:

    Q. What’s wrong with health care in the U.S.?

    A. A report from the Institute of Medicine described U.S. health care this way: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. Despite spending more money on health care than any other country, the U.S. population health ranks #17 worldwide, just behind Slovenia. As many of us know, that’s because the unhealthiest 5% of the population drives 50% of the spend. It’s time for Americans to stand up and demand better health care. The status quo isn’t going to work anymore.

    Q. What is population health?

    A. There’s an academic definition of population health that has three components. First, there are health outcomes, such as morbidity, mortality and quality of life, and how those appear in a population. Second, there are health determinants that influence distribution – things like medical care, socioeconomic status and genetics. Finally, there are the policies and interventions at social, environmental and individual levels that affect these determinants.

    Taking a broader view of population health, we have to recognize that what happens in the delivery system is only about 15% of the story. The other 85% happens outside the hospital. It’s patients’ diets, behaviors andgenetics, and things that occur in workplaces and in homes.

    Q. What’s the importance of the electronic health record (EHR) in addressing population health?

    A. First, let’s look at the benefits on an individual level. We use Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR, and just a couple of days ago I needed this tool to help a patient. He’s a new patient with an abnormal EKG. I could look up previous tests in his EHR and show the patient how they’ve changed over time. It enabled me to make good decisions, right in the office with the patient.

    Second, let’s look at the population level. I can look at all of my patients with high blood pressure and see how I’m doing this year, how I’m doing compared to my partner and more. You can’t see these trends without tools like TouchWorks EHR.

    Q. What are some of the changes we have to make in the healthcare community?

    A. We have to change the culture of clinical training. The very core of traditional physician training is to look at one patient, one problem at one time. But we need to learn from everyone’s experiences, have better access to organized information, and overall be better connected.

    We also have to change how we get paid. At the Jefferson School of Population Health, we’ve tried to summarize the Affordable Care Act in four words, “No outcome, no income.” That’s the world we’re heading towards and physicians need to change or get left behind.

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    Live from ACE14: Patients take center stage in health care

    August 13th, 2014


    Our annual user conference, the Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), drew about 3,000 clients to Chicago this week. My favorite part of the event is collaborating with clients and industry experts. In his executive session keynote address, best-selling author and surgeon Marty Makary, MDspoke about a topic that is a high priority for all

    Dr. Marty Makary addresses patient safety at ACE14.

    Dr. Marty Makary addresses patient safety at ACE14 executive session

    healthcare organizations: patient safety.

    How many people is health care hurting?

    Makary observed that almost everyone goes into health care with the best intentions to help people. U.S. health care is an amazing, scientific system; but it’s not perfect. We have the unintended consequence of variation. Meaning, non-standardized care can cause deadly errors.

    A recent study in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from preventable harm caused by hospitals. To put that number in perspective, Makary noted that medical errors are the third highest leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. We have fundraisers to combat many diseases, and yet the healthcare community is just beginning to acknowledge the devastation caused by non-standardized care.

    Healthcare IT can play a role in standardization, leading to better patient care and lower costs. Electronic health records (EHRs) have the instruction sets to help make consistent clinical decisions. It’s that consistency that drives quality.

    Incentives that drive variation

    A hospital’s culture affects the amount of variation in care, and Makary cited several examples and studies. For example, ones that measure safety attitudes of a workforce, or the amount of unnecessary medical care. In a patient-centric healthcare system, organizations share these results. This transparency holds health care accountable and is how today’s patients want it to work.

    Why are patients more interested in this data? Because now, more than ever, patients are responsible for a greater portion of their own healthcare costs. They are asking, “How much will it cost? What value are we getting for these services?” It’s a new marketplace, and the healthcare organizations with the highest quality and lowest costs will come out ahead.

    The Power of All

    Health care is all about the patient. Delivering the right solutions for today and tomorrow requires connectivity, collaboration and innovation. That’s what ACE – and Allscripts – is all about. I’m excited about what the rest of this week will bring and building on this momentum.

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    Top 3 reasons to visit Allscripts at HIMSS 2014

    February 12th, 2014

    We’re heading to Orlando for HIMSS 2014 soon to connect with clients, partners and friends across the healthcare IT industry. Here’s what you can expect to find from Allscripts at the show (Booth #3944):

    1.       The Power of Innovation: Get the full story on population health.

    What a difference a year makes. At HIMSS 2013, we announced two strategic acquisitions when FollowMyHealthTM and dbMotion joined the Allscripts family. This year, we’re pleased to have clients share how they’ve integrated these new population health solutions to more effectively manage and treat patient populations, including South Nassau Communities Hospital.

    You can also hear from Allscripts dbMotion client University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in two presentations: Ranga Chandra will talk about interoperability across payer-provider networks, and Dr. Rasu Shrestha will describe the foundation for Accountable Care.

     2.       The Power of Collaboration: Check out new apps, available now.

    Innovators across the Health IT industry are creating an exciting array of clinical and financial apps to improve health care. We collaborate across clients, developers and market leaders enable these apps to work directly with Allscripts Open platform. We have tested and approved 66 apps in Allscripts Application Store that can extend the reach of Allscripts EHRs. Collaboration enables these innovations to reach the market much more quickly than waiting for a single entity to develop them.

    For example, RefillWizard is an app from Healthfinch that can help Allscripts TouchWorks EHR clients automate simple refill requests, returning precious time to physicians. And Genelex can help clients integrate genomic information into their practices and reduce Adverse Drug Events with YouScript.

     3.       The Power of Connectivity: Find out what a healthy EHR core can do for you.

    As the industry shifts to value-based care, people need better ways to coordinate care and engage patients to manage population health. But those steps are only possible with a solid electronic health record (EHR) foundation. With the largest community-powered network of care delivery, our EHRs help enable a single source of patient information across all settings.

    We’ll demo each of our three core EHR solutions – Sunrise EHR for hospitals, Allscripts Professional EHRTM for small practices and the newly rebranded Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR (formerly Allscripts Enterprise EHRTM) for large practices. And we’ll have experts on hand to show you solutions that integrate with EHRs to improve clinical, financial and operational results.

    The Intelligent Hospital™ Pavilion (Booth #8265) chose to feature Allscripts EHR solutions in real-life scenarios within a hospital environment. Participants can explore this interactive showcase of how technologies integrate to help clinicians deliver the best care possible.

    We look forward to helping you harness The Power of All – Allscripts. What else would you like to see from Allscripts at HIMSS 2014?

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    11 ways to build a better hospital IT department

    October 15th, 2013

    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 Good Shepherd Hospital’s IT director, Adem Arslani said, “If some folks are getting a little tired of what they are doing, I see what I can do to make it more interesting…We do a lot of cross-training.”

    3.     Foster a caring culture.

    Blessing Hospital prioritizes mutual respect, which serves as a sturdy foundation for patient care. (See a recent video about how Blessing Hospital improved its financial performance.)

    4. Have fun.

    From a Gumbo Cook-off at Ochsner Health System to costume contests at Mercy Medical Center to the “Fun Committee” at Meridan Health – IT teams that play together, stay together.

    5. Connect to the cause.

    At Trinitas Regional Medical Center (an Allscripts Managed IT Services client), CIO Judy Comitto said her team’s intense loyalty and focus on the mission has earned the respect of some of the hospital’s toughest customers: doctors. The IT staffers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America are not employees; they are stakeholders in the battle against cancer.

    6. Communicate openly.

    Jim Murry, CIO at UC Irvine Health, has an open-door policy and frequent ”skip-level” meetings to hear from all levels of the organization. Teams at JPS Health Network have team huddles every morning to share news.

    7. Enable work-life balance.

    When big projects come up, sometimes IT employees have to spend long hours at work. The VP of IT at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center recognizes the importance of balance, giving employees, “…flexibility to make their child’s school play or even just head to the beach.”

    8. Put teamwork first.

    Washington Regional Medical Center plays as a team to make it to the “quality care end zone.” Union Hospital also enjoys a reputation of working well with clinical departments. As leader of the IT team at Self Regional Healthcare, Andy Hartung was proud to observe, “I don’t know that I have any individual that strikes out on their own for their own success as much as the success of the department and of the hospital.”

    9. Encourage innovation.

    For inspiration, look to the Wild Idea Team at Lehigh Valley Health Network. This interdepartmental group looks for ways to improve patient care. For example, the LVHN Burn Center regularly uses a virtual “Snow World” that places patients in “cold” environments and reduces the need for painkillers. Being open to new cabling approaches during a data center construction project saved a lot of money and time at Roper St. Francis.

    10. Follow through on organizational commitments.

    Bernie Clement, CIO at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center said of his organization’s culture, “They have the discipline to plan and stick to their plan, and they stress accountability within their leadership ranks.”

    11. Recognize a job well done.

    Ann Lara, CIO at Union Hospital of Cecil County, makes a point of spending time with her team. “It’s important to recognize – and give credit for – all the good that they’re doing,” she said. Bonuses and congratulatory emails are part of the program at Saint Francis Medical Center.

    Do you have tips to add to this list? Share them in the comments below.

    Congratulations to all the award winners. See the full list and read more on the Healthcare IT News website.

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