Sometimes the best way to capture information is with a picture. Photographs can help clinicians diagnose conditions and monitor progress, especially in specialties such as plastic surgery, dermatology, burn care, wound care and vein care. Clinical photography can be helpful in these cases. However, due to the technical skill needed to capture accurate, repeatable photographs, these pictures rarely provide comparable, measurable (read “quality”) data for providers. While clinical photography systems that have mechanical positioning, lighting and software are a valuable means of standardizing images, they can be costly and lack the mobility, simplicity and connectivity of mobile devices. Epitomyze, Inc., part of Allscripts Developer Program, seeks to bridge this technology gap between legacy clinical photography systems and modern telemedicine. Set to revolutionize the role of clinical photography in medicine, the epitomyze™ capture app enables mobile devices to easily and inexpensively […]

Patient portals are essential communication tools for many providers and patients today. For example, more than 9.3 million patients have accounts through the Allscripts FollowMyHealth® patient engagement platform. But a recent Nielsen survey found that the majority of Americans are not using digital technology to access their physicians – which is unlike how we approach other aspects of our lives, such as banking or making travel arrangements. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can help address this challenge.  Because for the first time ever in the United States, Meaningful Use attestation requires providers to use APIs to better engage patients in their care and enable them to have more control over their health data.  APIs are those essential toolkits that enable different technologies to exchange data. They’ve hidden in the background of the industry’s patient engagement efforts until now. Through its Meaningful […]

Electronic health records (EHRs) are the backbone of health IT infrastructure, but they can’t be all things to all people. For truly connected communities of health, EHRs must talk with other applications and solutions. Integrating separate technologies has not always been easy. Traditionally, these projects require committee meetings and complicated interfaces that can take months, or even years, to complete. Allscripts has redefined the paradigm for health IT interfaces. With an open platform, clients can customize their EHRs in a matter of weeks, days – and lately, even minutes. Rapid installations at Allscripts annual user group conference At the Allscripts Client Experience (ACE) 2016 conference held in August, we didn’t just talk to our users about the technologies available on Allscripts Application Store. We actually activated about a dozen applications for our clients during the event – in fact, one […]

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 […]

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When every day matters

Working with health information technology companies every day can be exciting – you get a chance to see futuristic solutions that you know will have an impact on generations of people receiving health care. But the origin of these solutions can be quite heartbreaking. You hear stories of medical errors and information gridlock that led to devastating results for loved ones. Here is a story that Patrick Randolph, CEO of QueueDr, told me about his friend, who had to wait three weeks to find out he had multiple sclerosis (MS): Recently, my oldest friend in the world, who I’ve known for 27 years, found out he had MS. Not a death sentence, but definitely worse than your average Tuesday. My friend told me how lucky he was that they caught it early. His doctor repeatedly stressed to him how even […]

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The electronic prior authorization tipping point

Today’s prior authorization (PA) process for certain high-cost medications is often a lengthy, manual back-and-forth process among the doctor, payer, pharmacy and patient. But times are changing, and about 20 states have legislation proposed or in place to improve the process with electronic prior authorizations (ePA). The industry is at a tipping point and ready for change. Health IT partnerships with payers and life sciences companies can enable physicians to obtain PA electronically, leading to faster patient access to medications and reduced rates of prescription abandonment. Manual prior authorizations aren’t working According to Frost and Sullivan, about 70% of patients who encounter a manual, paper-based PA do not receive the original prescription, and patients abandon about 40% of manual PAs. With 180 million PAs each year, we can estimate that about 72 million prescriptions are abandoned each year. Manual PA […]

To provide the best quality care, clinicians need detailed information about a patient’s medical history and status. They need to know existing information is correct, and also about new details in patients’ lives that could affect their care. Some days, I’m organized and build in time to prepare for upcoming appointments. I may be able to go to an online site and complete the updates and information necessary for my visit in advance. During busy days and weeks, it might be all I can do to get to the appointment on time, and having an onsite option like a kiosk in the waiting room to update my medical history becomes vital to making sure my doctor has all the best data about me. As a person and a patient, I like options. I want to engage with practices who use […]

At the 2016 Pop Health Forum, healthcare providers delved into one of the industry’s most pressing issues: How do we meet demand on the fee-for-service side while simultaneously controlling risk on the value-based-care side? Allscripts Vice President of Solutions Management Jim Bresee helped address that question in this video: Delivering the complete patient record at the point of care Today, patient data resides in many different places. For clinicians to have a complete view of their patients, they need technology that can bring this data together in a way that is accurate and useful. First and foremost, it’s critical to know the record is aggregating the data for the right patient. When you bring information together from inside and outside the organization, you have to know with absolute certainty you have the right patient. Technology must use reliable patient identification […]

When there’s a customer support issue – with our cell phones, cars, banking or online shopping – the answers are not always on a website or app. Sometimes we want or need to call. The experience can quickly get exasperating if we’re transferred multiple times, repeating account information, security questions or other information. Based on previous experiences, there are companies I don’t mind calling for an issue, and those I never want to speak to again. Healthcare providers want to create an environment where patients have a great experience. It doesn’t matter if they are a new patient calling to get information on the practice, or an established patient calling to schedule an appointment, ask a question about a health-related issue or follow up on results.  Whatever the reason for the call, providers want their patients to avoid the pitfalls […]

Technology is one of the biggest paradoxes in health care. On the clinical front, modern day technologies offer patients life-saving therapies and improvement in quality of life. But communication among providers has seen little evolution over the past decades, still relying on pagers, fax machines and paper printouts. So we shouldn’t be surprised by a recently published study that revealed preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. The majority of medical errors are due to poor ability to effectively communicate as a team of providers about the patient’s health. These sobering statistics, coupled with the day-to-day struggle to deliver high-quality care with outdated care coordination tools, inspired a group of Harvard-trained physicians and engineers to join forces. Together, they created a unique mobile care coordination platform for the hospital setting, called Yosko. […]