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 […]

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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 […]

Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), launched Sync for Science (S4S), a pilot program to enable individuals to access their health data and send it to researchers. Allscripts is one of several electronic health record (EHR) companies to participate in S4S, and our FollowMyHealth® patient engagement platform is proving to be superbly architected for this type of collaboration. First, a little background on what we’re working toward. S4S has two main goals: Enable individuals to contribute data to the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort. If people want to support genetic and genomic research efforts, they should be able to easily share clinical data in a structured electronic format. Accelerate patient data access through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). More regulations are requiring providers to offer […]

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 […]

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. […]

Every year, clinicians manually enter billions of point-of-care test results (such as urinalysis and cholesterol tests), from paper printouts into electronic health records (EHR). This is a time-consuming process, as a single test result can contain a dozen different numerical values and units. Each data point is an opportunity for error. To solve this problem one of Allscripts Developer Program partners, Relaymed, researched the current methods used by clinicians and incorporated this information as part of its user-centered design process to create its own automated workflow. Unfortunately, when Relaymed researchers evaluated the manual methods for entering test results into the EHR at multiple organizations, they found it doesn’t always happen successfully. Relaymed Chief Executive Officer Neil Farish reports that his team of researchers found numerous issues, including a continuous printout of lab results left hanging from a device for more […]

Using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to exchange data with an electronic health record (EHR) is a good step toward better interoperability. Some of our clients are having early success in using Allscripts Open APIs with Allscripts Sunrise™ to integrate with other software and devices. Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), together with Eastern Health Alliance (EHA), started using Allscripts Open APIs with Sunrise in January 2016. NantHealth’s VitalsConX solution enables the capture of patient vitals (e.g., blood pressure readings, temperature) at the bedside. This product then calls the Allscripts API, which validates and saves the data directly to the Sunrise patient record, reducing the need for the nurse to log into the EHR. IHiS developed the system architecture to enable the systems’ connectivity from the server to the EHR. According to William Wong, Deputy Director of Clinical Systems, IHiS, “Using APIs […]