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 […]

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. […]

With today’s technology options, it surprises me how many physician practices still hand clipboards to their patients at registration. New applications can not only get rid of paperwork, they can help practices collect better data and more payments during the check-in process. Phreesia, one of our certified partners in the Allscripts Developer Program, helps practices increase collections, verify eligibility, reduce paperwork and increase patient engagement – all at the point of service. Phreesia supports integrations with Allscripts Professional EHR™, Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and Allscripts Practice Management™ (and coming soon with Allscripts Payerpath™). Here are eight benefits of digitizing the patient intake process, according to Phreesia and Allscripts client Barry Oursler, Director of Clinical and Business Systems at Chesapeake Urology, the largest urology practice in the Mid-Atlantic (U.S.A.): High satisfaction rates, even among older patients. According to Oursler, the notion that […]

Studies show that some physicians are spending more than 40% of their time on patient notes, leading many providers to feel like they’re spending less time with patients and more time with patient documentation. Several alternatives try and address this issue, from creating templates that enable a clinician to easily document common problems, to hiring scribes to handle data entry while the physician is examining the patient. Each method has its advantages and offers some benefits, but Allscripts Developer Program partner NoteSwift offers an alternative solution that uses voice direction to help providers move quickly through the patient chart and document or place orders with speed and accuracy. Developed by a neurologist who felt the pain and tedium of patient documentation in his own practice, NoteSwift enhances productivity for providers in every specialty so they can see more patients and […]

Sometimes a little preparation can save a lot of time and frustration, especially before a visit to the doctor. It can improve patient experience and help physician practices protect their bottom line. According to AMA Wire, “Pre-visit planning can increase efficiency often saving 30 minutes of both physician and staff time per day. In a practice with 220 clinic days a year where a physician’s time costs about $3 a minute and staff time costs about $1 a minute — that’s about $26,400 a year.” CHADIS is a web-based questionnaire delivery, decision support and patient engagement system. Pre-visit data collection enables the clinician to focus on patient concerns and visit agenda. How does CHADIS work? Patients, parents or teens respond to the questionnaires online (from home or waiting room using a tablet or phone) prior to the office visit, helping […]

Please don’t trouble yourself with newfangled words like “interoperability” or “bi-directional data exchange” – at the end of the day, it just means “communication.” To communicate, all you need to do is two things: 1. Deliver the message to the recipient and 2. Ensure the recipient can understand it. That’s it. If you can get the message from A to B (people or computer systems), in a language they can understand, you have communicated. It’s really that simple. If you can’t hear me (or see the page I’ve written), clearly communication did not happen. And beyond that, if you can’t understand me because you only speak English and I am speaking in Latvian, communication did not happen. Computer systems work exactly the same way. Can you get the data transmitted from one system to another? And once you get it […]