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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 These sobering statistics, coupled with the day-to-day struggle to deliver high-quality care with outdated care coordination tools, inspired a group of Harvard-trained physicians and engineers to join forces.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 […]

Health systems are now well down the road of “accountability reform,” defining and managing the effectiveness of care to improve quality and reduce cost. Plexina (formerly known as Wairever) provides the Plexina Platform that helps support clinicians using electronic health records (EHRs) to provide evidence-based and best-practice care. Creating electronically actionable clinical decision support (CDS) tools — such as order sets, clinical documentation templates, rules and assessment reports – at  the point of care helps clinicians make better decisions for patients. Plexina is a complete platform that helps capture, understand, define, design and deploy high-quality CDS assets into EHRs. The continuous process of developing and maintaining CDS In each health system, the clinical transformation team or CDS team has to enable new operational capabilities to improve care. Business transformation, standardization and clinical improvement is a complex and time-consuming undertaking. First, […]

Until now, the delivery of health care has in many respects focused on treating the “average” patient. But individually, there is no average patient. Every patient is different. To individualize treatment, we need the ability to use genetic data to avoid medications that are known to be ineffective for the patient or are likely to cause adverse side effects. We need the ability to individualize preventative screening of patients. We need a tool that can be delivered easily to physicians, and be available to patients. It needs to both educate and provide decision support. Allscripts June App of the Month, ActX, uses advances in genomics to offer such a tool for Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and Allscripts Professional EHR™. Precision medicine includes the use of genomic and molecular data to better target healthcare treatments, and learn the pre-dispositions to a particular […]

Whether I’m checking off things from my to-do list, like vaccinations for my kids, or trying to see my doctor when I’m ill, sooner is better. The most effective way for physicians’ offices to reach me is through a text letting me know when there’s an earlier opening. That’s why, as a patient, I love the ease and convenience of the Allscripts Developer Program May App of the Month from QueueDr. How QueueDr fills cancelled appointments QueueDr runs in the background of the practice’s Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR or Allscripts Practice Management™ solutions, knows when an appointment cancellation occurs, and texts the ideal patients already on the provider’s schedule to fill the spot. The first patient to text back the special word gets the earlier appointment. It’s convenient for both the patients and the practice. QueueDr helps the average provider see 10 additional […]