New York City’s famous Times Square seems an unlikely place to find inspiration for Health IT folks. But it’s where we find a great example of a different kind of Open – building architecture. A recent TEDxTimesSquare video features architect Guy Geier discussing some of the projects his firm designed on Times Square, including The New York Times Building. I recognized that Open building architecture has distinct parallels to an Open approach to Health IT software. “Open architecture, like in software design, is approachable, understandable, and comprehendable (sic) by the people that are engaged with the building,” said Geier. That’s exactly what UNITY and Allscripts Open Application Programming Interface (API) does for developers. It helps make our Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems become more approachable, understandable and comprehensible. They can more easily integrate and add value for our clients Open [...]

Allscripts Open App Challenge reflects our commitment to innovation and belief that Open matters to the future of health care.  By sharing our Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) with developers, we invite others to work alongside us to make better tools to help deliver better care. Simply put, healthcare IT is a team sport. (Click here to tweet this idea.) We must “play well” together to solve the challenges in our industry today. No single company or developer will have the all the expertise our diverse field requires. In March we announced the 15 companies receiving awards for Phase 1 of the Open App Challenge. Since then, we’ve been working on Phase 2, which focused on exceptional outcomes. Developers showed how their new apps helped our clients and the judging criteria weighed the outcomes and client feedback from the beta sites using [...]

Open is a catalyst for innovation. Just take a look at the Phase 1 recipients in this year’s Open App Challenge, and you’ll see what I mean. These developers are challenging the status quo to improve health care.  They’re creating better solutions. In the process, they’re challenging Allscripts to do better, too. Especially a company called eDoc4u.  It used Allscripts Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to integrate its risk assessment platform with our electronic health records (EHRs).  Working as a team, we’re making healthcare information work harder and accomplish more than ever before -  to boost revenue, reduce costs, and improve quality of care. Integrating risk assessments with the EHR First, let me explain what eDoc4u does (you can also watch this demo video). Its Automated Physician Extender™ is a risk assessment and personal health management platform that combines patient data [...]

Would you have smoke detectors in your home if they cost $4,000 each and you could only put them in one room? If smoke detectors were that costly and limited, fewer people would invest in this important detection measure. Luckily they are small, inexpensive and we can put one in every room to alert us to potentially catastrophic fires. Spaulding Clinical believes that detecting danger in our hearts should also be affordable and accessible. And that it can alert the care team in real-time.  That’s why it developed Spaulding Electrocardiograph and webECGTM Cardiovascular Management Cloud, one of this year’s Open App Challenge Phase 1 award recipients. ECGs anywhere, anytime An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors a person’s heart rate and rhythm. It’s a relatively simple test, but it’s an expensive machine most often located in hospitals. Enough barriers to dissuade some patients [...]

A healthy 40-year-old recently had a knee arthroscopy.  Throughout the process, clinicians asked him the same questions time and again.  His clinicians didn’t seem to have access to his important medical information. Before the arthroscopy, caregivers ordered an ECG and blood work, which required the patient to take an additional day off work.  When he asked if the tests were necessary for someone so healthy, they responded, “this is what we always do for these procedures.” No matter if he really needed the tests. It shouldn’t be this way. Patients and caregivers should have information at the point of care to conduct the right tests – and only the right tests – before surgery. One of our Open App Challenge Phase 1 recipients, ePREOP, addresses this goal and promotes best practices in surgical care. Keeping surgeries on schedule with the [...]

Information is not knowledge. - Albert Einstein Bits of information drive health care. A patient’s blood pressure is 140/90. Weight is 175 lbs. Blood glucose level is 190 mg/dL. And so on. An electronic health record (EHR) can gather and organize all this stuff for clinicians. But what does it all mean to patients? Physicians are always looking for ways to make patient education more meaningful to help improve outcomes. They want to translate EHR information into knowledge that will help bring better health. To help bring meaning to EHR data, Galen Healthcare developed eCalcs integrated health calculators using Allscripts Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). It’s one of the apps that we recognized in Phase 1 of our Open App Challenge.   Turning information into knowledge that motivates There are a number of health calculators currently online – like the Framingham Risk [...]

Inspiration for innovation is all around. Sometimes you just need to listen to your grandmother. That’s how Adam Odessky from Sense.ly identified a better way to deliver and follow up on after-care instructions for patients. We think he’s on to something. The app is a Phase 1 award recipient of our Open App Challenge. The limitations of after-care instructions on paper Sometimes after we leave the doctor, we get a “to do” list – such as take medicine, do a series of exercises, or watch for symptoms. These after-care instructions are often critical to better health. But it’s not so simple when you have a fluctuating medical condition, like Adam’s grandma.  Her clinicians sent her home with a piece of paper that didn’t address all the changes she experienced. She didn’t have an easy way to check in with her [...]

Interactive voice response (IVR) technology is all around us. People are asking “Siri” to update calendars, provide directions and find a good pizza place. But, we’ve just scratched the surface on what IVR can do. VAL9000 takes IVR into patient medical records and is one of the Phase 1 recipients in our Open App Challenge. Doctors can use it to interact verbally with the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Reducing click, swipe, type Instead of entering or retrieving data in the EHR by clicking, swiping or typing, clinicians simply speak to the EHR. For example, a nurse might report that Stanley’s blood pressure today is 120/70. VAL9000 captures the information and automatically knows where to save it in the EHR. A clinician can also retrieve patient information from the system by simply asking questions, “What’s Stanley’s blood pressure today?” This is [...]

No substitutions. I dislike it when I see that phrase on a restaurant’s menu. Why can’t patrons change up entrées a bit to suit their palates? Maybe this inflexibility rubs me the wrong way because at Allscripts we are so focused on an Open approach.  We want developers to be able to access data from our electronic health records (EHR) system, pair it with new functionality and create a wide variety of apps that satisfy the cravings of healthcare providers. That’s why we sponsor the Open App Challenge.  It’s a great way to showcase the innovation that emerges when inventors have access to the right ingredients to help improve health care. For example, Mana Health’s new app taps patient records to produce visual decision trees that better enable clinicians to make accurate diagnoses at the point of care. Taking advantage [...]

For me success for Open is when we, the inventors of it, are surprised by what people do. Imagine you make steel beams. You might expect people to use them to build skyscrapers and bridges. But someday, someone will build the Eiffel Tower. And we’ll respond with amazement, “You can make that?!” If people only do what we can imagine, then we haven’t built a successful toolkit. When innovators use what you give them to creatively assemble a brand new solution, that’s success. That’s what the Open App Challenge was all about. Phase 1 recipients proved that with access to the right toolkit (Allscripts APIs), they can help solve some of the most vexing problems in health care. For example, keeping patients safe during shift changes. Paving the way for smooth handoffs between care teams Smart Sign Out is working [...]