The Family Doctors (Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.A.) uses data from its Allscripts Professional EHR™ suite to help improve care for patients with chronic disease. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana recognized The Family Doctors and its physicians with 26 awards in 2015 for highest achievement in population health management. Improving care for a community that struggles with chronic disease The Family Doctors serves a community facing significant health concerns. The State of Louisiana has some of the highest healthcare costs and lowest quality outcomes in the United States. According to America’s Health Rankings® of the 50 states, Louisiana has not ranked above 47th in more than 20 years. Chronic diseases are especially costly, as Louisiana has one of the highest rates of cardiovascular and diabetes mortality rates. Working closely with the state’s largest payer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the […]

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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Want to improve shared C-CDA content? Try the new scorecard

  • George E. Cole, Jr.
  • 08/16/2016

Across the Healthcare IT industry, from providers to software developers, and even into the U.S. Senate, we continue to hear that the content of shared Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) documents, in spite of improved guides and constraints, are not meaningfully useful. There continues to be wide divergence of documents across the vendor and provider communities. For example we have heard: Documents are ginormous (a very technical term). We cannot find what we need. It’s just a CCD – where’s the narrative? Where is the operative note? And more… In prior Allscripts posts we touched on many of these points, such as in the Relevant and Pertinent survey post. Results from this survey will be published soon. However, we now have another opportunity to help improve the content of C-CDA using a new scoring tool for C-CDA R2.1, the version of content […]

Editor’s note: On June 7, 2016, Allscripts client Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Health Care (New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.A.), was a panelist at a Congressional briefing on interoperability hosted by the EHR Association. This blog post shares some of his comments at the briefing, which covered successes and areas for improvement with health information technology. It’s an honor to share with Congress a first-hand account of how we’ve used electronic health records (EHRs) to reduce spending and improve quality. Our medical group, a practice with 45 physicians mostly specializing in primary care, operates a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that has about 11,000 attributed beneficiaries. Our ACO has accomplished several positive outcomes since being accepted into the program in 2012, including: Earned recognition as the top performer in the program for cancer screening rates […]

Implementing electronic health records (EHR) is no easy task, but there are key lessons learned from successful implementations that can ensure success. Allscripts Sunrise™ clients have shared tips about how they’ve implemented EHR projects on time, on budget and with the outcomes they expected. Here are a few tips I’ve gleaned from clients who know best: 1  It all starts with strong leadership An EHR implementation requires a massive amount of change, which is never easy. But if the leadership team supports the project, it will be easier to motivate and align the team to the organization’s goals. Leaders at the highest level need to visibly and consistently reinforce the message that failure is not an option. 2. Focus on outcomes – Understand the WHY Driving change is much easier when clinicians understand “the why.”  It is critical to articulate […]

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Why EHR usability has fallen short

  • Ross Teague, Ph.D.
  • 03/07/2016

A recent article said that electronic health record (EHR) usability is poor because clinicians are not the ones who are designing the products: “Physicians and other clinician users of electronic health record systems commonly rate the products low on a usability scale, in large part because non-clinicians do the bulk of the work designing them.” But does usability really suffer because non-clinicians are designing Health IT solutions? When we look at other industries, we don’t see end users primarily responsible for the design of successful products. For example, accountants don’t design banking technology, and writers aren’t developing word-processing software. Why do products in other industries seem to be more reflective of users’ needs? For EHR usability to improve, do clinicians have to create and design the products, or is there another more impactful way for them to be involved? I […]

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Expect chaos: Why we designed our EHR for interruption

As a physician who practices in an urgent care setting, I know what it’s like to be interrupted all day, every day, while trying to use an electronic health record (EHR). To have to leave one screen to deal with an urgent message or lab result, then try to navigate back to where I was to finish my documentation – workflow challenges are abundant. At the end of most days, I have to spend another hour to catch up on documentation. I understand why physicians avoid steps that take three or four extra clicks, because over the course of a day with 30 patient visits, those clicks add up. Worst of all, poor EHR usability is more than frustrating; it is a patient safety issue. Thinking like our users Like most clinicians, I’m concerned about EHR usability. I’m part of […]

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Fewer alerts, higher response rates, safer patients

  • Steven Shaha, Ph.D., DBA
  • 09/01/2015

Applications of electronic health record (EHR) technology and capabilities often do NOT consider the needs of pediatric settings. As healthcare clinicians know, pediatric patients are not just small adults. Children have unique and different needs and interventions than their adult counterparts, so that many adult-ready HIT solutions do not necessarily fit comfortably with pediatric patients or caregivers. One of our clients, a pediatric specialty hospital, had been successfully using the EHR with full computerized physician order entry (CPOE) for three years. As part of its ongoing emphasis on continuous improvements, the organization programmed and adapted the EHR to better manage dosing-related computations. Concurrently, the organization was focused on reducing alerts due to alert fatigue issues clinicians were experiencing. Would clinicians value computer-generated recommendations for dosing? The guiding imperative was simple:  Clinicians value and therefore act on owned, computer-generated recommendations for […]

Bedside caregivers provide most direct care for patients, from monitoring and continuity – no one seems to argue with that assertion. Still most electronic health records (EHRs) focus primarily on the combination of organizational performance and doctor-related costs of care, clinical decision efficacy, error reduction and documentation. What bedside caregivers do and need is often an afterthought. The healthcare industry needs the powerful impact of EHRs that help bedside clinicians more.  EHRs need to enhance bedside caregivers with intelligence-driven capabilities. Five healthcare organizations rigorously undertook six studies of how Allscripts SunriseTM affects bedside caregivers with nurses as the focal point – primarily both as the mainstays of the bedside presence, as well as proxy perspectives for the team of bedside non-physician caregivers. What was found, and published in peer-review*, adds enormous substance to the favorability of best-EHR impacts on bedside […]

Editor’s Note 1/28/15: Ovum recently featured this client in a publication, “Best-Practice Electronic Patient Record Deployment at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.” Download it here. When Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, located in Salford, United Kingdom, received funding to go semi-mobile in its wards, the organization partnered with Allscripts to help bring the project to life. The effort required a very rapid development timeline, with the project beginning and launching in less than 9 months. Salford Royal has been using an EPR for more than 10 years, and implemented Sunrise™ Acute Care (formerly known as Sunrise Clinical Manager) in June of 2013, so clinicians were familiar with the multitude of benefits that come with going paperless. But Salford Royal needed a flexible, cutting-edge system it could tailor to meet the needs of its patients and clinicians, helping reach the organization’s […]