The University Health System (UHS) hospital is at the center of the healthcare community in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., where many ambulatory providers use EHR systems from other vendors. To encourage clinical collaboration, UHS knew that the next step was a private health information exchange (HIE). In 2014, UHS implemented Allscripts dbMotion™ Solution as its private HIE. In a recent case study and video, Chief Information Officer Bill Phillips describes the organization’s journey: In August 2014, UHS rolled out dbMotion, the connectivity platform that enables caregivers to access data in disparate clinical information systems. It helps clinicians share information for better coordination of care. “dbMotion is truly a patient safety product,” Philips said. “Immediately when this system came up, we were getting positive feedback.” “dbMotion was the greatest thing that has happened to us,” UHS Chief Medical Information Officer Alton […]

Clinical Exchange Document (CED)™ is a term we use at Allscripts to cover the multitude of standards-based, XML-format documents that are interoperable in healthcare exchanges. To improve their “meaningful usefulness,” the HL7 Structured Document Workgroup launched a short survey, which will gather feedback from providers about what data is most relevant and pertinent to them. Widespread use and variation of CED With Meaningful Use, providers have used CED (in the form of C-CDA) more frequently to exchange content between healthcare sites and providers. The Certification Rules have called out different HL7 Implementation Guides for use, such as Transitions of Care, Data Portability and View Download and Transmit. With each iteration of these Implementation Guides, the industry moves closer to constructing content that is semantically interoperable. However, we continue to hear that these documents, in spite of improved guides and constraints, […]

Tucked between large metropolitan centers on the East Coast, Berkshire Medical Center serves a population of about 130,000 people across 1,000 square miles of western Massachusetts. Clinicians there have launched a health information exchange (HIE) using dbMotionTM Solution, proving that small communities can harness big data. At Population Health University, our recent annual user conference, we gained insights from Berkshire’s Chief Medical Information Officer Mark Snowise, MD. “In a small community like ours, if we want to progress, we had to find some way to get everyone connected and talking to each other,” he said. Launching the Berkshire HIE Three years ago, the hospital approached the broader healthcare community with a plan to improve data sharing. Initially the hospital hoped to align the various providers by using the same electronic health record (EHR). The hospital-based practices and several community practices […]

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Elmwood Health Center’s journey to connectivity

A lot can happen in four years. Just ask the team at Elmwood Health Center (EHC), a freestanding, community-based healthcare provider in Buffalo, New York. Four years ago EHC’s director of clinical services, Barb Johnson, said she could “only dream” about exchanging information in and out of their program. Thanks to efforts to improve connectivity, EHC enjoys better access to real-time data and more efficient workflow, and is providing overall better care to patients. In 2010 EHC implemented Allscripts Professional EHRTM. This step was the first in a journey to better interoperability, one that earned EHC the 2013 Allscripts Client Award for Outstanding Connectivity Outcomes.   Click here to watch a video about Elmwood Health Center’s connectivity efforts   Within one year of going live with Allscripts Professional EHR™, EHC achieved Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Level 3 Status. About the […]

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In EHR Adoption, Patience is a Virtue

A recent RAND study featured in the January issue of Health Affairs suggests that we are slow to achieve the cost-savings promise of health information technology. Authors suggest this is because the systems are not used widely enough, interconnected or fully embraced by the physicians who use them. It’s true that U.S. healthcare hasn’t achieved the savings predicted by groups like RAND themselves (whose models were over-aggressive and questioned at the time by experts in the Congressional Budget Office). But the recent study still concluded that adoption presents the potential to save more than $80 billion annually.  Unfortunately, like the first RAND study published in 2005, this one takes the complex issues challenging healthcare providers, software developers and regulators alike and boils them down to simplistic analysis that ignores the size of the change we are collectively affecting here. Big […]

A story I recently heard about a 4-year-old boy in Kentucky has reinvigorated my thinking about the need for a national clearinghouse of healthcare data. The model is already successful in the financial industry; we just need to implement it in healthcare to benefit patients. When you apply for a credit card, buy a house or take out a loan, the first thing your financial institution does is look at your credit report. It’s a check of your financial health to make sure it’s in your best interest – and the bank’s – to give you a line of credit. Your credit history is available because all financial institutions (with a few exceptions) send standardized data to credit reporting agencies. They cooperate because as an industry they know it benefits all lenders and consumers to make good decisions about credit […]

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Stage Two: Let the Debate Begin!

Many of us who are close to healthcare IT regulation will soon be heads-down reviewing, analyzing and generally mulling over the Proposed Rule on Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, now that CMS is set to release it.  On top of late nights and a headache or two, there is one other thing we’re bracing for: the Great Debate as to whether CMS – with significant input from others – did a good job or missed the mark.  No matter what is in the Rule, some will argue that the proposed measures are too difficult, while others will insist CMS didn’t go far enough.  It’s clear we can expect significant back-and-forth on the appropriate balance of the Rule’s many elements – the thresholds, the quality measures, the requirements for data connectivity, privacy elements, and how best to measure patient engagement in […]