0 comments

5 interoperability findings you should know

Our industry is swirling with health data exchange initiatives to enable better population health management. Everyone understands that an open, collaborative approach will help us achieve the promise of interoperability. But to shape successful efforts, it’s important to take a step back and look at available research on interoperability. What does the evidence tell us about factors that will lead to population health success? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) offers many helpful resources. Two ONC data briefs* offer compelling facts and figures that should shape our interoperability efforts, including the following research about U.S. hospitals: 1) 46% of hospitals have access to electronic patient data, from sources outside their clinical systems, at the point of care This is the national average in 2015, which is up from 41% in 2014. This research also shows […]

2 comments

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 […]

Fraser Health Authority (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) uses multiple clinical systems to deliver patient care to more than 1.6 million patients annually. Connectivity across care settings is important, as is connecting with provincial repositories of clinical data. Fraser Health recently used Allscripts dbMotion™ Solution to achieve a milestone in its progress toward better connectivity. As of January 2016, Fraser Health clinicians can query the Provincial Laboratory Information Solution (PLIS) for patient lab test results. The first pilot group includes 650 clinicians, and the capability will eventually be available to 15,000 users over the next several months. Clinicians can access test results from other providers, which will help enable more complete clinical information at the point of care and reduce unnecessary test duplication. The change is simple for the user. From within the dbMotion document domain there is now an additional […]

Editor’s note – Learn the basics in  A beginner’s guide to FHIR. The article below answers additional frequently asked questions about FHIR. Clients are asking good questions about FHIR and what it means for them. Here are a few that we’ve received about the emerging interoperability standard: How does FHIR relate to the API requirement for 2015 certification? To achieve 2015 certification, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) requires EHRs to be able to retrieve patient data using APIs. ONC did not specify FHIR as a requirement for the API certification, categorizing FHIR in the 2016 Draft Interoperability Standards Advisory as piloted with low adoption. However, ONC’s documentation reflects FHIR in its phrasing and direction, so it’s clear that ONC is generally supportive of the evolving standard. How do FHIR Resources compare to Clinical Document […]

7 comments

Q&A: A beginner’s guide to FHIR

  • George E. Cole, Jr.
  • 01/06/2016

Interest in FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is growing as the standard for exchanging healthcare information takes shape. What is it and what will it mean for healthcare providers? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers: Q. What is FHIR? A. FHIR (pronounced “fire”) is a newly emerging international specification that standardizes the exchange of electronic healthcare information. First sponsored by Health Level Seven International (HL7) in 2011, FHIR incorporates the best features from previously developed standards. Q. How is FHIR different from other interoperability standards? A. The major difference between FHIR and other standards is simplicity and flexibility. Fast – the F in FHIR – expresses the intent to make this standard faster to learn, develop and implement. Essentially, each application of the FHIR standard requires  a resource approach to the information model (e.g., Medication, Procedure, or Immunization), […]

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 […]

2015 has been a year of great promise and progress for the healthcare industry. The recent announcement of Meaningful Use Stage 3 will strengthen efforts toward health data exchange in the United States. True interoperability will enable more predictive, personalized approaches to health care, such as precision medicine. We’re sharing industry insights and client outcomes through our magazine, Continuum. Highlights in the second issue include: Executive Insight: CEO Paul Black on Achieving the Promise of Health IT. What the industry can do to advance interoperability and a call to stop data bullying. Delivering Care When Every Minute Counts. How St. Clair Hospital’s emergency department reduced waiting times with Allscripts Sunrise™. Q&A: The Rise of Precision Medicine.  Senior Vice President Assaf Halevy describes how technology will help hasten this emerging field into health care’s mainstream. 10 Creative Ways to Improve Patient Portal […]

At a recent meeting for clients that use Allscripts population health solutions, we heard several success stories. Despite various outstanding achievements, many interoperability conversations started with, “We’re not as far along as UPMC, but…” A clear leader in interoperability, UPMC is a healthcare provider and insurer. To give a sense of the organization’s size and influence, UPMC operates more than 20 hospitals and 500 outpatient sites. At the meeting, clients heard from two Assistant Professors of Pediatrics in the UPMC Division of Newborn Medicine, Sean Frederick, M.D., Assistant CMIO at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Amy Urban, DO, Clinical Director of Interoperability at UPMC. They shared an interoperability journey in a pediatric environment at two busy tertiary care facilities, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Data exchange in a pediatric environment It’s an […]

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 […]