To provide the best quality care, clinicians need detailed information about a patient’s medical history and status. They need to know existing information is correct, and also about new details in patients’ lives that could affect their care. Some days, I’m organized and build in time to prepare for upcoming appointments. I may be able to go to an online site and complete the updates and information necessary for my visit in advance. During busy days and weeks, it might be all I can do to get to the appointment on time, and having an onsite option like a kiosk in the waiting room to update my medical history becomes vital to making sure my doctor has all the best data about me. As a person and a patient, I like options. I want to engage with practices who use […]

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United in safety: Making patient safety a top priority

  • Geoff Caplea, M.D., MBA
  • 03/15/2016

This week marks National Patient Safety Awareness Week, but in practice, Allscripts makes patient safety a priority all year. Everyone across the healthcare industry has a part to play in keeping patients safe from harm. Here are some recent examples of how Allscripts and clients are using technology effectively to keep patients safe: Improve electronic health record (EHR) usability with user-centered design (UCD) – A well-designed software solution can improve patient safety and clinician efficiency. This white paper reviews best practices and illustrate UCD concepts with examples from Allscripts electronic health records. Monitor patients in the hospital for faster, more effective treatment – Evidence-based clinical decision support, combined with 24/7 monitoring can help clinicians intervene quickly with appropriate treatment. For example, Allscripts SunriseTM clients have used technology to help defend against sepsis, eliminate common hospital-acquired infections and reduce C. diff […]

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18 tips for patient portal success

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to patient engagement. Teams have to design a game plan with tactics that work best for their organizations. Clients have shared what’s worked for them, and we’ve compiled a list of some of their most creative and successful ideas: 1) Work as a team. “It takes a team. Provider buy-in is essential, however, we do believe it starts at the front desk. Before the patient leaves we want them to hear at least three times, ‘Hey, did you hear about this cool new tool we have to offer you?’” Melissa Huff, ClO, Clinics of North Texas 2) Start with employees. “We started with rolling it out to our employees. We wanted to gain buy-in, and they also helped us test the product before we launched it publicly,” Jaime Crawford, Manager of Communications and Digital Media, […]

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 […]

Excela Health (Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.) prioritizes a positive patient experience. Combining teamwork with its patient-centric philosophy helped the organization succeed with Allscripts FollowMyHealth® patient engagement platform, branded ExcelaHealth.Me. Since launching the portal in January 2014, Excela Health has enrolled 20,000 patients and adds more than 1,500 new accounts each month. It has also exceeded the Meaningful Use requirement for more than 5% utilization – in both inpatient and outpatient settings – helping claim about $3 million in incentive funding. It takes a team to succeed “Your first step is to embrace the fact that patient portal deployment and utilization are communication challenges, not IT problems,” Excela Health Manager of Communications and Digital Media Jaime Crawford said. “It really does take a team.” Excela Health engaged the senior leaders first and launched a governance structure that involved all parts of […]

During our annual Population Health University user group meeting, Holzer Health System Director of Communications Kevin Waller shared how his organization is successfully engaging patients with Allscripts FollowMyHealth®, tripling enrollment to more than 12,000 patients within one year. Engaging Patients with FollowMyHealth: Holzer Health System (Gallipolis, Ohio, U.S.A.) is a multi-disciplinary healthcare system, with 15 ambulatory locations throughout southern Ohio and western West Virginia, and two hospitals with 287 beds. When asked what in particular made Holzer so successful in the quest to achieve effective patient engagement, Waller outlined three key strategies: 1) Define the portal Waller and his team recognized early on that people didn’t understand what FollowMyHealth was. Inspired by a marketing campaign of a home improvement store, Waller suggested changing the name of the portal to “MyHolzer.com.” Holzer Health System refined its message, making it easier for […]

A recent HIMSS Analytics survey found that patient engagement is top of mind for 72% of health IT leaders. Every stage of Meaningful Use requires some form of patient engagement. Many practices and hospitals are engaging patients in their own health through patient portals. But getting patients to activate and actually use them continues to be a challenge. Practices that communicate more effectively with their patients can achieve higher portal engagement success. One option that has proven effective is HealthBanks eNewsletter, an Allscripts-certified application available on the Allscripts Application Store. Using HealthBanks eNewsletter to reach patients The HealthBanks eNewsletter is certified to integrate with Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and Allscripts Professional EHRTM and makes it easier for practices to communicate with patients. Allscripts systems automatically subscribe patients to receive e-newsletters so they can be well informed about patient portals, flu clinics, seasonal updates, […]

Many providers are finishing up their 2014 attestation period for Meaningful Use, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) incentive program for successful use of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Several changes in the regulations in 2014 have prompted questions. Using information available today, I’ve answered some of the most frequently-asked questions here: Q. Do we need to attest several times throughout 2015, or do we attest only one time after the end of 2015? As of today, if you’ve attested for Meaningful Use before, you only need to attest once. You will demonstrate for all of 2015 and attest before February 29, 2016.  (Exception: people who have never demonstrated before will have a 90-day demonstration period.) However, on January 29, 2015, the Chief Medical Officer of CMS issued a significant communication about some possible future adjustments to the Meaningful […]

Patient engagement is essential to improving care, but it can be a tough climb. For example, U.S. clients often note the most challenging government incentive measures are the ones that require patient response. Health First (Brevard County, Florida, U.S.A.) recognized the importance of genuine patient engagement, including millions of dollars in potential Meaningful Use incentives. Below, Health First shares how – within just a few short weeks – it achieved 52.6% of patients with online access and encouraged 6.8% of patients to view information electronically. Here are some of the successful strategies from Health First Vice President of Enterprise Applications/Informatics and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Karie Ryan, RN, MS, BSN: 1. Remember that implementation is just a first step. During the summer of 2014, Health First implemented Allscripts FollowMyHealth® patient portal (and rebranded it HFConnect). But just building a portal […]

One of the things I love most about working with partners is seeing their dedicated work to solve specific problems for our clients, using integration tools and expertise available in the Allscripts Developer Program.  They make it look simple and seamless, even though their “overnight success” may have been years and years in the making. Our App of the Month, from eDoc4U, is an example of a company laser-focused on solving problems and creating innovative new software.  Last year, it was one of the five finalists of the Open App Challenge, chosen by a panel of clients, industry experts and Allscripts representatives as an application that could potentially revolutionize health care. Since then eDoc4U received a patent on its NCQA-certified population health management technology and worked with Allscripts clients and developers to refine its integration, making it as streamlined and robust […]