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That moment a nurse never forgets

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/05/2016

Every nurse has at least one eye-opening experience that changes them forever. One of mine happened in a pediatric oncology unit almost 20 years ago. I was taking care of a seven-year-old boy, Jack*, who was recovering from a bone marrow transplant. Weakened by intense radiology and chemotherapy treatments, he had been unresponsive for several days. Despite his illness, Jack was an optimist. He was raising money to buy a bicycle so he could ride home from the hospital one day. Jack made and sold buttons for 50 cents each to help reach his goal. When I was doing rounds one night, I dropped two quarters in the jar next to his bed and took a button. I pinned it to my scrubs and gave the jar a shake to let Jack know he was one step closer to that […]

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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 […]

University Health System (UHS) implemented Allscripts Sunrise™ for both ambulatory and acute care in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., featured in a recent case study. “We integrate everything into Allscripts Sunrise to give physicians one place, one stop, one shop for all diagnostic and clinical information pertaining to that patient,” Chief Information Officer Bill Phillips said. Customization and flexibility were two main reasons UHS selected Sunrise to deliver advanced patient care now and in the future: Phillips provides a personal perspective, too. In this video he recounts a conversation about Sunrise with his own primary care provider: Providing capability and flexibility “I think what really makes Sunrise different than other EMRs is, you have the capability, the flexibility, to make the system do what you need it to do,” Phillips said. UHS uses more than 300 applications and credits the Allscripts […]

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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 […]

Sharing crucial information across care settings throughout a care-community is increasingly mission-critical, especially in the unpredictable world of obstetrics and deliveries. Hospital Labor and Delivery (L&D) departments endure dramatic volume fluctuations and many opportunities for complications, all generally unanticipated even though expected. Meanwhile, clinics and obstetricians routinely see and assess prenatal patients, capturing data from delivery dates to risks, then again the same women postpartum, now with their infants. However, clinicians in these two interdependent settings generally share NO data, causing re-assessments or re-documentations on both ends, and compromising capabilities to perceive and meet risk-related needs. After investing in Allscripts SunriseTM as its interoperable electronic health record system (EHR), one organization demonstrated the value of care coordination for mothers and infants. Clinicians and information technology (IT) professionals teamed up to fine-tune applications to their local needs and to create ideal […]

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 […]

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What nurses like most (and least) about today’s EHRs

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/05/2015

In honor of International Nurses Day (May 12) and Nurses Week in the U.S. this week, Allscripts is highlighting the results of a recent HIMSS Analytics survey. We wanted to know: What do nurses really think of electronic health records (EHRs)? I’m encouraged that the results were generally positive. Remembering how difficult it was to use paper records as a pediatric oncology nurse, I wholeheartedly agree. Some of the highlights include: Nurses are generally positive about EHRs, and most agree: EHRs help improve patient safety and avoid medication errors (72%) Nurses would not consider going back to paper-based medical records (71%) Mixed results on how EHRs affect collaboration: EHRs help enable collaboration with other clinicians inside their organizations (73%) Only about half of nurses agree that EHRs enable collaboration with clinicians outside their organizations (49%) Nurses are less likely to agree […]

One benefit of automation you might not expect? Improving morale. At our annual user conference, Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), we talked about this benefit with Terri Carlson, executive director of support services, Jeanette Harkness, manager of portering, and Wendy McCrystal, senior business analyst from Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR).  The largest healthcare system in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, RQHR uses SunriseTM by Allscripts and Patient Flow. Patient Flow helps hospitals automate bed management and patient transport, which leads to better care coordination and efficiency. The system also offers transparency that hospitals don’t have with manual and paper processes. Better transparency improved trust between departments When using a paper system for bed management and bed turnover, RQHR did not have transparency. Housekeeping staff would walk the halls looking for beds ready to be cleaned. Clinical staff assumed that housekeeping staff weren’t cleaning […]

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  Our annual user conference, the Allscripts Client Experience (ACE), drew about 3,000 clients to Chicago this week. My favorite part of the event is collaborating with clients and industry experts. In his executive session keynote address, best-selling author and surgeon Marty Makary, MDspoke about a topic that is a high priority for all healthcare organizations: patient safety. How many people is health care hurting? Makary observed that almost everyone goes into health care with the best intentions to help people. U.S. health care is an amazing, scientific system; but it’s not perfect. We have the unintended consequence of variation. Meaning, non-standardized care can cause deadly errors. A recent study in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from preventable harm caused by hospitals. To put that number in perspective, Makary noted […]

The Allscripts Application Store helps instantly connect Allscripts clients with approved third-party applications and devices designed to improve productivity, deliver higher-quality care, engage patients in their own care and more.  Our goal is to help our clients make the most of their electronic health record (EHR) investment. We currently have more than 60 solutions built for various Allscripts applications that tackle a wide range of healthcare challenges. One area where we’re seeing innovation growth is clinical decision support for electronic prescriptions. The benefits of electronic prescriptions According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, electronic-prescribing (“e-prescribing”) adoption is growing in the United States. Between December 2008 and June 2012, the number of physicians e-prescribing with an electronic health record (EHR) increased by 41 percentage points. About half of U.S. physicians are now e-prescribing. One of the […]