Ambulatory practices juggle many priorities, but everything is ultimately about providing high-quality care for patients. Every new tool, every new task must help meet that goal. Before adding a new data reporting solution, it’s important to know that it really works. Data reporting – It’s more than utilization We’ve extended our partnership with Meridian Medical Management to offer Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR clients a robust option for reporting through PrecisionBI. TouchWorks EHR Reporting is a powerful solution that has a proven track record helping physician practices achieve strong clinical and financial results. Organizations can use it to create sophisticated ad-hoc reports with simple point-and-click tools without impacting the EHR. Physicians choose how to summarize and display their individual data, per provider preference, including list reports as well as chart and graph views. This transparency with clinical data – along with the […]

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8 seconds or less: How physician input improved usability

  • Jeanne Armstrong, M.D.
  • 05/24/2016

Physician input is vital for good Health IT design. The only way we can continue to improve adoption, usability – and ultimately patient safety – is to engage users early, often and through all stages of software design. Involving users is one of the guiding principles of Allscripts’ user-centered design (UCD) process, the subject of a recent white paper. When building new products or improving existing solutions, we follow those best practices. Formative testing catches mistakes before it’s too late All too often, users don’t get a chance to weigh in until Health IT solutions are about to be released. But we take great care to conduct formative testing for our new features and solutions. This type of testing occurs with early versions of solutions, such as wireframes, sketches or prototypes. Designers hold one-on-one sessions with actual users. They provide […]

Every year, clinicians manually enter billions of point-of-care test results (such as urinalysis and cholesterol tests), from paper printouts into electronic health records (EHR). This is a time-consuming process, as a single test result can contain a dozen different numerical values and units. Each data point is an opportunity for error. To solve this problem one of Allscripts Developer Program partners, Relaymed, researched the current methods used by clinicians and incorporated this information as part of its user-centered design process to create its own automated workflow. Unfortunately, when Relaymed researchers evaluated the manual methods for entering test results into the EHR at multiple organizations, they found it doesn’t always happen successfully. Relaymed Chief Executive Officer Neil Farish reports that his team of researchers found numerous issues, including a continuous printout of lab results left hanging from a device for more […]

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Guiding principles for EHR design: A 10-point checklist

  • Jeanne Armstrong, M.D.
  • 03/22/2016

As one of the clinical architects of Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR, I work hand in hand with our functional architect, product owners and user-centered design (UCD) experts. We work as a team on new designs to make sure we’re using best practices to improve usability. We developed the following guiding principles as a checklist to help us better focus our product development on what users need: 1. Let users do their work when and where they discover it needs to be done. Reduce the amount of unnecessary clicks to complete a workflow. Design navigation and workspaces to enable users to perform a wide variety of tasks, while tailoring them for the most frequently performed actions. Where possible, free cognitive resources with automation. 2. Acknowledge chaos. Consider users who perform tasks in chaotic work environments, where interruptions are expected. Make it easy […]

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Making a difference in The Diabetes Belt

  • Jeanne Armstrong, M.D.
  • 03/08/2016

The Mississippi Delta, a region in the American South along the Mississippi River, faces higher rates of diabetes than the rest of the United States. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has identified the area as part of “The Diabetes Belt,” where 11.7% of people have been diagnosed with diabetes, compared to outside the belt with only 8.5% of the population. The Delta Health Alliance (Stoneville, Mississippi, U.S.A.) shared how it is using Allscripts solutions to manage diabetes care for better clinical and financial outcomes in a recent case study and video: A lack of physicians in the Mississippi River Delta region can limit patients’ access to health care. Providers need solutions that can help identify and improve communication with at-risk patients. To help meet demand for proven technology, the Delta Health Alliance is a collaboration of 60 Federally […]

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Managing wait times in urgent care

  • Jeanne Armstrong, M.D.
  • 03/01/2016

Have you noticed more advertisements from your local emergency and urgent care centers, talking about shorter wait times? It’s because healthcare organizations recognize that wait times play a significant part in satisfaction rates for patients and clinicians. Monitoring a patient’s experience throughout the visit can be challenging, especially if an organization must manage resources across multiple sites. Sharp Rees-Stealy (San Diego, California, U.S.A.) uses Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and the Patient Tracking Board to improve the patient’s experience across its five urgent care settings. Improving patient experience in Sharp Rees-Stealy urgent care settings Through a quality-improvement initiative featured in a recent case study, the organization focused on three areas: intake, radiology and discharge. By streamlining these processes, Sharp Rees-Stealy has become more efficient and significantly increased patient satisfaction scores. The solution provides greater visibility as patients move through urgent care departments. […]

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Finding charges you don’t know you’re missing

When your mission is to take care of hearts, all other tasks pale in comparison – especially billing. Cardiovascular Consultants Medical Group (CCMG) has served patients in the greater Los Angeles area for more than 50 years, establishing it is the oldest cardiology practice in the community. Like many physician practices, CCMG was facing challenges such as rising costs, declining reimbursements and evolving government standards – all while providing high-quality care for patients. Also, like many independent practices, CCMG managed the revenue cycle in a silo. Allscripts RCMS was able to help our client drive more revenue into the practice while simultaneously drive costs out of the practice. As a result, Allscripts solutions helped establish a linear relationship between collection outcomes and costs, giving the organization visibility into problem areas. Engaging with a trusted partner to help manage revenue has […]

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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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Top 10 client stories of 2015

Clients do phenomenal work on behalf of their patients. And it’s clear from our annual review of this blog that readers like to read about how people are improving health care. Here’s a list of the 10 most-read, most-shared client stories in 2015: Allscripts Sunrise workflow can help eliminate common hospital-acquired infections Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection (CLABSI) is one of the most deadly hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. with a mortality rate of 12% – 25%. Proven prevention techniques can reduce CLABSI incidence by 65% – 70%. Health First (Rockledge, Florida, U.S.A.) and Blessing Hospital (Quincy, Illinois, U.S.A.) shared in a recent client webinar how they are using Allscripts SunriseTM and best practices to decrease CLABSI. Should we measure outcomes or compliance? Of course, the ultimate goal is to improve clinical and financial outcomes. Healthcare organizations want to know they’re delivering the best quality […]

Obstetrics is a unique specialty in that there is an expectation of nearly 100% transition of care from outpatient to inpatient. Consequently, sharing information across healthcare settings is invaluable in obstetric and gynecological (OB/GYN) care. It is a high-volume, high-stakes specialty and providers need tools to document and identify pertinent clinical information as quickly as possible. We designed our new version of Allscripts Prenatal™ 15.3, delivered to clients on December 1, with the primary goal of improving clinicians’ efficiency and satisfaction using the application. We tested common workflows and received overwhelmingly positive results in both objective and subjective measurements of usability. Prenatal embedded in the electronic health record (EHR) improves efficiency, satisfaction Prenatal can now be embedded into Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR, so the clinician doesn’t have to leave the EHR workflow to document obstetric care. This new feature represents having […]