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ACE12 Kicks Off with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

ACE12, our annual Allscripts users’ conference, kicked off this morning with over 4,000 attendees at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman headlined the opening address.  To see for yourself, watch the full ACE 2012 Opening Address online. (If you have trouble getting the video to run, please reload the page. We wanted to save you the trouble of entering your information to access the replay).

For those of you who’d rather not sit through the video, we’ve pulled together the highlights here …

Mayor Rahm Emanuel started things off with an introduction to Chicago for ACE attendees.  The former White House Chief of Staff reviewed the success Chicago has had creating jobs – more than in any major U.S. city, he said – and investing $7.3 billion in critical infrastructure. And he outlined the city’s successful wellness program for employees, improving management of the six chronic illnesses that account for the vast majority of the city’s health expenses.

Mayor Emanuel also thanked Allscripts, both for creating new jobs at the company’s downtown headquarters and for supporting a program within the city’s community colleges that provides professional training in health IT. Fifty graduates of the program who were recently hired by Allscripts were in the audience at ACE12.  Emanuel said programs like this helped increase enrollment at the city’s community colleges for the first time in 10 years. “That’s because we are giving these young adults a chance at the dreams and the seats that you have here,” he said, pointing at the audience.

After the Mayor left, Glen presented the company’s vision for transforming healthcare through open, interoperable technology platform.  And he revealed some of the latest and upcoming Allscripts solutions.

But Glen started off by noting the elephant in the room.  “We’ve been in the news the last few months,” he said. “You get the news but you don’t always get the full story. Let’s talk about what really happened.”

Glen called out the company’s successes over the past 12 months: 17% revenue growth … 23% profit growth … Over $200 million in operating cash flow for the first time in the company’s history … $160 million invested in R&D (reaching “probably more than $200 million this year,” he added) … And 1,500 people hired to ramp up client support and services, including 500 in the first quarter of 2012.

“So the real story over the last 12 months is the story of change, it’s the story of investment, and it’s the story of innovation,” Glen said. “But what I’m really excited about is the next 12 months.”

Next up from Allscripts:

  • Sunrise Clinical Manager 6.0 (“almost zero downtime and upgrades”)
  • Enterprise EHR 11.4 (“speed, performance, stability, and making the upgrade process much easier”)
  • Sunrise Financial Manager (“tens of millions of dollars spent building the world’s best financial management system developed in the age of ACOs”)
  • Integration of Sunrise and Enterprise EHRs (“and this year that will be extended to connect Sunrise and Professional EHR”)
  • New Care Coordination products that will be available “before the end of this calendar year”

To demonstrate the Integration of Sunrise and Enterprise, Blessing Hospital CEO Maureen Kahn appeared in a short video. Caregivers in the hospital as well as Blessing physician clinics can now view and update information from both settings within either solution. The crowd seemed excited by the Blessing story.

In another video, physicians from USF Health in Tampa, Fla. demonstrated their use of WAND – Allscripts iPad EHR solution – and Allscripts Remote, a solution that provides access to the EHR via iPhone, Android and other smart phones.

To illustrate the open architecture supporting Sunrise, Dr. Jeffrey Trimarck, CMIO of United Hospital System in Kenosha, Wis., demonstrated a solution that, “with one click,” provides an overview of a diabetic patient’s lab results and other key information from the hospital and physician practice.

UHS’s solution is one of hundreds that have been developed by Allscripts clients across the globe, Glen said.  Better yet, they’re sharing their innovations with each other – free of charge – on ClientConnect, the Allscripts online client community.

“That’s what I call a good virus,” said Glen. “This is what starts to happen when you open up your platform and give the smartest people in the industry the ability to innovate and share those innovations with others.”

To support the creation of this innovation ecosystem, Glen announced the Allscripts Client Award Program.  The new program will create a panel of industry experts to review proposals from Allscripts clients for $1 million in innovation grants.  The winners will be announced at next year’s ACE.

On the topic of innovation, Glen announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with American Well to integrate telehealth capabilities into Allscripts EHRs. The solution lets providers get paid for remote telehealth consultations.

To demonstrate the solution, Glen initiated a live telehealth conference with Steven Klasko, MD, CEO of USF Health.  Klasko told the attendees that USF Health will pilot the integration by providing primary care and specialty telehealth consults with residents of The Villages, the nation’s largest over-55 residential community.

“We’re so excited to be part of this,” Klasko said, his image beaming over the three 50-foot tall video monitors in the hall. “This is bringing you closer to your patients, and your patients closer to you. … You’re not stuck in the old paradigm of healthcare; you’re doing tomorrow’s healthcare today.”

(Healthcare IT News covered the Allscripts telehealth agreement in a story today: “Telehealth and Allscripts EHR, new dynamic duo”)

And finally Glen dedicated the keynote to Army First Lieutenant Nathan Rimpf, son of Cindy Rimpf, a Senior Product Support Manager for Allscripts.  Nathan lost both his legs recently while serving his country in Afghanistan. The family has set up a fund to help support Nathan as he recovers from his injuries – you can find it on Facebook here.

Glen visited Nathan at Bethesda Naval Hospital recently and said of the moment, “What struck me was that he said thank you to me. He said, ‘thank you for making this healthcare system better, because without this healthcare system, I wouldn’t be here.’ … That’s why we do what we do.”

Keep watching for more updates from ACE …

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