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Open is the new black

So I had this crazy idea – what would happen if software designers became fashion designers?

Imagine IT folks deciding what would be “in” this season. For shoes, dresses and maybe even hairstyles. I laugh when I think about trying to get my wife to wear such things.

Fortunately we don’t all have to be fashion moguls to create and inspire. We apply our expertise to set the latest trends in IT solutions, solving some of the world’s most complex healthcare problems.

But we can only do that with an Open approach, which is the only way to foster true innovation. In healthcare IT, Open is the new black.

Open can provide real, measurable advantages

For real change to happen, the industry needs to see real advantage – clinical, financial or both. We need tools that give caregivers a higher probability of success.

Think about stock market tools, such as Bloomberg services, that cost thousands of dollars a month. Why is it successful? Because it gives the trader a tiny (but measurable) advantage over his peers. Bloomberg doesn’t create the information shown on their terminals, but it is the aggregator, the central collaborator.

Health care needs more tools that give measurable advantages. The possibilities are endless. Tools could help bring genetic analysis and personalized medicine to the physician’s practice. Maybe they make it easier to monitor patients. Or perhaps they help the patient and provider communicate with each other better. (See great examples from the Open App Challenge Phase 2 winners we announced at ACE13.)

Got a better idea for clinical guidelines? A better way to get patient data to caregivers at the point of care? If you can build a better mousetrap, Open helps you deliver a collaborative solution that capitalizes on your expertise.

Meaning, if you’re an expert grammarian or spell-checker, you can just build that piece, rather than having to build a competitor to Microsoft Word.  A solution that plays well with others, rather than building a comprehensive, standalone application all by yourself.

Closed systems are a hot mess

Imagine if Ford or Toyota or Audi said, “We care about the cost and quality of our cars, so we’re going to build everything ourselves. We’re going to build our own radios, tires, glass and steel.” It will never happen. Because the cost of a “We Make Everything Ourselves” car is through the roof. And overall quality and innovation would suffer, too.

Open means that Allscripts is going to apply the same sense as other giants of industry – we’re going to build the basic car. But we’re going to find the best tires and radios to systematically aggregate our core EHRs with our partners’ innovative solutions.

Open encourages innovation, bringing together the best minds, the most creative people, the individuals with the deepest knowledge – everyone with something to add the healthcare body of knowledge and healthcare information technology.

Open makes it easy for everyone to collaborate. With people outside Allscripts working alongside people inside Allscripts, we aggregate the best that everyone has to offer, much like Bloomberg does for traders.

Because when Open enables better patient care and financial advantages, we all win. From patients, to caregivers, to third-party developers. We’re talking about real, competitive advantages that bring about real change in health care. Some of those advantages are costly, but ALL of them help improve the quality of care that our families will receive.

Open is the new black. Try it on for size, and see the advantages for yourself.

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