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8 ways to create value with TouchWorks EHR data

When I meet with Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR* clients, I’m impressed with how they use it to create value for their organizations. We found great examples in a recent interview with Dr. David Graham, chief information officer and chief medical information officer at Memorial Health System (Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.).

Memorial Health System is one of the clients leading the way in its use of TouchWorks EHR data. Here are some of the highlights, in Dr. Graham’s own words:

1. Improve clinical results

“I can use examples in all the specialties we have in our primary care, from mammogram screening rates in our obstetrics group to hypertension care in our internal medicine practice…Incredible improvements we’ve done through partnering with our physicians and putting that data that comes out of TouchWorks EHR in front of them.”

2. Spend more time with patients

“[TouchWorks EHR] improves the abilities of our physicians and nurses to spend more time with our patients that they weren’t able to in the paper word.”

3. Change incentive programs for physicians

“One of the key advantages is…a risk incentive program for our providers, where we withhold ten percent of their income every year and we put very specific measures for them on clinical performance to earn that money back…having the data, the rich experience from the Touch Works database on quality measures and other performance measures we can give them regular feedback on a monthly basis.”

4. Improve access for patients

“We went from a fee-for-service model to an RVU [Relative-Value-Units] model that allowed our physicians to become agnostic to the payer. They don’t have to worry about whether the patient is with Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance. Access is central to Memorial’s mission. Now, they can bring more patients to the practice that didn’t have the opportunity before.”

5. Negotiate more favorable risk-based contracts

“Now that we have the data coming out of the TouchWorks EHR we can go to insurers and tell them how we’d like to change some of the metrics…They’ve been responding very well to that just at a slower pace than we would like.”

6. Earn more from payers for care coordination

“One managed care company came to us and said they wanted to give us three or four people to run their care coordination. We said, ‘No, we’ve got the tools within TouchWorks EHR. You pay a little extra and we’ll manage it.’ That turned out to be great for both parties.”

7. Prepare for regulatory changes

“We have a distinct advantage at Memorial Health System in being able to give our providers regular feedback on how they’re performing… Partnering together with Allscripts and the Touch Works product has allowed us to understand their performance, their needs, and implement changes that allow us to be ready for not only Meaningful Use but also for ICD10.

8. Enable collaboration with other providers

“I get a lot of pressure regularly from our acute care vendor to why don’t we switch now to their ambulatory solution since we’ve been on an EHR for almost five years now. It’s easy for me to look at them and say we get so much benefit out of the Touch Works system.  It’s easier to use.  It’s more effective and the data that we can pull from it to help improve our own care and also partner with the Springfield Clinic and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.”


To learn more about Memorial Health System’s success with TouchWorks EHR, you can download a free case study.

* Editor’s Note: Electronic Health Record (EHR) is another term for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

Editor’s Note: On June 3, 2015 we removed outdated supplemental material from this blog post.

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