Briefing Congress on health IT innovation
This week I testified before the United States House of Representatives. It was an honor to represent the healthcare IT industry and share how innovations are driving efficiencies and improvements. Here are excerpts from that testimony:
Despite some bumps in the road, as can be expected in times of change, there have been huge leaps forward in our industry in recent years that never would have happened had Congress not provided the impetus for ubiquitous adoption of electronic health records (EHRs).
These changes have disrupted paper systems that stood for decades, and the result is a new digital ecosystem of caregivers, software developers and patients, allowing all to take a fresh look at how processes can be enhanced via automation.
Fortunately, following disruption, there is innovation and opportunity. Allow me to provide a few examples:
Allscripts dbMotion™ interoperability platform brings together clinical content from across the community into a single patient view, then offering access to this data within the clinician’s natural workflow in their EHR (Allscripts or otherwise). dbMotion connects more than 350 different data sources.
In fact, at Baylor Scott and White Health, in northern Texas, a 12-year old girl was spared a second CAT scan when images from her initial ER visit were available later at another hospital with a different EHR. The ability to pull up these images prevented unnecessary radiation and saved her family almost $3,000.
In another example, at the UPMC, the wait time for patient data decreased from as long as 20 hours down to five seconds, and the time physicians spent searching for information dropped from up to 40 minutes down to one. And when physicians click this community view of their patients, they make a different clinical decision 60% of the time.
We recognize that tomorrow’s healthcare networks aren’t being built by our company alone. Since 2007, well before ONC regulatory requirements,
Allscripts launched an Open approach to our EHR applications, allowing third parties to integrate with our solutions. This has grown to a network of 4,000 certified developers, and the providers using the apps will exchange information one billion times this year alone.
A few program highlights include an app that helps connect diabetic patient data directly to their doctor’s EHR; an app that helps patients quickly and accurately provide updates before a practice visit; an app that helps providers connect patients to relevant clinical trials while still on-site; and an app that rapidly fills available appointments following a cancellation, avoiding lost practice revenue and creating accelerated access to care.
Beyond our own innovations, our clients have also capitalized on this open platform, building solutions to deliver results to their patients. Clients have all built tools on top of our EHRs to drive material cost savings and improved outcomes. For example:
Dosing and Administration errors affect upwards of 3 million inpatients annually in the U.S., which in turn needlessly added an average of 8 to 12 days to a patient’s length of stay. Since a new medication dose range checking algorithm was implemented four years ago at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, providers have seen a significant reduction in prescribing errors with only 3% of all medication orders now leading to a Dosing Error alerts.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported that sepsis care cost the country more than $20 billion in 2011, with the costs rising on average by 11.9% annually. Orlando Health created an early sepsis detection workflow on top of an Allscripts solution that led to a 14% reduction in overall sepsis mortality rate, as well as an 8% reduction in the average length of stay (LOS) for sepsis.
Readmissions to inpatient facilities continues to be a big strain on healthcare systems, reflecting gaps in care and challenges with continuity of care. LACE is a tool that helps calculate a readmission probability based on Length of Stay, Acute Admissions in the past, Comorbidities and ER visits. The UH Geneva Medical Center in Ohio, used each patient’s LACE score in a program to help ensure high-risk patients receive support for post-acute care (including home visits) and closer coordination with each patient’s primary care providers. In its first year alone, this initiative achieved a 50% reduction in all-cause readmissions for that patient group.
Allscripts was also the first in our industry to make a significant investment in the area of precision medicine, aligning with Congress’ interest in this opportunity. We recently launched our 2bPrecise solution, which will help caregivers proactively identify optimal patients for genomic sequencing and make the results available, understandable and actionable at the point of care.