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Why health IT has failed patients

It’s easy for health IT vendors to get caught up in techno-jargon, buzz words and value propositions: standards, Triple Aim, workflows, TCO and so on.

The complexity of healthcare technologies sometimes draws focus away from the patient.

  • We’re failing patients every time their healthcare information is not readily available to them and their clinicians.
  • We’re failing patients when their clinicians don’t have access to innovative, effective tools and applications – specific to their organization, preferences and area of practice – that enable better clinical decision-making.
  •  We’re failing patients when their providers can’t focus on them during a visit because providers must click through applications, log in and out of systems, or access multiple tools to do their job.

The health IT industry will succeed only when it recognizes that what truly matters – the sole reason health IT exists – is to ensure better care for patients.

3 healthcare priorities for patients

So, what priorities are driving patients – and how can health IT help deliver?

  1.  Mobility: Today’s patients are on the move. They’re seeing primary care providers, going to urgent care centers, visiting specialists and/or spending time in the hospital for acute conditions. Data, unfortunately, often reside in multiple systems across the community. Even though most patients want their clinicians to share information, it is challenging to do so easily.
  2. Access: Patients have grown accustomed to convenient access to consumer and retail services. And they want health care to be delivered in the same way. Highly personalized attention. No delays or roadblocks. Opportunities to interact on their own time.
  3. Reduced cost: Patients are shouldering a great burden of the cost of their care. A recent survey by Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Education Trust found that, between 2010 and 2015, deductibles for all workers have risen almost three times as fast as premiums, and about seven times as fast as wages and inflation.

How can health IT do a better job?

Until patients can go anywhere, anytime and know the provider is up to date, our job is not done. It is more important than ever to remain steadfast in our laser-focus on patients.

Two key concepts can help us do this: Technology that is open and technology that is interoperable.

Health IT  built on an open platform enables a world of possibilities and potential for healthcare organizations – and for their patients. Core systems that are truly open enable providers to extend and scale functionality – so they can be flexible for their patient populations and internal stakeholders. They can easily integrate proprietary software or plug in new applications from the industry’s most creative innovators.

When we add genuine semantic interoperability to the mix – true vendor-agnostic interoperability –  we deliver complete, harmonized and actionable data right into the clinician’s home system. What does this mean?

·        We enable providers to exchange data with any system

·        We “translate” that data into the language of the provider’s home system

·        We limit the “firehose” effect by organizing the information displayed.

Without it, clinicians lack the full picture for optimal decision-making and outcomes. Patients suffer from this lack of access.

This result of the open-plus-interoperable equation is a truly connected community. Where care is coordinated across all settings and venues. Where all clinicians have the complete picture of a patient. Where patients know they are the center of the healthcare universe.

Isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?


Editor’s note: To learn more about Allscripts’ vision for open, interoperable, connected health care, click here.

Comments 11

  1. Josh Edwards 05/23/2017

    There is noting that can replace a good assessment. EMR’s that get in the way of a good one on one assessment for each and every visit are failed systems. Allscripts must do better because right now it gets in the way of good assessments. Right Now Allscripts is failing to assist Providers in providing streamlined patient care

  2. Bill Baker 05/22/2017

    In the time of evolving AI, self driving cars and Siri, we are manually typing in data, wasting valuable time and emotional energy and burning out because of archaic, clunky, counterintuitive EHR’s. if you can’t fix it, just admit it and start over with new players.

  3. Eric Dean 05/22/2017

    Thank you for the thoughts. It is the point of everyone in HIT to create an easier access and operability for the patients as well as the clinicians. I look forward to making these things better in the coming years.

  4. Elizabeth Barker 05/08/2017

    Thanks for such a thought and discussion promoting article! When HIT is open/interoperable, everyone wins. Now more than ever, patients not only want access/control of their data, they expect it. The MyLinks app provides the solutions to many of the issues we face today with HIT.

  5. Michael Schaffrinna 05/22/2017

    The words written speak to a truth that providers have been screaming about for years. Unfortunately, our experience with support personnel at Allscripts make it clear that they do not see the vision as their answers to every issue increase the complexity of documentation. Until they understand what LEAN means, they will continue to push Allscripts users away from the product. We’ve come close twice. I understand the complexity of the ask … but small examples include this comment box that makes the comments vanish when you want to review and modify the comment. Programming like that frustrates the end user …

  6. Ann Marie Beasley, VP 05/23/2017

    Michael, thanks for sharing your concerns. Feedback from our clients helps us improve, and I’ve asked someone from our support team to reach out to hear more about how we can help.

  7. Ann Marie Beasley, VP 05/24/2017

    Thanks for your feedback, Josh. We’d like to better understand your specific concerns. I’d encourage you to reach out to your Allscripts representative to get started.

  8. Ann Marie Beasley, VP 05/23/2017

    Thanks for your feedback, Phil. You’re absolutely right; job one is making sure our solutions are helping clients deliver excellent care to their patients. I’ve asked someone from our hosting team to reach out to you to address your specific concerns.

  9. Ann Marie Beasley, VP 05/23/2017

    I agree that usability is important, Bill. Allscripts is committed to best practices for user-centered design, and we recognize the need to continuously improve. Because when solutions are more intuitive, it’s better for users and for patients.

  10. Phil Usakowski 05/22/2017

    The current Allscripts software is NOT at all user friendly and needs major improvements to justify its continued use. However, improving the software is completely useless if the Cloud servers hosting our data keep failing! Allscripts has some very big problems to fix and should be focusing ALL of their attention on keeping us running first, and then turn their attention to upgrading the outdated and disconnected software! We cannot function when your servers are down!

  11. Raushan Raj 05/09/2017

    Thanks for sharing your thought. We are doing great to make patients life easy and will try to get the solutions of these issues we’re facing in HIT.

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