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Evangelical Community Hospital selects Allscripts EHR to automate clinical processes

AllscriptsMisys Healthcare Solutions : 06 August, 2008  (Application Story)
The Evangelical Community Hospital has selected the Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution to automate and connect clinical processes for its 40 employed physicians and 60 affiliated physicians in independent practice.
The agreement with Allscripts follows recent changes to the federal Stark regulations that now allow hospitals to assist non-employed physicians in purchasing healthcare information technologies such as the Electronic Health Record. Evangelical Community Hospital will host the Allscripts solution and subsidise the cost and ongoing fees associated with providing the system to physicians in the community

'In seeking to fulfill our vision of healthy communities, we're bringing our close-knit network of physicians together to share clinical and financial information on one Allscripts network,' said Scott Peterson, chief information officer at Evangelical Community Hospital, which previously provided its physicians the Allscripts Practice management solution to automate back-office functions such as billing, scheduling and revenue cycle management. 'We planned to take this step eventually but the Stark rule change provided us the opportunity to move forward in a much more aggressive manner and to build physician support for the deployment over a much shorter time.'

The Allscripts Electronic Health Record delivers instant access to patient information when and where physicians need it - at the hospital, in their offices, or while on-call. The web-based solution also automates everyday clinical tasks for physicians and other healthcare providers, including prescribing and refilling medications, ordering and reviewing tests, and documenting patient care.

'We are pleased that Evangelical Community Hospital is able to support the deployment of the Allscripts electronic health record to our staff members who might not otherwise adopt and use an Electronic Health Record, either because of cost or fear of implementation difficulties,' said J Lawrence Ginsburg, MD, MMM, vice president of medical affairs at Evangelical Community Hospital. 'We carefully evaluated multiple vendors and believe that Allscripts offers the best combination of functionality and support. It is clear that the use of an electronic health record will enhance Patient safety and the quality of care delivered by these physicians.'

'The connectivity to other community physicians that Allscripts will provide is especially important,' Dr Ginsburg added. 'It means that patients being seen by multiple providers, or going to the emergency room, may be confident that all their physicians have access to the same information, including medical history, test results, medication lists, and allergies. This will allow provision of more timely, safer care and avoid duplication of tests and procedures.'

Evangelical Community Hospital is a 135-bed community hospital that serves Pennsylvania's central Susquehanna Valley with a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital's emergency department serves more than 30,000 patients each year, including a large contingent of students from nearby universities, as well as residents of local retirement and skilled nursing facilities.

To better serve these populations, Evangelical Community Hospital will provide its patients and the broader community with Allscripts iHealth - a secure, online Personal Health Record (PHR) and patient-provider communications service from Medem that is linked to the Electronic Health Record.

'A big challenge that we face is that a large number of college students in the area have no medical history on file at the hospital,' said Scott Peterson, vice president, information systems. 'Also, elderly patients who often have multiple health issues and are on numerous medications are brought to the Emergency Department for care. We want to diagnose and treat these and all patients in the most efficient and effective manner possible. iHealth clearly gives us the ability to deliver quality care for them by making it easier for our providers to quickly locate vital clinical information.'

Allscripts chief executive officer Glen Tullman, an alumnus of nearby Bucknell University, commented, 'Having spent four years in the Susquehanna Valley, I'm pleased that Allscripts will be helping to keep the local population healthier. And I applaud Evangelical Community Hospital for their commitment to developing an end-to-end community care model, ensuring that physicians throughout the community have the information they need, when and where they need it, to improve the quality of care they deliver and ultimately lower the cost of running a medical practice.'

Evangelical Community Hospital also will deploy Allscripts Study Manager, providing the data tools to more easily participate in clinical research, resulting in a new revenue stream for physicians inside and outside the hospital, and advanced care options for patients. And the hospital will integrate the Electronic Health Record with its inpatient information systems, enabling physicians to view the charts, schedules, lab results and radiology results of their hospitalised patients.
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