Allscripts Launches 'App Store' and Referral Network to Accelerate Exchange of Ideas and Information Among Healthcare Stakeholders

Source: Healthcare IT News

From the floor of the HIMSS11 Conference & Exhibition, Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX) today announced the Application Store & Exchange™ (ASX) and the Allscripts Referral Network™ (ARN), two innovations to help hospitals and physician groups share ideas and information to improve care coordination, both inside and outside their organizations.

ASX enables Allscripts clients, partners and other organizations to add to the company's open product platform, while ARN makes it easy to deliver seamless electronic patient referrals within the Allscripts client base of 180,000 physicians, 1,500 hospitals and 10,000 post acute care organizations – the largest connected network in healthcare.

"We believe these two simple innovations, paired with our open architecture, can help to transform healthcare," said Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts. "The Application Store & Exchange works like the Apple App Store to let everyone contribute to making healthcare better, while the Allscripts Referral Network enables our clients to create an electronic workflow with their referring partners, improving care coordination and efficiency. If you're on ARN, you will be connected to a third of the healthcare providers in the United States."

The Allscripts Application Store & Exchange

The Allscripts Application Store & Exchange is an online marketplace accessible by all of Allscripts hospital and physician clients and partners, allowing them to create, add, and connect to third-party applications. The Application Store & Exchange, which goes live today, enables Allscripts clients to access a wide range of Allscripts-built and third-party applications developed by registered, approved partners and clients, at lower cost and faster than otherwise possible.

"We've clearly seen this work in other industries and the time is now for healthcare to benefit from the same kind of innovation and collaboration," said Connie Suozzo, Vice President of Product Development Operations for Allscripts. "The smartest physicians, nurses and other caregivers in the world use our software and we want their ideas to become an integral part of the solution."

The Application Store & Exchange provides information and links on technologies developed by registered participants in the Allscripts Developer Program. Featured applications leverage the Helios by Allscripts™ open architecture platform to natively integrate with Allscripts clinical, revenue cycle and performance management solutions. The first applications to be featured on the Application Store & Exchange include:

  • HCS Medication Reconciliation, a complete solution to address one of the most complex processes confronting hospitals today. Developed for Allscripts clients by HealthCare System, Inc., the solution queries multiple national data sources including pharmacy benefit managers, insurance companies, and retail pharmacies to provide clinicians with a record of the medications a patient has filled within the last 12 months.
  • Positive ID Director for Allscripts, a fingerprint authentication system from BIO-key International, that enables any authorized user to securely access any module of the Sunrise Enterprise™ suite of acute care solutions using a single swipe or press of their finger. The solution works on virtually any sensor, whether on mobile devices, tablets, or shared workstations, and also meets the new DEA ePrescribing authentication requirements.
  • NaviCare® WatchChild® Basic SCM Integration Application from Hill-Rom is an innovative labor-and-delivery solution that integrates Sunrise Clinical Manager™ with NaviCare WatchChild, an OB data management bedside solution for hospital labor and delivery units. The solution provides caregivers with an up-to-the-minute clinical summary of the hospital's labor and delivery patients from within Sunrise Clinical Manager.
  • Allscripts Outcomes Solution Sets, providing client-proven best practice recommendations for achieving improved patient safety, health outcomes and performance. The tool sets guide implementation, configuration and utilization of Allscripts software products toward the achievement, measurement and standardized reporting of improved outcomes.

Allscripts will continuously add applications, integration options and other tools to the Application Store & Exchange to help clients access new innovations. Today, over 100 third parties are in active discussions for building applications that will integrate with the Sunrise and Enterprise EHR applications, leveraging the power of the entire healthcare community.

The Allscripts Referral Network

A breakthrough in health information exchange, the new Allscripts Referral Network enables physicians to easily send, receive and track round-trip patient referrals to physicians and post-acute providers, as well as collaborate via secure messages throughout the referral process. Available at no additional charge to users of any ARRA-certified Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR), as well as users of Allscripts ePrescribe™, the service enhances care coordination, promotes quality of care, and reduces administrative time and hassle associated with referral management, one of the most time consuming physician tasks.

The average primary care physician group spends approximately $1,000 per physician per month in staff time managing patient referrals, according to industry estimates. Electronic referrals in the Allscripts Referral Network reduce staff expense and enable caregivers to have the right information at the right time to provide appropriate care. The Allscripts Referral Network also makes practices easy to do business with, driving incremental referral revenue.

"Sending and tracking paper referrals back and forth between our multi-specialty physicians and outside referring partners is time-consuming but it's also a critical element of care coordination," said Praveen Toteja, Chief Information Officer of George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, the 385-physician faculty practice of the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC.  "The Allscripts Referral Network makes the whole process easy, intuitive, fast and much more efficient. Best of all, patient referrals are fully integrated within the EHR so our physicians and support staff can handle referrals using the process they're accustomed to, and we don't have to ask them to learn yet another workflow."

The Allscripts Referral Network connects physicians who utilize an Allscripts EHR, as well as the nearly 110,000 homecare, hospice, skilled nursing and other post-acute providers who receive referrals through the Allscripts Referral Management solution. Physician practices that currently lack an EHR can participate in the service via their use of the free Allscripts ePrescribe solution, or as a sponsored user in a group or community that purchases referrals with ePrescribe.  In addition, the Allscripts Referral Network offers an optional e-fax service that seamlessly faxes referrals to users who lack connectivity, while Allscripts users enjoy the same electronic workflow.

"Our multi-specialty physicians have been asking for an easy way to accept electronic referrals that synchronize the patient's information with their EHR workflow, and two-way tracking to reduce the time their staff spends managing referrals," said Steven Adkins, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer of Holston Medical Group (HMG) in Kingsport, Tenn.  "The Allscripts Referral Network is a welcome advance that marks a clear win for our practice."

HMG, a pioneer in the design and implementation of Electronic Health Records, introduced its first EHR in 1995. Today, the practice's 150 physicians are virtually paper-free.

"Allscripts Referral Network is one of the tools that positions Allscripts as the 'Facebook of Healthcare', connecting 180,000 physicians, 1,500 hospitals and 10,000 post acute care facilities and doing it for free," said Mr. Tullman. "It doesn't require any additional training and comes embedded in every new ARRA-Certified Allscripts EHR. We think this will help begin to change the connectivity game in healthcare. The new question will be 'are you connected?'"

Allscripts also is actively participating in the Direct Project, a secure Internet-based approach for direct transport of structured and unstructured health information being led by Arien Malec and Doug Fridsma in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC) Office of Standards and Interoperability. On Feb. 2, Mr. Tullman joined Aneesh Chopra, the White House Chief Technology Officer, Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and Farzad Mostashari, MD, Deputy National Coordinator for ONC, in a press conference announcing pilot demonstrations of the Direct Project, including at Allscripts client Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York.

The Direct Project complements the deep workflow integration of the Allscripts Referral Network, allowing ARN participants to reach Direct Project-enabled providers across the country.