A Practice with No Walls

This fall, a team of Galen consultants aided their client, a prominent healthcare system in the Midwest, in actualizing the vision of a ‘practice with no walls.’ This Healthcare system has been bringing their clinics, including hundreds of providers, live on Allscripts Enterprise, enabling the highly coveted shared patient record to be available across a large metropolitan region.  When the independent physicians elected to join this endeavor, the potential benefit was multiplied, but so were the challenges and risks.  While the original implementations were split across two Organizations, each independent practice would constitute its own Organization within the Allscripts EHR and integrate its own Practice Management (PM) systems.

Each member of the Independent Practice Association (IPA) is required to undergo a workflow improvement initiative.  This methodology assists the practice and design teams with building workflows that will maximize their utilization of the EHR.

Interfacing the new practice with the patient records was a significant challenge as sustaining data integrity is of the utmost importance. The risks included overwriting patient data, merging differing patient records, and creating multiple records for the same individual.  Integrating multiple PM systems into an Allscripts Enterprise environment of this magnitude is a challenge with little precedent.  The Registration and Scheduling and Billing interfaces were both new, while the Lab, Document and Hospital ADT were existing interfaces that required modifications to accommodate the new Organizations and physicians.

On October 22, the pilot practice went live on its first of two phases.  Two weeks in, there have been no major issues to note.   This month, the practice will go live with phase 2, which will introduce new functionality. The Galen team will support the client with training and supporting the practice in meeting its goals of a paperless environment.  The providers (and their staff) are greatly anticipating the Charge and Note modules to reduce their manual entry requirements and improve their high standard of patient care.

One last note – on the first day of the Phase 1 rollout, a provider at the pilot practice was with a patient.  The doctor had been working with this patient on a cardiac related diagnosis and referred them to a specialist within the health system.  When the patient returned on that day, the doctor accessed their now shared record and was amazed to find the cardiologists report ready and available to her.  It did not take long for this independent practice to truly appreciate the value of their new Allscripts Enterprise system and their innovative investment in a ‘practice with no walls’.

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