Archive for the tag 'Meaningful Use'

Allscripts Analytics Platform – Do You Have the Latest News?


As Meaningful Use, PQRS, and CPCI have developed over the past few years, so have their reporting capabilities.  The race to achieve MU-required goals as well as a pattern of late-in-the-year Final Rule updates from Congress have required vendors to rapidly update reporting algorithms.  For Allscripts, what began as the Stimulus Reporting Portal with v11.2.3 migrated to the more robust Allscripts Analytics Portal (AAP) in v11.4.1.

In keeping with the ever-changing landscape, AAP 15.2 was deployed to Production on June 9, 2015.  There are the usual logic changes, however at a higher number than seen in the past.  In fact, there were enough significant issues during UAT testing that this update was delayed for several few weeks.  This latest version brings numerous logic, value set, and even workflow changes – 21 pages of calculation changes to be exact!   Whenever there is an update to the AAP, every organization’s data will be recalculated, and this can take several days for the process to finish.  As of the date of this publication, Allscripts is expecting this process to be completed by the end of the week.  Remember that the dropdown for the 2015 reports will be unavailable until the data has reprocessed.

A major change to note is in workflow NQF 0028- Preventative Care and Screening for Tobacco User:  Screening and Cessation.  In 2014, physicians were credited if counseling was entered as an order, but for 2015, the order must also be in a “completed” status to count in the calculation.  The numerous updated measures will have a new section in the configuration document called “Changes from 2014 to 2015”.  The specific measures affected can be found here with helpful hyperlinks.

With the combination of increasing alternative payment model adoption and the impending code set change to ICD-10, it stands to reason that audits will increase.  It is has become increasingly important to not only have accurate reporting in place, but to also develop the contextual connection to that information.


  • Subscribe to the AAP Blog to automatically receive email updates
  • Run and validate reports regularly
  • Always export reports to excel and save them! This is important for audits, but perhaps even more important for validation testing processes.
  • Keep careful records of what a report represents for the organization. A detail as simple as a specific consistent naming convention helps delineate changes, and creates a defensible audit position.
  • Keep a calendar or diary of the changes applied, not only for audit purposes, but also for ease of knowledge transfer between team members. For example documentation should include Plan of Correction Actions taken for workflow changes and confirmation of changes to existing configurations.

The healthcare atmosphere requires careful balancing between the many competing objectives of healthcare reform.  If you have further questions or feel your organization could use the strategic insight and proven solutions that Galen Healthcare Solutions offers, don’t hesitate to contact us at


Allscripts Analytics Platform Documentation:

Allscripts Advisory Blogs:

Allscripts Changes 2014 – 2015 Announcement:

Successfully Attest for Meaningful Use While Simultaneously Converting to a New EHR

MU Conversion2

With seemingly everyone trying to consolidate and take advantage of economies of scale, some of the biggest trends in today’s dynamic healthcare landscape are conversions and mergers.  Is your organization making the move to a new EHR?  Is your group entertaining the idea of acquiring another hospital or outpatient facility?  Outside of the business-related articles that will directly impact an organization during an acquisition, there are many other important items to take into account that may fly under the radar.

One of which is Meaningful Use, and the ability to effectively manage both the conversion from a Legacy system to your new Target EHR, and your physicians’ MU successful attestations.  We find it wise to consider the following prior to kicking off a project:

  • Are there resources in place and are they experienced?
  • Is the conversion team skilled enough to populate all necessary fields with the appropriate information for MU reporting?
  • Are there configuration experts available from both EHRs who can collaborate and communicate effectively about the MU requirements?
  • Is the project manager experienced with other conversions and does he/she understand the caveats that come with MU reporting?

Although Meaningful Use is tapering down, don’t leave any of that money on the table!  To learn more about how to manage an EHR conversion and MU attestations simultaneously, join us for a free webcast this Friday, June 19.  Having facilitated many EHR conversions, Galen is uniquely positioned to partner with healthcare organizations who are about to engage in such an undertaking.  We have the system analysts, MU resources, and technically savvy specialists to give the proper recommendations and project leadership that will provide your organization with a leg up in keeping things on track.  Managing multiple projects is always a difficult task, but with enough foresight and preparation, you can position your organization for success, despite the interdependent project timelines.

#HIMSS15: On Being Human

purple clover

After attending HIMSS, everyone asks “What was the *biggest* theme this year?”  But this blog is not about that.  This blog is about the murmurs.  The soft undercurrent of a theme running through the speaker sessions, the social media streams, and conversations preceding and following the event.  I don’t know if I would have even made the connections if I had been there in person, with the noise of the floor, the long line for Starbucks, and the ever-attractive bling from the vendors.

But quietly sitting in my home office, I listened.  I listened to the live online sessions and the recorded sessions, I read the blogs and engaged on twitter….and as I did, I started to hear it.  Like the Whos down in Whoville calling out from their speck, the more I listened the louder it became.  “Be Human” people said.  “Be real.”

The first murmur may have been from Mary P. Griskewicz, MS, FHIMSS, HIMSS Senior Director in her blog A portal is not patient engagement in which she states “true patient engagement requires providers to listen to and make the patient part of the process.  It also requires patients to actively participate in the care process, have access to and, the ability to inform their health data and, partner with their care providers for patient engagement to be successful.”

Now, if you stand in the middle of the exhibit hall floor, you would think that this is a conference just about technology.  What I heard was a little different.  What I heard calling out from that speck was “Well actually, this is about people.  This is about health.”

Luke Webster, MD talked about changing the role of the C-suite CMIO from one that reviews and approves technology to one where the C-Suite is “Focusing on the people, the process and the change more than the technology.”  In the same session, Pam Arlotto said the CHIO is a strategy position “Redesigning care around what a patient needs, not around technology.”

At this point, I was starting my own Amen corner in my office.  This was good stuff.  These are board tables that I want to sit at and the conversations I want to be involved in.  This is going to be what changes healthcare: being human.

I was watching the twitter feed of the #HITMC (Health IT Marketing Chat) live meetup where John Lynn was quoted as saying “Be worth following.  Be human.  People want to follow humans.”  This is true not just in the arena of social media, but in organizations as well.  If you walk into any healthcare organization and say “this is the proven methodology and this is how I am doing it” without taking the time to understand the organization you are walking into, your plan is destined to fail.

Linda Stotsky tweeted “#PatientData #patientengagement is about #human interactions – not about #MeaningfulUse check boxes #IHeartHIT bc #patients matter #HIMSS15

In my consulting life, I hear providers talk about the computer in the room as a huge barrier.  It sits between them and their patient, diverting their focus from the patient to the monitor.  It looms large in their minds and it affects their ability to connect with their patient…and to be human.

first portable computer

I think back to visiting my father at work when I was a kid (this will date me), and I can remember these enormous IBM mainframes with tape.  They were writing all their information to tape, and my Dad was so proud of those massive machines.  The reporters were wary when green screen computers replaced their typewriters.  In his lifetime he watched the newspaper business go from an offset ink printing system with metal plates to fully computerized layout and publishing. It was a dramatic technological change to take the newspaper digital – and it wasn’t easy.  Dad loved the smell of the ink and the characters on the composing room floor, and even as he rode the wave of change, he was also sad to see parts of it go.  He used to jokingly call his job title the “Director in charge of new fun stuff” and he would bring home technological marvels to test at the kitchen table, like a portable computer that must have weighed 30 lbs.  Luckily for the newspaper, their “Director in charge of new fun stuff” was a newspaper man.  He had worked every job in small town papers and he never forgot that these were tools to get the job done.  He loved technology, but it had to have the right utility, be introduced at the right time, and keep in partnership with the people who would be using it in order to be successful.

Technology is changing at such a rapid pace in not just healthcare but in our lives, that it seems almost radical to say “Be human.”  We have daily conversations in my household about the amount of time family members (myself included) spend on devices vs. spend outside, and now we even have devices to encourage us to be outside and active.  My kids come home and ask how many steps I have taken and how many followers I have on twitter.  I have to occasionally take stock, think about my priorities, and make sure I throw the football around in the yard or go on a hike in the woods.

The same is true in healthcare today.  Things are changing so rapidly, we are capable of so much – we can map a human genome, we can not only create an electronic record, but we have teams that can then take that record and convert it to another software platform or upload it to an HIE.  We have wearables and Bluetooth connections and hotspots.

Sometimes, the fancy toys and new fun stuff can be so all-consuming like that trade show floor that we can lose sight of the goal.  The goal is health.  The goal is supporting our providers and their teams in providing excellent healthcare.  The goal is tools that enhance the delivery of care and increase our medical knowledge.  The goal is not for technology to be a real or perceived barrier between provider and patient, but to be a supportive aspect of their relationship.

The most basic part of being human is being present and listening.  This has an extreme amount of value, especially in times of dramatic change and situations that call for collaboration.  We need to be nimble, but we also need to be thoughtful, attentive, and make sure we are delivering the right solutions at the right time.

This is also part of why I am so glad to be in HealthIT and to be working for a company like Galen Healthcare.  We do for sure have fun cool stuff, and I will be the first to tell you about our products and services.  We are also a company and a team that knows the value of being human.  Of meeting our clients where they are, listening, and using our expertise in conjunction with their vision to turn the corner to where they want to be.

E-Referrals…Why We Are Not Breathing A Sigh Of Relief


Many organizations took advantage of the CMS Final Rule for 2014 Meaningful Use Reporting last year, breathing a sigh of relief that they could postpone implementing some of the more challenging Meaningful Use Stage 2 measures such as e-Referral and Direct Messaging. With the 2014 Attestation complete, now is the time to look at the what’s, why’s, and how’s surrounding the e-Referral process and make it a functional reality for your providers.

The ability to “Connect” is an increasingly prevalent theme as we navigate through Meaningful Use. Connecting via e-Referrals allows providers to quickly and accurately send patient information via secure electronic messaging for instant collaboration on patient care. Effective and efficient communication between care providers has been identified as a key contributing factor to providing better patient care and lowering healthcare costs. This not only reduces administrative overhead, it also increases the security of patient information and ensures that records reach their intended destination in a complete and auditable way. This also benefits the patient experience by reducing potentially duplicate tests, promoting continuity of care, and enabling faster access to services.

If you would like to hear more about e-Referrals and Direct Messaging in Allscripts TouchWorksTM  and learn how to configure your system to maximize efficiency and end user satisfaction, please join our free webcast on April 24th: E-Referrals – Review and What’s New

Can HL7 solve your Meaningful Use needs?

By now most healthcare organizations are knee-deep in Meaningful Use (MU) – but a new year means a new stage of MU, which means new requirements, new opportunities for solutions, and new pressures to find the right solution for your organization. That’s where we come in.

Next week Wednesday, February 18, Galen will be presenting a webcast on HL7 interfaces and how they fit into the Meaningful Use puzzle. The focus will be on Meaning Use Stage 2, as only 1% of hospitals and Eligible Professionals completed attestation for that stage in 2014; the bulk of qualified organizations will attest for Stage 2 in 2015 and 2016. The webcast will cover this year’s requirements, thresholds for attestation, new menu objectives, and Clinical Quality Measures.

HL7 timeline

We will also give a brief overview of HL7 messaging and its role in interoperability. The HL7 standard is used by 95% of U.S. healthcare organizations and boasts backwards capability – meaning HL7 is able to be integrated into nearly any existing information system. We will select seven MU2 objectives (shown below) and take an in-depth look at which HL7 interfaces would be appropriate as solutions.


Next week’s webcast is intended for an audience that have already been exposed to the basics of both Meaningful Use and HL7. However, we have previously presented separate webcasts for beginners on both topics, which can be found on Galen’s Wiki (notably, here are the links for the HL7 Fundamentals webcast and the MU2 Requirements webcast).

You can register for the “Your HL7 Interface and What It Means for Meaningful Use” here.  We hope you can join us!

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