Allscripts Analytics is a great tool for easily creating reports without having to know how to write code or having access to the underlying clinical database. With this simplicity come limitations though, one of which being the ability to create custom fields. While there are existing fields available to be added, this is still limited to what’s brought over in the ETL. With a bit of help from a tracing tool and some basic knowledge of SQL functions, it’s possible to create fields that pull better data, along with data that isn’t otherwise available as a discrete field.
SQL functionality has always been available within the Analytics product. The Expression Builder exists in a variety of reports and is used in certain cases to specify the data that should be brought in. The expressions, while they can vary slightly from the standard SQL syntax that most people are used to, are typically pretty simple and similar.
Expressions like this are saved within reports and are run-time only; being able to share these across reports and users requires copying and pasting it on an as-needed basis. Building it out as its own separate field allows administrators to push this out to all users. Benefits include ease of addition to reports, easy reference for building similar fields and queries, and sharing with users who may not understand the SQL portion.
If you’re interested in learning more about the creation of SQL fields and their use within Allscripts Analytics, join Galen Healthcare for a webcast on Wednesday March 18, 2015. Details and registration information are available here: http://www.galenhealthcare.com/event/creating-custom-fields-in-analytics/