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Switching EMR and EHR Software

Posted on August 16, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve long been concerned about the challenge of switching EHR software. I’ve recently got into some discussions with people asking why EHR certification and meaningful use didn’t require EHR data portability as part of the requirement.

I’d forgotten that Jerome Carter had pointed out in a previous EHR switching post where HHS asked for comments on EHR data portability in the proposed certification rule for EHR (PDF) under the section “Request for Additional Comments”. Here’s his comment with the page number that addresses it:

John, this series of posts on changing EHR systems is interesting. The data issues that arise when switching EHRs can catch providers off guard. In reading through the proposed certification rules for EHRs, I found a section on data portability that you might find interesting. It is on page 13872.

Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-07/pdf/2012-4430.pdf

It’s an interesting section to read. The key is that they acknowledge the need to have some EHR data portability if you’re a doctor. Then, they look at these 4 questions:
1. Is the consolidated CDA enough?
2. How much EHR data do you need to move to the new EHR?
3. Could they start with an incremental approach that could expand later?
4. What are the security issues of being able to easily export you EHR data?

These are all good questions. I’d answer them simply:
1. Is the consolidated CDA enough?
No, you need more.

2. How much EHR data do you need to move to the new EHR?
All. Otherwise, you have to keep the old EHR running and what if that old EHR is GONE.

3. Could they start with an incremental approach that could expand later?
I think they need to go all in with this. The consolidated CDA is basically an incremental approach already.

4. What are the security issues of being able to easily export you EHR data?
I always love to follow it with the opposite, what are the issues of not having this EHR data portability available? You do have to be careful when you can export all of your EHR data, but the security is manageable.

What are your thoughts on EHR data portability? I’d still love to find a way to help solve this problem. It’s a big one that would provide amazing value.

101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 61-65

Posted on August 15, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time for the second entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

65. Don’t forget LEAN and Six-Sigma
I can’t say I’ve ever heard of someone in the ambulatory EHR market using LEAN or Six-Sigma. Maybe it could apply. I’m not sure since I’ve never done it. So, I can’t really comment on it either way. Although, I’ve heard some people who love both. I’d be interested to hear readers thoughts on this tip.

64. Remember the EMR is not the end-all, be-all of quality
EMR is just an EMR. It’s what you do with your EMR that matters. I always to suggest deciding what you want to accomplish with your EMR before you implement it. Then, you have a measure to select an EMR. Goals when you’re implementing the EMR and measures when you’re evaluating your EMR implementation.

63. Ensure the product has expandability for other service lines
Are you planning to expand? Is there any possibility to expand? Make sure your EMR can expand with you. Switching EHR is terrible.

62. What are the reporting skill sets necessary
Making sure the EMR you select has the reporting you need is a given. Knowing how many people on the planet have the skills needed to run those reports is even more important. It’s never fun to be at the whim of the EMR vendor to get the data that you need.

61. Don’t be afraid of low cost or open source products
Open source EMR has come a long way and is a reasonable option to consider for many. Just be sure to calculate the other costs related to using open source software since you won’t have to pay for the software itself, but you might have to pay for other development, integration and/or support.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.

Allscripts Sunsetting PeakPractice EMR

Posted on October 28, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It’s now official. Allscripts will be shutting down their PeakPractice EMR solution. In an FAQ for PeakPractice clients Allscripts gave more details. I’ve put a copy of the info below for reference. Honestly, this wasn’t much of a surprise for me. Allscripts had far too many EMR software in one company. It seems that Allscripts has chosen to go with: MyWay, Professional and MedFlow as their EMR packages going forward.

I do find it interesting that Allscripts plans to support PeakPractice through the first stage of meaningful use. I think the time frames were just too small to do otherwise. If there was a bit more time it would have made sense for Allscripts to use the stimulus money to motivate people to move off of PeakPractice and on to one of the other Allscripts EMR.

I’m honestly interested to hear how well the conversion goes between PeakPractice and other Allscripts EMR solutions. I think there’s going to be a lot of misinformation about what the can and can’t convert. Especially since it seems like what they’ll be able to convert will depend on which Allscripts EMR software you choose to convert to. Yeah, this has mess written all over it.

I’ll be watching for the next round of companies that take care of EMR conversions from PeakPractice. I remember the round when all the Misys users were ready to convert from Misys to something other than Allscripts. I expect we’ll see similar movement by PeakPractice EMR users. So much for going with a large company to ensure the stability of your EMR software.

Here’s the letter from Allscripts to PeakPractice Users:

Dear Valued PeakPractice Client,

When we brought together Allscripts and Eclipsys, we committed to you that we would share critical decisions as soon as they were complete.

After careful deliberation and review, we are making a change to our future plans for PeakPractice. In making this decision, our goal was to ensure that we could effectively meet your needs both now and in the future by providing you with systems that are stable, easy to support, and flexible enough to allow us to quickly respond to the rapidly changing market and regulatory requirements.

After careful analysis, we have decided to make the following changes.

We will continue development of the current version (5.5) of PeakPractice and ensure that it achieves ARRA Certification as a Complete EHR. We will be submitting this version for certification later in October. This will allow you, as a current PeakPractice client, to use the certified version to demonstrate Stage 1 Meaningful Use and claim your 2011 Stimulus incentives. With this version, you will be eligible for the first two years of incentives for Stimulus, totaling $30,000 under the Medicare program ($18,000 in year 1 and $12,000 in year 2).

We will continue development to ensure PeakPractice’s compliance with ANSI 5010, which will be released as PeakPractice version 5.6.

We will continue to provide support and hot fixes as needed for PeakPractice for the foreseeable future.
Relative to future versions, we will not develop net new features for PeakPractice once ARRA certification and ANSI 5010 compliance are achieved.

We will offer an upgrade path that includes both a FREE like-for-like, license-for-license swap and a FREE data conversion (see below) for current PeakPractice clients who want to upgrade to another Allscripts solution. We expect that many of our clients will choose to wait to upgrade until after you demonstrate Meaningful Use in 2011 with PeakPractice and receive your Stimulus incentives.

We have set up a PeakPractice Hotline at 877-611-1377 to both answer questions and arrange an assessment as to which Allscripts EHR/PM platform will be best for your organization.

We will work with you to determine the product and timeline that is designed to be most effective for you and have the least impact on your operations. We would encourage you to consider scheduling an upgrade to your EHR/PM solution at a time that is best for you, again, most likely after you have demonstrated Meaningful Use in 2011.

In terms of the upgrade we are making available, we will provide the following.

A FREE like-for-like, license-for-license swap between PeakPractice and a corresponding Allscripts EHR and/or PM solution (MyWay, Professional or MedFlow, depending upon your needs). We recognize there are many complexities surrounding the combinations of Practice Management and EHR products, but our program addresses each of these in detail.

We will convert data from your PeakPractice system to the selected Allscripts solution for FREE. Again, the scope of what will be converted varies depending on the systems from which and to which you are migrating.

Please note that while templates are not included in this conversion, we can recommend resources that can assist with template conversions, if you wish to pursue them. Likewise, other services (such as ASP fees, support, set-up, hosting, and EDI, such as through Payerpath) are available for the Allscripts products, but are not part of the free upgrade. We will be happy to discuss how to arrange for those services with you. This free upgrade is available through December 31, 2012. This should give everyone ample time to decide which route they wish to pursue.

We do not make this change lightly, as we recognize and appreciate the investment that you have made in this solution.
You will likely have many questions about this process, and we hope this link to our Frequently Asked Questions document addresses many of them. If you have further questions, please call the PeakPractice hotline (877-611-1377) or your Allscripts representative.

We intend to provide you with a pathway that allows you to achieve all stages of Meaningful Use and protects the investment you have made. We are committed to working with you as partners during and after this transition.