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New EHR Virtual Assistant: Samantha from NoteSwift

Posted on November 14, 2017 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.

Sometimes in a blog post, it’s much easier to show something than it is to write about something. That’s definitely the case with the recently announced EHR Virtual Assistant from NoteSwift called Samantha. That’s why I asked NoteSwift to create a demo video of Samantha at work so you could see what they’re doing. Check out the video demo of Samantha working with Allscripts Professional below.

Samantha currently works with Allscripts Professional EHR and athenaClinicals EHR and they’re looking at integrating with other EHRs in the future.

When NoteSwift first reached out to me with this tool I told them that it sounded a lot like the voice recognition and NLP solutions that I’d seen previously. I remember one EMR a long time ago that had really deeply integrated voice navigation that got pretty close to this type of interface. Plus, I’d seen demos of NLP that would pull out the granular data elements from a narrative text before.

The key question for me was how tightly integrated the voice recognition and NLP technology was with the EHR software. As you can see from the demo above it’s quite integrated. I do still have some questions on what the learning curve for some of the specific voice commands will be for the NLP to work properly and document the visit the right way. Plus, similar to voice recognition I’m interested to know if the mistakes you have to correct are as time intensive as just clicking the boxes yourself. I’m sure there will be the full spectrum of experiences.

One thing that really impressed me about NoteSwift’s implementation of Samantha was the verification process that the doctor goes through near the end of the video (about 2 min and 12 seconds in for those keeping track at home). I’ve always thought that, at least for now, this was an essential part of using NLP in the medical world. The doctor still needs to verify that everything is accurate before moving on. The way NoteSwift has implemented this is quite slick.

In talking with Wayne Crandall, the President and CEO of NoteSwift, he also told me that Samantha can work with any input mechanism including voice recognition from Nuance or MModal. He even told me that some doctors believe they can type faster than they can do speech recognition which isn’t a problem for Samantha either. The real magic of Samantha is in taking a narrative text, however it’s produced, parsing the structured data, assigning the coding and entering it into the correct areas of the EHR.

Pretty slick solution and one that I think many doctors would like to try so they can stop their slow death by a million clicks.

Allscripts to Discontinue MyWay EHR

Posted on October 5, 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.

The rumblings are starting to get more and more solid about Allscripts plans to discontinue MyWay. It seems they’ve started by informing their VARs and that’s where the word has gotten out most. Allscripts hasn’t quite said that they’ll be sunsetting MyWay, but the writing is on the wall.

One person I talked to about this said that the fact that Allscripts discontinuing MyWay wasn’t much of a surprise considering what a terrible product it’s been. The term he used most often to describe the product was “buggy.” This wasn’t surprising to me since one of my most discussed posts was one on Evaluating Allscripts EMR which I wrote on my EMR & EHR website.

It seems that Allscripts plan is to discontinue MyWay and try and move those users to Allscripts Professional. The migration of the data seems like it will be free, but it doesn’t seem that Allscripts has yet indicated whether they’ll tack on an extra fee for the more expensive Allscripts Pro product.

I was told that Allscripts did say that they’d be incorporating the best features of MyWay into Allscripts Professional. The person I talked to about this laughed a bit since there were very few features in MyWay that users loved. He assumed that it HAD to be referencing the Full Note composer in MyWay which he said providers seemed to like for documenting the clinical side of things.

I’ve also heard a rumor that Allscripts might be looking for a way to do the Allscripts professional training through some sort of online means. Considering the complexity of Allscripts pro and the configuration and training required to make it functional and workable, this seems like a failed strategy to me. We’ll see how this plays out since I’m sure Allscripts is still defining this strategy.

Of course, the VARs that are supporting all the MyWay implementations will be scrambling with their own plan. I expect many of them won’t be happy with the idea of switching from MyWay to Allscripts professional and will consider other EHR. The obvious option is Aprima since they created the original MyWay and then forked the project to create their current Aprima EHR offering.

I’m told that Aprima has totally redone the PM side of their Aprima EHR which is a good thing since many weren’t satisfied with the PM in MyWay. It certainly makes a lot of sense for Allscripts MyWay VARs to consider Aprima since it will provide a similar user experience for their users and I have little doubt that Aprima will be able to port the data out of MyWay and into Aprima. My only question is if that’s the right move. Should you move to Aprima because it’s an easy transition or should a Var instead search to find the best EHR out there (which could be Aprima in the end anyway, I’ll leave that judgement to others)?

No doubt many of the other EHR vendors out there are going to look at this as a great opportunity for them as well. I’d be interested to learn more about Allscripts MyWay technology structure and how well the data can be ported to another EHR.

It must be an interesting time at Allscripts with this happening along with talks of Allscripts considering a sell out to a Private Equity Buyer.

UPDATE: Aprima sent out the following offering for Allscripts MyWay users.

PLEASE NOTE: In some earlier communications, Aprima had used the word ‘ABANDON’ to describe Allscript’s approach to its MyWay customers. Instead of using the language ‘ABANDON,’ what we should have said is that it is no longer developing or updating the MyWay product, including compliance for government incentives and requirements such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10. We apologize for any confusion.

APRIMA OFFERS LIFELINE TO ABANDONED MYWAY CUSTOMERS

According to Allscripts, the MyWay product will not be enhanced to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use and customers are being told they will need to convert to an alternative Allscripts product starting in January 2013. There is an announcement posted at this link: http://blog.allscripts.com/2012/10/05/evolving-industry-evolving-ehrs/.

However, that is not the only option MyWay customers have. You may not be aware that MyWay is based on Aprima’s PRM 2008 version. Since that time, Aprima has made almost 1,000 enhancements to the product!

With the Allscripts announcement to discontinue development efforts on MyWay, and force a conversion to another product, the time and effort required of a practice will be enormous. The lost productivity of converting could negatively impact the practice for many months if not a year.

Providers are not “stuck;” they have the opportunity to UPGRADE to Aprima.

Aprima will not charge a license fee to any MyWay customers who sign a maintenance and support agreement. You may continue to work with your existing MyWay reseller (requires the reseller to become an Aprima Reseller), and your data will migrate as part of the UPGRADE. Training is limited to only learning the new features so there is virtually no downtime.

Aprima has successfully UPGRADED MyWay customers with no data loss – there is no conversion required. (Small UPGRADE labor fee required per database.)

Please contact Aprima at mywayrescue@aprima.com or your current reseller for more information.

I also got this message from Allscripts about their decision to end MyWay EHR:

It’s no secret that the healthcare IT market is changing rapidly. To enable our clients to succeed, we must change as well. That’s why, to better meet the needs of small and mid-sized practices, we are providing a free upgrade from Allscripts MyWay to a new converged platform that leverages the Professional Suite.

This upgrade better equips our clients to meet increasing regulatory pressures and shifting payment models to value-based care. And, by focusing our investment on a single EHR for this market, we can deliver innovations faster. Innovations like Allscripts Wand™, our native iPad solution, which is getting rave reviews from clients. Over time, we will deliver a converged clinical platform that delivers the best of both solutions.

We based this decision on client input on prioritization of new features and functionality. The upgrade will immediately deliver key benefits of our converged platform:
• Powerful Practice Management
• Robust Analytics
• Community Connectivity, and
• Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Access.
We’re working closely with our clients to deliver a simple upgrade process that included advanced toolkits, pre-built templates, and customized training. We’re confident this move will enable our clients to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare industry.

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.