Modular TouchWorks solutions render hospital physicians mobile at their own pace

Chicago 21 February 2002Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Central Utah Medical Clinic (CUMC), the Diagnostic Clinic, and Facey Medical Foundation all have signed a multi-year commitment with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions to bring the TouchWorks suite of mobile clinical applications to their physicians. Allscripts offers a modular approach which encourages physician acceptance and utilisation, enabling doctors to become proficient on a single application that they find most beneficial, and then progressing to additional applications over time. Additionally, TouchWorks seamlessly integrates with the IDX practice management system.

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Einstein will implement the mobile applications of TouchWorks Rx+, FirstFill, and TouchWorks Charge for a number of their primary care and speciality physicians at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After several modules have been implemented with a core group, Einstein will expand the TouchWorks solutions to other physicians in their organisation. Einstein plans to complete implementation of the first of these solutions by the end of the first quarter of 2002.

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, a member of the Jefferson Health System, has more than 350 primary care doctors and specialists on staff, with an additional 700 affiliated physicians to whom Einstein Medical Center offers residency and fellowship training programmes in many speciality and sub-speciality areas. The organisation provides health care services through Albert Einstein Medical Center; Germantown Community Health Services; Willow Terrace, a nursing home; MossRehab; Willowcrest, a centre for subacute care; Belmont Behavioral Health; and a number of outpatient and satellite locations. Einstein also operates a primary care network, Einstein Neighborhood Healthcare.

Using wireless handheld devices, the TouchWorks applications help physicians reduce medication errors through the use of electronic prescribing, provide patients the option of filling their first prescription at their physician's office for the most commonly prescribed medications, and improve efficiency and effectiveness by electronically capturing charges for all services, and adding real time information with Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding assistance, medical necessity checking, and Advance Beneficiary Notification (ABN) collection, all at the point of care. The charge capture data from TouchWorks will be seamlessly integrated into the IDX practice management system currently used by Einstein.

J. Peter Geerlofs, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, stated: "TouchWorks brings Just Right, Just-in-Time Information, providing Einstein physicians precisely with the information they need, in context and in real time. For example, the TouchWorks Rx+ application can alert physicians to a possible drug allergy or drug interaction at the moment they are writing the prescription for their patient. This point-of-care information not only saves time for the physician by reducing rework, but more importantly results in a superior level of care for the patient."

Einstein joins a group of very distinguished academic medical organisations that use the TouchWorks system including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, Temple University Health System, the University of Minnesota Physicians group, the University of Southern California Care Medical Group, and the University of South Florida Physicians Group. Each of these organisations leverage TouchWorks technology to improve clinical outcomes and increase efficiency by automating the most common physician activities including prescribing, capturing charges, dictating, ordering labs and viewing results, providing patient education, and taking clinical notes.

Central Utah Medical Clinic (CUMC) will implement the IDX Group Practice Management System (GMPS) application and the full suite of TouchWorks solutions using a modular deployment strategy. The first phase, targeted for completion in April 2002, will include the full GPMS application as well as the TouchWorks dictation, document management, and clinical result modules. CUMC selected these three TouchWorks modules to quickly streamline their transcription process, which they expect will facilitate physician adoption. In summer of 2002, CUMC will add TouchWorks modules for e-prescribing, capturing charges, and automated order entry.

The integration of TouchWorks and GPMS drives operational improvements by more directly linking clinical and financial activities. For example, using a handheld device, doctors and nurses can enter patient encounter related information at the point of care using TouchWorks Charge and then submit this data wirelessly to the GPMS software, a more efficient process which ensures accuracy and speeds reimbursement.

IDX GPMS streamlines patient flow and business processes including scheduling, billing and accounts receivable, referral management, and relational reporting functionality for the group practice marketplace. CUMC expects to improve claims collection, ease compliance with proposed government coding regulations, and create a seamless, patient-centric environment for its network of primary and speciality care physicians.

The Diagnostic Clinic is a 120-physician multi-speciality group, with eight locations in the Tampa Bay area. It will leverage Allscripts unique modular approach and replace their existing electronic medical record with TouchWorks modules for order entry, charge capture, result viewing, prescribing, as well as documentation creation and management. The Diagnostic Clinic expects to reduce maintenance costs and recognise a significant return on investment by replacing their current system with TouchWorks leading-edge technology that all physicians can access with handheld wireless devices or desktop workstations. TouchWorks will also integrate seamlessly with the clinic's IDX practice management system.

Facey Medical Foundation will implement the full suite of TouchWorks applications for their physician practice group, the Facey Medical Group, to improve patient care and reduce expenses. Facey, a 110-physician practice in Southern California, will implement the TouchWorks modules for e-prescribing, charge capture, dictation, lab orders and results, document management, and accessing clinical reference information.

Instead of requiring the implementation of a full electronic medical record all at once, TouchWorks provides a unique modular approach. This strategy allows physicians to start with the applications that offer the most value by addressing their most pressing needs first, and then progress at their own pace to a complete mobile and modular electronic medical record, or mEMR.

Frederick Russo, M.D., President of Facey Medical Group, stated: "By implementing the TouchWorks Dictate solution, Facey physicians will be using a digital application to capture clinical information for future electronic retrieval from a common database. This will enable multiple physicians practising at different offices to treat our patients with the information they need, something that has been cumbersome and expensive with paper. The pay-off in physician satisfaction should be significant. This freedom from the paper shuffle applies to the other modules as well."

Facey physicians will also streamline work flow by using a single handheld device to automate a physician's most common tasks, including writing electronic prescriptions, capturing charges, ordering labs and viewing results, and accessing clinical reference information. More news on TouchWorks is available in the VMW October 2001 article Millbrook and Allscripts provide physician with wireless integrated practice management system.


Leslie Versweyveld

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