Sutter Health, Springfield Clinic and University of Tennessee Medical Group to further implement Allscripts TouchWorks

Chicago 24 October 2002Sutter Health designated Allscripts as a "Preferred Vendor" for its TouchWorks mobile applications. As a result, physician practices and physician service organisations within the Sutter Health network throughout more than 100 Northern California communities will now have access to the Allscripts TouchWorks solution and will begin to install it within the Sutter Health system. Springfield Clinic of Springfield, Illinois, will use TouchWorks software to develop their clinical repository. And the University of Tennessee Medical Group (UTMG) contracted Allscripts to add the TouchWorks Rx+, TouchWorks Dictate, and TouchWorks Document applications to their existing TouchWorks modular electronic medical record (mEMR).


Sutter Health, the parent company of the not-for-profit health care network, uses the Preferred Vendor programme to control costs, build relationships with their vendors, and provide reviewed and approved products to the facilities within Sutter Health. In selecting a Preferred Vendor, Sutter Health based their decision on three key criteria: integration, mobility, and service.

First, Sutter Health needed a solution that could integrate with their Preferred Vendor for practice management solutions, IDX Systems. Through an exclusive, 10-year agreement between Allscripts and IDX, TouchWorks integrates easily and smoothly with IDX practice management systems. Second, Sutter Health needed a mobile solution that could deliver clinical support tools anytime and anywhere. As a provider in wireless, point-of-care technology, Allscripts delivers TouchWorks through wireless local area networks (WLAN) using handheld PDA and Tablet PC devices. TouchWorks can also be deployed on desktop workstations.

"Integration and mobility are critical to physician adoption and utilisation of the Allscripts solution", noted Tim Hearing, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region. "To be useful to our physicians, an application must communicate with our existing IDX system, must be seen as a valued technology by our physicians, and must be able to expand into a wide range of areas where our physicians work."

Third, Sutter Health required a vendor capable of implementing and servicing their chosen solution. After over a year of experience with the TouchWorks solution, Sutter Health has been very pleased with the service they have received from Allscripts, and feels that the past and current installations have been executed in a manner that has aided in their success.

Sutter Health is specialised in infant deliveries, neonatology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, and cancer care services. Sutter Health supports more than two dozen locally run acute care hospitals as well as physician organisations; medical research facilities; region wide home health, hospice and occupational health networks; and long-term care centres.

Leveraging the unique modular approach to the electronic medical record or mEMR, Springfield Clinic will implement TouchWorks Document, TouchWorks Result, TouchWorks Workflow, and Physician Homebase to enable over 150 physicians to record and retrieve patient data securely and electronically from multiple facilities.

With over 25 locations in their provider network, Springfield Clinic required a method to share patient data among physicians. With the selected modules from the TouchWorks solution forming a clinical repository, Springfield Clinic will meet this information need for its physicians, providing a common point of access to store, manage, and retrieve patient data. This clinical repository will reduce the need to physically transfer paper-based files between locations by enabling physician access to patient data whenever and wherever they need it.

"An electronic clinical repository will allow our physicians to practise medicine not only more efficiently, but more effectively and Allscripts provides us the fastest way to implement that solution", stated Michael Maynard, Chief Executive Officer of the Springfield Clinic. "Using the modular TouchWorks strategy, we expect to realise these enhancements much faster than we could have with a traditional all-or-nothing electronic medical record."

Springfield Clinic and Allscripts will begin installation in November and go live in January of 2003. Upon completion, all physicians across the Springfield Clinic network will immediately have access to this clinical repository. "TouchWorks provides physicians with Just Right, Just-in-Time Information, a core principle of our solution", commented Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. "TouchWorks delivers instant access to patient information, something you just cannot do with a paper chart across multiple locations."

Springfield Clinic will integrate the Allscripts software with their existing business performance software from IDX Systems Corporation. Springfield Clinic utilises the IDXtend Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAR), Enterprise-wide Scheduling (EWS) and Managed Care Applications (MCA) to streamline patient access and enhance its revenue cycle. The integration between IDXtend and the Allscripts software suite improves end user productivity, increases patient satisfaction, and improves patient care by integrating the clinical data and financial data.

Since 1939, Springfield Clinic has demonstrated its commitment to serving the medical needs of Central Illinois. For over 60 years, the hospital has anticipated patient and community needs and responded, expanding its facilities and adding physician specialists to increase its capabilities. Springfield Clinic is comprised of a Main Campus facility, along with more than 20 satellite facilities located in Springfield, Decatur, and surrounding communities.

The University of Tennessee Medical Group has implemented TouchWorks Charge for over 100 physicians in less than 45 days. Originally started as a pilot programme for ten physicians, the UTMG Paediatrics Division requested the charge capture module of TouchWorks for their more than 100 physicians and residents. This division had issues with missing patient encounters and looked to TouchWorks to address the challenge.

"Our Paediatrics Division averaged 100 patient encounters per day in September, and TouchWorks Charge captured and recorded 100 percent of those encounters", commented Steve Burkett, President and Chief Executive Officer of UT Medical Group. "Real results like this along with our physicians' eagerness to adopt TouchWorks solutions made our decision to add more modules very easy."

"When we saw the initial group of physicians using TouchWorks, we quickly recognised the potential for our group and we knew we had to have it", stated Andy Spooner, M.D., Division Chief of Paediatrics at UT Medical Group and an early proponent of integrating the handheld technology into the clinical setting. "Given the mobility of doctors and the heterogeneity of their work environments, mobile computers with software like TouchWorks are a natural fit for most physicians."

UTMG Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Systems, Chuck Fitch, stated that automating these processes has saved time for both physicians and staff, enhancing their ability to provide quality patient care. "The programme also gives us better control of patient confidentiality as there are fewer paper charts lying around and everything is tracked, including who has accessed the patient's medical record."

Following the success of the TouchWorks Charge implementation, UTMG has contracted with Allscripts for additional functionality. The modular approach enables practices to implement TouchWorks solutions in less than 90 days as opposed to traditional electronic medical records, which follow an all-or-nothing implementation approach and can take 18 months or longer to implement.

"UTMG is a prime example of how practices can rapidly build a full EMR by selecting a starting point that is critical to their operations, demonstrating success, and then adding more functionality", stated Glen Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions. Allscripts clinical software will integrate with UTMG's existing IDX Systems Corporation solutions for patient access and financial management. UTMG has utilised IDXtend business performance solutions, including Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAR) and Enterprise-wide Scheduling (EWS), and Managed Care Application (MCA) since 1990.

UT Medical Group Inc. (UTMG) is a private, not-for-profit physician practice affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in Memphis. With nearly 400 doctors in many specialities, UTMG provides a wide range of health care services to children and adults throughout the Mid-South. Services include primary and speciality care in the areas of paediatrics, internal medicine, cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology, rheumatology, endocrinology, gastro-enterology, infectious diseases, hepatology, allergy/immunology, critical care, haematology, urology, ophthalmology, adult and child psychiatry, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and otolaryngology.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions is a provider of point-of-care decision support solutions for physicians. The company's TouchWorks software products enhance physician productivity using wireless PDAs, Tablet PCs, or desktop workstations to automate the most common physician activities including prescribing, capturing charges, dictating, ordering labs and viewing results, providing patient education, and taking clinical notes.

The company also provides medication fulfillment services. Additionally, Allscripts provides interactive physician education services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies through its Physicians Interactive unit. Strategic partners include IDX Systems, IMS Health, Microsoft, HP, Express Scripts, and Medco Health. More news on TouchWorks is available in the VMW August 2002 article Allscripts' TouchWorks helps building mobile and modular electronic medical record.

Leslie Versweyveld

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