Allscripts is moving rapidly to create a unified platform for data exchange among its inpatient, outpatient and post-acute care applications. How integrated all of its clinical information systems will actually be is still an open question. But it's obvious that the company is vying with Epic Systems to become the go-to vendor for healthcare systems that are looking to form accountable care organizations.
Last summer, Allscripts--a leading ambulatory-care EHR vendor--merged with Eclipsys--one of the top vendors of hospital information systems. At this week's HIMSS conference in Orlando, Allscripts demonstrated what it called "native integration" between the acute care EHR of Eclipsys, Sunrise Clinical Manager, and the Allscripts enterprise and professional EHRs, which are designed for large and medium-sized physician groups, respectively. Allscripts stated that it will be able to integrate these applications for clients by the end of the first quarter.
Allscripts also announced that it will develop a common platform for all of its core clinical solutions, including its standalone emergency department information system, its hospital care management/discharge planning application, and its home care system. All of these applications came from different vendors that were purchased by Allscripts.
There's clearly a need to integrate the latter products. Chicago's Advocate Health Care, which is building an ACO, is using the Allscripts EHR in its medical group and also has Allscripts care management and home care applications. In a recent interview with FierceHealthIT, Bruce D. Smith, CIO of Advocate, commented, "A company like Allscripts has four or five products and people assume that since it's an Allscripts product, they must all talk to each other. That's not always the case."
As for the Eclipsys-Allscripts integration, there's still some skepticism among healthcare executives and competing vendors about how completely those solutions will be integrated, since the two systems use different databases. But Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts, told FierceHealthIT that the integration unites nearly all elements of the two records.
Stephan D. O'Neill, vice president of information systems for Hartford Hospital, which served as the beta site for the integrated suite, said that the integration is "a significant element of our mission of providing true continuity of care across our network of hospitals and physician groups."
To learn more:
- see the Allscripts press release
- read healthsystemCIO.com article about Allscripts-Eclipsys integration
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