Healthcare Communities, Allscripts ACE 2011 and ECM
One healthcare concept that’s always stood out to me is that of “community.” I can think of few words as resonant and universally applicable to healthcare. On a fundamental level, you have the community of people that hospitals and healthcare organizations serve. But beyond that, those organizations themselves constitute a community, as do the professionals committed to the delivery of care and service.
With Allscripts’ annual customer event this week (ACE 2011), I reacquainted myself with its website. Almost immediately, I noticed the prevalence of this community theme. It reflected the idea that, on a more technical plane, every organization maintains a unique, often complex community of software applications.
Taking this a step further, each individual application has its distinct purpose and value, but how hospitals unify them to better serve their IT goals?
To me, this represents a unique aspect of ECM software’s significance in the healthcare setting. ECM helps bring unity of purpose and function to that community of applications.
A given hospital may have more than 40 disparate systems within its walls. Patients, however, do not experience healthcare solely in the acute setting. They visit ambulatory clinics. They undergo diagnostic examinations at offsite facilities. They receive prolonged, sustained care in home health and hospice settings. By the nature of the distinct technical environments each of these brings, these different kinds of care facilities introduces an added layer of complexity. Despite that complexity, information still needs to follow (and even precede) patients as they transition from venue to venue. And the clinicians and professionals serving those patients need that information in a secure, readily accessible and, most important, useful format.
And that’s what ECM does.
It helps healthcare organizations manage the content that would otherwise lie outside the domain of their systems and applications. It brings unity and cohesion to that community of applications. And when it comes to the “enterprise” part of the equation, that term relates to more than a particular building, facility or even organization. It directly relates to the location of your patients and those serving him. Just as a patient does not spend his entire life within the four walls of a hospital, the need for information associated with his care transcends those very same walls.
And if you find yourself among a community of fellow Allscripts users, I invite you to learn more. At ACE, we’ll be at booth 349.