Cloud adoption, digital transformation, and patient access to data

– Paul Black, CEO and Director, Allscripts at The Big Unlock Podcast

It was an honor to host Paul Black, CEO and Director of Allscripts on our healthcare digital transformation podcast – The Big Unlock podcast. Paul Black shared insights into how Allscripts has embraced cloud adoption for many of its solutions and their next wave of opportunities. He also discussed how digital transformation is shaping the healthcare sector and the role of emerging technologies in Allscripts solutions.

“We have, in many cases, tried to anticipate where the industry is currently so that we can have platforms that are relevant to people that are doing business in a transformed and digitized area. So specifically, around interoperability and population health, our definition around digital transformation has to do with the ability to take a vast amount of data from multiple different electronic medical record organizations and companies to give a unified and community view, a single view, of that patient’s information. We’ve been doing that for quite a while now. And I think that’s an important construct that you have to have which is foundational.”  – Paul Black, Episode #36

Cloud is here and adoption rate should be accelerated.

Allscripts has a number of its applications already on cloud, while some other applications are being moved on to it. Although a late adopter, Paul believes cloud is now being rapidly embraced and adopted throughout healthcare. What is needed is to accelerate this adoption substantially as compared to somebody that might be in the cloud in other industries 10 years ago.

“As recently as three years ago, we do business in other countries, a national policy minister for health stated you could not have patient data in a cloud infrastructure. Today, it’s encouraged and considered an extraordinarily important move. For people like us that have applications whether it’s an EMR or other solutions that are out there, that opens up a lot of opportunity. So, from our perspective, the benefit of having something in the cloud is somewhat obvious,” – says Paul 

Guardrails to protect patient data exists; however, patient consent is important.

Allscripts has been very heavily engaged in the whole process of HHS’ proposed ruling around providing access to patient data and believes it is about going back to a very foundational and important pillar inside the EHR community. According to Paul, the guardrails around how the access to patient data is provided in order to protect the data is already in place and that the industry, including Allscripts, is adhering to them. What is important is to provide people access to their data and for that we should build systems that are more open at an API level. For this, the legislation also requires more than just the HL7.

“FHIR also been very important in that area. But we also believe, importantly, that every patient has a right to control where their health data goes when it moves or doesn’t move, and who sees it. And so, we actually grant consent at the patient level with our consumer platforms. We have been advocating for that, and that was one big piece of this legislation that we were extraordinarily supportive of. We’ve always been encouraging of the legislation to give the patient full control of their patient medical record” – says Paul

For those who want to listen to the whole conversation with Paul Black and Paddy Padmanabhan, it is available here.