Embracing Technology

The concept of physicians recording patient encounters and the information associated with it electronically has been around since the late 1960’s. The first Electronic Medical Record (EMR) was a Problem Oriented Medical Record and was introduced to generate a record that would allow a third party to independently verify a diagnosis. The first EMR system was developed in 1972 and was thought to be a major advance in medical practice; however, physicians did not embrace the technology. Nearly 30 years later, in 1991 a recommendation was made by the Institute of Medicine, a highly respected U.S. think tank, that every physician should be using computers in their practice to improve patient care by the year 2000. As a leader in healthcare IT, The Jackson Clinic began electronically storing all patient records in 1995 in preparation for our first EMR.

After electronically storing physicians notes, labs, radiology reports and other information found in a patients chart for nearly five years, The Jackson Clinic went live with its first electronic medical record in 1999. The product by Wang Healthcare was called Physician Work Station (PWS). Physicians were issued an electronic tablet with the software loaded and when in hand, had all of the information needed to almost immediately cease using a paper record. In 2003 the electronic record was made the official record by The Jackson Clinic Board of Directors. PWS was more or less an electronic version of the paper record, meaning the information was stored and retrieved electronically, however had very little ability to track and report.

As the world of electronic records evolved, so did The Jackson Clinic. In 2007 The Clinic successfully converted all of the data dating back to 1995 to a new Electronic Medical Record called Misys EMR. Misys EMR allowed clinic physicians to track data over time, easily identify which patients were due for preventive screenings or checkups, check how their patients were doing on certain parameters such as blood pressure readings or vaccinations as well as monitor and improve overall quality of care within the practice. Misys EMR also enabled physicians to begin to transition from paper prescriptions to electronically prescribing medications.

As physicians were beginning to get more comfortable with the functionality of the Misys EMR several things began to change. Misys and Allscripts, another large EMR software company, announced a merger and it was not long before The Jackson Clinic learned the product selected by the new company for the future was Allscripts Enterprise. Since the Misys EMR was relatively new at The Jackson Clinic and would be functional and supported for the foreseeable future, The Jackson Clinic had a difficult decision to make. The companies chosen product, Allscripts Enterprise, offered more functionality but most of all was a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) for the purposes of the federal EHR Stimulus program approved by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. After looking at other certified EHR’s on the market, The Clinic selected the Allscripts Enterprise EHR based on their successful experience with the Misys product and the company’s reputation for strong client service and technology innovation.

Glenn Tullman, Chief Executive Officer of Allscripts stated “The Jackson Clinic is a leader in providing quality care. They understand that technology offers their physicians an opportunity to provide even safer, higher quality patient care to the people of West Tennessee. They are also representative of the significant number of leading medical groups who have successfully used Misys EMR for years and now are upgrading to our latest electronic health record, both to take advantage of the meaningful use requirements of the federal stimulus program and to achieve their goal of delivering higher quality care more efficiently and at lower cost.” The go live date for Allscripts was May 2011. Since the transition to Allscripts, The Jackson Clinic has successfully attested 103 out of 105 physicians in the federal EHR Stimulus program while continuing to provide the highest quality healthcare to the people of West Tennessee.

"The Jackson Clinic has been using an EHR system for over 12 years, so we understand how crucial it is to have instant access to the patient’s medical history, which enables our physicians to make better decisions at the point of care. The Allscripts EHR has the refined and efficient clinical workflows to help us continue to deliver high quality care in the most effective manner possible."

-W. Keith Williams, M.D., Medical Director of The Jackson Clinic, P.A.

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