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First Advertisers on EMR and EHR

Posted on December 28, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m really happy to welcome the first advertisers to EMR and EHR. We’ve been going through a lot of growth on this website and I expect this trend will continue and each of these advertisers will benefit by hopping on board early. My goal (as with any advertiser) is to make sure they’re getting a great deal with incredibly low CPM rates. So far so good.

The inaugural EMR and EHR advertisers are:
MD-IT – A medical documentation company that’s doing some really creative things with transcription data tagging and health information exchanges.
Medscribbler – A tablet centric EMR who’s obsessed with using the latest technology to make doctor’s workflows simple and easy to use.
Sfax – Secure faxing is the future of faxing. Sfax is an outsourced faxing service with all the security, logging and money savings you’ll want from a hosted fax service.

Glad to have the support of these advertisers. Those interested in advertising can check out our EMR and EHR advertising page for more details. Now’s a good time to start as an advertiser since prices are low.

Balancing Privacy and Security with Patient Care

Posted on December 23, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare InformationWeek has an article that discusses the challenges of EMR security and privacy. A lot of the stuff is nothing new to those of us in the healthcare space. Although, it’s interesting to see how they summarize things like the goal to be full EMR by 2014 and the EMR stimulus money.

However, the article did include these interesting stats on the number of breaches that happen in healthcare and the focus IT managers put on privacy and data security in healthcare.

Healthcare providers and other health businesses aren’t stepping up to protect privacy, according to a recent study. Some 80% of healthcare organizations have experienced at least one incident of lost or stolen health information in the past year, according to the study, released this month from security management company LogLogic and the Ponemon Institute, which conducts privacy and information management research.

Also, some 70% of IT managers surveyed said senior management doesn’t view privacy and data security as a priority, and 53% say their organizations don’t take appropriate steps to protect patient privacy. Less than half judge their existing security measures as “effective or very effective.”

I was surprised that 80% of organizations have had an incident of lost or stolen health information. However, I honestly don’t see this ever changing. Stuff happens even with the very best efforts.

I did also like this quote of John Halamka about the challenge of balancing privacy and security with sharing the patient information to provide better patient care.

“You want to protect the patient’s preferences for confidentiality,” Halamka said. But you also need to get information where it’s needed. “If you come to the emergency department in a coma, and you have a record that includes psychiatric treatment, HIV, drug abuse, and other information, would you share part of it or all of it? My preference would be all of it, with the hope that emergency workers would use it discreetly, to save my life.” But other people may feel differently, Halamka said, and healthcare policy needs to serve all those needs.

I’m a little surprised that Halamka has had psychiatric treatment, HIV and drug abuse. He’s doing quite well considering that history. (that’s sarcasm in case you didn’t note it) His history aside, I’m totally with him on wanting that information available as well. However, he’s totally correct that many people wouldn’t want that stuff shared. Enabling the consumer to make that decision though is a hard nut to crack.

Insightful User Experience with e-MDs EMR

Posted on December 22, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The following is the experience of one user who’s switching their EMR from Penchart to e-MDs that I think is insightful to consider before selecting an EMR so that one day you don’t have to deal with these issues. You can find the original posting on EMRUpdate. I’ll add a few takeaway points at the end.

We are a 10 doc /3 office practice that is going from dinosaur Penchart to e-MDs. We were supposed to go live a few months ago but we are huge issues getting our data converted (it ain’t going work) and getting training. We are a very EMR established practice having started using tablets and our EMR 5-7 years ago. We have pushed back our GO LIVE date 2 times already.

Were are now on our 3 project manager and we are just finding out that our data won’t port well to e-MDs. We new it won’t be great but it took a year to find out how unsuccessful it will be. e-MDs wants to train us but they do not want to look our current workflow to see how customize e-MDs to fit our current methods. “This is how we do it”. Our practice has 40,000 patients and 10 doctors (some of which are old school and have a hard time learning a new way).

I think the software is going to be great but our trasition to is is more painful then we ever thought.

Anyone have same experiences with e-MDs specifically?

Are there similar experiences with many/all other EMR conversions?

Our frustrations are the we get new answers with each or our 3 project managers, the original sales person “is no longer with the company”, 3 rd party conversion company is much less helpful they previously thought, and e-MDs look looking at our situation to see how best to aid our training.

My takeaways:
-Large EMR companies are going to have a problem scaling project managers
-EMR data conversions are a pain and you better have the right people doing it or you’re in trouble
-We need better standards for exporting patient information to avoid EMR data conversions
-Verify your EMR vendors ability to customize to your workflows or prepare to change your workflows

Meaning (or lack therof) of the CCHIT Preliminary ARRA EHR Certification

Posted on December 19, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I can’t help but repost something that HISTalk posted about one of the companies that’s now CCHIT preliminary ARRA certified and the meaning of said certification:

From Lester Bangs“Re: ARRA certification. Companies like this one (and they aren’t alone) get checked off on SOME of the ARRA criteria (which are changing) and get labeled as Pre-ARRA Certified by CCHIT. Amazing. And we wonder how folks are confused.” I found CCHIT’s disclaimer more interesting (click the above screen shot to enlarge) since it clarifies that the certification is preliminary, possibly irrelevant depending on the standards that are eventually approved, and possibly worthless since CCHIT may not even be a recognized certification body by them.

I’ve always loved HISTalk, but I’m even happier to see that him and I agree about CCHIT certification. I’m sure Mark Leavitt is really glad he’s cutting out of CCHIT when he did.

Drummond Group Still Preparing for ARRA EHR Certification

Posted on December 18, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A while back I wrote about the great news that the Drummond Group was planning to compete with CCHIT in doing EHR certification. The news coming out of HHS has been slow coming for these new EHR certification bodies, but I just received this email from the Drummond Group. In it they assert that they’re still planning to become an EHR certifying body for purposes of getting EMR stimulus money. Below is the full email:

As our 2009 year closes, we wanted to reach out to the many EHR vendors and interested parties who have contacted us about EHR certification and update you on the current state of our EHR certification program. Like you, we are currently waiting for HHS to release their meaningful use definitions and, just as importantly, their certification requirements. In his recent blog post (http://healthit.hhs.gov/blog/onc/index.php/2009/12/07/marking-the-road-ahead/), Dr. Blumenthal of the ONC indicated the publishing of the plans for the new certification program will not be released until early 2010. This is a bit disappointing as we were expecting this in late 2009. Regardless, we remain very excited about the future of EHR certification.

In this period of waiting, we have been speaking to many industry leaders and stakeholders to gain as much information as we can to ensure our EHR certification program will meet the needs of end-users and be viable for EHR vendors, especially small and medium sized companies. Once we get news of the HHS certification program, we can begin formalizing our EHR certification process. When we know more, we will make sure we keep you updated about our plans.

Thank you for your interest in us and EHR certification. May you and yours have a joyous holiday season and an even better 2010.

Joani Hughes
Interop Certification Coordinator
Drummond Group Inc.
www.drummondgroup.com

EMR, RHIO and Nationalized Healthcare

Posted on December 16, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I started discussions with someone about an RHIO and EMR project in China. I’ve always been fascinated with China. Maybe it’s the mystery of 1.2 billion people for which we know very little. I don’t know, but I’ve always found China intriguing.

Turns out that I’m just as intrigued with China when it comes to healthcare technology as well.

Let’s talk about some of the challenges of an RHIO in the US. Now think about how many of them are solved by having a nationalized healthcare system and how many of those challenges just don’t exist. I’m not saying that China won’t have its own challenges associated with implementing an RHIO, but it seems that they would be more manageable. Espescially if you get the right people on board. Plus, it would likely mean getting less people on board than we have to deal with in the US.

Another question is how China deals with issues like privacy and ownership of healthcare data. I’m sure they have some privacy laws, but they don’t have fears of insurance companies using their healthcare info against them. Also, the government ownd the healthcare data and likely can transfer it as they please between clinics (since they run them all, no?).

Plus, unlike the US there is tremendous advantage for them to not do duplicate tests. The US is the opposite. This makes a nice case for creating a solid infrastructure for exchanging data in an RHIO to lower costs.

Lots more to think about. If you know more about healthcare and/or EMR/RHIO in China I’d love to hear more about it. Plus, I’m interested in connecting with healthcare professionals I China as well.

Cerner and CDW Healthcare Host Free EMR and Technology Contest

Posted on December 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ll admit to being a huge fan of contests. What can I say? I love to win free stuff. I think everyone does. Plus, I love pretty much any competition. However, today when I read about the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EMR Technology transformation contest, something didn’t feel quite right. I’m sure it’s just an extension of the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EHR partnership, but let’s take a look at some of the details.

Sure, it’s great that they’re giving away $50,000 in EMR software and technology. They’re also partnered with Lenovo, Intel, EMC, Brother, Canon and Nuance. I like all of those companies for the most part and so the technology will be great. I’m just not sure winning a contest is the right way to decide to use that EMR software.

You can read more about the details at the contest website, but basically it will be in 2 rounds of judging. Here’s a description of the first round of judging:

Round 1 Judging: A panel of qualified judges comprised of representatives of each of the Sponsoring Vendors (Brother, Canon, Cerner, EMC, Intel, Lenovo and Nuance) will review and evaluate each eligible entry on the basis of the following criteria: (a) demonstrated need of Company for an electronic medical record application and an overall technology makeover(40 percent); (b) creativity of submission (20 percent); and (c) perceived ability of CDW Healthcare in conjunction with the sponsoring vendors, to improve productivity of entrant’s Company through installation of a medical record-keeping system and upgraded technology(40 percent).

The second round the vendor sponsors will do site visits to further evaluate your clinic. Not sure how this is going to work. Are they planning to select the clinic with the least amount of tech that will likely have a hard time implementing an EMR and going through all the changes? Or will they select the company who uses technology, but hasn’t yet implemented an EMR? The second clinic might be better prepared for an EMR implementation. Seems like all a marketing ploy without much thought for who they really want to award the prize to that will have the best impact.

I also think it’s interesting that they plan on parading the 3 finalists around at the HIMSS conference. Ok, maybe it’s not quite parading, but that’s kind of what it feels like. I looked through a lot of the official rules and didn’t see anything that forces you to implement the actual EMR. Seems like the form is simple enough to fill out that it might be worth getting all the technology for free. Plus, the free trip to the HIMSS 2010 annual conference might just be worth the entry. Then, you can have a chance to compare a whole bunch of EMR software. Not sure what Cerner will think about that, but maybe that’s the reward for not winning.

HIMSS 10 Early Registration Ends Today

Posted on December 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today is the last day for early registration of HIMSS 10. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of HIMSS the organization, but it’s hard to argue with not attending the HIMSS 10 conference. I could be wrong since this will be my first time attending, but I think that it’s going to be a very interesting conference for me. This is especially true thanks to the $18 billion of ARRA EHR stimulus money.

Ok, I can admit that going to the HIMSS conference for me is like a little kid in a candy store. This and my other EMR blog are all about great content and advertisers. Seems like HIMSS will provide the perfect mix of that for me.

Anyway, just wanted to remind people that today was the last day before the jack up the prices. Plus, I’m interested to hear about other people that are planning to attend. I’ve also heard rumor that there might be a meet the bloggers session at HIMSS. Sounds like fun to me! I know there’s a number of healthcare IT bloggers that I’d love to meet.

EHR Letter Sent to Aneesh Chopra CTO of Obama Administration

Posted on December 8, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was really intrigued by this letter sent from SRSsoft CEO, Evan Steele, to the CTO of the Obama Administration about the current administration’s EHR direction. Here’s a small excerpt from the letter posted on Health Data Management:

“I am writing to you directly, rather than posting on the FACA blog, because I am deeply concerned that the path the government is taking will inevitably lead to failure. You asked physicians for input and they answered loudly and clearly–traditional EHR technology does not work for them. Their comments are difficult to ignore.

“The government is endorsing the exact technology that has a 50% failure rate. As stated in the blog comments, physicians simply find these EHRs unusable. Of the 60 blog comments on real-world implementation experiences, 57 reported EHR failures and shortcomings–writers documented painful and costly EHR de-installations, or explained the reasons why they would not even try to implement “traditional” EHRs. There is no reason to expect outcomes to be different in the future–vendors have made no significant changes to these products to mitigate the formidable obstacles preventing their adoption. The problems cited are daunting:

* “Physicians will not purchase productivity-decreasing software–particularly now, as they face increasing demand and diminishing reimbursements. They reported productivity losses as high as 40%, and the impact did not diminish over time.

The sad part is that Evan’s letter is likely to fall on deaf ears. First, because Aneesh Chopra probably doesn’t care much about EMR software. Second, a letter from an EMR vendor who wants the rules changed to get better access to the $36.3 billion in EMR stimulus money for his customers is likely to be seen as a political move. Even if Evan is correct with what he’s saying, that doesn’t mean that Aneesh will realize it. Third, is it too late? The HITECH legislation is past. Can HHS really make that much of a difference at this point? Sadly, I don’t think Evan we’ll feel any better 2 years from now when he says, “I told you so.”

Learning About Your IT Support Before an EMR Implementation

Posted on December 7, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On EMR and HIPAA I did a post about healthcare IT Projects you can implement today. The basic concept is that you can work on other IT projects if you’re not quite ready to implement an EMR (for example if you’re waiting to learn more about the EMR stimulus money). Dan Draper stopped by and left an additional comment about an additional side benefit of doing an IT project before implementing an EMR (emphasis added):

Besides the direct benefit these projects deliver, taking baby steps with technology will make a big implementation easier. In these small IT implementations, I would recommend clinics and offices take the opportunity to evaluate IT integrators, network engineers and value-added resellers.

Which ones are easy to work with?
Who can implement the system?
Who can sell the equipment?
Who is going to support it?

Use these small projects to find out which IT reseller really understands the challenge of healthcare (critical data/no on-site IT support) and won’t leave a doctor or administrator with a hot closet, a mess of cables or an infrastructure that won’t easily expand. Use this opportunity to ask the integrator or reseller what the IT costs and scope would be for that future (eventual) EMR implementation.

Very fine points. If you don’t think your relationship with your IT support help is important, you’re in real trouble during an EMR implementation. Done right, you won’t really notice they’re there. Done wrong, and let the finger pointing begin.