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BYOD Deploying a Mobile Device Management Strategy

Posted on April 30, 2013 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 a guest blog post by Marcus LaFountain.
Marcus LaFountain Headshot
LaFountain has worked in IT for the last 10 years as a PC Technician, Help Desk Analyst, and System Administrator. He is currently a Healthcare IT Consultant specializing in Cerner and HIM implementations.

A recent Ovum study showed that almost 60% of employees bring some type of mobile device into the workplace. There are a few names for this, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP), User Introduces Unsecure Device onto My Network and Then Loses My Secure Data (UIUDOMNTLMSD). Alright, so I made that last one up, but that is how most IT Managers feel when the discussion is started about BYOD. An end user bringing a device to work is both a gift and a curse for any sized company. We see an increase in productivity but also the increased threat of data being lost or stolen. Having a strong Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy can help companies reap the benefits of BYOD while limiting the consequences.

Let’s start by going over some numbers. By 2014, the number of mobile devices (mostly mobile phones) in the workplace is expected to reach 350 million globally. A remarkable 57% of full time employees are already using mobile devices for work related tasks. Out of that 57%, about half is unmonitored, unmanaged BYOD activity. Another study shows that in 2011, 78% of companies did NOT have a BYOD policy and only about 20% of employees actually sign a BYOD policy.

There are many reasons to justify a BYOD policy:

Productivity:  An employee who uses their personal device for both work and play is on average likely to work an extra 240 hours per year than those who do not. They can answer emails on the go, answer phone calls while on the road (using a hands-free device of course!) and receive that last minute meeting update. . Most employees won’t want to bring a work laptop home just to check emails after dinner or during downtime at home. Letting them receive push emails may empower them to write a quick mail back to a client in a different time zone rather than having to wait until the morning.

Cost: There is also a cost justification. Not having to provide every employee with a business only device can save not only the cost of the device but the monthly service plan that goes along with it. The number of devices can be reduced as well. A mobile phone is a cheaper and sometimes more convenient alternative than a laptop with a 4G cell card. Employees can still stay connected when not physically at their desk.

User Experience: Tech Savvy employees tend to have strong preferences when it comes to the technology they choose to use. Forcing an Android user to use a BlackBerry device may not be an ideal situation. Giving employees the ability to choose their mobile operating system, screen size and other technical specs may make them more likely to use the device rather than it sitting in a desk drawer unused.

However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the world of BYOD. As the use of mobile devices increase in the work place, so do the number of malicious attacks. According to the Ponemon Institute, 6 out of 10 security breaches were traced back to mobile devices. Apple and Google are constantly removing mobile malware from their app stores. And as always, attackers are trying to pick the low hanging fruit of the mobile community first. Businesses must have policies and security measures in place to protect their data. In 2009, the US Government enacted the Health Information Technology for Clinical Health Act (HITECH) that requires healthcare companies to notify patients if they have had their health records compromised. Similar acts were also put in place in the financial industry.

Constructing a comprehensive Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy is imperative when users are allowed to bring and use their own devices. As with many policies, the contents may vary greatly by company. However, almost every company from small businesses to enterprises will need to focus on security and support.

Security:  A lost or stolen device is the most common type of security breach. A company must have measures in place to combat this. While an entire article can be written about mobile security, I will touch on some common features.  Both Android and Apple offer AES 256 – Bit encryption as a standard on their devices.  Lock screens, passwords and certificates all play a role in device management as well. Microsoft Active Sync and other software also allow administrators to perform a remote wipe of a compromised device. This is a necessary requirement when employees have company data on their mobile phones.  Samsung has developed an Enterprise suite called SAFE that allows the user to partition company data with personal data. It also gives administrators the ability to perform a complete or selective wipe, tracking of the device and local password enforcement.  Apple and other mobile providers are starting to or already have incorporated these features as well. If your company is using application virtualization, you may need to define new rules for allowing mobile devices. Users will also need a way to get a hold of someone 24/7 in the event of a lost or stolen device.

Support:  This may be a slippery slope for some. Most IT policies only allow for support of company devices. So who supports a personal device that is used for business? Depending on the size of your company, you may want to assign a dedicated resource from your IT Security team to manage your MDM policy. If you are an enterprise, you may need a small team to manage different aspects of the policy. Your Help Desk will need training on the various mobile operating systems and communication will need to be sent out to end users on how to stay on top of security. Documentation will need to be created on how to setup email, VPNs and passwords. Do you need to setup an approved device list or will you allow any manufacturer or mobile OS on the network? A pilot group (usually IT) will need to be put in place to test your new systems and policies as well. Audits should also be enabled to check for OS updates, application updates and security updates.

In a growing mobile market and the on demand nature of business today, IT Management will need to be one step ahead of its users by developing a MDM policy. When developing an MDM strategy, you must take into account your business needs as well as infrastructure requirements. Like any new implementation it is ideal to begin testing your technology and policies with a small subset of users and conducting a review process before rolling out corporate wide. Doing so may limit mistakes while in a beta phase instead of having them on a mass scale. Focusing on security and support will allow for a comprehensive strategy that will allow employees to operate efficiently and productively but most importantly safely.

Related Whitepaper:
How Technology Executives are Managing the Shift to BYOD
This white paper looks at the growing adoption of BYOD in healthcare and the possible benefits and hurdles of enabling employees to use their own consumer devices in the workplace.

Download Whitepaper or see More EMR and Health IT Whitepapers

CMS Plans To Audit 5 Percent of Meaningful Use Participants

Posted on April 29, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Are you ready to be reviewed?  Well, get prepared. As part of its ongoing program of supervision, CMS plans to audit 5 percent of participants in the Meaningful Use program for compliance, according to Modern Healthcare.

Since January, CMS has been auditing program participants that have already received their money, as well as those who have applied to receive incentive payments.  Going forward, the two groups will receive about the same level of attention, with a total of 5 percent of program participants ending up getting closer scrutiny from the feds, MH reports.

To date, there haven’t been many adverse findings by CMS, though the agency has discovered a few questionable situations, Robert Anthony, deputy director of the HIT Initiatives Group at CMS, told the magazine. But a few providers are already beginning the appeal process, and several providers may face fraud enforcement investigations, he said.

The bulk of the Meaningful Use reviews will be what the agency dubs “desk audits,” done by the CMS audit contractor Figliozzi and Co., in which information is exchanged electronically. However, a few on-site audits may be conducted as well, Anthony told Modern Healthcare.

To date, among the most common problems CMS has learned about has been provider failures to meet the requirement that they complete a data security risk assessment, a step also required by HIPAA.  When the auditors find that a provider hasn’t done the required data security risk assessment, they could be referred to the HHS Office of Civil Rights for a HIPAA compliance investigation.

Another issue which has turned up frequently has been a lack of adequate documentation that providers have answered some of the “yes or no” questions which are part of Meaningful Use criteria, such as whether their EMR has been tested for clinical data exchange. In that case, providers must be able to document what happened whether or not the test was successful.

Hoarding and Sharing Data in Health Care — #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on April 27, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Topic One: Looking in the rearview mirror, what has been the history and rationale for “hoarding” data in health care?

Topic Two: “Open” has varying meanings. What elements/aspects do you think are the most important for healthcare?


Topic Three: How can social media contribute to the transformation from hoarding to sharing? How should patients fit?

Topic Four: What providers/companies use open/collaborative technologies, pt care workflow, strategies, biz models, etc. Who are the stars?

Topic Five: What lessons can #healthcare learn about openness from other industries? What’s most likely to work in healthcare?

DoD Official Challenges Agency’s EMR Approach

Posted on April 26, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Back in 2009, the Department of Defense and the VA began an initiative, the iEHR project, which was supposed to integrate the two sprawling agencies’ EMR systems.  That initiative came to a halt in February, with the two organizations deciding make their two independent systems more interoperable and the data contained wtihin more shareable.

At least one DoD official, however, believes that the latest effort flies in the face of President Obama’s directive that agencies adopt and use open data standards. J. Michael Gilmore, director of the DoD’s operational test and evaluation office, has sent a memo to Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter arguing that the DoD’s plan to evaluate commercial EMR systems is “manifestly inconsistent” with that order.

“The White House has repeatedly recommended that the Department take an inexpensive and direct approach to implementing the President’s open standards,” Gilmore wrote. “Unfortunately, the Department’s preference is to purchase proprietary software for so-called “core” health management functions…To adhere to the President’s agenda, the iEHR program should be reorganized and the effort to define and purchase “core” functions in the near term be abandoned.”

If the DoD actually manages to successfully implement a commercial EMR system, it “would be the exception to the rule, given the Department’s consistently poor performance whenever it has attempted wholesale replacement of existing business processes with commercially derived enterprise software,” Gilmore noted tartly.

Gilmore recommends that the DoD go the open standards route by defining and testing the iEHR architecture, then purchasing a software “layer” to connect DoD’s EMR with other providers using open standards.

The VA, meanwhile, has formally proposed that the DoD migrate from its existing AHLTA EMR to the VA’s popular VistA EMR, already in place successfully throughout the agency’s hospitals and clinics. VistA is deployed at more than 1,500 sites of care, including 152 hospitals, 965 outpatient clinics, 133 community living centers and 293 Vet Centers.

HIPAA Puts Innovation and the Cloud Into Perspective for Providers

Posted on April 25, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I had the pleasure of attending the iHT2 conference in Atlanta for the second year in a row and was once again pleased with the opportunity to interact with providers in such an intimate setting. A far cry from the chaos and showmanship of HIMSS, to be sure. No matter what session I attended throughout the two-day event, I heard consistent mumblings of discontent around HIPAA, especially in the context of being a barrier to innovation in the mobile health space.

My Twitter friends have a habit of putting things into perspective for me, and Susana Vallelonga, aka @sgcalderoni, didn’t disappoint:

twitter

She makes a good point – one that ties into a recent discussion I had with Frankie Rios, the new Vice President of Information Security at GNAX Health. He is facing a similar challenge when it comes to convincing providers of the benefits of the cloud in the face of new HIPAA rules. He is no stranger to challenges, though, having spent 16 years in the US Marine Corps as a Senior Network Engineer, Trainer and Supervisor. I had the chance to chat with him recently about the state of cloud computing in the wake of the recently enacted Omnibus Rule.

Do you think the newly enacted HIPAA rules will scare providers away from migrating to the cloud?
Actually, the new HIPAA rules protect providers as they migrate data and applications to the cloud. Whether it is cloud computing or cloud storage, the new rules provide a stronger framework. The technology continues to mature and as it does so, I believe we will continue to see a growing acceptance of cloud services from providers.

How are you working to combat these fears?
We are educating providers from both a technology and policy perspective. Technologically speaking, there is no reason why the cloud cannot be as (or more) secure than an on-premise solution. We are also providing information on implemented controls to secure patient data within the cloud.

You recently created a set of criteria to help providers evaluate potential cloud providers and their compliance with HIPAA requirements. How would you say this list has changed in the last five years? What should providers be aware of now that they may not have even considered a few years ago?

The list has really not changed much in the last five years. All of the controls are based on information management security best practices that have been around much longer. What has changed are the security technologies and cost of implementing the controls. For some, the costs have gone down and for some the costs have increased.

A few years ago it was difficult to ensure that vendors had the proper controls in place. There were no instruments to hold vendors accountable other than extra contract language or business associate agreements. The responsibility was on the provider to implement security controls and ensure HIPAA compliance. In the case of a breach, the provider (not the vendor) was liable.

With the new rule, business associates are also liable in the event of a breach, and must ensure that the same security controls are in place.

Along those same lines, how do maturing EMR technologies play into a provider’s decision to move to the cloud?
Most EMRs already have the ability to deliver their application in a cloud-based environment, or their solution is offered as an ASP model. This makes it very easy for providers to migrate their EMR technologies to the cloud.

The cloud is really just the “next step” from virtualization of current assets. It is not maturity of the EMR itself, but simply an enhanced infrastructure and platform functionality.

However, providers should ask how cloud options for their EMR impact clinician workflow. Changes should be clinician-centric; not technology-centric. All the technology in the world is meaningless if it doesn’t improve the workflow or functionality of the clinician.

It seems you are well versed in risk analysis, coming from a military background and then moving into healthcare IT. How has that first career prepared for you this new age of digital breaches in healthcare environments?
My first career in the military greatly improved my ability to act quickly on new situations or regulations. In addition, the emphasis on planning is an important part of the process along with communication.

Risk analysis is an ongoing process. Most implementation mistakes are around performing risk analysis and then doing nothing for the rest of the year. Risk analysis must be part of all aspects of information management in healthcare: especially, strategic and budget planning.

Simply checking the box off that the risk analysis is complete is wrong! As business processes and technology changes, so will the risks that have been introduced. Risk analysis is an ongoing process – not a once and done.

simplifyMD New “Free” Patient Room Cartoon

Posted on April 24, 2013 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 simplifyMD sent me a link to their EHR cartoon gallery. I’ll admit that I was a little underwhelmed with their first set of cartoons. They looked professional, but the content and writing needed some help. I happened upon the gallery again today and found a new cartoon called, ‘Easy Street Family Practice installs a “Free” patient room.’ Check it out (click on the image to see it full size):
simplifyMD Ad Supported Patient Rooms

I thought this was a hilarious jab at our societal move to “Free” everything. It’s a bit of an exaggeration of what it’s really like to get something for free in return for time spent seeing ads. This is especially true of Free EHR where the ads are as unobtrusive as any ads I’ve seen on anything. However, it does illustrate the reason why many people aren’t comfortable with the Free EHR model.

I did have one user of the Practice Fusion Free EHR recently tell me that if the EHR weren’t free, there’s no way they’d still be using that EHR. I thought it provided an interesting perspective on the value of free. We’ll see how this plays out long term for Practice Fusion and if these type of experiences taint the Free EHR market for everyone else.

Plus, I couldn’t write about Free EHR without mentioning that just because an EHR doesn’t cost money doesn’t mean that there aren’t other costs. Some people are ok with the Free EHR costs of advertising and data. Others are not. The key is to be aware of the hidden costs of using a Free EHR.

Going back to the cartoon, I think I might prefer some in exam room advertising if it would replace my co-pay. I’d be fine with a nice Pepsi ad in the exam room in return for lower healthcare costs. Although like most things in life, it can certainly be taken too far if we’re not careful.

Full Disclosure: simplifyMD is an advertiser on this site.

EMR and EHR Whitepapers

Posted on April 23, 2013 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.

For a while I’ve been considering how the Healthcare Scene network of blogs can provide an EMR, EHR and healthcare IT whitepaper service. Over the many years I’ve been blogging about EMR and EHR, I’ve seen a lot of really valuable whitepapers created by the various EHR vendors. The time required to create a whitepaper is lengthy and for someone looking for an in depth look at a subject, a whitepaper is a nice option.

With that in mind I recently launched a new EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT whitepaper portal. We’re just getting started with the healthcare whitepaper portal, but we’ll be growing the content that’s available there over time. We’ll also be including a nice sidebar widget for those interested in the latest whitepapers we have to offer and we’ll embed a list of whitepapers in the email subscription as well.

We already have a number of great whitepapers available. For example, athenahealth created this whitepaper on Making the Switch: Replacing Your EHR for More Money and More Control. We’ve often talked about EMR switching becoming a very popular and important topic. This whitepaper helps a practice considering the EMR switch to go through an analysis of why to switch EMR or not.

Another whitepaper by NextGen is called The tips and tools to help you on the path to MU (Meaningful Use) and beyond. Considering less than 50% of providers have attested to meaningful use, this could be useful to many. It contains a lot of great resource links and some tips on how to approach meaningful use. If you’re looking at meaningful use stage 2, check out this one from AdvancedMD called Achieving Stage 2 Meaningful Use in Private Practice.

Those are just a few examples. You can find many more of them on this EMR and EHR whitepaper library page. I look forward to adding a lot more interesting whitepapers in the future. Hopefully you’ll find the content valuable.

Inspiring Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Achieve Innovation – TEDMED

Posted on April 22, 2013 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 invited to attend TEDMED as a guest of Xerox and what an experience it was. If you missed my first post about the TEDMED experience, you’ll want to start with that post to provide some context to this one. The first day and a half that I describe in that post was a whirlwind experience and the second half of TEDMED was no different. However, the second day and a half had a bit of a different twist. It seemed to focus less on the technical side of medicine and more on its emotional and philosophical parts, but there were still a lot of lessons learned.

The reality of writing a TEDMED recap is that you could literally write about every speaker that participated and so you’re guaranteed to leave out some noteworthy talk. With that made clear, let me highlight some of the messages and people that struck me and would likely be useful to a healthcare IT crowd.

Close to the end of the TEDMED conference, Raghava KK took the stage with some really twisted perspectives on how to teach diversity and stretch your mind in new ways. This quote from his talk seemed to teach an important lesson for healthcare, “When you teach perspectives, you teach creativity.” In the insular healthcare environment, we could benefit from learning about outside perspectives. No doubt we see isolated examples of creativity in healthcare. Maybe the reason we don’t see more is because the healthcare industry needs more external perspectives.

Victor Wang from GeriJoy was a delightful person; I guess you’d need to be to start a virtual talking dog company. While his product is interesting in its own right, his approach is where we can all learn something valuable. Victor said, “We are leveraging the global supply of compassion and kindness.” I’m still trying to process the possibilities of that statement. Victor and GeriJoy are using people from around the world to share compassion and kindness with elderly people. I see an amazing untapped potential where technology has the power to deliver humanity. A talking dog is just the beginning.

Eli Beer‘s lifesaving flash mob, United Hatzalah, is something special. I loved his description of, “Not viral videos. Viral community building.” The power of community is often forgotten or left untapped.

There was an entire session of TEDMED on death. No doubt this applies to a large number of people in healthcare in a lot of different ways. Amanda Bennett offered a couple insights that seemed to capture some of the essence of the conversation including this gem, “Looking at death has taught me how to live.” Plus, if you’re interested in this topic, her discussion of patient denial is a great one. She even borrowed from software development to say, “Denial is not a bug, it’s a feature.”

Roni Zieger, Former Google chief health strategist, announced his new Smart Patients community at TEDMED. He called this and other similar communities a “network of micro experts.” Think of the power these micro experts have when put together in a network. He also pointed out a concept I’d never seen articulated before, “The biggest value isn’t in the data we can predict, it’s in the unexpected connections.” He even applied it to EHR software where he suggested that EHRs were pre-configured and therefore have a hard time seeing emergent trends. His solution, “We need systems that can reconfigure based on the context.”

Marleece Barber, chief medical officer at Lockheed Martin took us all to task when she asked, “If we can land a man on the moon, can we land your butt on a bike?”

Jessica Richman and her company uBiome are part of a growing concept around citizen science. She posed the inspiring question, “Can a citizen scientist win a noble prize?” She believes that if you can ask and answer questions, all you need are the right tools and anyone can be a scientist. I loved her idea of changing science from being a spectator sport on Discovery Channel to a sport that anyone can participate in.

Many of the concepts that Jessica described remind me of patients wanting to be more involved in their healthcare. The growing ePatient movement is a strong one and requires some really challenging shifts in culture. I’m sure I’ll be doing many posts on Jessica’s concepts in the future, but it seems that scientists have similar views to doctors. At the core of the issues to me is the belief that without years of schooling you’re not smart and can’t evaluate complex issues. I don’t want to understate the value of education, but we also shouldn’t understate the value of micro experts (to steal Roni Zieger’s term). They can both have a place in the process and working together they can be much more than the sum of their parts.

Two of the most heartwarming and inspiring presentations were Charity Tillemann-Dick and Sue Austin. Charity, the recipient of two double lung transplants, is a soprano opera singer who performed an aria for us. Her story of survival and drive to live is beautiful. Her message of organ donation is an important one, but her ability to inspire you to battle anything in life is priceless.

Sue is a scuba diver, but she does so in a wheel chair. Instead of trying to explain it, watch one of her other TED talks including a video of her scuba diving.

Martin Hoffman tweeted something that summed up TEDMED quite well, “Inspire multidisciplinary collaboration to achieve innovation.” I’d say that goal was accomplished for many.

Read more coverage from TEDMED from Xerox on the Real Business at Xerox Blog and follow @XeroxHealthcare.

Medical Apps, $21 Billion EMR Market, and Sick of EMR

Posted on April 21, 2013 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.


This is a pretty interesting idea and another way to talk about subjects we’ve talked about many times here. The idea of an app in this case is an app on top of EMR software. I call this making the Smart EMR. It will likely come from these apps. The article is right that many of the data warehouses are clunky and don’t serve the doctors. In fact, there are very few data warehouses focused on the doctors needs at all.


The last EMR incentive numbers I saw were at $10 billion. Does that mean the government has funded half of the market? These numbers are always a little fishy, but it’s interesting to consider how big the EMR market is.


I actually know a lot of doctors who love their EMR and wouldn’t practice medicine without one. What I think most doctors are tired of is all the government regulations. We shouldn’t confuse government regulations with EMR.

Study: Open Source On A Growth Path In Healthcare

Posted on April 19, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

A new survey has concluded that open source software has reached a high enough maturity and quality level to attract users in formerly commercial settings.  The study, the seventh annual “Future of Open Source Survey,” has concluded that open source software is rapidly changing the way organizations inside and outside of healthcare do business, according to Open Health News.

More than 800 respondents participated in the survey, which is backed by North Bridge Venture Partners and Black Duck Software, including both vendor- and non-vendor representatives.

Researchers found that healthcare users, as well as those in government and media, are increasingly swayed to use open source, thanks to advantages in collaboration, transparency and speed, Open Health News reports.

There’s indications that healthcare players are willing to embrace the technology — and by extension the open source development community — in the data gathered by the survey. Over the next two to three years, 15 percent of respondents said health and science would be most affected by open source software trends.

Generally speaking, cutting across healthcare and non-healthcare industries, respondents seemed willing to embrace open source’s challenges if it met their needs.  When choosing open source software over proprietary solutions, 45 percent of respondents chose technical capabilities and features as important, while only 12 percent chose commercial vendor support as an important buying criterion.

Another broad trend which emerged was that open source buyers were becoming convinced that open source solutions were of high quality; in fact, quality jumped from third place to first as a reason to adopt open source software. Freedom from vendor lock-in came in at second place in in the list.

Another very interesting observation, cutting across industries, was that lower costs, big data and systems integration were the top three business problems open source software is solving.  I can certainly see those as advantages healthcare needs to leverage, don’t you?