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Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of EHR

Posted on September 2, 2015 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.

After teaching a two day EHR workshop in Dubai, I was particularly interested when I came across this whitepaper called Health Care IT: The Real (and Hidden) Costs of Ownership. I’d just talked for 2 days about the costs and benefits of EHR and so I was interested to see how this whitepaper aligned with what I’d been saying. Most of it aligned really well with what I’d taught them which was quite comforting.

However, there was one section of the whitepaper that was particularly interesting and I don’t think I covered it quite enough in my EHR workshop. This section covered what it called the “Opportunity Costs Not Accounted for in Current TCO Models.” Here’s what they think aren’t accounted for:

Standardization of Workflows
Increased efficiency, quality, fewer interruptions and distractions, better care coordination among providers.

Agility
Ability to quickly scale HCIT up or down as the organization evolves. Responsiveness to changes in reimbursement models, reporting and clinical requirements, and other regulations.

Compliance
Having the right reporting, data, and workflows in place to meet new mandates (e.g., Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2, ICD-10)

Integration
Ability to build effective, low-cost connections to clinical trading partners, labs, pharmacies, and other
third parties to exchange information; and to build and connect with mobile health applications

Adoption
With as much as 70 percent of health care providers dissatisfied with their EHR product, having a system that will encourage rapid adoption and provider satisfaction

I’d certainly covered some of these items tangentially, but it was interesting to frame many of these things as part of the total cost of ownership of an EHR. One thing I did hammer home in my EHR workshop was that you won’t be able to be a next generation healthcare IT company without an EHR. Many of the next innovations in healthcare are going to require an organization have an EHR. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to benefit from these innovations. I’m not sure how you calculate that in your EHR ROI, but it’s going to be very valuable.

8 Elements of Total Patient Engagement

Posted on September 20, 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 major trend in healthcare today is the shift to patient engagement. As part of this trend, I did a video interview with Dr. Nick recently where we discussed some of the shifts towards patient engagement in healthcare. If you enjoy healthcare IT, you’ll enjoy the full video discussion.

After doing that I interview I came across this whitepaper called 8 Elements of Total Patient Engagement. It takes a really in depth look at 8 areas of patient engagement:
1. Understand how to synthesize and deliver actionable information to patients
2. Facilitate engagement in all settings across the continuum of care
3. Activate patients at their convenience
4. Integrate seamlessly into IT systems and workflows
5. Deliver results down to the individual patient
6. Measure and provide clinical and financial outcomes
7. Backed by an organization with expert knowledge and experience
8. Support the near-term and long-term objectives of the organization including supporting IHI’s Triple Aim

Check out the full whitepaper where it digs into all 9 areas of patient engagement. Certainly meaningful use stage 2 has legislated the start of patient engagement as one of the measures. However, we’re only at the start of this shift. I with many others believe that increased patient engagement will lead to better care and can even been a financial benefit to doctors. Plus, we’re close to the point where the financial benefits of patient engagement will be legislated as well through quality reimbursement.

Much like we went through a shift in EHR from asking “whether we should do EMR” to “how we should do EMR.” I think we’re also going from wondering “if we should do more patient engagement” to “how we should do more patient engagement.”

5 EHR Myths

Posted on July 1, 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’ve been debunking EHR myths for the 8+ years I’ve been blogging about EHR software. There are a lot of them. Some are perpetuated because people don’t want to change. Others were true, but aren’t true today. Others are just complete misunderstandings of the benefits and challenges of EHR Myths.

ADP AdvancedMD has put out a whitepaper called “EHR Myths Debunked: 5 Status Quo Myths that Hold You back and Reduce Your Bottom Line“. You know I couldn’t resist taking a look at such a whitepaper. I was quite pleased the it was full of a lot of numbers related to EHR.

For example, it says the cost of “creating a new chart” is $7. I imagine they’re taking into account the cost of the materials and the cost of the person creating the chart. They also look at the costs of replacing a chart, pulling or refiling a chart, faxing a chart, storing a chart, etc. I love how many doctors take these EHR benefits and sweep them under the rug. It’s really interesting to put a dollar value to them and consider how those costs add up.

In some ways, the EHR Myths whitepaper covers a lot of the areas I’ve talked about in my EMR and EHR Benefits series. It really is amazing how many EHR myths there are out there and the whitepaper looks at 5 of them that are worth analyzing. I wish the whitepaper would have also covered some of the possible negative impacts EHR can have on a practice like physician productivity. Although, most practices are really good at analyzing the negative side of EHR, so the numbers in this whitepaper will help to round out your analysis of EHR.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the myths talked about in this whitepaper. Are there other EHR myths that those in healthcare should know about? Do you agree with the 5 myths mentioned in the whitepaper?

A Thoughtful Approach to EHR Implementation – 5 Tips

Posted on May 9, 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.

While many in the EHR industry have started moving beyond EHR implementation, it’s worth realizing that only 55% of physicians have adopted an electronic health record (EHR). Yes, that means that 45% of physicians are still working on selecting and adopting an EHR. Ok, it’s probably more like 40% of doctors are looking to implement an EHR. The other 5% will stick with their paper.

Plus, along with the 45% of doctors who don’t use EHR, there are a whole slew of existing EHR users that are selecting and implementing an EHR as well. For example, 2 days ago I was at my son’s cub scout event where an opthamologist friend of mine cornered me and asked me about how he should go about selecting an EHR for his practice. He had just decided to go out on his own and open his own opthamology practice. What a perfect time to select and implement an EHR.

With this in mind, today I came across this whitepaper by ADP AdvancedMD called A Thoughtful Approach to EHR Implementation. They provide a number of stats, charts, and graphs using data from the CDC about EHR satisfaction and EHR use. The most intriguing number to me was the number of physicians that reported accessing the patient chart remotely using their EHR. That’s an EHR benefit that I don’t see talked about very often.

The whitepaper also offered these 5 tips for a successful EHR Implementation:

  1. Stay committed to your goal, but flexible in your approach
  2. Don’t short-change your training opportunities
  3. Don’t underestimate the impact to your workflow
  4. To pilot or not to pilot
  5. Optimizing the EHR

A lot more could be said about each point and they cover each point in detail in the full whitepaper, but the first and third ones really stand out to me. EHR is a commitment, but requires some flexibility. The best way to have a failed EHR implementation is to not be committed or to be inflexible. Your workflow will be impacted, but if you take a thoughtful approach to your EHR implementation it can be impacted for good.

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.