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OMG to WTF EMR Pain Scale

Posted on November 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.

I don’t think this chart needs any intro. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and no doubt this graph will be a great point of conversation with many that find themselves on the chart. Not to mention those that think the chart is a poor representation of reality. I look forward to the discussion on the comments.

EMR Subtleties Are Hard to Quantify

Posted on August 23, 2011 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.

How would you respond if someone asks you, what makes a great EMR?

There are plenty of answers that come to mind. However, at a recent conference I attended, I was struck by a simple description a doctor made about a feature he liked in his EMR.

He described how a new patient portal they implemented would ask the patient a bunch of important questions. Then, the output to the doctor would display a list of those questions and responses. However, he loved how the so called “incorrect” answers were in a different color.

I’m sure many of you might be thinking, well isn’t that an obvious feature? Some of you might also be thinking, is John really trying to tell me that this feature is what makes that EMR great? The answer is Yes on both accounts. Although with one caveat.

First, it’s an obvious feature, but there are hundreds and possibly thousands of obvious features that EMR companies haven’t had the time or the foresight to put into their EHR package. Maybe they were working on a legacy EHR where such an obvious feature was difficult to implement, so they put it off. Maybe they were trying to get the software release out the door and so they didn’t take the time to add such an obvious feature. Maybe they just haven’t had “the time” to add it. The point being that there are many “obvious” features that never make it off the development list.

Second, these subtle features are what makes an EMR great. No, not one subtle feature. I’m talking about hundreds of subtle features that are done throughout the entire EMR system. The compilation of many subtle features creates a beautiful symphony of EMR greatness.

How then do you measure hundreds of small but great features in an EMR?

Healthcare Billing and HIPAA Impede EMR Progress

Posted on July 21, 2011 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 had this post in my drafts from a long long time ago. It linked to an article that is no longer relevant. However, I still think the title is incredible relevant. I was talking with someone this week about the real problem with EMR software is that they have to jump through the crazy billing requirements. Although, you could certainly add in the HIPAA requirements in some regards as well.

We can all appreciate the need to protect patients information. Plus, while HIPAA has some issues, I think it could be much worse. So, I can’t say I can really complain about the HIPAA requirements as they relate to EMR.

Instead, I’ll focus this post on the crazy billing requirements that doctors have to jump through in order to be reimbursed for their work.

Now, imagine the beautiful EMR interface that could be created if everything about the EMR software was focused on patient care and physician workflow. I’d love for someone to do a study on what percentage of EMR functions are there because of the onerous billing requirements. I think we’d be shocked to find out how many of them are there because of billing.

I’ve covered this topic from a lot of different angles before. It just keeps coming back to me over and over again. So, until I find someone who has a fix for it, I’m going to keep bringing it up.

Of course, I wonder if 3 years down the road I’ll be writing a post talking about how meaningful use is impeding EMR progress. Then, I’ll be interested in a study that looks at how many features of an EMR were needlessly added thanks to meaningful use.

Benefits of ICD 9 Codes and How EMR Can Improve Them

Posted on May 13, 2010 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 got the following email from an EMR vendor talking about a simple feature in their EMR that really adds value to their end users. The feature revolves around making the ICD-9 billing codes into something useful beyond billing. Here’s his message:

I was talking with one of my pediatrician docs the other day and she was saying how un-useful ICD-9 is for her. As part of her note in the EMR she has to code things saying otitis media. But, the important thing to her is saying “3rd ear inf. in 2mo”. It is this brief summary note that she includes in what we call an “interim” field in our EMR. That is what she looks for to get her “ah-ha” in working with kids. Looking down a list of previous visits which show date of service and primary dx takes mental work and analysis. But, being able to see this brief note on the next visit is what makes her do her job better – more meaningful shall we say?

These are the things that make EMRs great.

If you have other useful features that make your EMR great, feel free to submit them on my Contact Us page and I’ll post them in the future.

Top 12 Electronic Medical Record Software Features

Posted on August 17, 2009 I Written By

I just looked at a website of an EMR consultant who posted this blog entry on his Top 10 Electronic Medical Record Software Features for every Physician. This is what he came up with. Take a look.
1) A fully Integrated EMR Software System as opposed to interfaced systems
2) Integration of EMR Software with ePrescription to receive bonus payments
3) Electronic Medical Record Software that supports PQRI Automation
4) Electronic Medical Software with adaptive learning
5) Secure Portability and access to your electronic medical records even without an internet connection
6) Integrated patient portal – Keeping more in-touch with your patients
7) Electronic Medical Record Software that does not box you into rigid templates
8) Document and Image Management
9) Integrated with voice recognition and handwriting recognition
10) Meets all regulatory and compliance requirements (http://www.revenuexl.com/)

My Top Twelve list would go like this:

First of all the EMR has to be: Easy to Use, Simple to Learn, Affordable and it has to make Providers more productive. Without this functionality, none of the other stuff matters!
1. Can document a progress note quickly and efficiently
2. Can ePrescribe
3. Can access medical record information quickly using document management system (lab results, test reports, consultation and hospital reports)
4. Can track Health Maintenance, Chronic Problem Information and Orders
5. Can generate reports for Quality Improvement and Incentive Programs
6. Can connect to other systems via CCD or CCR
7. Allows flexible documentation via typing, dictating, writing and scanning, and drop down menus, templates and pick lists
8. Patient Portal would be nice
9. Interfaces with Scheduling, Billing and Messaging quickly and seamlessly
10. Keeps Patient Medical History Information Stored and Accessible (Allergies, Medications, Past Medical History, Past Surgical History, Habits, Family History and Social History)
11. Quick and Simple ICD-9 and CPT Coding Support
12. Quick and Effective E&M Coding Support

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Is my list better or worse than the list from the EMR Consultant?