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Why 2013 Will Be A Good Year For EMRs

Posted on December 14, 2012 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.

Recently, I wrote an article listing some unpleasant, stubborn EMR problems that are likely to cling to the industry like sticky burrs in 2013. Being a fair-minded gal, I also wanted to stop and reflect on what’s likely to work in favor of EMR adoption, maturation and success next year, so here goes:

*  Consolidation will lead to a more-stable vendor market:  With the (in my opinion) wave of new EMR vendors beginning to recede, the shakeout will begin. Vendors that remain may not be the best, sadly, but they’ll be better funded and hopefully better situated to take care of customers.

*  We’ll have a good amount of Meaningful Use experience under our belts:  Starting out with Meaningful Use has been nerve-wracking for all. But by 2013 the industry will have begun to acclimate itself not just to meeting MU standards, but making them work for their particular clinic or hospital.

*  Vendors are likely to offer more mobile options:  Right now, EMR vendors are offering minimal efforts around mobile EMR applications. My gut is that in the coming year, we’ll see some definitive progress on Android and iOS-natve EMR apps. There’s just too much demand to ignore.

*  Template medicine will get more sophisticated:  When templates merely inconvenienced doctors, nobody seemed that worried about their potential side effects. Now that it appears that templates encourage costly upcoding, however, it’s likely that vendors will be forced to make them smarter and less prone to encouraging cut-and-paste documentation. (How, I  haven’t a clue, but the pressure will force something to happen.)

Now, none of these are exactly raving endorsements of the EMR climate for next year. I’m not suggesting that adopting EMRs will suddenly become easy, training a breeze or ROI will magically appear.  But I do believe that we’re going to be seeing a nice uptick in EMR maturity.

Healthcare Social Media, Call for Halt on MU Payments, and Healthbox London – Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on October 14, 2012 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.

EMR, EHR and HIPAA

Mobile EHR as a Solution for EHR Downtime

There has been some EHR downtime recently from major EHR vendors, which has given an opportunity for mobile EHRs to get more of a spotlight. Mitochin recently released a Mobile EHR, and John had the opportunity to review it. It has some different features than other mobile EHRs that are available, and appears to be a great alternative for accessing EHRs when downtime happens.

Healthcare Social Media Happenings

There’s lots of ways to “be in the know” with healthcare and social media. This post directs interested readers to different ways to get involved recently, including attending weekly #HITsm chats, following the happenings at the New York Digital Health Conference, and more.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Congressmen Want Halt on Meaningful Use Payments

Four congressmen are rallying against current Meaningful Use Stage 2 regulations, and half payments for MU. HIMSS has released a statement against this, and there is a lot of debate about what to do. Some of their complaints are warranted and should be taken seriously, it isn’t completely clear cut what the solution should be.

EMR and EHR Thoughts

Healthbox Expands to European Startups

Healthbox has been helping startups in the United States by providing them with seed capital and access to resources. The company is now expanding to Europe, specifically London. Startups have been able to submit applications since July and a decision on which startups that were selected was expected in September.

Smart Phone Health Care

My First (Actual) Experience With A Patient Portal

Medical practices all over the country are implementing patient portals. The pediatrician’s office that Katie takes her son to just created one, and in this post, she talks about her first look at it. What parts of your patient portal do you like?

Hurricane Irene Highlights Life-Saving Potential of Mobile EMRs

Posted on August 31, 2011 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.

Watching the East Coast prepare for Hurricane Irene last weekend had me flashing back to the aftermath of the tornadoes that hit Joplin, Missouri, earlier this year. Would hospitals suffer the same levels of destruction that St. John’s Regional Medical Center did? Would they be as successful in evacuating patients and treating them off-site with limited supplies and infrastructure?

Fortunately, lessons learned from providers in Joplin, and to a greater extent from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, enabled providers along the East Coast to implement well thought-out disaster preparedness plans at their facilities. Mother Nature also lent a hand by withholding from Hurricane Irene the extreme conditions her predecessor unleashed on the South some six years ago.

The team at North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System makes a compelling case study for the smoothness with which detailed planning can bring to hospital evacuation scenarios. The short video below gives a glimpse into the efforts the hospital’s staff put forth to evacuate 252 in-patients and 50 emergency department patients in less than 24 hours. The helpful Mr. HISTalk has compiled a brief list of updates on several additional hospitals affected by the storm (scroll down to the bottom of the post for updates).

It was by pure coincidence that news of e-MDs’ launch of its Rounds® mobile EMR app for the iPhone reached my desk just as Hurricane Irene was closing in on land. The new app enables physicians to remotely and securely key in patient information from their EHRs via their mobile device – surely a tool that physicians would find useful in treating patients during an evacuation process such as that undertaken by North Shore-LIJ.

Patrick Hall, Executive Vice President of Business Development at e-MDs, told me that the mobile health solution was launched “to help our physician clients stay connected to patient information. We have observed that [they] have been dealing with more and more work when they are away from the office. This provides them with a convenient tool to deal with some of this, using an easily carried device that gives them access to complete patient information so they can make informed decisions about patient care.”

I’ll be interested to learn if any hospitals or private practice physicians came away with “success” stories because of their mobile EMR solutions. I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that successes this time around far outnumber the failures.

Using PIMSY EMR on an iPad and Android Device

Posted on May 30, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

One of the regular EMR and EHR readers, Judy, recently took up the challenge I posed in my previous post about Every EMR Vendor available on the iPad. She downloaded the LogMeIn Ignition app that I mentioned in that post and tried out her PIMSY EMR software on it. Thanks to Judy for sharing her experience.

The following is her experience and review.

I tested the new LogMeIn app to see if I could access PIMSY EMR from my older Droid and from an iPad. It takes a little getting used to: you have to familiarize yourself with how to navigate on the screen and how to change the size to get the screen view that works for you. Once you get that done you are good to go. That said, there are 2 ways to change the size: a magnifying option at the bottom of the screen or a zoom in bar on the right hand side; you can enlarge as much as needed. There are also 2 options for moving around: you can move the screen with your finger (the cursor stays put) or you can move the cursor like a regular mouse; I prefer navigating around the cursor. Both options make it simple to maneuver.

If you’re used to texting and typing on a smaller keyboard, it will be easier to adjust. The app itself gives you a keyboard that takes up approximately half the size of the screen, so larger phone screens like Droid 2 or iPhone would have a bigger keyboard than a regular Droid, and the iPhone keyboard was comparable to a regular size. For those who aren’t used to navigating and typing on a phone screen, there will be an adjustment period. If you’re connected to dual monitors, you can easily switch to either one, and I was able to watch a video.

The speed is slightly slower from phone or iPad to computer but very good from computer to computer. The app is not offered on a Blackberry. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who wants to connect to their desktop remotely; it worked great to get into PIMSY. Well worth $29.99.

EMR Mobile Integrations

Posted on April 7, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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 quite figure out why EMR software was been so slow to integrate with various mobile technologies. Certainly we’ve seen quite a bit of effort when it comes to EMR and the iPad. However, I’m talking more about patient focused mobile apps.

I started thinking about this when I saw the video below. It’s a sales video, but demos some interesting mobile features that I think should be part of most EMR software:

Something as simple as appointment reminders should be part of every EMR, but sadly it’s not and I’m not sure why. I’m sure some will cry HIPAA, but that’s a total cop out. Besides the fact that you can obtain consent, you can text an appointment reminder without violating HIPAA. It’s not that much different than an automated call system calling to remind them for the appointment.

The automatic welcome text with directions to the office is a nice touch too. Some of the Cisco mobile integrations I’ve seen before in a few EMR, but it definitely adds to the complexity of the EMR implementation. That’s something that I think you have to be careful with as an EMR vendor.

However, the mobile nurse notification is something that could be really interesting. This is a little harder to implement properly since you need to balance the nurses need to know the information and alert fatigue. Or in other words you don’t want to bombard the nurse with so many messages that she stops looking at them because there’s too many and many are outdated since she can’t keep up with the messages.

What about using the bump or bump like technologies to give patients their clinical summaries on their mobiles to satisfy the meaningful use requirements? I’m sure there’s many more.

Why don’t we see more functions like this? Sadly, I’m afraid the answer is that these features won’t likely sell more EMR software.