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A Tribute to Larry Weed

Posted on June 20, 2017 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 must admit that I didn’t really know about Larry Weed until in 2013 I saw Neil Versel interviewing him at HIMSS. I’d been getting to know Neil Versel pretty well at this point and I saw him hit the press room full of energy and totally engaged with a man who was 89 years of age. I was new to the press room then, but I now know well the look Neil gets when he has a good interview. It’s how he looked at HIMSS 2013 when I saw him interviewing the 89 year old Larry Weed.

After the interview, I was talking with Neil and he recounted to me that he’d just been able to interview Larry Weed. I could tell that this was a real highlight for him and that he was honored by the opportunity. This month, Larry Weed passed away and Neil Versel offered up this great tribute to Larry Weed’s work.

I love this Larry Weed quote that Neil shared in his tribute:

“The worst, the most corrupting of all lies is to misstate the problem. Patients get run off into the most unbelievable, expensive procedures … and they’re not even on the right problem,” Weed said during that memorable presentation in New Orleans.

“We all live in our own little cave. We see the world out of our own little cave, and no two of us see it the same way,” he continued, explaining the wide deviation from standards of care. “What you see is a function of who you are.”

We should all take a week or so to think about the most corrupting lie of misstating the problem and how our own experiences corrupt our views.

I also didn’t know that Larry Weed was possibly one fo the founding father’s of patient empowerment. As Neil notes:

Indeed, it could be argued that Weed was a founding father of patient empowerment. Back in 1969, Weed wrote a book called “Medical Records, Medical Education, and Patient Care.” In that, he said, “patients are the largest untapped resource in medical care today.”

Larry Weed also co-developed an early EMR and the SOAP note was his idea.

I often don’t think that those of us who take healthcare IT and EHR for granted today realize the rich history and evolution of technology in healthcare. Thanks Neil for sharing a small glimpse into that history and honoring a man who was an important part in it.

Everyone should take 2 minutes and go and read Neil Versel’s full tribute to Larry Weed.

Will MACRA Be Repealed or Replaced? – MACRA Monday

Posted on March 27, 2017 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 post is part of the MACRA Monday series of blog posts where we dive into the details of the MACRA Quality Payment Program.

I’ve heard a lot of doctors still suggesting that MACRA is going to disappear. I’ve heard every argument imaginable, but the most common one is that the Trump administration is going to get rid of MACRA. While I can understand this fear, I don’t think it has any real foundation. In fact, I think the opposite is true.

As Neil Versel aptly points out, the Repeal and Replace legislation that didn’t quite make it through the house was silent on healthcare IT. I love how Neil puts it:

Wondering what the proposed American Health Care Act—the Republican plan to “repeal and replace” the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—says about health IT?

Nothing. It says nothing.

Wondering what the American Health Care Act says about promoting innovation in healthcare?

Nothing. It says nothing.

Wondering what the American Health Care Act says about holding providers accountable for the care they deliver or about moving away from the inefficient—and often dangerous—fee-for-service reimbursement model?

You guessed it. Nothing. Nada. Zero.

The closest things we’ve heard about the new administration impacting healthcare IT is Tom Price saying that he wants MACRA to not put undue burden on doctors and the possibility that ONC could be on the chopping block.

The former is something that every person at HHS has said for years. No doubt Tom Price is a more provider-friendly HHS secretary than past administrations but given the legislation, I don’t think Tom Price will change MACRA much. As to the later, even if they get rid of ONC, that doesn’t mean MACRA will disappear. It’s still the law of the land. MACRA would just move to another part of HHS. Look at it more as a corporate reorg versus something that will significantly impact MACRA.

All in all, the fact that technology was never really part of the repeal and replace discussion gives me more confidence that MACRA isn’t going anywhere. What do you think? Will MACRA survive? Are there other factors that could influence MACRA’s future?

Be sure to check out all of our MACRA Monday blog posts where we dive into the details of the MACRA Quality Payment Program.

Meaningful Use Stage 3 to Come Out Before HIMSS15?

Posted on March 11, 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.

Madelyn Kearns from Medical Practice Insider is reporting that we might see meaningful use stage 3 regulations before HIMSS. Here’s the exact quote from Robert Anthony, deputy director of CMS’ quality measurement and health assessment group:

“We will have two regulations that will come out in time to discuss meaningful use”

It’s hard to imagine that one of these 2 regulations will not be meaningful use stage 3. No doubt CMS and ONC will want to get some feedback from the HIMSS community on meaningful use stage 3. What better place than at the conference?

Madelyn aptly points out that Robert Anthony already has one session scheduled at HIMSS to discuss the meaningful use stage 3 requirements. I have a feeling that is going to be one of the really well attended sessions. Especially if the MU stage 3 rule does come out before HIMSS.

I realize that CMS is bound by laws on when they can announce the various rules and regulations, but I hope they’ve planned out the timeline better than they’ve done in the past. My colleague Neil Versel at Meaningful Health IT News has regularly pointed out how the rules always seem to go public on a Friday. He’s hypothesized that it was the case that they were trying to hide something. I think that’s true for many Washington news stories, but I think it was coincidence in meaningful use’s case.

Even worse than a Friday is the Friday before HIMSS. Talk about ruining the weekend before HIMSS. Although, if I remember right one time they announced the rule in the middle of HIMSS. I remember meeting with a number of EHR vendor’s government relations people who were grumbling about the late night reading of the meaningful use rule that they’d be consuming all night in the middle of the craziness of HIMSS.

Hopefully CMS has learned from past experience and has planned properly to be able to announce the meaningful use stage 3 rule well before HIMSS. Doing so will give people time to look over the rule so they can have a meaningful discussion of the rule at HIMSS as opposed to some frenetic review of what’s been proposed.

Either way, I’m very interested to see what meaningful use stage 3 will look like. My prediction is that it won’t be dramatically different from stage 2. It will be more of the same with maybe 1-2 additions. It’s too bad, because I’d still love to see them blow up meaningful use. Every doctor I know would love to see that as well. Instead I think we’ll be saying “more of the same.”

Athenahealth Goes After Hospitals and Tavenner Steps Down

Posted on January 22, 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.

There were two big pieces of news this week that I thought I’d discuss. Hopefully you’ll also add your thoughts and insights in the comments.

1. Athenahealth Moves Into Hospital Market With Acquisition Of Atlanta Startup RazorInsights
I thought the announcement of this acquisition was really interesting. Literally the day before this came out, someone asked me what I thought of Athenahealth. After some discussion, they said do you think they’ll take on Epic and Cerner. I quickly responded, “Well, they don’t have an inpatient EHR, so they don’t have a dog in the fight.” Well, now they do have a dog in the fight. Of course, RazorInsights still isn’t a big competitor of Epic and Cerner. However, if I know Jonathan Bush, that’s the ambition. At least that’s what his numerous cloud rants lead you to believe that he thinks he can take down Epic and Cerner with one single word: Cloud. We’ll see what RazorInsights can do under the Athenahealth umbrella.

2. CMS Leader Marilyn Tavenner Steps Down
Neil Versel has a great article covering Tavenner’s departure. His comments are pretty interesting when it comes to her staying low-profile and away from the media during her tenure at CMS. She’s certainly taken a lot of heat from the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov and other programs.

Personally, I’ll most remember her for her promise at HIMSS 2014 that ICD-10 was going to happen and that healthcare organizations better be ready. Of course, we know how that story played out with Congress passing a few lines in the SGR bill to delay ICD-10 another year. Given Tavenner’s promise, I’m quite sure she was blind sided by Congress’ move as well.

I’m not sure her departure is a good or a bad thing for healthcare. I’m sure that the healthcare behemoth will move along like it always has. Best of luck to her wherever she lands. No doubt working in the government in a high profile position is a rather thankless job that usually pays below market wages.

Who do you think will take Tavenner’s position at CMS? Does it matter?

EHR Blogger Attrition

Posted on May 12, 2014 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.

Someone at HIMSS asked me who the up and coming healthcare IT bloggers were in the industry. It was an interesting question. It’s not really sexy to start an EHR blog right now. The golden age of EHR blogging is over and I’m interested to know where EHR and healthcare IT blogging is going to go in the future. The good part is that the use of technology to improve healthcare is never going to go away. It may not be called EHR, but we’ll always be working with the latest technology that can make healthcare better.

As I look through the list of health IT and EHR bloggers on HITsphere, It’s really interesting to see how many bloggers have stopped blogging in the 8.5 years since I started.

Even more than dedicated health IT and EHR bloggers, we’ve seen a lot of company bloggers basically stop as well. For example, I miss seeing Evan Steele’s weekly posts on the EMR Straight Talk blog. Of course, he’s now moved on from the day to day of SRSsoft. I guess that’s a natural part of the cycle, but it’s too bad a company doesn’t continue on with the blog. (UPDATE: After Evan Steele posted a transition post and the people at SRSsoft have taken up and continued with regular blog posts from the new CEO and also many of their staff. I love when there’s a culture of blogging at a company. Nice work SRSsoft) Not that keeping a blog with fresh content is easy. It’s not.

There are still quite a few bloggers that started blogging about the same time as me and are still doing their thing. A few that come to mind include: Neil Versel, HIStalk, Healthcare IT Guy, Lab Soft News, and Christina’s Considerations.

That’s not to say that there aren’t still some great health IT blogs out there. There are still quite a few good ones, but not many new ones. Knowing that I’ll anger some people I don’t list (feel free to mention your blog in the comments and I’ll see about doing a future post with ones not listed here) here are a few of the ones I think do great work: Manage My Practice, Health System CIO, Chilmark Research, and HITECH Answers.

I just remembered this CDW list of Top 50 health IT blogs. It has some other good ones as well. Although, I might be bias since 8 of the 50 are part of Healthcare Scene. I’d love to hear what other blogs you read or places you go for great content.

Digital Health, Connected Health, Wireless Health, Mobile Health, Telehealth – You Choose

Posted on May 7, 2014 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.

Neil Versel posted a great poll asking people which term they prefer. You can vote on it below:

I usually don’t dig into the terminology and branding side of things. At the end of the day, for me it’s all about making sure that we understand each other. If you call something digital health or connected health or mobile health, they’re all the same genre of item. To be honest, I mostly ignore all of those words and want to know what the application actually does.

However, Neil brought up a good point in his post about the lack of consensus in his poll. Here’s his summary of the poll results:

In any case, these results, however unscientific they may be, are representative of the fact that it is so hard to reach consensus on anything in health IT. They also are symbolic of the silos that still exist in newer technologies.

Consensus in healthcare is really hard. I’m reminded of what someone at the Dell Healthcare Think Tank event I participated in said, “Healthcare is second only to florists when it comes to market fragmentation.” It’s like steering a ship with hundreds of rudders all pointing different directions. Certainly not an easy task and not something I see changing soon.

All I Got for Christmas was a New Digital Health App

Posted on December 26, 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.

Last week, I wrote that “All I Want for Christmas is a Doctor’s Appointment.” Turns out what I got – a flu-like cold – put that need into perspective. As luck would have it, I had recently read an article by fellow Healthcarescene.com blogger Neil Versel about AskMD, a new app from the folks at Sharecare. Being a mother of two children who are both in school, and thus exposed to their fair share of colds, I thought I’d get good use out of the symptom checker, which Versel explains, enables users to “choose which symptoms they are feeling and then see which potential health issues they might have. The app then walks the user through a “consultation” in which the app will ask the user a series of questions to identify more specifically what the symptom feels like, when it started, and if there are any other symptoms accompanying it. After the “consultation,” the user can enter in any information about medications that they are taking. When users have finished entering information, AskMD generates a list of potential problems the user might have ordered by the commonality of the potential problems.”

Before rushing to try and make an appointment with my local primary care physician during Christmas break, I decided to give AskMD a whirl. Anything that could potentially save me a co-pay, crowding into a waiting room with other sick folks, and then ultimately being told by my kindly nurse practitioner that the only treatment is rest and fluids, would be beneficial. After entering in an initial main symptom, the app took me through a series of 19 questions, resulting in a list of 11 possible causes, plus a link to find physicians and prepare for my visit. The list of physicians was helpful, and I was surprised to see that Cartersville Medical Center, where I had surgery over the summer, sponsored the results. It’s promising to see small, community hospitals are recognizing the importance of digital health tools.

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While a nasty cold wasn’t something I had bargained for over the holiday, it’s nice to know that a digital health app can bring me some peace of mind as I decide whether to treat my symptoms at home, or ultimately go into the doctor’s office. What digital health app did this Christmas bring your way? Or perhaps a new EMR was on your wish list? Let me know what health IT tools you’ll be ringing in the new year with in the comments below.

Farewell Farzad

Posted on October 6, 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.

As you know, each weekend we pull a few interesting tweets and usually provide commentary on each. This weekend we thought we’d just feature some tweets from Farzad Mostashari’s colleagues as Farzad leaves ONC. If you know of others, please share them in the comments. Also, check out Neil Versel’s interview with Farzad. Farzad will be missed.


Farzad is now Farzad_md on Twitter.

Dilbert Digital Health Cartoon

Posted on August 18, 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.

How can you not love Dilbert? I once heard Scott Adams speak at a conference and it was spectacular. I laughed the whole time and left with an important message. Neil Versel says he spoke at HIMSS in 2005. I can only imagine what he’d say about Healthcare today.

Oh yes, you probably want to see the Dilbert Digital Health cartoon. I’d put it here, but it seems right to have you click the link and check it out on Meaningful Healthcare IT News since he found it.

I love digital sensors. There’s certainly plenty of FUD around them, but for every bad thing there’s a handful of great benefits.

I hope you enjoy a little weekend humor.

Chance to Support Neil Versel and a Great Cause

Posted on August 5, 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.

Most of you know my colleague, Neil Versel who writes the Meaningful Health IT News blog and has also written for pretty much every major Healthcare IT publication that’s existed. I recently got a note from Neil that he was going to participate in a 100 mile bike ride (a century ride as they call it) called the Wrigley Field Road Tour. As part of this ride he raises funds and awareness for two great causes: World Bicycle Relief and Chicago Cubs Charities. By supporting Neil and these charities, you will help fund the provision of bicycles for African students in desperate need of transportation to school as well as helping to better the lives of Chicago-area youth.

Of course, Neil’s too shy to share his story about the ride, so I’ll do it for him and then make a special offer:

The Wrigley Field Road Tour holds a special place in my heart. In 2011, it was my first-ever century ride. After training all summer, my parents made the trip to Chicago for the weekend and followed me up to the finish in Milwaukee, even though my dad was gravely ill and was barely able to travel. Though he could not even get out of the car at the finish, he told me how proud of me he was and that he hadn’t seen me that happy in years. The next day was my parents’ anniversary, and we had brunch at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, where they were married 45 years earlier, a beautiful capper to a perfect weekend. It would be the last visit my dad would make and the last anniversary my parents would celebrate together, as he succumbed to a terrible disease called multiple system atrophy (MSA) in May 2012. Amid all the sadness, my memory of my first Wrigley Field Road Tour is a daily source of inspiration for me.

As of now, Neil’s raised $295 of his $1000 goal. Let’s see if we can come together as a health IT community and push him over his goal. I just donated myself and I hope you will too.

Plus, Neil has made an even better offer:

If I meet the minimum of $400 by August 10, I get a free guest pass to the afterparty on the field at Wrigley, featuring a private performance by the BoDeans, as well as all you can eat and drink. If I get to my goal of $1,000 by August 10, I can bring two guests. I, of course, will pick from my donors. It could be you.

To sweeten the pot even more, I’ll offer a 1 hour call/video chat/meeting to the first seven people/organizations who contribute $100 or more to support Neil. You can use that hour however you want. If you want me to consult you on blogging, social media, or some other topic, we’ll do that. If you want me to talk to your CEO or other experts, I’m happy to do that (which will likely lead to a blog post). Nothing like supporting a great cause and getting something valuable in return.

Let’s make this happen. We only have until August 10th, so go support a great cause today!