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First Hand Description of ONC HIT Workforce Programs

Posted on August 22, 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’m still very intrigued by the ONC’s Health IT workforce programs. Turns out, it’s been a really popular topic on this site too ever since I posted about the HIT Pro Competency Exam.

I added that post to LinkedIn (Join the HealthcareScene.com EMR Group on LinkedIn) and a lady named Beth Feldman offered this fascinating first hand description of her experience with the Health IT Workforce Program:

…it is exhaustive. We actually took the 17 courses in 8 months. Our program started late and there were glitches along the way. They gave us extensions because of the glitches and the mountains of discussions and exercises. Also one course was due the Monday evening 2 days after Saturday, Christmas day and we were still being given new course work and had to study for 3 finals. We were not given one course in it’s entirety and the VistA program never worked properly no matter how hard they tried to give it to us, so that hands-on experience related to the homework couldn’t be completed.

It is quite a robust, voluminous and difficult program given in such a short amount of time.
The quality control of the audio, the ppt without the notes, the spelling errors, etc. was not done.
I am taking the Practice Workflow….exam this Saturday and even though we took 17 courses, 1.5 of the courses we were never given to us so I’ve had to take those now in order to qualify for the second free voucher.

My next exam, Trainer, has 7 courses as well and I will have to learn another course we were not given.
I love the material but it’s a shame we had so little time to actually learn/own it.

Certainly we all know that the course was thrown together really quickly. So, I think things like spelling mistakes are reasonable. However, it’s really unfortunate that they don’t have access to the software they need to really train.

In fact, just today I was reading comments on another LinkedIn thread where students and teachers in the program were talking about their inability to get EHR vendors to provide them a demo EHR system for their students to learn. I pointed out a few possibilities for them to consider (there are 300+ EMR Companies to choose from), but it’s really unfortunate that they training programs don’t have the EHR software they need.

Her description of the homework and coursework also remind me how glad I am not in school anymore. This blogging gig is much better than the PhD program I was considering.

101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 56-60

Posted on 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.

Time for the next entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.

60. Reporting, reporting, reporting, reports
What’s the point in collecting the data if you can’t report on it? I’ve before about the types of EMR reports that you can get out of the EMR system. The reports a hospital require will be much more robust than an ambulatory practice. In fact, outside of the basic reports (A/R, Appointments, etc), most ambulatory practices that I know don’t run very many reports. I’d say it’s haphazard report running at best.

Although, I won’t be surprised if the need to report data from your EHR increases over the next couple years. Between the meaningful use reporting requirements and the movement towards ACO’s, you can be sure that being able to have a robust reporting system built into your EHR will become a necessity.

59. Are the meaningful use (MU) guidelines covered by your product?
Assuming you want to show meaningful use, make sure your EHR vendor is certified by an ONC-ATCB. Next, talk to some of their existing users that have attested to meaningful use stage 1. Third, ask them about their approach for handling meaningful use stage 2 and 3. Fourth, evaluate how they’ve implemented some of the meaningful use requirements so you get an idea of how much extra work you’ll have to do beyond your regular documenting to meet meaningful use.

58. It they aren’t CCHIT certified take a really really hard look
Well, it looks like this tip was written pre-ONC-ATCB certifying bodies. Of course, readers of this site and its sister site, EMR and HIPAA, will be aware that CCHIT Has Become Irrelevant. Now it’s worth taking a hard look if the EHR isn’t an ONC-ATCB certified EHR. There are a few cases where it might be ok, but they better have a great reason not to be certified. Not because the EHR certification provides you any more value other than the EHR vendor will likely need that EHR certification to stay relevant in the current EHR market.

57. What billing systems do you interface with?
These days it seems in vogue to have an integrated EMR and PMS (billing system). Either way, it’s really important to evaluate how your EMR is going to integrate with your billing. Plus, there can be tremendous benefits to the tight integration if done right.

56. How much do changes and customizations cost?
In many cases, you can see and plan for the customization that you’ll need as part of the EHR implementation. However, there are also going to be plenty of unexpected customizations that you don’t know about until you’re actually using your EHR (Check out this recent post on Unexpected EHR Expenses). Be sure to have the pricing for such customizations specified in the contract. Plus, as much as possible try to understand how open they are to doing customizations for their customers.

Check out my analysis of all 101 EMR and EHR tips.

Tablet PC Size Review Resource For EMR Users

Posted on I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

Recently, I’ve been looking at investing in an iPad, but currently I use Practice Fusion for my EMR.  Although Practice Fusion offers a LogMeIn app workaround for using PF on an iPad, I’ve also been thinking more about using a PC-based tablet computer.  One of my biggest hesitations with the iPad has been the size of its screen, which I found a bit too small for my liking.

Over the weekend, however, I found an interesting discussion board which contains a useful schematic of tablet PC sizes online for anyone interested.  If you know of any other great resources in this area, I’d love to learn about them.  Since it’s nice to have options, I say bring on the opportunities.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.