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Great & Powerful Oz Grants Kansas PHR Access

Posted on March 21, 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.

It is unlikely that author Frank L. Baum imagined citizens of the Emerald City would ask the Great & Powerful Oz for better healthcare. In reality, that is just what the state of Kansas – home to Dorothy, Toto, Auntie Em and fantasy-inspiring twisters – is offering its citizens in the form of a free personal health record.

The news is timely, only because I just saw the movie Oz the Great & Powerful, which portrays Oz as a con man who stumbles into greatness, and saves the people of Oz along the way. (Anyone know the ICD-10 code for injury due to hot air balloon crash? Leave it in the comments section below and I’ll have my daughter Dorothy sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to you.)

While Kansas isn’t suffering from attacks of the Wicked Witch variety, it seems to be facing healthcare challenges similar to the rest of the country – a need to improve communication and quality, and a desire to increase patient engagement as part of Meaningful Use requirements.

According to a recent write up in The Wichita Eagle, the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) may be “the first statewide exchange in the country to provide a personal health record portal for patients.” It plans to provide portal access this summer to patients at no charge, with full operation anticipated by next year. Provider access will be included in KHIN membership. KHIN selected PHR vendor NoMoreClipboard to supply the technology.

Details around set up and access have yet to be determined, according to the story. The bigger question, I think, is how are providers going to get their patients to fill in information on their own time, and on their own dime, so to speak. I’ve attempted to be proactive and fill out one for my daughter, and, I’m ashamed to admit, it was just too time consuming to keep up with. Perhaps making the PHR portal available to patients on mobile devices would up the data input rate. The NoMoreClipboard website does mention its PHR is available for mobile phones.

I’m thinking that patients would need some serious incentive to go to the trouble of all that data entry, which is perhaps where payers come in. I might be persuaded to keep up with my PHR is I received some sort of discount on healthcare services.

Perhaps the Great & Powerful Oz could grant the good patients of Kansas the ability to enter their own healthcare data in the blink of an eye, or, as they say in the Emerald City, at least no longer than it takes to follow the yellow brick road.

Is Your EHR Stupid?

Posted on March 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.

Yes, I know it’s a bit of a salacious title, but I think it’s an important question. Although, the answer to the question is completely obvious. Yes, your EHR is stupid.

At least the current state of EHR software is a bunch of dumb data repositories of healthcare information. That’s not to say that EHR software today doesn’t have value. The current EHR software can have tremendous value as I’ve been highlighting in my EHR benefit series. Although, just because something is useful and beneficial, doesn’t make it smart and also doesn’t mean we’re anywhere near the potential benefits that EHR will provide.

It’s worth considering a quick look back at how we got to where we are in the EHR world. First, EHR’s (really EMR if we’re splitting hairs) were created to be big billing engines. Since that was their goal, they got really good at it. In fact, the ugly spew of information that we know as templated notes came out of this desire to meet billing requirements easily.

In the next stage of EHR’s history, we layered on EHR certification and meaningful use. That’s right, EHR vendors went from coding software to increase a doctor’s ability to bill to now creating software that meets a set of government regulatory requirements.

Considering this history, is it really any wonder why we’re having a discussion of the EHR backlash that we see happening today?

While many might think this is a doom and gloom perspective. I’m actually incredibly optimistic about the future of EHR and the impact for good it can have on healthcare. Why am I optimistic?

My optimism stems from a number of different areas. First, I have tremendous respect for the creativity of people. I’m certain that we as a people will come up with EHR solutions that benefit healthcare greatly. Second, I think the “stupid EHR” that we have today lay the groundwork for all of the future benefits that will come.

This second point is a very important one. Most of the time people look at innovative ideas and think that they just came out of no where. Instead, when you start to study innovation you realize that most of the very best innovations have come from a mixture of small changes that are put together in a way that no one could have conceived before. I think we’ll see this applied to the EHR world.

The best example of this is what the IBM Watson technology is doing in healthcare. It’s great that a technology like Watson can take in so much information. However, Watson wouldn’t be able to learn anything about healthcare if the data wasn’t in digital form. That’s right, the simple process of having medical knowledge available in electronic form is an essential building block for something as powerful as Watson. The same is true for Watson’s analysis of a patient’s chart. How could Watson analyze a patient if all of their patient information was stuck in an offline world? Each move into the electronic world facilitates the next layer of innovation.

Yes, your EHR is stupid, but that’s ok. Just wait until you see the creative ways entrepreneurs and innovators will take your stupid EHR and make it smart.

If you have examples of this, I’d love to see them. If you have ideas of how to make a smart EHR, I’d love to hear them.

Dell Healthcare Think Tank Live Stream

Posted on March 19, 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.

Today, I’m going to be part of the Dell Healthcare Think Tank discussing some of the major challenges, trends and issues facing healthcare IT. This is an exciting event that’s going to be live streamed for everyone to watch in real time and it will also be recorded for those that want to watch the video later.

Here’s a quick look at the list of people that are participating:
Dell Healthcare Think Tank Participants

Here’s a list of the topics that we’ll be covering along with the schedule (all times are Central time)
Dell Healthcare Think Tank

I’ve embedded the live stream below, so you should be able to open this post to see the live stream (or a link to the recorded version after the event). If that doesn’t work, then you can visit this page to see the live stream.

Also, for those of you on Twitter, you can follow along at the #DoMoreHIT hashtag.

Extormity Announces Oh Well Initiative, Plans to Interoperate with Itself

Posted on March 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.

The great people at Extormity have put out another great announcement (embedded below). They’re really taking healthcare interoperability to a new level with their ability to share health records at “distances up to 65 feet.” The satire is terrible since there are still many EHR vendors that can’t share data even that far.

Enjoy the great write up!

Extormity Announces Oh Well Initiative, Plans to Interoperate with Itself

On the heels of the HIMSS conference, electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced that it will begin making its own solutions interoperable as part of what calls its Oh Well effort.

“It has become increasingly clear that interoperability is a buzzword we must pay attention to,” said Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington from a corporate planning retreat in Monaco. “Our attitude is ‘Oh Well’ we clearly have to make a token gesture, so we are planning to make every Extormity application interoperable at distances up to 65 feet.”

“What separates this initiative from other relatively banal announcements we have made in the past is the fact that this level of interoperability will no longer require complex and time-consuming integration,” added Whittington. “The only customer requirement is a sizable check.”

Extormity also announced that it has reserved more than 50 percent of the exhibit space for HIMSS14 in Orlando. “In the past, we have been low key at HIMSS, preferring to host lavish off-site parties,” said Whittington. “Next year, we are doing an about face and we plan to own the conference. As attendees enter our booth, they will find themselves trapped in a maze that is all but impossible to escape without signing an agreement. However, there will be jumbo shrimp, cocktails and constant entertainment by 80’s arena bands with at least one original member.”

About Extormity

Extormity is an electronic health records mega-corporation dedicated to offering highly proprietary, difficult to customize and prohibitively expensive healthcare IT solutions. Our flagship product, the Extormity EMR Software Suite, was recently voted “Most Complex” by readers of a leading healthcare industry publication. Learn more at www.extormity.com

One Doctor’s EMR Usability Wish List

Posted on 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.

In this space, we talk a lot in the abstract about how physicians feel about EMR usability. Today, though, I wanted to share with you some great observations from a KevinMD.com piece by an angry anesthesiologist who lays out her own usability wishlist for EMRs and health IT generally.

In the piece, Dr. Shirie Leng fumes over the sheer work it takes for her to negotiate the systems she uses at her hospital. She notes that over the course of doing eight cases during a day, she’ll a) sign something electronically 32 times, b) type her user name and password into three different systems a total of 24 times and c) generate about 50 pages of paper given that the the computer record must be printed out twice.

To Dr. Leng, there’s ten steps institutions can take to eliminate much of the hassle and waste:

1. Eliminate user names and passwords:   She suggests using biometric sign-in technology.

2. Eliminate the paper:  Why print data that’s already entered into the system, she asks?

3. Make data systems compatible and 4. Make everyone statewide use the same system:  Dr. Leng says it’s crazy that we don’t have interoperability within hospitals or between different institutions.

5. Don’t make her turn the page:  “All the important information about a patient should be on the first page you open when you look at a patient,” she says. “I shouldn’t have to click six different tabs.”

6. Don’t make her repeat herself: If she does several cases the same way, with the same documentation each case, don’t make her re-enter it every single time.

7. Invest in voice-recognition software:  During patient interviews, Dr. Leng notes, she wants to look at patients and talk, not hunt and peck at the keyboard or worse, spend hours later typing in data or clicking checkboxes.

8. Go completely wireless:  Not an EMR point, but a good one nonetheless: why make doctors untangle cords and monitoring wires?

9. Hire a typist if you need one:  Don’t turn nurses into data entry clerks, she argues. Right now they have massive amounts of data entry piled onto their plate.

10. Triple back-up the system:  Paper doesn’t crash but computers do, she notes.

So there you have it, a list of EMR and health IT concerns straight from a practicing physician. I think all her points deserve attention.

Meaningful Use, HIMSS, and mHealth Updates – Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on March 17, 2013 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.

Meaningful Use standards prove to be a headache time and time again. For small hospitals, doing their best to implement an EHR and then meet standards may not be enough. And the consequences can be dire — they may not receive their incentive money, and are left worse off than before they purchased the EHR.

And with the recent sequestration, will Meaningful Use incentives be slashed? An editorial by Tom Sullivan discusses the possibility, and talks with Scott Lundstrom, group vice president of consultancy at IDC’s Health Insight Unit. Lundstrom suggests some reason to worry. Anne Zieger analyzes the editorial and chimes in her thoughts about how health IT may have something to worry about soon.

Because HIMSS 13 just finished, there were a few posts about some of the information from the conference here at Healthcare Scene. Mandi Bishop attended and gives an overview of her experience over at EMR and HIPAA. She compares it to the Wizard of Oz, and discovering that the main behind the curtain is simply that.

At another conference, SXSW, John was able to meetup with one of his hospital colleagues, and showed that you may run into anyone at a conference. They can be great networking opportunities, and being able to meet with others allows you to find out about different products and services.

In the smartphone and tablet world, here’s an app you’ll want to download. One way to be healthier is limiting one’s sodium intake. The Mayo Clinic  revealed that while the average person should not have more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, most Americans get around 3,400 mg. Sodium 101 was created to help people make smarter choices, and understand the amount of sodium they are getting each day. Excess sodium can lead to weight loss and a host of other problems, including many auto immune diseases, so this is an important topic.

On the subject of weight loss, a recent study has found that financial incentives inspire weight loss. The participants in the incentive groups were given a sum of money for meeting their health goals, but also were required to pay a certain sum to a pool that participants were entered to win in the end.

Post-HIMSS13 Discussion — #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on March 16, 2013 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.

#HITsm T1: What takeaways from #HIMSS13 can we apply to the challenge of improving #patientengagement?

 

 

#HITsm T2. Best chance at driving #interoperability: A vendor initiative like CommonWell or a community initiative like TheCUREProject?

 

 

#HITsm T3: The recent eHI report notes that most advanced HIEs get revenue from a single source. How can this model be changed?

 

 

#HITsm T4: Now that #HIMSSanity is over, what’s the next major #healthIT conference on your calendar? Why?

 

Another Study Highlights Physician EMR Unhappiness

Posted on March 15, 2013 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.

The evidence keeps coming in, over and over, like waves pounding on a beach.  Many physicians aren’t happy with their EMRs, and the number of discontented doctors seems to be growing — with an undetermined but sizable number seeming likely to switch this year.

This time the evidence comes courtesy of the American College of Physicians and EMR selection site AmericanEHR Partners. A new study by the pair reports that physician satisfaction with EMRs dropped 12 percentage points between 2010 and 2012, and that the number who are “very dissatisfied” grew by 10 percentage points, FierceEMR reports.

These numbers, which were drawn from 4,279 responses to multiple surveys between March 2010 and December 2012, are a particularly strong reflection of the mood among smaller practices. Seventy-one percent of doctors/practices responding to the survey were in practices with 10 physicians or fewer, the ACP said.

These physicians seem downright upset with their current vendors. In fact, 39 percent of clinicians said they wouldn’t recommend their current EMR to a colleague, up sharply from the 24 percent who said the same in 2010.

According to the ACP, physicians feel their EMR is failing them in several key areas:

*  Improving care:  Doctors who were “very satisfied” with their EMR’s ability to improve care fell by 6 percent from 2010, while the “very dissatisfied” climbed 10 percent, with surgical specialists the least satisfied specialty.

Decreasing workload:  ACP found that 34 percent of users were “very dissatisfied” with their ability to decrease workload, up from just 19 percent in 2010.

Return to pre-EMR productivity:  The number of respondents who had not returned normal productivity after their EMR install was 32 percent in 2012, up from 20 percent in 2010.

Ease of use: Dissatisfaction with EMR ease of use climbed to 37 percent in 2012, up from 23 percent in 2012, while satisfaction dropped from 61 to 48 percent.

That we’re seeing something of an EMR backlash seems obvious here. The question is, will unhappy physicians switch futilely and end up just as unhappy, or are they going to actually improve their experience?

Virtual Assistants in Healthcare Infographic

Posted on March 14, 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.

The following is an infographic released by Nuance that looks at the benefits of a virtual assistant in healthcare.

Nuance Virtual Medical Assistants Infographic

Women Unite at HIMSS13

Posted on 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.

I’ll admit it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Julie Moffitt, the original #HITchick herself, asked me to host the first #HITchicks tweetup, at HIMSS13. What I envisioned as four or five gals gathering at a bar near the convention center turned into something so much more rewarding. Twenty-plus women (and two of the smartest men in healthcare IT) showed up and jumped right into a dialogue around the challenges of what it means to be a woman in healthcare.

You might think this topic a tired one, but it is still incredibly relevant, especially as women like Yahoo’s Melissa Mayer and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg put a new and divisive spin on what it takes to be successful women in tech.

The role of women in healthcare was also touched upon. When it comes to health – be it family or business – women definitely seem to be in the driver’s seat. Many in the audience noted that women make up a fair chunk of their C-suite – an ironic statement considering the off-putting presence of several scantily clad booth babes a few halls over. We’ve come so far, yet still have a ways to go.

I’m looking forward to gathering another fantastic group together at HIMSS next year, if not before then. In the meantime, take a look at a few of the tweets and pictures captured at HIMSS13:

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Mandi Bishop, Principal at Adaptive Product Solutions, and Brad Justus, ICD-10 Whisperer at KForce. Justus was joined by a second honorary #HITchick, Mark Palacio, Senior Manager, Media Relations – Healthcare IT at Siemens Healthcare.

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