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8 Elements of Total Patient Engagement

Posted on September 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.

A major trend in healthcare today is the shift to patient engagement. As part of this trend, I did a video interview with Dr. Nick recently where we discussed some of the shifts towards patient engagement in healthcare. If you enjoy healthcare IT, you’ll enjoy the full video discussion.

After doing that I interview I came across this whitepaper called 8 Elements of Total Patient Engagement. It takes a really in depth look at 8 areas of patient engagement:
1. Understand how to synthesize and deliver actionable information to patients
2. Facilitate engagement in all settings across the continuum of care
3. Activate patients at their convenience
4. Integrate seamlessly into IT systems and workflows
5. Deliver results down to the individual patient
6. Measure and provide clinical and financial outcomes
7. Backed by an organization with expert knowledge and experience
8. Support the near-term and long-term objectives of the organization including supporting IHI’s Triple Aim

Check out the full whitepaper where it digs into all 9 areas of patient engagement. Certainly meaningful use stage 2 has legislated the start of patient engagement as one of the measures. However, we’re only at the start of this shift. I with many others believe that increased patient engagement will lead to better care and can even been a financial benefit to doctors. Plus, we’re close to the point where the financial benefits of patient engagement will be legislated as well through quality reimbursement.

Much like we went through a shift in EHR from asking “whether we should do EMR” to “how we should do EMR.” I think we’re also going from wondering “if we should do more patient engagement” to “how we should do more patient engagement.”

Connecting Physicians with Pharma Reps

Posted on September 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.

I was recently introduced to an interesting new offering in the healthcare IT space that’s trying to help facilitate the physician – pharma sales rep relationship called RxVantage. It’s always been an awkward dance between the two groups and so it’s interesting to see a company focused on facilitating the relationship. Pharma reps can bring a lot of value to a doctor when it comes to information on a new drug and access to samples for their patients. However, those reps can also be a drain on their day to day activities unless they’re managed well. This video from RxVantage is a funny look at the challenge:

I’ll admit that I’m no expert on the pharma sales rep business, but I’ve seen first hand the challenge of their job and doctors trying to juggle that relationship. I think RxVantage is an interesting way to try and facilitate the relationship between the two groups.

With pharma reps having more and more challenges and roadblocks to their relationship with doctors, it’s interesting to see a proactive way to manage that relationship. Plus, this provides a simple way to track your relationship and interaction with each provider. In some ways it’s almost like a CRM for pharma sales reps, but largely driven by the physician practice.

I’m sure we’re looking at more and more regulations when it comes to the relationship between pharma and doctors. Finding a way to manage that relationship a midst the changing regulations is going to be important.

The Internet of Everything Puts New Face Value on HIT

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.

As I mull over the value of health IT, as so many of my colleagues are doing during National Health IT week, I can’t help but wonder if we are missing the bigger picture. Health IT is a relatively niche term in the grand scheme of things; one that is passionately advocated, espoused, naysayed and even booed from time to time by a select few in the industry. (I say “few” because, in comparison with industries such as finance and telecom, health IT doesn’t yet have the same global brand recognition, and so is evolving in a smaller ecosystem.)

As technology becomes more ubiquitous, and the “Internet of Everything” slowly takes over our lives by integrating everything we say, do, purchase, plan for and act upon, I can’t help but also wonder if health IT will soon lose its value as a buzzword – at least in the eyes of consumers – in favor of more apropos phrases like “connected health” or “digital health.”

Healthcare, after all, is all around us. It’s in the apps we use to track our exercise regimens, the text we respond to in order to confirm a doctor’s appointment, the glasses next year’s graduating class of MDs will wear to surgery on a regular basis … it’s everywhere. Healthcare isn’t just in a hospital, or physician’s office or pharmacy or urgent care clinic. It’s coming to your car, your watch, your smart-er mobile phone, your wearable tech … the list could (and will) go on and on.

I think we’re shortchanging the concept if we think only in terms of EMR installations, ICD-10 codes or revenue cycle management systems. The value of health IT has increased exponentially in terms of the impact it is having and will have on just about every other industry out there. As such, its definition is becoming broader. Thanks to the Internet of Everything (aka the Internet of Things), it may one day flatten out entirely. I don’t think it’s too off the mark to consider that 50 years from now, “healthcare” will assume the integration of IT. There will be no separation of church and state, as it were.

I’m off on this tangent thanks to a policy memo I recently read by Michael Mandel and the Progressive Policy Institute. He writes: “[T]he Internet of Everything potentially has the capability of transforming ‘physical’ activities such as manufacturing, energy, transportation, healthcare and public sector services. [M]any of these industries have not shown much productivity acceleration in the Internet era.”

The memo also notes that “Cisco projects that there is $14.4 trillion in ‘value at stake’ over the next ten years in economic benefits for companies and countries that can successfully implement the Internet of Everything. Cisco’s calculations include better asset utilization, higher worker productivity, improved supply chain logistics, a better customer experience, and faster innovation.”

Sounds a lot like the goals of this healthcare transformation we all find ourselves struggling to move forward with.

Healthcare IT certainly has a high price tag, but I think we’ll begin to see, as connected health technologies spread out, that this price will diminish as adoption becomes pervasive. Will we question the value of health IT five years from now? Hopefully we’ll have moved beyond dollars and cents to lives saved, life expectancies increased and, finally, greater access to better care at negligible cost.

Does EHR Have a “Big 5”?

Posted on September 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.

I was recently reading something that referenced the Big 5 EHR vendors. I thought the reference was really interesting. It obviously comes from what was commonly referred to as the Big 5 accounting firms. For those following along at home, the big 5 are currently the big 4 after Arthur Andersen’s demise following its involvement in the Enron scandal. The question I have is whether there’s a Big 5 when it comes to EHR vendors.

Much like everyone has to have an accounting firm, it’s becoming very clear that every healthcare organization will have an EHR vendor. The problem is that I don’t think we’ve really gotten to where we can say there are 5 (or some other number) EHR vendors that get all of the top business.

In the large hospital space, I’ve heard some argue that there’s a Big 2 (Epic and Cerner). Beyond that, I think there’s a bloody battle going on between EHR vendors. I think this is true in the small hospital space and in the ambulatory space. Plus, we’re somewhere between 40-60% EHR adoption and so that still leaves a large amount of ground for a smaller EHR vendor to still capture market share.

Everyone has been preaching that EHR consolidation is going to happen. I’ve suggested that we won’t see widespread consolidation until at least after MU stage 2. I don’t know many EHR vendors that don’t have enough cash to see it through MU stage 2. We could see some fall off from those vendors post-MU stage 2.

The real challenge is that it’s not easy to bring together two EHR companies. If you don’t believe me, ask Allscripts about it. It’s not a sure bet that the users of an acquired EHR will just move to the acquiring companies EHR. Often it means that users will leave and find a new EHR.

Certainly our current plethora of EHR vendors is unsustainable, but I don’t believe we’ll ever get to a Big 5 EHR list either. You can still have a great EHR business model with 1000 or so doctors.

Digital Health Conference Early Bird Pricing Ends Soon

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.

As I wrote about in my post about the Digital Health Conference in NYC post on EMR and HIPAA, I’ll be attending the conference again this year. In that post I also offered a 20% registration discount for those who want to attend. If you’re planning to attend, you’ll want to register today or tomorrow since early bird pricing for the event ends on 9/20/13.

I’m particularly excited to hear George Halverson, CEO of Kaiser speak at the event. I’ve never heard him in person and there’s little argument that Kaiser has done some things that no one else in healthcare has done. This is particularly true in the healthcare IT space. I just hope it goes beyond just telling us the same superlatives we’ve already heard about Kaiser and health IT (ie. the mass adoption of the portal by their patients).

Of course, I’m also most excited to network with the people who attend the event. The Digital Health Conference is a unique opportunity because there is a sprinkling of the usual health IT conference crowd together with a lot of local providers and healthcare leaders. Not that I’m against the great discussions I have with the usual health IT conference crowd, but it’s nice to get a number of new perspectives as well.

I also won’t be surprised if we put together another tweetup at the event. Last year’s tweetup was done in the pouring rain, but was really enjoyable. Hopefully local NYC resident @healthcarewen puts one together again.

CMS Releases MU Stage 2 Guide

Posted on September 17, 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.

CMS has released a new resource, An Eligible Professional’s Guide to Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs, which provides a comprehensive overview of Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs to eligible professionals. The guide outlines criteria for Stage 2 meaningful use, 2014 clinical quality measure reporting, and 2014 EHR certification.

The guide’s table of contents makes it easy for you to navigate through Stage 2 topics. Interactive tabs included at the bottom of each page allow you to transition between different chapters.

Chapters include:

  • What is Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs?
  • What are the requirements under Stage 2 of Meaningful Use?
  • How will clinical quality measures (CQMs) change?
  • Resources

The guide can be found on the Educational Resources page of the EHR website.

Many US Consumers Would Switch Doctors To Gain EMR Data Access

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.

Evidence continues to mount that consumers not only accept EMRs, but want to have access to the data they contain. The latest on this subject comes in the form of a new Accenture survey, which concluded that 41 percent of US consumers would be willing to switch doctors to obtain online access to their EMR data.

To get a sense of how consumers are responding to the EMR revolution, Accenture surveyed more than 9,000 people in nine countries.  The survey sought to assess consumer perceptions of their doctors’ electronic capabilities across nine countries: Australia Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. (The survey included 1,000 US consumers.)

Researchers with Harris interactive, which fielded the study, found that at present, roughly one third of US consumers (36 percent) have full access to their EMR. However,  57 percent of consumers surveyed are self-tracking their personal health information, keeping data on items such as their health history (37 percent), physical activity (34 percent) and other health indicators such as blood pressure and weight.

Other survey results suggest that consumers on something of a collision course with doctors when it comes to access to medical data. While roughly four out of five consumers (84 percent) believe they should have full access to the EMR data, only one third of doctors (36 percent) agree.  The same study found that the majority of US doctors (65 percent) believe patient should have only limited access to their records.

These results strongly suggest that sharing full EMR data with patients is likely to become common practice in the future. After all, it seems that engaged patients are most of the way there already, and will continue to put pressure on doctors to open up the kimono for the foreseeable future.

P.S.  This data dovetails nicely with another recent report by independent research firms Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners which concludes that almost 50 percent of patients take EMR access into account when they consider choosing a  healthcare provider.

EMR Analysis Detects Childrens’ Growth Disorders

Posted on September 16, 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.

EMRs can be used to detect growth disorders in children, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association . The study, which was written up in FierceEMR, used a special automated growth monitoring algorithm integrated into an EMR system to track childrens’ growth.

To conduct the study, researchers compared three “control” years to an “intervention” year. An annual average of 33,029 children were screened, according to FierceEMR.

Researchers found that in a control year an average of four children were diagnosed with a growth disorder. During the intervention year, however, 28 new diagnoses of growth disorders were made among 32,404 children, FierceEMR reports.

Looked at another way, the rate of growth disorder diagnoses was 0.1 per 1000 screened children in the control years versus 0.9 per 1000 screened children in the intervention year, FierceEMR noted.

These study results are part of an emerging body of literature suggesting that EMRs to help clinicians detect and manage disease states.

For example, another study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that EMRs can be associated with a drop in emergency department visits and hospitalizations among diabetics.  That study, which analyzed all of the 169,711 records for patients enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California diabetes registry during a four-year period, found a 10.5% decline in hospitalizations for preventable ambulatory care sensitive conditions where EMRs were in use.

Another study, which recently appeared in BMJ Quality & Safety, recently concluded that EMRs can help reduce hospital readmissions of high-risk heart failure patients by sorting out high from low risk patients in the ED.

Reinventing the EMR wheel

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.

Going to dictate this one.  I’m really trying hard lately to get back into the blogging mode, although it’s been a busy year, I’ll have to admit.  From bringing on a fourth provider to running through staffing problems in the middle of the summer to saving enough money for a second unbelievable expansion of our office slated for April 2014, it’s been a whirlwind!

Finally had some time this weekend to take a breather, though.  It seems I’m always reinventing the wheel on how to run a completely efficient practice and get everything done while making it all look too easy.  Let me be honest, making it look easy usually includes a lot of late nights and weekends hours.  It ain’t all glamor, ha!  But for the past two weeks, I’ve been able to get all my charting and nurse practitioner notes supervised, edited, tied with a bow, and delivered/signed off on, by Friday at 5 PM.  All while seeing 20 patients that day myself!  (Thank God she’s off on Friday.)

What does this have to do with electronic medical records? Actually a lot. Pretty much everything I do on a daily basis requires my electronic medical record.  I’m pretty much glued to it.  The most interesting part has been the number of times over the past few years, since opening our practice, that I have been able to get everything done in the week by Friday at 5 PM, only to be knocked off my king-of-the-hill position when adding a new complexity to my business.

I love it when I meet an entrepreneur out within their first year of owning and running a business.  We went to a lovely spice market this weekend in the union market in DC.  Bazaar Spices is a great little start up.  You should check them out if you have a chance.  A nice lady and her husband started this enterprise nine months ago and they have quite a nice selection.

Hearing her speak reminded me about all that we have gone through in our own business over the last three and half years (four years in December!  Yeah!).  I recall another fellow doctor who opened his practice in DC in primary care about 15 years ago, and he says that every year is a new set of lessons to be learned.   It never gets easier.  Apparently, there is no resting on your laurels in this business.

My piece of advice for this blog post for any doctors or other providers out there using electronic medical records is to figure out what would you rather do the least on the weekends, and then do this during the week.  Plan for some rejuggling of priorities as you bring on new providers and additional tasks into your workflow.  Then save the easy stuff for the weekends if you have to.  Usually it flies by and your personal life comes back faster.

Hands on Hospital CEO, EMR Everywhere, and Post It Note Patient Engagement – Image Edition

Posted on September 15, 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.

Each week I try to take a look at some interesting tweets in the healthcare IT and EMR space. This week I decided to take it to another level where each tweet includes an image. I think you’ll enjoy the following tweets.


I love a leader who’s hands on. Obviously there’s a balance, but there’s so much value in being a leader who’s in the trenches with your staff.


Yes, I see EMR everywhere as well. I guess that’s part of the job. I’ll be in NY in November in case any readers will be there as well.


We’ve definitely made patient engagement too difficult. I’m working on a project that’s nearly done that could help make patient engagement simple. We’ll see how it goes.