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Ways To Minimize Physicians’ Administrative Burdens

Posted on January 24, 2018 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.

It’s hardly a secret that physicians are buckling under the weight of their administrative responsibilities. The question is, how do we lessen the load? A new article published on a site backed by technology vendor CDW offers some creative ways for doing so.

One suggestion the article makes is to have patients write and add notes to their personal medical charts.According to the piece, doctors at UCLA Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will pilot “OurNotes,” a tool allowing patients to input medical data, in 2018. Patients will use the new tool to add information such as symptoms, emerging health issues and even goals for future visits. OurNotes is an outgrowth of the OpenNotes project, an initiative that encourages clinicians to share their notes with patients.

Will the OurNotes effort actually make things easier for physicians? Dr. John Mafi, assistant professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, believes it can.

“If executed thoughtfully, OurNotes has the potential to reduce documentation demands on clinicians, while having both the patient and clinician focusing on what’s most important to the patient,” Dr. Mafi said in a statement about a research project on the OpenNotes approach. (Mafi was the lead author of a paper on the project’s results.)

Another option is using “remote scribe” services via Google Glass. Yes, you heard me right, Google Glass. Google is relaunching its smart glasses and it’s retooled its approach to serving the healthcare industry. The number of applications for Glass has crept up gradually as well, including an EMR accessible using the smart glasses from vendor DrChrono. DrChrono calls it the “wearable health record,” which is pretty nifty.

San Francisco-based clinical practice Dignity Health has been working with Google Glass startup Augmedix to access offsite scribes. Dignity Health vice president and CMIO Davin Lundquist told MobiHealthNews that after three years of using Glass this way, he’s cut down on time spent administrative tasks from 30% per day to 10% per day. Pretty impressive.

Yet another way for healthcare organizations to reduce adminsitrative overhead is, as always, making sure their EMR is properly configured and supports physician workflow. Of course, duh, but worth mentioning anyway for good measure.

As the CDW piece notes, one way to reduce the administrative time for physicians is to make sure EMRs are integrated with other systems effectively. Again, duh. But it never hurts to bear in mind that making it easy for physicians to search for information is critical. There’s no excuse for making physicians hunt for test results or patient histories, particularly in a crisis.

Of course, these approaches are just a beginning. As interesting as, say, the use of Google Glass is, it doesn’t seem like a mature technology at this point. OurNotes is at the pilot stage. And as we all know, optimizing EMRs for physician use is an endless task with no clear stopping point. I guess it’s still on us to come up with more options.

Top 7 Hottest Health IT Jobs

Posted on December 21, 2012 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.

HIMSS recently sent out a message to their LinkedIn group which listed CIO.com’s list of top 7 hottest health IT skills (and I’d say jobs):
7. Quality Assurance
6. Data Architecture
5. Application Development
4. Program Management
3. Project Management
2. Healthcare Analytics
1. EMR Build Specialists

They also said, “As JoAnn Klinedinst, HIMSS’ Vice President, Professional Development, noted “There’s something for everyone at HIMSS13.””

JoAnn is absolutely right about HIMSS 2013. If you’re in healthcare IT, then there’s definitely something for you at HIMSS 2013. I describe it like being a kid in a candy store. Everywhere you look there is something interesting that you want to learn about.

I did find the list of hot health IT jobs interesting. Not surprising to see EMR at the top of the list. Seems like all of the jobs are EHR related or healthcare BI/Big Data related. Seems like this should give us a good idea of where healthcare IT is going.

10 Reasons to Attend the Digital Health Conference in New York City

Posted on October 5, 2012 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.

Many of you might have read my post about the Digital Health Conference in New York City which is put on by the NYeC. It’s looking like it will be another great conference this year for those of us in the health IT & EHR world.

Turns out their marketing people are pretty creative as well. They just sent me 10 reasons to attend their health IT and EHR conference. I thought it was a great list and not just because I’m included in number 7.

1. The “Father of the U.S. health IT movement,” Dr. David Brailer and the enthralling Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner will keynote the event.

2. Unveiling of the inaugural class of the New York Digital Health Accelerator, a $4.2 million program run by the New York eHealth Collaborative and the New York City Investment Fund for early- and growth-stage digital health companies.

3. NYeC’s Gala & Awards show hosted by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, honoring GE’s Chairman & CEO, Jeff Immelt and IBM’s Chairman Sam Palmisano.

4. A peer-driven educational program featuring 18 thought-provoking lectures, panels and interactive presentations.

5. IBM’s Watson featuring IBM’s Chief Medical Scientist, Dr. Martin Kohn and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s VP & CIO Patricia Skarulis

6. The opportunity to network and increase your visibility with over 700 senior-level health IT professionals

7. Social Media Panel featuring Brian Ahier (@ahier), John Lynn (@techguy), Wen Dombrowski (@HealthcareWen) and Amy Dixon (@amyrnbsn).

8. Statewide Health Information Network of NY: HIE Strategy 2.0 led by NYeC Executive Director, Dave Whitlinger

9. Health Tech Innovation & Funding panel featuring StartUp Health’s Co-founder Steven Krein, Health 2.0’s SVP Jean-Luc Neptune, NY City Investment Fund’s CEO Maria Gotsch, and Blueprint Health’s Founding Partner Brad Weinberg, and NYeC’s Director of Business Development, Anuj Desai.

10. All that New York and Chelsea have to offer – take a stroll on the High Line, visit Chelsea’s art galleries, or taste an unrivaled restaurant scene.

I hope many of you can make it to the event. Plus, Monday night we’re holding a tweetup as well.

Companies Agile Diagnosis, ESO Solutions, Shareable Ink, and Valence Health Receive Fundings This Week

Posted on June 29, 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.

FUNDINGS

A graduate from the Rock Health incubator has recently raised $2 million in funding. The mobile health start up, Agile Diagnosis,developed a “mobile clinical decision support service”, that they hope will be even better than other medical reference apps. The company hopes to raise an additional $1 million in funding to help with this program.

Agile Diagnosis claims that their product will “make clinical guidelines and medical information easier to digest,” and not so text-heavy, as many other services currently available are. The app has specifically been created for the iPad, however, an iPhone app will likely be released later this year and will be offered through a subscription.

The Austin-based health care software creator and distributor, ESO Solutions, received $4 million in funding from Austin Ventures. Because of the great demand from emergency medical services and fire and hospital markets for the software from ESO Solutions, this funding will help to expand the company and its sales and marketing efforts.

The most well-known product offered by ESO Solutions is EMR software that “enables pre-hospital patient care providers to effectively and efficiently document patient care while giving administrators tools to manage personnel, oversee operations and review patient care for quality improvement purposes. The company is also set to release a communication platform that will allow EMS and hospitals to coorespond immediately as well as “aggregate pre-hospital data for use in health information exchanges nationwide.” The funding from Austin Ventures will allow ESO to expand these current products and create new ones.

Shareable Ink, a Nashville-based company, has raised $5 million in series-B funding from Lemhi Ventures. The money raised is meant to go towards more research and development. The CEO of the company, Stephen Hau, said this funding “will be used to expand business operations as well as explore new technology” such as being able to convert hand gestures made into data or implementing voice activation.

An iPad version of the technology produced by Shareable Ink will be relased this year to HCA hospitals.

And finally, Valence Health received a $30 million minority investment from North Bridge Growth Equity. Valence Health is a provider of clinical integration and health plan services, and the money will be put toward accelerating the company by “adding seasoned healthcare talent; investing in strategic sales and marketing initiatives; and expanding its integrated suite of solutions aimed at providing healthcare and lowering costs through clinical integration, quality management, and risk assumption.”

Beyond the investment from North Bridge, the company has helped Valence Health create its Board of Directors by bringing in top healthcare industry figures, including Chris Kryder, Bob Sheehy, George Lynn, Phil Kamp, Todd Stockard, Bill Geary, and Mike Pehl.

Health IT Conferences 2012

Posted on March 6, 2012 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 good people over at Search Health IT have put together a calendar of Healthcare IT related conferences happening in 2012. Just going through the list is a bit overwhelming and I’m sure they haven’t gotten each and every healthcare IT conference out there. I think they don’t have MGMA on there and the NYeC conference, Digital Health Summit, that I attended last year. Maybe I’m partially overwhelmed because I’m still in the post-HIMSS recovery cycle, but looking at the list it’s pretty clear health IT is in vogue.

I honestly don’t have any conferences firmly placed on my agenda for 2012. I’d like to hit the AHIMA conference and MGMA conference again. I really enjoyed both of those in 2011. I loved Connected Health Symposium, Digital Health Summit, and the mHealth Summit last year. I just know I don’t want to travel as much this year as last year. So, I’m going to have to be more selective.

So, there you have it. I have a big undecided on which healthcare IT conferences to attend in the rest of 2012. Which conferences will you be attending? Which conferences do you think I should attend? With so many choices, I’m going to have to be much more selective and find new ways to differentiate which conferences I attend. I was spoiled this past year having HIMSS and MGMA in the beautiful Las Vegas.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on conferences.

Practice Fusion User Conference Streamed Live

Posted on November 11, 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 actually love to participate in EMR user conferences. I love them most in person since then I get to talk to the actual users of the software and get the real low down on what it’s like to use that EHR software. In fact, if you have a chance to go to the user conference for an EHR software before you implement it, that can be extremely valuable.

While you won’t get the benefit of interacting with attendees, I’m happy that Practice Fusion Connect 2011 (the Practice Fusion user conference) is being streamed live (see embed below):

They could do better with the camera angle, but I applaud an EHR vendor that makes this stuff publicly available. Now time to go and check out the #pfconnect hash tag to meet users that way. Almost as good as in person.

Innovation Exchanges for Healthcare Stakeholders and IT Folks

Posted on September 6, 2011 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now enjoys writing about healthcare, science and technology.

Health IT is revolutionizing healthcare in front of our eyes. Every other day, you hear about yet another device or app that measures various aspects of your health, reports findings to doctors. Some of the biggest names in the business world have entered the healthcare market or at least experimented with it (sorry, Google Health, better luck next time). Between HITECH, HIPAA and the monetary implications of the Affordable Care Act, there’s a governmental push for HIT as well, which in some ways bestows an immediacy (and dollars) to health IT.

To regular IT people, health IT looks like a great industry to be in. Healthcare is generally considered recession proof, there’s ample opportunity for innovation, and there’s a certain democratization in how health is managed – an iPhone app can do what your optometrist did, and while you’re never going to be able to write yourself a prescription for sunglasses, there’s a lot more you can know about your health compared to 10 years ago.

And yet, here’s the secret. Not many IT folks know how to make the jump to health IT. I get this question all the time – how do *I* make the switch to healthcare IT? To me at least, it looked as if the best thing would be to network with healthcare industry people, and figure out a way to segue inwards. Clearly there’s a shortfall of health IT professionals (and the paradoxical personal experiences that the newly minted health IT certified folks face – not being trained on vendor specific software is making it difficult to get jobs, but that’s another topic for another day.)

That’s why I’m particularly enthused by what’s coming from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). ONC is spearheading Innovation Exchanges as part of the White House Startup America initiatives. The idea for the exchanges is to bring together healthcare stakeholders with developers and others from the IT world, so they can work together from early stage idea innovation right through to the concrete realization of these ideas.

If you’re someone with a good health IT idea in proof-of-concept stages or even someone just breaking into the health IT market, here’s a great chance to test out the waters with healthcare people who are as eager to strike up collaborations with IT folk. Health 2.0 Conferences are scheduled in San Francisco, Indianapolis and the New England area.

Digital Health Conference – New York eHealth Collaborative

Posted on August 24, 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.

Today I learned about a Healthcare IT conference happening in New York City on December 1-2, 2011. It’s called the Digital Health Conference and is put together by the NYeC (New York eHealth Collaborative).

Here’s the description of the event from their website:

This two-day conference will educate and bring together health information technology (HIT) stakeholders including providers of all types: the public sector, private industry, health plans, hospital administration. This showcase of the latest technologies inspires collaboration, and celebrates achievements and the advancement of healthcare innovation.

They have Todd Park and T.R. Reid listed as keynote speakers for the event. They also have the educational tracks listed as: Innovation in the Inpatient Setting, Advances in Primary Care, Chronic Care Management, and Health and Wellness.