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Taking the Anxiety out of Healthcare IT (and Cost of Care)

Posted on March 21, 2014 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’m prone to anxiety when it comes to unexplained aches and pains, though I tend to internalize it in an effort to not come across as a hypochondriac. I’m sure I let my inner, extreme worrier come through just a tad during a recent doctor’s appointment. I was visibly relieved to learn that what I had been quietly fretting about for weeks was in fact quite normal. My relief must have been extremely visible, because my doctor was quick to explain that what patients often consider irregular, doctors treat as run of the mill. What I lose sleep over, they don’t bat an eye at. (If only her practice offered a patient portal with secure email, so that we could correspond about my health at our leisure.)

She then told me of a recent trip to the doctor with her mother, and that she had a newfound appreciation for the patient’s side of the visit as she saw things from her mother’s point of view. It was quite refreshing to hear. I might temper my anxiety before my next appointment by playing this mobile game, should it ever be made available in the app store. According to a recent study published in Clinical Psychological Science, 25 minutes of play reduces levels of stress and anxiety. Researchers are looking to see if the effects are the same with shorter bursts of playtime. It’s got to be a cheaper (and healthier) alternative than a prescription for Xanax, right?

Speaking of healthcare costs, I read with interest the news that not only did Castlight Health’s IPO perform better than expected, but that it also partnering with the Leapfrog Group to analyze hospital survey data. Castlight seems poised for success because it is striving to do what healthcare desperately needs done – to bring transparency to and better understanding of healthcare costs in this country. With the Leapfrog project, it seems they are set on tackling quality, safety and patient satisfaction, too. It would be nice, as a patient, to have one trusted resource to go to for consumer-friendly healthcare information so that we could make smart decisions for our families and ourselves.

It would be interesting for a company like Castlight to combine financial, quality, safety and satisfaction data with a notation as to whether hospitals and physicians use EHRs. I noticed that recent results from the latest NCHS Data Brief from CDC show that 42.8% of physicians in Georgia have EHRs – not significantly different than the national average, according to NCHS survey findings. Only nine states ranked above the national average for EHR usage.

I’m off on a tangent here, but I have to ask, when will all 50 states get above 50%? When will everyone be above the national average? With budgets tightening, hospitals closing, and IT deadlines looming, I have a feeling it will be later rather than sooner – if at all.

What do you think? When will your state reach 100%? How do you relieve stress before a doctor’s visit? Would knowing a physician had competitive prices and secure messaging impact your decision to book an appointment? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

#eHealth100, Single EMR, EMR Adoption, and Wrong EMR Decision

Posted on December 30, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

You know what time it is if the post begins with a hashtag. That’s right. We’re taking a quick look at some of the interesting, insightful, fun, entertaining, beautiful or otherwise thought provoking tweets related to EMR and EHR.

We’ll lead off with a tweet nomination to the #eHealth100:

Yes, I was happy that Anneliz thought of me with this tweet nomination. Although, I must admit that I wasn’t sure what I was being nominated for, so I asked and got the following response about the goal of the #eHealth100

I appreciate being mentioned in this group. Considering the many people that make up the healthcare world, I just hope that each day I can make a small difference in people’s lives. It’s a beautiful thing when I can do that and provide for my family at the same time.

I love and hate the sarcasm in Dr. May’s tweet. I love the irony, but hate that it seems to be a major medical breakthrough.

I’m always looking for more numbers on EMR adoption. Although, then I realized that the article is from Venture Beat. Unfortunately, the people at Venture Beat don’t follow healthcare IT and especially EHR very well (they do follow other startups well). This can be seen in their reference to ZocDoc and Castlight as EHR companies likely to go public. They might go public, but they are definitely not EHR companies. I also love that they also have a quote saying that 90% of doctors don’t have an EMR which totally contradicts the CDC EMR adoption numbers they put at the beginning.

The long story short: 1. Don’t read Venture Beat for healthcare IT info. 2. We don’t really know how we’re doing with EHR adoption. We just know EHR adoption is on the rise.

I’ve sadly been predicting major EMR switching for a year or more. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’d say the biggest driver of EMR switching is thanks to the EHR incentive money and meaningful use.