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Rise of the Digital Patient Infographic

Posted on September 17, 2014 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 social people behind CDW Healthcare are doing a good job putting out some great content on social media. A great example of this is this Digital Patient Infographic that they recently posted:
mHealth_DigitalPatient_Infographic_0914_1000

I recently took part in a webinar with Dodge Communications (I’ll add a link to the webinar once it’s available) yesterday and I made the comment that telemedicine is more efficient for the patient, but I wasn’t sure telemedicine was more efficient for the doctor. There might be a disconnect of benefits there that needs to be reconciled.

As I look at the infographic above, I’m reminded of something similar. The stats in the infographic and just some basic common sense says how much patients would love to do an eVisit. If this is the case, why is it that healthcare hasn’t filled this customer demand? I think the answer is the disconnect of benefits.

What are your thoughts?

Also, since CDW created the infographic above, It’s worth mentioning that CDW also listed this blog on their list of Top 50 Health IT blogs for 2014. I’m not sure I agree that it’s the top 50 health IT blogs since EMR and HIPAA and a number of other Healthcare Scene blogs aren’t on the list, but there are a lot of great bloggers on the list just the same.

EHR Blogger Attrition

Posted on May 12, 2014 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.

Someone at HIMSS asked me who the up and coming healthcare IT bloggers were in the industry. It was an interesting question. It’s not really sexy to start an EHR blog right now. The golden age of EHR blogging is over and I’m interested to know where EHR and healthcare IT blogging is going to go in the future. The good part is that the use of technology to improve healthcare is never going to go away. It may not be called EHR, but we’ll always be working with the latest technology that can make healthcare better.

As I look through the list of health IT and EHR bloggers on HITsphere, It’s really interesting to see how many bloggers have stopped blogging in the 8.5 years since I started.

Even more than dedicated health IT and EHR bloggers, we’ve seen a lot of company bloggers basically stop as well. For example, I miss seeing Evan Steele’s weekly posts on the EMR Straight Talk blog. Of course, he’s now moved on from the day to day of SRSsoft. I guess that’s a natural part of the cycle, but it’s too bad a company doesn’t continue on with the blog. (UPDATE: After Evan Steele posted a transition post and the people at SRSsoft have taken up and continued with regular blog posts from the new CEO and also many of their staff. I love when there’s a culture of blogging at a company. Nice work SRSsoft) Not that keeping a blog with fresh content is easy. It’s not.

There are still quite a few bloggers that started blogging about the same time as me and are still doing their thing. A few that come to mind include: Neil Versel, HIStalk, Healthcare IT Guy, Lab Soft News, and Christina’s Considerations.

That’s not to say that there aren’t still some great health IT blogs out there. There are still quite a few good ones, but not many new ones. Knowing that I’ll anger some people I don’t list (feel free to mention your blog in the comments and I’ll see about doing a future post with ones not listed here) here are a few of the ones I think do great work: Manage My Practice, Health System CIO, Chilmark Research, and HITECH Answers.

I just remembered this CDW list of Top 50 health IT blogs. It has some other good ones as well. Although, I might be bias since 8 of the 50 are part of Healthcare Scene. I’d love to hear what other blogs you read or places you go for great content.

Seniors Embracing Technology Infographic

Posted on May 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.

The following infographic seemed fitting since in two weeks I’ll be attending the AARP Life@50+ event in Las Vegas. It looks to be a really interesting event with a lot of great healthcare technology that can benefit seniors. I’ll be sure to report back on what I find. Until then, check out this infographic on seniors and technology.

Seniors and Technology infographic CDW Healthcare

Playing the EHR Memory Game

Posted on March 14, 2012 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 try to avoid navel-gazing, which to me means commenting on someone else’s commentary – a practice all too commonly relied upon in the healthcare IT blogosphere. How many blogs, articles and rebuttals have been generated, after all, as a result of the Health Affairs/Mostashari back-and-forth in the past few days? Quite a few, and yours truly happily participated in the fringe commentary. So as you can see, sometimes a topic already covered by someone else just begs for a second opinion, which I’ll happily give if the context is right.

Yesterday I came across two pieces of online content that I couldn’t help but draw correlations between. The first, a blog written by Dr. Rick Weinhaus entitled “Humans Have Limited Working Memory,” tells the tale of our poor ability to retain information, made all too obvious by a common EHR design feature – the utilization of a row of clickable tabs at the top of a dashboard to designate the different categories of data that make up the patient visit.

Dr. Rick laments that since humans are capable of only retaining four to five unrelated elements in working memory, the row of one-click tabs, though logical, doesn’t work very well. In fact, it drives him “crazy.”

I certainly believe in our limited capacity for remembering unrelated things at any given time, and I’m sure other working parents will agree. Our capacity for keeping everything straight is finite – the more kids, colleagues, coworkers, patients, tabs, bells and whistles you add, the more likely you are to forget something, leave something behind, or, if you’re like me, leave your car door wide open in a parking lot while grocery shopping with two kids in tow. But I digress.

The second piece of content revolves around the results of a survey put out by CDW Healthcare on what clinicians find frustrating about implementing new health IT systems. Surprise, surprise, “too many passwords to memorize” came in at the top, emphasizing what Dr. Rick pointed out in his unrelated blog post.

So what’s a clinician to do? Especially those that work in multiple facilities on different EHRs? Are you like me, scribbling down usernames and passwords on a master paper document, which just screams “privacy breach waiting to happen?” How are vendors helping to address these issues – single sign-ons? Better, overall design? Whose doing it the right way when it comes to designing an EHR, or as Dr. Rick says, designing one “based on what humans are good at — using our visual system to make sense of the world?”

Please let me know in the comments below.

Busting the Myths about EMR Implementation

Posted on January 11, 2011 I Written By

Dr. Michael J. Koriwchak received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1988. He completed both his Internship in General Surgery and Residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Koriwchak continued at Vanderbilt for a fellowship in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice. He is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. After training Dr. Koriwchak moved to Atlanta in 1995 to become one of the original physicians in Ear, Nose and Throat of Georgia. He has built a thriving practice in Laryngology, Care of the Professional Voice, Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgery, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and General Otolaryngology. A singer himself, many of his patients are people who depend on their voice for their careers, including some well-known entertainers. Dr. Koriwchak has also performed thousands of thyroid, parathyroid and head and neck cancer operations. Dr. Koriwchak has been working with information technology since 1977. While an undergraduate at Bucknell University he taught a computer-programming course. In medical school he wrote his own software for his laboratory research. In the 1990’s he adapted generic forms software to create one the first electronic prescription applications. Soon afterward he wrote his own chart note templates using visual BASIC script. In 2003 he became the physician champion for ENT of Georgia’s EMR implementation project. This included not only design and implementation strategy but also writing code. In 2008 the EMR implementation earned the e-Technology award from the Medical Association of Georgia. With 7 years EMR experience, 18 years in private medical practice and over 35 years of IT experience, Dr. Koriwchak seeks opportunities to merge the information technology and medical communities, bringing information technology to health care.

I am still crazy over the ridiculous EMR cost study recently published by CDW.  This regrettable study was obviously put together by a bunch of newbies that had no idea what they were doing.  A few weeks ago, during a rant on a previous post on this topic I promised I would review our practice’s implementation strategy.  It’s time to live up to that promise.

The CDW group assumed, as I imagine many still do, that EMR should be implemented as quickly as possible minimize the financial impact of decreased patient volume.  In our practice we took the opposite approach, realizing that if we brought in EMR slowly enough we wouldn’t have to decrease patient volume at all.  We overcame both the cultural and the financial barriers to EMR by creating an approach that was different from the prevailing wisdom at the time. Conventional project management principles don’t work in the physician practice setting.

  1. We recognized that EMR was not a project with a defined end point – it would instead be an ongoing “work in progress.”
  2. We avoided big “go-live” dates and hard deadlines for abandoning paper charts.  Paper charts were eliminated gradually, via attrition, over 2-3 years.   Docs are already uptight and uneasy about EMR; deadlines only make it worse.
  3. We rejected the notion that we would have to decrease patient volume and lose revenue, even temporarily, to get EMR implemented.  Don’t even think about suggesting to a doc that (s)he will have to decrease patient volume.  We can’t tolerate it financially.
  4. Every office and every physician was allowed to progress along its own timeline.  Every office has its own set of assets and liabilities – its own subculture.  It made no sense to force the same timeline on everyone.  We also offered (and continue to offer) each office / physician a fair amount of latitude on exactly how the EMR is used.  Some docs use speech recognition, some don’t.  Some offices didn’t scan outside records at first.  In the early days we didn’t care if docs wrote paper prescriptions.  The script pad is one of the hardest cultural icons for the physician to let go.

We had one physician who resisted EMR for almost a year.  I was approached several times to pressure this doc to “give in.”  I declined.  Then one day he discovered Dragon Speech and started EMR almost overnight.  We docs are self-selected fiercely independent souls; our training reinforces those characteristics.  I know this physician well; he had to do EMR on his timing and his terms.  If I had pressured him it would have backfired badly.  I probably would have behaved similarly.

To accommodate the physician’s need for independence the EMR adoption process was broken down into a large number of incremental steps.  After a short teaching session each physician had a training version of the EMR, complete with fictitious doctors and patients, installed on his/her laptop.  Over a few evenings the physician would work with the program to get used to the basic operations and functions.  Once the physician was comfortable we put the server communication software on the doc’s PC and showed him/her how to log in and use the same training EMR program on the server.  The training EMR on the server was configured with our custom templates.   The physician was then instructed how to create chart notes using our templates.  Then he/she could spend more time practicing at home, logging onto the server from there.

Then it was time to use the “real” EMR program on real patients.  But not all at once. Start with only one patient, the last patient of the day. Those first few notes took forever to complete.  But with our approach that was no problem.  For a while many of the docs printed out the completed EMR note and put it in the paper chart.  Why bother doing that?  It was a cultural trust issue.  With time, trust in the EMR increased and the practice disappeared naturally.

We advanced each doctor at his/her own pace.  Do EMR for the last 2 patients of the day, then the last 3, etc.  When ready, take on a half day of patients, then an entire day.  If there is a problem, back off.  Get the issues resolved and try again.   There were no deadlines and no pressure.  After getting settled with documentation move on to workflows such as prescriptions, ordering tests and imaging.  Then finally learn CPT/ ICD-9 charge code entry.

This process serves 2 goals.  First it allows the cultural change to an IT setting to progress at an acceptable, sustainable rate.  It also allows EMR to come in without decreasing patient volume.  It took almost a year to get 20 physicians in 15 offices implemented with basic EMR functions – but there was no panic, only modest chaos and no loss of patient volume.  We had our frustrating moments, but I am convinced that they would have been far worse with a conventional implementation plan.

Cerner and CDW Join Forces to Sell EHR

Posted on October 20, 2009 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 things going on in the EMR industry right now are really quite amazing. First, we hear about the Walmart EMR and then Dell comes out with a Dell EMR. Then, Dell acquires Perot Systems to add to their portfolio of services and software. That’s a lot of big name companies joining in on the EMR fun.

Now it’s been announced that Cerner and CDW are joining forces to Sell EHR and “offer a single touchpoint for EHR adoption.” Here’s a portion of the email I received:

Beginning November 1, CDW Healthcare will offer Cerner Corporation’s ambulatory EHR solutions to physician practices. The collaboration, which marks the first time the complete suite of Cerner ambulatory solutions for physician practices will be available through a national channel partner, will provide practice managers with a single touchpoint for hardware and software procurement, technology expertise, solutions guidance, and deployment services.

It’s an interesting partnership to have a hardware vendor join with a software vendor like this. I guess CDW also sells software, but usually it’s off the shelf mass market software. At the end of the day this is all about more sales channels for Cerner.

The most important question is which big company will be the next one trying to cash in on EMR software?