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Healthcare Innovation – #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on May 18, 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.

Before we get to the regular #HITsm recap, John got together with a couple of other members of the #HITsm community and did a Google Plus hangout during this week’s chat. It’s a little random, but there were some good discussions about the #HITsm chat topics. We’d love to hear feedback about what we did. We’re considering doing something similar in the future, but with a little more focused discussion.

Topic One: What does #healthcare innovation mean to you? How do you define it?

Topic Two: Do you see innovation in #medicine different than in public health, if so how?

 

Topic Three: What are effective methods of globally diffusing innovative ideas/tech when it comes to getting healthcare user buy-in?

Topic Four: Can you name any examples of tech & innovations developed in U.S. that have translated elsewhere, & vice versa?

Hoarding and Sharing Data in Health Care — #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on April 27, 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.

Topic One: Looking in the rearview mirror, what has been the history and rationale for “hoarding” data in health care?

Topic Two: “Open” has varying meanings. What elements/aspects do you think are the most important for healthcare?


Topic Three: How can social media contribute to the transformation from hoarding to sharing? How should patients fit?

Topic Four: What providers/companies use open/collaborative technologies, pt care workflow, strategies, biz models, etc. Who are the stars?

Topic Five: What lessons can #healthcare learn about openness from other industries? What’s most likely to work in healthcare?

Escape the Fire – Healthcare Documentary Film

Posted on March 8, 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 first heard about the Escape the Fire film coming out when Neil Versel posted about it on Meaningful Health IT News. I was really intrigued by the things he mentioned about the film and now after seeing the film I wasn’t disappointed. The film does a good job describing some of the major challenges associated with healthcare today.

Here’s the trailer if you want to learn more about what Escape the Fire is about:

For those interested in just seeing the film, you can buy Escape Fire: Fight to Rescue American Healthcareon Amazon or you can watch the Escape the Fire video on CNN this Sunday, March 10 at 8:00pm & 11:00pm ET. It’s great that CNN has picked up the documentary and will be getting it out to a larger audience.

I also love that the Escape the Fire website has a place where you can “Engage the Issues” and do something in your sphere of influence to improve healthcare. The amazing thing is that we can all do something. Even if that something is as simple as living a healthier lifestyle. That will make a huge difference.

As you’ll see in this movie, the problems in healthcare aren’t simple. In fact, they are very complex and hard to overcome, but one of the first steps to solving the issues is understanding them. This film is a good start to helping a larger group of people understand the issues that plague healthcare.

One challenge I did have with the movie was that it felt like two videos pushed into one. On the one end was the current state of the healthcare system and the other was the military healthcare issues. While there’s certainly plenty of issue overlap, I think that this could have easily been divided into two films as opposed to cramming the two subjects into one.

While I think most of the issues presented in the film aren’t anything new for those of us in healthcare, it was nice to see them all laid out in one place. I’m sure I’ll be thinking a lot about what’s presented for many years to come.

#HITsm and #hcsm Highlights Around Twitter – Healthcare and Social Media

Posted on December 22, 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.

If you are avid follower of the #HITsm Chats, you probably noticed it was MIA this week, and also will be next week. So, instead, here are a few interesting tweets I found from doing a search for #HITsm and #hcsm on Twitter. I highly recommend doing that every once in awhile…there’s some pretty interesting information to be found. With that, here are some of the highlights I found from those searches (it was hard to pick just a couple!) I saw a lot about social media, so I thought I’d focus on that today.

This is a really fascinating article. Did you know that 90 percent of people ages 18-24 trust health information found on social media? Kind of scary in some ways, since, well, there’s definitely some incorrect information out there. It also puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of those that do provide the information, to make sure it’s accurate, up-to-date, and informative. To be honest, I sometimes trust sites like WebMD more than my own doctor! Social media and mobile devices are here to stay in the healthcare world, that’s for sure. I think this article gives some good information on the pros and cons, as well as how healthcare providers can benefit, which brings me to the next post…

Well, this is the opposite of what I read (and preach) a lot. A waste of time? The previous article talked about how it can be very beneficial for healthcare providers. The main arguments are that there is no return on investment (ROI), it can be dangerous when it adds to the likelihood of a doctor being burnt out, and it’s just a fad that is going to blow over and isn’t worth investing time, unless you have a lot of time and want it to be a hobby, or your company has products and services the customer pays for. I don’t agree with these statements, and believe that it is worth putting the time and effort into…but I suppose only time will tell which side of the fence is correct.

Aren’t patients the most crucial aspect to any healthcare provider? So empowering them is so important, and this article talks about how social media is doing just that. It has five ways it empowers patience, which, in a nut shell, are:

  1. Connecting people suffering from a disease or ailment with others…so basically, helping people not feel so alone in their health struggles, and get support from others that “get it.”
  2. Patients can learn about different treatment options and about medical devices more easily. When a person just relies on their doctor for information, some of these options can be overlooked (and often are.)
  3. Patient’s who like being self-advocates are likely to become community advocates as well
  4. Patient’s are given a “voice” to talk about their experiences and thoughts
  5. There are social networks dedicated to certain diseases or conditions.

And finally, this doesn’t have anything to do with the other tweets I’ve mentioned, but it made me laugh. The sledding blogger on the far left looks familiar, doesn’t he?

Top Health IT Accomplishments, Lessons Learned, and Social Media: #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on December 8, 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.

This weeks topics were suggested by @OchoTex. It was a rather reflective chat, focusing on different topics from 2012, and reflecting on the future.

Topic One: What were the top #healthIT accomplishments in 2012?

Topic Two: In what areas did health IT fall short this year? What could have been accomplished?

Topic Three: Lessons learned- What do you predict will be achieved in #health IT in 2013?

 

Topic Four: How can social media do more to shift the balance of power in healthcare to the patient?

Preventable Issues Arise When Paper Documentation is Used

Posted on November 5, 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.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the health care system is not fool proof, and mistakes happen. Many of these mistakes happen because of paperwork that is lost, unreadable, or misplaced. Even with the implementation of EMRs across the country, many healthcare providers are still relying on paper for many aspects of their practice. Referral MD created an infographic that shows some of the current problems in healthcare related to using paper documents:

Pretty scary, if you ask me. Doctor’s are notorious for having terrible handwriting, but 7000 patients die a year because of it? And 30 percent of tests have to be reordered because the orders were misplaced? These statistics are startling, in large part because they are preventable. Those are only two of the facts presented in this infographic, and in combination with everything else, it makes me wonder why anyone that has an EMR would still use paper, and why the practices that don’t use EMRs haven’t started. It makes me not want to trust the system even more.

I can see how patients and doctors alike may find it hard to switch over. When I wasn’t given a physical, paper prescription to take to the pharmacy to get my son’s medication, I was a bit taken back, but it made things so much easier when I actually arrived at the pharmacy. I compare that to the many prescriptions and lab orders I lost during my pregnancy because I set it down and forgot to pick it up again, never to find it again until months later while doing some cleaning. It made me really wish my OB/GYN had electronic documents more incorporated into his practice. I’m curious to see if he has any EMR at all. Since he’s been a doctor for 40+ years, maybe he’s having a hard time making the switch.

It’s one thing if a person dies from a terminal illness, but to pass away because of a preventable mistake is uncalled for. I realize that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. But when a mistake could mean someone dying, a patient’s information being misused, or a HIPAA violation occurring, something is wrong. Hopefully as EMRs become better and more practices have them, paper documentation will become a thing of the past, and these mistakes, breeches, and all other issues that are related to using paper, will go that way as well.

Templating notes improved my healthcare delivery: an anecdote

Posted on July 26, 2011 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.

Recently, I sat down with my trusty practice manager Ken and we went through our monthly profit and loss — P&L — statement, as we do every month about this time.  Excellent business person that he is, Ken noticed an interesting trend.  Lately, my Pneumovax vaccines have been flying off the shelves since I moved to templating my notes on a full-time basis back around April.

Nowadays, all of my new diabetes patients are asked, with nearly 100% precision, when is the last time they had a Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax 23, made by Merck) to prevent bad outcomes in case of pneumonia.  If they cannot recall or find out from a previous doctor, then they are a candidate for this vaccine.  If their sugar patterns are under reasonable control to render the vaccine effective, then I offer to give it to them on the spot.  If not, then I write it into my plans for future visits to rediscuss this when they do reach a reasonable level of control.  I used to give out maybe around 5-6 vaccine doses each month, but for the last three months, the count is up to about 13-15 doses monthly.  Since diabetes patients are pretty much the only people I give this vaccine to, I have to conclude that healthcare delivery is improved for my diabetic population.  Interesting, no?

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, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

Serverless freedom in the world of EHRs: glorious!

Posted on July 13, 2011 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.

After reading John Lynn’s great Fourth of July freedom post, I recently had a conversation with him behind the scenes about my office’s IT meltdown this week and how my poor — but highly talented and amazingly dedicated — practice manager Ken has been pioneering the way for our office to resurrect itself from the IT ashes.  Those of you who have read my blogs know that when I first opened my practice in December 2009 we initally bought a server-hosted EHR system that was housed in our office.  In retrospect, I would never do that again.

It turns out that we dumped our first EHR company three months into the horror of having something new broken on it basically every day and went the way of a web-hosted EHR company (Practice Fusion — LOVE THEM!).  However, we made another mistake in continuing to use our server, which was networked with WYSE thin clients throughout the office.  For the past six months or more, we have endured slower and slower page loading speeds, never knowing if it was the EHR company’s problem — it wasn’t – or our network’s.  After discussing with several people, we came to the conclusion that it was most likely those darned thin clients hooked up to our server.  These, it seems, don’t have much computing power of their own, but instead rely upon the server to run software and connect to the web.

Okay, now for the royal IT screw-over.  At the same time we selected our first EHR vendor, we went with an IT consultant who, in retrospect, was probably pretty small potatoes, albeit pretty smart and capable.  Ken would often remark to me that the phone calls would be answered by the CEO from a grocery store where his kids would be heard shouting in the background.  A big Achilles heel for this first IT company was that on a day about two months ago when our server went down, the company refused to help us because they “weren’t within their normal operating hours of 9-5 pm.  Hence, when our printer wasn’t functioning at 8 AM one day, we were pretty much screwed for our first business hour.  Bye-bye company #1; we needed reliability.  The second IT company we hired promised to be open for our working hours of 8 AM to 6 PM but never fulfilled requested work tickets each time until we had to practically scream at them.   They sent out an incompetent individual who we later found out was “only a level-1 tech” and who “didn’t get the internal communication they should have received” before coming out to our office.  As a result, it took the technician over three hours to network an office scanner while she cluelessly stood on hold with the scanner’s tech support line while we watched the clock tick away.  Come on now … even I can call a tech support line by myself and have someone walk me through a setup.

And so, at long last, we have realized our latest goal as an electronic practice:  to fly free of our server cage and avoid doing anything with an IT consulting company from now on if we can avoid it.  As a medical clinic providing healthcare, we’d much rather spend time elsewhere.

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, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

Sad State of Healthcare

Posted on February 21, 2010 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.

It’s the weekend and so I have less readers. That means I like to post a wide variety of things on the weekend. The following came to my email and I laughed so hard I couldn’t help but post it. Enjoy!

So you’re a senior citizen and the government says no health care for
you, what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are
allowed to shoot 2 senators and 2 representatives. Of Course, this
means you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a
roof over your head, and all the health care you need! New teeth, no
problem. Need glasses, no problem. New hips, knees, kidney, lungs,
heart? All covered.

And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just
told you that you are too old for health care. Plus, because you are
a prisoner, you don’t have to pay income tax anymore.
IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?!

AMA Speaks Out on Obama Health Care

Posted on September 3, 2009 I Written By

I got the following email that I just couldn’t resist posting. I’m not sure who deserves credit for this, but I think that many will enjoy the perspective.

The American Medical Association has weighed in on the new Obama health care proposals.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve..

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. Pathologists yelled; “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said, “Oh, Grow up!”

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter….”

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington.