EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Half of docs nationwide e-prescribe via EHRs | EMR Industry

Half of docs nationwide e-prescribe via EHRs | EMR Industry | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Just about one half of physicians nationwide are now performing electronic prescribing using an electronic health record on the Surescripts network, with all states producing double-digit increases.


The percent of physicians e-prescribing using EHRs swelled from 7 percent in December 2008 to 48 percent in June 2012, according to a report released Nov. 27 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Surescripts is a leading e-prescribing network, which is used by 95 percent of pharmacies for routing prescriptions, excluding closed systems such as Kaiser Permanente.


Twenty-three states had more than half of their physicians e-prescribing using an EHR, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin experiencing the largest increases since December 2008, according to the report.

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Digital diagnosis – The Future of Telemedicine

Digital diagnosis – The Future of Telemedicine | EHR and Health IT Consulting |
Speaking to a doctor via a webcam might sound like something out of The Jetsons, but it could be a reality sooner than you think. Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, has called for doctors to offer remote consultations to patients via video link within the next year. But is this a service people want from their family doctor?


In order to find out more, YouGov polled over 2,000 people and found that almost 29 per cent in the UK would like to see GPs start offering remote consultations via video link in the next decade. Less than a third may not sound like much, but if you take into account how many millions of appointments NHS doctors conduct each year, there is clearly a huge demand from patients for ‘virtual’ consultations. Experts have also suggested that telemedicine could generate savings of £1bn a year for the NHS and a massive reduction in the number of hospital admissions.

Via nrip
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Africa's mHealth breakthroughs to pave way for U.S.

Africa's mHealth breakthroughs to pave way for U.S. | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

The United States will look to Africa to gain knowledge about advances in mobile health technologies because Tanzania, among other countries, already has maternal child health and community health worker programs that rely on smart phones.


While it’s still the early days of mHealth and the digital revolution, “we will see huge breakthroughs in Africa and South Asia,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, speaking at a Monday afternoon mHealth Summit 'Super Session' on global implications for mHealth technologies.


“Those breakthroughs will eventually become breakthroughs in the U.S. when it addresses the high costs of its healthcare system and frees up $750 billion a year in waste,” Sachs said.


Mobile phones have been used to deliver messages about maternal and child health to mothers who live in areas that are remote or lack communications and other services. Mobile technology can make a difference, getting critical [pregnancy] stage-based information to expectant moms

Via nrip
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5 steps to protect patient privacy

5 steps to protect patient privacy | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

The newly released Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security, by Ponemon Institute reveals that 94 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed suffered at least one data breach during the past two years.


The findings highlight the need for organizations to act now to secure PHI and protect patient privacy.


Organizations are not breach-proof. They require an ongoing approach to minimize their frequency, size, and impact.

We recommend that healthcare organizations:


1. Operationalize pre-breach and post-breach processes, including incident assessment and incident response procedures. Embedding breach-related processes into everyday business demonstrates what we call a culture of compliance—something regulators love to see.


2. Restructure the information security function to report directly to the board. This move symbolizes a commitment to patient data privacy and security.


3. Conduct combined privacy and security compliance assessments annually. These assessments identify the gaps between an organization’s privacy and security profiles and what the law requires.


4. Update policies and procedures to include mobile devices and BYOD. This is especially critical since, as we discussed, the vast majority of organizations permit employees and medical staff to use their own mobile devices to connect to their networks or enterprise systems such as email.


5. Ensure the Incident Response Plan (IRP) covers business associates, partners, and cyber insurance. An effective IRP encompasses third-party contingencies and the role of cyber insurance in managing a security or privacy incident.


Organizations need to commit to this problem and make significant changes. These five steps are a good beginning.


Read More at:

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EHR vendor selection checklist for small providers

EHR vendor selection checklist for small providers | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Selecting a quality EHR vendor is important, but just as crucial is the vendor’s ability to tailor its system to your needs.


There are literally hundreds of EHR systems out there for you to choose from, all with different pros and cons. Selecting a quality EHR vendor is important, but just as crucial is the vendor’s ability to tailor its system to your needs.


Here are some points to consider before making a final selection:


1. How much experience does the vendor have with EHR implementation? What type of stability and track record do they have?


2. Assess your physical environment and document it in a detailed list and rank those in order of importance to your organization.


3. Is the EHR system software designed to fit your organization’s needs?


4. Identify the hardware needs of your office and EHR.


5. Does the vendor offer a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, sometimes called Application Service Provider (ASP)? Or do they require you to use client-server systems, which require a staff member to manage the entire process of updates, upgrades and backups.


6. How much can the vendor prepare for and help you get selected by CMS for Meaningful Use Stage 1 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program?


7. Will the system be able to scale up if needed for Stage 2?


8. Will their system be relevant beyond meaningful use?


9. Will there be any trouble converting to IDC-10? Are they compliant in all other areas?


10. Can they help you avoid productivity losses and EHR transition issues?


Remember, you can reach out to Regional Extension Centers (RECs) for guidance and resources.

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Tech worker opportunity with new health-care laws

Tech worker opportunity with new health-care laws | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

With President Barack Obama’s re-election ensuring that his 2010 law will be implemented, companies are scouting for workers to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs in everything from running records systems to creating and servicing new insurance exchanges and entering thousands of additional codes for health-care treatments.


The federal government projects that under the law, 30 million more Americans will start getting coverage in 2014 through expanded state Medicaid programs or private insurers, or pay a penalty.


A study published this month in the Annals of Family Medicine found that the newly insured will contribute to rising demand for medical services, requiring an estimated 8,000 more doctors over 12 years.


They also will create jobs for workers in support fields such as IT, already in short supply. On the IT front, health-care systems, data companies and other industries in need of talent all are competing for the same workers.


The U.S. economy may create as many as 758,800 new computer and IT jobs, a 22 percent increase, from 2010 to 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its outlook on job growth.

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EMR and Practice Management – Automation Realized

EMR and Practice Management – Automation Realized | EHR and Health IT Consulting |
Consumer and business marketing has substantially developed in regards to the holistic value delivered by a product or service. Rationale is the underlying basis to adjudicate the purchase decision on any item under question. ‘Is it functional towards my needs?’, ‘How does it measure up to its competitors in the market in regards to quality?’, ‘Is it good value for money?’. These are the most common questions while determining a final choice. It would be fair to say that before finalizing any single prospect, a cost-benefit analysis is of the utmost importance. The same holds true for physicians while implementing applications within their practice such as EMR and practice management. Since software such as EMR and practice management are long term investments, it is all the more important to have an in depth analysis before coming to a final decision. Furthermore, EMR and practice management may have serious implications on the quality of care delivered within a practice; therefore it is mandatory for providers to be completely thorough before implementing any application.


“After you part with your hard earned money on adopting a certain EMR or practice management system and you eventually discover that the costs outweigh the benefits, you will end up becoming aggravated. Hence, comprehensive research is fundamental prior to deciding upon any particular product or service you decide to apply within your practice”, says a Massachusetts based physician.


The core benefit of applying tools like EMR and practice management is that they have automated arduous processes which previously had to be carried out manually. In a modern doctor’s office, clinical processes are expedited and made easy through EMR, while administrative processes are automated through a practice management system. After the advent of electronic medical records, tasks which required long hours can now be wrapped up in a few minutes. Storing and retrieving documents is now done electronically within a few minutes. Furthermore, thanks to this technology the healthcare industry has ventured into the electronic sphere, where chances for any silly mistakes made are highly minimized.


Just a decade ago, no one would have envisioned that such applications would completely revolutionize the entire healthcare system – health information being transferred without barriers of location or boundaries of paper. In the world of today we see it happening; due to the incursion of health IT applications, healthcare as we know it has been transformed.

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The doctor will e-mail you now. And then see you later.

The doctor will e-mail you now. And then see you later. | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

When Ted Palen, a Kaiser Permanente researcher, started investigating what happens when doctors begin e-mailing with patients, he thought he would see the practice lighten workloads. Patients would get their questions answered remotely, with no need to turn up in person.

Palen just finished a five-year retrospective study of what happened when Kaiser Permanente in Colorado began allowing e-mail access to doctors in 2006. The outcome, as Palen notes in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association, was “contrary to our expectations”: Online access to doctors was associated with more doctor visits, not fewer.


There was a big spike in visits and phone calls to doctors’ offices right when the new e-mail access, called MyHealthManager, came online. The graph displayed divides the Kaiser Permanente population into those who were using the online access program, and those who were not:

That initial spike did taper off with in a few months. Even a year later, however, those who utilized the online access to doctors still had higher rates of doctor visits per month


There are a few possible explanations of what is happening here. One that the researchers discuss is an issue of self-selection: Those who would sign up for the online health manager might be more inclined to take a greater role in managing their own health. “Members who are already more likely to use services may selectively sign up for online access and then use this technology to gain even more frequent access rather than view it as a substitute for contact with the health care system,” the researchers write.

Via nrip
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4 reasons to go virtual for Healthcare IT

4 reasons to go virtual for Healthcare IT | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

First there was the migration to the cloud, now it's a push for virtualization. Gone (or soon to be gone) are the days where every nurse, doctor, and healthcare professional is chained to a desktop PC upon which they rely for access to their software and information.


Virtualization and the cloud are not necessarily the same thing. The latter is a remote data warehouse that stores information.


The former entails running an application on one computer through a browser on another machine, which could be hundreds of miles away. Imagine accessing a bulky and power-intensive application that normally requires a PC on a tablet. This is just one of many elements of flexibility that virtualization can provide.


The top 4 reasons:


1. Personalized healthcare applications.

2. Patients outreach.

3. Flexibility.

4. Security.


Virtualization and the cloud are not necessarily the same thing.

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When is patient data not patient data?

Data from implantable medical devices is not covered by HIPAA until it is sent to the patient’s physician (on a periodic basis and usually in edited form — other data is typically retained by the device manufacturer) and entered into the patient’s medical record. It is, rather, governed by FDA rules, and the recent attention to this issue has prompted an FDA spokesperson to say that it would review a plan to give data directly to patients, but that data should be directed to physicians who can interpret it for patients. This is where the action will be in the future: the FDA could develop a framework to allow sharing of this data directly with patients. (The data is collected wirelessly in patients’ homes from the implantable devices.)


The point is that is if a patient wants access to this data he or she should be able to get it. What can a patient do with this data? For one thing: correlate activities with effects (one example given by Hugo is his correlation of having a drink of scotch with the onset of an arrhythmia — correlated through manual recordkeeping — which led him to give up scotch) and thereby have the ability to manage one’s condition more proactively.


We can get copies of our medical records from health care professionals and facilities within 30 days under HIPAA — and within a just a few days if our providers are meaningful users of certified electronic health records (it ought to be quicker than that … some day). In some states now, and in all states sometime soon (we hope), we can get copies of our lab results as soon as they are available to our clinicians.

Via nrip
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7 Ways to Attract New Patients to Your Medical Practice

7 Ways to Attract New Patients to Your Medical Practice | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Promoting your practice doesn't have to be costly and time-consuming. Physicians and experts share some creative ways to lure more patients into your practice:


1. Get social. Have a professional website, a well-written blog, and an active Facebook page and Twitter feed.


2. YouTube. Ask patients for permission to tape and post online an interview you have with them. Then use your blog to promote the online video.


3. Become an expert. Write an article on avoidance and treatment tips for common medical issues.


4. Give out. Offer patients brochures, pens and fridge magnets with your office information printed on them.


5. Give back. Target your volunteer efforts to attract the most relevant patients.


6. Ask for help. Your current patients are a great opportunity for free publicity.


7. Say thanks. Send a handwritten thank-you card to new patients.


There are online tools that can make these tasks easier, and some EHR vendors offering such services as part of their solutions.

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What is HIE? | Health Information Exchange

What is HIE? | Health Information Exchange | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Health information exchange (HIE) allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers to securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically.


Reducing the need for the patient to transport or relay their medical history, lab results, images or prescriptions between health professionals. Instead, this information is shared between health care providers before the patient arrives for an appointment or goes to the pharmacy to pick up a medication.


What is happening in YOUR state?


Every state has received funds to modernize how patient health information is shared. More information about the State Health Information Exchange program—including what’s happening in each state—is available at


Timely sharing of vital patient information can better inform decision making at the point of care and allow providers to:


Avoid readmissions, Avoid medication errors, Improve diagnoses, Decrease duplicate testing.


There are currently three key forms of health information exchange:


1. Directed Exchange – ability to send and receive secure information electronically between care providers to support coordinated care:


2. Query-based Exchange – ability for providers to find and/or request information on a patient from other providers, often used for unplanned care:  


3. Consumer Mediated Exchange – ability for patients to aggregate and control the use of their health information among providers:

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Mobile health, 2012: myths & realities; product/service evolution, statistics & platforms

Mobile health, 2012: myths & realities; product/service evolution, statistics & platforms | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

An mhealth infographic from Manhattan Research

Via Andrew Spong, dbtmobile
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Patient Engagement and Use of Electronic Health Tools

Patient Engagement and Use of Electronic Health Tools | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

To accelerate adoption of electronic tools for increasing patient engagement the Center recommends the following:

Build awareness of benefits of electronic tools for patient engagementDevelop and disseminate principles, standards, policies, strategies, and best practices for using electronic tools to engage patientsBuild awareness of benefits of health care-related electronic tools among consumersIncrease federal, state and private sector incentives for the use of electronic tools to support engagement of patients in their healthcare

The report acknowledges the challenges to increasing patient engagement including:

Need for additional training and education on patient engagement in medical schools, residency programs, and continuing medical education programsDeepening patient-centered care and engagement at the cultural levelTaking steps to limit the amount of time in a traditional office visitCost and complexity of reaching out to and engaging individuals outside of an office settingAddressing communication needs of under served populations
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Why IT Companies Are Important For Doctors?

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) has the potential to transform global healthcare systems ensuring safer and more effective treatments while increasing the productivity, profitability and efficiency of practices.


IT companies have integrated path breaking medical research with ingenious information technology, giving us medical tools, data systems, applications and devices that can change the way healthcare is practiced. Not only has it enabled doctors to connect with patients and other doctors in different parts of the world, HIT makes it possible for them to access a global database of precious medical information.

Via nrip
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The digital transition to EHR - is it worth it?

The digital transition to EHR - is it worth it? | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

When it comes to using electronic health record (EHR) software, whether in a traditional practice or a multidisciplinary office, it usually comes down to just one question: Is it worth it?


For the vast majority of cases, the answer is Yes.



Great efficiency, lower expense;Increased collections;Improved third-party audit results;


Worth the effort?


Not all software is created equal, so choose your system wisely, accounting not only for what you need in your clinic now but also for how you see your clinic down the road.


For a limited time, the government is prompting you to adopt EHR software in your practice through funds provided by the HITECH Act (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). You can collect up to $44,000 over the next five years by adopting certified EHR, depending on your Medicare-allowed charges submitted each calendar year.


No doctor should implement EHR software solely for the incentive. But if you’re already considering it, the incentive is icing on the cake.

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The Social Business of Fighting Disease

The Social Business of Fighting Disease | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Whilst social media tools have primarily been used for commercial ends, there is a growing stream of evidence showing that it has scientific and social benefits as well. Nowhere is this more so than in the tracking and prevention of diseases.


For instance Google Flu Trends tracks search queries and applies its trending algorithm to gain an understanding of where flu outbreaks are occuring. A 21 month study by John Hopkins University found that the app was exceptionally good at predicting when hospitals would start to see people coming in with flu symptoms.


Primary investigator of the study, Dr. Richard Rothman, said that the results were promising for “eventually developing a standard regional or national early warning system for frontline health care workers.”


Social media context


It could be argued however that social media is a better method of tracking the spread of infection because it provides you with better context. Back in January the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reported that tweets and other public ‘status updates’ were a better way of determining the spread of cholera in post-earthquake Haiti than official channels. The research was conducted by scientists at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School and with over 6,000 people having died from the disease in Haiti, it has serious implications in terms of disaster prevention.


“When we analyzed news and Twitter feeds from the early days of the epidemic in 2010, we found they could be mined for valuable information on the cholera outbreak that was available up to two weeks ahead of surveillance reports issued by the government health ministry,” said Rumi Chunara, PhD, of the Informatics Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, and the lead author of the study. “The techniques we employed eventually could be used around the world as an affordable and efficient way to quickly detect the onset of an epidemic and then intervene with such things as vaccines and antibiotics.”

Via nrip
Luca M. Sergio's curator insight, December 20, 2012 10:26 AM
so much potential from the social space to identify disease trends and act at an early stage ....!

E-prescribing continues rapid growth

E-prescribing continues rapid growth | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

ONC examined changes in rates of physician e-prescribing, pharmacy capability to accept e-prescriptions and the volume of e-prescriptions,   at the national and state level between December 2008 and June 2012.


Some of the findings include:

In December 2008, 7% of physicians in the U.S. were e-prescribing using an EHR; by June 2012, almost half (48%) of physicians were e-prescribing using an EHR on the Surescripts network. As of June 2012, twenty-three states had more than half of their physicians e-prescribing. States that had the highest growth in percent of physicians e-prescribing using an EHR include New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota from December 2008-June 2012. Massachusetts (77%), New Hampshire (74%), and Iowa (73%) had the highest rate of physicians e-prescribing through an EHR. From December 2008 to June 2012, nineteen states increased the percent of physicians e- prescribing through an EHR by 50% or more. The growth in e-prescribing has not been limited to physicians. In the same period, the percent of community pharmacies enabled to accept e-prescriptions grew from 76% to 94%. Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas had the largest increases in community pharmacies enabled to accept e- prescriptions. The vast majority of pharmacies are enabled to accept e-prescriptions in Rhode Island (97%), Delaware (98%), and Nevada (96%).



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Why EMR is a dirty word to most physicians

Why EMR is a dirty word to most physicians | EHR and Health IT Consulting |
EMRs do not improve productivity and it is highly questionable that EMRs lead to better patient outcomes.


Don’t get me wrong, EMRs (electronic medical records) are inevitable. Over the long-run they are almost certainly good for physicians, patients and the healthcare industry.


However, their origin and the ulterior motives currently driving their adoption is sowing the seeds of their failure. First, what is actually happening out there? The most recent CDC data would seem to be encouraging for EMR adoption, with EMR use (finally) passing 50%.

Too bad there is more to the story.


If you look at adoption rates for so called “fully functional EMRs,” the adoption rate remains in the low teens (full data for 2011 is not yet available). So why is there an almost 4-fold discrepancy between “any EMR” and “fully functional EMR”? If EMRs are so great, why does the government have to essentially “bribe” physicians to adopt them through incentives such as the meaningful use incentive program? Why is this so important to them that they didn’t even wait for the healthcare affordability act to implement this “incentive”? (They put it in the stimulus package after Obama had only been in office a few months.)


The 50% adoption rates seen in the first link reflect the presence of any type of an EMR-like technology. While it is a great headline for sure, the second link shows that this is an overly broad declaration. When we look at “fully functional systems,” meaning they are being used for a full work-flow solution, we get numbers in the low teens instead. (When you subtract out unique situations such as Kaiser, the VA, and a few large independent doctor networks, I suspect the actual number is much lower.)


One reason that incentives and threats of decreased payment are necessary for EMR adoption is that the industry and physicians have known for years that EMRs do not improve productivity and that it is highly questionable that EMRs lead to better patient outcomes. So why is all this taxpayer debt being accrued by throwing borrowed money at the healthcare industry to drive EMR adoption, if the end users are so disenchanted? As Jonathan Bush, the Founder-CEO of AthenaHealth (a major EMR supplier) famously said, “It’s healthcare information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers,” and because it is actually all about control.


The goal of EMRs is to wrestle control of healthcare away from the doctor-patient relationship into the hands of third parties who can then implement their policies by simply removing a button or an option in the EMR. If you can’t select a particular treatment option, for all intents and purposes the option doesn’t exist or the red tape to choose it is so painful that there is little incentive to “fight the system.”


For patients, this means that they will only be able to consume the healthcare that they “qualify” for or be forced to find another way to obtain the care that they want and need. It is the second outcome that is the most intriguing, because as “shoppers,” patients will want to be informed and have choices as they take on more responsibility for the cost and quality of their own care. This approach works very well with Health Savings Accounts, which were conveniently de-emphasized in the healthcare reform effort. Like the lightning going to ground, this is the inevitable future for healthcare in this country (assuming the other alternative, an acceleration to a single-payer system does not occur first).


For physicians … well, it isn’t hard to figure out where this is all heading. EMRs are quickly becoming the instrument by which we are controlled and managed. As an example, many organizations are already starting to restrict diagnostic testing and therapies via EMR.


What’s next? Patient referrals? It will be the final step in subjugating physicians.


So why is genuine EMR adoption struggling so much? After all, one may argue that the accessibility of instant data that technology now enables is the greatest single advance in patient care so far this century. With so much money being thrown at the problem, one might expect a much greater adoption. Why hasn’t it played out in a much more positive way?


This comes back to the origin and ulterior motives of EMRs. First, EMRs have been largely a top down effort. Rather than working with physicians to design the technologies and drive adoption, the experience (and almost universally the perception) is that the technology has been thrust upon physicians by administrators. Compounding this is the unintended consequences of the meaningful use government incentives (or cash-for-clunkers program to use Jonathan Bush’s, more colorful language). Having left the guidelines vague and largely written by a small group of industry insiders, most products have become a Tower of Babel with atrocious user interfaces and user experiences that … well, I don’t blame my fellow physicians for not wanting to use them. In addition to being expensive, they are complex, inefficient, and do not make physicians or their staff more productive.


Widespread adoption of an EMR (or multiple compatible EMRs) that is intuitive and easy to use, that empowers the end user and patients, and that actually helps to make the healthcare system more efficient would be a good thing for doctors, patients, and the industry. However, unless we recognize what the ultimate goals are and better involve the people most critical to their effective use (physicians), I believe Jonathan’s prediction will be true and cash-for-clunkers applied to the healthcare sector will turn out about as successful as that other government program — TARP.

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Health care providers leave patients' data vulnerable

Health care providers leave patients' data vulnerable | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Data breaches plague the vast majority of health care providers, with 94 percent of health organizations reporting at least one breach of patient information in the past two years, a new survey shows.

In addition, 45 percent of 80 organizations that responded to the Ponemon Institute Patient Privacy & Data Security survey reported more than five data breaches during the same two-year period. Slightly more than half of the organizations said the compromised information involved medical identity, with a quarter of those saying the theft affected a patient’s medical treatment.


More than half of the organizations said they have little or no confidence in their ability to detect all breaches, according to a news release. Data breaches cost the U.S. health-care industry an average of $7 billion per year, or $1.2 million per organization, the study finds.


Most of the breaches resulted from lost electronic devices, employees’ mistakes, technology glitches, third-party errors and criminal attacks. The survey also found that 69 percent of surveyed organizations do not secure devices such as insulin pumps that hold protected health information.


The risks will increase with the growing use of mobile and cloud technologies, the study concludes.


For example, 81 percent of the organizations surveyed allow employees to use their own mobile devices, but 54 percent can’t guarantee the security of those devices. And while 91 percent of hospitals in the survey use cloud-based services, 47 percent are unsure that the cloud data are secure.

Nearly three out of four hospitals surveyed said they don’t have the resources to detect or prevent data breaches.


“Clearly, in order for the trend to shift, organizations need to commit to this problem and make significant changes,” said Rick Kam, president and co-founder of Portland, Ore.-based ID Experts, which sponsored the study. “Otherwise, as the data indicates, they will be functioning in continual operational disruption.”


The Ponemon Institute conducts independent research on data privacy and information security.

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HIMSS survey: 80% of clinicians use iPads, smartphone apps to improve patient care

HIMSS survey: 80% of clinicians use iPads, smartphone apps to improve patient care | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

In corporate offices, on the street, in coffeehouses, and in the home, smartphones and tablets are becoming ubiquitous, changing the way people interact with each other and interface with the world. Doctor’s offices are no exception to this trend, as mobile devices like iPads, laptops, and smartphones revolutionize the way physicians capture information and connect with patients.


Laptops and workstations on wheels remain the most popular devices for physician use, since they provide direct access to the full EHR interface, but tablets are catching up quickly. With the popularity and relative cost-effectiveness of tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire, and other Android devices, even devices not specifically designed for healthcare are finding a place in the consultation room. According to the survey, approximately 30% of physicians and non-physician clinicians use mobile devices to facilitate between one quarter to three quarters of patient services, while 9% indicate that 75% to all of their services rely on mobile technology to some degree.

Via nrip
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Engaging Health Care Consumers Through Information Technologies

Engaging Health Care Consumers Through Information Technologies | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Despite being heavy users of technology in everyday activities such as online shopping and banking, consumers tend to make less use of technology to support their health care decisions. Nevertheless, they are enthusiastic about a technologically enabled health care system that enhances its accessibility, reduces paperwork, increases access to their personal health information, and improves its overall performance.


Effective use of information technologies represents both an unmet need and an opportunity for the health care system to better engage consumers.

Via nrip
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Make IT vendors your partner for a smooth EMR transition

Make IT vendors your partner for a smooth EMR transition | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Vendors talk about partnering with medical practices all the time – especially in the information technology (IT) world of electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management systems.


But, ask any physician about their IT solution and most will express dissatisfaction, unhappiness, or harsh complaints.


The reason? For the most part, medical groups are not trained effectively for integrating IT into their work flow.


Vendors complain that physicians just won’t make the time to be trained. Training is critical before going live on an EHR, and ongoing training is essential for optimizing the EHR implementation after go-live.


First-time buyers don’t know what they don’t know and have been lulled into complacency by the simplification of so many consumer technologies.


EHR complexity requires training in earnest and all too often the unknowing buyer eliminates many hours of training during initial negotiations with the vendor. The vendor is willing to go along with it because they want to make the sale of their software.


Effective use of technology can control and reduce operating costs in a medical practice. Technology can drive revenue, monitor reimbursement, and position and support a practice’s participation in payers’ new reimbursement models. But only if the practice is well trained in the utilization of that technology.

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Online access to doctors increase office visits

Online access to doctors increase office visits | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

A new study showed that patients with online access to their doctors - namely e-mail - actually scheduled more in-person office visits.


Uncle Sam wants you to email your doctor. A federal law passed in 2009 says that physicians have to start offering their patients online communication, or Medicare will start docking how much it pays them in the future.


Some patients hope that having online access to their doctors will mean they can cut down on how often they have to go to the doctor's office. But new research suggests that patients with online access actually schedule more office visits.


Palen, who's also a researcher, wanted to see if offering patients online access to their doctors would mean they'd need to come in to the office less often. Previous studies found around a 20 percent drop in patient visits once they had online access.


But Palen's much larger study, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that patients with online access actually scheduled more visits.


Read th study at:


Using health information technology to foster efficient health care delivery is an important component of health care reform. Studies indicate that patients desire online access to their medical records and e-mail communication with their clinicians.

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Which social media site to use when for hospitals and medical practices (infographic)

Which social media site to use when for hospitals and medical practices (infographic) | EHR and Health IT Consulting |
You wouldn't use an otoscope to check a heart rate, so why use LinkedIn for patient education? This infographic illustrates the best social media site to use, based on what you're trying to do.

Via Dean Berg, Chanfimao, dbtmobile
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