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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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EHR + Geography = Population Health Management

EHR + Geography  = Population Health Management | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

Duke Medicine is combining the data of EHRs with geography information to create a program which can predict patient diagnoses.

Duke University Medicine is using geographical information to turn electronic health records (EHRs) into population health predictors. By integrating its EHR data with its geographic information system, Duke can enable clinicians to predict patients' diagnoses.

According to Health Data Management, Sohayla Pruitt was hired by Duke to run this project; she has a master’s degree in geographic information systems, or GIS. “I thought, wow, if we could automate some of this, pre select some of the data, preprocess a lot and then sort of wait for an event to happen, we could pass it through our models, let them plow through thousands of geospatial variables and [let the system] tell us the actual statistical significance,” Pruitt says. “Then, once you know how geography is influencing events and what they have in common, you can project that to other places where you should be paying attention because they have similar probability.”

iHealth Beat explains that the system works by using an automated geocoding system to verify addresses with a U.S. Postal Service database. These addresses are then passed through a commercial mapping database to geocode them. Finally, the system imports all U.S. Census Bureau data with a block group ID. This results in an assessment of socioeconomic indicators for each group of patients.

“When we visually map a population and a health issue, we want to give an understanding about why something is happening in a neighborhood,” says Pruitt. “Are there certain socioeconomic factors that are contributing? Do they not have access to certain things? Do they have too much access to certain things like fast food restaurants?”

Duke is working to develop a proof of concept and algorithms that would map locations and patients. They are also working on a system to track food-borne illnesses.

“It’s easy to visualize or just say, ‘Oh, this person lives in a low income neighborhood with lots of fast food restaurants.’ You could probably do that very quickly,” Pruitt says. ”But the only way to really understand the statistical significance of what’s going on and where else it’s happening or going to happen is through infrastructure development, by pre-downloading that data, prepping and pre-relating that data to every address and every EHR.”



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Why the next wave of health IT innovation will build on EMRs, cater to physican happiness

Why the next wave of health IT innovation will build on EMRs, cater to physican happiness | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

There’s no shortage of primary physicians, but rather a shortage of primary physicians who are able to use their time efficiently in today’s healthcare environment.

 

That’s why the industry is moving away from the first version of the EMR, according to Dr. Lyle Berkowitz, the associate chief medical officer of innovation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Medical Director of IT & Innovation at for Northwest Memorial Physicians Group in Chicago.

 

The inaugural EMRs are basically computerized versions of paper records that weren’t necessarily designed with usability in mind, he noted. So rather than saving time and making administrative processes easier, they’re in some cases adding to doctors’ workloads.

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Benefits of Online Medical Records Outweigh the Risks

Benefits of Online Medical Records Outweigh the Risks | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it
Just as it's now easy to visit an ATM from just about any bank in almost any country and access funds stored at your local bank, it ought to be possible for any medical provider -- with your permission -- to access your medical records from anywhere.

 

A couple of years ago I arrived at my hotel in Berlin after a 12 hour flight and noticed that I had forgotten to pack medication I was taking at the time. Of course, I had no idea the actual name of the medication, let alone the exact dosage. And when I discovered it was missing, it was the middle of the night in California, so I couldn't call my clinic or pharmacy.

 

But it wasn't a problem. I logged on to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's My Health Online website, found the prescription information and -- with the hotel's assistance -- arranged an immediate phone consultation with a local doctor, who prescribed replacement pills. The only reason I needed to speak to a doctor was because the German pharmacy wouldn't fill a foreign prescription. Had I been in the United States, I could have skipped the phone call and used the site to request that the prescription be sent to a local pharmacy.

 

That service, which is now also available via a smartphone app, has made me a smarter health care consumer. Thanks to the site and app I can now access all of my medical records, including most test results, notes from physician visits, preventive services and more. I can also use the service to request appointments and exchange messages with clinic doctors. It even lets you graph vital signs and numeric test results to see how you're doing over time.

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The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records

The Ups and Downs of Electronic Medical Records | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it
Electronic record systems can make health care more efficient and less expensive, but their potential for mistakes and confusion can be frustrating, costly and even dangerous.
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