Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

Kathleen Sebelius Sworn in as HHS Secretary – Impact on EHR

Posted on April 30, 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.

I’m sure that most of you in healthcare saw that Kathleen Sebelius was finally sworn in as the new HHS secretary. You can read the reuters report on the confirmation and swearing in of Kathleen Sebelius.

From the report, there’s no doubt that a lot of Kathleen Sebelius’s first job will be to work on this swine flu. No doubt a very important thing for her to keep an eye on and do what she can to protect us from having a major outbreak.

However, I must admit that I get the feeling that were going to hear very little from this new HHS secretary about EMR and EHR. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see her getting really involved in all the discussions of EHR implementation and the $18 billion of EHR stimulus money as part of the HITECH Act (ARRA).

Certainly she’ll be around for major announcements, but I get the strong impression that it’s actually David Blumenthal that’s going to be in the trenches doing the work of defining “certified EHR” and “meaningful use.”

Anyone know more about the situation that can help clarify what might happen, who will be responsible and whether Kathleen Sebelius will do much for EMR as HHS secretary?

My EHR Consultant Article as a Podcast

Posted on 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.

Some of you might remember that I relatively recently wrote an article about types of EHR consultants for MDNG magazine. It was a fun article to write. Considering my word limitations, I had to limit it to just a very specific topic. However, I still have a bunch of other commentary on EHR consultants that I plan on posting either on this blog or as an e-book eventually, but I digress.

What I thought was pretty cool about MDNG was that they took my article and not only published it online and as the cover story of the magazine, but they also did a podcast of a doctor reading my article on EHR consultants.

I love their use of technology in this way. I wish computer voices would improve and then I could easily publish this whole blog as a series of podcasts. Would be pretty cool.

Innovator’s Prescription Book

Posted on April 29, 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.

A book title recently came across my twitter stream called: The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care The title sounded familiar and when I went and learned more about the book, I realized it was from the same author of the relatively famous business book called The Innovator’s Dilemma The book is written by Harvard Business School’s Clayton M. Christensen who is a very popular writer at Harvard business school. I’ve read a number of his works and the man is just good at what he does.

Of course, this makes me wonder if he knows anything about health care. Has anyone read this book? I’d love to hear some reviews about whether it’s worth my time to read it or not.

Senator Calls for Open Source EMR

Posted on 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 love when senators come out and write bills requesting for the government to fund an open source EMR. Turns out the most recent request came from Senator John D. Rockefeller has proposed a new law which would establish federal grants to develop open source software and standards for electronic medical records. You can read more about it on ars technica.

I have to admit that I strongly support the concept of open source EMR and really open source software in general. I just don’t know why government thinks that government grants would really help open source software. I could be wrong, but has there ever been a significant open source software project that was grant funded by the government? It just generally seems contrary to the open source development model.

I guess I just wonder how a senator gets it in his mind to write a proposal for open source EMR grants. Did an open source project request for him to do it? Where did the senator get this idea that it was a good idea to have an open source EMR? Did he consult the existing EMR projects to see if this is something that they would find beneficial to the cause?

Maybe he in fact did do all of these things, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Senator Rockefeller knows little about open source software and in particular the challenges that open source EMR software is currently facing.

HHS HIT Website

Posted on April 27, 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.

Today I came across what someone called a new Health and Human Services (HHS) health information technology (HIT) website. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the same graphic designer and web developer that have been doing such a fine job with the various websites that Obama has been putting up.

I find the first page interesting since it has HHS asserting the following:
Health information technology (Health IT) allows comprehensive management of medical information and its secure exchange between health care consumers and providers. Broad use of health IT will:

  • Improve health care quality
  • Prevent medical errors
  • Reduce health care costs
  • Increase administrative efficiencies
  • Decrease paperwork
  • Expand access to affordable care

Interoperable health IT will improve individual patient care. It will also bring many public health benefits including:

  • Early detection of infectious disease outbreaks around the country
  • Improved tracking of chronic disease management
  • Evaluation of health care based on value enabled by the collection of de-identified price and quality information that can be compared.

I wish that each of these bullet points had links to all of the research that shows these are indeed the outcomes of HIT. This should include the research that argues against HIT being able to solve these problems. That would turn the list into an invaluable resource on the benefits and challenges of HIT.

I’m going to need to take some time to look at the rest of the site. However, the link that said “Standards and Certifications” certainly caught my eye and is guaranteed to be a future blog post.

ePrescribing Through Online AMA Platform

Posted on 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 was recently sent a news release about DrFirst offering their ePrescribing services to physicians through a new online American Medical Association (AMA) platform. Here’s a short description of the new AMA platform:

DrFirst is the first company to announce that it is offering its services through the new AMA online platform. The platform, which is currently in beta testing, is aimed at providing physicians access to information, products, services and resources that can facilitate medical practice and ease adoption of evolving health information technologies. The AMA aims to launch its new platform in early 2010.

I find the concept of the AMA offering a platform for doctors interesting. Does anyone else know anything about this platform? On face it just sounds like the AMA trying to get a piece of the revenue that can be generated from adopting these technologies. I’m just not sure why someone would use this new AMA portal instead of just buying the software themselves. What advantages does the AMA portal provide outside of being a recommendation source for various software?

Teaching Med Students About EMR

Posted on 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.

This week I have a chance to do a lecture about EMR to a bunch of med students at a local medical school. There are so many facets to EMR, that I’m really trying to figure out which EMR concepts would be most valuable to a med student. I’d love to get some feedback from my readers on what they think would be most valuable. I’d especially like to hear from any doctors about what they wish they’d known about EMR when they were in medical school.

If you have ideas and suggestions, please leave them in the comments or if you prefer to keep your comments private, you can fill out my contact form. I’d really like to provide these students the most valuable information possible so your feedback is really appreciated.

openEHR and Clinical Knowledge Manager

Posted on April 24, 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.

A reader recently commented about something called openEHR. Maybe I was a little swayed by anything that says open since open source has used the term open so much. The idea of an open EHR sounded really interesting to me. I’m still not sure I completely understand the plan of openEHR, but I was put in contact with a fine lady named Heather Leslie who is working with openEHR on a product called Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM).

I must admit that when I read the various information on clinical knowledge manager’s attempt to create clinical archetypes I was pretty lost. Maybe I’m just dumb or maybe across the pond (the project started in the UK) they are just using different terminology. Possibly it’s a little of both.

When I got this email about clinical knowledge manager the concept of creating clinical archetypes was new to me. I could be wrong, but reading it now they should have just said their creating standards for clinical data. That’s a concept I can understand and appreciate.

From what I can tell, it seems like CKM is essentially a wiki-like platform for displaying and improving these clinical standards (or archetypes if you prefer). I really think that the power of the crowd is the only way clinical standards are going to be defined, so the idea of a wiki-like website where people can collaborate around clinical standards sounds exciting. My only fear with it all is that if I’m having trouble cutting through much of the technical jargon, I wonder how many doctors will want to participate in this discussion. This seems like a really noble goal, but I can help but question if CKM and openEHR are not keeping EHR interoperability simple.

Time will tell how many EHR choose to adopt the clinical archetypes that openEHR creates. That will be the true measure of how valuable CKM will be to healthcare. I will be interested to see how this rolls out and if they can garner enough EHR interest and participation to make it a viable standard.

The following is an email about participating in clinical knowledge manager and more information on how it works: Read more..

CCHIT and Open Source HIMSS Meeting – Audio and Powerpoint Slides

Posted on 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’ve been meaning to post about the CCHIT and open source meeting at HIMSS for a while now and just haven’t ever gotten around to it. I did post my twitter thoughts on the CCHIT/Foss meeting, but I think there’s plenty more that could be said about that meeting.

For those of you that missed it, you can find the audio of the meeting on the CCHIT website and I’ll embed the powerpoint presentation from the meeting below:


My biggest complaint from the meeting was a slide that Mark Leavitt used to describe why he feels that CCHIT isn’t excluding the little guy. Basically it talks about the size and market share of the EHR vendors that have applied for CCHIT certification (you can see it as slide 12 above).

I can’t quite place why this measure feels wrong, but it does. Maybe it goes back to something one of my professors taught me when doing research analysis. He basically said, that when first looking at the numbers does it feel right. Considering what I know about the EHR and EMR market and CCHIT certification in particular, I know that something doesn’t feel right. Let me explain a few reasons and hopefully someone else smarter than me can comment on what else is wrong with this measurement.

First, the graph showing practice sizes served is misleading. I don’t know specifically how they found out which size practices a certified EHR vendor served, but I’m guessing it was self reported by the EHR vendor itself. If this is the case, most EHR vendors will say they can work in any practice size. So, that basically makes the data pretty useless. Possibly you could look at the size of the practices using the EHR system, but even then you get into trouble because how do you define “using” the system. A few EHR vendors can claim tons of purchases of their EHR software, but then you find out that very few if any of those purchases are actually implemented.

The second part of the slide shows a nice pie chart of the size of EHR vendors that are certified. The challenge I have with this chart is that it may just illustrate how small the EHR industry really is right now. The revenues of EHR companies are spread out over 300-400 EHR companies. Considering 5-15% (depending on where you look) adoption, that means that the majority of EHR companies are all small businesses with very low revenue.

I bet if we did a percentage of EHR vendors that did CCHIT certification for each of their annual revenue classifications you’d see something like this:
> $100 million – 100% CCHIT certified
$21 – 100 million – 90% CCHIT certified
$11 – 20 million – 50% CCHIT certified
$1 – 10 million – 15% CCHIT certified
< $1 million - 3% CCHIT certified I'm just pulling these numbers out of the air, but I think you can see the principle of how CCHIT certification is being adopted by large EHR vendors and not as many small EHR vendors. CCHIT's measure is just wrong. It should be percent in that EHR size category that are getting certified. It's not the percentage of all CCHIT vendors that are doing it. Reminds me of the common phrase that statistics can tell you anything you want to know. Something for all you EMR and EHR fans to chew on over the weekend.

Fake HIT and EMR Twitter Accounts

Posted on April 23, 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.

Many people know that I’m quite fascinated by Twitter. I love it and I love connecting with people on Twitter. However, today I came across a clearly fake twitter account. At least to me it was easy to see it was fake. It was a twitter account supposedly for Dr. David Blumenthal. Yes, the name might be familiar to many people here. How did I know it was fake? It linked to some awful news site. Plus, the tweets were just odd and so you could tell it wasn’t really Blumenthal at all.

What scares me is that many people in IT and healthcare won’t know that it’s not him. In fact, that’s why I’m not going to add a link to the fake account. I guess there’s no harm in someone following a fake account. Some of the fake accounts on twitter are really funny. In this case it was someone just promoting their waste of a website. That’s not something I like.

I’ve posted my personal twitter account on here before, but I recently just started a general EMR, EHR and HIT twitter account. It’s currently aggregating some of my favorite HIT and EMR bloggers. We’ll see how it evolves over time. I know I’ve used it to keep track of a bunch of great content that’s being created.

Also, thanks for those who have signed up for the EMR and HIPAA email subscription. It’s been growing like crazy. Nice to think that people enjoy the content I’ve created.