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GE Finance at HIMSS Ready to Finance EHR

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HIMSS is far gone now, but I have an enduring thought in my head that I can’t let pass. I was reading through my Twitter stream during HIMSS and one person commented (sorry I forgot who) about GE Finance having a prominent presence at HIMSS. How nice of GE to provide one stop shopping for doctors. Get an EHR and your financing all in one spot.

Ok, so I’m being a little facetious. It’s just really interesting to see how many doctors approach the financing of an EHR.

If you look at the EMR and EHR matrix of companies I’ve started to create, you can see that there’s still a large number of EMR and EHR companies that are going with the standard one time fee plus annual maintenance. However, I must admit that I’ve been seeing a lot of movement away from the enormous one time up front fee and a move towards more of a subscription based payment model.

The subscription based model just seems to make more sense for doctors since you can make the payment as you get the revenue. Plus, you can often end the subscription if the software doesn’t live up to your aspirations for an EMR. Much harder to do once you’ve sent a large one time payment to your EMR vendor.

I’m not necessarily arguing for either model. The fact is that you should do some good financial analysis to compare the subscription model over time versus the one time payment. Not a terribly hard financial analysis, but definitely worth taking the time to compare. Maybe I should put together a spreadsheet that will take care of the modeling for people.

What is certain is that the HITECH act and ARRA is dangling a bunch of money in front of doctors. However, it’s clear that doctors are going to be on their own to find the money to fund an EMR with the hope that they get some of the EHR stimulus money down the road. How they do this and how close to the edge of financial ruin they go is going to be interesting to watch.

Looks like I need to add creditors like GE Finance to the list of HITECH Act big winners.

April 21, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Medscribbler Announces Open Source Tablet EMR

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I recently became aware of a new open source tablet EMR that was going to be offered by Medscribbler. Everyone that reads this blog should know that I’m a huge fan of open source (see my previous posts about open source EMR). It’s about time that a really strong tablet based EMR software was available as open source software.

Open source EMR purists will probably be a little disgruntled that Medscribbler is built on top of other technologies which are not completely open source. However, I give them a pass for now since the open source community has so far failed to deliver very good tablet based software.

You can find more information about the free Medscribbler EMR software here or at their sourceforge page. The following is the official press release announcement:

Medscribbler is released as an Open Source electronic medical record

Scriptnetics, the leader in Tablet PC mobile healthcare applications, will announce Monday its release of the proprietary source code for Medscribbler electronic medical record, EMR, to the open source community. Installable components and the code for programmers are available at the globally recognized open source portal, Sourceforge.net.

“Releasing a Medscribbler Open Source EMR is the next logical step to drive the innovation that is needed to get to a point where the majority of physicians and other health care providers take up electronic medical records,” said Michael Milne, Chief Executive Officer of Scriptnetics. “We hope to encourage a stable, widely available and affordable entry level EMR that uses cutting edge technology with the mobility of the Tablet PC,” he continued.

To provide focus and stability to move the project forward Scriptnetics has assigned programmers to manage and contribute new programming code on a regular basis. Other programmers wanting to contribute but needing help in understanding the considerable amount of code that already exists can access live help and support. For programmers looking to maximize their skills, project suggestions are posted in a forum.

The new Open Source EMR is called Medscribbler Community and is the first vertical, enterprise level open source project to be designed specifically for handwriting recognition on the Tablet PC. Medscribbler Community is already being used by many healthcare providers both in stand alone computer situations and client server multi computer offices. This cutting edge EMR is also being used in Internet WAN mobile remote access situations.

Scriptnetics is the largest vendor of penable Tablet PC designed medical software in the world. The company’s flagship product, Medscribbler, has been distributed since 2003 and is being used by healthcare providers in the United States and Canada. Its offices are located in Wilmington, Delaware and Moncton, New Brunswick. www.scriptnetics.com and www.medscribbler.com

SourceForge’s web sites connect millions of technology professionals and enthusiasts each day. Combining user-developed content, online marketplaces and e-commerce, SourceForge is the global technology community’s information exchange network and the world’s largest open source software development and distribution environment. Its offices are located in Mountainview, California.

For more information on Medscribbler Community see: www.emrfreesoftware.com and sourceforge.net/projects/medscribbler/

Press Contacts:
Michael Ferguson
Scriptnetics
(506) 859-9271
prnews@scriptnetics.com

Full Disclosure: Medscribbler is a an advertiser on EMR and HIPAA.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Will ICD-10 Solve Interoperability Problems?

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I’ve been hearing a bit of discussion about ICD-10 really helping to solve some of the problems of interoperability. Their contention is basically that ICD-10 is more precise in its description of the diagnosis and so therefore the information that is coded using ICD-10 will then provide more specific codified information that can then be rather easily shared. If you haven’t read about the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, here’s a good article about the transition.

In theory, this is completely accurate. If everything went as outlined, we could really get a lot of interesting information for studies and for interoperability of health data out of our ICD-10 codes.

The problem is that in reality ICD-10 is just going to cause even more problems for sharing quality data. Not because we can’t share the data. That’s a topic for a different discussion. The problem is that we’re never going to achieve quality input of diagnosis codes.

I’m not a doctor and so I’m not going to give a specific example here. However, I think all we have to do is look at the current ICD-9 diagnosing patterns. I’ve seen from first hand experience that often a doctor gets stuck searching for the right ICD-9 code. Right or wrong, they end up picking a code that may not be exactly the right code for what they’ve seen. Maybe they choose NOW (Not Otherwise Specified) instead of the specific diagnosis that would be more appropriate. Add in the complexity of diagnosis requirements for getting the most out of your insurance billing and I don’t think anyone would disagree with the assertion that ICD-9 code entry is far from accurate.

I’m not trying to place blame. I believe this is a chronic problem in our health system that those in the trenches have known about for years. My point here is that if we can’t get the rather “simple” set of ICD-9 codes right, then how can we ever expect the much more complex set of ICD-10 codes right?

Everyone knows the common phrase of garbage data in produces garbage data out. When we’re talking about interoperability of EHR software, doctors really have to think if they want other people’s garbage in their system.

ICD-10 really could produce some awesome information if used properly. The challenge we face is producing systems that codify the data properly so we have meaningful interoperability of healthcare data.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.