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EMR and HIPAA Readers

Posted on January 31, 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.

A lot of people have been asking me lately about the readership of EMR and HIPAA. In a few months, I’d like to do a full survey to get some feedback from the readers of EMR and HIPAA. Until then, I thought I’d just do a quick poll to get an idea of who reads EMR and HIPAA:

Thanks for voting. Hopefully this will also help me to tailor the content towards the topics readers would like me to cover.

Q&A: ARRA EMR Stimulus Money for Non Medicare Providers

Posted on January 29, 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.

EMR and HIPAA Reader Submitted Question:
Is there a way for a provider to get stimulus money for EMR if not currently a Medicare provider?

Besides Medicare, there is also stimulus money available through Medicaid. In fact, Medicaid has more money per provider available than Medicare, but also has different requirements to obtain the EMR stimulus money. Outside of that, ONC has a number of grants that might be available for organizations that qualify and want to go through the grant writing process. Otherwise, NO there is no stimulus money if you don’t take Medicare, Medicaid or qualify for some special grants.

Check out all of EMR and HIPAA’s EMR Stimulus Questions and Answers.

Reasons for Adopting an EHR

Posted on January 28, 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.

I’m still a little bit partial to my list of EMR benefits which is pretty specific in its description of the possible benefits of an EMR. However, today in an EMR stimulus webinar they listed the following reasons for adopting an EHR:

  • Financial
  • Quality
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Clinical Research
  • Community Leadership

Not a bad list of reasons to consider for those people on the fence about adopting an EMR.

Q&A: ARRA Stimulus Money for Already Installed EMR

Posted on January 27, 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.

EMR and HIPAA Reader Submitted Question:
Can you get ARRA stimulus money for systems already installed? Thank you.

The simple answer is YES!

The longer answer is that ARRA makes no differentiation between those that have previously installed an EMR, are currently installing an EMR or that will install an EMR in the future. the HITECH Act (ARRA) just requires that a provider shows “meaningful use” of a “certified EHR.” So, as long as the EMR which you previously installed is a “certified EHR” (still yet to be defined) and can support you showing “meaningful use” (almost defined), then you’d be entitled to the EMR stimulus money.

If you’d like to have a question for me to answer, submit it to the EMR and HIPAA contact us page.

EMR and HIPAA Sponsor Updates

Posted on January 26, 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 been a little while since I thanked the companies that sponsor EMR and HIPAA. Please check out the various vendors that support the writing I do on this site. Plus, check the bottom of this post for some other methods of advertising an EMR, an IT company, and EMR consultants.

First up is a quick look at some of the new EMR and HIPAA sponsors:

  • Ambir – I’m really excited to have Ambir as a sponsor on EMR and HIPAA. They’re the first device company to appear on our site. Ambir is an industry leader in digital imaging. Those who have an EMR know how important finding the right scanner equipment is to your office. I know I’ve burned through a few scanners that couldn’t handle the load. Check out Ambir’s recently announced scanner product.
  • MD-IT – I first became familiar with MD-IT when I learned about a Medical Transcription Service Consortium for Sharing Patient Data. It’s initiatives like this that really make MD-IT an interesting company. I won’t be surprised at all if a transcription company like MD-IT really makes a dent in health information exchange.
  • Sfax – Secure electronic faxing. HIPAA audit trails. Store and find faxes. Save time and money. Electronic faxing is really an essential part of any EMR implementation. Plus, it can be implemented before even selecting an EMR.
  • TBD Consulting – A full-service consulting firm that specializes in employee performance improvement. In healthcare, they focus on Clinical Transformation and Healthcare Talent Management. They’re also doing some interesting things with Second Life and they’re also pretty avid bloggers.

I’m also always grateful for those sponsors who keep renewing with me. Medscribbler, InterSystems have both been sponsoring EMR and HIPAA for a while and it’s much appreciated.

I’m also working on some less expensive sponsorship options starting first with my EMR and EHR Vendors List for a premium listing on that page. I’ll be redesigning that page soon to accommodate it. Plus, I’ll be adding 2 new pages that will list IT Support Companies who specialize in EMR and also an EMR Consultants List. I expect it will be only $50-100 per Year to advertise on those pages. Please drop me a note if you’re interested in these new premium listings.

Otherwise, adverting on EMR and EHR has been going very well also. Plus, plans for HIMSS are starting to take shape. The first company to sponsor my coverage of HIMSS is on board and I’ve got 4 different companies interested in sponsoring a blogger/twitter meetup at HIMSS. So, if you’re going to HIMSS let me know in the comments and I’ll let you know when and where the meetup will take place.

Finally, the EMR job board has been doing Great! A job listing on the site goes for only $30 and it’s gotten 184 views already (or $0.16 per view). I haven’t seen any other healthcare IT or EMR job boards that do that well.

Ok, so much for a short post about my sponsors. I guess there’s just a lot going on. Plus, I haven’t even mentioned a future EMR selection e-Book and EMR conference I’m putting together.

Large EMR Vendor Bias Towards EMR Stimulus

Posted on January 25, 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.

One thing I’m starting to notice is that it seems that ALL of the large EMR vendors are strong proponents of the EMR stimulus. All but a couple of the comments I’ve found from large EMR vendors laud praise upon the HITECH act. Listening to the information they’re putting out, you’d think that this was a fantastic stimulus package that will just be too good to pass up.

Now, I’m not saying that what these EMR vendors are saying is a lie (although some of the things they’ve said are). What I am saying is take a look at what motivation an EMR vendor has to do anything but prop up the EMR stimulus package. As far as I can see, there’s little benefit to their EMR business to talk poorly about the EMR stimulus. EMR vendors want people to think that the EMR stimulus is simple, effective and incredibly well done. If this were the case, many doctors should and would be all over it and EMR vendors would see increased sales. If EMR vendors were to describe it as complicated, ineffective and poorly defined, then that means fewer sales for those EMR vendors.

My point here isn’t to argue whether the EMR stimulus is good or not. It’s just to highlight that EMR vendors are (and probably should be) biased in their opinions of the EMR stimulus package.

Interestingly, a few smaller EMR vendors have made the opposite case. They’ve come out that the EMR stimulus is an atrocity, does little to improve doctors’ productivity and often hurts productivity.

The battle lines have been drawn. Just make sure you’re not a casualty of biased information.

Finding the Right Managed IT Service Provider

Posted on January 23, 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.

There’s been a lot of interest in my previous post about Managed IT Services versus Break and Fix IT services. In fact, you should read not only my post, but also some of the well done comments on that post as well. A nice discussion has taken place that people looking at IT support for their EMR or even their clinic in general should read it.

Beyond the discussion of whether you should go with a managed IT service or just bringing in IT support when something’s broken, I want to expand the discussion a little bit to talk about how a doctor’s office can find a great IT provider. Basically, what factors can a doctor look at when evaluating the various IT providers? What types of things should they be looking for in an IT provider? Is there a base set of “services” that pretty much every IT provider offers and what “other services” might set one provider apart? And for the “base services” how can you know who’s really great at providing the IT support and who’s only mediocre?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Also, I’m thinking that maybe I should create a list of Managed IT Service Providers that specialize in supporting healthcare IT (EMR in particular). Basically, I’m thinking a page similar to my EMR and EHR vendors page. Although, I’ve been considering a small redesign of that page as well. Possibly selling premium position on that page (and eventually the IT services page). Something cheap like $50/year for a premium posting. Just a thought. Let me know if you think it’s a good idea or not.

EMR Benefit You Wouldn’t Expect

Posted on January 22, 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.

Today, I decided that I’d ask people to share a benefit they’ve received from an EMR (or seen received if you’re an EMR vendor) that you didn’t expect to happen when you implemented an EMR.

I’ll start off with one unexpected benefit of an EMR: audit logs.

There’s so many things you can do with audit logs. It resolves so many issues with accountability for a record. You just run a quick report on the audit logs and you know exactly when someone did something in the EMR. This is also true for patients when we check to see for things like when a patient checked in and when they were seen. The audit logs can tell you a lot about your clinic. Plus, it just feels so much more secure knowing that everything that’s being done in the EMR is being audited.

Not really relevant, but I got free breakfast thanks to the audit logs. HIM found a mistake in the EMR that needed to be corrected. One of our Directors went on and on about the breakfast this person would have to bring for making this mistake. She started listing off what she wanted for breakfast. I pull up the audit logs to identify the offending party: sure enough it was the Director who was going on and on that made the mistake. She corrected the mistake and brought a full breakfast.

Ok, now lets hear what EMR benefits surprised you.

Blogger-Twitter Meetup at HIMSS Annual Conference

Posted on January 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.

I’m getting very excited about the HIMSS Annual Conference. As someone who writes as much as I do about healthcare IT, I think that going to the HIMSS conference is going to be like a little kid in a candy store. I could be wrong, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for me. Extremely busy, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it.

As I’ve started to put together my plans for the conference, I was thinking that it might be interesting to have a blogger meetup at the conference. Maybe it should just be called a New Media conference so people on Twitter could come as well as bloggers. Plus, I’m cool with readers of various blogs coming to participate as well. I know there have been blogger meetups at HIMSS in the past. I think that Shahid has helped out with those in the past. Maybe he already has something planned.

The other good news is that it looks like I might have a sponsor for a blogger meetup. So, if we get enough interest I think we could get the meetup sponsored and have an even better time. That means, let me know of your interest in the comments and we’ll see what we can put together.

Also, I’ve signed up my first sponsor for my coverage of the HIMSS conference. I’m still looking for a couple more. If people are interested, feel free to drop me a note on my contact us page.

Managed IT Services vs Break and Fix Model

Posted on January 20, 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.

There are a couple approaches to handling your IT support in a medical office. The first method is called the break and fix model. As can probably be inferred, this model is where you only call for IT support when something breaks. For example, your computer won’t turn on and so you call tech support. A lot of people use this model and it can work effectively if done right. The key to success in this model is making sure that whoever sets up your IT initially knows what they’re doing so that it won’t break very often. Otherwise, you’ll be having the IT person their all the time fixing problems. One challenge with this model is that you’re still going to have some sort of down time when something breaks. Basically, the time it takes for your IT support to get out and fix it.

This is one reason why many people prefer a managed IT service model. In this case, an IT company regularly comes out to your clinic to do some regular maintenance. It’s kind of like a tune up for your computers. If done well, this can mean that you’ll avoid downtime that may occur if your computers aren’t maintenanced regularly. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have downtime. Sometimes computers/servers/network devices fail even with the best maintenance. The nice part with a managed IT service model is that if and when something fails, the company is already familiar with your IT environment because they’ve been there doing regular maintenance.

I’m sure there are a number of other advantages and disadvantages to each. However, this should get you thinking about the various IT support options. Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments. And yes, you’re going to need some sort of IT support when you start doing an EMR. It’s inevitable.