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Top Five ICD-10 Pitfalls – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 30, 2011 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 is going to be the last day looking at other people’s “Top Health IT Lists” since tomorrow I think I’ll create my own Top 10 Health IT 2011 List and then for the New Years I’ll see about doing a Top 10 Health IT in 2012 list. However, today let’s look at something that will likely make the Top 10 2012 Health IT issues: ICD-10. Government Health IT recently wrote an article what they call the Top 5 ICD-10 Pitfalls.

1. Reporting: I’m sure that many think that ICD-10 is just going to happen and be fine. They’ll assume that their reports are just going to work with ICD-10 since they worked with ICD-9. Don’t be so sure. Test the reports so you know one way or another. Diving a little deeper beforehand is a lot better than learning about the problems after.

2. Overlooking impacted areas: Much like an EHR implementation, don’t forget the other people that are affected by ICD-10. Involve everyone in the process so that they can share their concerns so they can be addressed. Plus, by having them involved you’ll get much better buy in from the staff.

3. Teaching old dogs new tricks: ICD-10 is a different beast and will require significant training even if you have an expert ICD-9 coder with years of experience. Don’t underestimate the cost to train your coders on ICD-10.

4. Preparing for impact on productivity: The article mentions Canada’s loss of productivity during their implementation of ICD-10. Do we think we’re going to be any different? Remember also that productivity loss can come in a lot of different places (which is kind of a repeat of number 2 above).

5. Communicating with IT vendors: It’s one thing to trust that your EHR and other health IT vendors are prepared to deal with ICD-10. It’s another to blindly follow whatever you’re being told. Remember at the end of the day it’s your organization that will suffer if your health IT vendor is not ready. I like to use the phrase, trust but verify.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards List – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 29, 2011 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 next list I found in my series of Top Health IT lists is going to be one that I think surprises quite a few people. It’s the list (PDF) of Top 10 Technology Hazards for 2012 by the ECRI. The Power Your Practice website did an interview with James P. Keller Jr. who works at the ECRI Institute about this list which is worth reading. Before the interview, they explain that the ECRI (Emergency Care Research Institute) was created in 1964 after a young boy in a Philadelphia ER passed away as a result of an improperly preserved defibrillator.

For this list, I’m not planning to go through each item, but I will list each item:
1. Alarm hazards
2. Exposure hazards from radiation therapy and CT
3. Medication administration errors using infusion pumps
4. Cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes
5. Inattention to change management for medical device connectivity
6. Enteral feeding misconnections
7. Surgical fires
8. Needlesticks and other sharps injuries
9. Anesthesia hazards due to incomplete pre-use inspection
10. Poor usability of home-use medical devices

The PDF document above goes into a lot more detail for each of these items including suggestions on ways to prevent these problems. I imagine many hospital safety organizations already know about these things and lists like this one.

Many are probably wondering why I’m bringing this list up on an EMR and HIPAA website. Besides the fact that the list is interesting on its own, I was also really intrigued that there’s nothing on the list that’s even remotely related to EMR & EHR software.

I’m sure if we sat down for just a little bit we could think of quite a few technology hazards related to EMR and EHR software. Not the least of which is EHR down time. I’m also reminded of this post I did earlier this year titled “EMR Perpetuates Misinformation.” Yet, EHR didn’t make the list…yet(?).

It will be interesting to watch this health technology hazards list over time to see if EHR software ever makes the list. I wonder how many hospital patient safety groups are worried about the safety of EHR software. I’ll have to get Katherine Rourke to dig into this over on Hospital EMR and EHR.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

Top Health Industry Issues of 2011 – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 28, 2011 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.

Next up in our evaluation of the various end of 2011 Health IT lists series is one that takes a bit of a look back at 2011. In this list, PwC lists what they consider the Top Health Industry Issues of 2011. The list starts with an interesting comment about the health IT spending in 2011:

More than $88.6 billion was spent by providers in 2010 on developing and implementing electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIEs) and other initiatives. This surge is a sign of technology’s critical place in health system improvement.

$88.6 billion is a lot of health IT spending and larger than most numbers I’ve seen. Although, most numbers I’ve seen are only the EMR and EHR market and doesn’t include HIE spending and other healthcare IT initiatives. It’s quite clear that the health IT spending is up, and up Big!

Their list of top Health issues isn’t that surprising, except possibly one of them:

Meaningful Use – This has to be topic number one for health IT in 2011. It’s had a trans formative effect on healthcare IT and EMR and EHR as we know them. Pretty much every EHR vendor I’ve talked to basically had to take an entire software development life cycle to meet the meaningful use and certified EHR requirements. This is the dramatic effect of meaningful use on EHR development.

PwC actually focuses on how meaningful use will encourage patient participation in their healthcare or “shared medical decision-making.” To be honest, I’m not sure meaningful use has done much to help this goal, yet(?). Possibly meaningful use stage 2 and meaningful use stage 3 will help to further these goals. MU stage 1 has done little to encourage this. Regardless of the impact of meaningful use, shared medical decision-making is going forward fast and furious.

HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 – The interesting issue for 5010 and ICD-10 is that they’ve basically been overwhelmed by meaningful use and EHR incentive money. Either of these changes alone would have been a reasonable challenge for a normal year. However, clinical organizations are battling through 5010, ICD-10 and meaningful use all at the same time. Are there any other IT projects going on that don’t involved these three things? I’d say probably very few.

Electronic medical device reporting (eMDR) – I found this point quite interesting. There’s been a lot of movement in 2011 in regards to what constitutes a medical device and who should take care of tracking and collecting the adverse events that occur on these devices. I don’t think we’ve come to a final conclusion on what will be considered a medical device and how we’re going to deal with reporting adverse events, but finally getting electronic reporting of adverse events is a good step in the right direction.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

9 Ways IT is Transforming Healthcare – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 27, 2011 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.

As is often common at the end of the year, a lot of companies have started putting together their “Top 10” (or some similar number) lists for 2011. In fact, some of them have posted these lists a little bit earlier than usual. This week as people are often off work or on vacation, I thought it might be fun to take one list each day and comment on the various items people have on their lists.

The first list comes from Booz Allen Hamilton and is Booz Allen’s Top 9 ways IT is Transforming healthcare. Here’s their list of 9 items with my own commentary after each item.

Reduces medical errors. I prefer to say that Health IT has the potential to reduce medical errors. I also think long term that health IT and EMR will reduce medical errors. However, in the interim it will depend on how people actually use these systems. Used improperly, it can actually cause more medical errors. There have been studies out that show both an improvement in medical errors and an increase in medical errors.

My take on this is that EMR and health IT improves certain areas and hurts other areas. However, as we improve these systems and use of these systems, then over all medical errors will go down. However, remember that even once these systems are perfect they’re still going to be run be imperfect humans that are just trying to do their best (at least most of them). Even so, long term health IT and EMR software will be something that will benefit healthcare as far as reducing medical errors.

Improves collaboration throughout the health care system. I’m a little torn as we consider whether health IT improves collaboration. The biggest argument you can make for this is that it’s really hard to be truly interoperable in really meaningful and quick ways without technology. Sure, we’ve been able to fax over medical records which no one would doubt has improved health care. However, those faxes often get their too late since they take time to process. Technology will be the solution to solving this problem.

The real conundrum here is the value that could be achieved by sending specific data. A fax is basically a mass of data which can’t be processed by a computer in any meaningful way. How much nicer would it be to have an allergy passed from one system to another. No request for information was made. No waiting for a response from a medical records department. Just a notification on the new doctor’s screen that the patient is allergic to something or is taking a drug that might have contraindications with the one the new doctor is trying to prescribe. This sort of seamless exchange of data is where we should and could be if it weren’t for data silos and economics.

Ensures better patient-care transition. This year there was a whole conference dedicated to this idea. No doubt there is merit in what’s possible. The problems here are similar to those mentioned above in the care collaboration section. Sadly, the technology is there and ready to be deployed. It’s connecting the bureaucratic and financial dots to make it a reality.

Enables faster, better emergency care. I’m not sure why, but the emergency room gets lots of interesting technology that no one else in healthcare gets. I imagine it’s because emergency rooms can easily argue that they’re a little bit “different” from the rest of the hospital and so they are able to often embark on neat technology projects without the weight of the whole hospital around their neck.

One of the technologies I love in emergency care is connecting the emergency rooms with the ambulances. There are so many cool options out there and with 3G finally coming into its own, connectivity isn’t nearly the problem that it use to be. Plus, there are even consumer apps like MyCrisisRecords that are trying to make an in road in emergency care. I’d like to see broader adoption of these apps in emergency rooms, but you can see the promise.

Empowers patients and their families to participate in care decisions. Many might argue that with Google Health Failing and Microsoft HealthVault not making much noise, that the idea of empowering patients might not be as strong. Turns out that the reality is quite the opposite.

Patients and families are participating more and more in care decisions. There just isn’t one dominant market leader that facilitates this interaction. Patients and families are using an amalgamation of technologies and the all powerful Google to participate in their care. This trend will continue to become more popular. We’ll see if any company can really capture the energy of this movement in a way that they become the dominant market leader or whether it will remain a really fluid environment.

Makes care more convenient for patients. I believe we’re starting to see the inklings of this happening. At the core of this for me is patient online scheduling and patient online visits. Maybe it could more simply be identified as: patient communication with providers.

I don’t think 2011 has been the watershed year for convenient access to doctors by patients. However, we’re starting to see inroads made which will open up the doors for the flood of patients that want to have these types of interactions.

Helps care for the warfighter. This is an area where I also don’t have a lot of experience. Although, I do remember one visit with someone from the Army at a conference. In that short chat we had, he talked about all the issues the Army had been dealing with for decades: patient record standards, patient identifiers, multiple locations (see Iraq and Afghanistan), multiple systems, etc. The problem he identified was that much of it was classified and so it couldn’t be shared. I hope health IT does help our warriors. It should!

Enhances ability to respond to public health emergencies and disasters. I’ve been to quite a few presentations where people have talked about the benefits and challenges associated with electronic medical records and natural disasters. They’ve always been really insightful since they almost always have 5-6 “I hadn’t thought of that” moments that make you realize that we’re not as secure and prepared for disasters as we think we are.

It is worth noting that moving 100,000 patient records electronically to an off site location is much easier in the electronic world than it is in paper. With paper charts we can’t even really discuss the idea of remote access to the record in the case of a natural disaster.

Possibly even more interesting is the idea of EMR and health IT supporting public health emergencies. We’re just beginning to aggregate health data from EMR software that could help us identify and mitigate the impact of a public health emergency. Certainly none of these systems are going to be perfect. Many of these systems are going to miss things we wish they’d seen. However, there’s real potential benefit in them helping is identify public health emergencies before they become catastrophes.

Enables discovery in new medical breakthroughs and provides a platform for innovation. Most of the medical breakthroughs we’ve experienced in the last 20 years would likely have been impossible without technology. Plus, I don’t think we’ve even started to tap the power that could be available from the mounds of healthcare data that we have available to us. This is why I’m so excited about the Health.Data.Gov health data sharing program that Priya wrote about on EMR and EHR. There’s so many more medical discoveries that will be facilitated by healthcare data.

There you have it. What do you think of these 9 items? Are there other things that you see happening that will impact the above items? Are there trends that we should be watching in health IT in 2012?

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

The Healthcare Scene Writers

Posted on December 23, 2011 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.

As most of you realize, HealthcareScene.com has grown tremendously over the last year. At the start of 2011 I think that there were 3 websites that were part of the Healthcare Scene network of EMR and Healthcare IT blogs. By HIMSS in March 2011, I’d grown the list of websites to 7. Today, I’m happy to say that there are 14 different websites and blogs that are part of the Healthcare Scene blog network.

As you can imagine, it is hard enough for one person to manage writing two blogs. It’s nearly impossible for one person to manage 14 websites. Luckily, I have a group of passionate writers that do a ton of amazing work across the network of EMR and HIT blogs. I imagine some of them don’t get nearly enough recognition for the great work they do. Each post says the name of the blogger at the top, but many people never take a look. This Christmas break I’ll see if I can finish a project I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and do a better job recognizing the various authors of each post better.

In the mean time, I decided that I’d mention each of my writers and recognize them for how great they are, cause they are indeed great. Now on to the writers (in no particular order):

Katherine Rourke – If you’re a reader of EMR and EHR (and you definitely should be), then you’ve no doubt have read some of Katherine Rourke’s posts on EMR and EHR. She’s done almost 100 posts on EMR and EHR and did a great job raising the level of content and readership of that site.

Lately she’s been spending most of her time writing for the relatively new Hospital EMR and EHR. She’s done a great job covering the Cerner and Epics of the hospital EMR world on that site. Also, if you’re more interested in some non health IT related healthcare blogging, you can find her writing at next Hospital.

Katherine is a passionate lover of healthcare and hospitals in particular (thus the move to the hospital site). She’s the only person I’ve ever met that gets excited to go to the hospital. Lucky for us, her passion throws through in her writing and she’s not one to mince words. She’s got a punchy style which I and many other readers really enjoy. As a trained journalist (unlike me), it has been great to work with her.

Side Note: Katherine Rourke is a penname. She wasn’t around when I was writing this so I could see if I could reveal her real name. I think she kind of likes the mystery and intrigue of being anonymous though.

Neil Versel – If you’ve been around the healthcare IT industry in any way at all, then I am certain you’ve read some of Neil Versel’s work. In the case of Healthcare Scene, Neil blogs on Meaningful Health IT News, but Neil has written for basically every major (and probably all of the minor) health IT publication that exists or has existed over the past 15 or so years. He’s one of the true professional health IT journalists.

On a more personal note, I stumbled upon Neil’s blog when I first started blogging. I remember reading Neil’s work in various publications and thinking to myself, “He’s a journalist. I’m not. What can I learn from what he does?” I know that much of my style and approach to writing came from the things I saw Neil do.

Dr. Michael West – I am always honored to have working physicians blogging on my network and Dr. West is one of the two doctors that participate in Healthcare Scene. Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC and writes on the blog Happy EMR Doctor. Yeah, the name is a little cheesy, but it was the best we could find with all the domain squatters out there. Plus, he truly is a Happy EMR user.

Dr. West provides an interesting physician perspective since he implemented an EMR that was a complete failure. He replaced that EMR with a Free EMR solution. Plus, Dr. West chose to opt out of Medicare rather than to continue to experience all the Medicare cuts and penalties (particularly those related to meaningful use requirements). Obviously, all of these items make for some great content on his blog. I also love that he recently had his Practice Manager, Ken Harrington, hop on the blog and do a post about how EMR influences HR in a doctor’s office. I hope Ken writes for the blog more often.

Dr. Michael Koriwchak – The second doctor that writes of Healthcare Scene is Dr. Koriwchak. He’s an ENT out of Atlanta (there’s so much good health IT in Atlanta) that’s been working with health IT and EMR for a long time. You can read his blog at Wired EMR Practice. Lately he hasn’t had as much time to blog thanks to a number of other projects he’s working on including trips to Washington to talk about things like the HITECH act and ACOs. In fact, he just happened to be with Hermain Cain in DC for one of the famous Hermain Cain lines that was quoted over and over again on the news.

Regardless of how much time he has to blog, if you look through his past posts you can see that he provides a lot of interesting thought and insight from a physician perspective to the challenge of implementing and using an EMR system. One of the best series of posts he did was his Lessons Learned from an EMR Upgrade Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Dr. Koriwchak is definitely ahead of the curve.

David Lynn – Many of you might not recognize David’s name, but his the quiet voice behind 4 of the Healthcare Scene blogs. He manages and does all the hard work on EMR & Health IT News, EMR & EHR Screenshots, and EHR & EHR Videos. In the short time those sites have been up, David’s turned them into a really great resource for those researching EMR and EHR software or for those in the industry just trying to stay up on the latest and greatest EMR info.

You will find David’s more creative work on Smart Phone Healthcare. That website is focused on mobile health and I’m always amazed at the content, devices, apps and other technology that David is able to find and post about on that site. I’m also happy to call David my brother (or maybe I should say little brother). For the longest time we’d wanted to work on some project together. The opportunity presented itself for him to participate in the network and he’s done an amazing job, which isn’t surprising since he’s one of the smartest people I know.

Lynn Scheps – I think most of you reading this are familiar with Lynn. Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft, but she’s also the power behind Meaningful Use Monday. I have had a ton of people tell me how valuable Meaningful Use Monday has been for them and all credit should go to Lynn for putting in the time to share the knowledge with all of us.

I think when I first suggested the idea of blogging about meaningful use to Lynn she was a little reticent. However, I think she’s come to enjoy the experience of putting the ideas down in writing and also the value of getting feedback and commentary from users. On a more personal note, Lynn is a genuinely kind person and pleasant to be around.

Priya Ramachandran – I was really lucky to be introduced to Priya and have her start writing on both EMR and EHR & EMR Thoughts. Priya provides a really fresh perspective on the industry. Plus, she’s a computer nerd like me which is always great for bonding us together.

One thing I love about Priya is that she always has her ear to the ground to hear the latest things that are happening in the EMR and Health IT world. In fact, I don’t know how many times I’ve had an idea for a post based on some current HIT happenings and then I get a post from Priya about that same subject.

Jennifer Dennard – The addition of Jennifer Dennard writing on EMR and EHR is relatively new, but I had known Jennifer for quite a while before she started writing. I can’t quite remember how I convinced Jennifer to write for my sites, but it was one of the best choices I’ve made.

One of the things I like most about Jennifer’s posts is her ability to share something personal and then connect it to an EMR or healthcare IT story. Plus, as I finish reading her posts I often think, “Wow, that took me somewhere unexpected and interesting.” I attribute this ability to her superior mind and creative writing style. I’m always excited to see what twist and turn she’ll take me on next. At the recent AHIMA conference I had a chance to connect with Jenn on a more personal level as well. Not only is she a great writer, but she’s an incredibly thoughtful and caring person that everyone should want to be around. I’m lucky I’ve had that chance.

As you can see, I’m lucky to work with such amazing people both professionally and personally. This Holiday Season I want to send out a big Thank You to them. If you want to send them a gift as well, I imagine one of the best things you can do is to read their posts and leave a comment on the ones you find interesting. There’s not much nicer as a blogger than someone taking the time to read what you do and engage in a discussion around that comment.

Happy Holidays!

10 Tips for Healthcare Hospital Blogging

Posted on December 22, 2011 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 think that after 6 years and some ungodly amount of posts later, blogging is just a part of who I am now. So I found this article about 10 Tips for Hospital Blogging quite interesting.

[1] Define your hospitals goals
[2] Know your audience
[3] Be Consistent
[4] Be Persistent
[5] Be Inviting
[6] Be Visible
[7] Take Risks
[8] Ask for Help
[9] Keep Learning
[10] Be True to your Hospital

Definitely an interesting list. I think the first two points are a real challenge and you should be careful worrying too much about your specific goals and your audience when you’re starting to blog. Part of the blogging experience is learning new things that you didn’t expect to learn. Plus, you will learn who your audience is over time. Of course, you can make general goals of wanting to learn about your audience, etc.

I think the rest of the points hit 3 areas that I believe are essential to blogging: consistency/persistence, learning, and authenticity.

The hardest part of blogging is doing it consistently. I call it the content beast for a reason. Not because it’s a bad thing, but because the beast is always hungry. It takes real consistency to always feed it. The beauty is that the internet will reward your persistence in surprising ways.

The internet and blogging is moving so quickly that there’s always something else to learn. Don’t think that you need to know everything to start. Just start doing it and you will learn an amazing amount a long the way. Interesting that consistent persistence matters with learning too.

The best blogs have an authentic voice. I believe the key for this is having someone passionate about your blogging topic. The passion will show through and you will create an authentic connection with those interested in what you’re writing about.

More and more as I look at products, companies, etc I look to see if they have a blog. I find a blog is a great way to get a feel for who and what a company represents. It humanizes the relationship in a really great way.

Examples of Health Startup Opportunity

Posted on December 21, 2011 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.

Anyone that is part of the healthcare IT and EMR world has to realize that we’re in a really incredible time for healthcare IT and EMR. There’s has never been more energy, excitement and actual investment in the Healthcare IT world than there is now. If you don’t believe me, buy your ticket to Las Vegas and attend HIMSS 2012 and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean. I have a feeling that HIMSS Las Vegas is going to be bigger than ever with more money flowing as well.

Just to provide a few examples of what’s happening, the prominent IT investor Esther Dyson has invested in 20 Health IT investments. That’s a whole lot of investment in healthcare IT. She obviously sees some real opportunities available at this time in health IT.

Another recent announcement was the recent batch of 15 Rock Health Startup companies. This is just one of at least 3 or 4 health focused incubators out there. Plus, the latest batch of health IT startup companies from Rock Health even has Neil Versel singing their praises after a previous not so glowing review of the health startup incubator (or health accelerator if you prefer).

One other thing that is easy to underestimate is the value that the US government is putting on supporting healthcare innovation through entrepreneurship. Normally I’m as skeptical as anyone in putting any sort of faith in government to produce results. I still think they have their hands tied in a lot of things, but I give a lot of credit to Aneesh Chopra, Todd Park and Farzad Mostashari for doing their very best to kick against the challenges of big government while enabling health entrepreneurs to be successful.

Priya Ramachandran wrote about an example of one initiative the government is putting forward to help entrepreneurs: Access to Public Health Data. Every time I hear someone talk about the data that’s available from these public repositories of health data, the entrepreneur inside of me kicks in with ideas on how to use that data for good.

It is a really tremendous time to be an entrepreneur in healthcare. I do think we still need a better platform for health IT startups to launch their products and get funding. I have a few ideas I’m working on in this regard. More on this in the future.

Thoughts on Top #HITsm Contributor Awards

Posted on December 20, 2011 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 my inbox was flooded with people congratulating @techguy and @ehrandhit for being part of the Top #HITsm Contributors of 2011. It’s very kind of them to recognize both of my active Health IT Twitter accounts. Officially @techguy was in the Top Individual #HITsm Contributors and @ehrandhit was in the Top #HITsm Organizations. I think @ehrandhit could have gone in organizations or publications, but either way I appreciate the recognition.

I think the comment at the top of the list describes the awards quite well:

By no means is the following lists all-inclusive. It does, however, represent some fantastic #HITsm voices on Twitter who regularly participate in weekly #HITsm TweetChats and share valuable Health IT information.

I always have a bit of a challenge with “Awards.” However, I think that #HITsm made a really great choice when they decided that instead of saying that this list is the “Best” or some other sort of magnanimous statement about the authority of their list, they instead said that these are some quality and valuable voices in #HITsm. No doubt there are a lot of others out there.

For example, I’d have loved to see @nversel and @john_chilmark on the list as well. They don’t use the tag #HITsm that often, but they definitely discuss those topics often on their various social media outlets. There are quite a few others that I could include in this category as well.

One thing I loved about the Top #HITsm Contributor list was how many familiar faces made it on the list. The great part is that there are so many smart minds on the list and social media makes them completely open and available to you. Without social media I’d likely know very few of those people and would have missed out on the tremendous interactions I’ve had with them at many a conference.

Maybe next year I should work with HL7 Standards and make the announcement of the awards part of the New Media Meetup at HIMSS. Might be kind of cool to get to meet all the great people in person. Yes, social media isn’t just about online connections, but taking those connections offline as well. As I often say:

Social Media (and Twitter in particular) is about connecting people!

In true social media fashion, the list of winners is also available as an embed, so you’ll find the list of Top #HITsm Contributor Awards embedded below as well. Here’s to another great year of Social Media in Healthcare.

CMS Creates Meaningful Use Beginners Guide – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on December 19, 2011 I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

Meaningful Use Monday posts have delved into the nitty-gritty details of meaningful use, but I know that there are many providers and practice administrators who are still trying to wrap their arms around the basics of the EHR Incentives Program. CMS has just condensed the enormous amount of information available on its website into one handy, presentation-style document that explains the program.

Called “An Introduction to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals” (PDF), its URL identifies it as a “Beginners Guide”. (They could just as easily have named it “Meaningful Use for Dummies”, trademark infringement issues notwithstanding.) Although it is 85 slides long, the presentation is succinct, easy-to-navigate, and covers a full range of topics—including eligibility, program options, meaningful use measures, registration, attestation, other resources, etc.

Check it out! …And for more information, I invite you to browse through the comprehensive Meaningful Use Resource Center on the Government Affairs section of our company’s website (www.srssoft.com).

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a “Meaningful” New Year!
Lynn

15 Rock Health Startup Companies, Hospital Communication, Lack of EMR Features

Posted on December 18, 2011 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 hope everyone has started to enjoy their holidays. I may go a little light on the content this Holiday season. Although, I’ll still be publishing plenty during the holidays. The funny thing is that this website was first created over a holiday break. Now on to my usual Sunday Twitter roundup.


This is a pretty interesting list of 15 Rock Health startup companies. It’s their second batch of startup companies in the healthcare space. I talked to one of the other health startup incubators (and I know some don’t like to be called incubators) who said that they got about 100 applications. I wonder how many applications Rock Health got before they narrowed it down to this 15.

There’s definitely a lot of interesting momentum happening in the health startup area. In fact, I’m working on something related to it that could be really interesting. More on that in the new year.


I hadn’t really thought about the impact of hospitals buying up all the primary care physicians on interoperability of healthcare data. On face it seems to me that more sharing would happen since it is easier to share health data within the same company than between two different companies. However, these tweets make me think I need to do a little more thinking ont he subject.


Doctors are wondering why EMR software doesn’t have a lot of things. I’m not sure I have a good answer to why EMR products don’t have some of the things that Arjun Maini talks about. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on it.