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EMR Social Media Integration, EMR and Tablets, and Compassionate EMR

Posted on September 30, 2012 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.

Another week has passed and we’re back with some of the interested EMR and Health IT related tweets this week. Tomorrow I’m flying to AHIMA in Chicago. It’s setting up to be a really great event that should produce some really interesting content. More on that in future posts. Plus, I’m bringing a camera with me and hoping to get a lot of the people I talk with on video.

Now on to the EMR tweets!


Most doctors cringe at even the thought EMR and social media in the same sentence. This is a huge barrier for any EMR to integrate with social media sites. Although, I agree with Dr. Sevilla that it’s going to happen some day.


This article was pretty terrible and felt like the journalist was trying to sell DrChrono. Who knows, maybe the were. Although, the headline and their conclusion is pretty insane. Their logic in the article is that because a large percentage (62%) of physicians use a tablet for professional uses, then it’s the perfect solution for EMR. Talk about a stretch. Maybe the tablet will eventually become the EMR device of choice, but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s fine for consuming content, but not so good at entering data.


Compassion in healthcare. What a beautiful concept. I agree we need to make sure that technology doesn’t get in the way of the many many compassionate people in healthcare.

Enterprise HIE vs Public HIE

Posted on September 28, 2012 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 listening to an interview with a hospital CIO talking about their move to becoming an ACO and the various ACO initiatives. As part of the interview the hospital CIO was asked about HIEs and how they were approaching the various HIE models. His answer focused on their internal efforts to create what he called an Enterprise HIE.

I think it’s telling that even within a hospital system they haven’t figured out how to exchange health information. They control the end points (at least in large part) and yet they still have a challenge of exchanging information between their own provider organization.

One trend that is causing the above challenge has to do with hospitals acquiring medical practices. As you acquire a practice or even acquire a hospital there’s often a challenge associated with getting everyone on the same IT system. Plus, even within one hospital they use hundreds of different applications to capture clinical content. Thus the need to create an enterprise HIE.

I think that the idea of hospitals building enterprise HIEs puts some context on public HIE efforts. First, if hospital organizations are having a challenge putting together an internal enterprise HIE, it’s no wonder that public HIEs are having such a challenge. If hospitals don’t have their own houses in order, how could they export that to a public HIE?

In that same interview I mentioned above, the hospital CIO said that he was monitoring the other HIE initiatives in his area. However, he said that he believed that we were far from seeing HIEs really take off and be used widely. Obviously each HIE is very regional in nature since healthcare is mostly regional in nature. However, it was a telling message about the slow pace of HIE.

HIPAA Infographic

Posted on September 27, 2012 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.

Who doesn’t like a good infographic? My favorite part of this HIPAA infographic is the last section where it breaks out the number of healthcare organizations that are being investigated for HIPAA violations and the results of those investigations.

HIPAA Violation Infographic
Infographic authored by Inspired eLearning, a leading provider of online HIPAA compliance training solutions. To view the original post, check out the original HIPAA violation infographic.

ACO Security Issues

Posted on September 26, 2012 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.

Leave it to the people at Healthcare Info Security to take a look at the security issues that are associated with an ACO. They do so in an interview with Bill Spooner, CIO of Sharp Healthcare. Here are some of the quotes from the interview which really resonated with me:

To deliver more coordinated care, collaboration and data exchange among ACO participants are vital. And participants “need to ensure that patient privacy is honored, and that all security provisions are in place,” Spooner says in an interview with HealthcareInfoSecurity.

And this one about ACO Information Sharing needs and patient privacy:

“The ACO model tends to elevate the attention on information sharing. … And along with that comes the need to ensure patient privacy is honored so that records are only shared with providers that patients want their information shared with, and that security provisions are put in place,” Spooner says.

I think Bill Spooner elegantly describes how healthcare institutions should handle patient privacy in everything they do, including ACOs. I like the idea of honoring patient privacy.

Let me make a few suggestions on what healthcare institutions and ACOs can do to honor patient privacy. I think there are two things that patients fundamentally want in regards to the privacy of their health information. They want to be informed about its use and control.

Informing Patient Information Use
The reality for the large majority of patients is that they want their medical providers sharing their information. I don’t know anyone who wants their health information kept private when it could provide them better care. I imagine there are some outlier cases, but the majority of people actually assume that doctors are sharing their health information already.

What patients want from doctors and in this discussion ACOs is transparency on when and what information is being shared. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so and it’s the right way to honor patient privacy is to provide a way for the patient to be informed on where and when their health information is being shared.

Controlling Health Information Sharing
Some might say that we’re becoming a nation of control freaks. I’d argue that we don’t all want to be control freaks, but we do want that option available to us if so desired. As I said in the previous point, most patients want their information shared because they realize that they’ll get better, lower cost, more effective patient care if their doctors have all of their health information. However, one thing we hate as Americans is not having the choice of whether that sharing happens or not.

What does this mean? It means that you’ll provide patients the opportunity to restrict their health information from being shared and then almost no patients will use that function. Patients want the knowledge that they can stop health information sharing more than they want for their information to not be shared. It’s a subtle difference, but is another key to honoring patient privacy.

What other things can ACOs and healthcare organizations do to ensure that they’re honoring patient privacy?

Wireless Health Data Collection Innovations Getting Hot

Posted on September 25, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

This week, psfk.com and pharma partner Boehringer Mannheim published a list of the week’s top innovations in healthcare. All were interesting, but I was particularly intrigued by a couple which continue to stretch the boundaries of wireless medicine.

One innovation example comes from a German research team, which has developed a tiny chip (a two-millimeter device much shorter than an eyelash) which can sample blood sugar levels by testing tears or sweat. The chip is equipped to transmit the results wirelessly to providers, as well as sending patients alerts to their wireless phone.  Even cooler, the chip can be powered wirelessly through radio frequency, keeping it charged for weeks or even months.

Another entirely cool innovation comes from U.S. high school student Catherine Wong, who has invented an ECG made of off the shelf electronic components which can broadcast results wirelessly.  The device, which could make ECGs available to to the two billion-plus people without access to healthcare, picks up heart signals, then transmits them via cellphone to a healthcare provider.  The cellphone connects to the ECG using Bluetooth, and heart rhythms display on  a smartphone screen thanks to a Java app.

As readers know, the idea of broadcasting test results to remote providers via wireless devices is not a new one. The idea is so hot, in fact, that the FCC is holding a public meeting on September 24 to discuss how to accelerate the adoption of such approaches. (The event will be live streamed at http://www.itif.org/events/recommendations-mhealth-task-force at 2PM Eastern Standard Time.)

After watching projects like these germinate for a number of years, I’m thrilled to see more innovation arising in this sector of the mHealth space. Inventors, keep it coming!

A Fun (and Educational) Look at Privacy and Security – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on September 24, 2012 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.

One of the most common sources of confusion about the meaningful use requirements is the Privacy and Security Risk Analysis measure. As I discussed in a past Meaningful Use Monday post, according to CMS, practices that are HIPAA compliant are likely in pretty good shape on this measure. For those physicians, what’s needed is documentation of the steps that were taken to review HIPAA compliance, the deficiencies identified, and what was done to remediate these exposures. (For more information, see the meaningful use chapter in ONC’s “Guide to Privacy and Security of Health Information.”)

This begs the question, “What exactly is HIPAA compliance?” I recently came upon the “Privacy and Security Training Game” that was created by ONC’s Chief Privacy Officer and couldn’t resist playing. While a lot of the information provided is quite basic for those with expertise in the privacy and security arena, as you progress through the game, the questions become more challenging. It’s definitely a fun way to introduce staff to the issues and increase awareness about the importance of safeguarding patient information.

Check out all of the past Meaningful Use Monday posts.

Inaccurate EMR Data, Patient Engagement, and Studycure: Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on September 23, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

EMR and EHR

Primary Docs See Hope For Stronger Financials With EMR

A recent study revealed that 51 percent of doctors felt the EMRs would help solve their problems. In fact, some believe that it will help them financially as well. Their theory? Better coding and documentation will lead to more efficiency and reduction of costs. Is this a worth-while belief, or are these doctors setting themselves up for disappointment?

EMR Data Often “Innaccurate” Or “Missing”, Study Says

EMR adoption is expected to reach nearly 80 percent of healthcare organizations by 2016. This may come as a relief to some who believe that EMRs eliminate data errors that come with paper-based systems. However, EMRs may not be as accurate and complete as everyone might hope. Symptoms on patients who die quickly may not be recorded, and accuracy can depend on if a patient was treated at night or during the day. Teamwork may be the solution to eliminating EMR-based errors.

Hospital EMR

Your Facebook-like Health and Status Feed

Should healthcare practices integrate a social media-like system, incorporating real health time and status feeds, into clinical workflow? In theory, it would be a great idea. However, as with Facebook and Twitter, not every status gets read. This may get information out quickly, but maybe not to who needs to see it.

Happy EMR Doctor

Patient Engagement in the Digital Era

Patient Engagement has gone from eye-to-eye contact to Googling health questions. While this may seem like patient engagement is becoming less personal, it can be positive. Patients can be more involved in their health care, and take control of it. Dr. Michael West discusses that and more in his article this week.

Smart Phone Health Care

Studycure: Experiment Your Way to Better Health

Need some extra motivation to meet goals? Studycure is part social experiment, part motivation, and aims to help people meet their health goals. By implementing a texting program that sends reminders throughout the day and questions concerning your goal, it analyzes after a certain period of time if the methods used to meet a goal are being met. Goals are customizable, can be shared with friends and family, and others goals can be tracked and used as inspiration.

EHR Reimbursement, Health Data Security, and Innovation – #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on September 22, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Every week, HL7 Standards, hosts a #HITsm Tweet Chat and poses four questions “on current topics that are influencing healthcare technology, health IT, and the use of social media in healthcare.” It’s always a great discussion and also a great chance to meet a wide variety of people that are passionate about healthcare IT.

In case you missed it, or are curious about what went on this week, we’ve put together the list of topics with some of the best responses for each topic. There were some interesting topics this week, as well as some great responses. If you have any opinions on any of these topics, feel free to continue the discussion in the comments. This chats take place every Friday at 11AM CST. You’ll find members of Healthcare Scene regularly participating in the chat under some of the following Twitter accounts: @techguy@ehrandhit@hospitalEHR, and @smyrnagirl.

Topic One: Politics #EHR reimbursement will likely reach $20 billion. Why is this big govt initiative exempt from critics?

Topic Two: Health data security: What does health data security look like and how is it different than financial data security?

Topic Three: Clash of the #Health IT Titans: What is most beneficial patients, #HIEs or #ACOs? 

Topic Four: Innovation in #healthIT: What are some examples of innovative groups/ideas that may disrupt the current system? 

EHR Certification Value (or lack therof)

Posted on September 21, 2012 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 seems like this question comes up every couple months about the value of EHR certification. A reader of EMR and HIPAA, QA, recently offered the following comment about EHR certification.

The issue is less that the certification bodies are unscrupulous and more that the certification criteria themselves are a joke.

If one thinks that certification denotes that a system is safe, usable, reliable and will support the care delivery needs of any particular healthcare organization, then one will be quite disappointed.

If one thinks that certification denotes that a company offering a system has certain financial stability, legal liability coverage or quality management systems in place, one will be similarly disappointed.

ONC has no interest in rigorous certification. Only higher attestation numbers.

I think this comment hits the nail on the head. I won’t say that EHR certification provides no value, but let’s not do what far too many people are doing and misconstrue the value EHR certification offers. I echo QA’s comments that EHR certification does not certify:

  • EHR Safety
  • EHR Usability
  • EHR Reliability
  • EHR Financial Stability
  • EHR Liability Coverage
  • EHR Quality Management

Let’s not make EHR certification into more than what it delivers. I think most people have gotten this message, but a few are still lingering in the shadows.

Blue Button Access to EHR Data

Posted on September 20, 2012 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.


What great news that we got this month about the Blue Button having 1 million users. That’s a big number for what really amounts to a rather simple idea. The idea being that when you click on a simple blue button you can download your patient record.

The article in the tweet above points out how the technology of the Blue Button is simple, but it’s had a much larger impact than the technology would suggest. Here’s portions of what Peter Levin, VA’s chief technology officer, said about the Blue Button:

“There was no nuclear physics here. It’s not that hard to strip out all of the things on the back end that make a bold font and a blue background and put raw health data out.” he said. “Once we got the directive from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs himself, from a technical perspective it was really simple to implement.”

Levin said the more important hurdle Blue Button wound up overcoming was ingrained cultural notion that one’s own medical information should only be available to medical professionals.

“It was a big step in terms of attitude,” he said. “Providers now understand that it’s OK to make that data available, and patients now understand it’s OK to get that data. Both parties now understand in that conversation that they should be talking.”

Within VA, Levin said, providers have mostly embraced the idea. But holdouts do exist.

“You’re going to find some providers in our enormous national system that haven’t gotten the memo yet,” he said. “They’re going to say, ‘Why would you want that data? All a patient’s going to do is go to the Internet and start asking questions that make them more anxious and use more of my time.’ Those folks exist. But they’re in the minority.”

The article also suggests that between the VA, DoD, CMS and private insurers, 100 million American have access to their Blue Button patient records.

I really like this video that I found on the Markle website about the Blue Button. Putting some names, faces and stories with something always makes it more real to me. You’ll have to visit their website to see the video since they’ve disabled embedding of the video (which is a shame).

The Blue Button has been a good initiative to help liberate healthcare data. I’m sure we’ll see more of it in the future. Although, we could still use some better tools to do something with the data we download.