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Patient Controlled Records Could Work Internationally

Posted on October 31, 2013 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 few years back at HIMSS, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most passionate and driven healthcare people you’ll find. His name is Gerald Theis, Founder of My Crisis Records. His passion for what he was doing was undeniable and there was no way I was going to bet against Gerald getting something done in healthcare. However, I did question how many US patients would really care enough to carry around and gather their health records.

Turns out, there are dozens of companies with a vision similar to that of My Crisis Record. I’m sure that Gerald could passionately explain why My Crisis Record is different or better than any competitors, but at the end of the day the core concept is very similar: A patient controlled health record.

Whether the patient controlled health record is carried on a USB stick, linked from a QR code, stored on your cell phone, accessed in the cloud, etc the concept is the same. In many ways the patient is acting like their own personal health information exchange.

The concept is a brilliant one except for one major flaw. US people don’t care about the flow of their healthcare information. The big exception to this is chronic patients who do start caring once they get past the denial stage. However, the majority of patients in the US are satisfied with the current flow of information between doctors. Certainly their satisfaction could be based on ignorance. Many patients likely think that doctors are sharing a patients health information all the time, when in fact they are usually not.

Could this change? Certainly, but it’s hard to base a business on people changing.

What I’ve found even more interesting is Gerald’s work to implement a My Crisis Record solution internationally. For example, he’s implementing it under the brand “My Smart Health” in Africa. The more I’ve learned about international healthcare, the more I think a patient controlled record could work internationally in places where they’re more focused on providing any sort of health services versus spending big bucks on EHR systems that aren’t interoperable.

All of this is bolstered by the widespread adoption of cell phones internationally. I can see how there could be real value in a patient controlled medical record on these people’s cell phones. From what I understand, you might not go to the same doctor twice. There’s not the same view of a primary care doctor that you go to all the time that has your record at their fingertips. Seems like the perfect opportunity for the patient controlled medical record.

We’ll see how it plays out. I guess I’m not very bullish on the patient controlled medical record in the US, but I can see a lot of potential globally. Maybe over time the US will learn and change as well. What do you think?

China’s EMR Market

Posted on October 30, 2013 I Written By

James Ritchie is a freelance writer with a focus on health care. His experience includes eight years as a staff writer with the Cincinnati Business Courier, part of the American City Business Journals network. Twitter @HCwriterJames.

Last week I wrote about what’s not happening in China: American firms getting a slice of the EMR market.

This time I thought it’d be interesting to look at what is happening with health IT in the world’s most populous country.

As I mentioned, that’s often easier said than done. The healthcare system has peculiarities, and the government doesn’t necessarily say what it’s planning. Some research firms have shied away from reporting on China’s EMR scene altogether.

But a case study released over the summer provides some fascinating market intelligence. The work by Arthur Daemmrich, associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, follows Shanghai Kingstar Winning Software Co. Ltd. as its founder seeks to increase its growth rate.

Three options that Zhou Wei was considering as the first quarter of 2013 drew to a close included continuing to grow organically, merging with another company and expanding into other geographies, including South Asia or even the United States.

Points worth noting:

  • Winning, with 1,000 employees, competed for hospital IT projects with five other large firms. A few hundred smaller companies provided more specialized offerings.
  • The government owned more than 90 percent of the country’s hospitals.
  • Winning had achieved 50 percent revenue growth in 2012 and expected the same in 2013, but Zhou was not satisfied. He felt that even more rapid growth was needed.
  • In 2008, 1 percent of China’s hospitals were using EMRs. By 2012, about 32 percent of higher-ranked hospitals — tier-II and tier-III institutions — had EMRs.
  • Medical record-keeping in China came nearly to a halt during World War II and the country’s civil war. Many leftover records were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. The country then began rebuilding its records infrastructure. Daemmrich wrote, “Outpatient visits and prescriptions were recorded on small booklets that patients kept and brought with them to the hospital or other specialized clinic. Most hospitals issued their own booklets, so patients could end up with several different sets of medical records at home.”
  • Zhou’s firm undertook a project at an 850-bed Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) hospital. At such institutions, treatments such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage are common. The company’s R&D director, Ma Wei Min, explained, “The interfaces of western medicine and TCM EMR systems are alike, because the patient flow paths at both kinds of hospitals are almost the same. But going back to the software writing stage, TCM EMRs required a different logic and very different terminology.”

It’s easy to get immersed in the health IT considerations of our own country and forget that other regions are undertaking similar efforts. In China, the goals of the EMR push are largely the same as they are in the United States, but it’s interesting how much local flavor comes into play. The fact that Winning’s founder was seeing 50 percent revenue growth but still expected more was amazing and speaks to the country’s pace of economic development. And the background on China’s record-keeping shows that the country’s task is not just to digitize processes that have long been in place, but to define exactly what a medical record is and how it should work.

EMR Vendors Struggle With Meaningful Use Stage 2

Posted on October 29, 2013 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.

CCHIT head Alisa Ray, clearly, is trying to put it delicately. EMR vendors are “struggling a little bit” when it comes to meeting 2014 criteria. “It  has been a slow start,” Ray told Healthcare IT News.

Usually, hearing this would lead to an inside baseball discussion of vendor operations, which wouldn’t be very exciting. But the thing is, meeting 2014 certification criteria is necessary to allow providers to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2. So vendor struggles in complying with CCHIT’s criteria should concern providers a great deal.

There are three areas of Stage 2 that are proving to be an issue for vendors: clinical quality measures, interoperability and automated measure calculation for reporting metrics, Ray said.

This has led to a real lag in certifications. About 40 companies had listed products with the CCHIT in 2011, but a scant 21 percent of those have stepped up and gotten certified in the 2014 criteria.

According to Ray’s chat with Healthcare IT News, “almost everyone has struggled and been surprised by the complexities” of meeting 2014 standards.  Despite having gone through the process yearly since 2006 with CCHIT, several have had to go through repeated certification trials to meet criteria.

ICSA Labs’ Amit Trivedi, meanwhile, noted that while there were close to 3,000 listings, with many having multiple listings — Cerner alone had 800 — so far there less than 300 on ONC’s Certified Health IT Products list.

There are signs that EMR vendors will catch up, the HIT story suggests. For example, vendors have been working particularly hard to offer Continuity of Care Documents or Direct messaging, a capability providers must demonstrate for Meaningful  Use Stage 2, said Matt Kohler, vice president of Network Infrastructure Services at Surescripts.

But vendors clearly have some serious development challenges ahead if they want to keep up with the pace set by Meaningful Use Stage 2.  If I were a provider reading this, I’d call my vendor right away and see where they were at in the certification process.

Change is Good – 3 Changes That Are Transforming How Physicians Work

Posted on October 28, 2013 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Dr. Jose Barreau, CEO of Doc Halo.

They say that change is hard and that is generally true. Over the past few years there has been incredible fast-pace change in healthcare. But there are three things that physicians are using everyday with increasing frequency that are fundamentally changing the profession for the better.

1.    Online Medical Information: Gone are the days of textbooks. In Oncology, textbooks are outdated before they hit the shelf. Yes I still love the feel of a good book in my hand but it’s futile to resist. Now with one password physicians can search any disease and read an expert review within seconds. As senior physicians everywhere can attest to, many medical students are wandering the halls fully armed with the latest information and waiting for the opportunity to shine or strike depending on your view. I personally use several websites everyday in my practice. My personal favorite is UpToDate.com, which has excellent content in easy to read format. It also has content for patients. With these resources available on demand a physician becomes very efficient. They can prepare for a challenging patient encounter in a short period of time by reviewing the latest literature on an malady. The efficiency of quickly finding accurate peer reviewed information on any subject has changed the way physicians educate themselves.

2.    Electronic Medical Records: Yes, they take some getting used to but they are good. I clearly remember my fathers paper charts piled high and the Dictaphone chirping one hundred miles an hour when I as a kid. This did not look like fun to me. In today’s medicine EMR isn’t optional, it is a must have. With so many labs, imaging results and physicians involved in one patient’s care, this volume of information can no longer be managed with paper. We use Epic in our organization and once you take the time to become proficient it can be a very effective documentation tool and improve efficiency. I have colleagues that use Allscripts, McKesson, Cerner and several others and all have their strengths and weaknesses, but they provide value. There have been studies that show that efficiency is not improved wit EMR but these studies are not accurate and have many faults in their design. The key is for physicians to take the necessary time to become experts at using their EMR. This can take substantial time but it does pay of in the long run.

3.    Secure Texting Mobile Apps: The pager is not dead but it should be. First it was the physician’s home phone. Then many varieties of pagers emerged from voice to alphanumeric. With the advent of smartphones in every physician’s pocket this is changing rapidly. Why carry a pager when you can have a mobile app on your smartphone that sends and receives HIPAA secure messages. A few of the advanced enterprise solutions like Doc Halo can even integrate with an organizations single sign on system, call center software and send real time alerts. These advanced mobile app based communication systems have features such as “Off Duty” and “Auto Forwarding. They have directories and in network physician lists to help align the health care organizations. In addition in a recent survey 70% of users felt secure texting solutions improve patient care. Physician’s adopting this technology is certainly a trend and if these surveys are correct, a positive one.

These are three key things happening in medicine all around us and as physicians embrace these changes we all benefit.

About Dr. Barreau

As chief executive officer of Doc Halo, Dr. Jose Barreau leads Doc Halo’s development team and operations. He is one of the original founders of secure physician communication text mobile applications. The desire to exchange information quickly and securely with his healthcare colleagues eventually led to the development of the Doc Halo app.

Dr. Barreau is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology. He completed his fellowship in Hematology – Oncology at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio and sub-specializes in breast cancer treatment.

As the Medical Director of the TriHealth Cancer Institute in Cincinnati, Dr. Barreau works to expand the use of multidisciplinary clinics, which will improve the quality of cancer care through better physician-to-physician communication. www.dochalo.com

Doc Halo, a leading secure physician communication application, is a proud sponsor of the Healthcare Scene Blog Network.

Prediction: AHIMA 2013 Will Be ICD-10 All Day All the Time

Posted on October 25, 2013 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 will be my third year in a row attending the AHIMA Annual Conference (I think they call it the AHIMA Convention) which starts on Monday in Atlanta. I’m particularly excited for this year’s event because I have so many healthcare IT friends in Atlanta. Plus, I always have a great time at the event and learn a lot.

This year we’ll actually have three different Healthcare Scene bloggers (Jennifer Dennar, Mandi Bishop, and myself). So you can be sure to get some really varied coverage from the event from a number of different perspectives.

As I consider all the pitches I’ve gotten and think about the work of AHIMA, I can already tell that AHIMA 2013 is going to be dominated by one topic: ICD-10.

I honestly don’t think it’s even going to be close. I believe this is a very good thing. Hopefully the focus of attention on ICD-10 a little less than a year out from the ICD-10 implementation date is a good thing for the industry. You can be sure I’ll be doing what I can to help people better understand how they can prepare for ICD-10 and some of the tools out there.

Assuming I’m not too overwhelmed with all the AHIMA ICD-10 talk, next week I’d like to start a weekly series of posts on ICD-10. It feels right to call it ICD-10 Tuesdays. So, look forward to that series in the future.

Also, Agency Ten22 is holding the third annual tweet up at AHIMA on Tuesday evening. You can find more details and RSVP here. I’m reminded of the first tweetup. Beth from Agency Ten22 told me she had a nice suite. I told her I’d bring some Twitter friends and the AHIMA tweetup was born. Big thanks to Beth and her team for carrying on the tradition.

Finally, the rest of my travel for this year is booked. I’ll be at the Digital Health Conference (20% discount if you use the code HCS) in NYC in November and at the mHealth Summit in Washington DC in December. I hope to see many of you at one of these events.

Mobile PHRs On The Way — Slowly

Posted on October 24, 2013 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.

On-demand mobile PHRs are likely to emerge over time, but not until the healthcare industry does something to mend its interoperability problems, according to a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.

As the paper notes, mobile application development is moving at a brisk clip, driven by consumer and governmental demands for better quality care, lower healthcare costs and improved access to information.

The problem is, it’s hard to create mobile products — especially a mobile PHR — when the various sectors of the healthcare industry don’t share data effectively.  According to Frost  & Sullivan, it will be necessary to connect up providers, hospitals, physician specialty groups, imaging centers, laboratories, payers and government entities, each of which have operated within their own informational silos and deployed their own unique infrastructures.

The healthcare industry will also need to resolve still-undecided questions as to who owns patient information, Frost & Sullivan suggests.  As things stand, “the patient does not own his or her health information, as this data is stored within the IT  protocols of the EHR system,  proprietary to providers, hospitals and health systems,” said Frost & Sullivan Connected Health Senior Industry Analyst Patrick Riley in a press statement.

While patient ownership of medical data sounds like a problem worth addressing, the industry hasn’t shown the will to address it.  To date, efforts to address the issue of who owns digital files has been met with a “tepid” response, the release notes.

However, it’s clear that outside vendors can solve the problem if they see a need. For example, consider the recent deal in which Allscripts agreed to supply clinical data to health plans.  Allscripts plans to funnel data from participating users of its ambulatory EMR to vendor Inovalon, which aggregates claims, lab, pharmacy, durable medical equipment, functional status and patient demographics for payers. Providers are getting patient-level analyses of the data in return for their participation.

Deals like this one suggest that rather than wait for interoperability, bringing together the data for a robust mobile PHR should be done by a third  party. Which party, what it will it cost to work with them and how the data collection would work are the least of the big problems that would have to be solved — but might be that or nothing for the foreseeable future.

4 Reasons U.S. EMR Firms Won’t Try China

Posted on October 23, 2013 I Written By

James Ritchie is a freelance writer with a focus on health care. His experience includes eight years as a staff writer with the Cincinnati Business Courier, part of the American City Business Journals network. Twitter @HCwriterJames.

If you have something to sell, chances are you’ve thought about selling it in China.

With a population of 1.35 billion, it’s become an attractive market for U.S. companies pushing everything from athletic shoes to light trucks to Tide. Given the natural limits of their home market, you’d assume that American EMR firms would eventually size up China’s nascent health IT scene.

And it’s likely they have. In a report a few years ago, 100 percent of vendors surveyed told the consulting firm Accenture that they saw global markets as an opportunity in the long term.

But health IT doesn’t export quite as easily as Pringles and KFC. I’ve seen China’s healthcare system up close several times, and if you ask me, making headway in the world’s most populous nation will be beyond difficult.

China, which is in the midst of its own health care reform, could certainly be tempting for companies such as Epic, McKesson and Cerner. As Benjamin Shobert wrote for Forbes, the country in 2009 extended basic health coverage to 97 percent of its citizens. It also promised to build 31,000 hospitals, upgrade 5,000 existing ones and train 150,000 new primary-care doctors.

McKinsey & Co. last year said health care spending in China would grow to $1 trillion in 2020 from $375 million in 2011.

Meanwhile, U.S. EMR companies are going to need new markets to conquer. Estimates of how much growth potential is left are many and varied. But no matter how you look at it, at some point every American healthcare organization of any size will have an EMR. Millennium Research Group last month predicted declining EMR-industry revenue from this year on because of “market saturation.”

Of course, plenty of IT firms, including Oracle and IBM, have a major presence in China. But the China market won’t happen in a significant way for U.S. health IT companies any time soon, and here’s why:

  • China’s healthcare is different. The private physician’s office that Americans are used to is more or less nonexistent. You go to a hospital-based clinic and see the doctor who’s available. Patient privacy hasn’t taken hold, so there could be other clinic-goers and family members milling about near — or in — your exam room. Chinese traditional medicine is practiced alongside the “Western” variety. Even with insurance, you typically pay up front and get reimbursed later. A U.S.-centric EMR would not map neatly onto China’s workflows. There’s an overview of China’s system here. I’ve written about a Chinese dental clinic here.
  • No one understands China’s health IT. OK, I’m sure some people do, and I hope they comment. But it’s a challenge. The health information firm KLAS Enterprises isn’t even attempting to cover China. A KLAS executive vice president, Jared Peterson, told Modern Healthcare, “The Chinese market, that’s a big mystery.” Meanwhile, Accenture omitted China from its 2010 report “Overview of International EMR/EHR Markets” because of “conflicting opinions of overall EMR maturity.”
  • The language barrier will be formidable. Epic CEO Judith Faulkner told Modern Healthcare how her company had adapted its system for another language. “We’ve only done it once, for Dutch,” she said in January 2012. “It’s a lot of mapping. It’s a task, but it hasn’t been that bad of a task.” But Dutch is not Chinese, and Chinese doesn’t use the Roman alphabet. I’m betting that when you throw Chinese characters into the mix, the conversion will be “that bad of a task” and then some.
  • Cloud-based systems could raise security issues. Some experts expect cloud-based services to play a significant role as health IT spreads to developing countries. But according to a U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report, “Regulations requiring foreign firms to enter into joint cooperative arrangements with Chinese companies in order to offer cloud computing services may jeopardize the foreign firms’ information security arrangements.”

It’s worth mentioning that three years ago, China was mentioned as Cerner announced plans to develop global markets. It wanted to get into emerging regions before its U.S.-based competitors did.

There’s not much sign of life now in any China-related plans the company might have had, though. According to a message from Chad Haynes, managing director for Cerner Asia, on the firm’s website: “We look forward to improving the health of communities in ASEAN, China, and beyond.”

In the case of China, that could be a while.

TURF: An EHR Usability Assessment Tool

Posted on October 22, 2013 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.

The following is a guest post by Carl Bergman from EHR Selector.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone talks about EHR usability, but no one does anything about it, at least until now. Led by Dr. Jiajie Zhang, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making (NCCD) has developed several tools for measuring usability.

Now, Zhang’s team at NCCD has put several EHR usability tools into a Windows based app, TURF, an acronym for Task, User, Representation, Function. Funding for the project comes from ONC’s Strategic Health IT Advanced Research initiative.

TURF’s Tools. TURF has two major tools, Heuristic Evaluation and User Testing:

  • Tool One. Heuristic Evaluation: Expert Screen Capture and Markup. This tool takes EHR screen snapshots and let you compare them to usability standards. You can markup the screen and document the problem.
    Turf Expert Markup Tool - Showing Problem and Documentation
    For example, you can note if the error is minor, moderate, major or catastrophic. The system has a review function, so others can look at your markup and comment. The system also compiles your edits and can generate various statistics.

    • Administration. To work with groups, the system has several preset admin template forms and a template editor. The furnished templates cover these areas:
      • Demographics
      • Expert Review
      • Performance Evaluation, and
      • System Usability. This form asks 10 questions about the EHR, such as:
        • I think I would like to use the system frequently,
        • I thought there was too much inconsistency in this system,
    • Standards. The system uses the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) EHR usability protocol, NISTIR 7804. You may also add your own rules to the system. (Also, see EMRandEHR.com, June 14, 2012.)
    • EHR Sections. Using the NIST protocol, the system’s review areas are:
      • Clinical Decision
      • Clinical Information Reconciliation
      • Drug-drug, drug-allergy interactions
      • Electronic Medical Administration
      • ePrescribing
      • Med – Allergies
      • Medications list
      • Order Entry
      • User defined
  • Tool Two. Live Session Testing. TURF’s user test tool sits on top of an EHR and recording each movement. TURF’s designers have created a system that not only tracks use, but also adds these major functions:
    • User Sessions. TURF captures live screens, keystrokes, mouse clicks and can record a user’s verbal comments in an audio file.
    • Administration. The tool is designed for testing by groups of users as well as individuals. It captures user demographics, consent forms, non disclosures, etc. All of these can be tailored.
    •  Testing for Specifics. TURF allows managers to test for specific problems. For example, you can see how users eprescribe, or create continuity of care documents.
    • Comparing Steps. Managers can set up an optimum selection path or define the steps for a task and then compare these with user actions.
    • Reporting. TURF builds in several counting and statistical analysis tools such as one way ANOVA.

  • Running TURF. TURF isn’t your basic run and gun app. I downloaded it and then tried to duff my way through, as I would do with most new programs. It was a no go. Before you can use it, you need to spend some time setting it up. This applies to both its tools.

    Fortunately, TURF has about 30 YouTube tutorials. Each covers a single topic such as Setup for Electronic Data Capture and runs a minute or so. Here’s what they cover:
    Turf Tutorials Screen
  • Hands On. Installing TURF was straightforward with one exception. If you don’t have Microsoft’s .Net Framework 4.5 installed, put it up before you install TURF. Otherwise, the install stops for your to do it. TURF will also want the Codex that it uses for recordings installed, but the install deals with that.

    TURF is a Windows program, so I ran it in a virtual Win 7 session on my iMac. Given the environment, I kept the test simple. I ran TURF on top of a web based EHR and had it track my adding an antibiotic to a patient’s meds. TURF stayed out of the way, recording in the background.

    Here’s how TURF captured my session:
    Turf Playback Screen
    The left side screen played back my actions click for click. It let me run the screen at various speeds or stop it to add notes. The right screen lists each move’s attributes. You can mark any notable actions and document them for review by others. You can save your sessions for comparisons.

I found TURF to be a versatile, robust tool for EHR usability analysis. Its seeming complexity masks an ability to work in various settings and tackle hosts of problems.

If you aren’t happy with your EHR’s interface, TURF gives a remarkable tool to show what’s wrong and what you want. Indeed, with some adaptation you could use TURF to analyze almost any program’s usability. Not bad for a freebie.

Great EMR and HIPAA Supporters

Posted on October 21, 2013 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.

We have a number of really big announcements we’re going to make in the next month. One of them I can’t really mention, but the other is a Healthcare Marketing and PR Focused conference in Las Vegas (of course, since I live in Vegas). I’ve floated this conference idea to a couple healthcare marketers and their response has been nothing short of amazing. I think they’re really excited to go to a conference which helps them do their jobs versus going to conferences to market their company. Watch for the official announcement to come out soon. Plus, the other announcement I can’t talk about is even more exciting for the network.

With that said, Healthcare Scene (which EMR and HIPAA is a part) is doing really well. We’re well over 12 million pageviews and over 6500 blog posts since we started blogging on EMR back in 2005. I want to take a second to thank all those organizations that support what we do. Some have just started working with us and then there are many who have been supporting us for a lot of years. Either way, their support is always appreciated.

If you enjoy the content we create, I hope you’ll take a second to check out these EMR and HIPAA supporters. Their support keeps the lights on.

New Supporters
interfaceMD – One of the things I like about how interfaceMD looks at the EHR market is that each installation needs some custom work to match the unique needs of a doctors office. To use the oft quoted phrase, if you’ve seen one clinic, you’ve seen ONE clinic. I’ll be doing a G+ Hangout with the interfaceMD President and CEO, Joel Kanick where I’m sure we’ll explore this topic more.

DrChrono – A lot of EHR vendors talk about their iPad EHR application, but there are few EHR vendors that have created an iPad first EHR application. That’s the way DrChrono has approached the development of their EHR. Plus, they offer a free version where you can give their EHR a test drive before you buy. Just download the drchrono EHR on your iPad and try it out.

gMed – I’ve often written about the value of specialty doctors purchasing a specialty specific EHR. If you’re looking for a Gastroenterology EHR, then you should check out gMed. Plus, they’ve even put out this free whitepaper called Independent Gastroenterology: A Look into the Future. It’s a good example of their deep understanding of gastroenterology.

The Breakaway Group (A Xerox company) – This company takes a really unique approach to EHR and ICD-10 training. Plus, I love that they have deep roots in researching the most effective leaning techniques which they then use to refine their product. So, I’m excited to have them contributing to a monthly series of blog posts that we’re calling the Breakaway Thinking Blog Series.

GNAX Health – As healthcare IT continues to be implemented, I’m seeing more and more organizations looking at their disaster recovery plans using an external data center. GNAX has a whitepaper called Healthcare IT Disaster Recovery: 9 Steps to Help Target a Reliable DR Datacenter where they cover some of the challenges associated with finding the right disaster recovery data center. The time to prepare the disaster recovery is now and now when the hurricane is bearing down.

Renewing Supporters
These organizations have renewed their support of EMR and HIPAA. It’s always appreciated to see these companies renew year after year.
Ambir – Advertising since 1/2010
Amazing Charts – Advertising since 5/2011
simplifyMD – Advertising since 9/2012
Canon – Advertising since 10/2012
Xerox – Advertising since 2/2013

Thanks for reading!

EMR vs Tumblr, EMR Issues, and Improving Care

Posted on October 20, 2013 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 we do almost every weekend (every other week on EMR and EHR), we like to take a look at some interesting tweets that we find related to EMR and health IT. We have a bunch of spicy tweets this week that I think each start an important conversation.


My first gut reaction was to laugh. It’s nice that someone is using Tumblr as their therapy for EMR issues. Although, my second reaction is to be a little frustrated that an EMR would be so poorly designed that you could close your EMR in the middle of a report and it wouldn’t be saved. Of course, this isn’t surprising to me since I’ve seen hundreds of EMR, but it is still sad that it’s the state of EMR software today. Imagine if Word was still that way today.


I think this is an important discussion. I think there are workarounds that help this situation. We’ve written about many of them over the years. However, it definitely takes some good design to make the patient the center of the work you do as a doctor and not the EMR.


I love the irony of Farzad’s statement. The real challenge with this idea is that humans can adjust and learn over time much better than computers. At least in the short term. We’ll see how that plays out in the long term as the volume of information that needs to be processed can’t be handled by the human brain.