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Support Health Code-A-Palooza Team and Our Very Own Mandi Bishop

Posted on May 30, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m sure that many of you have enjoyed the writings of Mandi Bishop (maybe more famously known as @mandibpro on Twitter). I feel lucky to have her amazing insights on this blog. I’m also really excited for Mandi, because her and her team are competing in the Code-A-Palooza competition that’s part of the Health Datapalooza events in Washington DC. You know that Mandi’s a true data geek when she compares her participation in the event like the Oscars where “it’s an honor to have been nominated.”

What’s most important is that Mandi and her team (Lauren Still and Nick Kypreos) need your help and support. They’ve created a MedStartr crowdfunding campaign where you can get access to their work and support their efforts. Obviously, it’s not cheap for an independent team like them to compete in the challenge.

They have to be specifically vague in what they’re doing per the Code-A-Palooza rules, but here’s the description of the project they’re working on:

There is no simple solution to find out whether Medicare coverage is available and accepted for YOUR specific healthcare needs wherever and whenever you wish to go. Team ForiDUH is designing a product to make healthcare as accessible as GPS. We need your help to get to Washington, DC and win the Health Data Consortium’s Code-A-Palooza! [all donations are tax deductible!]

I’ve actually seen a preview of their presentation and their solution and it’s a pretty slick idea and use of the Medicare data. While still pretty vague, I think this slide illustrates their solution pretty well and how it can be useful to patients and health systems:
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Check out more details on what they’re doing and support their work on the Team ForiDUH MedStartr page.

5 EHR and Healthcare IT Bloggers

Posted on May 29, 2014 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 recently wrote an article talking about the evolution and attrition of EHR bloggers over the last 9.5 years I’ve been blogging about EMR and healthcare IT. I thought it might be fun every week or so to highlight a number of EHR, healthcare IT or related blogs. I’ve been collecting a list for quite a while and I think you’ll find some new ones that you’ll find interesting and useful. In some cases, the blogs may not be updated regularly, but they usually have plenty of archived content for your reading enjoyment.

Here’s 3 EHR and Healthcare Blogs You Might enjoy:
MD Whistleblower – I think this doctor’s blog description says it all, “MD WHISTLEBLOWER PRESENTS VIGNETTES AND COMMENTARIES ON THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. WE PEEK ‘BEHIND THE MEDICAL CURTAIN’ AND DELIVER CANDOR AND CONTROVERSY IN EVERY POST.” Dr. Kirsch definitely delivers on his desire to deliver candor and controversy in his posts. I appreciate a blogger that’s not afraid to have strong opinions. It broadens the discussion and helps us all to learn and improve even if we don’t agree with the opinion.

Kristen Paulet – This is a newer healthcare IT marketing blog, but I figure why discriminate based on age. Ever since organizing the Health IT Marketing and PR conference I’ve been extremely interested in learning all I can about the techniques health IT companies are using to market their business. It’s been fun reading a fresh perspective and commentary on the subject from someone working in health IT marketing.

Perficient Healthcare – Many company blogs are terrible since they more like a company news feed than a blog. This can’t be said for Perficient’s healthcare blog. They cover a wide array of healthcare topics and really spend a lot of time making sure they’re creating quality content. Take for example, this post by Mel Smith Jones on what health education can learn from Netflix.

Nerdy Nurse – With a name like that, how could you not want to check her out? I believe we need more nurses blogging so that the nurse’s voice is heard. Right now I think the nurse voice is often missing in the healthcare IT discussions we are having. So, I’m glad that The Nerdy Nurse, a clinical informatics nurse, does what she can to elevate the voice of the nurse.

HIStalk – The TMZ of the healthcare IT industry and one of the only people that’s been blogging about healthcare IT longer than me. Mr. H does a tremendous job covering the latest and greatest healthcare IT trends, rumors, happenings, and gossip. #HITNerds love to read HIStalk.

There you have it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these blogs and feel free to submit any blogs you like reading or think that I might not know about. I have quite a list for future posts, but I’m always on the looking for more.

Three Things About Meaningful Use That Will Affect Your Practice

Posted on May 28, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Steve Baker, President of Eyefinity®
Steve Baker headshot
As a practice owner, new regulatory requirements are not always perceived positively as a benefit to the business or to the patient. However, if approached with a different mindset, they are an opportunity to reflect on your business – for example, where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Today, you have the pressure of electronic health records (EHR), attesting for meaningful use (MU) and the explosion of digital communication in the office and with your patients. The list seemingly goes on forever and at times may appear to be at odds with primary goals of patient care.

I have spoken with eye care providers all around the U.S., and patient care consistently rises to the top as their highest priority. One interesting question that I receive frequently is, “What is the anticipated benefit of MU in my personal practice, and what will it look like in the future?” From my perspective, EHR and MU should be viewed as the underlying platform for healthcare moving forward.

The pace of technology creation and adoption and the medical industry’s constant move toward interoperability are things that should be viewed as positive benefits for your patients, as well as for your business. This connectivity will enable healthcare to progress to the next level. Here are three circumstances that will have an impact on how MU will ultimately benefit your patients and your practice:

  1. Consumer demand: Consumers are mobile and technology-enabled and expect endless choices. According to Google/Ipsos, 96 percent of smartphone owners have researched for a product or service on their phone. They are using technology to connect and interact with everything that is important in their lives. Healthcare will inevitably become a part of this.
  1. Changing demographics: The 65+ age group, which represents approximately 13 percent of the population today, is projected to be 20 percent of the population by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The late teens to early 30s age group (Gen Y, or Millennials), makes up perhaps the largest segment of the workforce at approximately 80 million people.
  2. Telemedicine:BenefitsPro.com, citing an IHS Technology report, shares that there will be a 20-fold growth in patients who are using telemedicine in the coming decade. What’s more is that 72 percent of consumers are willing to see their health provider via video conference.

MU objectives are propelling the industry to collectively meet the needs of the consumer, and if you don’t have the right systems in place, then you won’t be relevant to your patients in the future. For example, how would you answer the following questions?

  • How do you connect securely with your patients outside of the exam room to discuss treatment and follow-up care?
  • Can your patient securely access his/her medical information, and does the patient have a positive experience when trying to schedule an appointment?
  • Can you access your records from any location, at any time and from any device?

The answers to these questions need to align with the views of your patients as their expectations continue to evolve. Understand that regulatory requirements are opportunities to reassess your business and determine how you can be relevant to your patients, now and over the coming years. Connect with your peers to see what is working for them. Make sure that you are using a certified EHR and have the right business partner in place to help you get the most out of your systems and business.

The MU discussion should focus on how the medical industry can increase value to the patient – the same patient who is your customer and who is becoming a self-directed, technology-connected individual who is reluctant to accept in his or her healthcare less than what is experienced in other aspects of life. Effectively taking care of the patient can lead to enhanced business results, and MU is one path to the future.

Steve Baker, President, oversees the day-to-day operations of Eyefinity®, the eye care industry’s leading provider of practice management and EHR solutions and one of five innovative companies comprising VSP Global®. Steve is focused on business growth, strategic planning and product development. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from California State University, Northridge, with a concentration in systems design and mathematics. Steve enjoys most anything outdoors and is an avid cycling fan. He can be reached by e-mail at Steve.Baker@eyefinity.com.

mHealth and Where It’s Heading with Alan Portela

Posted on May 27, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of my favorite healthcare IT people to interview is Alan Portela, CEO of AirStrip. Having been in the healthcare IT industry and seen it from so many angles, he always has some interesting insight into what’s happening in the industry. It’s hard to understand the value that having attended HIMSS almost as many years I’ve been alive (Ok, not quite, but not too far off either) provides.

With this as a preface, I think you’ll really enjoy this interview I did with Alan. We talk about how to build a successful mHealth application, the changing EHR market, and the impact of FDA regulation. He provides some really great insights into the market.

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted on May 26, 2014 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.

Every Memorial Day my memories are brought back to family and freedom. I’ve written before about my brother who is in the Air Force. I’m so grateful for his and so many other military people’s sacrifice so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy. It’s sad to think that in some countries a blog like this couldn’t exist. Agree with me or not, it’s so important that we can all have different views and share them publicly. Plus, the best thing about bringing people together with differing views is that this type of discussion and collaboration usually breeds respect. We may still not agree, but at least we can learn to respect the other person’s view.

I know there’s a lot of news lately about the VA waitlist. I haven’t dug into all the details, so I can’t really comment on it either way. Although, if it helps us to make sure that the Veterans who serve the country get the healthcare they deserve, then I guess I’ll be happy with that result.

Regardless of how you celebrate today and why you celebrate, I hope you’ve had a wonderful day and could enjoy some time with family and friends.

Epic – Future Proof, EHR Prenup, and Intelligent EHR

Posted on May 25, 2014 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.


Nope! But it has quite a few years of prosperity left in it.


I think it’s funny to call it a prenup. Translation: Read and understand your contract. A lot of people are starting to pay the price for this one.


Let’s be honest. EHRs today aren’t intelligent.

Meaningful Use As a Requirement for Medical Licensure

Posted on May 23, 2014 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.

About a year ago, you might remember the article I wrote about the Massachusetts law that would require doctors to be meaningful EHR users to have a medical license. The law was shocking then and the idea is shocking to consider even now.

The good news is that it looks like the law is going to be modified so that physicians don’t have to demonstrated EHR proficiency as part of their medical license. As you can imagine the Massachusetts Medical Society has been working hard to advocate for this change. They say that the modification was “designed to prevent disenfranchising more than 10,000 physicians who, by law or other circumstance, cannot achieve meaningful use certification.” Probably took a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

I think it’s more than heavy handed to tie EHR proficiency to a medical license. The reality is that EHR’s will become mandated thanks to things like reimbursement and medical malpractice insurance. There’s not going to need to be a law that says you have to be proficient in an EHR to hold a license.

Is it any wonder why many doctors are revolting against EHR?

One of the worst thing you can do to get someone to do something is to force them to do it. Instead of these heavy handed approaches, there should be a focus on the value an EHR provides. I don’t know any provider that doesn’t want to do something that provides value to their clinic and their patients. Forcing someone to do something is the lazy approach.

2000+ EMR and HIPAA Blog Posts and 9.5 Million Pageviews Later

Posted on May 22, 2014 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 just passed 2000 blog posts on EMR and HIPAA (officially this is blog post #2009) and we’re right at 9.5 million pageviews since we first started this blog. Plus, to round out the numbers, we just passed 12,000 (officially 12,065) comments on the blog as well. I’m honestly not really sure how to process these numbers. Not to mention that nearly 5000 email subscribers get their “daily cup of EMR and HIPAA” in their inbox 6-7 days a week.

Over the years we’ve had a number of writers contribute amazing content to the site, but most of our regular writers contribute to another Healthcare Scene website like EMR and EHR. I’ve generally reserved EMR and HIPAA for the content that I write and so 1705 of the blog posts were written by me. Not too bad for a little over 8 years of writing. I think I’ve accomplished some good.

Every 3-6 months I like to also take a minute to thank the sponsors who support the work we do here at EMR and HIPAA. Without them, I wouldn’t have the time to do what I do and provide the value that we provide the readers of EMR and HIPAA.

Key Sponsors
At the core of supporting our website has always been our sponsors who put up their advertising on the site. Take a look at these companies who’ve sponsored the site and see if one of them can help you and your organization:

Ambir – Advertising since 1/2010 – If you’re looking for a workgroup scanner for your organization take a look at Ambir’s scanners. I have one on my desk at home and it’s worked great. Plus, Ambir is expanding what they do beyond scanners. At HIMSS I saw a demo of their new forms program for tablets that is really slick. You can basically take any paper form and make it so you can write on top of it. It’s a really slick product. I know they’re still adding a few features to the product. Once it’s out in the wild, I’ll do another post about it with more details.

Cerner – Advertising since 9/2011 – I really don’t think anyone needs an introduction to Cerner EHR. The Cerner Ambulatory EHR team has advertised with us for a very long time. One of the things that I find most exciting about the Cerner ambulatory EHR product is their mobile interface. It has some slick features and I think we’re just getting started with optimizing EHRs on tablets and other mobile devices.

Canon – Advertising since 10/2012 – Another company that really doesn’t need an introduction other than to say that this is the Canon scanners, not the Canon cameras. I have a Canon scanner on my desk at work and it’s worked wonderfully well for me. It saves me so much time to have a real workhorse of a scanner. A scanner is one of those essential EHR peripherals and that won’t likely change for a long time to come.

gMed – Advertising since 8/2013 – If you’re in gastroenterology, then you need to take a minute to check out gMed. I recently did a demo and I was particularly impressed with their Endoscopy Report Writer. I loved the way it integrated with external devices and the EHR for easy documentation. Along with being an advertiser, gMed has also invited me to be the keynote speaker at the gMed Summit 2014 (the gMed user group event). I’m really excited to share my insights into the future of EMR and healthcare IT with the gMed users. Those working in gastro should also download this gMed whitepaper: Independent Gastroenterology: A Look into the Future.

interfaceMD – Advertising since 9/2013 – Better than me trying to explain what makes the interfaceMD EHR unique, check out this video interview I did with Joel Kanick, interfaceMD’s founder. The video really shows what a unique approach they take to EHR. I’d describe their approach to EHR a little like having a private butler or concierge service at a hotel. They want to make everything as easy as possible for you and if something’s wrong they’ll take the blame for everything. I think it’s a smart approach that resonates with many doctors.

Colocation America – Advertising since 10/2013 – The demand for HIPAA compliant cloud hosting is only going up and up. Whether you’re a small practice, a large organization, a startup company or a publicly traded healthcare IT organization, you likely need a HIPAA compliant host. Colocation offers a wide variety of options for you to choose from.

Modernizing Medicine – Advertising since 1/2014 – I’ve written a number of articles that describe the Modernizing Medicine EHR much better than I do. Check out their unique EHR interface and their approach to ICD-10 (which I guess will now have to wait another year to be really valuable). I’ll be doing an interview on Thursday next week with Modernizing Medicine’s CEO, Daniel Cane and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sherling to talk about their new integration between IBM’s Watson with their EHR. Watch the @ehrandhit Twitter account for all the details.

VM Racks – Advertising since 1/2014 – Another HIPAA compliant host you should consider for your hosting needs. One thing I love about VM Racks is that they offer a free 30 day trial of their hosting. What better way to know if they offer a quality service or not than to try it for 30 days?

Quirk Healthcare – Advertising since 3/2014 – While Quirk Healthcare is a newer advertiser, the Founder of Quirk Healthcare advertised with us at his previous EHR consulting company as well. I know they originally cut their teeth on NextGen EHR, but their website says they’ve helped 100 providers go live in 4 months and generated over $2 million in meaningful use payments. They also blog regularly and put on webinars with the latest on meaningful use. When the ICD-10 delay happened they were one of the first that wrote about it. When meaningful use stage 2 was delayed, they were on top of it. I love that about them.

You can get more details on how to get your company added to this list of EMR and HIPAA supporters. Just drop us a note on our contact us page.

Whitepaper Portal
Along with our key sponsors that support the site, a few months back we launched our Healthcare IT whitepaper portal. It’s done phenomenally well as thousands of people have downloaded relevant whitepapers that can help them do their job better. For example, you’ve probably seen me mention this whitepaper that covers the 6 Reality Checks of HIPAA Compliance.

We’re working with a bunch more companies to get some more high quality whitepapers on the portal. So, watch for those in the future. Plus, we’re looking at sharing a few Healthcare Scene specific ones as well. If you’re a company that has an amazing whitepaper, feel free to reach out to us to learn about how you can get it on our portal.

Content Series
We’ve also started doing a number of special blog post series on EMR and HIPAA that are sponsored by the Medical Management Corporation of America and The Breakaway Group. I’ve really enjoyed both of these blog post series and it really shows the depth of knowledge that both companies possess. I really love this content sponsorship model where a company with extraordinary expertise can share their knowledge and experience with the EMR and HIPAA audience while they build some recognition for their companies. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.

Reader Thanks
Thanks to everyone who reads the site regularly. We couldn’t do what you do without your support as well. We have some of the best readers on the planet. They’re not afraid to share their wisdom, correct us when we’re wrong and improve healthcare as we know it. I’m looking forward to the next 2000 blog posts!

Lack of Rec Support Cause of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Slowdown?

Posted on May 21, 2014 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.

By now, I imagine that most of you have read about the meaningful use stage 2 delay and EHR certification flexibility. The details and interpretation are still going on, but it’s a big change to the current meaningful use program. Although, the biggest question I hear asked is if the change leaves enough time for organizations to change course. I think the rule has to be open for 60 days of comment before it becomes final. We’ll see if that leaves people enough time.

We’ll see if this change will provide some relief to a meaningful use program that I described as on the ropes. In response to that post, Deborah Sherl, BSN, RN, CHTS, CHPS, made an interesting comment on a possible cause of the meaningful use stage 2

@ John Lynn…. of course I am slightly biased on the topic of the rapid response & deployment of Stage 1 vs Stage 2. A great amount of Stage 1 success was ushered in with the amazing assistance of professional consultants across the country for those EPs & EHs that were willing to use us…. and we were called the Regional Extension Centers Health IT workforce.

Now that the federal grant is done (Feb.2014) Stage 2 implementations are possibly stalled not only by overburdened EMR vendors, but lack of project management forces that were provided by the RECS. Many RECs have built sustainable business models but are no longer “free” services as was perceived while under the HITECH grant.

I find this a very interesting hypothesis. I’m not sure that it accurately reflects why many organizations chose not to attest to MU stage 2, but it certainly didn’t help things. In fact, it adds one more log to the already burning fire. Think about what happens with MU stage 2. We’re going to pay them less incentive money, require them to do substantially more, and oh yeah…those “free” REC support resources are now gone too. Plus, your EHR vendor may or may not be ready either.

I think the changes to the EHR Certification requirements and delay of meaningful use stage 2 are good. Although, I’m hoping this is just the start of HHS blowing up meaningful use and making it dramatically simpler and more meaningful.

HIPAA Security and Audits with Mac McMillan

Posted on May 20, 2014 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.

In case you missed the recent HIPAA Privacy and Security hangout I did with Mac McMillan, CEO of Cynergistek, you’re missing out. I think this HIPAA interview is an extension of what we started in our post “6 Reality Checks of HIPAA Compliance.” There’s a real awakening that’s needed when it comes to HIPAA. I love in this hangout when Mac says that the patience in Washington for those that aren’t HIPAA compliant is running low. An example of that is another topic we discus: HIPAA audits. The first round of HIPAA audits were more of a barometer of what was happening. The next round we’ll likely be much more damaging.

Watch the entire HIPAA interview with Mac McMillan to learn even more: