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Healthcare Scene at HIMSS 2012

Posted on February 16, 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.

As many of you know, I posted my HIMSS 2012 session schedule on EMR and EHR a few weeks back. Sadly, many of those sessions have been taken off my schedule, but a number of really good ones still remain. I just counted 27 other meetings with vendors the week of HIMSS. I think it’s fair to say I’m doing my part to see as many as I can to provide you some really interesting coverage.

Outside of that hectic schedule, you’ll also be able to find me at a number of events (mostly social media related):
Meet the Bloggers Panel – This is happening Wed 2/22 4:00-5:00PM at the HIMSS Social Media Center. This will be a fun panel for me with two people I know quite well and love: Jennifer Dennard and Neil Versel. Plus, Carissa Caramanis O’Brien who I don’t know that well, but look forward to meeting as well. If you like social media or blogging, you’ll enjoy this.

HIMSS Social Media Center Genius Bar – I’ll be there Tuesday, 11:30 am-12:00 pm, Wednesday 10:30 am-11:00 am, and Thursday 11:30 am-12:00 pm at the HIMSS Social Media Center. Stop by and ask any question you want. You can make an appointment for it here.

New Media Meetup at HIMSS Sponsored by simplifyMD – We’re almost out of space for this event so I’ve stopped any major promotion of it. It amazes me the wonderful people on the list. Soon I’ll probably have to change it to a wait list signup once we reach capacity.

I also wanted to point out some of the interesting things that sponsors of EMR and HIPAA are doing at HIMSS. I just asked them for info late, so a number of my advertisers haven’t been able to get me anything yet. If they send me their info, I’ll update the post.


NoMoreClipboard, in collaboration with iMPak Health, will launch and demo a new comprehensive solution for achieving a successful medical home or accountable care organization. This new device, ideal for technology adverse patients, will help health systems and employers improve clinical outcomes, reduce ER visits and hospital readmissions and reduce chronic disease costs. See, feel, touch and participate in product demonstrations conducive to real-world scenarios and enter to win a $500 Best Buy gift card at HIMSS Booth #7902.
Location: Booth #7902


DrFirst is presenting the HIMSS Hero at this year’s event. DrFirst will be doing Chair and foot massages, a Caricature artist turning you into our Superhero, Collapsible water bottles, House Footies (DrFirst branded hospital socks), and Giving away an iPad 2. Stop by to learn more about DrFirst’s shift to an EHR platform company.
Location: Booth #5456


Cerner is excited to expand our presence at HIMSS12. The Cerner booth #476 will provide HIMSS attendees the opportunity to connect with peers, interact with Cerner associates and learn about Cerner solutions. Multiple Cerner clients will be in the booth to offer peer perspectives to physicians in attendance and to present how they are progressing in their journeys toward achieving Meaningful use, high quality measures and greater efficiency. Cerner associates will talk through complete workflow and documentation solutions for interdisciplinary teams, medications management, device connectivity, quality reporting, revenue cycle management and leading-edge services. In addition to the show floor, 15 Cerner clients will present in the general HIMSS educational tracks. Cerner will also participate in the Interoperability Showcase and IDC-10 Knowledge Center, where we will showcase specific solutions in respective areas.
Location: Booth #14542-, 476


GE Healthcare IT delivers workflow solutions for specialists and tools which provide insights for
hospital leadership to enable healthcare systems to run more effectively and efficiently- resulting
in better quality care for more patients at a lower cost. At HIMSS12, we’ll showcase highlights of
our extensive portfolio featuring numerous new product introductions. Now available, Centricity
Patient Portal 13 is a flexible, scalable, customizable portals that extends the provider workflow to
the patient’s home. With a range of easy-to-use self-service tools, Patient Online enhances patient
communications, optimizes staff and provider productivity, and can help strengthen the provider’s
market and competitive position. It helps customers meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 patient and
family engagement criteria and prepare them for expected Stage 2 requirements. Centricity
Perinatal-Connect provides the ability to correlate data from disparate Hospital Information
Systems (HIS) and other sources onto the fetal strip. It enables access to multiple fetal monitoring
strips while allowing documentation in the HIS all at the same time, without obstructing any
clinical information, helping clinicians deliver their best care all while maximizing current hospital
investment in perinatal IT. GE Healthcare IT will also demonstrate planned capabilities of its 50-50 joint venture with Microsoft, Caradigm, launching later this year.
Location: Booth #2635


This year, Practice Fusion has teamed up with Fitbit and our blogger friends Brian Ahier and Don Fluckinger to kick off our contest. Brian and Don will be competing for the most number of steps for a chance to win a charitable donation made by Practice Fusion in their name. HIMSS attendees interested in winning a Fitbit of their own can simply tweet their response to “Why do you want a Fitbit?” using the hashtags #fitbit and #HIMSS12 Unable to attend HIMSS12 but still want to experience the action? Virtual HIMSS12 is for you. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Rowley and Las Vegas hand surgeon, Dr. Andrew Bronstein will be presenting an on-demand session titled Interoperability on the Front Lines: It’s Already Here.
Location: Booth #4074


HITR.com will exhibit at booth 7707 with its affiliates Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research. The HITR team is looking forward to meeting attendees and showing them the benefits a free membership in the HITR.com community can bring – healthcare IT benchmarking surveys and results, social networking opportunities, and more! Register at the booth to win one of our twice-daily Kindle drawings.
Location: Booth #7707


EHR Scope will be exhibiting in booth 13756. We’ll be doing video interviews for www.EHRtv.com, including some walk-in interviews. At the booth we’ll also be showing other activities of EHR Scope, including www.EMRConsultant.com, as well as Dragon Medical Spanish, which is now available for Latin America. In addition to the activities at the booth, we’ll have 2 roaming camera crews doing interviews of exhibitors, by appointment only.
Location: Booth #13756


At HIMSS, Amazing Charts is introducing Version 6.2, with the ability to connect with HIEs and PHRs automatically. On signing a note, the patient’s CCD is automatically uploaded to the patient selected PHR or HIE (See Screenshot). In 2011, Amazing Charts received the Best In KLAS Award for #1 EMR for 1-10 Physicians.
Location: Booth #13316


Mitochon is the first FREE ONC-ATCB Certified, web-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Patient Health Record (PHR) solution for medical professionals. The FREE EHR platform combines Scheduling, Charting, ePrescribing Labs and Collaboration of Care. This year at HIMSS Mitochon has a major announcement taking place on Monday February 20th. Dr. AndreVovan, Founder and Chief Medical Officer for Mitochon stated “all roads are leading to Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)/Integrated Delivery Systems and Mitochon is positioned to enable organizations to reach that destination.” Look for this announcement to learn more about Mitochon’s new offering and check out Mitochon’s Booth #265.
Location: Booth #265

DrFirst Shifts to EHR Platform Company

Posted on February 8, 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.

If you haven’t yet seen this video that DrFirst created for HIMSS 2012 and the HIMSS Healthcare Hero, then you need to watch it now. It’s a really beautiful video: http://bit.ly/AnNvzU

After seeing such a well made video, I definitely wondered what was up DrFirst’s sleeve at HIMSS 2012. So, I reached out and today I had the chance to talk with Cam Deemer President of DrFirst about the transition that’s happening at DrFirst.

I think that most of us have known DrFirst as an ePrescribing company. Since about 2004 they have been extremely focused on the ePrescribing area and that shows in the fact that DrFirst is the “ePrescribing Inside” 230 EHR companies. That’s a really impressive number and includes a client list with such names as GE and Greenway.

DrFirst is ready to make a shift which they’ll be talking about at HIMSS in Las Vegas. What I think makes DrFirst’s ePrescribing platform really interesting is that they can provide it using the DrFirst interface or an EHR vendor can customize it to their liking using a series of API calls. It takes a unique company and a unique set of skills to be able to do this effectively. Now imagine they provide these same functions and features across a whole array of EHR related products and services. By doing so, DrFirst becomes a really interesting EHR Platform.

You can find DrFirst at HIMSS to get the entire list of the products and services that they’ll be offering to EHR software vendors beyond just ePrescribing. However, I was really intrigued when they talked about their EHR platform providing compliance programs, patient education, and even co-pay discounts which help with medication compliance. I wouldn’t say that any of these things on their own are all that interesting. They are however things that a small EHR vendor wouldn’t have the time or the resources to be able to execute properly. For those EHR vendors who use the DrFirst interface, they can be turned on with the flip of an online switch.

Now just imagine a whole suite of other EHR services that DrFirst could provide EHR vendors as well. It becomes a really interesting value proposition. Plus, DrFirst also has a number of interesting solutions in the hospital market that also leverages this platform. Things like medication history for hospitals and a lab platform.

At the end of the day, EHR vendors are going to decide if this is a value added service or not. Many larger EHR vendors are going to develop a number of these features themselves and that should be expected. I just see it as a really healthy thing to have these type of EHR platform services available. Many EHR vendors have been so swamped with meaningful use and EHR certification, it’s great that a third party integration could continue to add real value to an EHR software.

The real challenge for DrFirst is going to be around how well they integrate these new EHR service offerings into the various EHR software vendors. If the integration is clean and adds value, they’re going to do very well. If it’s kludgy (a software term for messy) and doesn’t integrate well, then we won’t see much adoption. I think their current 230 EHR integrations are one sign that it will go smooth, but we’ll see.

My next question to consider is how DrFirst could extend their platform next. I can think of a number of mobile health companies that could benefit from the right connection to prescription data or to doctors. I’ll be pressing them at HIMSS to find out what’s next. I hope you will too and come back and share what you find out.

On a side note, I just got the list of things DrFirst is doing at their HIMSS 12 booth. It’s extensive and will be a can’t miss booth. Watch for the details in my upcoming HIMSS 12 exhibitor post.

Full Disclosure: DrFirst is an advertiser on EMRandHIPAA.com.

ePrescribing Controlled Substances

Posted on August 3, 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.

Back on September 13, 2009 I wrote a post titled, “FDA Approves Pilot Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances.” I’d link to the post, but unfortunately the news got sent to me prematurely and so I had to take the post down. It was unfortunate, since there was and still is a lot of interest in being able to ePrescribe controlled substances. In fact, I’d say that not being able to prescribe controlled substances electronically is the current Achilles heal of ePrescribing.

Fast forward to the recent announcement that DrFirst’s announcement of the Nationwide Launch of their ePrescribing Controlled Substances product. Their latest ePrescribing product for controlled substances is called EPCS Gold and is fully certified to meet the prescription processing requirements for Surescripts, the DEA’s requirements in the Interim final rule, and the Identify Proofing requirements set by NIST.

I’m really glad to see ePrescribing of controlled substances moving forward. This will make ePrescribing much more attractive to physicians. Especially physicians that regularly prescribe controlled substances like surgeons and pain doctors.

However, this controlled substance ePrescribing announcement does of course come with it’s limitations. I think they’re described well in this part of the press release:

Prescribers enrolling for EPCS Gold™ will be able to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically after a simple credentialing and identity-proofing process with DrFirst. After providers are certified, they can begin e-prescribing Schedule II-V drugs based on their individual state laws and the ability of the receiving pharmacy to meet the DEA’s requirements to process these prescriptions. To avoid any confusion and eliminate guesswork by providers, EPCS Gold™ automatically detects which substances can be sent electronically.

The two challenges are quite clear: state laws and pharmacy ability to meet the DEA’s requirements. I haven’t done any in depth research on either subject, but I have a feeling that both of these things will be major issues across the country. I’d like to think it won’t be, but knowing the pace of state legislation and pharmacy adoption of these standards I’m not hopeful that they’re ready to receive controlled substance prescriptions electronically.

However, the above step is an important one. You have to have all sides ready to handle the security required to make ePrescribing controlled substances a reality. This is the first step and a very good one.

Summary of ePrescribing Challenges

Posted on October 8, 2009 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.

ePrescribing seems like the in vogue thing to do these days. It’s part of the proposed meaningful use matrix and so no doubt we’re going to hear a lot more about it (and we should). However, ePrescribing isn’t without its challenges. A little while ago I put the question to you my readers about the challenges associated with ePrescribing. The following are a couple of the responses that I received from people about their experience with ePrescribing.

Doctor’s advocate that I am, I’ll start off with a doctor’s experience…
E-Rx has been one of the best additions to our EHR. We have reduced paper use significantly, and rarely have problems with transmission. The problems mainly relate to the extra work of entering which pharmacy the patient ants to use.

Oftentimes patients decide to change from what they had requested previously and then you have to search the database for the correct pharmacy. If you live in a large city that can be cumbersome. Our clinical coordinator has entered cross streets into the database to make this easier.

Our state does not permit transmission of controlled substances which in a pediatric practice is primarily psychostimulant medications. Another minor issue is that you have to have the correct units before it will transmit – e.g. if you want 30 of a capsule you have to put 30 caps in the amount field even though you ordered capsules in the medication field. This is not the way most docs are accustomed to writing prescriptions but certainly more accurate.

If there are pharmacies that do not use E-Rx it goes by fax which can be very slow. Some pharmacies are better than others about keeping up with their -rxs coming in and it won’t be ready when the patient arrives. We tell the patient to call the pharmacy when leaving the office to let them know they are coming.

Overall, e-rx has been a very positive experience – saving time, paper and money. Our e-rx with Dr. First integrates fully into the EHR making the documentation seamless.

From someone who use to work for an ePrescribing company…
(1) There was a saying “Free is not cheap enough” i.e. even if you give away the service, many, if not most doctors are not interested in it, because of the time and effort to implement e-prescribing (HW, networks, training etc). The MIPPA incentives definitely helped, but many doctors still felt that they were insubstantial compared to the cost (mostly their time) that they would have to invest in this.

(2) You still cannot prescribe Schedule drugs (primarily narcotics) via e-prescribing. This made it a tough sell to several specialties (pain, ortho, etc.). However, I have heard that is in the process of changing over time.

(3) Some of the clients that I dealt with did not want to implement eprescribing if it meant implementing another system to be integrated with whatever they had via HL7. They just wanted to wait until their existing vendor came out with a solid integrated solution.

I agree with you that e-prescribing is an area where there is almost universal agreement that this is a service that is much better than the traditional paper and pen method. All the doctors I have spoken to agree on this. Over time, it will become more and more popular, especially as EHRs penetrate the market. The last data I saw from SureScripts indicated that over 100,000 providers were now eprescribing, which is significantly higher than even just last year.

From the owner of an EMR company talking about integration with an ePrescribing solution and challenges associated with it…
One of the links I found on the AMA web site (several months ago) referred me to iScribe. This site is sponsored by Caremark. It has, in my opinion, a relatively simple to use interface.

We’ve been able to figure out how to feed data into it (we recommend using Firefox for a web browser and a third-party app called iMacros – which is something developers should know about) and extract data out so that we can keep our systems in sync.

The price for iScribe is $0. There are some aspects that take more time on the part of the doctor/nursing staff, but then there are other things where life is greatly simplified. There is a learning curve and there are some quirks. Their phone support is superb, their e-mail support non-existent.

The first hurdle to overcome was to figure out a way to map their list of pharmacies with ours. Is it “Wal-mart” or “Walmart” or “Wal Mart”? Or, “Savon”, “Sav-on”, “Sav on”, “Albertsons”? It almost became a hand to hand combat to map.

The second hurdle was figuring out to map their list of drugs to ours. Tougher, because we had mis-spellings on our side.

Then there are the issues of dealing with controlled substances. Can’t send them electronically, so then the staff wonders why are we bothering with these extra steps? (Drug-drug interaction checking is the answer.)

In the beginning, the nurses would call the pharmacy. “Did you get our e-request?” The little pharmacies would always say yes. Early on, the big chains seemed to be hit and miss – which was odd.

The nurses have become a little bolder and have learned how to poke around in iScribe and now find reports to help them do their job more easily.

One interesting side note, I did an “edit” function on a patient we had sent prescriptions. On the iScribe side, they had ALL the insurance information on the individual. Which, btw, we had never provided. So in some method, the pharmacies already have all detail and have shared it all over the Caremark network.

Any practice can use the service and there is no need to even interface to existing EMR or practice management systems.

Some interesting information for those looking at ePrescribing. I’d love to hear more experiences in the comments.

ePrescribing Through Online AMA Platform

Posted on April 27, 2009 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 sent a news release about DrFirst offering their ePrescribing services to physicians through a new online American Medical Association (AMA) platform. Here’s a short description of the new AMA platform:

DrFirst is the first company to announce that it is offering its services through the new AMA online platform. The platform, which is currently in beta testing, is aimed at providing physicians access to information, products, services and resources that can facilitate medical practice and ease adoption of evolving health information technologies. The AMA aims to launch its new platform in early 2010.

I find the concept of the AMA offering a platform for doctors interesting. Does anyone else know anything about this platform? On face it just sounds like the AMA trying to get a piece of the revenue that can be generated from adopting these technologies. I’m just not sure why someone would use this new AMA portal instead of just buying the software themselves. What advantages does the AMA portal provide outside of being a recommendation source for various software?