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EMR Integration with Cisco IP Phones

Posted on September 10, 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.

One of the lunch demos I saw at the EHR Stimulus tour was a demo of the integration of a Cisco IP phone with an EMR. I’ll admit that they are VERY brave souls to try and do a demo like this since it’s just prone to problems. Demos are always that way. Plus, I think you can get the picture of what’s happening without seeing it. At least I could have and everyone else that couldn’t probably just saw all the configuration and thought it was too complex to even consider.

That part aside, there were a couple of things that were intriguing about the demo. First, as they said, it’s interesting to see how hardware can really affect and interact with your EMR. That’s an interesting concept that I think is worth exploring a lot more. Second, if setup correctly there are a couple features that are interesting and useful. However, I’m not sure it’s really worth the cost or hassle to get these features. They are kind of nice to have, but aren’t deal breakers or makers.

The features that I did find interesting was that it would bring up the patient name/information on the phone when they are calling. I’d be interested to see how much information can really fit on the phone. However, even if it’s just a patient ID which you can use to quickly pull up the patient’s chart, then it’s a nice time saver. Plus, you can quickly verify that it is indeed the patient that’s calling using the information on the phone. Very cool feature and pretty useful. I imagine if you worked in an office with this you’d take it for granted until you moved to an office that didn’t have it and you’d miss it.

The other feature that’s cool is really just IP phone specific and that’s having a soft phone on your computer (basically the phone just runs on your computer and you can use a headset plugged into your computer). Saves on the cost of the often expensive IP phones and I expect we’re going to see some pretty amazing advances in soft phones.

Like I said. These weren’t things that should change your EMR decision, but it is a preview of some of the types of technologies we can see integrated with an EMR.

My EHR Stimulus Tour Experience

Posted on September 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.

Many of you might remember me ripping on the EHR Stimulus Tour being a nice marketing idea for Allscripts. Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard when I said that the EHR stimulus tour sickens me and compared the EHR stimulus tour to an Amway or MLM convention. Yes, I did feel a little icky going to it and even leaving the event. However, I will admit that it was much calmer than I would have ever expected it would be. They did a pretty good job of leaving out the sales talk. Although, Allscripts really was the only vendor with much presence. A Citrix rep was there along with a local Embarq salesperson who had some Cisco IP representation as well.

Overall, I have a feeling that many will go away from the event disappointed. They did provide some good information on the amount of the EHR stimulus money and also how the EHR stimulus money will be paid. They also had quite a bit of information about ONC and other government organizations related to the ARRA funds. However, I’m guessing that many went home from the presentation seeing the dollar signs from the EMR stimulus money with little information on how to actually get the money.

Yes, I know it’s still early to be doing presentations with too much detail on “meaningful use” and “certified EHR,” but I think it would be valuable to talk about what those could potentially be. At least show them a timeline of when we’ll know more about those 2 all important terms. Instead, it was basically a presentation on the MONEY, 2 raw raw speeches about EMR use and then a sales demo over lunch.

The 2 speeches from doctors in the community were interesting. The first problem I had was that these 2 guys came from very large clinical practices. Much of what they talked about just isn’t possible for small practices. For example, one guy said we can report on anything. We just turn it over to this one whiz kid who can build a report to tell us anything. Unfortunately, small practices don’t have the whiz kid report writer to pull the data out of the EMR. That’s just one example, but you get the point. They talked about really cool things that are just hard to apply in a small practice setting.

One other note was that at least one of the speakers actually was a Misys user instead of Allscripts. I was so tempted to ask them how they felt about Misys being acquired by Allscripts and how much it was going to cost them to switch to Allscripts EMR from Misys. The timing was wrong and so I’m going to try and email him to find out. However, there were a number of other Misys users around me that were quite upset about the Allscripts purchase and the need to switch from Misys to Allscripts to get the EHR stimulus money (at least that’s what they told me).

I’ll do a few other posts about some of the technologies they showed in the demo. Although, I’ll admit that it was a horrible idea for them to do a demo like they did. Everyone around me had a headache since the screen was so small and he was clicking so much they just got confused. I didn’t mind it, but I’ve seen quite a few EMR before.

Of course, all in all it was a nice meeting for me. I made some good Las Vegas EMR contacts and got a free lunch.

EHR Stimulus Tour

Posted on May 4, 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.

Turns out the fish are starting to feed. Check out this website that talks about the “EHR Stimulus Tour: Educating the Nation.” Ok, I don’t really want you to check out the website, since I think it’s kind of sad. At the bottom it lists the “EHR Stimulus Alliance.” The following companies are listed in this EHR alliance:
Allscripts
Cisco
Citrix
Dell
intel
intuit
Microsoft
Nuance

What a group of large companies trying to sell a bunch of product. I guess we should have expected something like this, but maybe I’m just a little surprised that they made a website for an EHR stimulus tour and everything. Interestingly the twitter link on the site goes to an Allscripts twitter account. I think we can clearly see who’s behind this website.

Honestly, this reminds me of an Amway or other MLM convention. Is it any wonder the type of information that will be given at this type of tour? I guess $18 billion is a lot of motivation to market your EHR software. I just wish they were stopping in Las Vegas so that I could go and check them out.