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EMR Companies, Leveling the Playing Field, and The Eatery: Around Healthcare Scene

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EMR and EHR

What Really Differentiates EHR Companies?

EHR companies are a dime-a-dozen. So what makes them different? While price is sometimes a big deal to some, it isn’t an indicator of success. Marketing and sales can make a difference as well to some. However, there are a few things that should differentiate EHR companies. This includes the importance of efficiency.

Android’s Advantage Over iPhone in Mobile Health Applications

While many in the healthcare world love the iPhone, Android devices may present more options to healthcare professionals. Android offers more customization than the iPhone, and has more flexibility. It may cause developers more headaches, as the iPhone only requires them to only code their application once to work with most iOS devices. But the benefits are countless.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Level the Playing Field with RACs as They Enter Practice Settings

This article is by Lori Brocato, Director of Audit at HealthPort. She lists four ways that hospitals can do to level the playing field with RACs. These reasons are: knowledge is power, it’s a team effort, connect the dots, and learn from mistakes.

How EMR Vendors and Providers Can Partner Effectively

The LinkedIn HIMSS group posed the question — what does a good partnership between an EMR vendor and a provider look like? This post includes a few of Anne Zieger’s thoughts on this question.

Smart Phone Healthcare

The Eatery: A Visual Food Diary

The Eatery puts a twist on the typical food diary — instead of recording food, you take a picture. The user then can rate their food, and others can too.

February 10, 2013 I Written By

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

Healthcare.gov, EMR Switch, and Flu and RSV Detector: Around Healthcare Scene

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It was a quiet week around Healthcare Scene, but here are a few of the posts that did get posted. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and this new year will be the best yet!

EMR and EHR

11 Reasons Why Healthcare is So Screwed Up

This list was initially created by GetReferralMD and reposted on EMR and EHR. This post doesn’t go into details about each of the reason, but it provides some interesting food for thought. Some of the reasons on the list include insurance companies, ignorance, and McDonalds. With the upcoming new year, it’s the perfect time for resolutions to be made, and some of these issues to be addressed.

Healthcare.gov

This government-run website has recently been revamped, and now offers a lot more features. It has an obvious mission — to convince everyone to back-up Obamacare, but it has neat options now like an insurance options wizard and tools to help people understand using insurance. It still leaves some things to be desired, but it’s a nice site that doesn’t have the looks of a typical government site.

Hospital EMR and EHR

2013: The Year of the EMR Switch

This coming year appears to be the one where more hospitals will be switching to EMR. This will, obviously, have a huge affect on the EMR sales process. It will include tons of EMR marketing, alternatives may have more of a chance, and market winners and losers will be named.

New Hospital Rockets To Top Of HIMSS EMR Adoption Scale

While many smaller hospitals have been behind the curve when it comes to Meaningful Use and HIMSS standards, one 50-bed Texas hospital challenges that sterotype. Texas Alliance Health has achieve stage-7 of the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model — something that only 1.9 percent of U.S. hospitals has achieved. This is quite the feat for any hospital, especially a small one like Texas Alliance. It had many factors working in its favor, particularly that it has only been open since September.

Smart Phone Healthcare

UK Company Developing a Biosensor Device to Detect Flu and RSV

Early detection of the flu and RSV can help prevent these illnesses from getting worse. However, early detection is hard to come by, and when the first stages have passed, many treatments are not affective. OJ-Bio, a UK-based company, seeks to change that. A new sensor is in the works that accurately can detect these illnesses, as well as other respiratory illnesses, quickly, early-on, and at home.

December 30, 2012 I Written By

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

Wireless Healthcare IT, Risk Analysis, and Ever-changing Technology: Around Healthcare Scene

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EMR and EHR

Why 2013 Will Be A Good Year For EMRS

EMRs don’t always have the best reputation, particularly concerning their ease for implementation. However, there are some things that are looking up in 2013 for the industry. Ann Zieger discusses these, and includes ideas such as vendors being able to offer mobile options, as well as consolidation leading to a more stable vendor market.

Wireless Healthcare IT Could Hold the Key to Preventable Readmissions

CardioMEMS developed a heart-failure monitoring system, the first of its kind. The company understands the need from back-end data and has a lot of potential for the future. Technology like this may be the key to preventing hospital  readmissions.

Hospital EMR

Hospitals Stepping Up Security Risk Analysis, While Practices Lag

EMRs pose a large risk for criminal hackers to come in. However, according to a HIMSS survey, around 90 percent of hospitals are now conducting annual risk analysis. Unfortunately, practices only came in at about 65 percent. An even more surprising fact was that 22 percent of survey responders reported having a security breach next year. While there have been a lot of strides made toward stepping up security risk analysis, there is still a ways to go.

Meaningful Health IT News

Technology Changes Faster Than You Think

In 2005, smart phones weren’t mainstream in the health industry. This post also includes other interesting facts about mHealth only seven years ago, and it goes to show just how fast technology is changing. It raises the question, where will we be seven years from now? An interesting infographic from 2005 is also shown in this post as well.

Smart Phone Healthcare

The Patient’s Guide Reveals How iPhone Dominates Mobile Health Research

A recent study done by the Patient’s Guide researched the use of medical devices. During this study, they discovered how the iPhone is by far the most popular device being used. This post includes an infographic from The Patient’s Guide that displays other findings from the study.

December 16, 2012 I Written By

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

Health IT Hazards, Selecting the Right EHR, and Withings Wireless Scale – Around Healthcare Scene

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Hospital EMR and EHR

Health IT Stands Out In Health Technology Hazards List

The Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list was recently released by ECRI. And this year, two of the hazards that made the list are health IT related – patient/data mismatches in EHRs and other HIT systems, and, interoperability failures with medical devices and health IT systems. Anne Zeiger predicts that more HIT issues will top this list in the future.

Patients Accessing Online Medical Records Use More Services

A new study revealed something interesting — patients who use online access to medical records are likely to use more clinical services than those who do not. The Journal of the American Medical Association drew this conclusion after studying members of Kaiser. Kaiser has had a patient portal in place since 2006, which made it an ideal candidate for this study.

EMR and EHR

10 Tips for Selecting the Right EHR

In the market for a new EHR? Or perhaps just implementing one? This post highlights 10 tips on selecting the right EHR for your practice, as presented by Insight Data Group. Some of the suggestions include making sure the EHR is easy to use and customized, and use the government’s money to pay for your EHR.

Meaningful Healthcare IT News

Social and Mobile Continue to Converge in Healthcare

An interesting infographic is shown and discussed in this post. It is called “How Health Consumers Engage Online,” and reveals some interesting facts about the digital and health world. According to it, more people in the United States own a smart phone than a tooth brush, and 23 percent of people use social media to follow the health experiences of a friend. This definitely presents some fascinating data that is worth reading.

Smart Phone Health Care

New Withings Wireless Internet Scale Hits the Market

A new scale was recently released, and it does more than just tell a person how much they weigh. It tracks numerous variables, including BMI, and can be synced to various mHealth apps. There is also an app that goes along with the scale as well. It is a bit pricey at over $100, but it definitely “tips the scales” when it comes to scales.

Smart Phone Enabled Thermometer Approved By FDA

The “Raiing” is the newest in smart phone technology. It’s a high-tech, yet easy-to-use, thermometer, designed for iOS devices. It is placed under the armpit, and can actually track a person’s temperature over time. If a temperature reaches a certain number, an alarm will go off on the connected smart phone. This can help give parent’s peace of mind, as a sick child sleeps.

December 2, 2012 I Written By

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

Doctors Increasingly Texting, But HIPAA Protection Lacking

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A new study of physicians working at pediatric hospitals has concluded what we might have assumed anyway — that they prefer the use of SMS texting via mobile phone to pagers. What’s worrisome, however, is that little if any of this communication seems to be going on in a HIPAA-secure manner.

The study, by the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita, asked 106 doctors at pediatric hospitals what avenues they prefer for “brief communication” while at work. Of this group, 27 percent chose texting as their favorite method, 23 percent preferred hospital-issued pagers and 21 percent face to face conversation, according to a report in mHealthWatch.

What’s interesting is that text-friendly or not, 57 percent of doctors said they sent or got work-related text messages.  And 12 percent of pediatricians reported sending more than 10 messages per shift.

With all that texting going on,  you’d figure hospitals would have a policy in place to ensure HIPAA requirements were met. But in reality, few doctors said that their hospital had such a policy in place.

That’s particularly concerning considering that 41 percent of respondents said they received work-related text messages on a personal phone, and only 18 percent on a hospital-assigned phone. I think it’s fair to say that this arrangement is rife with opportunities for HIPAA no-nos.

It’s not that the health IT vendor world isn’t aware that this is a problem; I know my colleague John has covered technology for secure texting between medical professionals and he’s also an advisor to secure text messaging company docBeat. However, not much is going to happen until hospitals get worried enough to identify this as a serious issue and they realize that secure text message can be just as easy as regular text along with additional benefits.

In the mean time, doctors will continue texting away — some getting 50-100 messages a day, according to one researcher — in an uncertain environment.  Seems to me this is a recipe for HIPAA disaster.

November 2, 2012 I Written By

Katherine Rourke 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.

Access To Clinical Data Too Easy Via Phone

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Lately, I’ve had reason to be in touch with my health insurance company, my primary care doctor and multiple specialists.  In speaking with each, what I’ve noticed is that the data they collect to “protect my privacy” isn’t likely to do a good job. And I’ve been wondering whether an EMR can actually help tighten up access.

When I called to discuss clinical matters, both the payer and providers asked for the same information: My date of birth, my street address and my name. As far as I know, folks, you can get all of that information on a single card, a driver’s license.  So, anyone how finds or steals or has access to my wallet has all the info they need to crawl through my PHI.

So, OK, let’s say providers and payers add a requirement that you name the last four digits of your social security card.

There’s a few problems with that approach. First, anyone who has your wallet may well have your Social Security Card.  Second, storing patients’ SSNs in the clear in an EMR is an invitation to be hacked, as the SSN is the gold standard for identity theft. Third, if you want to store them in a form that only allows the last four digits to be read, that’s another function you need to add to your system.

So, what’s the solution? Would it work to have patients identify which doctor they see (something a thief wouldn’t know) or a recent treatment or procedure they’d had?  Probably, although some patients — forgetful elderly, or the chronically ill with multiple providers — might not remember the answers.

Seems to me that when there’s universal use of patient portals by both providers and payers, this problem will largely go away, as patients will be able to be looking at their own records when talking to providers. This will make a more sophisticated security screening possible.

But in the mean time, I’m troubled to know that my payer and several of my doctors use a security method which can be so easily compromised.  Do any of you have suggestions as to what those offices might do in the interim between now and when they have a useful portal to offer?

October 26, 2012 I Written By

Katherine Rourke 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.

EMR Uptake, Windows 8 Based Tablet, and Medical Errors – Around HealthCare Scene

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Hospital EMR
EMR Uptake By Doctors Slowed By Lack of Time And Knowledge, Not Just Cash
Small practices are the ones having the hardest time implementing EMR. However, it isn’t just because of the hefty cost involved. Lack of time and knowledge also appears to be a big issue. There is a lot of time that has to be invested when selecting an EHR, and small-practice doctors have their hands full with other projects. There is also a lack of HR personnel available to help implement EHR as well.

Attending CHIME 2012 Fall CIO Forum
John recently attended the CHIME 2012 CIO Forum and was able to listen to Farzad Mostashari speak. He spoke on health IT, and why it needs to be used. John describes this event as the “Who’s Who” Of Health IT.

Vendor Hopes To Create Market For Windows 8-Based Tablet EMR
Microsoft has been hard at work creating a Tablet called Surface. There is an EMR that has been developed for Surface as well, and the big news is that it will be loaded with Windows 8. While most healthcare IT is run by either iOS or Android, Microsoft may be stepping up their game with Windows 8. Only time will tell how successful this will be, but so far, things look positive.

Meaningful Health IT News
Medical harm explained, in graphics and Farzad style

Medical errors cause far more deaths than many people realize. This gripping post describes how medical harm ranks in comparison to other causes of death in the US, talks about the story of Dr. Farzad Mostashari’s mother, and how correction is needed in hospitals and the care of ill patients.

Smart Phone Health Care
Managing Pain With New WebMD App

WebMD has recently released a new app that is designed to help people figure out where they have pain, and what might be triggering it. This is an innovative way for patients to be able to tell their doctors what they are experiencing, with evidence backing it up. The app is free and available for the iPhone.

October 21, 2012 I Written By

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

Data Capture, Electronic Data, and Interoperability — #HITsm Chat Highlights

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Topic One: When can we seriously say the data being captured and stored in EHRs is leading to new opportunities for patient care?

Topic Two: Do hospitals prioritize complete data capture for max reimbursement or for an aid for clinicians in patient care?

#HITsm T3: Does electronic data entry really take more time than paper notes? What can improve speed?

 

#HITsm T4: Interoperability. What can be done to increase awareness of the CCD and CDA standards designated for data exchange?

October 20, 2012 I Written By

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

Doctors Expected To Get “Meaningful Choices” From Patients On HIE Data Use

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Making sure the clinical data flowing through HIEs is seen only by those patients designate is a tricky problem.  But according to the ONC, it’s a problem doctors need to take on and manage, according to recent guidance from the organization.

ONC’s logic is as follows:

As key agents of trust for patients, providers are responsible for maintaining the privacy and security of their patients’ health information. In turn, patients should not be surprised about or harmed by their provider’s collections, uses, or disclosures of their health information. 

In other words, patients should be given a “meaningful choice” as to how information is shared, rather than simply signing broad treatment-related disclosures.

And as ONC sees it, the treating professional is responsible for educating patients enough to give them meaningful awareness of their options, including how information will be shared and with whom, as well as obtaining and tracking the patient’s choice.

This strikes me as a pretty ambitious expectation to have of doctors, who in most cases need to do little to explain information sharing to patients. Educating them on the broad range of places data could go, under which circumstances, and the extent to which patients can opt in or out of such sharing, strikes me as a very large task.

I’m not saying that I think ONC’s recommendation is an unwise one.  In most cases, the doctor — who’s most likely to be the treating professional — is really the only person who’s in a position to do this kind of education.  Not only is the doctor the person the patient trusts, they’re also in a position to review how well patients have understood on an ongoing basis.

All that being said, it’s still a pretty complex lesson to teach. I hope someone, perhaps ONC itself, develops online self-education for patients which a doctor can simply offer during the visit.  Otherwise, I think the “meaningful choice” concept will be hard to pull off.

October 19, 2012 I Written By

Katherine Rourke 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.

Wireless Health Data Collection Innovations Getting Hot

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

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

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

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

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

September 25, 2012 I Written By

Katherine Rourke 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.