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Intermountain Chooses Cerner, International EMR, and Patient Focused EMR

Posted on September 29, 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 was really big news this week. I’m not sure it’s quite a turning point for EMR. I think we’re still early in the war, but this was a big battle for Cerner to win. We’ll see what GE decides to do after losing this deal. Will GE leave this business behind or buy another vendor?


I think we don’t look nearly enough at the international EMR experience. We could learn a lot in the US from what’s happening nationally. Plus, for many EHR vendors the international opportunity is a big one that most don’t even consider.


I’ve been preaching this for so long I can’t remember. I know there are EHR vendors that focus as much as they can on the patient, but compliance and reimbursement still means you have to make compromises. That’s not an indictment of those companies, but a reality of the situation.

EHR Charting in Another Language

Posted on January 13, 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.

I recently started to think about some of the implications associated with multiple languages in an EHR. One of my readers asked me how EHR vendors correlated data from those charting in Spanish and those charting in English. My first response to this question was, “How many doctors chart in Spanish?” Yes, this was a very US centric response since obviously I know that almost all of the doctors in Latin America and other Spanish speaking countries chart in Spanish, but I wonder how many doctors in the US chart in Spanish. I expect the answer is A LOT more than I realize.

Partial evidence of this is that about a year ago HIMSS announced a Latino Health IT Initiative. From that today there is now a HIMSS Latino Community web page and also a HIMSS Latino Community Workshop at the HIMSS Annual Conference in Las Vegas. I’m going to have to find some time to try and learn more about the HIMSS Latino Community. My Espanol is terrible, but I know enough that I think I could enjoy the event.

After my initial reaction, I then started wondering how you would correlate data from another language. So, much for coordinated care. I wonder what a doctor does if he asks for his patient’s record and it is all in Spanish. That’s great if all of your doctors know Spanish, but in the US at least I don’t know of any community that has doctors who know Spanish in every specialty. How do they get around it? I don’t think those translation services you can call are much help.

Once we start talking about automated patient records the language issue becomes more of a problem. Although, maybe part of that problem is solved if you use could standards like ICD-10, SNOMED, etc. A code is a code is a code regardless of what language it is and computers are great at matching up those codes. Although, if these standards are not used, then forget trying to connect the data even through Natural Language Processing (NLP). Sure the NLP could be bi-lingual, but has anyone done that? My guess is not.

All of this might start to really matter more when we’re talking about public health issues as we aggregate data internationally. Language becomes a much larger issue in this context and so it begs for an established set of standards for easy comparison.

I’d be interested to hear about other stories and experiences with EHR charting in Spanish or another language. I bet the open source EHR have some interesting solutions similar to the open source projects I know well. I look forward to learning more about the challenge of multiple languages.

eHealth Nigeria – Instant EMR

Posted on June 5, 2010 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 completely fascinated with international EMR use. Sadly, I don’t think there’s enough information out there about the EMR software that’s being implemented around the world. For example, do you know any bloggers that write about EMR software that aren’t in the US. I knew one in Canada, but she stopped blogging.

The point being that I think there’s a lot that we can learn from other countries. I once talked to a consultant who was bidding on an EMR project in China. Things didn’t work out for me to go there and do that project, but just thinking about it was fascinating since their healthcare system is so different than ours. The needs our different. The governance is different. Yet, you’re still treating patients and trying to use technology for good.

That’s why I found this eHealth Nigeria project completely fascinating. They even have a blog and their 2 founders have blogs too. They’re implementing what seems like a really interesting project they call “Instant EMR.” I don’t know all the details of the project (but I have a feeling after this post I’ll learn more), but I can’t help but wonder if an EMR implementation in Nigeria could be instant.

Think about what takes the most time when you’re doing an EMR implementation. Here in the US we have to have everything implemented with all of our I’s dotted and T’s crossed. We have to worry about HIPAA laws. We have to deal with billing. We have to worry about ePrescribing. We have to worry about Lab interfaces. Etc, Etc, Etc. We have to deal with a lot of things that many other countries likely don’t worry about (at least not the same way).

Imagine if you had an EMR just to record the relevant data for the visit for future visits and for aggregate public health data. If you narrow it down to just those essential functions, why couldn’t you create an “Instant EMR”? I’m sure there’s more details to the Nigeria EMR than I understand from just looking at their website. However, it’s really interesting to consider the possibilities.

Plus, it’s really amazing what these guys are doing. I realized the challenge they’re taking on when I looked at their donation page. It lists the costs for what they’re trying to accomplish. One of the items on the list was “Solar and Battery Backup.” Yes, they have to provide even the power to make the EMR run. My only complaint is that they didn’t have a PayPal donation button on there.