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Thoughts on Top #HITsm Contributor Awards

Posted on December 20, 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.


Today my inbox was flooded with people congratulating @techguy and @ehrandhit for being part of the Top #HITsm Contributors of 2011. It’s very kind of them to recognize both of my active Health IT Twitter accounts. Officially @techguy was in the Top Individual #HITsm Contributors and @ehrandhit was in the Top #HITsm Organizations. I think @ehrandhit could have gone in organizations or publications, but either way I appreciate the recognition.

I think the comment at the top of the list describes the awards quite well:

By no means is the following lists all-inclusive. It does, however, represent some fantastic #HITsm voices on Twitter who regularly participate in weekly #HITsm TweetChats and share valuable Health IT information.

I always have a bit of a challenge with “Awards.” However, I think that #HITsm made a really great choice when they decided that instead of saying that this list is the “Best” or some other sort of magnanimous statement about the authority of their list, they instead said that these are some quality and valuable voices in #HITsm. No doubt there are a lot of others out there.

For example, I’d have loved to see @nversel and @john_chilmark on the list as well. They don’t use the tag #HITsm that often, but they definitely discuss those topics often on their various social media outlets. There are quite a few others that I could include in this category as well.

One thing I loved about the Top #HITsm Contributor list was how many familiar faces made it on the list. The great part is that there are so many smart minds on the list and social media makes them completely open and available to you. Without social media I’d likely know very few of those people and would have missed out on the tremendous interactions I’ve had with them at many a conference.

Maybe next year I should work with HL7 Standards and make the announcement of the awards part of the New Media Meetup at HIMSS. Might be kind of cool to get to meet all the great people in person. Yes, social media isn’t just about online connections, but taking those connections offline as well. As I often say:

Social Media (and Twitter in particular) is about connecting people!

In true social media fashion, the list of winners is also available as an embed, so you’ll find the list of Top #HITsm Contributor Awards embedded below as well. Here’s to another great year of Social Media in Healthcare.

Some Perspective, ACO’s, Costco EMR, and April Fool’s Day

Posted on April 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.

Nothing like enjoying the end of the weekend by going over some tweets from interesting people in the healthcare IT and EMR world.

The first one hit me the strongest since I think I sometimes get so wrapped up in the details of EMR and healthcare IT that I forget to stop and remember really why we’re doing all of this. Thanks Diane for reminding us.

After John Chilmark from Chilmark Research skipped doing his taxes (thankfully mine are done) to read about ACO’s he provided this perspective:

John also offered this tweet to a Kaiser resource on ACO’s:

ACO’s are a hot topic and I have a guest post coming which will hopefully shed even more light on what’s happening in Washington around ACO’s and the new legislation.

@TheGr8Chaulupa (best twitter name) and @j_schilz reminds us of the crazy channels vendors are using to sell EHR software. Although, Costco’s only a couple years after Walmart and Sam’s Club EMR was offered (4-5 posts I did on it):

Finally, my announcement of a new EMR and HIPAA EMR was an April Fool’s joke in case you didn’t realize it when you read it. Hopefully everyone that read it enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it (with Katherine Rourke’s help).

EMR Stimulus Money is All or Nothing

Posted on November 21, 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.

The wonderful John Chilmark posted a short message he heard from a Keynote address by John Halamka at the PHAT conference put on by the Harvard School of Public Health. Here’s the message:

there will be no partial reimbursement for meeting just part of meaningful use. Its all or nothing folks.

I think we all assumed this was basically the case, but it’s interesting to hear John Halamka say it. Let’s not take this quote too far out of context. I don’t think that John Halamka was saying that if you don’t qualify for one year of EMR incentive, that the next year you won’t have any more chances to qualify. I think he’s saying that either you’re going to get that years portion of EMR stimulus money or you’re going to be stuck waiting for the next year.

Let me repeat my mantra:

Implement EMR because it’s the right thing to do for your clinic (and I tell you that it is the right thing to do for almost ANY clinic) and not in the hopes of getting the EMR stimulus money. Stick with the now proven EMR benefits and use the EMR stimulus money as a possible bonus and you’ll be happy you did.

Importance of Defining “Meaningful Use” and “Certified EHR”

Posted on August 14, 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.

John at Chilmark Research posted a note about the importance of how ONC and HHS define the terms “meaningful use” and “certified EHR.” I wanted to echo his comment so here it is:

Note: We can not emphasize enough just how important these two terms (meaningful use & certified EHRs) are to the market. These terms will literally define the HIT market for the next decade and whether you are an HIT vendor or one looking to adopt an HIT solution, having a clear understanding of what these terms mean and their implications will be critical to your success.

Basically, the $36.3 million in EHR stimulus money is dependent on “meaningful use of certified EHRs.” That’s a lot of money and influence on two terms. I hope as many people as possible will participate in today’s HIT policy committee meeting which should work to define “certified EHR.”

Sole Reliance on One EHR Certififying Body – CCHIT

Posted on May 29, 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.

There’s a whole lot of discussion going on (rightfully so) right now about CCHIT EHR certification and of course the term “certified EHR.” I don’t know if anyone else has noticed or not, but there seems to be a bit of a growing movement towards not having ONE EHR certifying body (presumably CCHIT).

A post over on John Chilmark’s blog highlights a really interesting point about having only one EHR certifying body. The point is that there’s little accountability if CCHIT is the only body that’s certifying EHR vendors. What reason would CCHIT really have to improve its certification if it’s the de facto standard for certification? CCHIT admitted that their CCHIT EHR certification wasn’t up to the ambitious goals of HITECH/ARRA. That doesn’t mean they can’t change (although I have my reasonable doubts). However, if they are set up as the sole EHR vendor certification body, then what reason would they have to change?

OK. Yes, you could make an argument that they would want to change for the common good of man. Yes, that means we would see some change on their behalf towards that goal. However, to really change the game in EHR, we need something that requires people to innovate and a sole EHR certification of any kind will have a rough time doing that.

What scares me is that I think that CCHIT is aware of its weaknesses and realizes that it wouldn’t be able to iterate it’s EHR certification to meet the ever changing technology. It seems like the market is ripe for some really smart person to do something to better certify EHR. I wonder what type of game changing certification that will be.

Definition of Meaningful Use

Posted on May 5, 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.

We’re all still sitting here waiting for the government to finally decide two key terms in regards to gaining access to the $18 billion in stimulus money in the HITECH act (ARRA). I’ve been interested in the subject myself since before it was even settled that we’d call it meaningful use as opposed to meaningful EMR user. From the looks of that post back in February, there was still a lot of confusion about “meaningful use” and “certified EHR.”

Turns out that a few months later, we still have very little clarification about what these two terms mean. Certified EHR discussion has really revolved around CCHIT certification or some other alternative. We’ll try to leave that discussion for other posts. What has been interesting is in just the past week or two there has been a literal flood of people offering their perspective on meaningful use. Sometimes I like to be on the cutting edge of these definitions (like I was in the link above) and other times I like to sit back and let them play out. This time I’ve been letting it play out and it’s really interesting to see the multitude of perspectives.

I’m not planning on writing my own plan for how they should do meaningful use. I may do that at a later time if so inclined. For now, I’ll just focus on highlighting points from what other people have suggested and provide commentary that will hopefully enhance people’s understanding of this complicated mandate (yes, that means this post will be quite long).

I think it’s reasonable to first point you to the NCVHS hearing on “Meaningful Use” of Health Information Technology. This matters, because at the end of the days hearings like these are where most of the information are going to come. Then, with the information from these hearing decisions will be made. The other sources like blogs won’t carry nearly as much weight (although it’s unfortunate that more politicians aren’t listening).

John Chilmark on Meaningful Use
Next, I’ll go to one of my newly found favorite bloggers named John Chilmark (any coincidence we’re both named John). John from Chilmark Research commented that HHS is bringing together the “usual suspects” to discuss “meaningful use. Chilmark also states that the following criteria are what’s required for meaningful use:

  1. Electronic Prescribing
  2. Quality Metrics Reporting
  3. Care Coordination

I’m not sure where he got this list, but this list feels kind of weak if you ask me. In fact, John suggests that these requirements will be simple and straightforward and first and then ratcheted-up in future years. Interesting idea to consider. I hope that they do draft the requirements for meaningful use in a way that it can be changed in the future if it turns out to not be producing the results it should be producing.

John Halamka on Meaningful Use
Next up, the famous John (another John) Halamka, Chief of every Health IT thing (at least in Boston), calls defining “meaningful use” “the most critical decision points of the new administration’s healthcare IT efforts.” He’s dead on here. In fact, it might not be the most critical decision for healthcare IT, but for healthcare in general as well. Here’s John Halamka’s prediction for how “meaningful use” will be defined:

My prediction of meaningful use is that it will focus on quality and efficiency. It will require electronic exchange of quality measures including process and outcome metrics. It will require coordination of care through the transmission of clinical summaries. It will require decision support driven medication management with comprehensive eRx implementation (eligibility, formulary, history, drug/drug interaction, routing, refills).

Basically, he’s predicting inter operable EMR software and ePrescribing with a little decision support sprinkled on top. I won’t be surprised if this is close to the final definition. The only thing missing is the reporting that will be required to the government. The government needs this data to fix Medicare and Medicaid (more on that in another post).

Blumenthal Comment to Government Health IT
Government Health IT has a nice quote from David Blumenthal that says: “The forthcoming definition of the “meaningful use” of health information technology will set the direction of the Obama administration’s strategy for health IT adoption, said David Blumenthal, the new national coordinator for health IT.”

I think there’s little doubt that David Blumenthal has a good idea of the importance of the decisions ahead. What should be interesting is to see how involved Obama is in these very important decisions. I’m guessing Obama won’t do much more than sign a paper to make it happen. I just hope I’m wrong.

HIMSS Definition of Meaningful Use
Here’s a short summary of the HIMSS definition of “meaningful use”

According to HIMSS officials, EHR technology is “meaningful” when it has capabilities including e-prescribing, exchanging electronic health information to improve the quality of care, having the capacity to provide clinical decision support to support practitioner order entry and submitting clinical quality measures – and other measures – as selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Basically, e-prescribing, interoperability and clinical decision support. Turns out a BNET Healthcare article suggested the same conclusion “The consensus of physician and industry representatives was that meaningful use should include interoperability, the ability to report standard quality measures, and advanced clinical decision-making.”

I think we’re starting to see a bit of a pattern here. I should say that these are all very good things, but the challenge I see is that any requirement needs to be easily and consistently measured. Interoperability and clinical decision support are both very difficult to measure. Just wait until they see the variety of software that tries to do those two things. It’s very difficult to measure it consistently across so many EHR software.

Wow!! I barely even got started on this subject. Instead of belaboring the point, let me just point you to some other interesting readings about the HITECH Act, ARRA, and “meaningful use.”

Please let me know if there are other good sources for perspectives on defining “meaningful use.” This really is a landmark decision for healthcare IT.

Medicaid and Medicare Reimbursement Schedules for HITECH

Posted on February 19, 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.

John Chilmark has posted a couple of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement charts that I think are worth looking at. I’ll leave the discussion of the reimbursement schedules on Jonh’s blog:
HITECH Act Reimbursement Schedule
Medicaid Reimbursement Schedule

I just recently found John’s blog and think you should all check it out. He’s very thoughtful in his posts and the ones I’ve read have been well written and on target.

AllScripts Market Share and HITECH

Posted on 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 found an interesting post about AllScripts market share after the acquisition of Misys last year.

Based on recent research, Allscripts is estimated to own about 21% of market share for the practice management system space. Further, of the 18% or so of medical providers who have adopted electronic health records, Allscripts has around 17% of that market.

17% of the EHR market is pretty huge. Congratulations AllScripts. I previously posted a really cool viral EHR video by AllScripts. I really like things like this that AllScripts is doing. It’s nice that a technology company is using technology to encourage EHR adoption.

I have been a little soured towards AllScripts after I posted about AllScripts CEO being a HIT advisor to Obama. I just can’t comprehend how an EHR vendor can think that’s not a conflict of interest. I don’t know how Obama can’t understand what that looks like from the outside looking in.

Today I got on the AllScripts conference call to hear AllScripts take on HITECH. I won’t post all my thoughts on the experience (too many to list here), but myself (@techguy) and John Moore (also check out John’s blog) were both twittering during the call and the following are some of the tweets we made as we listened to the Allscripts CEO address HITECH and CCHIT:

@techguy tweeted: AllScripts: [HITECH] Huge win for EHR industry…I agree that the EHR vendors are going to profit greatly from this $18 billion

@john_chilmark tweeted: Tullman now giving High Praise to CCHIT – logical, in his interests, not necessarily the mkt. CCHIT cert doesn’t equate to data liquidity

@techguy tweeted: @john_chilmark You like how he said that CCHIT would probably be the certification criteria. Of course AllScripts wants that to happen.

@john_chilmark tweeted: AllScripts now stating that CCHIT cert will help winnowing out the mkt – Yes, leaving mostly legacy stuff behind

@techguy tweeted: Man, the AllScripts discussion on CCHIT is just killing me. Full of misinformation about CCHIT EHR certification benefits.

@john_chilmark tweeted: @techguy CCHIT/AllScripts conv driving me nuts as well, loads of mis-information

@john_chilmark tweeted: AllScripts: Nutty, not like docs won’t use tech if there is a true value in adoption- to date, EMR vendors have not demonstrated such value

@john_chilmark tweeted: AllScripts claims that $$$ is now available is disingenuous. True, prob need to make decision soon to demonstrate meaningful use of EMR

@john_chilmark tweeted: With so many questions left unanswered, eg, what is certified, what is meaningful, will wise docs sit back and wait to see? Could stall mkt