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Communal Themes Between Behavioral Health and General Healthcare – #NatCon16

Posted on March 7, 2016 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.

Instead of getting a break after HIMSS, I’m doing back to back conferences as I attend the National Council for Behavioral Health’s NatCon Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re following along at home, the twitter stream for the event is #NatCon16 and is full of a ton of gems from the conference.
Chris Matthews and John Lynn at NatCon
Today I got the chance to hear and meet two of the keynote speakers: Chris Matthews and @KevinMD. Chris Matthews provided a lot of great insights into the political environment and a lot of amazing insider stories. My biggest takeaway from his talk is that we’re stuck in a massive quagmire and I don’t see much of that changing in the future. Presidential candidates can make all the promises they want, but they mean nothing if they don’t have the political support and finances to pay for it. @KevinMD was great to meet and hear talk about the benefits of using social media. Of course, he was mostly preaching to the choir for me. However, I’m sure that his comments were extremely eye opening for many in the audience.
KevinMD and John Lynn
Besides these two keynotes, I attended a few different sessions in the tech track of the conference. The most surprising thing to me was how similar these sessions were to any sessions you might have in any healthcare IT conference. This wasn’t really shocking, but it was a surprise that the messages and challenges were so much the same. Here are a few examples:

Third Party App Integration with EHRs
In one session, the vendors were talking about their inability to integrate their behavioral health apps into the various EHR software. They all said it was on the roadmap, but that there wasn’t an easy way for them to make it a reality. One of them appropriately called for EMR customers to start demanding that their EHR vendors open up their systems to be able to integrate with these third party apps.

Fear of Social Media
I usually find at conferences that this breaks out into two groups. One group loves social media, embraces it and benefits from it. The other group is totally afraid of the repercussions of using it. @KevinMD offered some great insights on how to overcome this fear. First, don’t say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in a crowded hospital hallway. Second, start by using something like LinkedIn or Doximity which is a more private type of social media and are both professional networks. The real key I’d suggest is that you should own your brand. Don’t leave your brand image up to other people.

Business Models
There was a lot of discussion around various uses of technology in behavioral health and the need for the business models to catch up with the technology. Many would love to use all these technological advances, but they aren’t sure how they’re going to get paid for doing so.

I’m sure I could go on and on. I know that many in the general medical field look at behavioral health as a totally different beast. No doubt there are some differences in behavioral health, but I think that we’re more alike than we are different. Looking forward to learning even more over the next two days.

10 Ways to Meaningful EHR Use for Doctors

Posted on August 31, 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.

Rob Lamberts, MD offered 10 ways to make an EHR meaningful for doctors on the KevinMD blog. It’s a really interesting list that’s worth sharing:

1. Require all visits to have a simple summary.

2. Allow coding gibberish to be hidden.

3. Require all ancillary reports to be available to the patient.

4. Require integration with a comprehensive and unified patient calendar.

5. Put most of the chart in the hands of the patient.

6. Pay for e-visits and make them simple for all involved.

7. Allow e-prescription of all controlled drugs.

8. Require patients’ records to be easily searchable.

9. Standardize database nomenclature and decentralize it.

10. Outlaw faxing.

That’s a pretty compelling list. What do you think of his list? Are there things you’d add to it?

ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations)

Posted on August 28, 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.

ACO’s Built Around Primary Care Not Payers
It’s always quite interesting when a non-healthcare journalist covers healthcare. The above title comes from this article on NJBiz.com. In the article they offer the following interesting ACO stats (as of Sep 2011):

-51% of all ACOs are buist as joint ventures between doctors and hospitals
-20% of ACOs are physician led
-18% of ACOs are hospital led
-75% of hospitals surveyed were not planning on participating in ACOs
-13% of hospitals are already participating in ACOs


Then, the article offers this insight into the ACO battle between payers, physicians and hospitals:

The report also noted that hospital- and physician-led ACOs tend to focus more on primary care than acute care, but Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield’s partnership with Optimus is set up to promote primary care based on patient-centered medical home models, according to spokesman Tom Vincz.

“Horizon ACO arrangements include incentive payments to support improved patient care coordination and fund other activities to further transform offices into patient-centered practices,” said Horizon in a statement from Vincz. “Entities that Horizon collaborates with are given other valuable resources, such as timely, population-based data, to help them deliver more effective and efficient care to their patients.”

Since I consider myself a physician advocate, it seems appropriate for me to add in a quote from a blog post Kerry A. Willis, MD did on KevinMD:

During the PHO debacle a few years ago, I reminded our physicians that the letters should represent the ownership and direction that these organizations should take as they developed. I frequently offered that they were really pHO’s with Big hospitals and Big organizations with little physician control over the direction and quality that was important to us.

I fear that the same is true with ACOs. If we are not vigilant in their formation and direction, then they will become AcOs with physicians being a small part of their governance but very accountable to their owners. They will be dependent on the revenue streams that spring from them. I see scenarios where physicians will profit but then be caught in a spider’s web of their own design where they will be told how to practice and what kind and amount of care they can provide. I guess you could claim that I don’t trust insurance companies and you would be wrong. I do trust them. I trust them to do what is best for the corporate profits and the nonprofit executives’ with bonus clauses at the end of a successful year.

I fear that when it comes to ACOs many physicians are sitting on the sideline. We saw what happened with EHR incentive money and meaningful use when more doctors weren’t involved in the process. There were requirements that didn’t make any clinical sense. I can see the same thing happening with ACOs if doctors don’t get involved.

It’s a rapidly changing ACO environment, and my hope is that many smart physicians will add their voice to the mix. Otherwise, the shift to hospital owned practices will continue and doctors won’t have much of a choice but to be beholden to a big company.

Eloquent EMR and EHR Notes

Posted on October 2, 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 I came across a tweet by the infamous @kevinmd that struck me. I think it really caught my attention, because I’ve been:
1. Reading a lot of complaints from people about the verbose EHR note
2. Seeing a lot of relatively new EHR software demo EHR notes that aren’t verbose at all.

Here’s the tweet:
@kevinmd – Kevin Pho, M.D.
The loss of eloquence in EMR notes is.gd/Tqf6Y3

The article linked at the end of that tweet is a pretty interesting read. The author compares the eloquence of a dictated note versus one from an EMR. It was an interesting read since the author was a self proclaimed lover of their EMR. However, they weren’t a big fan of the EMR notes (unlike the Happy EMR Doctor who had someone praise his EMR note).

What I’ve been seeing lately in the EMR world is a revolution around the quality of the EMR note. I’m not yet ready to declare the verbose, lengthy, unreadable EMR notes dead yet, but this revolution in quality, relevant note creation will get us there. I look forward to the day when I can post “Death of the Long, Unreadable EMR Note.”

EHR Success in Estonia and Ambulatory vs Hospital Differences – EHR Twitter Roundup

Posted on June 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.


I’m always fascinated by other countries EHR implementations. So many other countries are interesting to consider since they’re missing so many of the barriers that make EHR adoption and even more specifically health information exchange between EHR software so difficult. Nice to learn more about the success that Estonia has had adopting EHR software. I’d like to learn a lot more about what’s being done with international EHR implementations.


I often have an internal battle when writing on this blog when I’m writing something that’s ambulatory EHR specific versus Hospital EMR specific. In fact, I was struck when someone recently told me that this site focuses more on hospital EMR and not ambulatory. I had to laugh since when I write, I’m mostly writing from the hospital EMR perspective.

This stuff aside, there are distinct differences between a hospital EHR software and an ambulatory EHR software. The article linked above highlights some of those differences. Coincidentally, I’m going to be working to write more about specific hospital EHR issues on the aptly named Hospital EMR and EHR blog. If you like Hospital IT, then go and sign up for the Hospital EMR and EHR email list. It will be a nice compliment to this blog and the EMR and EHR blog. I’ve got 3 other writers that will be starting to write on that blog as well. I’m excited to learn more about large hospital EHR vendors like the mythical Epic. Plus, as I learn more about hospital specific EHR issues, I think the content on this site will benefit as well.