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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?

Meaningful EHR Use Timeline

Posted on February 27, 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.

I saw a link go across my Twitter feed called “The Meaningful Use Timeline.” The title of course was interesting and so I had to check it out.

The basic idea presented is a big image showing the potential time frame required for doctors wanting to become a Meaningful EHR user in order to cash in on the EHR stimulus from the HITECH act.

The conclusion of the article is that you can show meaningful EHR use by 2011, but you need to start now.

Until we really know what HHS is going to require of an EHR user to receive some EHR stimulus money, then it’s really hard to guess how long a user will need to have used an EHR to show meaningful use. However, it’s more than reasonable to make a goal of implementing an EHR by 2011.

I personally implemented a local doctor starting a new office in about a month and a half. Would have been much faster, but we took our time to look through the EHR and make a decision on which one to implement. I’m not necessarily suggesting this as an EMR implementation model for all doctors, but mostly saying that it’s possible to implement an EMR very quickly when necessary.

HHS Secretary MIA

Posted on February 26, 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.

If you’ve read this blog, then I’m sure you know that Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for HHS secretary. Some people have suggeste Howard Dean to be a nice replacement for Tom Daschle as HHS secretary, but unless I missed something in the midst of the HITECH act mania nothing’s been officially announced by Obama.

All of this means that HHS is without a secretary to implement the HITECH act along with the $2 billion of discretionary funds, choosing an EHR certification criteria, and defining meaningful EHR use.

I can’t imagine the people at HHS are just sitting on their hands, but I sure wonder what impact not having an HHS secretary will have on Obama’s health care reform.

Economic Stimulus Bill Simplified

Posted on February 17, 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.

UPDATE: Many of you will find my presentation on the ARRA EMR Simulus money of interest.

Today, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” was signed by Obama. In this bill, $59 billion was allocated for health care with approximately $20 billion designated for EHR adoption. Of course, any doctor interested in EHR wants to know how they can get their piece of the $20 billion.

The bill was just published and can be read in it’s entirety online. I’d suggest part 2 of 5 for the health care portion of the Stimulus Bill. However, it’s not light reading so I’ll leave that to someone braver than I. It does seem like much of the bill remains intact from what was written about previously by Patricia King on NetDoc. Here’s my short layman’s summary (I’ll update this page as points are clarified):

The government is not just going to cut you a check. Instead the $17 billion will be incentives paid as increased Medicare and Medicaid payments. Incentives will start in 2011 and be paid over 5 year for a physician who can show “meaningful use” of an EHR system (we’ll be hearing about this meaningful EHR use a lot more in the future).

Physicians who do not show “meaningful use” will be penalized in the form of declining Medicare payments. Hospital physicians won’t be affected.

Those wanting the stimulus money will also have to be using a “certified EHR.” Both the terms “certified EHR” and “meaningful use” are still yet to be defined by the government.

The maximum a provider can receive is $41-$44k over the 5 years and paid in lump sum or payments as determined by HHS.

That’s the basics of the EMR stimulus package. I’ll follow up this post tomorrow with a look at what it takes to show “meaningful use” of an EHR and some thoughts on what effect this stimulus package will have on EHR adoption.

Editors Note: Please let me know if changes were made in the final bill so that I can update them on this page. Thanks.