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New Fujitsu Smart Scanner Combined with CDA Clinical Document Standard Make for Interesting HIE

Posted on October 24, 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 at MGMA, Fujitsu together with Osmosyz announced a new scanner that supports the relatively new CDA “Unstructured Document” HL7 standard at MGMA 2011. I must admit that the press release is a little intense. However, I find what they’re doing with a hardware product to support HIE is quite interesting.

I don’t want the title of this post to be misleading. While certainly HIE has generally become synonymous with some large health information exchange entity, in this case I’m describing a hardware device (a smart scanner if you will) that acts as a small health information exchange. Basically, it’s more along the lines of Direct Project as opposed to NHIN. Although, I imagine that it could send the documents to some larger health information exchange if someone wanted to do so.

The larger application I see of this technology is as a replacement for the fax machine. In some ways, it’s like a second generation fax machine. The major differentiation I see between a document sent using the CDA “Unstructured Document” HL7 standard and a fax is all the meta data that comes with the CDA document.

The fax or scanning workflow for most EHR software consists of receiving faxed documents or scanning documents into what amounts to basically a bucket of all the scanned documents. Then, it’s up to the user to go in and sort through all the various faxes that have been received or documents that have been scanned. At this point, the user can assign the document to a patient in the EHR. You can imagine the challenges that this can pose. I wonder how many documents scanned or faxed into an EHR have been assigned to the wrong patient accidentally.

That’s what makes this new Fujitsu scanner quite interesting. If it’s receiving the document from an outside source, it will come with the meta information for the document as part of the CDA standard. That can then be leveraged to more quickly assign that document to the patient. Not to mention, then all of that CDA information is available for other uses within the EHR.

For inside documents that are scanned in through the Fujitsu device you can actually assign the document to a patient on the scanner itself. That’s right, you can identify which patient a scanned document belongs to while you’re holding the document in your hand. A much better way to ensure that the document you scanned gets attached to the right patient in your EHR.

I’m just touching on a few of the features of what’s possible with this new Smart Scanner from Fujitsu and smart documents. You can do other things on the scanner like dividing document scans between multiple patients.

Meaningful Use Monday Angle
Of course, as most of you know, on Monday we usually do our regular Meaningful Use Monday series. Turns out that the CDA Clinical Document standard that I discuss above is being adopted by ONC as part of meaningful use. I’ll be interested to see how this plays out over time, but don’t be surprised if EHR software has to support this standard in the future.

What I find more intriguing is that the above scanner could be used by someone who doesn’t have an EHR, but wants to exchange patient information. I still think that the long term solution to interoperability of patient information has got to come from connections with EHR software. However, this does illustrate that technology solutions can and will be created to exchange health information. In fact, some combination of these solutions could be a way to meet some of the meaningful use requirements around exchange of health information. You still can’t get the EHR stimulus money without an EHR, but technologies like this could help you achieve meaningful use.

I’ll keep an eye on how this technology progresses. I wonder how many EHR vendors will integrate with this type of technology. Whether we like it or not, documents are going to be a major part of healthcare for the foreseeable future. We’ll see if smart documents and smart scanners are an intermediate step to the health information exchange nirvana (whatever that might be).

EHR Growth, HIT and EHR Standards, Hospital EMR User Tracking Bill, and MGMA Conference in Las Vegas

Posted on September 4, 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.

Time for my roundup of interesting topics seen throughout the interwebs and related to EHR and healthcare IT.

@Allscripts
Astounding growth in use of EHRs – 5x in 2.5 yrs – Dr. Mostashari at #ACE2011 (via Skype) – does your doc use an EHR?

I’d like to see where Dr. Mostashari got those numbers. I think there’s little doubt that EHR use is up. If we say that 2.5 years ago it was at about 15%, then that would mean that using his growth number we’re now at 75%. That seems way too high for me.

@shelleypetersen – Michelle Petersen
US are starting to standardise vendor requirements for #healthit and language used in #EHR regions, important move

Is this a misread of what’s being done with meaningful use and EHR certification? I haven’t seen standards really emerge for most of this. I guess it does say “starting.”

Hospital EMR User Tracking Bill
Don’t ask me why, but this post about a CA Bill Requiring Hospital EMR Software to Track Users came across my tweet stream as well even though it was posted back in June. I guess that’s one thing I love about Twitter. It can bring back interesting content that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

After reading the post, I wondered if the CA bill passed or not. I’m guessing not. Although, I’m still shocked by the article’s comments that even an expensive Epic install at Kaiser can’t meet the requirements of reporting on what data for a patient in an EHR has been deleted and who’s accessed that patient data.

MGMA Conference in Las Vegas
I’ll admit that I’ve wanted to go to the MGMA conference for a couple years now. This year I’m lucky that it’s hosted in the beautiful Las Vegas. So, I’ll definitely be there enjoying the event. I’ve been thinking about doing a New Media Meetup at MGMA like I do at HIMSS. Are any readers interested if I put it together? If there’s only a few of you, we could just do a dinner or something. Let me know in the comments or on my contact us page.

Which EMR Conferences Do You Attend?

Posted on December 27, 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.

This week I finally got my flight and hotel all lined up for my trip to HIMSS. Thanks to Practice Fusion for sponsoring that part of my trip to HIMSS. It’s greatly appreciated. I think Orlando is going to be a great destination for HIMSS and the energy and excitement is going to be something else thanks to the EMR stimulus money. It should be a pretty exciting event with far too many people, sessions and vendors to take in.

I’m still considering throwing together a New Media Meetup at HIMSS like I did last year. It was a lot of fun and worked out well since we just partnered with MEDecision to pull it off. If you’re interested in helping put something like that together or attending an event like that, let me know and I’ll be sure to let you know the details. I personally really like these sorts of intimate meetings with interesting people who understand New Media like blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc.

What other conferences do people attend? I’ve been to a number of different EMR events this last year. The Mobile Health Expo was a fun event and should get better as it grows. I really enjoyed mixing it up with all the doctors at AAFP (even if I did get kicked out of a session since I wasn’t a doctor).

I’d wanted to go to MGMA this year, but couldn’t quite swing it. The good thing is that the 2011 MGMA Annual Conference is in Las Vegas (my backyard) and so I can easily attend while still enjoying my own bed. HIMSS 2012 is also going to be in Las Vegas which is very convenient for me. Obviously, you can see I have a bit of a bias to EMR or healthcare IT related conferences in Las Vegas. It’s just so much nicer and luckily a fair amount of them come to Las Vegas.

I heard there’s going to be a healthcare portion of SXSW in Austin. That’s a conference I’ve always wanted to go to. Health 2.0 could also be interesting, but I find it much more consumer health app focused than EMR and doctor focused.

Are there any other EMR related conferences that I should keep my eye on?