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New Online Market Place for EMR Transcription Services

Posted on November 17, 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.

Having this blog has given me the opportunity to talk with a number of different transcription companies over the years. I think one thing has become pretty clear. The face of transcription is certainly changing quickly, but the need for transcription is still going to be there for a long while to come. Although, it won’t be the same process of transcription as we know today. Transcription and EMR will start to come together more and more.

Many of us (including myself) were quick to use transcription cost savings as a way to justify the purchase of an EMR. What I think we’ve seen over the 5 or so years I’ve been writing about EMR is that transcription can still be a fantastic compliment to an EMR system. EMR cost justification will often have to come from some of the other EMR benefits.

With that as background, I was quite interested in a company called myMonolog that I met at the Mobile Health Expo. They’re creating an online marketplace for finding and utilizing a transcription service. I’ll admit that I’m not an expert in transcription, but I like the idea that you have a marketplace of transcription providers to choose from and you can see the ratings and reviews from other people who have used that transcription service. I also like that they have an app for Smart Phones to be able to record, send and view the transcriptions.

I’d still like to see them do some deep integrations between their system and EMR vendors, but I think it’s an interesting idea to create a marketplace for transcription services. Plus, if you choose to change transcription service providers, you can still use the same interface with a new provider. Or if your transcription company gets behind, you can just hire another transcription provider to catch you up.

myMonolog has offered Physicians, Nurses or administrators that read this site a 1 week free trial of transcription services if you use the promotion code: “emrandhipaa” when registering. If you need transcription services, try it out and let me know what you think of the service.

Ensuring Patient Compliance Using Text Messages and a PHR

Posted on October 20, 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.

One of the really interesting things that I’ve heard at the Mobile Health Expo has been the use of text messages to assist with patient compliance.

I think this is at least the third time at this conference that I’ve been hearing about the use of text messages in healthcare as a way to remind patients of their need to comply with the doctors instructions.

In one case, NoMoreClipboard is working with a hospital to use medical minutes (basically subsidizing their cell phone plan) for participants in a diabetes program. In this program, users would access the NoMoreClipboard PHR through their cell phone where they can update their blood glucose levels or other information as designed by their hospital.

This is pretty cool, but the interesting part is the way they’re using text messages together with the PHR. For example, if the patient doesn’t check in with their information, then a text message is sent reminding them to do so. Plus, once they enter in their information, they can get proactive messages about how they should deal with various blood sugar levels. For example, if their levels are low it might instruct them to eat or drink something to raise that level (although in a nice medically appropriate way).

I should have written down the exact numbers, but in the above case they found that they saved about $18,500 in treatment costs for a compliant patient vs. the non-compliant patient.

I of course had to ask if this could actually be a problem for the hospital. Sure, it improves healthcare, which is incredibly valuable. However, would this impact the revenue that a hospital was receiving previously to treat patients? Sure, it’s a bit ominous to think this way, but let’s be honest that the hospital revenue is an important factor.

Jeff Donnell from NoMoreClipboard brought up a good point that in many cases these patients were ones who had no health insurance and so the hospital was often not making money from treating these patients, but in fact was having to pay for these patients. So, being able to lower these costs is a huge benefit on top of the clinical benefits.

Of course, this is just one example of the usages of text messages in healthcare. I’m really finding it fascinating. Text messages seem to be one of the most innovative technology I’ve heard discussed and not all the various “Apps” that are out there. Yep, the simple text message is being used in all sorts of creative ways. Plus, text messages tied to a PHR or some other web source is really interesting as well.

Of course, I can’t help but imagine how text messages could be integrated into an EMR. Appointments is one obvious area. Patient compliance is another interesting one. What other areas of an EMR could benefit from the implementation of text messages?

One speaker said that on average text messages are read within 4 minutes. There has to be a way to leverage this attention in healthcare and EMR.

Wireless 2G, 3G and 4G for Healthcare Applications

Posted on October 19, 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.

Today I’m attending the Mobile Health Conference (mHealth) conference in Las Vegas. So far it’s been a pretty effective conference for me already. Although, I’ve gotten most of the value from the people and vendors I’ve met and talked with. Although, is that really any surprise at a conference. More about those meetings later.

In this morning’s keynote conversation, they had executives from T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint that spoke and then did a short panel discussion. I must admit that I’d hoped for more from the panel discussion and I probably would have rather just had the whole thing a panel discussion. With that said, the most interesting topic they discussed was the 2G, 3G, and 4G topic.

Of course, they didn’t really dig into the different wireless signals like I would have liked to see. However, the executive from T-mobile said both in his speech and in the panel discussion that they’re committed to supporting 2G for 10 more years. Then, he offered this whopper: that most mHealth applications work perfectly fine on 2G and don’t actually need the higher 3G and 4G speeds.

He’s actually right that most health applications do work fine on 2G. However, I can’t help but wonder if that’s a function of there just not being enough 3G and 4G coverage to make it reasonable for a company to make an app that will only work on those faster networks.

From what I’ve seen in the internet world, applications will grow to use whatever resources they are given. Plus, there’s some applications that never get built until they have the resources to make it a reasonable reality.

So, while it may be true that the health applications of today generally work well on 2G, it’s worth asking what applications would we have if 3G and 4G were more widely available? I think we’re getting close to the point that we’ll find out. I imagine most EMR software would be happy to use whatever bandwidth you give them. Not to mention it would improve the user experience.

A few other quick hits:
-The AT&T executive (I believed) argued that they’re getting 4G speeds with 3G technology. So, why should they move to 4G?
-The Sprint executive nailed it on the head when he said that time is the economy of today. Higher speeds and better applications will save people time and that’s valuable.
-I can’t help but wonder where Verizon is. 3 out of 4 isn’t bad though.

Mobile Health Expo in Las Vegas and MGMA Annual Conference

Posted on October 7, 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.

Mobile Healthcare Expo
I recently signed up to be a media partner for the Mobile Health Expo in Las Vegas. It’s happening October 19,20, and 21st and it looks to be a really interesting conference with some really power players in the mobile healthcare market.

I’ll be “moderating” a couple sessions on Wednesday, but that’s just misuse of a term. I’m going to be introducing the speakers and opening it up for question and answers as needed. I of course will be doing the HITECH and mHealth session by Vince Kuraitis and then I also was asked to do the session titled “The Role of Mobile in Professional Marketing Programs” by Robert Kadar.

I must admit that I’ve gone pretty light on the mobile healthcare and mHealth coverage on this site. Hopefully this conference will open my eyes to some new elements of mobile healthcare that I hadn’t considered before.

Of course, if that doesn’t work, it looks like they have some pretty good parties. It is Las Vegas after all.

If you’re planning to attend, I’d love to meet up with you.

MGMA Annual Conference
I was hoping to go to the MGMA annual conference in New Orleans October 24-27, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I thought I had a vendor who was going to sponsor my flight and hotel in return for sponsorship of my posts from MGMA, but that fell through. There’s always next year. I hear that registrations numbers for MGMA are way up. If you’re planning to go, I’ll be interested to hear how it goes.