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Memory Based Health Care to Information Based Health Care

Posted on April 19, 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.

The incomparable Vince Kuraitis sent out a tweet a while back that I think is worth highlighting. It was actually a retweet of @Cerner_Network who seems to be quoting L Kolkman, Mosaica Partners, so I’ll give credit where credit is due. Here’s the core of what the tweet said:

From Memory Based Care to Information Based Care

I also love that the tweet included the hashtag #freethedata.

Vince has been a long proponent of the idea of freeing the data. Although, I think the idea of moving from memory based care to information based care is a much bigger deal than just freeing the data. Sure, freeing the data will be an important part of being able to provide information based care. In fact, it’s really quite necessary to provide proper health care.

The thing about this transition is that whether healthcare data is “free” and interoperable doesn’t really deny the fact that doctors are being inundated with more and more data every day.

Back in May of 2009 I wrote this post titled, “Body of Medical Knowledge Too Complex for the Human Mind.” If this was true in 2009, imagine how much worse it is today.

Even if we don’t take into account the wave of information that is and will be coming from those apps, devices, and quantified self-ers (which I assure you is coming. Even if we don’t consider all the data that doctors will be able to get from various HIE sources (which is also coming). Just within a physician’s own EHR software and the body of medical knowledge that’s being published each and every day, the physician’s memory is at its limit.

This isn’t a knock on doctors by any means. I was stunned when my wife went to her OB/GYN after not seeing her for a few years she was able to recount the most important salient points of my wife’s child birth history. This was all without the chart (which they’d filed away in permanent storage for some reason and didn’t have it available for the appointment).

Yep, many physicians are extraordinary people with extraordinary memories, but we all have our limits. Computers have their limits as well. We’ll never be without doctors and that’s a good thing. However, we’re slowly seeing the move to where a doctor really can’t be the best doctor without some technical assistance dealing with the overload of information. I think that’s a good thing.

Big Health IT News Flowing – ICD-10 Delayed, Meaningful Use Stage 2 Imminent, and More

Posted on February 17, 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.

If you live and love the EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT world like I do, then you’re enjoying all the big news that’s coming out right now. A part of me thinks that the big news is coming out because HIMSS is so close, but some of the news seems like it might not necessarily be timed directly to HIMSS. (To see company news coming out at HIMSS, check out our EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT News site.)

For those not keeping track, here’s a quick run down of some of the major news pieces I’ve seen that really point to larger trends in healthcare IT:

Meaningful Use Stage 2
We know that meaningful use stage 2 is imminent. It’s just a question of when we’re going to hear it. In fact, it might be announced as I’m writing this post. Neil Versel first queued us into the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Announcement prior to HIMSS, but the Twittersphere is also full of rumors about the announcement. Brian Ahier commented on my Facebook message about it:

Nothing is official until it’s released, but since Monday is a holiday it is very unlikely they will wait until next week. My understanding is that the review at the OMB is complete and the proposed rule is ready to be published…

For those who want a sneak preview on what to expect in meaningful use stage 2, check out Jennifer Dennard’s meaningful use stage 2 post.

ICD-10 Delayed
Many have wondered if ICD-10 would be delayed with most arguing that 5010, meaningful use and ICD-10 was a lot to change all at once. Two days ago I got an email from someone saying they thought ICD-10 wouldn’t be delayed. I replied that I wasn’t sure either way, but it seemed like there was movement that could make a delay quite possible. Although, I must admit that I didn’t even think the ICD-10 delay announcement would happen so quickly.

Regardless of prognostication, ICD-10 is going to be delayed. You can read my thoughts on the ICD-10 Delay on EMR Thoughts.

HIMSS Acquires mHealth Summit
Maybe this feels like bigger news since it’s so close to HIMSS and I can see how powerful this conference has become. You can read the press release on the acquisition here. This isn’t that surprising since HIMSS had partnered with the mHealth Summit last year. I think this spells really good things for the growth of the mHealth Summit. I’m not sure I’d want to be another mHealth conference, but there’s a niche for the right event.

I still have a hard time distinguishing mHealth from healthcare IT in general. There could be some differentiation, but I still believe that over time the dividing line between the two is going to be hard to see. Richard Scarfo, HIMSS’ vice president of vendor events (previously mHealth Summit director) is right to be concerned that it will be HIMSS 2.0.

Navinet Acquired by Blues Plans and Lumeris
Read more about the acquisition here. I must admit that I’m still trying to process exactly what this means. Although, one thing I’m sure it means we’re moving the tectonic ACO plates that will be necessary to change how we pay for healthcare.

Vince Kuraitis and Leonard Kish provide some interesting insight in this Google+ thread asking whether this is a shift from institution (enterprise) centered IT to patient centric IT or if it’s becoming payer centric IT. They also mention United’s restructuring of payments and Aetna’s acquisition spree as indicators of the shifting plates of healthcare reimbursement.

Aneesh Chopra as Senior Advisor to the Advisory Board Company
This isn’t as big of news, but it just came out so I thought I’d throw it in. For those that don’t know Aneesh Chopra is now former CTO of the US. Everyone just wondered what he’d do next. Brian Ahier posted that Aneesh Chopra landed at The Advisory Board Company where he worked previously for about 10 years. Looks like Aneesh and his energy and enthusiasm will still be around healthcare. I think that’s a very good thing.

The Bases of Competition in Healthcare – Open vs Closed

Posted on December 15, 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 sure that many of you have read the always insightful and intriguing Vince Kuraitis and his e-CareManagement blog. If you haven’t you should start doing so now. I just recently came across his post called “Getting an Epic Opinion Off My Chest” about the proprietary solutions and walled gardens that have and are being created in healthcare.

He starts off really strong with the following points:

What are acceptable bases of competition in health care?

My sense is that the distinctions here are not well understood and often go undiscussed, so I’ll quickly get to the point:

It’s OK for care providers to compete on the bases of quality, price, patient satisfaction, and many other factors

It’s NOT OK for care providers to compete on the basis of controlling or limiting access to patient health information. It’s just not right.

He later goes on to assert that in many industries the idea of creating proprietary, non-interoperable technology is an acceptable means of competitive differentiation, but Health Care is different.

Certainly there are people’s lives involved in this and so it’s a different animal all together. If I can’t transfer my music from one MP3 to another it might be unfortunate, but having a loved one die because the right healthcare information was stuck in a closed system is a much more serious issue and one that should require careful consideration.

Outside the ethical reasons to support the benefits of access to patient information, I think there’s a great business case for doing so as well.

One example of the business case I outlined in my post about EMR data liberation. That’s a subtly different situation than what Vince described, but I believe you can make the business case for the benefits of an open system.

For those familiar with SalesForce.com, they could have easily been a few hundred million dollar company on the back of their CRM software. They could have then expanded into other related business verticals as they built off a closed garden. Instead, they opened up their system to allow a lot of other companies to build on their Force platform. As a platform, they’re a multi-billion dollar company.

Why healthcare IT vendors can’t see the value of open is a bit beyond me? I guess some might argue that the GE and Microsoft announcement was a step towards this type of open environment. Based on the analysis I’ve read, I think this is part of their vision for what they’re trying to create.

Whether Microsoft and GE will be able to execute on the vision of the platform is still not clear. However, what I believe is clear is that directionally this is where the market will eventually go. There will be a healthcare platform that does a great job connecting heterogeneous systems.

So, yes, I think that morally the right thing to do is to open your system, but I also think it makes great business sense to do so as well. The closed garden strategy might work well in the short term, but long term open always seems to find a way to win in a much bigger way.

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.

Penguin Problem in EMR Adoption

Posted on October 23, 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.

Vince Kuraitis opened my eyes to a new term called the “Penguin Problem” and applying it to EMR adoption. Here’s the principle:

Economists call it “The Penguin Problem” — No one moves unless everyone moves, so no one moves.

Considering our paltry 15% or so EMR adoption rate, it seems like this is an apt description of EMR adoption as well. It does seem like many doctors are on the sidelines waiting for the first adopters to stick their proverbial heads out of the water and show all the other penguins the fish they’ve gotten.

The problem as I see it was that far too many doctors were coming out of an EMR implementation and showing all the other “penguins” (doctors) that there were few “fish” (money and benefits) to be found. However, about a year ago I was seeing a shift in this perspective. Doctors were starting to see a number of very successful EMR implementation and very happy EMR users. I felt about a year ago that the penguins were ready to move and adopt EMR software.

Then, the EMR stimulus money hit. It was like a big seal just swam in front of the penguins and so many of the doctors decided to just wait a little bit longer before making the jump.

What I don’t understand is why all the doctors were on the verge of implementing an EMR before the HITECH ARRA EMR Stimulus money are now so reticent to make the jump. If the EMR was going to be a benefit to your clinic before the stimulus money it will still be a benefit now. The EMR stimulus money should just be a bonus for you.

No doubt healthcare is currently missing out on the real network benefits that will be found when all the doctors “move” and implement an EMR.

This weekend I talked to a doctor who’s worked his entire career (15 or so years) in an environment with an electronic medical record. He just couldn’t imagine how anyone would practice medicine without the computer and an EMR. The clinics I work with feel the same way about EMR.

In Vince’s article, he takes a bit different angle on the “The Penguin Problem” and EMR adoption so go read hist blog post as well. I’m not quite as optimistic as Vince about the HITECH act’s effect on EMR adoption, but I am very optimistic about EMR adoption in general. Good EMR software is out there and more stories of successful implementations are happening every day.