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Choosing the Finest EMR Out There – A Nice Sparring Partner

Posted on August 23, 2006 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.

In a recent post of mine entitled EMR Blogs Popping Up Everywhere I’ve been enjoying some good dialogue with William Bryson from Innovative IT for Healthcare. I really enjoy finally having a sparring partner in the EMR blogosphere that can engage in a nice discussion.

In one of my comment responses to him I said, “Your post however doesnt tell me why Misys is so much finer than other EMRs.”

His thoughtful response was, “I dont know that I would ever make the claim that Misys is so much finer than other EMR. There are hundreds of products to choose from. With such variation in methods of care delivery and clinical workflow, saying that one EMR is the answer for everyone is foolish – so I wont say it.”

His response really made me think. Can you possibly choose the “Finest” EMR out there? If you are a doctor then this is a major hurdle to your EMR implementation. How do you know, as a doctor, that you are selecting the very best EMR out there? I’m not just talking about feature set, but I’m also talking about bang for the buck, usability, interoperability and the kitchen sink too. This is a really important decision which can drastically change the success of your practice.

Despite many organizations and awards committees giving out lists of top EMR’s, I don’t think you can say that one EMR is the best. It’s not like voice recognition software where you can unabashadly say that Dragon Naturally Speaking is the very best (Microsoft fans don’t cry to me about voice recognition in Vista, Yet). There are just too many EMR’s and too many ways of practicing medicine to declare a true winner. William Bryson compared choosing an EMR to picking a pair of jeans. I think a better comparison is like picking a favorite movie. Tons of organizations(cross reference CCHIT) put on large awards shows where they say which movies are the best. Are those necessarily the best movies? Sometimes. Sometimes not. It’s all about a person’s preference. In fact, many movies win tons of accolades even though I consider it absolutely wretched. I think a number of EMR’s fit in this category as well. Many awards, but nearly unusable.

Following this same analogy, does an EMR with a large install base make it the People’s Choice award winner?

The reality is that there’s no such thing as the best or “finest” EMR. Every EMR company is working in some shape or form, or they wouldn’t be in business. You, the doctor, should be looking to find an EMR that fits your style of work. I guarantee you that there are least 4 or 5 EMR’s out there that each and every doctor could make work with their practice. I’ll also guarantee you that each and every EMR implementation will require you and your practice to adapt and change something you do.

The real question you should be asking is, “Which EMR will allow me to be a successful doctor and medical practice?”

I’m not posting the answer to that question in this post, but I loved William Bryson’s response to me when I asked why Misys is so much finer than other EMRs.

Calyx[an EMR/IT consulting company] makes Misys [EMR] so much finer than other EMR (he says with a wink).

Thanks William for the great sparring partner.

EMR Blogs Popping Up Everywhere

Posted on August 21, 2006 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.

Despite my inability to post regularly on this blog as of late, I have still been doing a fair amount of reading about EMR, HIPAA and the the Healthcare IT community. I really think I need to find myself a way to get to the HIMSS conference in New Orleans this year. It would really help me. Maybe my good friends at SensibleVision would have me out there or something.

Enough digression. In my reading I’ve come across another really great EMR blog that’s really putting together some good content. It’s called Innovative IT for Healthcare and done by Calyx. It looks like the blogger is an IT consultant for Calyx that seems to have quite a bit of IT background. One thing I don’t completely understand is why these consultants would partner with Misys. I honestly have personally never used it, but my fellor moderator at EMR Update has compiled a list of people not satisfied with Misys EMR. Despite this interesting decision, the EMR blog is great.

Another blog was also started about EMR, but it seems like it has since been abandoned. That’s unfortunate. It does take a committed blogger to keep it going.

Microsoft Windows Vista to Have Built in Speech Recognition – Great for Healthcare If…

Posted on August 14, 2006 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.

Dr. Bill Crounse and Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences HealthBlog has highlighted an announcement that Windows Vista will have Speech Recognition by default for 8 languages. Dr. Counse even says:

Yes, speech recognition has been around for years…… but you’ve never seen anything quite like this. So to all you developers out there, my clinical colleagues are waiting for you. And now you have a better platform on which to build.

I wish that he would be more detailed in what he means by “you’ve never seen anything quite like this.” Having speech recognition built into Windows Vista is a great thing for healthcare IF it works well. It is currently built into Windows XP, but doesn’t work well enough for most doctors. Besides not having a medical dictionary, it just doesn’t work like what it is currently the market leader Dragon Naturally Speaking. This isn’t my personal opinion, but is the opinion of thousands of doctors who have tried it.

The question is whether I really think that Microsoft has spent enough money developing a superior voice recognition software. My initial thought is no. In fact, it kind of goes against their philosophy. Dr. Crounse asked developers to take Windows voice recognition and make it work for doctors. This is Windows business model. They want to provide a platform for other developers to develop. They don’t really want to develop it themselves.

I would say that I never believe in betting against Microsoft. They have too much money to call for the KO already. However, I have a feeling this might be their second knockdown in voice recognition. I hope I’m wrong, because I agree with Dr. Crounse that “Why should you be forced to spend a lot of extra money for a system that may not always work so well with the operating system and applications most people use?”

APOLOGY: I’ve been working on a very important post on Microsoft purchasing Azyxxi. I personally think the purchase is a very important move by Microsoft. Hopefully I’ll have that post ready soon. Sorry for the delay. Too bad I don’t get paid to blog.

22 EMR Products Certified by CCHIT

Posted on August 9, 2006 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 first round of certification by CCHIT is now complete with 22 EMR products making the cut. I could say a lot more about CCHIT and I’m sure you’ve read some of my previous thoughts on CCHIT Certification. However, at this point I think it’s important to wait and see what happens with certification. Also, I think it would be somewhat innapropriate to pollute a post about CCHIT certification with bad mouthing CCHIT certificiation.

So, congratulations is deserved by each of the following systems for being able to certify. That is NOT an easy task to do and certainly represents hours of time spent by each company to meet the criteria. I should also mention that there are a number of very fine quality EMR’s on the list. You can find them in between the Jabba the Hut EMR’s on the list.

* Allscripts (HealthMatics Electronic Health Record 2006)
* Allscripts (TouchWorks Electronic Health Record 10.1.1)
* Cerner Corporation (PowerChart 2005.02)
* Community Computer Service (MEDENT 16)
* Companion Technologies (Companion EMR v8.5)
* eClinicalWorks (eClinicalWorks Version 7.0 Release 2)
* Emdeon Practice Services (Intergy EHR v3.00)
* e-MDs (e-MDs Solution Series 6.1)
* Epic Systems (EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2006)
* GE Healthcare (Centricity EMR 2005 Version 6.0)
* iMedica Corporation (iMedica Patient Relationship Manager 2005, version 5.1)
* Infor-Med Corporation (Praxis Electronic Medical Records, version 3.4)
* JMJ Technologies (EncounterPRO EHR 5.0)
* LSS Data Systems (Medical and Practice Management Suite Client Server Version 5.5 (Service
Release 2.1))
* McKesson (Horizon Ambulatory Care Version 9.4)
* MCS-Medical Communication Systems (mMD.Net EHR 9.0.9)
* MedcomSoft (Record 2006 (V 3.0))
* Medical Informatics Engineering (WebChart 4.23)
* Misys Healthcare Systems (Misys EMR 8.0)
* NextGen Healthcare Information Systems (NextGen EMR 5.3)
* Nightingale Informatix Corporation (myNightingale Physician Workstation 5.1)
* Practice Partner (Patient Records 9)

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology announced Monday that two more ambulatory electronic health-record products achieved certified status.

They are: iMedica Patient Relationship Manager 2005, version 5.1, by iMedica Corp. of Carrollton, Texas; and Praxis Electronic Medical Records, version 3.4 by Infor-Med of Woodland Hills, Calif. In addition, two products announced earlier as pre-market, conditionally certified, have now been fully certified. They are MEDENT 16 by Community Computer Service of Auburn, N.Y., and Medical and Practice Management Suite, Client Server Version 5.5, (Service Release 2.1) by LSS Data Systems of Eden Prairie, Minn. CCHIT certified the EHR component of the LSS product.

Healthcare Blogging Summit 2006 – First-Ever Conference on Healthcare Blogging

Posted on 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 Healthcare Blogosphere has really been moving a lot since I’ve been distracted with a few other projects. I also attribute my lack of posts to it being summer. Summer for me includes long vacations and more importantly, no school. Since I don’t have classes with internet I haven’t had as much time to post on the blog. My apologies because there have been a lot of important things going on. Hopefully I can catch up on a few of the things that I’ve missed during this time.

First, is that The Medical Blog Network is hosting the First-Ever Conference on Healthcare Blogging called Healthcare Blogging Summit 2006 in Washington, DC. I would certainly love to attend, but unfortunately, I’m afraid that DC is out of my budget at this time. I hope they do some online streaming of the program. At least a podcast or something. What about posting a video of the event on YouTube or Google Video? We’ll see what they’re able to come up with. If only I had the time and resources to attend. That would be a lot of fun. They seem to have a good list of people that are going to be there.

More posts to come soon!

Should ARRA be Paying EMR Vendors?

Posted on August 3, 2006 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 understand that looking at the ARRA EHR stimulus money now is kind of after the fact. The legislation has already passed and the EHR stimulus money is going to have to go to doctors by means of medicare and medicaid. With that said, as I’ve read much of the commentary on ARRA and written about EMR stimulus money myself, I couldn’t help but wonder if we’re paying the wrong people.

No, I don’t mean that doctors shouldn’t be assisted with money to buy an EHR. What I mean is that if EMR software were worth the money, then doctors would have adopted it a long time ago. This leads me to wonder if the ARRA stimulus money shouldn’t be given to the EMR vendors who are able to provide a software product that is usable and that doctors want to install.

Certainly this doesn’t mean that it would have to be given out the same way. In fact, much of the logic behind the money would have to change. I just have serious misgivings about paying a bunch of money for doctors to implement EMR systems that are lacking in features and functions just because certain EMR vendors are better able to market their EMR. Instead, we should be spending the money on improving the EMR software in a way that doctors would be remiss if they chose not to use it. Imagine your life without a Word processing program. Shouldn’t EMR software be so good that a doctor couldn’t imagine their life without it?

I’ve even read some people suggesting that EHR vendors should deduct the cost of their EMR software by the amount of EHR stimulus money a doctor could obtain. If an EMR vendor is so sure that their software can show “meaningful use” and will be a “certified EHR,” then this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Of course, this theory breaks down when you think about how integral a practices use of an EMR software is going to be to show “meaningful use.”

The point is that we need to promote more highly usable and effective EMR vendors instead of spending a lot of money on EMR software that’s lacking.