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Google Health Beta Page Taken Down

Posted on January 25, 2008 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.

Well, after Google (probably inadvertently) put up the Google Health beta page, it is now down. They put up the standard Google login page that includes links to their other services. I wonder if someone on the Google Health team got their hand slapped for letting that slip out. Or maybe it was an intentional way for Google to get a little feedback on Google Health and how people will react. Either way, the screenshots and content are spread across the web now. Now turning back at this point. Full steam ahead, let’s see what Google can offer in the health care arena.

Google Health Beta Page is Up

Posted on January 23, 2008 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: Google Health Beta is now LIVE!

Today I saw an article on TechCrunch that talked about how Google Blogscoped found a Google Health login page (UPDATE: The Google Health Beta Landing Page has been taken down) for the hopefully soon to be released Google Health. Of course, there isn’t really anything all that special about the login page. It looks just like almost all the other Google login pages. However, the Google Health page did include the following information:

With Google Health, you can:

* Build online health profiles that belong to you
* Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
* Get personalized health guidance and relevant news
* Find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services
* Share selected information with family or caregivers

Too bad none of the other links work, but it does give some interesting information about what Google Health will be like. The part that is most concerning to me is downloading medical records from doctors and pharmacies. How are they going to do that? The answer is that they aren’t really going to do it. There are going to be a handful of the thousands and thousands of doctors and pharmacies that will be able to work with Google Health.

I hope that Google Health does the right thing and integrates with something like CCR since it is already beginning to be established in many Electronic Medical Record software programs. That would be a huge boon to CCR, but it would also open up an entire set of doctors that could support upload to Google Health. This could definitely be a nice differentiator from Microsoft Health Vault which can’t do this either (unless it’s been added since I looked).

If Google Health decides to create their own standard for a clinic to be able to upload to Google Health they are crazy. Doctors have almost no motivation to support Google’s standard for uploading medical records. I’m not sure many EMR companies will support it either. I can see a few of them do it as a PR move, but I’d be very surprised if many of them bit on this. Doctors don’t buy EMR software because their patients can get their record out easier. It just doesn’t make business sense for EMRs or doctors to really do any sort of uploading like this to Google Health.

Of course the good thing for this all is that having another big player like Google interested in helping the healthcare system with some Health 2.0 solutions is great by me.

You can see my previous coverage of Google Health and also the Google Health Co-op.

Update: Here’s a screen shot of what Google Health could look like.
Google Health Screen shots

Update 2: What CEO of Google Eric Schmidt said about Google Health at HIMSS08.

Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Posted on January 19, 2008 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.

Part five of our five part series on the benefits of an EMR or EHR consultant is improved clinical buy-in.

Improved Clinical Buy-In

Hiring a proven EMR consultant alleviates fear and increases clinical buy in. However, more importantly, EMR consultants are able to provide a clinic the tools needed to show an EMR implementation’s ROI. EMR consultants should do a comprehensive analysis to show how an EMR implementation will reduce costs, increase revenues, and better care for patients. Quantifying the potential returns on an EMR investment generates significant buy in at all levels of a clinical organization.

See other parts of Benefits of using an EMR/EHR Consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support

Posted on January 18, 2008 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.

Part four of our five part series on the benefits of an EMR or EHR consultant is comprehensive technology support.

Comprehensive Technology Support

By providing a comprehensive set of technology support, a technical EMR consultant can alleviate doctor’s concern over the implementation of new technology. An EMR consultant’s proven track record of implementing these health care related technologies in doctors’ offices allows them to do it in a robust, efficient, and cost effective manner. Doctors save time searching through the numerous technology choices because EMR consultants can point them to the best brand of technology or even to technologies the doctor didn’t know existed.

See other parts of Benefits of using an EMR/EHR Consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping

Posted on January 16, 2008 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.

Part three of our five part series on the benefits of an EMR or EHR consultant is clinical process mapping.

Clinical Process Mapping

One of the hardest things for a doctor new to EMR to do is see how their current clinical processes will work electronically in an EMR. To alleviate this fear, EMR consultants can first map out a doctor’s clinical processes. They can then use their experience with other EMR implementations and show how current clinical processes will be done using an EMR. This will save doctors a lot of time mapping out these processes. It also provides a clear understanding of what a doctor’s clinic will look like electronically. However, the most important part of this process is that it provides a way to find problems that may occur with an EMR before you’ve actually implemented.

See other parts of Benefits of using an EMR/EHR Consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Do Commenters Think I’m Stupid?

Posted on January 15, 2008 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 don’t think I want to know the answer to that question literally, but sometimes I wonder when sales and marketing people from an EMR company come to this blog and place comments like the following:

A free practice management software solution for medical practices

[EMR Company] is a free practice management software solution for medical practices. It is the only software a clinic would ever need as it supports all internal clinic functions including scheduling, registration, billing, EMR, reporting and all external interactions with payers including claim submission, ERA and eligibility verification. The software is built to allow communication with external agencies such as billing, transcription, appointment scheduling vendors. Since it has extensive functionality, website has free tutorials and free customer service to help customers become proficient with the system.

With an integrated database and automated workflow, [EMR Company] increases productivity, velocity and accuracy within the clinic. It is deployed as hosted solution eliminating the need to purchase expensive hardware or backup solutions. All communication is encrypted to protect patient information. [EMR Company] is unique in that it does not use a web browser; instead it has the familiar, intuitive Windows based interface. [EMR Company] automatically self-updates with the latest version, which are generally released every 2 weeks. Since it is not browser based, [EMR Company] can directly interface with compatible desktop products such as scanners and mobile charge capture software.

[EMR Company]’s business model is truly unique – it does not charge for its software modules (except optional EMR module – $35/month), customer service and setup. However it supports itself by charging a small fee for each payer transaction, typically less than what you would pay your clearinghouse to submit claims electronically.

For more details go to [EMR Company]

Some EMR vendor (who I’ll leave nameless) tried to post the above comment on my post about EMR forums. I don’t mind a signature from an EMR company with a link to their website if they’ve provided at least some sort of decent comment about the post. However, outright advertising their company on my blog comments is crazy. They obviously don’t understand that I can remove/mark as spam any comments like that. Plus, comments use the “no follow” tag and so they aren’t getting much SEO benefit from it either.

I don’t expect this to stop, but expect that more and more people will do this in the future. Don’t. It doesn’t do any good. If you want to advertise on my site contact me or leave a comment. It doesn’t cost that much and you’ll be getting highly targeted referrals from people researching EMR.

Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training

Posted on January 12, 2008 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.

Part two of our five part series on the benefits of an EMR or EHR consultant is EMR Training.

EMR Training

Using an EMR consultant’s experience in successful EMR implementations, they have a strong ability to train doctors on EMR and other related technologies. Some of this training occurs in an initial meeting where they discuss challenges related to EMR selection and implementation. EMR consultants also provide ongoing training on how to best use their EMR in their clinic. Furthermore, EMR consultants can train clinical staff on using the various technologies associated with using an EMR.

See other parts of Benefits of using an EMR/EHR Consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process

Posted on January 11, 2008 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.

A while back I wrote something about why having an EMR or EHR consultant could be beneficial to a doctor looking to implement an EHR. Here’s the first part of a five part series on reasons why I think a well qualified, experienced EMR or EHR consultant is valuable. The first part is how an EMR or EHR consultant helps with the selection process.

EHR Selection Process

By first evaluating a doctor’s needs and preferences EHR consultants are able to eliminate a majority of the EHR companies and provide doctors with a short list of high quality EHR vendors to evaluate. By providing a smaller pool of EHR vendors, doctors are more comfortable with the selection process and don’t get discouraged seeing hundreds of EHR vendors that don’t meet their needs. EHR consultants also help doctors through the evaluation process. EHR consultants often provide a list of questions that can be used to evaluate EHR vendors. These questions have been designed to tease out information which will better enable doctors to select the right software. EHR consultants also assist doctors that need help negotiating with EHR vendors. These services include requesting enhancements to meet doctor specific needs or even ensuring that EHR vendor pricing is comparable to other EHR implementations.

When it comes down to it, a good EHR consultant can save a doctor large amounts of time and money that would have been wasted looking amongst the hundreds of EHR companies. It’s not hard to say that doctor’s most precious commodity is time.

See other parts of Benefits of using an EMR/EHR Consultant:
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Selection Process
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – EMR Training
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Clinical Process Mapping
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Comprehensive Technology Support
Benefits of Using an EMR/EHR Consultant – Improved Clinical Buy-in

Description of a Fax Server in a Doctor’s Office

Posted on January 1, 2008 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 got an email from a doctor asking the following question “How do I implement a fax server in my office? I have a server and 7 workstations. I have a fax line and a fax machine.” After typing a long reply I decided that information about setting up a fax server in a Doctor’s Office might be useful to all EMR and HIPAA readers. The following is my email reply:

I think you might be misunderstanding a fax server a little. A fax server is a special type of fax machine that usually is hooked up to your server. Most regular fax machines can’t be used as a fax server. You can read more about fax servers on wikipedia.

There are a number of different ways to set it up, but most people connect the fax line to the fax server, and the fax server to the server. Then, ideally you use active directory to share the fax server with in your case the 7 workstations in your office. You can also do this manually if you don’t use active directory in your office.

In order to get the faxes off of the fax server, I personally set up a folder on the server where all the faxes arrive. I then shared the folder on the server with all the workstations I want to access the received faxes. Here again I did this with active directory, but you can also do it manually too.

It’s also important to select the fax software you want to use with your Fax Server. Windows 2003 Server comes with good enough software for most people or you can find a ton of different fax softwares out there that are in the $50-100 range. I personally just use the Windows 2003 fax server software. It keeps a log of all incoming faxes and even all of the faxes sent. With Windows 2003 Small Business Server, it’s really easy to setup the fax server software. I imagine it’s not that difficult with any Windows 2003 server, but it might take a little looking to find where to configure it.

I also have seen that not all fax servers are the same. I wish that I was more of an expert, but I’ve just taken the hit or miss approach. One that I purchased was a little troublesome and the other one has worked really smoothly. I found a list of compatible fax devices on the Microsoft website at one point, but for some reason I didn’t follow it. It might have been because of price or it was outdated. I don’t remember exactly why.

I also recommend keeping your regular fax machine around. Ideally you’d have it set up on a separate phone line so that you have a back up fax machine if your fax server fails, has problems or something else crazy. Always nice to have a little redundancy for the inevitable problems with technology.

Best of luck getting it set up. It really is a HUGE benefit to a doctor’s office. Once it’s set up, then all you’ll ever need to really do is learn to clear out faxes that failed to be sent (ie. fax number is incorrect) and to restart the fax server occasionally.

Let me know if you have any questions.