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Encouraging New EMR Users

Posted on November 26, 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 think we need more people like this that offer some words of advice and encouragement for new EMR users.

Start slow, don’t hesitate to ask for pointers, and get some good habits started at the outset.

And you’ll do fine.

The last part is the best part. You really will do fine. Many have implemented an EMR successfully before you and you can do it also. It will take work and effort, but it will make it that much more meaningful and fulfilling to you in the end.

Selecting a Microphone for Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical 10

Posted on November 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.

Choosing a microphone is one of the most important decisions you can make when implementing a speech recognition software like Dragon Naturally Speaking Medical 10. Thanks to Eric over at Speech Recognition I’ve gotten some interesting information about a microphone called the PowerMic II. Looks like it’s a microphone on steroids. Definitely one other microphone to consider when selecting a microphone to use with voice recognition software. Here’s an overview of the PowerMic II utilized with Dragon Medical 10 thanks to 1450, Inc. with commentary by Jay Goodfellow.

OVERVIEW:
The PowerMic II is a speech recognition microphone designed to be used with Dragon Medical 10.

However, the PowerMic II is much more than a hand held microphone. It is a powerful tool that enhances a physician’s control of dictation and navigation through documents, templates, electronic medical records and other applications. It has been designed specifically to be utilized with Dragon Medical 10, and the extraordinarily tight integration shows that to be true.

Not only does the PowerMic II have full mouse functionality, but there are 10 function keys that are programmable to provide practically any operation that a physician might want to do on his/her computer.

Yes, you can already use Dragon Medial 10 to do almost anything you want to on your computer by voice. However, using the PowerMic II and Dragon Medical, you substantially enhance your ability to do essentially anything you’d like on your computer, using the more convenient method at that moment: voice or function button.

The PowerMic II is designed to be fully functional with Dragon Medical 10 only. Dragon Preferred 10, Professional 10, and Legal 10 are not capable of using all of the programmable PowerMic II features.

Check out the following prices for the various versions of DNS on Amazon:


I’m still looking around for the best location to buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical.

Prerequisites for Achieving Interoperable EMR and EHR

Posted on November 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.

Today I came across an organization called the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA). It looks like it’s kind of a consortium of EHR vendors that are also members of HIMSS. I’ve just begun reading some of the work and goals they have. A very interesting organization. I have much to say about what I’ve read, but one of their main initiatives seems to be the EHRVA Interoperability Roadmap. I took a quick look at version 2 of the document to try and gain an idea of how they were trying to accomplish the lofty and difficult goal of interoperable EHR/EMR software.

Briefly looking at the document one section in particular caught my eye that was called “Prerequisites for Achieving Interoperability.” I was excited to read what they thought was important for interoperable EMR software and the following is what I found:

The path to interoperability is fraught with challenges. Some of them are technical – determining what standards should be used to achieve interoperability and implementing those standards within HIT systems. Some are cultural – encouraging both vendors and providers to share information. And some are financial – identifying sources of funding needed to acquire the technology and to establish and sustain health information exchanges.

Nonetheless, we believe that interoperability is achievable, under certain conditions outlined in this Roadmap.

I was really disappointed in their list of prerequisites. Not one mention of the legal issues related to interoperability? That seems like one of the largest problems with interoperable medical records. It kind of falls under cultural, but it still should have at least been mentioned under cultural if that was their intention. An interoperable EMR is no use if legally you can’t exchange those records easily.

At least they did talk about the need to find a motivation mechanism for vendors and providers to share information. The honest truth is that interoperable EMR software doesn’t sell more software. Not to mention, there’s very little financial benefit for a doctor to spend time sharing information either.

The key is that interoperability is important and finding ways to meet/overcome these prerequisites is important and worthy of significant attention.

Virtual Healthcare IT Conference by HIMSS

Posted on November 17, 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.

One night this week I decided to take a look at some of the various research, conferences, etc that were being done by HIMSS. While visiting their site I came across an HIMSS virtual conference. You can imagine my intrigue since I’ve wanted to attend the HIMSS annual conference for a while and just haven’t been able to manage the scheduling or expense for the conference. That’s the great part of the HIMSS virtual conference: it’s free and I can watch it from the comfort of my office.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some drawbacks to an online conference. There is something nice about seeing someone face to face and experiencing a live demo of a product. Not to mention the free conference giveaways and free dinners with vendors. However, there are also some great advantages to a completely virtual conference also. Take for example, the networking with colleagues. I think almost all of us are familiar with the feeling that we should be networking with those around us. Yet, there’s kind of this uncomfortable feeling of how to start a conversation with those around you. One nice thing about the internet is that it helps to take down those barriers and allows people to feel more comfortable interacting. It’s worked really well for guys meeting girls online and so I don’t see why a virtual conference couldn’t offer the same benefits to its attendees.

I applaud HIMSS for this move into the virtual conference world. I’m excited to see how it plays out this Wednesday, November 19th and Thursday, November 20th. There are a number of HIT sessions that look interesting along with some EHR, e-prescribing and even an opening keynote about healthcare and politics. You can see the full list of sessions here. I’d like to see a broader range of sessions and a larger “vendor floor” (albeit virtual), but for a first offering I think that HIMSS has done a great job.

I have a meeting here and there throughout the virtual conference that I have to attend, but I’m sure I’ll be active in the conference chat rooms when I am attending. Also, I’ll be posting updates to my Twitter account if you want to follow me there. You can also follow HIMSS on twitter now too.

Here’s a link to register for the HIMSS virtual conference. If you’re planning on attending also, let me know. I’d love to see what other bloggers plan on attending.

Reasons Small Practices Aren’t Implementing an EHR

Posted on November 13, 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’m sad that I didn’t see this list until now. Mike Gleason provides an interesting list of reasons why small practices aren’t implementing an EHR as fast as we’d like them to implement. Here’s his list of 10 reasons:

Fear
Ego
Money
War Stories
No one wants to go first
Product not perfected yet
Waiting on Govt mandates
Waiting on hospital install or Stark gift
I have people for that
Change

A really great list. Mike also discusses each of these points. As time permits I’d love to take some of his points and write some comments on each.

More important for this post, I wondered what other reasons might be missing from this list. Here’s a few others that I came up with:

I’m retiring soon
I don’t like computers (similar to “Computers Scare Me”)
Procastination/Lazy
Commitment problems (can’t decide on which EHR system)

Those last couple sound a lot like why many people don’t get married. Pretty interesting since I’ve compared implementing an EMR to marriage multiple times. Any other reasons for not implementing an EMR that we’ve missed?

Benefits of Converting from Paper Chart to EMR

Posted on November 6, 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 decided to start a new web page that I believe will really grow over time. It’s basically a list of the possible benefits a doctor or clinic can receive from using an EMR or EHR rather than paper charts.

I haven’t take much time to make the list at all, but I think it’s better to start it and then as ideas come to my head I can add to it as time permits. I already have a number of other ideas (like quality of medical care), but I need some more free time to put all the details down. Now that I’m thinking about it a little bit more, maybe each benefit of an EMR should have it’s very own blog post describing the benefit that’s received by using EMR. We’ll see how that works. Seems like a worthwhile series of posts to me.

Also, in all fairness I’m certain that I’ll also soon be creating a list of problems associated with EMR. I think it’s important to keep the discussion well rounded and that people are well aware of both the benefits and challenges associated with using an EMR.

Finally, I certainly welcome comments from people on benefits or challenges associated with use of an EMR. I look forward to hearing ideas from other people’s experience to help me round out the list of benefits and challenges that many have already experienced first hand. Might as well try to pass on that knowledge to those who are still implementing or looking to implement.