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Under Armour Biometric Health Data Collection Shirt

Posted on March 31, 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.

Leave it to sports to come out with some really creative and innovative technology. I know I’ve spend far too much money to go to sporting events and so it makes sense that they’d have money to pay for some really cool healthcare devices.

Medgadget recently posted about an Under Armour Biometric shirt that the NFL was using to measure athletic performance.

The shirt has electronic sensors that measure heart and breathing rates and skin-surface temperature, and a triaxial accelerometer to measure force and direction. All the data that it collects is sent out via Bluetooth. The amazing thing is that this shirt and it’s “bug” has 2 gigabytes of storage along with its processor and accelerometer. That’s more than most devices like this. Although, you do have the cost of the “bug” which comes in a removable sensor pack.

While this is really cool for the NFL who wants to test the athletic capability of an athlete, I think there could be some really interesting uses of this technology in the home. What if we wore this shirt when we are working out at home on the treadmill or when we go for a run. All of that data could be uploaded to a PHR or other website where all the data could be graphed and be used to monitor the health of an individual. Although, I bet the cost of the device will need to come down to make a consumer version of this product.

Here’s a video which shows more about the Under Armour E39:

Real Innovation in EMR Will Come with Healthcare Innovation

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.

It seems like EMR innovation has been a strong theme on EMR and HIPAA ever since I wrote about the lack of EHR innovation at HIMSS. I of course clarified my original post with this post on the future of EMR and EMR innovation and then wrote about the challenge that doctors have to differentiate EHR software amidst all the noise. I also think it’s worth noting that EMR software can be a tremendous innovation for a practice that is using paper charts. I just don’t see an EMR software that is the must go to EMR system. There’s no “iPad” of EMR software (yet?).

After careful consideration of these ideas, I can’t help but wonder if an EMR that provides innovation in healthcare is the innovation that will have an “iPad-onian” moment. Basically the EMR facilitates a dramatic change in the way healthcare is delivered. This isn’t some feature or function that the EHR company can announce at HIMSS. EMR features and functions will never be heard above the noise. EHR vendors are already saying they can do everything, whether they can or not. Instead I’m talking about a real change to the way healthcare is provided and that’s facilitated by an EMR software.

For example, is there a doctor brave enough to have an all iPad/iPhone medical practice? Their EMR software would all be in the cloud and would facilitate online visits with patients or in house patients with visits where the EMR software was easily accessible using wireless technologies. They wouldn’t even have an office. They would do half of their visits from the comfort of their homes and half at people’s houses. Would that cause people to talk? I think so. Would the business model for the practice need to be different? I think so. Would an EMR and related technology be essential to make this happen? Yes. Could an EMR company be built to facilitate this type of a medical practice? Sounds like an interesting franchise model to me.

I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not. Plus, there are certainly people a lot smarter, more informed and innovative than me that could make this type of idea even better. However, it’s becoming quite clear that building just one more feature and function isn’t going to differentiate you from the rest of the EMR companies. That’s why I won’t be surprised if the real “innovative” EMR company will likely be a startup company. They’ll likely not know very much about how healthcare is “suppose” to work. They’ll also likely be told that their model is impossible and just won’t work. Instead they’ll just focus on using technology to connect the doctors and patients in some non-traditional manner. To me, that’s the type of companies that healthcare really needs.

EHR Incentive Q&A: Do modular certified EMR’s qualify for meaningful use and also qualify for full incentive payouts?

Posted on March 30, 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.

Chris asked the following question:
Do modular certified EMR’s qualify for meaningful use and also qualify for full incentive payouts?

Answer:
Modular certified EHR software can qualify for meaningful use and the EHR incentive payouts. Although, they can’t do it on their own. Although, if you combine the modular certified EHR with other modular or full certified EHR software, then you can qualify. Clear as mud huh?

The good thing is that you can go to the ONC CHPL website and select the certified EHR software which you use and it will tell you if combined it meets the criteria.

So, for example, maybe you have a modularly certified EHR that is certified for everything but ePrescribing. You could then also purchase a certified ePrescribing software and together they would be considered a complete certified EHR that would qualify you for the EHR incentive money.

At least this is my understanding of the intent. I’m sure there are going to be lots of little intricacies without clear answers.

UPDATE: There was some discussion in the comments about whether you had to have a complete EHR or only one that had the modules you use to show meaningful use. Thanks to Jim Tate for finding the HHS reference that says you do have to have a complete EHR even for the modules which you’ve excluded or menu set objectives which you didn’t select.

mHealth for Seniors is Voice Not Text and Is Worth Paying For

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.

Neil Versel has a really great article over on Mobi Health News. It feels a bit like a pitch for a company, but within the article the company makes two observations that every mobile health person should take not of. The first comment is about seniors need for voice instead of text on their mobile:

The average user of GreatCall products and services is 68 years old, according to Pantalone, so the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company wants to keep its apps simple. Jitterbug phones, with large buttons and uncluttered screen displays, “are terrible for texting because you have to triple tap, and seniors don’t want that anyway,” Pantalone said.

Pantalone said that 80 percent of seniors’ activity on cell phones is making or receiving calls, not texting, browsing the Web or running smartphone apps. That’s pretty much opposite the trend for younger generations, so GreatCall’s services are mostly voice-to-voice. “We’ve found that voice and IVR-based apps are effective,” Pantalone said.

Makes sense when I think about the seniors I know. They definitely use it as a phone and are generally scared about the idea of texting (with the usual exceptions). This generation of seniors will benefit more from a voice mHealth app.

Then the second money quote from Neil talks about a study that was done that talks about what users are willing to pay for:

Pantalone also reported on another interesting data point among its older customer base that runs counter to attitudes of younger people: 38 percent of Jitterbug and GreatCall users surveyed in 2010 expressed a willingness to pay a recurring monthly fee for a health-related service.

I imagine it’s even more likely true with the senior community where they realize that their health is fragile and they’ve come to realize that they need to take better care of their health. I wonder what other paid mobile health applications are seeing success.

AMA Launches CPT Billing Code iPhone App and 2011 AMA App Challenge

Posted on March 29, 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.

Today the American Medical Association (AMA) introduced it’s first ever iPhone app designed for physicians. I’ts a CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing code app which helps you quickly find the right CPT code. You can get the app for free on the iTunes store CPT E/M QuickRef - American Medical Association and is called the CPT E/M QuickRef app. Unfortunately, right now it seems it’s only available for the iPhone. I think it’s a really smart move for an association like AMA to release an app like this.

Together with the launch of the first AMA iPhone app, the AMA also announced a medical APP Challenge for medical students, residents and physicians. They’re giving away 2 prizes (1 for students and one physicians) of $2500 ($1000 Amex gift card and $1500 Apple gift card) and a trip to New Orleans where your app will be revealed at the AMA conference. They also have some runner up prizes of $100 American Express gift cards.

I love contests like this. Although, to be honest, if you have a really good idea for an app, I’m not sure exactly why you’d enter it into their app contest. Mostly because once you submit it to them, they become the owners of the idea. Apps aren’t that hard to build and so if you have a good idea, then why not build it yourself. Hop on a site like eLance.com or Guru.com and you can find some great app developers for a low cost. You could leave a comment below and I could help you find the right resources as well. I’ll just take 10% referral fee. That’s a lot better than the 100% the AMA will take.

Video of Meaningful Use EMR Integrations and MU Dashboard

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.

Ever since I saw my first meaningful use dashboard in an EMR, I’ve been interested to see the various ways that EMR companies are implementing and tracking meaningful use in their EMR. So, I was really interested to check out this SOAPware EHR video which walks their users through their various meaningful use features. I should mention that this is their training video and not meant as a marketing piece which is exactly why I like it. It’s 11 minutes long, but if you watch even the first couple minutes you’ll get a good idea for how they’ve attacked the meaningful use requirements for their users.

I really like their meaningful use dashboard and the access to the data. My only fear with their dashboard is that they might be providing too much data and not enough of an overview screen. I think most providers are going to want a little more of a “key indicators” dashboard which gives them a nice summary overview of all the MU requirements and how they’re doing. At least from the video, it seems like it’s showing a little too much data on the front end rather than showing a nice overview and then letting you drill down if needed. Reminds me of my Business Intelligence classes in college. The executives (the doctors) mostly want to see the overview, but they want the ability to drill down if needed or have some other staff member drill down and see what’s wrong.

I find their patient dashboard concept pretty intriguing. I love how it updates in real time your compliance with the meaningful use requirements as you see the patient. I’ll leave the discussion of whether or not compliance with meaningful use should be a central part of patient care for another day. However, I think the real time updating of compliance in the patients chart is a really nice way to fix the issues as they arise instead of trying to correct them after the fact.

In the video they show the MU patient compliance dashboard on the left side, I think that’s configurable and can be moved to the other side or hidden. At least I really hope that meaningful use compliance doesn’t become so prominent in patient visits that it deserves a spot as the left sidebar.

I’m sure I could go in and comment on each feature they demonstrate on the video, but there’s a little flavor of what SOAPware is doing to meet meaningful use. I’d love to see other demo videos of how EMR companies are helping their doctors meet the meaningful use requirements. Screenshots of their dashboards would be interesting as well.

Full Disclosure: SOAPware is an advertiser on this site.

The Meaningful Use Measures – The Basics – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on March 28, 2011 I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

John requested that the next series of Meaningful Use Monday posts explore the ins and outs of the individual meaningful use measures. To begin this process, today’s post reviews the basic requirements and the type of information that providers will report. Next Monday’s post will address the options available to some providers to exclude certain measures. Following that, I will address the measures, one by one, week by week (…although I can’t promise that I won’t digress as subjects of timely interest arise!)

By now, most people interested in meaningful use know that there are 25 measures and that they are divided into two sets—Core and Menu. Providers must meet all 15 of the core measures and any 5 of the 10 menu set measures, as long as one public health measure is included. (Another way to look at the menu set is that providers can defer—presumably to Stage 2—5 of the 10 menu measures.)

How each of the 25 measures is reported varies in a number of ways, so it is important to carefully read the requirements:

  • For some measures, providers will be asked to simply attest that “Yes”, they met the measure—e.g., implemented a particular EHR functionality or performed a test of a specific capability.
  • Other measures have thresholds that must be met, and therefore require the reporting of numerators and denominators, using data generated by the EHR.
  • Denominators vary, e.g., some are based on all patients seen, while others refer to a particular subset of patients.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

Mobile vs Computer and the Patient Interaction

Posted on March 25, 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.

“It’s Friday, Friday! Gotta get down on Friday. Fun, fun, fun, fun. Looking forward to the weekend.” – Friday Music Video by Rebecca Black Dang those viral videos, but I have to admit that I’m grateful that today is Friday and I have a weekend to catch up on things. I’m sure that many of you can relate to this feeling.

As we head to the weekend, I’ll leave you with a little something to think about and discuss in the comments. Someone at HIMSS pointed this out to me and I thought it was worth sharing. Think about the patient interaction in the exam room. For some reason, doctors don’t and haven’t had any problem pulling out their mobile phone (or previously their PDA) in order to pull up Epocrates (or some other similar app) while in the room with the patient. It was perfectly natural for them to pull it up to look up a certain drug or other information.

Why are doctors comfortable with a smart phone between them and a patient, but a computer is not? Is there a relationship between this and why the iPad is so popular with doctors?

Operating System of Healthcare IT

Posted on March 24, 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.

Likewise, says Allscripts’ Tullman, “today we’re building the operating system for the future of healthcare. This country can’t afford its healthcare system anymore, so something’s got to change. We can no longer buy our way out of the problem.” – Source: Information Week

The above comments sparks all sorts of interesting thoughts and questions for me. The first is “What is the Operating System of healthcare IT?” Obviously, we’re quite sure Tullman hopes that it’s the suite of Allscripts products. Although, how ironic is it that one company can have 5-10 (I lost count) different EMR software. I’ve never known an operating system to have 5-10 completely different software. Seems like something needs to change there. Unless you want to say that various segments of healthcare IT are going to have different operating systems.

I do feel like EHR software is the operating system of healthcare IT. It’s going to be the basis upon which many other software packages are built on.

I imagine the above statement is probably why Tullman made the comment and the comparison. Allscripts has an ambitious project (although I haven’t seen many results yet) to create a kind of app eco system for healthcare IT apps. There are other vendors that do the same. For example, I know that SRSsoft has open API’s that allow developers to extend their apps. I love this movement in the EMR world. My biggest challenge is identifying the application developers that are interested and willing to leverage these APIs. That part of the app ecosystem seems to be missing to me.

My next thought is that similar to how we didn’t realize how beneficial an application like Excel would be until we had the operating system that facilitated its creation. Who is going to create an Excel like app that can run on the EMR operating system and provide benefits to claims processing, clinical decision support, diagnosis help, insurance billing, etc etc etc. Certainly it’s possible that the O/S (EMR) developers will make a lot of these applications, but I won’t be surprised if the EMR is just the platform that allows other smart people to innovate on a particular subject.

In my time writing about EMR, one thing has been very clear. You can’t be all things to all people. An EMR vendor that embraces, supports and creates a strong healthcare IT application developer community would cause me to take notice above the noise.

Rising Above the EHR and Meaningful Use Noise

Posted on March 23, 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.

There’s some really good comments happening on my previous post about EMR companies with an “In” with doctors. Check it out and join in with your thoughts. One of the comments reminded me of another interesting issue with all of these EMR vendors trying to vie for your attention. How does an EMR system rise above all the noise? Or if you prefer the doctor perspective, how can a doctor notice the really innovative and useful EMR companies amidst all the noise?

This is a serious problem and sadly I don’t know a very good answer. I talked with one company who was considering going into the EMR field and they said, “We know we can create a great product that works better than those that are present. Although, if we do, will anyone even notice.”

It’s a fine question that reminds me of my post about EMR software possibly being a commodity. Maybe it’s not a commodity, but the noise of 300+ EMR companies and meaningful use relegates it to a commodity because no one can tell the difference with all the noise. Bad singers sound a lot better in a noisy restaurant.

Basically, is there anything that an EMR system could say they deliver that would rise above the noise? In fact, this is essentially the question that I posted to the new Healthcare Scene LinkedIn group (You should join). I get a lot of pitches all the time running this site, and I’m not sure I’ve seen any EMR company have an iPad-onian (my new word for how the iPad revived the tablet industry) moment.

The biggest problem with this is that EMR vendors are saying everything under the sun. Including things that the EMR system can’t deliver.