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Public Health Menu Measures – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on July 25, 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.

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.

When selecting the 5 meaningful use menu measures on which to report—from the list of 10 possibilities—the only constraint is that the EP must include at least one of the two measures from the “public health” category:

 These two measures have a number of things in common:

  • EPs report by attesting that “Yes” a test was performed. There is no numerator and denominator to report and consequently no thresholds to meet.
  • One test is sufficient for a group of providers that share a certified EHR in the same setting – it is not necessary for each EP to conduct a test individually.
  • The test does not have to be successful to meet the measure.
  • If the test is successful, then the EPs should continue to report on a regular basis.

 Both measures allow EPs to claim an exclusion under specified circumstances:

  • Immunizations Measure:  The EP does not perform immunizations OR none of the immunization registries to which he/she would submit the information are able to receive the information electronically.
  • Syndromic Surveillance Measure: The EP does not collect any reportable information OR there is no public health agency that is able to receive the information electronically.

 The potential to exclude these measures has resulted in some confusion about which—and how many—of these measures to report. The next Meaningful Use Monday post will offer some guidance on this issue.

Is a Lack of Effective Marketing Holding mHealth Back?

Posted on I Written By

Let me preface this post with an acknowledgement of my relative inexperience in healthcare.  I have always thought that I stayed at least relatively informed of what was going on in the world in general, but these last few months of writing this blog along with a few others in this network has truly opened my eyes to my ignorance.

I am the type of person that loves to learn new things.  I may not know anything about a specific topic, but if someone is teaching I will always listen because understanding new things fascinates me.  When this opportunity first came up I saw it as a way to help my brother, who is the founder of emrandhippa.com and healthcarescene.com, as well as a way to stay busy while awaiting some training.

In the months that have followed I have been completely blown away  by the technology that is out there, and the companies that are providing it.  It isn’t even hard to find an article or press release about a new gadget or app that completely blows my mind.  Maybe this is sue to my relative inexperience, but I also think it is in large part do to the amazing things that developers are creating.

It was not that long ago that all a cell phone did was make calls and maybe send text messages.  Then they added cameras which was pretty cool.  Now those cameras are better than the stand alone digital camera that I bought less than 3 years ago.  Now you can access the internet from anywhere you get cell service.  We aren’t just talking about box scores from sporting events or headline news, but the internet in all its glory.

Smartphones are cool for internet access if nothing else, but my recent “education” has taught me that we have only scratched the surface.  We now have microscope cameras, blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, fitness trackers, and even “nano-tatoos” that provide a range of information.

What I don’t understand is why so few people know about it?

As I try and talk with friends and family, outside of my healthcare IT brother, they have no idea that these things even exist.  They are generally aware that there are apps for just about anything, but they have no idea the power some of these apps have.

The power that I am referring to is the power to save lives.

I can’t help but wonder if a lack of marketing to the public has to do with this?  Are these developing companies still too small and broke to really get their products out there?  I don’t claim to be a marketing or business genius, or even an amateur for that matter, but if people don’t know about your product they can’t buy it.

I am not even referring to these companies becoming rich as much as I am referring to the improvement in health that more people could be enjoying if they only knew about these devices.  As I write this it strikes me that it may be the sheer number of apps and gadgets out there that is preventing their widespread adoption.

Anyone with a little programming experience and $10 a month for a website can create a “healthcare app”, so how are people supposed to wade through all the garbage to find the truly valuable ones?  Maybe this is where the FDA, or some other large organization needs to step in and provide some real oversight of these devices.

If people had a source to go to for accurate information I can’t help but think they would use it.  People visit Kelly Blue Book, and Edmunds, and a handful of other sites for information about cars, why wouldn’t they so the same thing if a reliable healthcare company presented a valuable overview of the good stuff out there.

Maybe I am displaying my ignorance with this post, but with the amazing technology that is out there, and the relative small distribution of quality apps and gadgets I can’t help but wonder what is holding it back?