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Interview with Kevin McGovern – WebPT Physical Therapy EHR User

Posted on October 13, 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.

The following is an interview with Kevin McGovern, MPTA, and owner of McGovern Physical Therapy. They are located in Massachusetts. Started in 2000, McGovern Physical Therapy now has 4 clinics, 11 treating therapists, 2 PTAs and average 700 visits per week.

How long have you been using an EMR?

We signed on to use another EMR back in October of 2010.   That EMR did not work out so well for our clinic, so we switched to Web PT in January of 2011.

What were your biggest frustrations with EMR before you started using WebPT EMR? 

Compliance Overkill!  I used another company that killed our production and the staff was extremely frustrated. Additionally, there was an arduous process of documentation with the other EMR. Documentation was way too extensive for something that could’ve been recorded in a much simpler way.

Why did you end up deciding to start using WebPT EMR?  

What got us to go with WebPT was ease of use, as well as better PQRI reporting.

I’ve read that you believe WebPT does a good job listening to and understanding your practice.  What are some examples of how they’ve done that? 

We manage our practice by statistics.  WebPT was able to tailor some things that gave us the stats that we needed to measure success. For instance, the changes that Web PT has made in the productivity report makes it much easier to track patient visits by therapist. They have also made changes in how a multi-clinic practice like mine was managed. I am able to group a census by the entire company and by individual satellite offices. This saves us a lot of time makes us overall a great deal more efficient.

What feature of WebPT EMR do you find most useful?

We really depend on the scheduling feature and the alerts for re-evaluations. We’ve found that these help keep appointments on track, which helps ensure the patient care. As a business, it also boosts our bottom line.

What’s the biggest pain point of WebPT EMR? 

The missing notes report cannot be sorted by patient, but this isn’t a huge hassle. It’s something we’ve made WebPT aware of, as we know they use customer feedback to improve the product constantly.

Has meaningful use had any impact on Physical Therapy since I don’t believe you can qualify for the EHR incentive money? 

Meaningful Use hasn’t had too much of an impact. As you say, PT clinics don’t qualify for incentive money. But we do care about making our clinics more efficient and more profitable. WebPT’s EMR system has meant we are able to spend more time with our patients and my PTs are happier. When our PTs are more productive and can fit in more time with patients, that directly impacts the health of our business. Additionally, I would say that the paperwork demands in today’s healthcare model destroys patient care. We as therapists have to spend so much time documenting daily notes, protecting ourselves against regulations and lawsuits, and applying to insurance companies for more visits or time to properly treat her patients.  All this put together puts a dent in our ability to treat patients.  So in today’s healthcare model, we must use technology that can speed the paperwork process, so we can dedicate more, valuable time to our patients.

Have you done any interfaces with hospital systems or other outside providers?  If so, how has that gone? 

We link up with an outside billing company, and WebPT integrates with popular billing platforms, which is helpful.

How does WebPT help you since you have 4 different clinics?  

Office integration is key!  We have one system that supports all four clinics. Documents are recorded once and then visible across the entire business. This is a huge benefit.

Are you concerned about the privacy, security and reliability of a web based EMR?

NOPE!

Guest Post: Over-Notifying Also Carries Risk – Current State of Breach Notification

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.


Guest Blogger: Jan McDavid is General Counsel and Compliance Officer at HealthPort, a Release of Information and Audit Management Technology company. You can read more of Jan’s posts on the HealthPort blog.

The following is a 4 part series of blog posts on the HIPAA Breach Notification Rules.

Some hospitals feel that, since the risk analysis only produces subjective results, why bother? They believe that the effort and expense incurred derives no real benefit for CE or patient, and they just notify the potentially affected patient in every instance.

In my opinion, notifying the patient for each breach is a little risky in itself. Patients often have no context in which to view a breach.

For example, losing a flash drive containing unencrypted PHI on 1,000 patients entails obvious risks – the risk of someone finding and misuing the information, for example. The law rightfully requires patient notification in such cases. However, if a patient’s record is inadvertently mailed to a house number that does not exist (perhaps due to a typo which transposed two digits), chances are good that the post office will either return the records to the sender or else the package will go undelivered.

If the records are not accounted for, it is generally accepted that it should be considered a breach; however, telling the patient this may raise an alarm about something that probably will not happen. A thorough risk analysis, although subjective, might conclude that such a breach did NOT have a “substantial risk of reputational or financial harm” to the patient. This was apparently HHS’s thinking when it required the risk analysis to be conducted.

In next week’s post, we’ll cover the possible changes to the breach notification rules.

Guest Post: Current State of HIPAA Breach Notification – Notify Patients…or Not?

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.


Guest Blogger: Jan McDavid is General Counsel and Compliance Officer at HealthPort, a Release of Information and Audit Management Technology company. You can read more of Jan’s posts on the HealthPort blog.

The following is a 4 part series of blog posts on the HIPAA Breach Notification Rules.

Eight thousand providers. One question. When do we notify patients of a breach? I hear this question several times a week from all types of covered entities; hospitals, clinics and physician offices. Many are confused or misinformed about the answer. Furthermore, real world experience varies dramatically. Some providers notify everyone. Others notify only when necessary. What’s the answer?

First and foremost, you do not have to notify the patient each and every time there is a breach of protected health information (PHI). The law requires notification only if you meet one of two conditions:
1) When 500 or more records have been breached at the same time, you must notify the patients involved, OR
2) When you as the covered entity (CE) have conducted the required “risk analysis” and determined the patient (or patients) could suffer substantial financial or reputational harm.

The issue with the second requirement is the term “substantial”. It is very subjective and not fully defined within the rules. Conducting a risk analysis and determining the extent would appear to be a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house. As such, many observers expected hospitals NOT to notify, or perhaps under-notify, as the cost of a breach can be very high — both direct costs and the soft cost of reputational harm to the CE. However, we see providers taking a “better safe than sorry” approach and over-notifying.

In next week’s post, we’ll cover the risks of over-notifying after a breach.

ForgetAboutIT? Using All Your Toys to Help you Remember Your Medication

Posted on I Written By

Now that pretty much everyone, with the exception of my mom, has a cell-phone, and the majority of cell-phones are smartphones, it is rare to see someone without one in the hand or in their pocket.  People take their phones everywhere, including some places that they are incredibly annoying.

On the other hand, many people have a difficult time remembering to take pills that will help them get better, or even prevent them from dying in some cases.  So why not combine this rapidly spreading technology with the ability to help us remember the really important things in life.

That is exactly what John Moore MD and Frank Moss of the MIT Media Lab are working towards.  Their new application, ForgetAboutIT?, is currently in development but here is the lowdown on what they are trying to accomplish:

Currently only 50% of patients with chronic diseases take their medications. The problem is not simple forgetfulness; it is a complex combination of lack of understanding, poor self-reflection, limited social support, and almost non-existent communication between provider and patient. ForgetAboutIT? is a system to support medication adherence which presupposes that patients engaged in tight, collaborative communication with their providers through interactive interfaces would think it preposterous not to take their medications. Technically, it is an awareness system that employs ubiquitous connectivity on the patient side through cell phones, televisions, and other interactive devices and a multi-modal collaborative workstation on the provider side. For this sponsor event, we are demonstrating a new application for hypertension management that we have piloted with the Mayo Clinic.

I think just about everyone has forgotten to take their medication at some point.  For people who require this medication to simply get through daily life it is essential that they not forget.  Apps like ForgetAboutIt? take advantage of something we will never leave home without, our cell-phone, to ensure that we never forget the medication that keeps us healthy.

Second Pillar of CTML: Connecting WHO and WHAT in the CLOUD

Posted on I Written By

Current proponents of the Semantic Web view the challenge of web pages as a data problem. CLOUD sees it as a people problem. Connecting “WHO I Am” to “WHAT I Am” is how the two become fused in a new future of ME 1.0. “WHAT I Am” is the second of the four pillars of CTML.

 

 

Watch the video here.