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Top Five ICD-10 Pitfalls – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 30, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 is going to be the last day looking at other people’s “Top Health IT Lists” since tomorrow I think I’ll create my own Top 10 Health IT 2011 List and then for the New Years I’ll see about doing a Top 10 Health IT in 2012 list. However, today let’s look at something that will likely make the Top 10 2012 Health IT issues: ICD-10. Government Health IT recently wrote an article what they call the Top 5 ICD-10 Pitfalls.

1. Reporting: I’m sure that many think that ICD-10 is just going to happen and be fine. They’ll assume that their reports are just going to work with ICD-10 since they worked with ICD-9. Don’t be so sure. Test the reports so you know one way or another. Diving a little deeper beforehand is a lot better than learning about the problems after.

2. Overlooking impacted areas: Much like an EHR implementation, don’t forget the other people that are affected by ICD-10. Involve everyone in the process so that they can share their concerns so they can be addressed. Plus, by having them involved you’ll get much better buy in from the staff.

3. Teaching old dogs new tricks: ICD-10 is a different beast and will require significant training even if you have an expert ICD-9 coder with years of experience. Don’t underestimate the cost to train your coders on ICD-10.

4. Preparing for impact on productivity: The article mentions Canada’s loss of productivity during their implementation of ICD-10. Do we think we’re going to be any different? Remember also that productivity loss can come in a lot of different places (which is kind of a repeat of number 2 above).

5. Communicating with IT vendors: It’s one thing to trust that your EHR and other health IT vendors are prepared to deal with ICD-10. It’s another to blindly follow whatever you’re being told. Remember at the end of the day it’s your organization that will suffer if your health IT vendor is not ready. I like to use the phrase, trust but verify.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

Going Mobile: Mobile Health as a Disruptive Technology with Massoud Alibakhsh

Posted on I Written By

Disruptive technologies displace an earlier technology while adding greater value. Gone are the days of physicians sitting at their desks at the end of the day to input patient data. Mobile technologies are now being adopted by doctors faster than any other consumer types, and it is changing the way they run their practices and making them more productive. Watch this podcast to learn more about what mobile health is and why it is taking root in health care.

Massoud Alibakhsh, CEO at Nuesoft Technologies, Inc.



Watch the video here.

Dr. Farrell Pierson Demonstrates the Centricity Cardiology Module 1.0

Posted on December 29, 2011 I Written By

Join GE Healthcare Cardiologist Dr. Farrell Pierson as he walks through the new features and key workflows of the GE Centricity Cardiology Module 1.0 and answers questions from a live, online clinical audience. This demonstration was recorded in December of 2011 for practices considering the Centricity Cardiology Module 1.0.



Watch the video here.

Top 10 Medical Technology Hazards List – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This next list I found in my series of Top Health IT lists is going to be one that I think surprises quite a few people. It’s the list (PDF) of Top 10 Technology Hazards for 2012 by the ECRI. The Power Your Practice website did an interview with James P. Keller Jr. who works at the ECRI Institute about this list which is worth reading. Before the interview, they explain that the ECRI (Emergency Care Research Institute) was created in 1964 after a young boy in a Philadelphia ER passed away as a result of an improperly preserved defibrillator.

For this list, I’m not planning to go through each item, but I will list each item:
1. Alarm hazards
2. Exposure hazards from radiation therapy and CT
3. Medication administration errors using infusion pumps
4. Cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes
5. Inattention to change management for medical device connectivity
6. Enteral feeding misconnections
7. Surgical fires
8. Needlesticks and other sharps injuries
9. Anesthesia hazards due to incomplete pre-use inspection
10. Poor usability of home-use medical devices

The PDF document above goes into a lot more detail for each of these items including suggestions on ways to prevent these problems. I imagine many hospital safety organizations already know about these things and lists like this one.

Many are probably wondering why I’m bringing this list up on an EMR and HIPAA website. Besides the fact that the list is interesting on its own, I was also really intrigued that there’s nothing on the list that’s even remotely related to EMR & EHR software.

I’m sure if we sat down for just a little bit we could think of quite a few technology hazards related to EMR and EHR software. Not the least of which is EHR down time. I’m also reminded of this post I did earlier this year titled “EMR Perpetuates Misinformation.” Yet, EHR didn’t make the list…yet(?).

It will be interesting to watch this health technology hazards list over time to see if EHR software ever makes the list. I wonder how many hospital patient safety groups are worried about the safety of EHR software. I’ll have to get Katherine Rourke to dig into this over on Hospital EMR and EHR.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

Trends in Healthcare Privacy and Security

Posted on December 28, 2011 I Written By

A review by Government Health IT recently discussed the top ten trends in healthcare privacy and security.  You can find the top ten below, as well as the full article on their website.  It certainly raises a very interesting topic as we move forward into the new year.

Privacy and security are undoubtedly one of the biggest issues in the development of new technology.  In this increasingly connected world, it is essential that personal information be kept safe and secure.

I also can’t help bu think that the lack of mHealth specific guidance in one of the things keeping major breakthroughs from happening.  That being said we are starting to see approval of apps by government agencies that should create the framework for hard and fast legislation.

In the end, the most important aspect of this all is that patient privacy and security effectively protects the patient as well as the healthcare provider.

Top Ten Trends in Healthcare Privacy and Security

1. More policing, more penalties, OCR-style.

2. Increase in healthcare data breaches.

3. A wider use of mobile devices in medicine.

4. Massive-scale data breaches in healthcare.

5. Greater patient awareness.

6. Taking protected health information (PHI) to the cloud.

7. Increased use of business associates (BAs).

8. OCR starts the HIPAA audit program.

9. The use of cyberliability insurance to manage data breach risks.

10. Data breaches are costing hospitals more than ever.

Top Health Industry Issues of 2011 – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Next up in our evaluation of the various end of 2011 Health IT lists series is one that takes a bit of a look back at 2011. In this list, PwC lists what they consider the Top Health Industry Issues of 2011. The list starts with an interesting comment about the health IT spending in 2011:

More than $88.6 billion was spent by providers in 2010 on developing and implementing electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIEs) and other initiatives. This surge is a sign of technology’s critical place in health system improvement.

$88.6 billion is a lot of health IT spending and larger than most numbers I’ve seen. Although, most numbers I’ve seen are only the EMR and EHR market and doesn’t include HIE spending and other healthcare IT initiatives. It’s quite clear that the health IT spending is up, and up Big!

Their list of top Health issues isn’t that surprising, except possibly one of them:

Meaningful Use – This has to be topic number one for health IT in 2011. It’s had a trans formative effect on healthcare IT and EMR and EHR as we know them. Pretty much every EHR vendor I’ve talked to basically had to take an entire software development life cycle to meet the meaningful use and certified EHR requirements. This is the dramatic effect of meaningful use on EHR development.

PwC actually focuses on how meaningful use will encourage patient participation in their healthcare or “shared medical decision-making.” To be honest, I’m not sure meaningful use has done much to help this goal, yet(?). Possibly meaningful use stage 2 and meaningful use stage 3 will help to further these goals. MU stage 1 has done little to encourage this. Regardless of the impact of meaningful use, shared medical decision-making is going forward fast and furious.

HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 – The interesting issue for 5010 and ICD-10 is that they’ve basically been overwhelmed by meaningful use and EHR incentive money. Either of these changes alone would have been a reasonable challenge for a normal year. However, clinical organizations are battling through 5010, ICD-10 and meaningful use all at the same time. Are there any other IT projects going on that don’t involved these three things? I’d say probably very few.

Electronic medical device reporting (eMDR) – I found this point quite interesting. There’s been a lot of movement in 2011 in regards to what constitutes a medical device and who should take care of tracking and collecting the adverse events that occur on these devices. I don’t think we’ve come to a final conclusion on what will be considered a medical device and how we’re going to deal with reporting adverse events, but finally getting electronic reporting of adverse events is a good step in the right direction.

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

9 Ways IT is Transforming Healthcare – “Top 10” Health IT List Series

Posted on December 27, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As is often common at the end of the year, a lot of companies have started putting together their “Top 10” (or some similar number) lists for 2011. In fact, some of them have posted these lists a little bit earlier than usual. This week as people are often off work or on vacation, I thought it might be fun to take one list each day and comment on the various items people have on their lists.

The first list comes from Booz Allen Hamilton and is Booz Allen’s Top 9 ways IT is Transforming healthcare. Here’s their list of 9 items with my own commentary after each item.

Reduces medical errors. I prefer to say that Health IT has the potential to reduce medical errors. I also think long term that health IT and EMR will reduce medical errors. However, in the interim it will depend on how people actually use these systems. Used improperly, it can actually cause more medical errors. There have been studies out that show both an improvement in medical errors and an increase in medical errors.

My take on this is that EMR and health IT improves certain areas and hurts other areas. However, as we improve these systems and use of these systems, then over all medical errors will go down. However, remember that even once these systems are perfect they’re still going to be run be imperfect humans that are just trying to do their best (at least most of them). Even so, long term health IT and EMR software will be something that will benefit healthcare as far as reducing medical errors.

Improves collaboration throughout the health care system. I’m a little torn as we consider whether health IT improves collaboration. The biggest argument you can make for this is that it’s really hard to be truly interoperable in really meaningful and quick ways without technology. Sure, we’ve been able to fax over medical records which no one would doubt has improved health care. However, those faxes often get their too late since they take time to process. Technology will be the solution to solving this problem.

The real conundrum here is the value that could be achieved by sending specific data. A fax is basically a mass of data which can’t be processed by a computer in any meaningful way. How much nicer would it be to have an allergy passed from one system to another. No request for information was made. No waiting for a response from a medical records department. Just a notification on the new doctor’s screen that the patient is allergic to something or is taking a drug that might have contraindications with the one the new doctor is trying to prescribe. This sort of seamless exchange of data is where we should and could be if it weren’t for data silos and economics.

Ensures better patient-care transition. This year there was a whole conference dedicated to this idea. No doubt there is merit in what’s possible. The problems here are similar to those mentioned above in the care collaboration section. Sadly, the technology is there and ready to be deployed. It’s connecting the bureaucratic and financial dots to make it a reality.

Enables faster, better emergency care. I’m not sure why, but the emergency room gets lots of interesting technology that no one else in healthcare gets. I imagine it’s because emergency rooms can easily argue that they’re a little bit “different” from the rest of the hospital and so they are able to often embark on neat technology projects without the weight of the whole hospital around their neck.

One of the technologies I love in emergency care is connecting the emergency rooms with the ambulances. There are so many cool options out there and with 3G finally coming into its own, connectivity isn’t nearly the problem that it use to be. Plus, there are even consumer apps like MyCrisisRecords that are trying to make an in road in emergency care. I’d like to see broader adoption of these apps in emergency rooms, but you can see the promise.

Empowers patients and their families to participate in care decisions. Many might argue that with Google Health Failing and Microsoft HealthVault not making much noise, that the idea of empowering patients might not be as strong. Turns out that the reality is quite the opposite.

Patients and families are participating more and more in care decisions. There just isn’t one dominant market leader that facilitates this interaction. Patients and families are using an amalgamation of technologies and the all powerful Google to participate in their care. This trend will continue to become more popular. We’ll see if any company can really capture the energy of this movement in a way that they become the dominant market leader or whether it will remain a really fluid environment.

Makes care more convenient for patients. I believe we’re starting to see the inklings of this happening. At the core of this for me is patient online scheduling and patient online visits. Maybe it could more simply be identified as: patient communication with providers.

I don’t think 2011 has been the watershed year for convenient access to doctors by patients. However, we’re starting to see inroads made which will open up the doors for the flood of patients that want to have these types of interactions.

Helps care for the warfighter. This is an area where I also don’t have a lot of experience. Although, I do remember one visit with someone from the Army at a conference. In that short chat we had, he talked about all the issues the Army had been dealing with for decades: patient record standards, patient identifiers, multiple locations (see Iraq and Afghanistan), multiple systems, etc. The problem he identified was that much of it was classified and so it couldn’t be shared. I hope health IT does help our warriors. It should!

Enhances ability to respond to public health emergencies and disasters. I’ve been to quite a few presentations where people have talked about the benefits and challenges associated with electronic medical records and natural disasters. They’ve always been really insightful since they almost always have 5-6 “I hadn’t thought of that” moments that make you realize that we’re not as secure and prepared for disasters as we think we are.

It is worth noting that moving 100,000 patient records electronically to an off site location is much easier in the electronic world than it is in paper. With paper charts we can’t even really discuss the idea of remote access to the record in the case of a natural disaster.

Possibly even more interesting is the idea of EMR and health IT supporting public health emergencies. We’re just beginning to aggregate health data from EMR software that could help us identify and mitigate the impact of a public health emergency. Certainly none of these systems are going to be perfect. Many of these systems are going to miss things we wish they’d seen. However, there’s real potential benefit in them helping is identify public health emergencies before they become catastrophes.

Enables discovery in new medical breakthroughs and provides a platform for innovation. Most of the medical breakthroughs we’ve experienced in the last 20 years would likely have been impossible without technology. Plus, I don’t think we’ve even started to tap the power that could be available from the mounds of healthcare data that we have available to us. This is why I’m so excited about the Health.Data.Gov health data sharing program that Priya wrote about on EMR and EHR. There’s so many more medical discoveries that will be facilitated by healthcare data.

There you have it. What do you think of these 9 items? Are there other things that you see happening that will impact the above items? Are there trends that we should be watching in health IT in 2012?

Be sure to read the rest of my Health IT Top 10 as they’re posted.

International mHealth vs. Domestic mHealth: Should Borders Define Our Efforts?

Posted on December 26, 2011 I Written By

[blackbirdpie url=”!/ActevisCGroup/status/149809498456997888″]

mHealth is quickly becoming one of the most exciting parts of the healthcare industry, but according to this article, there is a competitive nature between mHealth developers internationally, versus those in the US.  There are a couple of very interesting points that are made by Kate Otto in her piece.

However it is crucial to note that the world is no longer divided, and perhaps never even was, by the boundaries of America vs. the rest, or developed countries vs. developing, or rich vs. poor nations. Within every country’s borders there are marginalized communities in need of improved access to quality healthcare. And this is where the true promise of mHealth lies: in deeply understanding the needs, behaviors, and norms of people at most serious risk of disease and death.

Healthcare is by no means the only arena where there can be a sense of America vs. everyone else, but of all industries shouldn’t doctors be the ones to look past any competition, real or perceived, to do what is best for the patient?  And maybe that is the difficulty in this area: developing tools that truly benefit the patient, but are also profitable.  If there is no profit in the business why would anyone be interested in pursuing it?

Sharing and discussing research designs and methodologies is even more crucial for this fast-moving field. As several Summit sessions discussed, testing specific tools, that could be rendered obsolete in a matter of months, will be a less useful tactic than testing how phone functionalities (adaptable to different devices) can impact health outcomes.

This is something I hadn’t really considered yet seems so obvious.  Technology is developing so rapidly that what is hot news today is old hat within a month or two.  Healthcare will be no different, which is why it is essential that the focus come back to the patient and their needs.  Along those lines, it is also essential that doctors be involved in development to ensure that new developments provide real value.

But I hope that by next year’s mHealth Summit, the mHealth community’s conversations are comparing not just geographic struggles, but strategies to understand end-user experience, human behavior, and how people function before technology enters the picture, no matter where they are on the planet. That way, we can fall into line not as two separate camps of international or domestic people, but more effectively, as thepeople-people.

This summarizes the whole message quite well.  Healthcare is not something that should be compartmentalized by the borders that we have established.  People are people no matter where they are, and technology should not impact that.  All that should matter in the development of mHealth is that people are being taken care of, and their needs are being fulfilled.

The Healthcare Scene Writers

Posted on December 23, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As most of you realize, has grown tremendously over the last year. At the start of 2011 I think that there were 3 websites that were part of the Healthcare Scene network of EMR and Healthcare IT blogs. By HIMSS in March 2011, I’d grown the list of websites to 7. Today, I’m happy to say that there are 14 different websites and blogs that are part of the Healthcare Scene blog network.

As you can imagine, it is hard enough for one person to manage writing two blogs. It’s nearly impossible for one person to manage 14 websites. Luckily, I have a group of passionate writers that do a ton of amazing work across the network of EMR and HIT blogs. I imagine some of them don’t get nearly enough recognition for the great work they do. Each post says the name of the blogger at the top, but many people never take a look. This Christmas break I’ll see if I can finish a project I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and do a better job recognizing the various authors of each post better.

In the mean time, I decided that I’d mention each of my writers and recognize them for how great they are, cause they are indeed great. Now on to the writers (in no particular order):

Katherine Rourke – If you’re a reader of EMR and EHR (and you definitely should be), then you’ve no doubt have read some of Katherine Rourke’s posts on EMR and EHR. She’s done almost 100 posts on EMR and EHR and did a great job raising the level of content and readership of that site.

Lately she’s been spending most of her time writing for the relatively new Hospital EMR and EHR. She’s done a great job covering the Cerner and Epics of the hospital EMR world on that site. Also, if you’re more interested in some non health IT related healthcare blogging, you can find her writing at next Hospital.

Katherine is a passionate lover of healthcare and hospitals in particular (thus the move to the hospital site). She’s the only person I’ve ever met that gets excited to go to the hospital. Lucky for us, her passion throws through in her writing and she’s not one to mince words. She’s got a punchy style which I and many other readers really enjoy. As a trained journalist (unlike me), it has been great to work with her.

Side Note: Katherine Rourke is a penname. She wasn’t around when I was writing this so I could see if I could reveal her real name. I think she kind of likes the mystery and intrigue of being anonymous though.

Neil Versel – If you’ve been around the healthcare IT industry in any way at all, then I am certain you’ve read some of Neil Versel’s work. In the case of Healthcare Scene, Neil blogs on Meaningful Health IT News, but Neil has written for basically every major (and probably all of the minor) health IT publication that exists or has existed over the past 15 or so years. He’s one of the true professional health IT journalists.

On a more personal note, I stumbled upon Neil’s blog when I first started blogging. I remember reading Neil’s work in various publications and thinking to myself, “He’s a journalist. I’m not. What can I learn from what he does?” I know that much of my style and approach to writing came from the things I saw Neil do.

Dr. Michael West – I am always honored to have working physicians blogging on my network and Dr. West is one of the two doctors that participate in Healthcare Scene. Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC and writes on the blog Happy EMR Doctor. Yeah, the name is a little cheesy, but it was the best we could find with all the domain squatters out there. Plus, he truly is a Happy EMR user.

Dr. West provides an interesting physician perspective since he implemented an EMR that was a complete failure. He replaced that EMR with a Free EMR solution. Plus, Dr. West chose to opt out of Medicare rather than to continue to experience all the Medicare cuts and penalties (particularly those related to meaningful use requirements). Obviously, all of these items make for some great content on his blog. I also love that he recently had his Practice Manager, Ken Harrington, hop on the blog and do a post about how EMR influences HR in a doctor’s office. I hope Ken writes for the blog more often.

Dr. Michael Koriwchak – The second doctor that writes of Healthcare Scene is Dr. Koriwchak. He’s an ENT out of Atlanta (there’s so much good health IT in Atlanta) that’s been working with health IT and EMR for a long time. You can read his blog at Wired EMR Practice. Lately he hasn’t had as much time to blog thanks to a number of other projects he’s working on including trips to Washington to talk about things like the HITECH act and ACOs. In fact, he just happened to be with Hermain Cain in DC for one of the famous Hermain Cain lines that was quoted over and over again on the news.

Regardless of how much time he has to blog, if you look through his past posts you can see that he provides a lot of interesting thought and insight from a physician perspective to the challenge of implementing and using an EMR system. One of the best series of posts he did was his Lessons Learned from an EMR Upgrade Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Dr. Koriwchak is definitely ahead of the curve.

David Lynn – Many of you might not recognize David’s name, but his the quiet voice behind 4 of the Healthcare Scene blogs. He manages and does all the hard work on EMR & Health IT News, EMR & EHR Screenshots, and EHR & EHR Videos. In the short time those sites have been up, David’s turned them into a really great resource for those researching EMR and EHR software or for those in the industry just trying to stay up on the latest and greatest EMR info.

You will find David’s more creative work on Smart Phone Healthcare. That website is focused on mobile health and I’m always amazed at the content, devices, apps and other technology that David is able to find and post about on that site. I’m also happy to call David my brother (or maybe I should say little brother). For the longest time we’d wanted to work on some project together. The opportunity presented itself for him to participate in the network and he’s done an amazing job, which isn’t surprising since he’s one of the smartest people I know.

Lynn Scheps – I think most of you reading this are familiar with Lynn. Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft, but she’s also the power behind Meaningful Use Monday. I have had a ton of people tell me how valuable Meaningful Use Monday has been for them and all credit should go to Lynn for putting in the time to share the knowledge with all of us.

I think when I first suggested the idea of blogging about meaningful use to Lynn she was a little reticent. However, I think she’s come to enjoy the experience of putting the ideas down in writing and also the value of getting feedback and commentary from users. On a more personal note, Lynn is a genuinely kind person and pleasant to be around.

Priya Ramachandran – I was really lucky to be introduced to Priya and have her start writing on both EMR and EHR & EMR Thoughts. Priya provides a really fresh perspective on the industry. Plus, she’s a computer nerd like me which is always great for bonding us together.

One thing I love about Priya is that she always has her ear to the ground to hear the latest things that are happening in the EMR and Health IT world. In fact, I don’t know how many times I’ve had an idea for a post based on some current HIT happenings and then I get a post from Priya about that same subject.

Jennifer Dennard – The addition of Jennifer Dennard writing on EMR and EHR is relatively new, but I had known Jennifer for quite a while before she started writing. I can’t quite remember how I convinced Jennifer to write for my sites, but it was one of the best choices I’ve made.

One of the things I like most about Jennifer’s posts is her ability to share something personal and then connect it to an EMR or healthcare IT story. Plus, as I finish reading her posts I often think, “Wow, that took me somewhere unexpected and interesting.” I attribute this ability to her superior mind and creative writing style. I’m always excited to see what twist and turn she’ll take me on next. At the recent AHIMA conference I had a chance to connect with Jenn on a more personal level as well. Not only is she a great writer, but she’s an incredibly thoughtful and caring person that everyone should want to be around. I’m lucky I’ve had that chance.

As you can see, I’m lucky to work with such amazing people both professionally and personally. This Holiday Season I want to send out a big Thank You to them. If you want to send them a gift as well, I imagine one of the best things you can do is to read their posts and leave a comment on the ones you find interesting. There’s not much nicer as a blogger than someone taking the time to read what you do and engage in a discussion around that comment.

Happy Holidays!

Future of mHealth Dependent on Interoperability and Use of Available Technology

Posted on December 22, 2011 I Written By

My education in the healthcare industry is still somewhat in its infancy, but I really enjoy learning about mHealth in particular.  This probably stems from my general love of technology, but also from my fascination with business and watching companies and industries grow.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks with mHealth is there are way too many people developing products rather than businesses.

One of my favorite shows is Shark Tank which gives everyday people the opportunity to present their business to billionaires looking for an investment of some sort.  One of the most common comments the investors make is that the person has a product and not a business.  It is such a thin line but essential to true success.  Products of some sort are essential to a business, but they are not in and of themselves a business.

That is the problem with most of the companies in mHealth at this point.  There are tons of apps and gadgets and other fun things out there, but there is no one company that is trying to bring it all together.  Interoperability is the real basis of success in this industry.  Having to go to ten different companies for your healthcare needs is no different from what we have always had, except you are using electronics instead of paper.

While that is a step in the right direction, it is not the level of change that will be needed for real success in the industry.  There will inevitably be more companies that fail than succeed, as is the case in any industry.

The healthcare industry is very similar to aviation in this area.  The air traffic control system is essentially the same system that has been in use for decades.  While there have been great advances in technology, namely GPS, we still use the same archaic tools that keep the industry inefficient and cluttered.  Clearly major advancements have been implemented in terms of aircraft and related systems that make air travel faster and safer, but we are not even close to using all of the tools available.

There are plans in development to better use the improved tools that are available, but they have still not been widely implemented for numerous reasons.  Instead aviation remains inefficient and the consumer is the one who suffers in the form of increased costs with reduced service.

Healthcare is quickly following the same path.  While there have been amazing developments in the technology doctors use on a day-to-day basis, the system itself is still incredibly inefficient.

That being said, I have great hope that this will change in the coming years.  As more major companies like AT&T, Qualcomm, Verizon, etc. become involved in the industry we will start to see the real breakthroughs that will give mHealth its legitimacy.  What will be even more incredible is when some of these tech companies really link up with traditional healthcare companies that have real power in the industry.

About a decade ago eHealth companies were all the rage, and now they are all essentially gone.  While there is no guarantee that mHealth will not end up the same way, you have to think they stand a better chance.  Smartphones are an increasingly essential part of everyday life for almost everyone.  It only makes sense to include healthcare in that arena.