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EMR Switching Encouraged by Meaningful Use

Posted on March 6, 2012 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.

For the past year or so I’ve been predicting that one of the top EMR and EHR related topics will be EMR switching. Yes, that’s right. A practice or doctor switching from one EMR to another EMR. At HIMSS it was suggested to me that meaningful use was a big driver in doctors switching EMR software.

I find the idea of meaningful use driving doctors to change EHR software quite interesting. It makes some sense when you consider that some of the EHR software that doctors currently use isn’t a certified EHR and/or will make it difficult for them to show meaningful use. More common is the HUGE number of physicians that have to upgrade their EHR software. This is a bit of a travesty to me. In any release of EHR software there’s always a mix of new features, security fixes and other optimization. Why a doctor wouldn’t want all of these things is hard for me to understand.

I guess part of the problem with staying updated to the latest EHR software has to do with the client server model that many EHR software companies use. Upgraded client server software isn’t always easy or fun. There’s some things you can do to streamline it, but it takes time. When the upgrade doesn’t offer a new feature that a doctor wants to get his hands on, it’s hard to justify the costs associated with the upgrade. I’m talking about time costs to upgrade, not software costs to upgrade. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t think too much about the security implications of not updating their EHR software.

Meaningful use has definitely gotten a lot of doctors to upgrade or replace their EHR software. This seems like something that should have happened naturally, but I believe it’s a good outcome of meaningful use.

Going back to switching EMR software, I’ve heard from a number of EMR vendors that some of their best EMR sales are to those that already have an EMR. I know I’ve done a much better job buying my second cell phone than I did my first. I knew what I really wanted when I bought my second one. The same seems to apply to doctors buying their second EMR.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that doctors switch EHR in order to get a better one necessarily. It would be a really terrible thing if the way to get a quality EHR was to implement one first and then switch EHR. However, as time goes on there are going to be a HUGE variety of reasons to switch EHR software. Meaningful use might be driving EMR switching today, but there are going to be other factors driving doctors to change EMR in the future. Not the least of which could be a large number of doctors who focused too much on meaningful use and EHR incentive money and not nearly enough on the way the EHR selected will impact their practice. The other likely cause will be EHR consolidation and EHR software companies going out of business.

The real problem with all this EHR switching will be the lack of standards and flexibility around pulling the data out of the old EHR. I still have in mind some ways to hopefully help with this problem, but it’s a monumental task.

Aetna Releases CarePass for mHealth Integration

Posted on I Written By

One of the biggest topics for discussion in healthcare right now is interoperability.  It is all well and good to have an amazing app or device, but if it is on an island then it is not as effective as it can be.

Aetna has been quite successful with their iTriage app, but is taking it to the next level with their consumer health platform: CarePass.  Here are some of the main points from their website:

Imagine being able to find the doctor or facility that best meets your needs and preferences, and booking an appointment right on your phone. Imagine being able to access the health and lifestyle apps that are just right for you and have them work together. Imagine the ability to share your medical records and manage your medical conditions by going to one location. Imagine a single tool that integrates your family’s health and fitness information in one place, with one secure password. Imagine one solution that puts the power of health in your hands and provides the help you need at your fingertips.

With a single secure sign-on, the CarePass platform will enable a consumer to share information across some of the most popular health and fitness apps, and create a personalized, coherent experience to manage their whole health, from getting care to staying well. As consumers face a changing healthcare landscape, CarePass and iTriage will provide important tools to engage consumers, connect them to providers, and help them navigate the evolving system.

Soon, CarePass will work with third-party developers to unleash their creativity in developing more market-leading consumer solutions. To stay connected to CarePass and other game-changing technologies, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation.

Using third-party developers is probably the most exciting piece of information.  I understand the appeal of proprietary information, but when it comes to interoperability, third-party development has so much more appeal.  I don’t get the feeling that they are just going to open it up to anyone who wants to develop something, but by taking advantage of other great minds they are creating an opportunity to create something even better.

You can also find a video from Aetna about their products on their website.

GE Healthcare Suggestions for Preparing for ICD-10

Posted on I Written By

ICD-10 will be here before you know it. Are you ready? Come hear from GE on upcoming ICD-10 requirements, and what steps you need to take to get ready for the October 2013 deadline.

 

 

Watch the video here.