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EMR Social Media Integration, EMR and Tablets, and Compassionate EMR

Posted on September 30, 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.

Another week has passed and we’re back with some of the interested EMR and Health IT related tweets this week. Tomorrow I’m flying to AHIMA in Chicago. It’s setting up to be a really great event that should produce some really interesting content. More on that in future posts. Plus, I’m bringing a camera with me and hoping to get a lot of the people I talk with on video.

Now on to the EMR tweets!


Most doctors cringe at even the thought EMR and social media in the same sentence. This is a huge barrier for any EMR to integrate with social media sites. Although, I agree with Dr. Sevilla that it’s going to happen some day.


This article was pretty terrible and felt like the journalist was trying to sell DrChrono. Who knows, maybe the were. Although, the headline and their conclusion is pretty insane. Their logic in the article is that because a large percentage (62%) of physicians use a tablet for professional uses, then it’s the perfect solution for EMR. Talk about a stretch. Maybe the tablet will eventually become the EMR device of choice, but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s fine for consuming content, but not so good at entering data.


Compassion in healthcare. What a beautiful concept. I agree we need to make sure that technology doesn’t get in the way of the many many compassionate people in healthcare.

Enterprise HIE vs Public HIE

Posted on September 28, 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.

I was recently listening to an interview with a hospital CIO talking about their move to becoming an ACO and the various ACO initiatives. As part of the interview the hospital CIO was asked about HIEs and how they were approaching the various HIE models. His answer focused on their internal efforts to create what he called an Enterprise HIE.

I think it’s telling that even within a hospital system they haven’t figured out how to exchange health information. They control the end points (at least in large part) and yet they still have a challenge of exchanging information between their own provider organization.

One trend that is causing the above challenge has to do with hospitals acquiring medical practices. As you acquire a practice or even acquire a hospital there’s often a challenge associated with getting everyone on the same IT system. Plus, even within one hospital they use hundreds of different applications to capture clinical content. Thus the need to create an enterprise HIE.

I think that the idea of hospitals building enterprise HIEs puts some context on public HIE efforts. First, if hospital organizations are having a challenge putting together an internal enterprise HIE, it’s no wonder that public HIEs are having such a challenge. If hospitals don’t have their own houses in order, how could they export that to a public HIE?

In that same interview I mentioned above, the hospital CIO said that he was monitoring the other HIE initiatives in his area. However, he said that he believed that we were far from seeing HIEs really take off and be used widely. Obviously each HIE is very regional in nature since healthcare is mostly regional in nature. However, it was a telling message about the slow pace of HIE.

Waiting Room Solutions Demo Video: Insurance Fee Schedules and Allowable Mismatch Alerts

Posted on September 27, 2012 I Written By

Waiting Room Solutions, a leading web based EMR and Practice Management provider demonstrates their Insurance Fee Schedules and Allowable Mismatch Alerts.

 

 

Watch the video.

HIPAA Infographic

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.

Who doesn’t like a good infographic? My favorite part of this HIPAA infographic is the last section where it breaks out the number of healthcare organizations that are being investigated for HIPAA violations and the results of those investigations.

HIPAA Violation Infographic
Infographic authored by Inspired eLearning, a leading provider of online HIPAA compliance training solutions. To view the original post, check out the original HIPAA violation infographic.

Traqs: One Tool to Rule Them All

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Next on the agenda on our journey through a list of five personal data innovations to watch is Traqs.

There are SO many different gadgets out there to help enhance workouts and overall health. However, it can be hard to keep track of them. I have all sorts of apps downloaded on my phone, but it becomes kind of a tedious task to go through and individually check up on each one. That’s where Traqs comes in.

It has a dashboard that collects all the data from various gadgets and apps into one place. So instead of checking every single app for updates, only one is now needed. Unfortunately, for the time being, there are only a few gadgets that are currently compatible with the system — Fitbit, Withings, Zeo, Garmin, and other GPS devices. However, the company promises for more integration soon.

It is currently in beta-testing, and one must request an invite in order to possibly get in on this before it’s available to the public. As such, the website doesn’t provide a lot of information, but it does boast of the following features:

  • Track your life —  users can track just anything from fitness and sleep to their current location.
  • Plug n’ Play — it’s compatible with quite a few devices and more apps/devices will be integrated soon
  • Access your data — store, sync, or download anything needed from devices
  • Visual dashboard — a personalized hub to help monitor progress and see results
  • Reports — data taken from devices can be generated into a report
  • Location Aware — This creates your “top places” and creates maps according to GPS data that can be imported.
It’s a pretty cool idea, and I think a lot of people will be attracted to the efficiency this innovation brings. If this turns out to be as good as it sounds, taking control of health will be even easier.
This tool has a lot of features I think anyone can enjoy. Data junkies will enjoy the graphs, charts, and information all neatly compiled together. Anyone who loves social media, especially things like FourSquare, won’t be able to resist the “Location Aware” feature. And anyone looking to simplify their lives, but still use all their favorite gadgets will probably find this useful.
Isn’t it incredible all of the new ideas that are coming forth? I was just thinking the other day — is there going to be anything better invented? It seems like just about everything I can think of has been! However, this is probably just the beginning. While I don’t have Fitbit, or any of the other currently-compatible devices, I’m definitely signing up for an invitation. Hopefully some of the apps I use will be compatible soon too .

ACO Security Issues

Posted on September 26, 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.

Leave it to the people at Healthcare Info Security to take a look at the security issues that are associated with an ACO. They do so in an interview with Bill Spooner, CIO of Sharp Healthcare. Here are some of the quotes from the interview which really resonated with me:

To deliver more coordinated care, collaboration and data exchange among ACO participants are vital. And participants “need to ensure that patient privacy is honored, and that all security provisions are in place,” Spooner says in an interview with HealthcareInfoSecurity.

And this one about ACO Information Sharing needs and patient privacy:

“The ACO model tends to elevate the attention on information sharing. … And along with that comes the need to ensure patient privacy is honored so that records are only shared with providers that patients want their information shared with, and that security provisions are put in place,” Spooner says.

I think Bill Spooner elegantly describes how healthcare institutions should handle patient privacy in everything they do, including ACOs. I like the idea of honoring patient privacy.

Let me make a few suggestions on what healthcare institutions and ACOs can do to honor patient privacy. I think there are two things that patients fundamentally want in regards to the privacy of their health information. They want to be informed about its use and control.

Informing Patient Information Use
The reality for the large majority of patients is that they want their medical providers sharing their information. I don’t know anyone who wants their health information kept private when it could provide them better care. I imagine there are some outlier cases, but the majority of people actually assume that doctors are sharing their health information already.

What patients want from doctors and in this discussion ACOs is transparency on when and what information is being shared. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so and it’s the right way to honor patient privacy is to provide a way for the patient to be informed on where and when their health information is being shared.

Controlling Health Information Sharing
Some might say that we’re becoming a nation of control freaks. I’d argue that we don’t all want to be control freaks, but we do want that option available to us if so desired. As I said in the previous point, most patients want their information shared because they realize that they’ll get better, lower cost, more effective patient care if their doctors have all of their health information. However, one thing we hate as Americans is not having the choice of whether that sharing happens or not.

What does this mean? It means that you’ll provide patients the opportunity to restrict their health information from being shared and then almost no patients will use that function. Patients want the knowledge that they can stop health information sharing more than they want for their information to not be shared. It’s a subtle difference, but is another key to honoring patient privacy.

What other things can ACOs and healthcare organizations do to ensure that they’re honoring patient privacy?

Smartphone Blood-Testing System Change the Way Tests Are Given

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

I found something today that really caught my idea — a handheld lab that can potentially eliminate the wait time for finding out blood test results. 

This handheld lab is a smartphone-enable blood-testing system. It was developed by researchers at the University of Rhode Island. Not only will it eliminate the long waiting period for test results, but requires less blood in order to be tested.

I know how frustrating  and, well, nerve racking, the wait game to be. And getting blood drawn is my least favorite thing because of my tiny veins — on average, I have to get poked three times before enough blood is taken. This was the exact case a few weeks ago when I had to get three vials of blood drawn, and then wait five long days for the results. Oh, how I would have loved for this technology to be at my doctor’s office.

It works like this:

What the university calls “lab-on-a-chip technology” needs just a drop of blood for analysis. The blood is placed on a disposable, credit card-sized plastic polymer cartridge and inserted into a hand-held biosensor, where it reacts with reagents so a sensor can detect certain disease biomarkers

While this doesn’t seem like it would work in all cases, it’s pretty neat. This will likely open the door for a lot more “instant result” innovations being created.

As I was reading the article, I thought — well, I wonder if this could be available to consumers. My answer was quickly answered part way through. Mohammad Faghri, the lead researcher, said that it can even be done from home. It’s another way for patients to take control of their health care. While the first generation version cost $3,200 for the sensor, the most recent version is only $10, making it very affordable for just about everyone.

Wireless Health Data Collection Innovations Getting Hot

Posted on September 25, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

This week, psfk.com and pharma partner Boehringer Mannheim published a list of the week’s top innovations in healthcare. All were interesting, but I was particularly intrigued by a couple which continue to stretch the boundaries of wireless medicine.

One innovation example comes from a German research team, which has developed a tiny chip (a two-millimeter device much shorter than an eyelash) which can sample blood sugar levels by testing tears or sweat. The chip is equipped to transmit the results wirelessly to providers, as well as sending patients alerts to their wireless phone.  Even cooler, the chip can be powered wirelessly through radio frequency, keeping it charged for weeks or even months.

Another entirely cool innovation comes from U.S. high school student Catherine Wong, who has invented an ECG made of off the shelf electronic components which can broadcast results wirelessly.  The device, which could make ECGs available to to the two billion-plus people without access to healthcare, picks up heart signals, then transmits them via cellphone to a healthcare provider.  The cellphone connects to the ECG using Bluetooth, and heart rhythms display on  a smartphone screen thanks to a Java app.

As readers know, the idea of broadcasting test results to remote providers via wireless devices is not a new one. The idea is so hot, in fact, that the FCC is holding a public meeting on September 24 to discuss how to accelerate the adoption of such approaches. (The event will be live streamed at http://www.itif.org/events/recommendations-mhealth-task-force at 2PM Eastern Standard Time.)

After watching projects like these germinate for a number of years, I’m thrilled to see more innovation arising in this sector of the mHealth space. Inventors, keep it coming!

FCC to Act on Key mHealth Task Force Recommendations

Posted on I Written By

Government involvement is often a mixed bag when it comes to the development of new technologies.  There is definitely an upside to having an organization with huge amounts of money to spend supporting your new ideas.  On the other hand it can be quite the burden to wade through new regulations, or to compete with the aforementioned deep pockets.

In this case I think we are looking at a beneficial relationship that should aid in the development of new mHealth technologies.

One of the limiting factors when it comes to any technology is the infrastructure needed to support it.  It is all well and good to have an idea that will change the world, but if the platform doesn’t exist to support it, then it really doesn’t matter.

The FCC has now taken it upon themselves to put their own backing into the development of mHealth technologies.  Steps such as reinforcing the broadband networks in less developed areas, and even establishing a health care director at the FCC to focus on health related issues.

Some of coolest technology that was discussed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is the development of Medical Body Area Networks (MBAN) and Medical Micropower Networks (MMN).

MBANs are networks made of wireless sensors as small as a band-aid that can monitor a patient’s vitals and send that data to healthcare providers.  The US is the first country in the world to make spectrum available for this use.

MMNs have the potential to provide even more life-changing results.  They involve low power wideband networks of transmitters that essentially replace damaged or destroyed nerve cells.  This technology could help paraplegics learn to walk again, and even restore vision in some cases.

It truly never ceases to amaze me what the human mind can create, and it is reassuring to see a government agency that is making a concerted effort to try to foster that development.  Opening the door for these technologies is a huge step towards developing technologies that will change the lives of millions.

A Fun (and Educational) Look at Privacy and Security – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on September 24, 2012 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.

One of the most common sources of confusion about the meaningful use requirements is the Privacy and Security Risk Analysis measure. As I discussed in a past Meaningful Use Monday post, according to CMS, practices that are HIPAA compliant are likely in pretty good shape on this measure. For those physicians, what’s needed is documentation of the steps that were taken to review HIPAA compliance, the deficiencies identified, and what was done to remediate these exposures. (For more information, see the meaningful use chapter in ONC’s “Guide to Privacy and Security of Health Information.”)

This begs the question, “What exactly is HIPAA compliance?” I recently came upon the “Privacy and Security Training Game” that was created by ONC’s Chief Privacy Officer and couldn’t resist playing. While a lot of the information provided is quite basic for those with expertise in the privacy and security arena, as you progress through the game, the questions become more challenging. It’s definitely a fun way to introduce staff to the issues and increase awareness about the importance of safeguarding patient information.

Check out all of the past Meaningful Use Monday posts.