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User-friendly EMRs, Meaningful Use Fraud, and DietBet – Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on April 21, 2013 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.

Many are concerned with the user experience in Health IT – particularly regarding the user-friendliness of EMRs. While it is easy to be overwhelmed by the negative reports, there are businesses and providers working hard to resolve these issues. McKesson is one of those companies, and they were recently recognized for their work at HIMSS13. Will more companies start making efforts like this? 

One step toward making EMRs more user-friendly is, well, making them accessible to patients. Unfortunately, according to a recent Accenture study, 65 percent of doctors believe patients should only have limited access to their health records, and 4 percent believe records should be totally closed. Reasons range from self-consciousness of what a doctor says in a record, to being uncomfortable with using digital records. Allowing patient-access may very well be a huge cultural shift for doctors everywhere.

In order to pass Meaningful Use stage 1, one must indicate which EMR was adopted. But, according to BuildYourEMR.com’s CEO, Mike Jensen, 74 percent of the providers who stated they were using his EMR…weren’t. If this is similar across the board, around 5.4 billion dollars were paid in error for incentives. While this isn’t likely to be the case, it’s pretty sad the lengths people will go to in order to get some extra money. EMR vendors need to start going over their CMS data in order to help prevent this fraudulent behavior.

If money was at stake for you to lose weight, would that motivate you? For most people, it probably would. DietBet takes the desire people have to lose weight and pairs it with the innate desire to have money, and creates a weight-loss game. If you lose 4 percent of your body weight in four weeks, you get part of the money pot for the group you are in. If you don’t, you lose the amount you paid to participate in the first place.

John recently had the opportunity to go to TEDMED as a guest of the Breakaway Group (A Xerox company)
. It was a great experience for him, and highlights can be found @ehrandhit or searching #simplehealth on Twitter. John recounts some of key takeaways from TEDMED, and suggests some of the major themes that will likely be seen in healthcare.

Lose Weight and Win Money With DietBet

Posted on April 19, 2013 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.

After I posted about the study that found financial incentives to be a good motivator for weight loss, I have been on the lookout for more websites popping up like Gym Pact. I was curious to see how much something like this would motivate me, and since I no longer belong to a gym, Gym Pact was out of the question. Well, today a friend of my sent me an invitation to a website called DietBet, and I was immediately intrigued.

DietBet is a 4-week program, where participants need to lose 4% of their body weight (or more) in order to get any of the “pot.” You can create your own challenge, or join someone else’s, and pay a certain sum of money to participate. For instance, the one I joined was $25. And let me tell you, I’m more motivated than ever before to lose weight, even just to get back my $25.

Whenever a new person enters your group, the pot rises. I was looking at the top game, and it’s at almost $9,000. I wouldn’t mind being part of that group! When the date arrives for the contest to begin, you have to take two photos  — one full length photo of you on a scale in “airport security” attire, and one of the scale, the number on it, and a piece of paper with a weigh-in word, to prove it’s actually you. I was wondering how they would do this, actually, and it seems like they’ve got it under control! These photos are kept private, and you don’t have to share your weight with the others in the competition.

During the competition, you can post photos, write comments, and just interact with others in the game. There is also an iPhone app companion for the game, which I thought was nice.  Starting on the last day of the competition, you have 48 hours to “weigh out”

I really believe that money is a great motivator for just about anything, and I’m interested to see if I actually have any success using this site. (PS, if you want to join in, my group starts on April 29th. The more the merrier!)