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Integrating Telemedicine And EMRs

Posted on May 17, 2013 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.

Have you considered what an EMR would look and feel like if it integrated telemedicine? Rashid Bashshur, director of telemedicine at the University of Michigan Health System, has given the idea a lot of thought.

In an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare, Bashshur tells IW’s Ken Terry that it’s critical to integrate HIEs, ACOs, Meaningful Use and electronic health records.

Makes sense in theory. How would it work?

To begin with, Bashshur said, healthcare providers who have virtual encounters with patients via a telehealth set-up should create an electronic health record for that patient.  The record could then be ported over to the patient’s PHR.  The physician can also share the health record via an HIE with other providers.

When providers attempt mobile and home monitoring, it steps the complexity up a notch, as such activities generate a large flow of data. The key, in this situation, is to use the EMR to sensitively filter incoming data.

Unfortunately, few EMRs today can easily pinpoint the information providers need to process, so most organizations have nurse care managers sift through incoming monitoring data. That’s the case at University of Michigan Health System, where care managers sift data manually to determine whether patients seem to be seeing changes in their conditions.

Unfortunately, even attentive care managers can’t catch everything a properly-designed system can, Bashshur notes.  To integrate EMRs and telemedicine/remote monitoring, it will be important for EMRs to have sophisticated filters in place which can pinpoint trouble spots in a patient’s condition, using a standard protocol which is applied uniformly.

According to InformationWeek, vendor eClinicalWorks has promised a new feature which can pick out relevant data from a large data stream. But until eCW or another EMR vendor produces such a feature, it seems that remote monitoring will be labor-intensive and expensive.

EHR Mouseclicks, #HIT100 Interview, EMR and Doctor-Patient Relationships, and Sleep Rate: Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on July 29, 2012 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 apologize for not having a weekly round-up last week — my family and I were in Southern Colorado, and while the owner of the lodge we were staying at said there was Internet available, that didn’t prove to be completely true. So for the next two weeks, these posts will have a combination of two weeks’ of posts. There were some great posts recently, and I’d hate for anyone to miss them!


Too Many EHR Mouseclicks and Keystrokes – A Solution for EHR Vendors

Critics of EHRs claim that there are too many mouseclicks/keystrokes involved to consider it efficient. However, there are ways to overcome this complaint. If vendors would focus on making their product respond consistently, and physicians get the training they need, this hurdle can be overcome. It may take awhile for this point to be reached, but it is possible.

EMR Advocate Tops the #HIT100

The #HIT100 list aims to recognize great #HITsm and #HealthIT communities on Twitter. This week, the #1 person on the list, Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers), was interviewed by Jennifer Dennard. She gives her thoughts on social media and health IT, and how it’s affected her career. Stotsky also reflects on the the value that the #HIT100 list brings to the health care community.

The Intersection of EMRs and Health Information Management

While researching for a discussion she was going to moderate on the exchange of personal health information with an ACO at Healthport’s first HIM Educational Summit, Jennifer Dennard stumbled upon some interesting information. This post contains some of her thoughts, and includes a list of the top 10 trends impacting HIM in 2016. At the conclusion of her article, she asks questions concerning Meaningful Use and the relationship HIM professionals have with EMR counterparts.

Happy EMR Doctor

How an EMR Gets in the Way of Doctor-Patient Relationships

While happy with his current EMR, Dr. Michael West talks about the “darkside” of EMRs. He says that he has to pay more attention to his computer than maintaining eye contact with his patients, but this is a problem that will be difficult to resolve. Although he could just jot notes down and update the EMR later, he feels this would be more time consuming and less accurate. Is there are a solution to the barrier created between doctors and patients when an EMR is used?

Smart Phone Health Care

SleepRate: Improves Your Sleep by Monitoring Your Heart

Everyone has trouble sleeping every now and then. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out why. SleepRate, a cloud based mobile service, may be the solution. This service tracks and analyzes the users sleep patterns, and, from that information, gives suggestions on how to improve sleep. It does this by monitoring your heart using a ECG.

App Helps Potential Skin Care Victims Track Moles

1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their life. With a chance this high of getting this terrible disease, it’s more important than ever to monitor moles and other skin lesions. An app created by the University of Michigan Health System, UMSkinCheck, makes that monitoring easier. The app sends reminders about skin checks, and allows the user

EMR Thoughts
Digital Health Takes Off in 2012

Digital Health is growing more and more. Rock Health Weekly reported that there is 73 percent more funding for it this year than at this time last year. The yearly funding report by Rock Health Weekly was recently released, and there were several interesting findings in it. Digital Health isn’t going anywhere.

Hospital EMR and EHR

The Meaningful Use Song (To The Tune of “Modern Major General”)

If you need a little pick-me up, or a smile to end your week, don’t miss this video. The “Meaningful Use Song” includes commentary on MU, written by Peggy Polaneczky, MD, to a catch tune.

From The Horse’s Mouth: What Scribes Are For

Ever wonder what a scribe does, and if they are really even needed? This post includes quotes from Scott Hagood, the director of business development for PhysAssist Scribes. This is a great position for pre-med students, and with the growth of EMR, the field for scribes continues to develop and expand as well.

App Helps Potential Skin Cancer Victims Track Moles

Posted on July 19, 2012 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.

The other day, I read an article that stated 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their life. That is a very scary statistic. So when I came across an article about a free skin cancer screening app that was recently released by the University of Michigan Health System, I was intrigued.

Basically, this app is helps people monitor moles and other skin lesions that could potentially turn into skin cancer. The user takes a picture of worrisome moles, it stores the photos and allows you to compare any changes over time. This isn’t the first app of its kind, but one difference is that it sends reminders to the user to monitor their moles on a regular basis. I think that would be pretty handy, as I think I would forget.

One part of this app that I liked is “risk factor calculator”. It asks a few questions, such as region, sex, and a few other things, and determines how many people with those demographics will get skin cancer. For me, it indicated that .55 people out of 1000 with my similar features would get skin cancer in their lifetime.

This app has the user do a full-body survey, and upon completion, a total of 23 photos and 7 poses are taken. The creators of the app feel like this app, if done on a regular basis, would be helpful to take to doctor’s appointments concerning possible skin cancer. In the future, the creators hope to connect doctors to the app that could examine pictures taken. Here are a few screen shots from the app.

It seems to be fairly easy to navigate and make where lesions are. I like how on the front screen (last screenshot here), it tells you when you need to do your next self exam and indicates how many lesions are being tracked. The app also has an “info” section, that gives tips on how to stay safe in the sun.

Another app that is available for skin cancer is called “Skin Scan” for 4.99 through the iPhone. The app takes the pictures of moles and lesions and gives them a rating on how likely that mole is to be a part of skin cancer. It apparently predicts accurately about 70 percent of the time. Having technology determine this, especially when there is a 30 percent chance it is wrong, is kind of scary. I wouldn’t want to be the person who was told by the app that they likely didn’t have melanoma, only to find out later that I did. I haven’t seen the app, but I would hope that there is a warning stating that the results can’t replace seeing an actual doctor or dermatologist.

Overall, I like the idea of this app. Awhile back, my husband had some moles that could have been worrisome, so we monitored them for awhile. However, we had a hard time remembering what the moles looked like previously, therefore not being able to determine if there had been changes. While we could have taken pictures, it would be nice just to have a place that automatically stores them to a specific location.

UMSkinCheck is available for the iPhone, for free, and can be downloaded here. It has an almost 5 star rating, compared to the 2 star rating that Skin Scan has.