For those of you who attend to news about Health Information Technology (HIT) last week was a busy one.
- The 10th annual meeting of the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Atlanta took top billing. One of my favorite bloggers [EMR (EHR) and HIPAA] attended and posted frequently during the conference. John has been writing about EMRs since December 2005 and his knowledge is considerable. In fact, he just published his own e-book on how to choose an EMR. He is sincerely interested in the best ways for a facility or practice to choose the best EMR for their organization. John’s Sunday post referenced an article by Didier Thizy from macadamian titled “Electronic Medical Records – 3 Key Differentiators“.The three most interesting and possibly most important differentiators Mr. Thizy heard being promoted by EMR vendors at HIMSS about their systems were:
The EMR has excellent UI (user interface) and usability.
The EMR is designed for a specific speciality.
The EMR’s technology makes the user’s life easier.
Obviously, when it comes to electronic medical records, one size does not fit all. Making sure that you take usability, specialty specificity, and life simplification into consideration is likely to make your selection a better fit for your organization.
- FierceHealthIT reported a number of interesting items on March 8.
- The Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense have been working diligently through a contractor to connect their respective EMRs so they can communicate with one another. After incorrect communication of patient information (providing information about the wrong patient in response to a user query), the VA decided to shut down access to the DoD system. Hopefully, this is a very temporary glitch and does not mean a complete return to the drawing board.
- The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) expressed concern about results of a survey they completed recently. They found that practice executives are not as optimistic about productivity gains as software and information management executives. Over two-thirds of those surveyed believe that physician productivity will decrease because of the proposed meaningful use criteria. The other third of practice executives felt productivity would increase. This split resulted in MGMA’s chief Dr. William F. Jessee’s statement: “For the incentive program to succeed, the meaningful use criteria must be practical and achievable. If the final rule mirrors those outlined in the current proposal, there is significant risk that the program will fail to meet the intent of the legislation, and that a historic opportunity to transform the nation’s health care system will be missed.”The survey results indicated which criteria will be most difficult to meet:
The proposed requirement that 80 percent of all patient requests for an electronic copy of their health information be fulfilled within 48 hours (45.9 percent) and The proposed requirement that 10 percent of all patients be given electronic access to their health information within 96 hours of the information being available (53.5 percent).
Those of you who like to closely follow news in the health care IT space might consider following these two excellent sources yourselves: