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The 2012 Connected Health Symposium showcased a myriad of engagement tools that promote innovation and improve patient compliance.
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Editorial in The New York Times: Experts have long argued that computerized patient records will save the health system money by helping doctors reduce the number of redundant or inappropriate tests they order. A new study published in Health Affairs, disputes that, suggesting that office-based physicians who have access to electronic records of patient care are actually more likely to order additional imaging tests and laboratory tests than doctors who rely on paper record.
The study did not explore why. But its leader, Dr. Danny McCormick, an assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School, suggested that the ease of ordering tests and receiving results by computer may encourage doctors to order more tests than they would if they had to get results by phone and interpret blurry fax images.
The study’s authors argue that previous research that showed savings were done at leading medical centers with sophisticated technology. Many doctors’ offices buy off-the-shelf systems, primarily for billing purposes, that may not be able to track down redundancies or lack software to help doctors decide if a test is appropriate.
We still believe that widespread adoption of electronic medical records will improve care and reduce costs. It is also clear that many office-based physicians will need help in making the transition. No matter how adept doctors become with computerized records, they will need to be pushed to rein in excessive use of tests.
Standards organization Health Level Seven International, better known as HL7, is working with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to facilitate the delivery of clinical trial data to clinicians via their electronic health records (EHRs). The effort will use HL7's Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), which is also the foundation of the clinical summary that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes to use in the 2014 edition of certified EHR technology.
"Studies have shown that right now it can take seven years or more for new research advances to be put into clinical practice," Robert Dolin, MD, vice chair of the HL7 board of directors said in an announcement. "We can make that process much quicker by improving physician access to clinical trial data, and by expressing clinical trial data using meaningful use EHR standards."
From IT World Canada: A soon-to-be released medical application for smart phones was the talk of a Toronto mobile healthcare summit Thursday, not so much for what it will do but for the innovative way it’s being developed.
Few EHR software used by Canadian and American hospitals and clinics have mobile versions. Most vendors are still working on them, but they likely won’t interconnect. In the meantime, a number of North American hospitals are offering doctors and nurses read-only access to patient data for tablets and smart phones through Citrix, which for Kanter isn't ideal.
Determined to find a better way, Kanter’s team set an ambitious goal: to build a smart phone viewer that works with the device’s operating system to connect to as many EHRs as possible using a single interface.
Briefly, it uses a Java-based server architecture to reformat data pulled from EHRs and send it to the user interface. But that isn’t enough – the app has to be licensed to access the records. One key to the project advancing so far is that Palomar struck a partnership with one of the biggest software vendors, Cerner Corp., so the app can access its database at the hospital.
The domination of Epic Systems continues according to a Meaningful Use Top 10 report released by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation leading all vendors with almost 28% (6,330) of Meaningful Use attestations in 2011.
eClinicalWorks had the second-most attestations, with 1,847 ... 4,487 fewer than Epic.
Last week, Don Berwick completed his 17 month tenure as administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. The nation should be grateful that such a visionary was at the helm. The nation should frustrated that he was never confirmed.
In his parting interview with the press, he noted that 20-30% of health spending is “waste” that yields no benefit to patients.
Berwick listed five reasons for the enormous waste in health spending:*Patients are overtreated*There is not enough coordination of care*US health care is burdened with an excessively complex administrative system*The enormous burden of rules*Fraud
Certainly regulatory reform is needed, but electronic health records can go far to addressing each of these issues.
Working together saves money and meets Meaningful Use requirements.
Health Affairs Blog: Despite the widely held assumption that physicians having computer access to patients’ test results will reduce testing, doctors who have such access to tests in the ambulatory care setting are more likely to order imaging and lab tests. That’s the finding of a study in the March issue of Health Affairs, released March 5th.
The authors say their findings challenge one premise of the nation’s multibillion-dollar effort to promote widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT). They warn that the effort “may not yield anticipated cost savings from reductions in duplicative or inappropriate diagnostic testing” and, in fact, could drive costs up.
From John Halamaka:
"What is the perfect EHR?"
"After listening to many "grass is greener" stories, I believe that what a provider perceives as a better EHR often represents trade offs in functionality. One EHR may have better prescribing functionality while another has better letters, another is more integrated and another has better support. The "best" EHRs, according to providers, varies by what is most important to that individual provider/practice, which may not be consistent with enterprise goals or the needs of an Accountable Care Organization."
TechCrunch: Drchrono, a startup that aims to simplify the professional lives of doctors by bringing electronic health records and much more to the iPad, raised $2.8 million in funding led by Yuri Milner, with Google's Matt Cutts and other investors ...
Studies are beginning to back up what Health IT and patient advocates have known for a long time:
UPI.com: U.S.nurses working with electronic health records consistently reported improvements in nursing care and better health outcomes, researchers say.
The study, published in the American Journal of Nursing, found having a basic electronic health records system was associated with better outcomes independently of nurse staffing -- indicating that both play an important role in quality of care.
In addition, nurses in hospitals with fully implemented basic electronic health records were significantly less likely to report unfavorable patient safety issues, frequent medication errors and low quality of care, the study said.
From failing to plan to skipping out on training, many mistakes can be made during the implementation process. And although they may not be as juicy as wrath, envy or lust, the Seven Deadly Sins of EMR implementation could wreak just as much havoc.