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Opinion: Do Electronic Medical Records Save Money?

Opinion: Do Electronic Medical Records Save Money? | #HITsm | Scoop.it

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.

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Electronic Access For Physicians To Prior Tests Did Not Reduce Costs

Electronic Access For Physicians To Prior Tests Did Not Reduce Costs | #HITsm | Scoop.it

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.

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The Perfect EHR

The Perfect EHR | #HITsm | Scoop.it

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."

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GE Centricity Portal Adds HIE, SMS Support - Health Care IT - News & Reviews

GE Centricity Portal Adds HIE, SMS Support - Health Care IT - News & Reviews | #HITsm | Scoop.it

GE has released an update to its Centricity Patient Online portal to incorporate SMS texting between patients and doctors, as well as access to HIEs.

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Electronic Health Records Could Improve Care for Type 2 Diabetics

Electronic Health Records Could Improve Care for Type 2 Diabetics | #HITsm | Scoop.it

Health Behavior News Service - Use of electronic health records shows promise for improving care and outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes, but still has considerable room for improvement, according to a new study in the journal Health Services Research.


With the U.S Department of Health and Human Services currently offering incentives for medical practices to move their records to electronic systems—and Medicare payment penalties to those who don’t convert by 2015—doctors and hospitals are increasingly incorporating these tools into their practices. However, the notion that electronic health records can improve care measurably has been under significant debate, said study co-leader Jeph Herrin, Ph.D., of Yale University.

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EHR incentive payments doubled in last three months of 2011

EHR incentive payments doubled in last three months of 2011 | #HITsm | Scoop.it

Modern Healthcare: Total payments to hospitals through the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health-record system incentive programs more than doubled from October through December to more than $1.9 billion, according to the CMS' latest monthly reporton payment and registration support.


Combined payments to physicians and other so-called eligible professionals jumped 99% over the same period to nearly $570.4 million.

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The Next Wave of Technology: Social Media and EHRs

Great SlideShare presentation from @johnsharp.

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Dean Berg's comment, December 8, 2011 6:06 AM
Thanks for sharing!
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The Promise of Electronic Healthcare Records

The Promise of Electronic Healthcare Records | #HITsm | Scoop.it

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.

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Former VA leader to chair EHR board

Former VA leader to chair EHR board | #HITsm | Scoop.it

Modern Physician: Dr. James Peake, former U.S. Veterans Affairs secretary, has been named chairman of the board of the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, the not-for-profit organization created last year at the behest of the Veterans Affairs Department to serve as the custodial agent of an open-source development project to upgrade the VA's public-domain VistA electronic health-record system.


In addition to Peake, Dr. John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; and Michael O'Neill, senior adviser to the director of the VA's Innovation Initiative, also were named board directors, while Lt. Gen. Dr. Charles Green, surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force, was named as the Defense Department's liaison to the project, OSEHRA announced.

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HL7 and NCI collaborate on clinical trial link to EHRs

HL7 and NCI collaborate on clinical trial link to EHRs | #HITsm | Scoop.it

From FierceHealthIT:


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."

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eHI: ONC workforce development program is underutilized

eHI: ONC workforce development program is underutilized | #HITsm | Scoop.it

From CMIO: The increasing utilization of EHRs and health information exchange (HIE) that has been spurred by an unprecedented level of government funding for health IT could represent an untapped market for both job creation and market savings, according to the eHealth Initiative (eHI).

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EHR app causes buzz at mobile health care summit

EHR app causes buzz at mobile health care summit | #HITsm | Scoop.it

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.

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From The Blog: Six Questions to Consider About Merging a CCD

From The Blog: Six Questions to Consider About Merging a CCD | #HITsm | Scoop.it

With CCDs seen as the vehicle for EHR-to-EHR communication, these six questions raise some concerns as to how this vehicle should be utilized, by Rob Brull


  1. Is having the CCD available as an attachment sufficient?
  2. Who is liable that the data is correct?
  3. What audit trail exists for the data?
  4. What if there is conflicting data?
  5. Is someone responsible if the data is not merged and a bad decision is made because of the lack of data?
  6. What is best for patient care?
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Black Book Rankings names top hospital EHRs

Black Book Rankings names top hospital EHRs | #HITsm | Scoop.it

From Healthcare IT News.

 

CPSI, Cerner, GE Healthcare and Picis emerged as the vendors whose inpatient EHRs are most favored by customers in a four-month user poll conducted by Black Book Rankings.

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e-Patient Dave: How an Empowered Patient Recovered From Cancer and Found a Higher Calling

e-Patient Dave: How an Empowered Patient Recovered From Cancer and Found a Higher Calling | #HITsm | Scoop.it

Great interview with Dave deBronkart, aka "e-Patient Dave." Very insipring guy and a great speaker. I recommend viewing the embedded video to get a better idea of his message. I was lucky enough to hear him at the Mayo Ragan Social Media Conference in October.

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Stanford Hospital Patients’ Private Data Was Posted Online

Stanford Hospital Patients’ Private Data Was Posted Online | #HITsm | Scoop.it
A breach involving a California hospital led to the public posting of medical records for 20,000 emergency room patients on a commercial Web site for nearly a year.
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