Archive for August, 2009

EMR and Physicians: Where are we?

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Regarding a physician adopting Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR), set your GPS to “The middle of no where” and “Where the hell am I? Do not expect an answer until Spring 2010. The time to start educating oneself is NOW. FREE assistance can be found at

Need a Little Help with EMR?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Don’t Know Much About Electronic Medical Records? Here’s a Little Help

Electronic Medical Records and the retirement of your old paper based patient charts. It’s not a matter if, just matter of when.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) devotes more than 30 pages to Healthcare Information Technology and the adoption of Electronic Medical/Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR). Title XIII of the ARRA calls for all US medical physicians to adopt use of EMR by the year 2014. It calls for financial incentives to ease the financial burden of such an undertaking,

There are many schools of thought on EMR, it’s benefits, drawbacks. The safeguarding of a patient’s data and increased efficiency for the entire medical encounter (Registration, insurance verification, documentation of an exam, diagnosis, proper treatment plans, electronic order (lab tests, prescriptions, imaging) are some of the basic expectations of EMR systems.

Challenge 1: There are hundreds of EMR systems to make a choice from.
Challenge 2: The Entire medical staff must be convinced embrace and use the new EMR system.

Once these challenges have been faced and settled, here are a few tips on what to expect as you move from paper-based medical charts to a computerized EMR system:

Scan existing paper records. Slow and steady wins this race. Scan, convert and capture for current patient, the patients you do not expect to see for awhile can wait.

Electronic prescription ordering is next. Patients will appreciate the medications waiting for them at their pharmacy. Keep in mind that EMR, done properly, can provide a tremendous convenience to your patients, resulting in compliance and more patients. Make no mistake, soon patients (all 300+million of us) will be saying If my physician does not have an EMR system, I’ll go to a doctor who does”.

Next, you further automate the workflow of the office. Consider a website and online registration and scheduling for new and existing patients. Bye-bye, clipboard. As your phone stops ringing, but you are seeing more patients, signs of improved efficiency are sprouting. Also, start communicating a patient’s healthcare coverage from the insurance company to avoid billing “surprises”.

Doctors and Physicians, you come next. Electronically documenting your examination findings will protect your practice legally and help you to qualify for financial incentives for the “meaningful use” of a EMR system.

Every journey begins with a first step. Here’s wishing you success on the next big thing in keeping US medical care the best in the world.

Multiple Groups to certify EMR systems

Monday, August 24th, 2009

The federal Health IT Policy Committee agreed on recommendations from its internal findings on Electronic MEdical Record Certification and Adoption that there may be several different entities bodies that certify EMRs for participation in the $18 billion EMR incentive program authorized by the economic stimulus legislation. Regular updates can be found by visiting

Physicians, Electronic Medical Records, Stimulus & Barriers

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Doctors and Physicians Must Adopt Electronic Health Records by 2014:
Stimulus Incentive Funds to ease the Primary Barrier to Entry: Cost

By Doug Wallace, Executive VP, EMR Business Development Solutions

The passage of the American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains provisions under Health Information Technology, Title XIII, that will attempt to bring order and ease the cost of healthcare delivery in the US. Healthcare costs are cited at $2.4 Trillion annually, with estimates claiming one-quarter of these funds are wasted in medical documentation errors, unnecessary procedures and duplicate paper based records.

Doctors will receive incentive payments for “going electronic” and adopting Electronic Medical Records (EMR) starting in 2011. Incentives will drop each year, resulting in penalties for non-EMR adoption after 2014.

To qualify, a EMR must meet the criteria outlined by CCHIT (Certification Committee for Health Information Technology) and demonstrate “meaningful use”, which can be summed up to be compliant with e-Prescribing, interoperability between disparate EMR systems and the ability to provide need reports. A final definition of “meaningful use” is due to be finalized by spring 2010, notwithstanding an ensuing 60 day comment period.

Though cost and a basic understanding of incentives/penalties remains an obstacle to EMR adoption, a recent report claims that interrupting a medical practice’s current workflow and abandoning a well entrenched paper based office is of major concern to doctors, physicians and medical office staffs.

Incentives come in many forms when confronted with the mandate to switch from paper to Electronic Medical Records. Not to be overlooked is the surging expectations of patients that will demand the convenience and practicality which EMRs offer. Soon, physicians will be hearing their patient say, “If you do not offer the convenience of Electronic Health Records (EHR), I’ll go to a doctor who does”.

Moreover, as the US healthcare vertical market lags behind in adoption of technology, a great amount of focus will be placed on Personal Health Records (PHR), the ability for a patient to access their Medical Records via smart phones, thumb drives, USB Wallet cards, and any regularly introduced technology application that offer a patient’s updated and complete medical record “On Demand”.

For more information, visit


Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Each of the 300+ “best” Electronic Medical Record (EMR)/Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems on the market today offers great benefits, increased productivity and patient convenience, however, we don’t currently rank EMR systems and vendors because our goal is to help physicians find and get into the best EMR/EHR for them and their address the clinical relevance for the doctors and staff. Into consideration must be taken staff/doctor willingness to abandon paper based records, cost, and in itial disruption to current operating procedures. The pay off, when realized should serve to offset the initial pain felt while making the switch to EMR. Rome was not built in a day.

EMR, Meaningful Use & Timeframes

Monday, August 17th, 2009

To qualify for stimulus incentives for Adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), CCHIT has been designated as the sole health IT certifier, for the foreseeable future (August 17, 2009).

One of the issues that federal officials must tackle as they write a rule defining meaningful use of electronic health records is to figure out how to know that a provider organization has achieved meaningful use (HDM Daily).

“Meaningful Use” EMR by definition should be finalized in December, per National Health IT coordinator Dr. David Blumenthal.

"Meaningful USe EMR Definition, timelines

Friday, August 14th, 2009

From eHealth Smartbrief:

“Meaningful Use” EMR:

CCHIT to unveil certification program for meaningful use of EHRsThe Certification Commission for Health IT announced it will release in October a set of criteria that could help health care providers achieve certification for “meaningful use” of electronic health records by 2011. The commission said its certification program will allow hospitals and doctors lacking a comprehensive EHR system to prove meaningful use by certifying e-prescribing and other modular health IT products and services.

EMR Functionality Overkill?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The requirements of a medical practice may not need all of the mandated functionality that CCHIT requires through “meaningful use”. CCHIT compliance requires an exhaustive list of features concerning functionality, e-Prescribing, interoperability, and security.

Paper Based Medical Records versus EMR: Still a chance for errors

Friday, August 7th, 2009

A 2009 National Research Council reported warned that many computer records simply mimic existing paper-based forms and that “poor design…can increase the chance for error”.-Forbes, May 11,2009

Video: See how EMR assists the Detroit Medical Center

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

See video of how EMR assists the Detroit Medical Center in providing beter patient care by visiting