ABBYY,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,EHR,Electronic Health Records,HITECH Act,Office of National Coordinator for Health IT

Top challenges managing electronic health records

Bruce Orcutt , President Product Marketing and Management ABBYY

Written by: Bruce Orcutt

A recent study by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) about health information management (HIM) professional career trends attributes the electronic health record (EHR) as a major catalyst for the way health information is managed. In fact, a majority of physicians, 89.6 percent, are using some type of electronic medical record (EMR) or EHR system according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 97 percent of hospitals are using a certified EHR system, reports the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT. This has greatly impacted the roles and duties of healthcare professionals, resulting in the need to train future HIM professionals in new educational competencies that align with evolving career opportunities. The AHIMA study shows that HIM professionals will spend a lower amount of time on diagnosis and procedural coding and more emphasis on leadership, teaching and informatics/analytics. To address this trend, AHIMA is proactively aligning its strategic objectives to support emerging roles in informatics and analytics, however, there are still challenges with EHRs and patient forms that will keep HIM professionals stagnant in their roles if not addressed.

Using decade-old technology.

The HITECH Act passed in 2009 when health IT adoption was in its nascent stages, yet, despite claims that healthcare is becoming fully electronic, it’s impossible to completely eliminate paper from patient care. Patients present insurance cards and driver licenses that must be copied, sign forms and provide summaries and referrals from other providers. They also complete health histories and other intake documents. Causing a significant drag on EHR systems is legacy optical character recognition (OCR) data capture technology that is nearly a decade old. While it is able to automate most data entry by digitally capturing and converting the data into EHRs, it is still error-prone and cannot capture unstructured data from various sources, or evolve to new form types or add form fields easily.

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male infertility,sperm radar,University's Department of Infection

New & ‘sperm radar’ test may uncover secrets about male infertility

Scientists at the University of Sheffield have developed a new technique to examine human sperm without killing them – helping to improve the diagnosis of fertility problems.

The Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy technique, uses powerful magnets and works like radar by firing pulses of energy at the sperm sample inside a purpose built scanner and then listening to the echoed signal by the molecules in response. This could help to distinguish between populations of good or poor sperm.

Unlike other more destructive examination methods, the low energy pulses do not damage sperm, meaning they could potentially go on to be used in IVF treatment. This is similar to a technique that doctors use to capture images of cells and tissues inside the body.

The novel approach was pioneered by physicists from the University of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Radiology working together with fertility experts from the University’s Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine in the interdisciplinary spermNMR project.

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Collaboration in Supply Chain,enterprise workflow,FormFast,healthcare organization,operational efficiency

Bring your healthcare organization up to speed with enterprise workflow

Aaron Vaught, Director Marketing FormFast

Written by: Aaron Vaught

Operational excellence has never been more important in the healthcare industry than it is today. A number of external factors, including increased quality requirements and lower reimbursements, are driving the imperative for efficiency across the entire healthcare organization. 

As a result, healthcare organizations (HCOs) are embracing workflow technologies to promote collaboration, operational efficiency, standardization and transparency (COST). However, roadblocks often exist for organizations in their aim to improve COST within their data collection and workflow strategies – especially in non-clinical areas.

HCOs collect, store and exchange a tremendous amount of data, which can lead to inevitable difficulties with data collection and workflow. There are a few other reasons that inefficiencies in non-clinical departments occur:

1. Some electronic documentation and workflow improvement initiatives are limited to clinical processes.

2. There are shortcomings in administrative workflow areas such as Finance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Risk Management. As a result, workflow snags causing poor performance in one area can impact other departments and the organization as a whole.

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Courtine Labs,Neuroprosthetics,prosthetic,Recovering from injury

Neuroprosthetics: Recovering from injury using the power of your mind

Neuroprosthetics, also known as brain-computer interfaces, are devices that help people with motor or sensory disabilities to regain control of their senses and movements by creating a connection between the brain and a computer. In other words, this technology enables people to move, hear, see, and touch using the power of thought alone. How do neuroprosthetics work? We take a look at five major breakthroughs in this field to see how far we have come – and how much farther we can go – using just the power of our minds.

 Using electrodes, a computer, and the power of thought, neuroprosthetic devices can help patients with motor or sensory difficulties to move, feel, hear, and see.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide lose control of their limbs as a result of an injury to their spinal cord. In the United States, up to 347,000 people are living with spinal cord injury (SCI), and almost half of these people cannot move from the neck down.

For these people, neuroprosthetic devices can offer some much-needed hope.

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breast cancer,cancer,imaging technique,photoacoustic

New imaging technique aims to ensure surgeons completely remove cancer

Of the quarter-million women diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the United States, about 180,000 undergo surgery to remove the cancerous tissue while preserving as much healthy breast tissue as possible.

However, there’s no accurate method to tell during surgery whether all of the cancerous tissue has been successfully removed. The gold-standard analysis takes a day or more, much too long for a surgeon to wait before wrapping up an operation. As a result, about a quarter of women who undergo lumpectomies receive word later that they will need a second surgery because a portion of the tumor was left behind.

Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and California Institute of Technology report that they have developed a technology to scan a tumor sample and produce images detailed and accurate enough to be used to check whether a tumor has been completely removed.

Called photoacoustic imaging, the new technology takes less time than standard analysis techniques. But more work is needed before it is fast enough to be used during an operation.

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clinical trials,data access,Liaison Technologies,Partner data,patient information,patient-centric environment,Payer reimbursement data,value-based care

In a patient-centric environment, data access matters more than ever

Gary Palgon, Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare, Liaison Technologies

Written by: Gary Palgon

The healthcare industry in the U.S. and beyond has been buffeted by trends like the shift to value-based care, technological innovations that broaden treatment choices and an increasing focus on individual patients. Like other life sciences sector businesses, pharma companies are eager to stay ahead of the curve, and that will require new thinking about how to integrate and manage data. Access to integrated, high-quality, easily accessible data will be the key to success in the years ahead.

Optimizing data means finding a way to break down data silos, integrate and harmonize information from disparate sources (and in different formats) and providing secure, compliant access to authorized staff. But while it’s an important first step, it won’t be enough for pharma companies to focus exclusively on breaking down data silos within their own organizations — they’ll have to also be able to take in data from many different sources and integrate and manage it effectively.

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Ankylosing spondylitis,imaging techniques,radiography,X-ray

Ankylosing spondylitis: X-ray and imaging techniques

X-rays and other imaging techniques for ankylosing spondylitis are an important part of getting an accurate diagnosis of this condition.

Imaging helps doctors recognize signs of ankylosing spondylitis and to recommend treatment.

There are a few different methods that are used in the process. There may also be some risks for people to consider.


[person with back pain against pink background]People with ankylosing spondylitis experience stiffness and pain that gradually worsen over time.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that most commonly affects the back and sacroiliac joints. These joints are made up of the bones near the hips and lower back called the sacrum and ilium.

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Forward Looking,Insight,mental health care,Telepsychiatry,The Telepsychiatry Advantage

Telepsychiatry: Raising the bar on access to mental health care

James Varrell, President and Medical Director, Insight

As May—Mental Health Awareness Month—rolls around each year, health care stakeholders are reminded to reflect on the notable achievements and strides made in mental health treatment. The industry continues to forge new paths in terms of technological advancement, research, discovery and awareness, leading to a more holistic approach to care delivery and improved health outcomes across U.S. communities.

In terms of improving access to care, one advancement in particular carries significant weight for expanding care options and lowering costs for patients, providers and communities: telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry is a form of telemedicine that uses videoconferencing to provide psychiatric evaluation, consultation and treatment. A growing segment of telepsychiatry is direct-to-consumer care, which is working to tear down stigma-related barriers to treatment and open doors to expanded referral options and more timely care. In fact, industry stakeholders increasingly recognize direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry as a primary solution for filling mental health care gaps at a time when the need is soaring.

In tandem with the goals of value-based care, today’s patients and providers are no longer willing to settle for limited mental health treatment choices within their community. Similarly, communities should no longer view the long waits traditionally associated with accessing psychiatric care as acceptable, especially when telepsychiatry lays the foundation for more optimal, timely care delivery.

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Appalachian Regional Healthcare,Meditech,MEDITECH's Web EHR,mobile Web EHR

Appalachian Regional Healthcare makes the move to MEDITECH’s Web EHR

After launching a complete evaluation of Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions, Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) (Lexington, Ky.) announced they will begin a partnership with MEDITECH. The large, not-for-profit, integrated delivery network that includes 11 hospitals, will begin their shift to MEDITECH’s transformative, mobile Web EHR later this year.

“We are excited to partner with MEDITECH in providing ARH an innovative Web EHR that fosters and supports sustainability,” said Appalachian Regional Healthcare’s President and CEO, Joe Grossman. “With the Web EHR, our clinicians will have seamless integration across the continuum, improved productivity, and the sophisticated tools to improve the quality and safety of care delivered to our communities.”

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Coffeyville Regional Medical Center,electronic health record,Meditech,Web EHR

MEDITECH partnership makes Web EHR an easy decision for Coffeyville Regional Medical Center

Coffeyville Regional Medical Center (Coffeyville, Kan.) recently announced that they’ll be upgrading to MEDITECH’s Web Acute, Ambulatory and Emergency Department Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution. A MEDITECH customer for nearly two decades, CRMC’s Chief Information Officer Kris Penco calls the move to the Web EHR an easy decision.

“MEDITECH’s one patient, one record offering was a driving force in our decision to move forward with the Web EHR,” Penco said. “From a patient care standpoint, an integrated EHR leads to better and safer care for patients. Of course, cost was a key consideration, and in the end, MEDITECH offered all the tools and functionality we wanted, at a fiscally responsible price.”

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