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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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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Meditech,MEDITECH Web system,MEDITECH’s optimized EHR,National Center for Biotechnology Information,Physicians Foundation,Web-based solutions

How MEDITECH’s optimized EHR can prevent physician burnout

I hear it more and more from my colleagues: They’re feeling burnt out.

Studies of physician satisfaction find that doctors are reducing the number of patients they see, and report feelings of emotional exhaustion, loss of enthusiasm, and depersonalization of patient care. The most recent study by the Physicians Foundation found that nearly half, 49 percent, of the doctors surveyed said they “often or always experience feelings of burn-out [sic].”

Another study by the Mayo Clinic reported that 54.4 percent of responding doctors reported having at least one symptom of burnout, and a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that medical errors are “strongly related to a surgeon’s degree of burnout.”

As I explained in a recent Doctors’ Hours Podcast hosted by Jane McCloskey, Senior Coordinator, Doctors’ Hours Program, in Client Services at MEDITECH, burnout represents one of the greatest threats to our national healthcare system, in terms of the investment to properly train skilled doctors that is lost and the higher cost, lower efficiency environments of care that patients must then navigate.

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Markham Stouffville Hospital,Meditech,MEDITECH's 6.1 Web EHR,MEDITECH's Web EHR,Ontario hospitals,Southlake Regional Health Centre

Ontario hospitals join partnership to deliver seamless patient care with MEDITECH’s Web EHR

Located in Ontario, where 58 percent of hospitals are using MEDITECH‘s Electronic Health Record (EHR), Markham Stouffville Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital announced a new partnership to integrate their Health Information System (HIS) and accelerate the adoption of MEDITECH’s 6.1 Web EHR across all three organizations. Over the next year, Southlake and Stevenson will implement MEDITECH’s latest platform which will be hosted by MSH, a current customer for over 25 years and first in Canada to implement MEDITECH’s Web Ambulatory solution.

“The MEDITECH system creates the opportunity for a shared patient record across all three organizations, meaning regardless of where the patient receives care, the clinicians have real-time access to the patient’s health information,” Jo-anne Marr, president and CEO at MSH said. “This partnership offers a number of benefits to our community; it creates the opportunity for a common patient record, it enables us to optimize our staff and financial resources, and it showcases our expertise and innovation for healthcare IT.”

The first-of-its-kind since the start of the province’s new eHealth 2.0 guidelines, a blueprint set forth to help healthcare organizations collaborate and exchange health information, the historic and strategic partnership will enable all three sites to improve the quality of care and patient safety with seamless care coordination across the continuum.

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care pathway management,CPM,electronic medical records,EMR,interoperability,Lumeon

How care pathway management can maximize value from EMRs

Robbie Hughes

Robbie Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Lumeon

Medicine is a science, but the actual practice of medicine across the care continuum is often less consistent and less quantifiable than patients and practitioners would like or expect. Some of this is because treating people is more complex than a standardized production process such as manufacturing or repairing a car. But much of the variance in treatment is because the delivery of healthcare is managed on an ad-hoc and manual basis, even as discrete steps in the process are automated. The result is reduced visibility and ongoing difficulty in measuring both individual patient outcomes and improvements in population health.

A tremendous amount of time and money has been spent automating individual steps in the healthcare delivery process, including not only Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems, but also scheduling systems, billing systems, and even patient portals. In most cases, multiple software products have been deployed in a single hospital, practice or surgery center, each automating one or more of a provider’s previously manual processes. However, the automation of separate silos leaves process gaps between the different software systems, gaps which are typically bridged using people and paper.

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ACA,Affordable Care Act,health data exchange,RosettaHealth

Despite fate of Obamacare, you still need to exchange health records

Buff Colchagoff, Chief Executive Officer, RosettaHealth

Written by: Buff Colchagoff

Although the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) didn’t garner enough votes in the House, there is still uncertainty about the future of this legislation. Despite this lack of clarity, the reality is that today’s health organizations will continue to need to share electronic health records, with or without the ACA.

The genie is essentially already out of the bottle, and we are too far down the road when it comes to the role and importance of value-based care. With the healthcare sector nearing 20 percent of U.S. GDP, this arena will continue to expand in scope and importance through the trajectory of innovation and data.

For anyone who attended HIMSS 2017, it is clear that the future of managing care will be about leveraging data to make successful clinical decisions. In fact, the demand for data is growing at a rapid pace – with hospitals, practices and post-acute care settings all needing to effectively share health records.

Population health is also gaining in importance as the health care system shifts to a value-based system. As a result, the importance of having complete patient health data wherever care is rendered is increasing exponentially.  This also includes pharmacies now sending clinical data back to the providers, which enhances the quality of care in the post acute care arena. 

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drchrono,EHRs,Electronic Health Records

Can EHRs actually save time for medical practices?

Daniel Kivatinos, Cofounder and COO, drchrono

Written by: Daniel Kivatinos

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have a bad reputation. With emerging complaints about the many hours spent on EHRs from healthcare providers, one may question whether electronic health records might not be the solution that was promised to guarantee higher productivity and better patient care.  If EHRs don’t save care providers time and improve profitability, you must wonder why anyone would want to switch to an EHR system from paper records?

EHRs, like all software and systems, are not necessarily to blame. When leveraged correctly, they can change practices for the better. EHR productivity gain or loss is specifically linked to how well the practice takes the time to determine what they want out of their software and strategize implementation. Customization of the product further optimizes productivity and without it, costs specialists’ effectiveness or time. With those two things in mind, doctors should know that going digital really can help save them time and deliver better health outcomes.

The loss of productivity often can come even before a practice implements an EHR. When office managers, the spouse of the doctor, or the medical staff in a practice is given the responsibility to, “Find us an EHR and let me know when I can start using it,” the practice is already in trouble. They shop around, compare prices and product features with the current processes the practice uses, and select an option for the practice. Sometimes, the doctor(s) come in at the last minute to approve or sign. This guarantees a practice will lose productivity and profit before using the EHR software.  Without well thought through priorities, a practice won’t be able to either select the right EHR or implement it properly to meet its specific needs or both.

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contract research organizations,CROs,Liaison Technologies,pharma,value-based drug pricing

The transformative power of outsourcing in the pharma industry

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

Written by: Gary Palgon

The healthcare delivery system in the U.S. is in flux, causing providers and payers alike to look for new ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. And since changes in healthcare invariably affect the life sciences sector, the pharma industry is also seeking cost containment opportunities and evaluating new methods to streamline operations.

Outsourcing is one of the most promising strategies for minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency in the pharma sector. Pharma companies are already outsourcing various functions to keep up with a rapidly evolving marketplace, but the methods all have one common element; each requires access to unified data to achieve success. Here’s a closer look at how outsourcing is changing the pharma sector today.

Expediting clinical trials via outsourcing to increase speed to market

The faster pharma organizations can bring new drug compounds and device products to market, the more rapidly they can generate profits and fund new research so they can continue to improve patient health and realize returns. Clinical trials are a fundamental component of this process, generating the data companies need to create submissions and secure the approvals required to market new compounds and devices.

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AHIMA,American Health Information Management Association,cyberattacks,EHRs,Electronic Health Records,patient engagement

The future of healthcare: Three predictions from AHIMA 2016

Perry Price, President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Revation Systems

In an industry that is constantly evolving, it’s critical for doctors, nurses and health information technicians to anticipate the issues and trends that are going to have the greatest impact on healthcare in the future.

Significant developments in digital technology over the past decade have turned the healthcare industry upside down, and professionals in health informatics (HI) and health information management (HIM) are preparing for changes that will shape the next 10 years. With the goal of digital transformation in sight, the healthcare industry must make sure that business processes continue to evolve to meet the demands of consumers — especially in this age of hyper-connectivity. 

This is why healthcare leaders across the U.S. gathered in Baltimore for the annual American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Conference in October. After four days of open discussion and collaboration among HIM professionals, three themes emerged as the future of healthcare: security, integration of patient data via electronic health records (EHRs) and virtualization of patient engagement.

Data security will be less of a concern

While the security and privacy of patient data has always been top of mind for healthcare professionals, the recent shift to EHRs has intensified security concerns. However, though recent cyberattacks have raised some apprehension around storing confidential patient data electronically, the future of data security is looking bright.

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