Posts filed under ‘Compliance’

Movin’ Out!

We are outta’ here!

….and moving to our new location on our website –

There we’ll have our opinions about the latest from the world of surgery, pathology, evidence-based medicine, structured data, synoptic reporting, and a whole host of other issues. There will be more writers covering more areas of discussion. So please head on over to learn more about us (although it may take a few days for it to stop looking so wonky).

August 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

HITECH – One Year Later

This Healthleaders Media article examines the efficacy of Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act after its one year anniversary.  Built on other Health IT initiatives originating in 2004, HITECH Act incorporates monetary incentives to encourage health professionals to adopt electronic health records and to utilize more health information technology.

In the wording of the law, “eligible professionals” must demonstrate “meaningful use” of a certified EMR in 2011 in order to receive incentive payments of up to $44,000 from Medicare and $65,000 from Medicaid per individual physician – to help cover the cost of EMR adoption.

And while there are ongoing debates about privacy issues and the effectiveness of digitization, one of the main goals of the project seems to be portability: the ability to have a individual’s medical history readily available to any physician where ever/when ever that individual seeks treatment.  This is the ideal that Dr. H. Walter Kaess and Dr. Roger Chabra spoke of when I interviewed them recently.  GE has illustrated this idea dynamically in its recent commercials for EMRs that have been airing recently.

But what does this all mean for physicians?  How is the Health IT market working with physicians to deliver on the promise of portability without any cost to caring for patients or impeding the physician’s workflow?


March 12, 2010 at 9:01 am 1 comment

Introducing the OpNote Consultants: Dr. Deanna Attai Part 2 of 2

While creating our surgical reporting product, the OpNote, we at mTuitive have been working with many highly skilled surgeons.  These surgeons are from a diverse group of specialties and backgrounds and help to shape the future and efficacy of the OpNote.  We’re introducing these consultants to all of you in the coming weeks.

Dr. Deanna Attai is an accomplished breast surgeon certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgeons in 1997.  Dr. Attai is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, certified in Breast Ultrasound and is an instructor in Breast Ultrasound Education for the American College of Surgeons.  She is affiliated with Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA and runs the Center for Breast Care, Inc.  For more information on Dr. Attai, the Center for Breast Care, Inc. and breast health awareness, please visit her website.  Dr. Attai and I recently spoke over the phone regarding her background in surgery, interest in electronic reporting and why it is so important for surgeon to be aware of medical coding.

Click here for Part 1!

How much do you think could be gained from structured data?  I’m defining “structured data” as capturing a point of data that can be graphed or used for research later.  We at mTuitive put a lot of value into it – do you think a lot of other physicians do?

I’m not sure if a lot of other physicians would – but they should.  That’s how things are going: you need to pull out your cancer staging for some of the stuff that I’m doing with American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS) and we’ve got this quality initiative program where you’re entering in some of your data.  Everybody’s going towards quality reporting; it’s going to be part of board certification requirements; it’s going to eventually be part of Medicare and other insurance participation [programs].

Are they looking for quality or for data research purposes?  You can’t always anticipate how the data will be used in the future or what you’ll need.

People need to be told just how important it is.  You’re not just dictating your operative report so you have something in the hospital chart – everybody’s looking at this stuff now.  Whether it’s the insurance companies, patients, hospital billing, or [the Joint Commission] – everybody’s looking at it.

A lot of physicians don’t understand how important it is but they are going to be told very quickly.  Those that do understand will get it, and I think a lot of hospital administrators will understand – now it’s just getting the docs to buy into it, as we don’t like to change.


February 19, 2010 at 10:35 am 6 comments

Step By Step – How Checklists Can Help in the OR

Dr. Atul Gawande is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital as well as the associate director for their Center for Surgery & Public Health.  He has gained prominence by writing about his experiences in the operating room as well as examining best practices for surgeons and hospitals in such publications as, The New Yorker and two books, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.

In his latest book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, Dr. Gawande discusses the need to implement a standardized checklist routine for surgeons before they start a procedure.  By ensuring that simple steps are taken, surgeons are able to cut down on factors that may lead to complications, including infections.  He went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night to discuss his new book, what he found when the checklists were implemented, and – somehow – Star Wars. The interview can be found here.

More on Dr. Gawande’s work and how to implement these checklists after the jump:


February 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

The RAC is Connecting the Dots: Are You Ready?

Did you ever wonder about the insanity of separate billing for the hospital and a hospital-based physician?  The requirement was put in place to simplify Medicare’s accounting system and keep track of which trust fund the payments came from.  Separate billing is demonstrably redundant, wasteful and confusing to patients – and recently CMS announced plans that will likely add insult to injury.

RAC (recovery audit contractors) efforts have been expanded into complex case reviews.  Hospitals in RAC region C (Connolly Healthcare) are starting to compare inpatient DRG assignments to physicians’ reports, especially in the area of surgery.  Although the patient, the procedure and the diagnosis are the same in actuality, there is little coordination of billing and coding between the surgeon and the hospital to ensure that they are billed and coded similarly. Coding and billing are independent processes for each party. This is the weakness that the RAC will be attempting to exploit.


January 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to Reports From the O.R.!


This is a blog that will discuss advances and topics in the realm of postoperative reporting.  We will publish posts discussing such issues as:

  • Compliance
  • Standardization
  • Synoptic Reporting
  • Health IT
  • And much, much more!

As we develop our new electronic postoperative reporting product (mTuitive OpNote), we come across all sorts of data that we think is very interesting and should be shared and discussed with others.  Please feel free to leave comments, email us with any questions or ideas for topics that might interest you.

We expect to be publishing new posts fairly regularly, so be sure to check back often!

January 26, 2010 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

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Disclosure Statement - The authors of this blog are paid employees of mTuitive Inc. and are compensated for their services.