Posts tagged ‘Hardware’

Security in the Time of EHRs

You are online right now.  I don’t just mean that you are sitting in front of your computer or using your smartphone to read this post on the internet.  I mean the majority of your “vital” information about your identity – bank account, social security, address, etc. – can be found somewhere in cyberspace right now.  You exist in the internet; and not just you, but also various versions of you complete with your interests, past transactions and other personal information that you’ve added to your social networking sites or the online store where you buy things.  All of these pieces of you are captured online and are out there in the ether of the web if someone wanted to find them.

It’s a bit creepy, isn’t it?  The fact that so much of our lives these days exist online – and therefore so much of who we are is being captured or constructed on the net – leaves many feeling unsettled.  This is especially true if you’re a person who doesn’t know much about software security, who doesn’t follow how data is captured and stored, who isn’t sure how much of the web works but you are fairly certain it will be working against you.

Now add in the idea that soon some (if not most, if not ALL) of your personal medical information will be stored on a similar system – and you understand why people are apprehensive about the idea of an Electronic Health Record (EHR).  There are those who believe that web-based data storage will only lead to security breaches or identity theft issues.  And there’s definitely the potential for such shenanigans to abound with an EHR.  While these concerns are valid and need to addressed as new systems are created, they shouldn’t stop us from proceeding with developing portable EHR systems.

(more…)

March 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm 1 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?

(more…)

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.

(more…)

February 19, 2010 at 10:35 am 6 comments

EHR – Part v. Whole

Piecemeal vs. Wholesale

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released the results from the 2008 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), which is “an annual nationally representative survey of patient visits to office-based physicians that collects information on use of EMR/EHR.”  Approximately 5,200 physicians (3,200 surveys conducted in person; 2,000 over the phone) responded to this survey, which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics since 2001.   The survey is designed to figure out how many physicians have purchased some product to serve as the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – also referred to as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) – and how many are utilizing those products.

There has been a big push for adoption of electronic health records, especially since the government set a goal of having most Americans have an EHR by 2014 (set in 2004 by then President George W. Bush, and has been re-affirmed by President Obama).  Increased funding from the Department of Health & Human Services for electronic medical records and products that electronically capture health information has also led to a boom in the Health IT industry and a diversity of options for health professionals from which they can choose.

But such an abundance of choices combined with the rush to adopt EHRs has left many people wondering – what’s the best product out there? Perhaps the better question is – what’s the best approach for implementing this new system?

Survey results, rising doubts and some ideas after the jump…

(more…)

February 10, 2010 at 10:06 am 2 comments

Older Posts


Wholly Owned Subsidiary of mTuitive

"

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

mTuitive on Twitter!

Archives

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