Posts tagged ‘Health IT’

Dr. John Mattson: “The Paradigm of the Future Hastens the Demise of Dictation”

There’s a new opinion piece by Dr. John Mattson in Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review. Entitled “3 Reasons Justifying Synoptic Data in Surgical Operative Reports,” the piece examines the inherent problems with dictation and the multiple ways that synoptic reporting improves on this increasingly antiquated system.

Click here to read it!

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January 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm 1 comment

Sea Changes Can’t Be Overnight Occurrences

September 30, 2013

Patients receiving treatment at a health facility in the US will be assigned ICD-9 codes for their diagnoses.

October 1, 2013

Patients receiving treatment at a health facility in the US will be assigned ICD-10 codes for their diagnoses.

…What a difference a day makes.

As mentioned previously on this site, ICD coding system is an excellent, standardized way of tracking important diagnostic information. The current system in place is ICD-9, which has about 17,000 codes, and is used for symptoms, diagnoses, injuries, diseases and all other disorders facing patients. The new system is ICD-10, and it will have 155,000 codes – covering the same grouping of symptoms, diagnoses and the rest as ICD-9 – but with a lot more specificity.

I’ve been of the opinion that this transition wouldn’t be too painful. In fact, with the intelligent structure of the ICD-10 codes, where each character represents a specific quality of that code (such as location in the body, severity, etiology, etc.), I thought it could be a real boon to medical professionals. Sure, it would be a hard adjustment, but it’s one that’s about 15 years overdue. As I continue to read about ICD-10 and its impending implementation, I was curious about the plan for phasing it in to the current workflow. Based on everything I’ve read so far – I have a confession to make:

I was wrong – this is going to be a disaster.


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October 12, 2010 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

mTuitive’s New Website!

Self-Promotion Alert!

The Internet's Inner Workings...Revealed!
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mTuitive recently updated our website. Please check it out today – we’ve made some changes to the content, the layout and other aspects. Let us know what you think! You can either go to http://www.mtuitive.com/ or click on the button below!

(Thanks and regular/non-brand plugging posts will continue shortly)

September 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm 1 comment

A Scanner Darkly

The awkward phase. It’s an unpleasant nebulous moment between two well-defined points. That uncomfortable time as people go from childhood and adulthood. Or that fearful moment full of panic as you go from dating to being in a serious relationship with someone else. It’s that interim state where you’re no longer A but you’re not quite B either.

Medical reporting is currently in its own awkward phase.

In the not so distant past lies Paper Based Reporting – filling out forms using pen and pencil, typewriters, printing out reports and having physical copies of every document located somewhere. This is the world of triplicate, of faxes and envelopes, of white-out and paper shredders. Paper charts physically shipped or moved from practice to practice, facility to facility. Paperland, as I like to call it, does have its advantages, though: a physical document that proves that something happened and to which people can refer; an artifact that precisely records how something occurred at that date and time, without any fear of tampering; a collection of data that cannot be wiped out by a virus or any sort of IT snafu.

Meanwhile, in the not so distant future lies Electronic Based Reporting – entering every information via computers. Using synoptic reports to enter structured data, information is culled directly from machines (think of vital signs being automatically recorded and logged), or easily entered using touchscreens, mouse & keyboard or a stylus of some sort. Electronic reports allow for faster sending of information to a wider range of places. Specialized fields ensure consistency in language and information captured. Required fields and “checklist” approaches encourage more completeness in reporting and more pertinent information is readily captured.1 However, Tronworld, as I’ll refer to it, has its own share of problems. Information can be lost or stolen without any physical backups. There’s ensuring that all systems are speaking the same language when interfacing, so there’s no loss of data or need to reformat the data every time you go from one system to another.

So, between here and there, betwixt Paperland and Tronworld, lies us currently. How are people bridging the divide between the two different modes of reporting? The answer…might surprise you.
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September 13, 2010 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

A Useful Meaning for Meaningful Use?

Image via HealthITBlog

While the march towards universal EHR adoption continues, some resistance to implementation has emerged, including from inside the medical community. Some of the hesitation is based on safety issues and privacy concerns – people worry that the personal content of health documents could be viewed by anyone or that opportunistic hackers could easily gain access to our most intimate details. I’ve written about this argument before and concluded that, while I agree it’s important to proceed cautiously and intelligently, we must proceed nonetheless.

One of the biggest impediments to electronic health record adoption has been the lack of concrete definition of “meaningful use.” But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. In order to receive government funding/aid in the form of incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid, facilities have to demonstrate that their electronic health record serves or provides “meaningful use” to the practice and physicians. The definition for meaningful use has been murky and vague; a subjective and fleeting characterization that made many physicians and health facilities reluctant to commit to any electronic solutions for fear of not being reimbursed or not qualifying as “meaningful use.” Luckily, this issue has been resolved – mostly – thanks to the definition put forth by the Office of Health and Human Services. So what is the definition and what does this mean for health information technology?
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August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

From the Ashes: Ensuring that Your Health IT Data is Secured & Easy to Recover

The Most Popular Recovery Plan Today (Via Leonid Manchenkov's blog)

“Expect the unexpected.”

It’s one of those oxymoronic idioms that have become so ingrained in our culture, it’s hard to determine its origins but it’s taken as a universal truth. Obviously, if you expect the unexpected, then it’s no longer unexpected; but it’s not meant to be a literal set of instructions. As we all know, expect the unexpected means to assume that things will go wrong, or to at least have some contingencies in case your plan doesn’t work out as you intended them. I was reminded of this phrase while reading this list of Top 5 EHR Adoption Barriers and came upon the last one:

Can the Networks Support the Data?
Today’s data explosion is driven by many industries, but healthcare records and imaging are fueling a big part of the growth. Healthcare providers are worried about the complex networking capabilities and their ability to handle the 24×7 influx of massive amounts of data and the disaster recovery plans needed to support that data. VARs play a pivotal role in the networking and disaster recovery markets, so smart VARs will use their knowledge to close the deal.

It was an interesting issue that I hadn’t spent much time thinking about. That’s not to say that we hadn’t taken all of this into account when designing our products, but I personally had never conceived that this would be an obstacle or imposing barrier to health facilities that want to adopt electronic health solutions. And that’s when I decided to look at our products to see how they fare if the unexpected happened and we needed to recover data.
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July 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Common Language: The Rise of Standard Formatting for Surgical Reports

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

Gottfried Leibniz. That name doesn’t mean much to most people, outside of math nerds with a penchant for historical trivia. Leibniz is credited with simultaneously creating calculus at the same time of Sir Isaac Newton. Years of debate ensnared the scientific community as patriotic mathematicians of Germany and Britain argued for their respective countrymen. Each camp tried to prove the independent, solitary insight needed to develop calculus solely rested with one man or the other – but were unable to find definitive proof that Newton or Leibniz had been the one to originally conceive of this new field of mathematics. There are suggestions that Leibniz was inspired by some of Newton’s works but, as there’s still too many gaps in the works of Newton that would have been available for Leibniz to consult in order to develop calculus, there’s no substantial proof that Leibniz plagiarized Newton’s work.

Rob's attempt to innovate calculus was met with much less enthusiasm

So what happened then? Perhaps this is an example of Rupert Sheldrake’s pseudo-scientific theory of “morphic resonance” in which behavior is somehow transported across great geographical distances between similar types of animals or people. And while it is always interesting and neat to consider such a possibility – an example of some innate telepathic or cultural osmosis that seems to exist on a cellular level between people – it’s rather unlikely. How, then, did this rise of a new way of thinking occur at the same time in two different places? How were two men able to discover the same mathematical principles without being in collaboration? And what does any of this have to do with surgical reporting?

To put it simply – great minds think alike. The fact of the matter is that both Newton and Leibniz recognized a need for something in the world – in this case, the lack of a particular mathematics field that could be applied to many facets of our lives and used to explain so much of what we don’t understand. It is this same ability for multiple people, unrelated and independent of one another, to see the writing on the wall in the medical community and recognize the absolute need and demand for standardized and structured surgical reporting.
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June 23, 2010 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

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