EHR Funding

Studies Show Electronic Health Record Use Leads to Better Care

Doctors who go digital do appear to provide significantly better health care, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

US health authorities as well as the federal government itself are pushing doctors, clinics and health centers to move into the digital world. The US government has introduced incentives worth up to $29 billion for “meaningful” use of EHRs (electronic health records). Health authorities say with such modern technology doctors, clinics and hospitals will be able to better track and improve patient outcomes.

Lisa Kern and team set out to determine what effect EHRs might have on the ambulatory care quality in a community-based setting. They compared the performance of doctors who used electronic health records to those with manual (paper) records.

They gathered and examined data on 466 primary care physicians (general practitioners) who had a total of 74,618 patients. They all worked in private practices in the Hudson Valley, New York.

The researchers focused on nine specific measures:

  • cholesterol testing
  • colorectal cancer screening
  • eye examinations
  • hemoglobin testing
  • renal function testing for patients with diabetes
  • screening for breast cancer
  • screening for chlamydia
  • sore throat testing for children
  • upper respiratory infection treatment for children

Fifty-seven per cent of the GPs in this study had electronic health records and used them, while the the rest were still on manual paper systems.

The researchers found that those with electronic health records provided superior health care services compared to the paper-records ones. In these four measures, doctors with electronic health records were considerably superior in their quality of care – Chlamydia screening, breast cancer screening, hemoglobin testing in diabetes, and colorectal cancer screening.

Electronic Health Records

Overall, electronic health record usage leads to better health care services, the researchers concluded:

“We found that electronic health record use is associated with higher quality ambulatory care. This study’s finding is consistent with national efforts to promote meaningful use of EHRs.”

Doctors generally welcome electronic health record usage. The American College of Physicians (ACP) published a study which showed that the vast majority of doctors believe electronic exchange of health data will have a positive impact on improving patient-care quality, coordination care, and will meet the demands of new care models.

Michael S. Barr, MD, FACP, MBA, who leads ACP’s Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division, said:

“The exchange of patient health information across care settings is a critical component to the success of the new models to improve care, such as the patient-centered medical home. ACP agrees with the 78 percent of survey respondents who believe that exchanging health information will have a positive effect on clinicians’ ability to meet the demands of these new care models.”

How do patients feel about having their medical records being digitized?

In New York State, patients have to consent to having their data accessed through a health information exchange (HIE). In general, they are happy for their data to be shared electronically, as long as their privacy is respected.

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College telephone-surveyed 170 residents and found that over two-thirds of respondents were happy to have their health data automatically stored in an HIE.

Is your practice ready to make the switch to electronic health records but unsure of how to qualify for the government assistance that was put into place by the affordable care act? If so give EHR Funding a call today at 866-203-3260 today. One of our trained funding specialists will be able to walk you through the steps to qualifying and receiving your health care stimulus funding.

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Healthcare Innovations Driven by Electronic Health Records & Open Data

Three years ago, Jeopardy fans got to see Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, beat two human Jeopardy champions to take a $1 million prize. Watson’s skill at the game derived not just from its computing power but from its ability to process huge amounts of data rapidly. The next year, IBM and the Cleveland Clinic announced that Watson was turning to more serious pursuits and had “enrolled” in medical school. It’s been a productive partnership: Last month, they launched a new Watson program using genomic data to find the best options for cancer patients.

Watson’s venture into healthcare is part of a new movement to data-driven medicine. The federal government has recently released large amounts of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies. At the same time, several other trends — the use of electronic medical records, an explosion of data about the human genome, and advances in data analysis — have given us the potential for a revolution in healthcare.

We can look forward to more data-driven diagnostics, treatment plans, and predictive analytics to determine the best treatments more scientifically. Many experts now think we’re on the verge of a new era of personalized medicine, where an individual’s data — ranging from genetic makeup to exercise habits — can be used with the right algorithms to help determine a strategy for care.

Here are nine companies that are using that data for good:

Aidin

Aidin is dedicated to helping hospital patients find better post-hospitalization care. CEO and founder Russ Graney saw the need for Aidin when his uncle was discharged from the hospital with nothing but a typed list of healthcare providers for guidance. The family chose one that happened to be nearby, and the uncle did not get the quality of care he needed. Now Aidin provides in-depth information to help patients and their families choose their best options.

Biodigital

Biodigital runs what might be the most intriguing-looking health website and mobile apps. It offers a voluminous library of 3D anatomical models drawn from the National Institutes of Health Visible Human project, with National Library of Medicine text to explain them. It’s like the old Visible Man and Visible Woman anatomy kits made real, or the Bodies museum exhibit made less grisly.

Clear Health Costs

Clear Health Costs, founded by health activist Jeanne Pinder, bills itself as “your source for finding health care prices.” The company uses pricing surveys on a few dozen common procedures, Medicare data from the federal government, and crowd sourced data on healthcare prices gathered from volunteers. Its motto is “Free the knowledge. Everybody should know what stuff costs in health care.”

iTriage

iTriage, started by an emergency room doctor and recently acquired by Aetna, lets you use a website or your smartphone to enter your symptoms, get quick advice on the kind of care you need, and get a list of nearby emergency facilities that can help. iTriage uses open data from the US National Provider Identifier Registry to identify physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers able to help in a crisis.

Purple Binder

Purple Binder fills an important public need: It matches patients with community services that can help keep them healthy. The company uses federal, state, and local data to help people locate food pantries, homeless shelters, and other services. As founder Joseph Flesh said at last June’s Health Datapalooza: “We’re working toward putting community and health on the same page” by making connections between healthcare services and social services.

Flatiron Oncology Cloud

Flatiron Health, which uses data to accelerate cancer research, is a rising star: The startup recently raised $130 million in a round of funding led by Google Ventures. Flatiron uses real-time data from patient records to create “a data platform that provides the most comprehensive view of a patient’s experience in the oncology office in real-time.” The company plans to offer a wealth of data from millions of cases so that researchers, doctors, and patients can develop new treatments and make better decisions on cancer care.

Iodine

Iodine aims to improve healthcare by personalizing it for each individual. The company puts together data on drug treatments from government sources, research, and patient input to provide a complete guide to drug effectiveness, side effects, tradeoffs, and costs.

Predilytics

Predilytics applies predictive analytics to healthcare to help health plans and providers make better care decisions. By using data to improve patient care, the company “enables our customers to target their resources in ways that improve the health of their member population and improve their performance.”

Propeller Health

Propeller Health uses sensors in asthma inhalers, mobile apps, and data analytics to aid doctors in identifying asthma patients who need more help in controlling their illness. In addition to helping physicians monitor their patients remotely, Propeller Health helps public health experts visualize asthma rates in different communities and devise preventive strategies.

Electronic Health Records and open data are driving new innovations in the health care field. If you or your office is interested in learning how you can qualify for government incentives to switch from paper records to Electronic Health Records give us a call today at 866-203-3260 today.

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What Advantages do Electronic Health Records Provide?

Having Electronic Health Records in your can give you the ability to exchange health information electronically and can help your organization provide higher quality and safer care for patients while creating tangible enhancements for your clinic. Electronic Health Records help providers just like you provide better manage care for patients and provide better health care by:

  • Providing accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care
  • Enabling quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care
  • Securely sharing electronic information with patients and other clinicians
  • Helping providers more effectively diagnose patients, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care
  • Improving patient and provider interaction and communication, as well as health care convenience
  • Enabling safer, more reliable prescribing
  • Helping promote legible, complete documentation and accurate, streamlined coding and billing
  • Enhancing privacy and security of patient data
  • Helping providers improve productivity and work-life balance
  • Enabling providers to improve efficiency and meet their business goals
  • Reducing costs through decreased paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing, and improved health.

There are many other advantages to instituting the use of Electronic Health Records in your office. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are the first step to transformed health care. The benefits of electronic health records include:

  • Better health care by improving all aspects of patient care, including safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, communication, education, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.
  • Better health by encouraging healthier lifestyles in the entire population, including increased physical activity, better nutrition, avoidance of behavioral risks, and wider use of preventative care.
  • Improved efficiencies and lower health care costs by promoting preventative medicine and improved coordination of health care services, as well as by reducing waste and redundant tests.
  • Better clinical decision making by integrating patient information from multiple sources.

If you or your office are looking at changing from the old paper records to the new Electronic Health Records then give EHR Funding a call today and a specialist will be able to help you with getting the government assistance that is out there for upgrading to EHR’s. 866-203-3260 today.

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Would Lives Be Saved if Social & Behavorial Data Were in Electronic Health Records?

If social and behavioral data were included in electronic medial recorders if could help nurses and physicians have a better picture of the patient’s health.

Social and behavioral data provide crucial information about factors that influence health and effectiveness of treatment and should be incorporated into patient electronic health records (EHR), according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM)

The IOM committee, co-chaired by Nancy Adler, PhD, vice-chair of the department of psychiatry at UC San Francisco and William Stead, M.D., of Vanderbilt University, was created in 2013 to conduct a two-phase study, first to identify the social and behavioral areas that most strongly determine health, and then to evaluate the measures that can most effectively be used in EHRs.Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, of the UCSF Department of Medicine, also served on the committee.

The committee reviewed the evidence linking social conditions and health behaviors to health, which suggests that health behaviors such as alcohol use, and social conditions such as financial resource strain account for more than half of all premature deaths in the United States. They evaluated more than 70 relevant domains and subdomains, 17 of which were judged to be most valuable for inclusion in electronic health records.

“Having access to information about health-related aspects of a patient’s life in the electronic health record can enable clinicians to make more accurate diagnoses and engage more effectively with the patient in making treatment choices,” said Adler. “The information can also help health systems understand the needs of the populations they serve and design more effective services.”

The second phase of the report, published Nov. 13, details 12 social and behavioral factors that should be included in electronic health records.

The new report, Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, recommends that providers use their EHRs to capture patients’ census information including race, ethnicity and address, in addition to tracking alcohol use, tobacco use and exposure, physical activity, educational attainment, social connections, depression, stress, financial resource strain, neighborhood and community compositional characteristics and exposure to violence.

“When analyzed along with genomic and clinical data, standardized social and behavior information in EHRs can enable new discoveries regarding the etiology and progress of disease,” said Adler. “It can also point to the effectiveness of specific treatments for patients with different psychosocial and biological profiles.”

What are your thoughts? Are you ready to make the switch from paper records to electronic health records? If your or your office is ready to make the switch to electronic health records then give EHR Funding a call today at 866-203-3260

EHR Funding

Electronic Health Records and Patient Care

When her 5-week-old daughter Scarlett was hospitalized in March with a potentially life-threatening respiratory virus, Melissa Marote of Canoga Park, Calif., was too distraught to remember everything the doctors and nurses told her. Fortunately, she was able to access her daughter’s complete medical records, 24 hours a day, via computer or smartphone through a member portal called “My Health Manager” on kp.org, operated by Kaiser Permanente, which serves as both health insurer and care provider for 8.9 million people in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Marote can review test results and care instructions, request prescription refills, schedule appointments, and swap secure E-mails with her family’s doctors, which she does frequently. “They’re very good about getting back to me, no matter where I am,” she says.

Kaiser is a leader in giving patients online access to their medical information, but this type of access is spreading quickly. “A lot of people have been concerned that technology would put more distance between doctors and patients, but in our experience it brings them closer together,” says Phil Fasano, Kaiser’s chief information officer.

The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $20 billion in incentive payments to physicians and hospitals to accelerate their adoption of electronic health records, or EHRs. “This is a huge change—hospitals are adopting EHRs rapidly and trying to figure out how to use them effectively to improve care,” says David Bates, chief quality officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “It’s a very exciting time.”

How will electronic health records change things for patients? These are some key ways:

All-in-one file. Donna Gaidamak was diagnosed four years ago with adenocarcinoma and receives her care through the Kellogg Cancer Center at NorthShore University Health­System in Evanston, Ill. Kellogg has had its current electronic health record system since 2003. “I feel reassured knowing that everyone who’s helping me is tapped into a system where they can see everything that affects my care,” she says. For example, Gaidamak is allergic to a dye commonly used for CT scans of the chest, and all her providers see this information when they open her records.

NorthShore chief information officer Steven Smith estimates that over 60 percent of emergency room patients already have an electronic record in the system when they come in the door. Thus, the attending physicians can instantly access critical information like medication alerts, allergies, and existing medical problems—saving time, money, and even lives.

Electronic prescribing. Your doctor can transmit prescriptions directly to your pharmacy, often in time for you to pick up your medication on the way home. Last year, more than 570 million prescriptions—about 36 percent of the total—were routed electronically, according to Surescripts, the secure network that carries the vast majority of electronic prescriptions between healthcare providers and pharmacies.

24-hour access. Jennifer Brown, an executive assistant at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as well as a patient there, received the results of a recent test via smartphone while her doctor was vacationing abroad. In a paper-based system, she would have had to wait until the doctor returned, reviewed the result, and sent her a copy in the mail. Brown uses UPMC’s HealthTrak patient portal to keep track of information on her children (ages 13, 10, and 9) and her 79-year-old mother. The system lets her print a wallet card with all her mother’s medications—a huge improvement over the handwritten list on paper the family had previously used. She can print out a new card whenever her mother’s meds change.

Smarter decision-making. By looking at information from thousands of patients (much easier to do with computers than by collating paper reports), health researchers can identify which treatments work best, and EHR systems incorporate that information to help doctors treat the patient. For example, the EHR used at Brigham and Women’s recommends medication dosages based on the patient’s level of kidney function as determined by lab tests. “That has really improved the safety of giving medication,” Bates says, noting that the hospital has cut half a day, on average, from the hospital stays of patients who have renal issues.

Protecting privacy. Though some may worry about the security of patient portals, experts say accessing your health information online is no more risky than using online banking. Paper records represented roughly one in four major breaches.

If you or your office is looking at upgrading to Electronic Health Records and are not sure where to get started, give us a call at 866-203-3260 today. We have specialists that you can talk to about how to qualify for the government incentives programs.

Telehealth EHR Funding

Is Telehealth Finally Here?

According to an article published in the Herald Journal, the history of telemedicine can be traced back to the 1920s, when patients on ships at sea would connect with physicians on shore through radios. With innovation in technology, telemedicine services were provided through interactive television in the 1970s and via video conferencing in the age of digital technology.

However, the evolution of telemedicine has been curtailed in every period of time – lack of technology in the early 20th century to government regulations in the 21st century – which has added to the skepticism of physicians.

Barriers to adopt Telemedicine healthcare

Under the government’s Affordable Care Act, focus has shifted to cost-effective, quality patient care that has given rise to different approaches of healthcare delivery such as Accountable Care Organizations and telemedicine. However, there are certain barriers to adopting telemedicine at a practice:

  1.      Barrier to establish patient-physician relationship

This is the major concern for primary care and specialist physicians, who haven’t introduced telemedicine at their practices. Initially, they hesitate that the use of telemedicine will hinder them from developing effective patient-physician relationship, which will affect outcomes.

2.      Barrier to prevalent practice workflow

Another barrier that most physicians face is disruption to prevailing workflows. Physicians have adapted to changes in the health IT industry by implementing EHR technology at their practices and designing new workflows accordingly.

However, they are hesitant to adopt telehealth, fearing that it will not be possible to incorporate this approach with the current workflow that is suitable for the new technology they have spent heavily on.

3.      Barrier to medical practice beyond state borders

State and federal laws regarding physicians’ license and reimbursement procedures create a barrier to telemedicine adoption. According to the law, physicians should be licensed to provide medical services in the state they have physical presence in and where they provide telehealth services.

Moreover, changes to reimbursements – shift from value to volume – make it harder for practices to collect from patients via telemedicine.

Benefits of Telehealth services

Despite an air of skepticism among providers, telemedicine is growing by leaps and bounds. Medical Economics, quoting statistics from an IMS research, said over 300,000 patients were monitored via telehealth services for various health problems including cardiac, mental health and diabetes in 2012. The report further said that the number is expected to increase to 1.8 million by 2017.

Assisting home care patients

Telemedicine has made a difference in lives of home care patients by providing telehealth services. Its effectiveness can be measured from the success of a healthcare program introduced by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Department that aimed to provide telehealth services to home care patients with chronic diseases.

The services were provided via vital sign monitors, videophones, digital cameras – specifically for wounded patients and those having skin-related issues. Within four years of starting the program, 30,000 patients enrolled to receive telehealth services bringing down hospital visits by 19% which helped in saving costs.

Assisting patients in rural areas

Telemedicine has been particularly helpful in providing efficient and quality health service to patients living in rural and remote areas. Rural primary care physicians have used telehealth approach to facilitate their practice and patients by:

  • Providing quality healthcare within the community
  • Saving cost and time on travelling to city
  • Making medical care available round the clock
  • Providing emergency care to patient prior to transporting them to hospital
  • Making initial diagnosis prior to specialist consultation
  • Consulting with specialist

Assisting primary care physicians

Primary care practices have faced setback because of increase in specialist practices and changes in the health IT sector. According to a study, Primary Care: Current Problems and Proposed Solutions, a shortage of over 40,000 primary care physicians is expected by 2025.

Telemedicine has played a role in primary care health as it has proven to be a successful approach to provide cost and time effective healthcare to patients, resulting in patient retention.

  • Primary physicians can team up with specialists to provide healthcare
  • Facilitate hospitals in providing post-surgery general medical care according to specialist instructions
  • Providing cost effective care in nursing homes
  • Giving privacy to patients suffering from diseases that are still stigmatized in closed communities, like HIV and mental health issues

Solutions to Barriers for Telehealth

Dr. Adam Darkins, chief consultant for telehealth services at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has emphasized on the importance of relationship between patients and their physicians for telemedicine system to function effectively.

Dr. Jason Mitchell, director of AAFP’s Center for Health IT clarified that telemedicine is not different from regular medicine practice. He explained that only difference is the mode of interaction between the doctor and the patient.

However, the government needs to make certain provisions in order to remove barriers that hinder success of telemedicine.

  • Flexibility in practice license for telehealth physicians: Telemedicine providers should be given relaxation to practice medicine in states other than their own. This way government can cover the shortage of primary care physicians and facilitate them to recruit patients to meet their costs.
  • Modify reimbursement policies: With changes in insurance policies, patient payments have become a major part of collections. This will create further problems for practices to collect payments from patients who have received consultation via telemedicine.

Changes under the Affordable Care Act are all about providing cost effective, quality healthcare services to patients that can be achieved through telemedicine system. This system is particularly beneficial for small to medium practices that can provide services to more patients, while saving time and money.

If you or your practice is interested in learning more about how you can qualify for government incentives for Electronic Health Records. Give us a call today at 1-866-203-3260 and speak with a government assistance specialist today.

 

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Mobile Health and Electronic Health Records

Mobile Health and EHRs are intersecting in creative ways, as evidenced by an Atlanta company’s new iPad-enabled platform for the home health and hospice market.

Brightree recently unveiled the EHR point-of-care app, calling it the first “native iOS app” for home health and hospice agencies. Specialty-specific platforms are a hot commodity, and many are being developed as mobile tools to target clinicians outside the traditional hospital setting. In fact, companies like Practice Fusion and Kareo are making a name for themselves in the post-acute care environment with platforms that can be easily accessed on mobile devices.

Another player in the market is HealthFusion, a 16-year-old company that touts its MediTouch EHR as “the only EHR that’s native to the iPad,” according to company co-founder Sol Lizerbram.

“How do you practice healthcare outside the hospital without mHealth?” Lizerbram asked, adding that patient-centered medical home guidelines practically cry out for a platform that’s accessible via mobile device. “You just can’t do it these days with a PC.”

What’s more, Lizerbram added, today’s EHRs have to be customizable. Legacy EHRs are too static, with templates that don’t conform to the different specialties and healthcare mandates that no dominate the market.

Jon Skypek, Brightree’s project manager, told mHealth News he spent many hours with home health and hospice nurses on the road, examining their workflows and witnessing the challenges of collecting data in locations outside the hospital or clinic. This is where the traditional legacy EMR platform isn’t working, he said, and where mHealth innovation can make a difference.

“This is an environment where you can’t set something up in the morning and leave it there all day,” Skypek said. “It’s a mobile environment, and even the idea of bringing a two- or three- or four-pound laptop is just annoying.”

Likewise, he said, “the accuracy of documentation goes down as soon as you step outside that door. You need solutions that are more than just mobile web pages.”

“What’s the best form factor that allows me to react to the unknown?” Skypek asked.

As a case in point, Lizerbram offered a recent customer experience. A doctor using the MediTouch EHR on his iPad, he said, was able to access a patient’s records while sitting in the back of a taxi, coordinate with a hospital’s emergency room as the patient was being brought in by ambulance, and have the patient’s complete medical history updated and ready when the ambulance reached the hospital.

“You never could have done that with a payphone and a legacy EHR,” he said.

One of the early users of Brightree’s new EHR platform is the Natick (Mass.) Visiting Nurse Association.

“Brightree Home Health with point-of-care on the iPad gives us a distinct advantage,” Wendy Cofran, the VNA’s chief information officer, said in a press release. “Our clinicians have the information they need at their fingertips to deliver the best possible care to their patients without having a barrier between them. In fact, our patients appreciate being able to see the progress they’re making. The iPad creates a visual connection for patients to their individualized care plans, and it assists our staff with teaching and compliance.”

“It’s a game changer,” she said. “Not only are we seeing a reduction in the time required to document visits but a more thorough clinical documentation application, which is vital in an era of increasing regulatory requirements.”

Lizerbram sees another trend making a play for mobile EHRs. In the future, he said, these platforms are going to be able to incorporate data from mobile devices, ranging from home-based monitoring equipment to consumer-facing health and wellness devices. That will make for a more complete medical record, he said.

It will also require EHR vendors to parse through all that data and separate what’s important to the doctor from the chaff. Lizerbram says mobile platforms will have to incorporate analytics.

“You have to be prepared. The doctor doesn’t want to be slowed down,” Lizerbam said. “With mobile, you’re already working in a fast-paced setting, adapting to (one’s surroundings). This will just be an extension of that.”

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More Electronic Health Records Funding

With basic health IT now near-ubiquitous across healthcare, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has announced substantial new funding meant to help practices put that technology to work delivering value-based care.

The $840 million Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative will roll out over the next four years in support of some 150,000 clinicians nationwide. HHS sees the incentive as a way to help these physicians to team with their peers in a trend away from fee-for-service and toward value-based, patient-centered care.

Successful applicants – group practices, healthcare systems, and medical provider associations – will show progress toward measurable goals: improving clinical outcomes, reducing unnecessary testing, achieving cost savings and avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.

Among the strategies meant to drive those changes, according to HHS: Using electronic health records on a daily basis to examine data on quality and efficiency; expanding the number of ways patients are able communicate with their care teams; improving the coordination of patient care by primary care providers, specialists and the broader medical community. “The administration is partnering with clinicians to find better ways to deliver care, pay providers and distribute information to improve the quality of care we receive and spend our nation’s dollars more wisely,” said Secretary Burwell, in a press statement. “We all have a stake in achieving these goals and delivering for patients, providers and taxpayers alike.”

Building upon federal initiatives such as the Quality Improvement Organization Program, Partnership for Patients with Hospital Engagement Networks and accountable care organizations, this project will provide opportunities for participating clinicians to collaborate and disseminate information, according to HHS. Through a “multi-pronged approach to technical assistance,” it hopes to identify existing care delivery models that work – and quickly spur other providers to adopt them.

“This model will support and build partnerships with doctors and other clinicians across the country to provide better care to their patients,” said Patrick Conway, MD, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services, in a press statement.

These support and alignment networks would create an infrastructure to help identify evidence-based practices and policies and disseminate them nationwide, in a scalable, sustainable approach to improved care delivery.

By participating in the initiative, practices will be able to receive the technical assistance and peer-level support they need to deliver care in a patient-centric and efficient manner, officials say, which is increasingly being demanded by payers and purchasers as part of a transformed care delivery system.

If your practice is interested in finding out more on how you can qualify for government incentives to change your office to electronic health records give us a call today at 866-203-3260.

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Electronic Health Records Twitter Feeds?

It won’t be long before every patient has a Twitter feed, and doctors subscribe to them for real-time updates.

This is a time when the demands of being a physician are changing, and we need to leverage technology to maintain awareness of a huge number of patients. There is also increasing need for handoffs and communication between providers.

Here’s the bottom line: how can we improve technology when doctors seem so resistant?

Current system is inefficient

The EMR has become essential for documentation, billing, medical reasoning, and communication, among other things. Currently, documentation is built on a system of daily progress notes. If  weconsult a cardiologist about a case, he needs to go through each note, containing narratives, laboratory values, vital signs, and physical exams.

Here’s how a Twitter-based EMR would work:

All clinical data, events, notes, and annotations are included in a single live feed. This stream will serve as the centerpiece of all functions, with a few carefully designed filters.

With this conceptual framework, there are several natural improvements on the existing EMR.

  • The Clinical Awareness view: By watching the raw live feed, you are immediately aware when your patient’s CT scan is complete or laboratory values are available.
  • The Patient Timeline view: By looking at a patient’s feed, you can learn about the entire course of illness. It’s much faster that flipping through pages of notes that may have been copied forward.
  • Progress Note Generation: Doctors and nurses need only focus on documenting in the Twitter feed. Progress notes are automatically produced from all the interval data.
  • Conversation view: different specialists can have a discourse about a difficult case, and it’s built into the EMR. This is the meaning of patient-centered care.

In medicine we spend a tremendous amount of time and money on antiquated software that acts like a digital version of a paper chart. We can learn a few lessons from the innovators in social media about how to manage large amounts of data.

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More Clinicians Seek Mobile Access to EHRs

A new survey commissioned by EHR technology consultancy Software Advice in collaboration with digital data collection company, Research Now, suggests an ever growing demand for clinicians to be able to access patient data on mobile devices. The survey, which is on-going, has already logged 400 respondents from small (3 or fewer doctors) to large (11 or more doctors) ambulatory practices. While much of what the doctors are reporting will come as no surprise to those who follow EHR trends and usage, we did want to make note of, and comment on what I think is one of the more noteworthy findings–the kinds of devices doctors are using to access their electronic health records.

Survey respondents were asked to select all channels of electronic health record access. Many docs selected more than one channel which explains why the sum of the percentages reported totals more than 100 percent.

While the desktop computer is not surprisingly still the dominant means for accessing EHR systems, one third of respondents say they are using a tablet to access patient information and 20 percent are using their smartphone. A deeper dive into the data shows that about 17 percent of respondents say they exclusively use portable or mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones to access their systems.

So why are these figures so intriguing? Because they really amplify information that has been coming from IT leaders and clinicians. The high demand for both mobile and desktop access also explains so many orders are being placed for tablet computers by hospitals and clinics. Tablets can easily replace laptops and desktops. They have the power, larger screen real estate and resolution to run any EHR–from the most contemporary cloud and touch friendly versions of modern EHR apps, to the full legacy software solutions found in most of today’s enterprise clinics and hospitals. These devices are helping Doctors be more productive without getting in the way of patient care.

As you can see the health world is rapidly changing. New devices are coming along every day to help with the daily tasks that nurses and clinicians have to deal with. Electronic Health Records are important for every practice to change over to. If you want to learn more about how you can qualify for government assistance to help with the changeover, give EHR Funding a call today at 866-203-3260.