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Actual Debates on Stage Planned for Connected Health Symposium in Boston

UPDATE: I’m also going to be doing a healthcare IT event in Boston with ScratchMM if you’re not going to the conference and still want to come meet me. Just register for the event here so we know how many are coming.

Many of you might remember that I posted about the Connected Health Symposium in Boston (and a $400 discount code for the event) that I’ll be attending. Well, today I got an email about the event that was incredibly intriguing.

The email said that they’re going to have people on stage that actually disagree with each other. What a novel concept! To be honest, that is one of my pet peeves about many panels. It’s like this huge love fest. I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a panel where I was like that. Maybe it’s just not my nature as a blogger, but I like to discuss all angles of a conversation. Even if I agree with something someone is said, I’m happy to explain why other people might disagree with our thinking. I call it playing devil’s advocate. Obviously, I have nothing to sell, so it’s easy for me to do it, but I understand why others can’t do it as well.

Either way, I’m excited that Connected Health Symposium is making an effort to provide all angles of a conversation. Here’s a list of example sessions that will be “debates:”

  • Resolved: Current Approaches to Patient Self-Management Do Little to Improve Quality or Lower Costs.   In full agreement with the resolution is Shahid Shah, CEO of Netspective and analytic mastermind behind the HealthCareITGuy blog.  Disagreeing is Joseph Kvedar, MD, Director of Partners Center for Connected Health.   Cynthia Bouthot of the Collaborative Innovation Group moderates and promises a spirited exchange.
  • Resolved: ACOs – Nice Idea, Won’t Work!   Agreeing is Jeff Goldsmith, PhD, President, Health Futures, and Associate Professor of Public Health Services at the Univ. of Virginia.  Disagreeing is Timothy Ferris, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Mass. General Physicians Organization; Senior Scientist, Partners/MGH Institute for Health Policy.  Lawrence Vernaglia, JD, Healthcare Industry Chair at Foley & Lardner, moderates the discussion and maintains the peace.
  • Resolved: For Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring, the Business Model of the Future Isn’t Direct Reimbursement; It’s Bundled and Global Payments.  Agreeing is Vince Kuraitis, JD, MBA, Principal of Better Health Technologies.   Disagreeing is Jasper zu Putlitz, MD, President of Robert Bosch Healthcare.  Setter of the pace and keeper of the clock is moderator Joan Lebow, JD, Principal at Lebow, Malecki & Tasch.

I hope to meet some other people at the event in Boston. I always enjoy a good friendly debate. My favorite people in the world are people who can have an educated disagreement and still be friends after.

September 29, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Investors Put $20 Million in CareCloud EHR for a Total of $27.3 Million Raised

Back in October of 2010 I wrote about the CareCloud financing of $5 million to add to their initial $2.3 million round of financing. Now the news is out that CareCloud has closed another $20 million in funding. The latest round of funding comes from Silicon Valley based Intel Capital and Norwest Venture Partners. It’s interesting to see them investing in a company based in Miami.

I won’t rehash all my thoughts on CareCloud since I’ve posted about them more than a couple times.

Needless to say, I think CareCloud is a really interesting company and I’m going to keep an eye on what they’re doing. Proof is in the pudding. Now they definitely can’t use lack of money as an excuse for their ability to achieve their Healthcare IT Platform vision.

September 28, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Intel Healthcare Hosting Webcast Featuring Top Health IT Thinkers

In this free webcast series the panels feature heavy-hitters in the health IT arena, including Todd Park, chief technology officer for the Department of Health, and include live Q&A sessions with the panelists. Other participants include:

· Eric Dishman, Intel Fellow
· Dr. Bill Bria, CMIO, Shriners Hospitals for Children
· Michael S. Blum, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine, medical director of information technology, UCSF Medical Center
· John Mattison, MD, chief medical information officer, Kaiser Permanente, Southern California

To register, click on this link and reserve your spot. The dates are Oct. 4-6 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

September 27, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Who Owns Patient Data?

Recently, on The Healthcare Blog, there was a really interesting post by Dr. Marya Silberberg about why patient lab data should be liberated. She recommends lab results be sent to patients at the same time that they’re sent to doctors. Dr. Silberberg does an admirable job of looking at the patient data issue from both sides. From the patient’s perspective, it is really not that hard to understand. If you’ve ever transferred your (paper) records from one doctor to another, or you’ve spent a month or more waiting for your doctor’s office to call you with their interpretation of lab test results, you’ve known the pain. It’s your data, about your body, your health, and you really have no way to access it if you have something of a grinch gatekeeping the records at your doctor’s office.

I’m no doctor, but I get you too. There are way too many paranoid, entitled people in the world, and chances are they’re your patients. Handing patients their lab records is the best way to make sure your office is inundated with callers demanding to talk to the doctor right now, and many of them will just be non-emergency calls.

Having said that, I wasn’t a huge fan of commenter Dr Mike’s response to the post:

“If I ordered the test, the results should be returned to me first, if you ordered the test, the results can come to you. So go order your own lab tests and then you won’t have to wait for me to get through that mountain of paper on my desk. Not sure your insurer will want to play along as you play doctor though

Part of the problem is that patients don’t understand that I am not on retainer for them. In the good ol’ days the docs cared for their friends and neighbor’s and community, and had a personal and financial interest in each individual. But today I don’t have a contract with you, I have one with your insurer, and together the two of us have pretty much locked you out of the decision process, and you have allowed this to happen.”

 

Whoa, them’s fighting words. Patient data access doesn’t have to be an adversarial experience. If you, the doctor, are spending an inordinate amount of time explaining lab results to patients, it’s only fair you be compensated for your consultancy in some way. And you, the patient, must stop thinking of access to patient data as a zero-cost right you can exercise. A tiered insurance plan offering could very well take care of phone-consultancy and patient-lab-reporting costs. If I or a loved one had a condition that required me to look over lab reports and such, I would happily pay a few dollars extra a month for that privilege. And for all the concerns about how the average user can’t understand what the lab results say, it’s surely not impossible in this day and age that lab reports sent to non-medical recipients be in human readable form.

Check out the post here.

September 26, 2011 I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now writes about healthcare, science and technology as well as traditional news features.

Symantec’s “Five Rights” Infographic

Neil Versel posted an interesting infographic on the 5 rights of Data Administration that was created by Symantec.

The info graphic offers the premise and question: “Patient information reaches far beyond the hospital. How can IT assure patients their data is secure and confidential wherever it goes?”

Then, they offer the 5 rights of patient data administration:
1. Right Time
2. Right Route
3. Right Person
4. Right Data
5. Right Use

You can read the infographic for the rest of the details, but it’s an interesting look at what happens to patient data. I’d be interested to hear some HIE people talk about it. Is anything missing?

September 23, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Slow Rise of EHR Adoption

I love all the discussion that happens around EHR adoption. The funny thing about it all is that we honestly don’t really know. We don’t have any really solid number, because there’s no good way to measure EHR adoption. Plus, I think that we’d see drastically different EHR adoption trends based on location, practice size and specialty.

However, I think one thing is clear: EHR adoption has gone quite slow.

I read someone today talking about slow EHR adoption even in the midst of billions of dollars of incentives from the government. I think this is true. Even with all that money out there, doctors are still not adopting EHR software in droves.

Part of me says that this is a good thing. I think the worst thing that can happen to EHR is for a doctor who doesn’t want an EHR to adopt one. If they’re not on board with the idea of an EHR, then they just make work miserable for themselves and everyone around them. I see buy-in for an EHR implementation as the key determining factor for success of an EHR implementation. So, I don’t think we can force the issue.

As I consider this point, I was trying to think what movement or trend could make doctors want to implement an EHR in their clinic. One that popped into my head was insurance companies requiring use of an EHR. I know very few cash only doctors out there, so if they had to use an EHR to get their insurance payments, we’d see a drastic change in physicians perspective on EHR. Sure, some would still not like it, but they’d do it. I just don’t really see the path to where insurance companies will do this.

Another method will be if doctors start losing patients because they don’t have an EHR. We’re still a ways from this I think. I don’t think it’s clear in the consumer mind the benefits to them as a patient for the doctor to use an EHR. They’re going to get their prescription (or other healthcare service) either way. Should there be a new field on insurance companies list of providers that says “EHR User”?

What other trends could happen that would make EHR adoption basically a requirement to stay in business as a doctor? Thoughts on what could turn the tide. It seems the HITECH carrot and stick still isn’t totally moving the needle.

September 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Investment in Healthcare IT

The healthcare IT investment area has been really interesting lately. We have all sorts of healthcare focused incubators popping up. The Startup Weekend mega event had healthcare as one of its three focuses (I was sad I couldn’t attend this event). Lots of people are talking about healthcare as a place ripe for IT innovation.

Dan Munro latched on to some of this health IT investment in a really interesting post. Here’s a section of his post near the end:

I have no insight into the applications for either Healthbox or Blueprint, but Rock Health had over 350 applications for their first cohort of 11 companies. That ratio is farily common – although Y-Combinator’s Winter 2011 cohort was 43 companies (99 founders). The sheer number of applications to Rock Health indicates the strength of the Rock Health program (location + strong network + zero dilution). It also highlights the sheer volume – 350 teams (worth repeating) – committed to making a difference in healthcare. That. Is. Awesome! We need to foster, encourage and promote all those people and that activity – collectively – in every way that we possibly can. Maybe he should be, but the next Mark Zuckerberg isn’t toiling away inside Harvard thinking how he can move the U.S. Healthcare system into the 21st Century. Whatever “it” is at that age and location – it better involve large doses of the opposite sex, a different type of pharmaceutical and some form of loud music.

Simple math says that 20 companies (2 cohorts per year) at $20k each plus rent, payroll, legal and all the other expenses should be less than $2M per incubator per year. Our $8M “innovation” fund (from the $395M balance) could easily support 4 more incubators – in say San Diego, Austin, Seattle and Phoenix. 7 incubators running 20 companies equals 140 companies innovating in healthcare – per year.

Of course, the biggest problem with Dan’s idea is that the government doesn’t like to invest money this way. For some reason, that almost seems unacceptable for a government to invest money in these companies that have a high probability of failure. Even if we can see how this type of innovation could provide some really interesting benefits to healthcare. Plus, $8 million for 140 companies. That’s a pretty interesting number to me.

I love the incubation idea and I’m glad that it’s started to go in healthcare. I hope it’s incredibly successful. Either way, it’s going to be really fun to watch the innovations coming out of these investments. An EMR company has already come out of the most famous incubator: Y Combinator. I don’t see why other EMR and healthcare IT companies couldn’t do well also.

Note: I think one of those incubators should be in Las Vegas. Although, I’m admittedly biased towards Las Vegas Startup companies.

September 19, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EMR Systems Spawn Cottage Industry: Scribes

One of the limiting factors when it comes to EMR systems is that it requires some amount of training to use an EMR system. Doctors are in the habit of writing down notes, or dictating them into dictaphones for transcribing later. So the idea of an EMR system that requires typed input can easily face some resistance, just based on the process change it requires. And hence the rise of a new class of health IT worker – the scribe.

Having a scribe taking notes at hand would’ve seriously helped me like my doctor better at my last appointment. This was someone whom I was meeting on account of a referral – I didn’t already have an established relationship with the doctor. The doctor and an assistant spent about a third of their time figuring out how to enter my scans into the EMR system. I don’t know what was at fault – the newly acquired iPad or an EMR they didn’t know how to use. They were effusive with their apologies but I couldn’t help feeling that I got the short end of the stick when the doc rushed through the rest of my visit and quickly ushered me out. A competent scribe, well versed in their EMR of choice, might have really helped.

 There have been a slew of articles about the rise of scribes in health IT. They started sounding really promising to me, especially when I considered how one could tail a doctor on his/her rounds with patients, and gain some insight into the business of being a doctor from the ground up. I checked out a couple of companies (ScribeAmerica, EM Scribe Systems) that train medical scribes and source them out to ERs. EM Scribe Systems’ application form states that it requires a one or two year commitment, wants to know what your future med school plans are. The pay anywhere is between $8-$16/hour (scroll to the bottom of the page). The higher end of that range gets paid with scribe experience.

(Seriously? If medical transcription can be outsourced to India and Philippines, why set the bar so high for medical scribe jobs? Or alternatively, if the bar is so high, why not pay better?)

I guess the pre-med scribes are approaching it from a different aspect – the real payback for them comes from understanding the medical aspect. The EMR system is merely a tool to an end.

I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now writes about healthcare, science and technology as well as traditional news features.

Psychiatry Meaningful Use Videos

I probably should post these on my EMR and EHR videos website, but since they can’t be embedded I figured I’d just post about them on here.

The company Valant Medical Solutions has posted 4 videos that go through the various meaningful use requirements. Of course, I’m sure that many of you are thinking that’s not all that interesting. Plus, the videos are quite specific to the Valant EHR solution. You’re right on both accounts.

There are a number of reasons I’m posting them anyway. First, I always find it interesting to see how an EHR vendor is trying to help their doctors achieve meaningful use. Second, the principles of meaningful use are the same regardless of EHR vendor so even if the details are specific to the Valant EHR you can still learn about the details of meaningful use. Third (and maybe most important), these are the first videos that I’ve seen address meaningful use for psychiatry.

Hopefully all you psychiatrists out there that want to show meaningful use of your EHR will take a look and get some value out of these videos.

September 14, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare IT Market Grows to $162.2 Billion in 2015

I found this EMR and Healthcare IT forecast pretty interesting. That’s a pretty big market. Here’s an interesting bit about the growth of sections of the healthcare IT market:

EMR is expected to the highest growing market with a CAGR of 16.7% from 2010 to 2015. CPOE is also a fast growing segment with a CAGR of 16.5% from 2010 to 2015. Point of care information systems, specialty care information systems (cardiovascular information systems, oncology information systems), surgical and intensive care information systems are expected to have a combined CAGR of 15.1% from 2010 to 2015.

They also assert in the report that Meditech (U.S.), Cerner Corporation (U.S.), Mckesson Corporation (U.S.), Siemens Healthcare (Germany), Epic Systems (U.S), Allscripts (U.S.), Philips (The Netherlands), and GE Healthcare (U.S.) account for the majority of the market.

September 13, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.