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Guest Post: More Physicians Joining the EHR Trend

Elise Redmann is currently a student at the University of South Florida where she is earning her Bachelor’s degree in business advertising and international business. She works as a writer with the Jacksonville University School of Nursing Online RN to BSN online programs where she covers topics on healthy living. You can follow her @EliseRedmann712 on Twitter.
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An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital record that typically captures a variety of health and personal information. An EHR can include a patient’s medical history, including test results, medications, allergies, illnesses and other conditions. It can also include personal details, such as demographic and billing information.

The use of EHR systems is on the rise as many hospitals and other healthcare providers replace paper record systems with digital records. According to a December 2012 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, 72% of office-based physicians used an EHR system in 2012, up from 48% in 2009.

Some of this growth has been fueled by the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, which offers healthcare providers incentives to implement EHR systems. In order to qualify for these incentives, providers must demonstrate that they are “meaningfully using” certified EHR systems by meeting certain objectives, many of which represent key benefits of implementing electronic health record systems.

Collaborative Care Made Easier

The primary advantage in transitioning to electronic health records is the ease with which physicians can review patient health records across time and across multiple providers. Since EHR systems capture medical data over the patient’s lifetime, physicians can search the digital records or review a composite of a patient’s medical history without resorting to searching through paper record archives.

In addition, physicians and other healthcare providers with access to an EHR system can more easily collaborate with each other and provide consistent and improved patient care since all involved can review each other’s notes, diagnoses and treatments.

Safer and Faster Prescription Processes

An EHR system can vastly improve safety and workflow efficiency relating to prescription medication. Once a physician enters a prescription into the system, it becomes part of the patient’s health record. The system then checks the medication against the patient’s list of other medications and allergies, and issues the physician with an interaction or contraindication warning. If there are no problems with the medication, the system will then automatically send it to the patient’s pharmacy.

The systems help to ensure that patients receive the medication they need and it also saves the physician time in reviewing and updating the patient’s records and sending the prescription to be filled. In addition, it monitors drug usage and helps eliminate errors associated with illegible handwriting.

Putting Patient Data to Good Use

Digital health records make it not only possible but relatively effortless for physicians to generate an array of reports for individual patients, as well as on their overall practice. Aggregated data can be used to publish treatments and outcomes, while individual data can be given directly to patients. Physicians can provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information and can also quickly produce clinical summaries for patients after each visit.

Digital Charting

Digital charts using an EHR system allow physicians and nurses to be comprehensively informed about a patient’s health history, ensuring proper medical care. Digital charts store patient history and demographic information, and maintain an up-to-date list of current and past diagnoses and treatments, as well as an active medication list.

Digital records can also reduce costs. Chart rooms could be converted to revenue-generating spaces and the increased efficiency means that physicians can see more patients without working longer hours.

Patients benefit from digital charting as they can receive immediate answers about medical matters. In urgent or emergency situations, physicians can access records remotely using an Internet connection, giving them the ability to respond quickly and correctly.

With so many benefits to physicians and patients, implementing an EHR system makes sense. With EHR systems now in such wide use, patients are increasingly seeking out physicians who incorporate electronic health records into their practices.

December 28, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Top 7 Hottest Health IT Jobs

HIMSS recently sent out a message to their LinkedIn group which listed CIO.com’s list of top 7 hottest health IT skills (and I’d say jobs):
7. Quality Assurance
6. Data Architecture
5. Application Development
4. Program Management
3. Project Management
2. Healthcare Analytics
1. EMR Build Specialists

They also said, “As JoAnn Klinedinst, HIMSS’ Vice President, Professional Development, noted “There’s something for everyone at HIMSS13.””

JoAnn is absolutely right about HIMSS 2013. If you’re in healthcare IT, then there’s definitely something for you at HIMSS 2013. I describe it like being a kid in a candy store. Everywhere you look there is something interesting that you want to learn about.

I did find the list of hot health IT jobs interesting. Not surprising to see EMR at the top of the list. Seems like all of the jobs are EHR related or healthcare BI/Big Data related. Seems like this should give us a good idea of where healthcare IT is going.

December 21, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Glen Tullman Steps Down as CEO of Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX)

The news is just coming out that Glen Tullman has stepped down as CEO of Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) along with Allscripts President Lee Shapiro.

Paul M. Black has been selected by the Allscripts board as the new President and CEO. Mr. Black was COO at Cerner for 12 years before he retired from Cerner in 2007. He has served on the Board of The Truman Medical Centers for 12 years, most recently as Chairman, and as a director of Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE:HAE). Plus, Mr. Black is currently sitting on the board of Allscripts.

It’s an understatement to say that it’s been an incredibly tumultuous year for Allscripts. Allscripts chose to discontinue their Allscripts MyWay EHR, Allscripts sued NYC after losing an EHR deal, and then Allscripts started looking for a private equity buyer.

This latest round of firings was predicted by Anne Zieger when she wrote about the previous Allscripts Management Shakeup and the investors desire to fire Glen Tullman a while ago.

I imagine the board was waiting to see if any of the strategic alternatives (ie. Private Equity buyouts) could save Glen’s job, but Allscripts also announced that “the Board has formally concluded its evaluation of strategic alternatives.”

Usually there’s a lot of shakeup after a change like this, but Allscripts EHR users have already been through a lot. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Black does with Allscripts going forward.

Here’s the details of the Conference Call that will be held tomorrow about the changes:

Conference Call

Allscripts will conduct a conference call tomorrow, Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 8:30 AM Eastern Time to discuss today’s announcement. Investors can access the conference via the Internet at http://investor.allscripts.com. Participants also may access the conference call by dialing (877) 303-0543 (toll free in the US) or (973) 935-8787 (international) and requesting Conference ID #83012880.

A replay of the call will be available two hours after the conclusion of the call, for a period of four weeks, at http://www.allscripts.com or by calling (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 – Conference ID #83012880.

December 19, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

“The Future of Health is Your Smartphone” – How Digital Health is Growing

While mHealth is growing quickly, consumers aren’t embracing it at the same rate. RockHealth reported that despite there being over 13,000 medical apps available, the mHealth trend isn’t taking off as much as it could be. There is a lot of potential for mHealth, and it truly is the future of health.

The following infograph from mashable.com described what this future for digital health is starting to look like. It also answers the question, “What can mobile do?”, and displays how big mHealth is becoming:

December 7, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.