The hand hygiene tracking company, DebMed, just released this hand hygiene infographic. It’s great to see technology being implemented to solve all sorts of healthcare problems.
Sadly there’s no video of a presentation that Shahid Shah recently did, but the slide deck embedded in this post is well worth a look. I believe it was the keynote presentation at the VAR Healthcare event. The presentation is chock full of insights into what’s happening in healthcare and healthcare IT.
Everyone knows I love infographics. API Healthcare put one out with a bunch of data from a nurse staffing survey that they did with Harris Poll. In the poll they wanted to understand the perceived impact of healthcare reform on the quality of patient care provided at hospitals. I think you’ll enjoy.
I thought I’d offer a little of my own spin in the headline since those in DC only like to read spin. Unfortunately, I don’t think those in DC will really hear the message and I believe the ICD-10 delay will be passed. I still think that most of congress is voting on the SGR part of the bill and not the ICD-10 delay, but this vote will support the many doctors who don’t want ICD-10 implemented at all ever. This is a strong and large group of doctors that congress does care about.
However, I can’t help but highlight the thousands of coders that will be affected as well. In the link above I quoted a coder who’d paid for the ICD-10 course and now it’s wasted money (and it’s not like coders have a lot of excess income).
Add to that story this story from an educator who switched their educational program to ICD-10. If the ICD-10 delay happens, then all of those newly trained ICD-10 professionals won’t be able to find a job. Read more below from Kelly Fast, MS, RHIA, CMT:
I am a program director of an HIT program in candidacy with CAHIIM. The program began in the summer of 2012. We anticipated we would have graduates this year, the year of the implementation. We went with the assurances from HHS that there would not be another delay. All of our coding curriculum has been taught with ICD-10 (with a nod to ICD-9 from a historical perspective). We now have graduates. As we are all aware, it is so difficult for new graduates to secure coding positions. This delay, if it happens, will definitely not be a competitive advantage for our students! We went with the implementation date sticking and the training in ICD-10 being a positive thing for our students in the workplace. It is so disappointing that this is even being considered.
From the perspective of how many students this will affect nationally — there are over 17,000 students in CAHIIM accredited health information programs.
I think of our students — our job is to prepare them as best we can for the workplace! Are our students going to be given a break on their student loans until October of 2015? I think not. Are our students going to have their loans forgiven when the skill they have gone into debt to learn is a distant memory to them, due to no fault of their own? Again, I think not.
To all students — keep practicing, practicing! At some point the new classification system will be implemented and you will have the opportunity to shine!
So far, AHIMA is keeping the implementation date for the RHIT exam with ICD-10 the same. That is one silver lining for the students. But, yes, this looming delay will have far, far reaching effects. We will be evaluated as a program as to how many of our students pass the exam. So thank you AHIMA for so far not pushing out the date of the switch of the exam from 9 to 10 for the RHIT. Also, we will be evaluated on how many of our students are able to become employed in healthcare. That one will definitely not be helped by any delay.
Also, we had scheduled an area ICD-10 training for next month on our campus. That will be postponed if the Senate passes this bill intact. Just the time and effort in getting all of the leg work done for that has been a lot, and it will all have to be repeated. When you are coordinating large gatherings of people, it isn’t as simple as reworking the dates. When I think about multiplying that effort for training rescheduling over and over for organizations all across the country…wow.
Here’s another personal story that illustrates the personal impact of the ICD-10 delay:
I’d like to chime in as a student about to graduate from an HIT associate degree program. Thank you for all your posts. Like all of you I am shocked by this turn of events. I am a single mom who enrolled in this program after my divorce which pulled the rug from under me and put my kids and I out of our home and, after being a stay at home mom, left me with no income. I’ve worked hard, sacrificed, and have been excited to enter this field that would be a perfect fit for me and would allow me to get back on my feet. I am only trained in ICD10 since the college I attend stopped teaching 9 because of the switch that was supposed to happen this year. I was planning on getting certified and entering the workforce this fall. I need to start earning an income or we could be out on the street. Where will this leave people like me? Congress apparently could care less how they mess with peoples lives. I too have contacted my senator. I pray they will hear us.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid the Congress looks more at the macro and political impact of this bill instead of the personal impact this will have on many people. I hear we’ll have to wait until Monday for the Senate to vote on the bill.
Today, HIMSS and AVIA released the 2013 Healthcare Provider Innovation Survey, which cites reduced costs, improved patient care and increased patient safety as the primary priorities for healthcare providers when implementing innovative initiatives.
They put together this infographic to display some of the results of the survey:
I’m always a fan of a company that uses a little creativity to promote what they’re working on. There’s nothing like giving someone a good laugh while also educating them on what you do. A great example of this just hit my inbox. It’s brought to us by CareTree in the form of a video called “CareTree Is Everywhere: Even at the North Pole!”
The video gives a humorous look at what it must be like for Mrs. Clause to deal with Santa Clause’s various health issues. My favorite part of the video is when Mrs. Clause refers to the healthcare exchanges and says, “They’re on the naughty list in case you were wondering.”
Enjoy the video below:
There are a lot of features and functions in healthcare IT that don’t get talked about very much. The reason they don’t get talked about is because they aren’t “sexy.” While many of the healthcare IT tasks that need to be done aren’t “sexy” to talk about, they’re extremely important if you want your end users to be happy.
Check out this post on Scary Health Care IT Upgrades We Don’t Talk About to see some of the less exciting, but incredibly important IT tasks that have to be done in healthcare. Much like it’s not very exciting to talk about SAN Upgrades or core switch firmware upgrades, you very rarely see someone talk about scanner maintenance. However, it can make your user’s IT experience miserable if you don’t handle it properly.
The reason most IT people forget about scanner maintenance is that they rarely have to scan much in their jobs. As an IT professional, you and your colleagues exchange information electronically and so while you might scan something on occasion, you aren’t scanning paper daily. With such a low scanning load, you usually don’t have a high volume scanner on your desk that needs to be maintained. Plus, even if you did, you wouldn’t scan enough to need to do maintenance. The opposite is true for many in healthcare who find themselves scanning paper into the EHR every day.
I admit that I know this to be the case, because I was the naive IT support person who didn’t realize that regular scanner maintenance was important. In fact, I didn’t discover this until my HIM staff started complaining about the scanner not working very well. That’s the other key to this problem. Unlike other maintenance, a poorly maintained scanner still works but just not very well. The scanner’s ability to feed in the paper, not jam, etc slowly deteriorates over time. So, the end user doesn’t usually ask for help until after they’ve dealt with the “finicky” scanner for months.
In most cases, it’s not the scanners fault at all. Instead, the problem is poor scanner maintenance. The great part is that this is an easy problem to solve. I won’t dig into the detail of how to maintain your scanner. Spend 5-10 minutes in your scanner’s book (find it online if you through it out) and it will tell you what you need to do. Also, not all scanners can be cleaned, but if you have a scanner like the Canon DR-C125 or equivalent, then a little maintenance keeps them running better.
The maintenance on a scanner is usually quite simple. You just clean out the inside and change out the rollers after so many scans (varies depending on the scanner). In many ways it’s like a car. You know what happens when you don’t change the oil in your car. It’s bad news. The same is true when you don’t maintain your scanner.
You don’t want to hear from the HIM or nursing staff when you forgot to “change the oil” on their scanner. That’s not pretty and often requires a box of donuts. The nice part is that with regular scanner maintenance, these scanners will last a long time under a heavy load. Do you practice good scanner hygiene in your organization?
Sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon’s extensive scanner product line enables businesses worldwide to capture, store and distribute information.
The following is a guest post by Dr. Deborah Peel, Founder of Patient Privacy Rights.
On November 12th, Abbott released his “We the People Plan” for Texas. Clearly he’s heard from Texans who want tough new health data privacy protections.
Topping his list are four terrific privacy recommendations for health and genetic data:
The federal Omnibus Privacy Rule operationalized the technology section of the stimulus bill. It also clarified that state legislatures can pass data privacy laws that are stronger than HIPAA (which is a very weak floor for data protections).
Texans would overwhelmingly support the new state data protection laws Abbott recommends . If elected, hopefully Abbott would also include strong enforcement and penalties for violations. Contracts don’t enforce themselves. External auditing and proof of trustworthy practices should be required.
Is this the beginning of a national trend? I think so. The more people know about today’s health IT, the more they will reject electronic systems and data exchanges designed for the hidden use and sale of sensitive personal health data.