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2015 Edition EHR Certification Criteria NPRM Out as a #HIMSS14 Present

HHS just sent out the announcement about the 2015 Edition EHR Certification Criteria (“2015 Edition”) NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making). I guess the new ONC coordinator didn’t learn from the last time an NPRM was released during HIMSS. It ruined a lot of people’s time at HIMSS as they scoured the rule. Although, I don’t think the 2015 Edition will be quite as big of a deal as the original MU NPRM. You can sure many people will enjoy the 2015 Edition NPRM as some light reading on their airplane ride to HIMSS. I’m sure HHS wanted it published before HIMSS so they could talk about it during their sessions at HIMSS as well.

Here’s the announcement and for those that don’t want to filter through the fluff of the full final rule, here’s a great 2015 Edition Fact Sheet.

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today issued proposals for the next edition (the “2015 Edition”) of electronic health record (EHR) technology certification criteria.

This proposed rule marks the first time ONC has proposed an edition of certification criteria separate from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ “meaningful use” regulations. The proposals represent ONC’s new regulatory approach that includes more incremental and frequent rulemaking. This approach allows ONC to update certification criteria more often to reference improved standards, continually improve regulatory clarity, and solicit comments on potential proposals as a way to signal ONC’s interest in a particular topic area.

“The proposed 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria reflect ONC’s commitment to incrementally improving interoperability and efficiently responding to stakeholder feedback,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., national coordinator for health IT. “We will continue to focus on setting policy and adopting standards that make it possible for health care providers to safely and securely exchange electronic health information and for patients to become an integral part of their care team.”

Compliance with the 2015 Edition would be voluntary — EHR developers that have certified EHR technology to the 2014 Edition would not need to recertify to the 2015 Edition for customers to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Similarly, health care providers eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs would not need to “upgrade” to EHR technology certified to 2015 Edition to have EHR technology that meets the Certified EHR Technology definition. “This provides the opportunity for developers and health care providers to move to the 2015 Edition on their own terms and at their own pace,” said Dr. DeSalvo.

The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2014. ONC will accept comments on the proposed rule through April 28, 2014. The final rule is expected to be issued in summer 2014.

For more information, visit Standards and Certification Regulations page on HealthIT.gov.

February 21, 2014 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.

Final Day for Advanced Registration Pricing for HIMSS 14

Today’s the final day to get the advanced registration pricing to attend HIMSS 2014. I thought many of you might be interested to know this in case you haven’t registered to attend yet. We’ll be at the event again and hosting the 5th Annual New Media Meetup at HIMSS.

Here’s the HIMSS notice about the final day to register at the discounted price.

Time’s running out to save on registration fees for HIMSS14.Advanced registration discount ends Monday, January 27.

Don’t miss this opportunity — to save and to be there — when health IT professionals from around the globe converge on Orlando for the best in educationnetworkingsolutions and more.

Be sure to check out the latest HIMSS14 brochure for a preview of the education sessions and the activities that can help you and your organization take advantage of the value gained from health IT.

Register by January 27 and save!

January 27, 2014 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.

HIMSS Health IT Value Suite Thoughts and Infographic

Today, HIMSS made an announcement of the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite. In its essence, HIMSS has collected a series of health IT use cases and good experiences that healthcare has experienced using health IT.

The HIMSS Health IT Value Suite has more than 500 cases demonstrating 56 different health IT benefits. That’s a good number of use cases and experiences. One of the most compelling parts of this is the first hand quotes by doctors about the benefits they have seen using health IT. There’s little more powerful to a doctor than another doctor’s testimonial.

The challenge I have with the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite is that most doctors already look at HIMSS as the Healthcare IT cheerleaders as opposed to an unbiased source of health IT information. In fact, while doctors love to hear from their peers, that peer recommendation will likely be reduced if it’s coming from a HIMSS product offering.

I think it’s unfortunate that the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite didn’t include the negative health IT use cases as well as the good ones. By only including the positive ones, they diminish the credibility of the suite. It’s almost as if they act like health IT couldn’t have negative impacts. Doctors know better and will discount any source that doesn’t provide the full view of the impacts of health IT.

To make the HIMSS Health IT Value suite even better, they should share both the benefits and risks of health IT. A lot can be learned by seeing use cases where health IT didn’t benefit a clinic. Those health IT failures can be used to teach how not to do health IT and what could be done differently to avoid those negative results.

I do find interesting the infographic that HIMSS put out about the STEPS (Satisfaction, Treatment/Clinical, Electronic Information/Data, Prevention/Patient Education, Savings) definitions they created to classify the benefits of health IT. You can see it by clicking the image below.
HIMSS Health IT Value Suite Infographic

What do you think of the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite?

July 16, 2013 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 Body as a Source of Big Data Infographic

NetApp recently put out an Infographic that depicts the body as a source of big data. It’s a pretty cool representation of the power of data in healthcare. In my HIMSS 2013 preview video, I suggested that HIMSS 2013 might be the year of Healthcare Big Data at HIMSS. This infographic displays many of the opportunities.
The Power of Healthcare Data

March 1, 2013 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.

Extormity Touts Customer Dissatisfaction, EHR Switching Statistics

I guess I really should post this Extormity press release to my EMR, EHR and Health IT News site (where you’ll find all the various press releases that are coming our before, during, and after HIMSS), but this is so much more than news. For those not familiar with Extormity, it’s kind of “The Onion” of Healthcare IT. A fictitious company that highlights many of the absurdities in the healthcare IT and EHR world. Although, the irony is how well they mix the reality with the absurdities.

Without further ado, the latest Extormity News which just hit my email inbox:

Electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced that nearly 75 percent of its existing customer base reports being dissatisfied, extremely dissatisfied or contemplating suicide based on the decision to implement the Extormity EHR solution. Further, Extormity expects nearly 40 percent of its clients to de-install their solution in 2013 and switch to another vendor.

Citing a recent study which indicated that nearly 20 percent of EHR users could be switching out their first choice EHR this year, Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington stated “We are ecstatic that unhappiness levels among our clients clearly outpaces the industry average.”

“Even as analysts are expressing concern with these statistics, these findings have generated incredible buzz about Extormity – resulting in a disproportionate share of media attention,” added Whittington. “Better yet, the focus on dissatisfaction levels has obscured questionable financial dealings, several catastrophic medical errors linked to flawed clinical decision support algorithms, and more breaches than you can shake a stick at.”

While the projected de-conversion rate could be considered alarming, Extormity officials remain bullish on the company’s future. “While much of our installed base is fleeing the good ship Extormity, we are winning new clients at a record pace as providers head for the exits with other vendors who also made expensive empty promises,” added Whittington. “When one considers early termination penalties, exorbitant costs for data conversion and the steep hourly rates we charge clients who are transitioning away from our EHR, we expect record profits which will fund the construction of our new corporate headquarters.”

About Extormity

Extormity is an electronic health records mega-corporation dedicated to offering highly proprietary, difficult to customize and prohibitively expensive healthcare IT solutions. Our flagship product, the Extormity EMR Software Suite, was recently voted “Most Complex” by readers of a leading healthcare industry publication. Learn more at www.extormity.com

February 27, 2013 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.

Thoughts on ICD-10 Delay

Yesterday, HHS dropped the bomb that ICD-10 has been delayed. Everyone is still trying to figure out what that means exactly. The reason there are questions is that it seems that HHS can’t just unilaterally delay the compliance date. I’ll admit that I’m not an expert in the regulatory processes, but as best I can tell HHS intends to go through the regulatory process to delay ICD-10.

The part of the press release in question says, “HHS will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).”

My gut feeling is that the process for postponing implementation of ICD-10 is more of a formality that HHS has to go through, but maybe there’s something that could hijack that process. I’m guessing there won’t be any issues or HHS wouldn’t have made the announcement yet.

The words “certain health care entities” in the above quote have a lot of people wondering what it means. Does that mean ICD-10 will be delayed for certain entities and not others? This would be odd if it were the case, but it seems that it could be a possibility.

This ICD-10 delay announcement comes shortly after HHS met with AMA who it seems is one of the major voices behind delaying implementation of ICD-10. A voice with a decent amount of money and lobbying power in Washington. HIMSS quickly published a press release calling for HHS to Maintain the ICD-10 Implementation Deadline. HIMSS cites that the health industry has been prepping for ICD-10 for the past 3 years. I’d add that the October 1, 2013 deadline is still 20 months away. You’d think that would be plenty of time to implement ICD-10, no?

After this delay some voices are starting to ask if HHS should consider just bypassing ICD-10 altogether and go straight to ICD-11 which comes out in 2014. Keith Boone wrote a post on this and highlights what I believe is a key reason why HHS won’t skip ICD-10 and go straight to ICD-11: investment in ICD-10. As I said in the comments of Keith’s post:

What a terrible thing to consider when making policy (although, sadly the stark reality): what’s the investment companies have made in ICD-10?

In business they’d call this a sunk cost and choose the best path forward. Unfortunately politics doesn’t quite work that way and you’re right that it’s quite unlikely that HHS will jump directly to ICD-11 and anger all those who’ve invested so heavily in ICD-10.

Tom Sullivan adds to the discussion for why we should move to ICD-11 in the comments of that post as well:

When I started covering ICD-10, I was a proponent. But given that ICD-10 really is antiquated — as Dr. Chute explained to me on Monday it’s based on thinking about medicine and technology from the 1980′s — it seems a shame for the U.S. to spend literally billions getting there, only to reach what is essentially a classification system at least approaching the end of its lifecycle, or perhaps what ought to be the end of its lifecycle rather than the beginning. And it’s not just the linkages to SNOMED that make ICD-11 attractive (though they certainly do); a system that is semantic web-aware, with rich information spaces, definitions of terms, genomic underpinnings, a foundational fabric, and I’m sure there will be more in there, just makes so much more sense than ICD-10.

At any rate, I view the delay as an opportunity to re-evaluate our approach and maybe, just maybe, put politics aside and opt for the system that has the most potential to improve public health with data.

So perhaps adopting ICD-11 is not really idealist, after all, but pragmatic!

One discussion on the #HITsm chat today on this subject was around the real benefits of ICD-10. As with many things in healthcare, the arguments seem to center around benefits to healthcare in general and to public health. As a doctor advocate myself, I can see why they wouldn’t want to add the burden of ICD-10 on their shoulders when it doesn’t help them directly provide better care. I’m not saying that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do things anyway, but it’s not surprising that we’re seeing resistance from doctors to ICD-10.

One other comment people are making about the ICD-10 delay is that it could be politically motivated in a year when Obama is seeking reelection. I’m not sure how much influence delaying or not delaying ICD-10 will have on the presidential campaign. Seems like a pretty small deal in the grand scheme of things. I can’t imagine the major media people and the regular voters ever even getting wind of the delay. However, maybe there’s some important donors and influencers that I don’t know about that this appeases.

My heart goes out to all those HIMSS exhibitors that’s major strategy was based around ICD-10. Every PR person that pitched me an ICD-10 discussion I replied that I’d gotten enough ICD-10 at AHIMA. Now I’m getting some pitches from these same companies saying they’d like to discuss the ICD-10 delay. So, they’re trying to make the most of it.

February 17, 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.

Numbers for HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas

If you’re in the healthcare IT world, then you’ve no doubt heard all about HIMSS. It’s next week and thanks to the PR people who keep emailing me it’s constantly on my mind (Note to PR People: My HIMSS schedule is now full. Sorry!)

Modern Healthcare put out some numbers on HIMSS 2012 that I thought were really interesting:
-Estimated 35,000-37,000 estimated attendance
-Provider registration is up 16-17%
-Vendor registration is up 18-19%
-Vendor space was sold out 3 weeks ago
-275 companies are exhibiting for the first time

I also love that Steve Lieber says that they’re at more hotel rooms booked than they’ve ever done before. Although, since it’s in the lovely Las Vegas there are still plenty of hotel rooms for people. This quote is the reason why HIMSS should be in Las Vegas every year: “It actually makes it a whole lot easier. We’re dealing with 12 to 15 hotels rather than the 70 or 80 needed to house conventioneers at any other city.”

Be sure to sign up for the New Media Meetup at HIMSS 2012 sponsored by simplifyMD. We only have a couple spots left and then we’re going to turn on a waiting list.

Lots of other excitement at HIMSS. I’ll be doing a Meet the Bloggers session on Wednesday and be part of the Genius Bar at the social media center each day. I look forward to seeing everyone else there.

Also, if you’re looking for some evening networking events at HIMSS, Jennifer Dennard has posted a bunch of them up on HITR.

February 15, 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.

Transitioning to Health IT Jobs

I’ve made the transition to health IT relatively recently. In May that I started doing some contract work as tech writer for a health IT vendor, then looked around for health IT related gigs – if there was a business analyst or tech writer posted in the DC/Baltimore area on Craigslist or Monster, you can bet that my resume was in there somewhere. It took me a good two months of searching to land my current job (and after two months of email after email saying “sorry, your resume didn’t make the cut”, I got three job offers in the same week – true story.) This is what I’ve learned along the way:

1) Having health-care related credentials helps: It can be anything – a degree, college coursework, actual paying jobs or volunteer positions you’ve held. In my case, I had a B.S. in pharmacy with a minor in IT, and a masters in Communication, so it seemed as if a health IT tech writer gig would be perfect for me. I believe that adding the “My undergrad major was pharmacy” in my cover letters was the phrase that opened doors for me.

2) Volunteer: I have mixed feelings about this piece of advice. It’s a well known secret that employers want certifications in vendor-specific products in the candidates they shortlist, which makes it something of an impossibility for regular IT folks looking to transfer to health IT.

On the HIMSS blog, there was a really interesting discussion from some time ago on healthcare employers not getting enough trained health IT people. The comment section was really enlightening – a commenter said “I’d like to share a little known secret: many hospital employees, IT included, are hired as a result of volunteer activities at the very same hospital that he or she volunteered at.”

Someone else commented that “An open secret in the NPO world is that they get many person hours donated with the unstated goal of being hired but no person ever actually receives employment. Especially in towns with many colleges and universities, some NPOs glean many free person hours from students and depend on the myth that all NPOs hire this way.”

So in effect: you might get a paid health IT gig after volunteering at a hospital or similar setting, but such NPOs are also the most liable to take advantage of you by dangling the job carrot before you. Also volunteering when you’re a newbie to the workforce might make sense, but I’d really love to see how that might help a mid-career IT person with a few years of experience under her belt, and with mouths to feed at home. I’m not discounting it entirely, but I’d do my research (how many volunteers were actually hired, and so on).

3) Hone up on healthcare concepts skills: HIMSS has a great repository Health IT Body of Knowledge. Read some blogs, follow the #EMR #EHR twitter feeds, or check out the thought leaders on Quora. Figure out which aspect of health IT interests you – is it the mobile apps sector, or EMR product development?

4) Learn from the greats: I really lucked out that I got some great health IT mentors this year who worked with me into turning the raw ingredients of my healthcare knowledge into something semi-cooked. And this is true of any area where you’re a learner – the more you show your enthusiasm for something, the more people are willing to teach you what they know. If there’s someone in your office or friends circle who is a walking encyclopedia of anything health IT, talk to them, and ask for their advice. If you don’t know any such person, make online relationships by commenting on blogs or following conversations on twitter. Read what the greats read, engage them in conversations. Knowledge osmosis will take care of the rest.

November 14, 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.

NIST Webinar on EHR Usability Guidelines Hosted by HIMSS

I recently learned about a webinar that’s being held to discuss the NIST EHR Usability guidelines that were drafted and published recently. I think it’s great that NIST is reaching out to the community for comment. I’ve written before about how it’s ironic that an EHR Usability document was a 108 page PDF. That didn’t seem usable by EHR vendors to me.

I also find it interesting that HIMSS is hosting the webinar and that they’re the contact person to get in. You can see the registration link here. You have to be approved to see the webinar. I’m not sure how strict they’ll be with who they let in and who they don’t let in.

Here’s the details of the EHR Usability webinar:

Topic: Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records (Draft NISTIR7804)

Date and time: Thursday, October 27, 2011 2:00 pm
Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Change time zone
Duration: 1 hour
Description: Overview of NIST Usability Guidance
Presenters: Lana Lowry, Usability Scientist, Lead NIST Health IT Usability Program; Emily Patterson, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University and Robert M. Schumacher, Ph.D. Managing Director, User Centric, Inc.

Agenda:
Guidelines for Improving Usability: Proposed EHR Usability Evaluation Protocol
Lana Lowry, Ph.D., NIST

Guidelines for Improving Usability: Proposed EHR Usability Evaluation Protocol
Robert Schumacher, Ph.D., Managing Director, User Centric

The Relationship between Health IT Usability and Patient Safety: Towards an EHR Usability Safety Framework
Emily S. Patterson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Ohio State University

The Process for Submitting Protocol Comments to NIST
Lana Lowry, Ph.D., NIST

Comments from Participants

October 19, 2011 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.