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Preventable Issues Arise When Paper Documentation is Used

It’s an unfortunate truth that the health care system is not fool proof, and mistakes happen. Many of these mistakes happen because of paperwork that is lost, unreadable, or misplaced. Even with the implementation of EMRs across the country, many healthcare providers are still relying on paper for many aspects of their practice. Referral MD created an infographic that shows some of the current problems in healthcare related to using paper documents:

Pretty scary, if you ask me. Doctor’s are notorious for having terrible handwriting, but 7000 patients die a year because of it? And 30 percent of tests have to be reordered because the orders were misplaced? These statistics are startling, in large part because they are preventable. Those are only two of the facts presented in this infographic, and in combination with everything else, it makes me wonder why anyone that has an EMR would still use paper, and why the practices that don’t use EMRs haven’t started. It makes me not want to trust the system even more.

I can see how patients and doctors alike may find it hard to switch over. When I wasn’t given a physical, paper prescription to take to the pharmacy to get my son’s medication, I was a bit taken back, but it made things so much easier when I actually arrived at the pharmacy. I compare that to the many prescriptions and lab orders I lost during my pregnancy because I set it down and forgot to pick it up again, never to find it again until months later while doing some cleaning. It made me really wish my OB/GYN had electronic documents more incorporated into his practice. I’m curious to see if he has any EMR at all. Since he’s been a doctor for 40+ years, maybe he’s having a hard time making the switch.

It’s one thing if a person dies from a terminal illness, but to pass away because of a preventable mistake is uncalled for. I realize that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. But when a mistake could mean someone dying, a patient’s information being misused, or a HIPAA violation occurring, something is wrong. Hopefully as EMRs become better and more practices have them, paper documentation will become a thing of the past, and these mistakes, breeches, and all other issues that are related to using paper, will go that way as well.

November 5, 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.

EHR Infographic from Care360

As most of you know by now I’m a sucker for infographics and EHR. So, when you combine them in an EHR infographic I can’t resist. This EHR infographic comes from the people at Care360. The other cool part related to this healthcare infographic is that Care360 now has a blog. This EHR infographic’s purpose is to compare traditional record keeping to electronic healthcare records (EHR) and the benefits of using EHR.

Click twice on the infographic to see the full size infographic.

April 3, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Healthcare Mandate and Healthcare Reform Infographic

The US news world is covering this week’s supreme court hearings on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law, also known as the Accountable Care Act (ACA). No doubt the ruling of the supreme court could have a really major impact on healthcare reform in this country. As best I can tell, all things seem to be pointing at the law remaining in place, but when you’re dealing with a few people deciding something this important things can change quickly.

I’ll admit to not being an expert on the details of ACA and healthcare reform. Plus, each side is spitting out so much rhetoric that it’s hard to really get a hold of the real details of what is going to happen with this new law and what the long term impacts from it will be. Seems like rational thought and reason is going out the door as emotions and partisan lines take over.

I did see this healthcare reform infographic from AHIP hitting my Twitter stream a few times. It analyzes an important nuance of ACA and healthcare reform. If you cut out the mandate for health insurance and leave in the other ACA market reforms, then as this graphic shows the insurance premiums go up and the uninsured increases as well.

This is basic rules of health insurance really. The ACA market reforms basically add a bunch of unhealthy patients to the insurance companies patient list. That’s why insurance companies were denying them coverage in the past. It seems the hope is that the health insurance mandate would also add a group of healthy patients as well since they could help offset the cost of the expensive patients.

This doesn’t have all that much to do with EMR, but it’s an incredibly important topic in healthcare that could fundamentally change the landscape. So, I thought it worth talking about.

One thing should be made clear. The ACA is different than the ARRA/HITECH legislation. I believe there is a little bit of healthcare IT money in the ACA, but when you talk about EHR incentive money you’re really talking about ARRA/HITECH. Only ACA is going to the supreme court. ARRA/HITECH could be effected by future legislation, but is a separate and distinct bill.

March 26, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

State of the Small Practice Infographic

Free EHR vendor, Practice Fusion, has put out their 2012 State of the Small Practice infographic and survey results. Here’s the infographic they created (click on the image to see it full size):
Infographic State of the Small Practice 2012

You can see the full press release about the 2012 State of the Small Practice Survey or read some of the key findings below:

  • 45 percent of doctors report that their practice is doing better this year compared to last year while 14 percent report that their practice is doing worse and 33 percent report no change.
  • In the 2011 State of the Small Practice Survey, only 26 percent reported that their practice was doing better than the year before, while 41 percent reported doing worse.
  • 60 percent of small practices report that new technology has made things easier.
  • 26 percent of practices use computers that are less than a year old. Thirty-eight percent report that the computers in their practice are over three years old, a major improvement from 73 percent the previous year. (Seven percent of practices have computers in the five to six-year-old range, down from 21 percent in 2011.)
  • An overwhelming 89 percent of doctors report being satisfied or extremely satisfied with their career despite challenges, a 20 percent increase from the year before.
  • Most practices ranked insurance and reimbursement as the top negative pressure (69 percent), followed by patient compliance issues (64 percent) and practice administration concerns (48 percent).
  • Positive trends are led by advancements in medicine (68 percent), patient compliance (53 percent) and improvement in the healthcare workforce (51 percent).
January 25, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.

Paper Resistance Education Program Infographic

It seems like infographics are all the rage these days. I have to admit that I’m generally enticed to look at an infographic when one is made available. Thus was the case when Practice Fusion posted this infographic which invites doctors and patients to “Just Say No” to Paper.

Some really interesting numbers to consider. The number that hit me the most was kind of hidden, but says:

7,000 people die each year from bad handwriting

I’d be interested to know how the study they reference calculated that number, but it certainly caught my attention.

June 24, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John 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.