Do EMR and Practice Management systems really improve efficiency or was it a trick?

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New and seasoned Practice Managers and Physicians know that handling the day to day tasks of running a medical practice can be time consuming. Administrative tasks and responsibilities have increased with ever-changing government regulations, Medicare laws, and legal concerns.  Efficiency appears to be a losing battle, and stressful workflows take a toll on delivering compassionate patient care. A paperless office was presented as a time and cost saving endeavor that would lead to better patient care. Or was it a trick?

Sound familiar?

A polished representative came to the office to demonstrate their EMR, Practice Management, and Medical Billing system. You were convinced, “this is the solution, what a relief, Ah…!” Thousands of dollars and countless hours spent on implementation and training. Finally, the “go live” date arrived. Then, reality hit; the staff forgot how to upload documents, the doctor was in the exam room trying unsuccessfully to view an MRI with the patient, and you frantically tried to fix the issues. The workflow stopped as panic took over. You finally phoned customer support and you were placed on hold. “Ugh,” you began to question…”How much longer will the learning curve actually take?”  “Did I make the right system selection?” “Why did I try to improve efficiency?” “It really wasn’t that bad and where is that polished sales person now?”

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EHR Nightmare

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Throughout the past two years, I have rotated mainly through one system. To my dismay, it had been one of the worst as far as electronic health records (EHR) are concerned. Most days I observed the workflow, thinking “If they just did this, they would cut the duration of morning rounds in half.” Let us look past the point that I was usually bored out of my mind!
There was just so much wasted time in dealing with documentation and communication. We are in the digital age. It really shouldn’t be this complicated. I cannot imagine how frustrated the residents and attending physicians must have gotten during this nonsense. This part of the job, which is non-medical, has likely been the direct cause of many doctors’ burnout statuses.
Since I have limited exposure to other systems, I am curious to know if this was a well-below average situation or a fairly normal one (feel free to comment below).

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New York Congressman Calls for Expanded Use of Electronic Medical Records

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Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives this week about the importance of electronic medical records and cites how during the Sandy hurricane that patient care kept going during the natural disaster. Continue reading: New York Congressman Calls for Expanded Use of Electronic Medical Records

Adoption of EHR Technologies With 66% Meeting Core Objectives, ONC Report

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Below is one of the charts included in the ONC report giving an update on where the incentives and attesting stands today.  It is broken down into several components but the one listed below gives the story in a short visual version. Continue reading: Adoption of EHR Technologies With 66% Meeting Core Objectives, ONC Report

Cerner Partners with Global Capacity to Offer “Cerner Skybox Connect”, A Private Cloud Based Network for the Healthcare Industry

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The full Skybox project is to be completed by the end of this year.  According to the press release Global Capacity approached Cerner with their cloud applications and Cerner determined it was a win-win for their clients and thus the partnership and the Skybox application was developed.  Continue reading: Cerner Partners with Global Capacity to Offer “Cerner Skybox Connect”, A Private Cloud Based Network for the Healthcare Industry

EHR Medical Records Matched with DNA Used to Define and Research Disease and Aging

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Kaiser Permanente in California was a bit ahead of the game, but through members agreeing to donate their DNA a few years ago, they now have a massive data base to studyand all of this would not be possible without the use of their medical records system.  Continue reading: EHR Medical Records Matched with DNA Used to Define and Research Disease and Aging

Practice Fusion Announces 5 Million Patient Milestone at User Conference

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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Practice Fusion, the fastest growing EMR community in the US, kicked off its first user conference last Friday with several major announcements from CEO Ryan Howard including milestones around the company’s growth.  Just three years after the free, web-based EMR’s launch, the company now serves 50,000 medical professionals and 5 million patients.  Practice Fusion’s growth has accelerated so that the company is now adding more than half a million patients to the system each month.

“We’re growing faster than ever,” said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, on stage at Practice Fusion Connect 2010.  “There is tremendous strength in our numbers. We now reach almost 2 percent of the US population, making us the third largest EMR community behind the VA and Kaiser.  We are creating a revolutionary transition in the delivery of care of in the US, one free EHR account at a time.”

In addition to the 5 million patient announcement, highlights from the user conference included:

  • Detailed discussion of Practice Fusion’s ONC-ATCB certification as an EHR Module, a first step toward ensuring users can apply for $44,000 in Meaningful Use incentives
  • Previews of upcoming iPad, iPhone and Android mobile availability for the EMR
  • Plans for using Practice Fusion’s API to connect at-home medical devices to the EMR
  • Information about the Microsoft Windows Azure MarketPlace partnership to offer a free set of de-identified health information to researchers
  • Announcements of new lab integrations and feature enhancements coming in 2011
  • Deep dive sessions covering practical tips for billing and practice management
  • One-on-one training sessions for users throughout the day
  • Photo and video booth where the community shared their perspective on the EMR

Practice Fusion Connect 2010 was held at Fort Mason in San Francisco on November 5.  The free user conference brought together doctors, nurses, practice managers and other medical professionals from across the country to share insight into Practice Fusion’s free EMR system.  Conference sponsors included Kareo, CollaborateMD, ReachMD, MD Secretary, Medical Billing, Digital Island and iMD.

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to physicians.  With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, billing, lab integrations, referral letters, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion’s EMR addresses the complex needs of today’s healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo.  Practice Fusion is the fastest growing EMR community in the country with more than 50,000 users.  For more information on Practice Fusion, please visit practicefusion.com.

This EHR Module is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments. Practice Fusion was certified October 18, 2010, Certification ID number 10182010-9527-1, for Clinical Quality Measures: 170.302 (c), 170.302 (d) 170.302 (e), 170.302 (f)(1), 170.302 (f)(2), 170.302 (f)(3) 170.302 (o), 170.302 (p), 170.302 (q), 170.302 (r), 170.302 (s), 170.302 (t), 170.302 (u), 170.302 (v), 170.304 (b)

gloStream’s gloEMR is ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified

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gloStream’s gloEMR is One of First Electronic Medical Records Solutions to be ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified.

Online PR News – 29-October-2010 – TROY, Mich. (OCT. 1, 2010) – gloStream announced today that gloEMR 6.0 Electronic Medical Record software is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on September 30 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“We remain dedicated to providing ambulatory physicians with Microsoft Office-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solutions that are flexible, easy to use and certified for purposes of the ARRA,” said Mike Sappington, gloStream’s CEO. “We want to help doctors become meaningful EMR users and receive their stimulus funding as quickly as possible, which is the reason we were one of the very first EMRs certified through an ONC-ATCB. Not only have we delivered on our stimulus guarantee, but we will also deliver an innovative stimulus dashboard within gloEMR that providers can use to view their performance against all meaningful use requirements.”

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT.

2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

About gloStream

gloStream provides doctors and healthcare facilities with certified, voice-enabled electronic medical record and practice management solutions delivered and supported through a nationwide community of local Healthcare IT Practices. gloStream products are secure, easy-to-use applications and the only solutions on the market with Microsoft Office built right in. gloStream Partners leverage gloDNA (“gloStream Detailed Needs Analysis”), an innovative implementation process that has given gloStream a 100 percent success rate. Every practice that has installed a gloStream application using gloDNA continues using it today. For more information, visit www.glostream.com or call 877-456-3671.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing.

ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

Drummond Group’s Beth Morrow: Challenges of Interoperability and Meaningful Use Conformance

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Wednesday October 13th, 2010-Recently we had a chance to catch up with Drummond Group’s President, Beth Morrow, to discuss the current status of EHR certification from the perspective of the approved certification bodies.  Thanks to Beth, EHR Scope has gained some insight to share regarding the ONC-ATCB certification testing process, as well as the struggles EHR software companies are currently enduring.

“Our biggest challenge is when folks are registering, and want to get in as soon as possible… then the date comes, and they aren’t ready.  The details of running these test scripts are substantial… It is very intensive work and not to be underestimated.”

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