Posts Tagged ‘electronic health record’

EHR Vendor Promoting Standards based interoperability with Hospital Based vendors

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by admin No Comments

I recently read that an EHR vendor has taken steps to create interoperability standards that will allow its EHR systems to communicate with the larger players in the industry, namely Cerner and Epic. I definitely think this is a great step toward pushing the industry forward for the benefit of the nation’s patients. Large hospital systems should be the ones that smaller web-based electronic health record and client server EHR systems should talk to because they represent the hospital market. If government is having trouble promoting standards, than I must applaud the efforts of private vendors to take the lead on this most pressing issue for the Health IT industry and the nation’s healthcare system.

A question I had was why hasn’t there been a proliferation of these types of efforts sooner? If electronic health record vendors start banding together in partnerships that would be mutually beneficial, the whole nation can move faster toward a national HIE where EHRs can all speak to one another governed by one set of standards. I think the efforts of regional HIE’s has been noble and something all regions or states or cities should emulate, but we need something more impactful; something much more effective that can bring together so many disparate parties and disparate EHR systems. Web-based EHRs versus client server models may also be impacting the establishment of a mature, robust national HIE. Any ideas?

Changes from Meaningful Use Stage 1 to Stage 2

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment


The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 criteria for eligible professionals. There are a number of changes from Stage 1 to Stage 2. There will now be 17 core objectives for Stage 2, instead of the 15 that were in Stage 1. The menu set objectives for Stage 2 are now reduced to six (instead of ten), and eligible professionals must select three (instead of five). Some of the other changes are described below:

Core Objectives
Implementing drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks are no longer a separate objective in Stage 2. This measure is incorporated into the Stage 2 Clinical Decision Support measure.

Maintaining an active medication list, maintaining active medication allergy lists, and maintaining an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses are no longer separate objectives in Stage 2 either. These measures are incorporated into the stage 2 measure of Summary of Care Document at Transitions of Care and Referrals.

Reporting clinical quality measures (CQM) is no longer a separate objective for Stage 2, however providers must still submit CQMs to CMS or the States in order to achieve MU. In fact, beginning in 2014, all CQMs will need to be submitted electronically to CMS.

Capability to exchange key clinical information among providers of care and patient authorized entities electronically has been completely eliminated from Stage 2 and is actually eliminated from Stage 1 in 2013 as well.

Implementing drug-formulary checks is no longer a separate objective for Stage 2. Instead, it is included in the ePrescribing measure for Stage 2.

Providing patients with timely electronic access to their health information has been eliminated from Stage 2 and will also no longer be an objective from Stage 1 in 2014.

There is also a new core objective for stage 2 which requires eligible professionals to use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information for more than 5% of unique patients seen during the EHR reporting period.

Menu Objectives
There are five new menu objectives which are:

Recording electronic notes in patient records for more than 30% of unique patients.

Imaging results consisting of the image itself and any explanation or other accompanying information are to be made accessible through certified EHRs.

Recording patient family health history as structured data for more than 20% of unique patients seen during the EHR reporting period.

Successful ongoing submission of cancer case information and another specific case from certified EHRs to registries for the entire EHR reporting period.

Now this is just a high level synopsis of the Stage 2 changes. For more details and to get the most recent updates, please visit the CMS Stage 2 Website. You can also download a comparison table for Stage 1 and Stage 2 for eligible professionals or a quick tip sheet on changes to Stage 1.

Meaningful Use of EHR’s Should be More Meaningful

Posted on: October 25th, 2012 by admin No Comments

I read the other day about how Dr. Mostashari believes that the Meaningful Use of EHR’s should not just be limited to technology use but to use the data that comes out of the technology to make meaningful decisions. I definitely concur with the ONC Coordinator. I think that if you do have a system such as a web-based electronic health records system, it is easier to interact with the web and share data cross platform. Also, not only should the data be generated in one location, but should also be shared across an organization in a way that doesn’t require multiple doctors entering in multiple variables on blood pressure at multiple locations. I am glad that EHR’s such as Panacea, a web-based electronic health records system, allows for the storage of population health, syndromic information, as well as reporting on meaningful use metrics. In this way, EHRs will be utilized in a more meaningful way.

EHR’s and Improved Healthcare

Posted on: October 22nd, 2012 by admin No Comments

According to the The Journal for General Internal Medicine, cited in an article by Ken Terry of Health IT News, EHR (electronic health record) use by community doctors is actually related to an increased quality of healthcare delivery! This article actually blew me away because a study is actually correlating a link between use of technology like EHR and improved healthcare delivery. The main distinguishing factor was on using the EHR to order tests for their patients. As with most web-based EHR’s like Panacea™, a provider can set alerts based on a specific range of criteria. Whenever they see a patient with a specific condition, the EHR will flag the provider and instruct him/or her to order the test. Well, we now have a specific study (which Im sure is only another out of many that have been done before) that supports use and adoption of electronic health record technology. When used meaningfully, providers are even incentivized financially to use EHR’s through the EHR incentive program established by the government. So the question remains: why not use EHR’s if they are linked to improved healthcare delivery? Any thoughts?

Congressmen: End EHR Incentive Program. But Why?

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Recently, four notable Congressmen have been arguing for the reduction or outright elimination of the HITECH EHR incentive program citing the current lack of interoperability standards. This has definitely raised some eyebrows across the Health IT industry and within governmental circles as to the future of the electronic health record incentive program. What is important to ask though is the following question: Are we, as a nation, taking our eye off the ball as to the purpose of EHRs? It can be argued that we are when Congressmen start questioning the entire existence of the incentive program instead of offering solutions to help accelerate the creation and adoption of interoperability standards for EHRs. Therefore, it is important that EHR vendors adapt to the growing pressure and work to get interoperability standards for EHR’s established so that meaningful use is not just a joke, but a serious goal for empowering patients with their medical information. If physicians ignore the negative talk coming from Congress and instead focus on understanding the purpose of EHR, than the whole healthcare system will muster up enough courage to push through standards for electronic health record systems to talk to one another.