News

It's time to plot the future of EHRs

My commentary last week stating that electronic health records have turned a corner seemed to have struck a nerve--or at least more than the usual amount of interest. The article has been one of the most read and shared editorials I've written. It's also been mentioned in tweets and retweeted more than usual, especially the line "the time has come for people to stop complaining about EHRs and focus on their future." So what should we focus on?

VA: More education needed on Blue Button initiative

Only one-third of veterans are taking advantage of "Blue Button" capabilities to access the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' personal health record portal, My HealtheVet, but those who do so are pleased with it, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the American Informatics Association.

House committee withholds funds to VA, DoD to spur EHR collaboration

The House Appropriations Committee has opted to withhold most of the funds requested by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to upgrade its electronic health record system until the VA and the Department of Defense make progress on a joint EHR.

Has the Meaningful Use program run its course?

Meaningful Use: It's just like high school, where you learned all the right facts for the test, but the knowledge didn't stick with you any longer than until the end of the semester. At least, that's the opinion of Dale Sanders, former CIO of Cayman Islands Health Services Administration and current senior vice president for strategy at Health Cataylst.

Demand for EHR scribes on the rise

The use of scribes to help physicians document notes into electronic health records continues to gain traction, creating a boon for scribe staffing companies.

HIE tool reduces duplicative tests, IDs drug seekers

Health information exchange tools can fill in gaps in patient care and reduce unnecessary tests in hospital emergency departments, according to new research published in the journal Applied Clinical Informatics.

Attorneys: Use strategies to reduce EHR documentation errors

Providers must take steps to reduce the risk of improper billing caused by their use of electronic health record functionalities that help with documentation, according to a recently published attorney advisory.

EHRs have turned a corner

The jury may still be out on how the Meaningful Use program should operate and whether it really improves quality. There's no question, however, that the program was the catalyst for massive, high-speed adoption of electronic health records--and that the industry may have just turned a corner in its use and attitude regarding such systems.

Top 25 MU attesters earned $171 million in 2012

The 25 doctors who attested to Meaningful Use in 2012 and received the most Medicare reimbursements were paid a total of $171 million, according to a personal blog post from Steven Posnack (pictured), director of federal policy division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

KLAS: EMRs don't yet meet ACO needs

Electronic medical records are not meeting the needs of physician-led accountable care organizations, causing providers to turn to third party ACO vendors to meet their needs, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.

CMS issues MU attestation guidance for providers in group/health system settings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidance to help eligible hospitals and eligible professionals who are part of larger entities or who practice in multiple locations and participate in the Meaningful Use program.

Study: Meaningful Use not necessarily associated with quality improvement

Although one of the main goals of the Meaningful Use program is to improve the quality of care, there appears to be "no association" between being a "meaningful user" of electronic health records and the quality of care provided to patients, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The vision of HIE: 'Knowledge is power'

Health Information exchanges have encountered a few road bumps, but the industry is making progress in using HIE to "harness" information and communication to improve patient care, accosting to Robyn Rontal, MHSA, JD, Director of HCV Data Analytics for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

4 lesser known problems with EHRs

Although the healthcare industry continues to transition from paper to electronic health records, many patients and even some providers remain unaware of their imperfections.

Beware the hidden costs of a poorly constructed EHR contract

We know that electronic health records can cost a lot of money, sometimes millions of dollars. So it would be pretty disconcerting for a provider to learn that it has to pay additional amounts on top of that initial layout. Yet evidently, this is not uncommon, and it's often because providers make mistakes when entering into a contract with an EHR vendor. 

HIT policy committee approves best practices for proxy access to EHR data

The Health IT policy committee this week gave a green light to recommendations from its privacy and security Tiger Team that empower patient personal representatives (proxies) for adults with view/download/transmit (VDT) permissions for protected health information. Such permissions as they pertain to adolescent patients will be discussed at a future meeting.

Black Book Rankings: Primary-care docs happier with their EHRs

Primary-care physicians are happier with their EHRs than they used to be, according to Black Book Rankings' annual report on ambulatory EHR users.

BIDMC expands e-access to mental health notes

Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a pioneer in providing patients with access to their electronic health record data, has decided to take its policy on transparency a step further by allowing patients to access mental health notes.

Agencies update eCQMs, release new MU measuring tool

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT--in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Library of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality--has updated the specifications for the eligible hospital 2014 e-Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) finalized in Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program.

OIG reverses course on referral arrangement involving EHR data exchange

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General has taken the rather unusual step of terminating an advisory opinion originally in favor of a data exchange arrangement created by an electronic health record vendor.