News

Adding HIE, eRx data to electronic records improves prescription list accuracy

Combining medication history information from three sources improved accuracy and patient safety, according to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

How long must providers wait for better EHRs?

David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health IT and current president of the Commonwealth Fund, published a very insightful and thought provoking blog post last week about the fact that electronic health records are now the industry's "understandable but not wholly justifiable" scapegoat for many of the problems in healthcare. Among other things, he pointed to the human tendency to want to cast blame rather than take responsibility for mistakes, the fact that EHRs are "imperfect" systems, and that they're at the forefront of clinicians' minds, literally "in their faces" all day long. 

But there is one item in his article with which I don't agree.

 

EHRs help detect patients at risk of venous thromboembolisms

Electronic health records can help identify patients with pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis with "high accuracy" according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Survey: Mobile device access to EHRs boosts doc satisfaction

A majority of physicians are still struggling with interoperability, but mobile device users were happier overall with their systems, according to Software Advice's latest annual electronic health record UserView survey.

Ex-ONC head David Blumenthal on health IT: 'No going back'

Providers' tendency to blame their electronic health records for problems, as most lately exhibited by Texas Health Resource's initial announcement blaming its EHR system for the misdiagnosis of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, are "understandable but not wholly justifiable," according to David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health IT and current president of the Commonwealth Fund.

Suggestions wanted, provided in improving EHRs to better screen for Ebola

The Ebola debacle at Texas Health Resources, and the possible role of the hospital's electronic health record system in the misdiagnosis of patient Thomas Eric Duncan, has spurred questions and action regarding how to improve EHRs in screening for the disease.

Study: MU program may not have been best ROI for feds

The Meaningful Use incentive program may not have been the best use of the government's money since the industry was already moving toward using electronic health records and would have met the same adoption goals just two years later, according to a new paper from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based National Bureau of Economic Research.

Black Book: Nurse dissatisfaction with inpatient EHRs at all-time high

Poor workflow, communication issues and other problems with electronic health records have increased nurse dissatisfaction of inpatient systems to 92 percent, an all-time high, according to the latest report from Black Book Market Research.

THR Chief Clinical Officer testifies to Congress about EHR changes in wake of Ebola situation

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations on Oct. 16, Texas Health Resources Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Varga spoke about electronic health record documentation and updates made to the hospital's system in the wake of treatment for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week.

Groups want 'streamlined,' less restrictive MU program

Growing interoperability and usability concerns with electronic health records were the impetus behind a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell by several healthcare associations and providers systems pushing for a revised approach to Meaningful Use.

Pollyanna ONC highlights interoperability mistakes made in the past

I presume that I'm not the only person who finds the occasional disconnect between the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's blog posts and the real data behind them amusing.

End of Highmark-UPMC contract raises concerns about data sharing

The termination of the contract between managed care company Highmark and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), slated to end Jan. 1, 2015, has called into question whether UPMC will be able to transfer electronic patient health records in a timely manner.

AMA issues blueprint to improve Meaningful Use

The American Medical Association, frustrated by physicians' continued struggles with meeting the Meaningful Use requirements, has created a blueprint to refocus and revamp the entire Meaningful Use program.

JASON task force to ONC: Consider delaying MU Stage 3 incentives

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT should narrow Meaningful Use Stage 3 to focus on interoperability and "assertively monitor" the transition to public APIs but implement only "non-regulatory steps" to catalyze the transition, according to ONC's JASON task force.

Unique naming system in EMRs prevents errors in hospital NICU

The use of a unique naming system in the electronic medical records of patients at a Bronx hospital has helped to prevent miscommunication in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Meaningful Use audits: What providers can expect

With CMS doling out billions of dollars in Meaningful Use incentive payments, it is no surprise that providers are increasingly at risk of being audited to see if they actually were entitled to the money. And the stakes of being audited are high: A provider that fails just one element of a Meaningful Use audit not only must return the entire incentive payment for that year, but also is automatically scheduled for another audit of another participating year.

 

So how can providers reduce the risk that they'll be subject to a Meaningful Use audit? Read our latest special report to learn more. Special Report

Editor's Picks: Ebola captures this week's healthcare headlines

Ebola has been capturing headlines around the world. From controversies surrounding the treatment Thomas Eric Duncan--the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.--to officials doubling down on precautions over the disease, we look at the top headlines on the issue from this week.

ONC: Interoperability up, but barriers remain

Providers are continuing to adopt electronic health records and share patient data, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will continue to support these efforts, according to their annual report to Congress on the HITECH Act.

Walgreens, VA partner to give veterans more access to vaccinations

Walgreens and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have joined forces to improve care coordination for veterans by providing flu and other CDC-approved vaccinations.

EHRs give advance directive objective short shrift

Electronic health records have fallen down on the job when it comes to dealing with the advance directive objective, according to a new blog post from Carl Bergman.