From a health IT perspective, patient communication is broken. With more than 20 years of experience as an emergency physician, this point was driven home to me while using physical therapy to recover from a knee injury. The more I looked at information from my physical therapist and tried to remember the instructions he provided, the more I realized that this part of communication in healthcare is flawed.
I couldn’t reproduce my physical therapy exercises, and I quickly became a frustrated patient. I might have just thrown my hands up and hoped to figure it out eventually, but I wanted to be up and around on my two feet soon following a knee injury. Sound familiar? Apparently forgetting instructions and other information is pretty common and is playing out frequently in multiple scenarios. As I looked into information about understanding and remembering provider instructions, I quickly learned that this was not just my own personal experience.
If you love drama, there may be no better time than now to be in health IT. Specifically, the CommonWell Health Alliance movement – spearheaded by vendor giants Allscripts, Athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway and McKesson — to promote health information exchange.
However, as we all know, the one giant in the room not to be invited to the dance, Epic, is crying foul.
Perhaps there’s no better place for a case study on effective use of telemedicine and health IT interoperability than in my native South Dakota.
Avera Health, a network of hospitals, family care practices and specialty clinics located in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, opened an e-care hub in fall 2012 in Sioux Falls as way to shrink care gaps in rural medicine throughout the state and across the Northern Plains. Well, So. Dak is made up of nothing but rural areas, so this is the perfect place for an experiment.
The intent is to use electronic services to help rural patients stay closer to home and to boost small-town economies, but according to The Sioux Falls Argus Leader, officials say it also is creating a model for other systems nationally and beyond.
Guest post by Dr. Jeff Livingston, board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, MacArthur OBGYN.
Recently on The Daily Show, a very interesting topic was covered — the lack of interoperability of electronic health records. This was a huge surprise to me as one would not expect the Comedy Central to cover a topic frequently discussed only by health information technology policy wonks.
During the satirical editorial, John Stewart lambasted the fact that the electronic health records from the VA system are unable to communicate with the electronic health records of the Department of Defense. He pointed out the illogic of having two large departments in the United States government having two different systems that cannot exchange information with each other.
Guest post by Jonathan Bertman, founder and president of Amazing Charts.
The big news out of HIMSS13 was no surprise to those of us who work in the electronic health record (EHR) industry. The results of a two-year (2010-2012) survey from American EHR revealed that user satisfaction levels with EHRs are dropping in multiple areas – very bad news for EHR vendors.
The results didn’t surprise me at all. I talk to hundreds of EHR users each year about their concerns, and have divided the sources of their satisfaction into three broad areas. Users talk about their dissatisfaction with unusable systems because of poor design; unaffordable prices; and the inherent unfairness of the purchase process, often requiring multi-year contracts committing clinicians to a system they have never had a chance to use in the real world.