Meaningful Use Fatigue?: Program Seems More Like Long-term Payday Loan than Professional Initiative

I can’t think of a more obvious statement than the one recently made by Impact Advisor principal Laura Kreofsky, who said recently that everyone in healthcare is going to hit a wall in a year or two and fatigue is going to settle in regarding meaningful use.

By 2015, we’re all going to be sick and tired of meaningful use.

I already am.

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View from the Hospital: Reflection on Electronic Health Record Implementation

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Agrawal

Guest post by Rishi Agrawal, MD, MPH, physician champion, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL.

“Why do I have to click so many times to order something so simple?” a frustrated resident blurted out on her first day using our newly implemented CPOE system.

Having helped build order sets as a physician champion, the best I could tell her was that many aspects of the software were beyond my control, but that it will get faster and easier with familiarity.  And it did, to a point. Within a few weeks of going live, we had more than 90 percent adoption of CPOE, a source of both relief and pride. But challenges remained.

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Lack of Hospital Prices: An Example of Complexity Confounding Reform

Guest post by Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, leader of the Hospital Performance Improvement practice at Berkeley Research Group.

One symptom of the complexity of hospitals is our inability to give consumers upfront prices for procedures and services. In May 2006, Mike Leavitt, then Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote an Op Ed in which he observed:

“Americans know the price of almost everything they pay for, except for one of the most important things they pay for — their healthcare. With a point and click, they can find the price of anything from clothes to cars. Yet they don’t know what they are paying for healthcare and what sort of quality to expect in return.”

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Are 93 Percent of Physicians Really Using EHRs?

Looks like we’re getting a lot closer to a healthcare environment where nearly every practicing physician is using electronic health records.

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Why an Everyday Player is Never the Designated Hitter in Healthcare IT: The Importance of Subject Matter Experts

Guest post by Jeff Urban is the Area Vice President of MedSys Group.

With the introduction of the affordable care act, the ubiquitous feeding frenzy for HIT talent began in 2009, and has yet to slow down. As the shortage of individuals escalates, pay has accelerated to levels unseen. Hiring full-time employees by hospitals has become less commonplace, as the demand and upside of consulting is too lucrative for talent to turn down.

Prices are increasing, and the current model is becoming unsustainable. As competition becomes fiercer and decisions are being made faster and without adequate time for proper due diligence, many hospitals and staff augmentation firms feel they have found a way out. The belief that a pure information technology individual, once trained, can fill the role of a healthcare IT subject matter expert (SME) is becoming more widely accepted, and if perpetuated, has the chance to create more issues than it solves.

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Electronic Health Record Pricing Information and Guidance

Because I’m fascinated with the lack of information surrounding pricing of various electronic health records and because I admire the work of AmericanEHR Partners, I thought it relevant to shine a little light on another interesting piece of information from the organization.

As this seems to be the year of the big EHR switch, and because seemingly the folks at AmericanEHR hear as much as I do about the lack of transparency in the pricing structure of these solutions, I thought I’d publish some guidance for what to consider when making the transition to EHRs. In my research on the subject – I’m developing a piece on the subject of EHR pricing – I came across this piece, compiled by the AmericanEHR from the Maryland Health Care Commission.

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The Reasons for and Benefits of an ACO

Wondering why ACO’s are necessary has become somewhat of a routine task, but there’s really very little question about the validity of the concept in that is does put the patient first. As we know, the goal of an ACO is to achieve cost and quality improvements, and a better approach to coordinated care on all levels.

There’s no doubt the majority of the responsibility for a successful implementation of an ACO lies with physicians. If adopted as a model, physicians are forced to lead us forward; however, the details depicted in the image below (thanks to Healthcare IT Connect for compiling it) tell a much broader and deeper story that clearly paints a picture of troubling times ahead unless something is done about this trend.

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CHIME Chimes In, Says Meaningful Use Stage 2 Should Be Delayed One Year: I Agree

Breaking news hits the wires from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), which has responded to a recent query by a group of six Republican senators who are hell bent on slowing down the meaningful use program to ensure its operating efficiently and not just handing out money to everyone claiming they’ve met Stage 1 (and eventually the other stages).

What’s remarkable about the news, though, is that CHIME actually issues a letter calling for a one-year extension of meaningful use Stage 2. According to CHIME’s letter, as reported by Healthcare Informatics,

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Has the Time Finally Come for EHR Vendor Contraction?

For several years, the market and its insiders have pontificated about when the vendor landscape is going to suddenly change and contract. With countless hundreds of EHR vendors in the space in some capacity, the annual trade publication trend pieces that run in December and January often predict the year we’re about the enter as the year in which the market with change and a great many vendors will disappear.

Last year this was the case. This year is no different. Next year will be the same.

In his July 2012 piece, “Why the EHR market is on the brink of mass consolidation,” Dr. Robert Rowley writes in Government Health IT that given that 70 percent of users on the top 12 systems out of about 600 that these market forces will lead to consolidation.

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Deploying a Mobile Device Management Strategy in Healthcare or Elsewhere

Guest post by Marcus LaFountain.

A recent Ovum study showed that almost 60 percent of employees bring some type of mobile device into the workplace. There are a few names for this, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP), User Introduces Unsecure Device onto My Network and Then Loses My Secure Data (UIUDOMNTLMSD).

Alright, so I made that last one up, but that is how most IT managers feel when the discussion is started about BYOD. An end user bringing a device to work is both a gift and a curse for any sized company. We see an increase in productivity but also the increased threat of data being lost or stolen. Having a strong mobile device management (MDM) strategy can help companies reap the benefits of BYOD while limiting the consequences.

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