HIMSS Analytics recognized 11 of Rockford Health System sites with its Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. The award represents Rockford Health’s attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model™ (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.
One of the strangest realities in the healthcare world is that there aren’t that many healthcare providers taking advantage of the technologies laid out before them. One such technology that hasn’t gotten a lot of play in the healthcare world is proper use of the cloud. Most tech insiders understand that the cloud does more than what your average online user understands. The cloud can be used for more than just transferring single pages from one computer to another. These days, the cloud can actually be used to run whole databases on a number of different platforms.
The good news is that the healthcare field is starting to understand just how important some of the more advanced technology out there is and there are a few companies that have managed to help make it that much easier for these healthcare firms to transition to a more high tech approach.
Using the Cloud As a Repository
While the cloud is certainly not limited to being used as a place to only store data, that is certainly one feature that companies are still taking advantage of. Healthcare is always slower to adopt technology than other fields, but it appears that plenty of companies and providers are realizing just how great a repository the cloud can be when storing data offsite and having the ability to store this data without worrying about power outages or the like making it impossible to retrieve that data later.
For instance: by storing it offsite, a hospital no longer has to worry that a [Read more…]
While more healthcare providers continue to adopt Electronic Health Records, a recent Xerox survey revealed the need for doctors to educate consumers about digital medical records to comply with upcoming federal mandates.
Xerox’s fourth annual EHR survey of 2,009 U.S. adults revealed that only 29 percent of those who have a doctor have been informed their medical records will be converted to digital format. While this shows a 13-point improvement from four years ago, the survey results continued to show that the majority of Americans (83 percent) have concerns, such as security, about EHRs and less than one-third (32 percent) want their medical records to be digital (compared to 82 percent and 26 percent in 2010, respectively).
Healthcare providers seeking to earn Meaningful Use Stage 2 incentives, which first become available for hospitals on Oct. 1, will have one year to make patients’ medical records available via online portals and must have 5 percent of their patients actually access the data. Currently, only 19 percent of the U.S. adults surveyed have access to their medical records online.
“The juxtaposition here is that since the HITECH Act became law four years ago, healthcare providers have made tremendous strides in adopting EHRs, but there has been little to no change in Americans’ acceptance of digital medical records,” said Charles Fred, president of healthcare provider solutions at Xerox. “Patients will soon have more access to their personal health information than ever before, but they need to be educated by providers on how this will empower them to take charge of their own care.”
With more than 40 years of experience and 22,000 employees serving the healthcare industry, Xerox is uniquely positioned to help hospitals and physicians as they shift focus from Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements of adopting EHRs toward the next stage’s more complex requirements, such as engaging patients in the implementation and adoption of secure portals.
“Healthcare providers turn to us for Meaningful Use assessments and our expertise in developing the new workflows and programs that they will need to attract, teach and support patients’ use of online portals,” Fred said. [Read more…]
Providers are leaving their current EMR vendors at an unprecedented rate as solutions fail to meet rising expectations in small physician practices. This latest finding comes from a newly released KLAS report entitled 2013 Ambulatory EMR Performance: The Quest for Value amid Rising Expectations (1-10 Physicians).
“These practices are increasingly finding themselves in a quandary,” said Erik Bermudez, report author. “They have smaller budgets and smaller support staffs, yet they have the same functionality needs as the large organizations. This report helps providers look through the marketing hype to see what the real differences are between the products in this segment.”
The study showcases the performance of each of 27 vendors and finds which ones are meeting providers’ rising needs and why. The report examines performance across dozens of metrics to come up with stack performance ratings. [Read more…]
Plainfield health center is a federally qualified medical center in Vermont that has just installed the Vermont Information Technology Leaders interface. This allows them to get lab test results from the Vermont’s health information exchange network.
The benefit of this venture is that those physicians who have recommended tests for patients at the Central Vermont Medical Center and other local ones will have fast and secured access (electronic) to results.
The Plainfield health center provides care to more than 13,000 patients. This initiative will also result in a faster turnaround time from placing a test and getting the result. The information can simultaneously be added to the patient’s chart and also add to the visit templates.
From a scientific point of view, researchers and data scientists can better analyze lab data for particular patient populations with regard to diagnosis and treatment. The quality of care would improve as a result of electronic lab results. This would also lead to improved control of costs since the process becomes centralized.
Health care centers across the US are now relying on various forms of software for managing health records. The EHR application Health Fusion.com is used for faster processing of tasks such as scheduling and revenue cycle management. Health centers prefer software like this because they’re inexpensive and highly efficient.
The Plainfield health center with this interface of VITL allows health care providers to access electronic health record (EHR) systems. One example of the EHR system is the Health Center. This network allows providers to send and receive patient data across various health care organizations.
With the broad range of data transmission across such channels, the care delivery, patient safety and health outcome can be improved. The success of VITL can be understood from the fact that it has built nearly 350 interfaces [Read more…]
The two-and-a-half day conference offers educational sessions covering important topics, such as: compliance issues including ICD-10 updates, how to use the latest technologies to save a company time and money, updates in HIPAA legislation and enforcement, administrative simplifications to improve business operations, how to improve a company’s social media outreach, understanding the regulations of the CMS EHR Program, new ways to extract data and analyze a practice’s revenue cycle, and the impact ACOs will have on existing RCM business models.
A desirable benefit to HBMA membership is the association’s advocacy on behalf of the medical billing industry. A big draw to HBMA conferences is the Washington Update given by HBMA’s Director of Government Affairs, who provides up-to-the-minute updates on pending legislation and regulations affecting the medical billing community.
The conference is designed for the medical billing professional to improve [Read more…]
Vitera Healthcare Solutions has announced their acquisition of SuccessEHS. Pending customary regulatory approval, the Birmingham, AL-based SuccessEHS will become a division of Vitera.
“Our acquisition of SuccessEHS supports our strategy for growth in the changing healthcare marketplace and is indicative of the tremendous progress Vitera has made over the past 18 months,” said Matthew Hawkins, CEO of Vitera. “The acquisition is a natural progression of Vitera’s strategic intent to be the leader in ambulatory healthcare information technology. We are committed to providing the solutions and services our customers need to succeed in this new era of healthcare.”
According to the news release the addition of SuccessEHS’s customer base will grow Vitera’s footprint to more than 10,500 medical organizations and over 415,000 medical professionals nationwide — including more than 85,000 physicians. The acquisition expands Vitera’s customer base of CHCs, including rural health [Read more…]
The use of Image Exchange allows IHDE-authorized physicians, hospitals and clinicians to instantly access their patients’ SLHS diagnostic-quality images from the IHDE through a secure, universal web application. Powered by eHealth Technologies, images including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, PET scans and ultrasounds that traditionally take hours or days to procure, are now available on demand from the IHDE via Image Exchange.
“The IHDE is excited to be able to offer participants this new functionality,” said Scott Carrell, Executive Director, Idaho Health Data [Read more…]
As healthcare providers expand their use of information technology solutions for patient care and medical practice administration, CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the IT industry, has introduced a new credential for IT workers serving the healthcare market.
The CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician specialty certification is a vendor- and technology-neutral credential that covers the knowledge required to implement, deploy and support healthcare IT systems, including electronic medical record and electronic health record (EMR/EHR) systems.
CompTIA also announced today that the first CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum approved courseware for the Healthcare IT Technician specialty certification is now available from Element K. The instructor-led training from Element K focuses on essential healthcare IT concepts and terminology, as well as how to deploy and support EMR/EHR systems.
Technology is viewed as an important component of a medical practice by nine out of ten doctors, dentists and healthcare administrators surveyed for CompTIA’s Third Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study, published earlier this month. Three-fourths of healthcare providers expect to increase their technology spending in the next 12 months compared to last year.
“Technology is clearly changing the way healthcare is delivered,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. “That means the skill sets of IT professionals working in healthcare must change as well.
“The CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician specialty certification addresses both technical proficiency and knowledge of healthcare terminology and regulatory requirements,” Erdle continued. “Individuals who earn this credential will be well positioned to install, administer service and support healthcare IT systems in a broad range of clinical settings.”
The CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician specialty certification closely maps to two job roles for skilled health IT specialists identified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT as being critical in helping healthcare providers transition to EMR/EHR systems. These job roles are implementation support specialist and technical and software support staff.
The credential is also highly relevant for managed IT service providers that deliver technology services and consultation to medical facilities, offices and practices; and to healthcare professionals involved in healthcare IT liaison roles
Potential candidates should possess a basic understanding of a medical practice workflow while adhering to code of conduct policies and security best practices. The exam is intended for IT professionals who are CompTIA A+ certified or have 500 hours of hands-on IT technical experience in the lab or field, plus the knowledge and skills necessary to deploy and support healthcare IT systems in clinical settings. The specialty certification can also be used to validate the technical skills of healthcare professionals with adequate training or experience in the basics of IT hardware installation and maintenance…
Areas of healthcare IT covered in the exam include regulatory requirements; organizational behavior; IT operations medical business operations; and security. Complete exam objectives are on the CompTIA certification web site. Exam vouchers are available in North America through the CompTIA Marketplace or directly through Pearson VUE and Prometric.
People with Medicare will be able to benefit from a new program designed to encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other health care providers to coordinate their care under a final regulation issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Created by the Affordable Care Act, these final rules on Accountable Care Organizations add to the menu of options for providers looking to better coordinate care for patients and will make it easier for providers to deliver high quality care and use health care dollars more wisely.
The initiatives announced today are just two of several efforts made possible by the Affordable Care Act to help bring better health, better care and lower costs not just to Medicare beneficiaries, but to all Americans. For example, the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative and Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative offer alternatives to coordinate and improve health care.
“Today we have taken another step to improve health care for people with Medicare,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We are excited to give doctors, hospitals and other providers the flexibility and support they need to work together and focus on making sure patients get the care they need.”
“This model of delivering care may not be right for everyone, but it provides new incentives for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to work together in new ways,” said Secretary Sebelius.
The two initiatives launched today – the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Advance Payment model – will help providers form Accountable Care Organizations and reflect the significant input provided by stakeholders as well as lessons learned by innovators in care coordination in the private sector.
- The Medicare Shared Savings Program will provide incentives for participating health care providers who agree to work together and become accountable for coordinating care for patients. Providers who band together through this model and who meet certain quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes and care coordination among the provider team, may share in savings they achieve for the Medicare program. The higher the quality of care providers deliver, the more shared savings the providers may keep.
- The Advance Payment model will provide additional support to physician-owned and rural providers participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program who also would benefit from additional start-up resources to build the necessary infrastructure, such as new staff or information technology systems. The advanced payments would be recovered from any future shared savings achieved by the Accountable Care Organization.
“As a physician I understand the complexities of caring for a patient who may have multiple providers,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “This opportunity to coordinate care among providers could greatly improve the quality of care Medicare beneficiaries receive.” [Read more…]