The official transcript HIT Policy Committee Meeting that took place on June 16, 2009 is available here.
To further improve both patient safety and operational efficiency, Nyack Hospital has chosen McKesson’s award-winning Paragon ® technology for community hospitals. The hospital plans to implement the Paragon community hospital information system, enabling the use of comprehensive electronic health records and financial management systems throughout its 375-bed facility in Rockland County,
“The combination of business process reengineering and Paragon technology will be genuinely transformational for our hospital,” said David H. Freed, DHA, president and chief executive officer at Nyack Hospital. “We are delighted to have McKesson as our partner in taking Nyack Hospital to the next levels of clinical and operational excellence.”
The Paragon solution offers an affordable and contemporary integrated financial and clinical solution. An electronic system will enhance Nyack Hospital’s charting and billing process by providing its care team with immediate anytime, anywhere access to up-to-date patient information.
Point-of-care applications such as bar-code medication scanning and patient care documentation are designed to help ensure that the care team will be equipped to provide the safest, most effective care possible.
“McKesson’s solution is specifically designed to meet the needs of community hospitals with limited IT support staff,” said John Volanto, chief information officer, Nyack Hospital. “We expect McKesson’s system to help us move from managing care on paper, in a manual fashion, to documenting, sharing and managing patient information through a comprehensive EHR.”
Administrators at Nyack Hospital expect that the use of EHRs will serve as a recruitment tool for physicians, nurses and other clinicians in a highly competitive market that includes 32 hospitals within a 20-mile radius.
“Our physicians were a major driving force in our decision,” said Volanto. “They recognized the powerful advantages these tools can provide by giving them access to vital patient information from any care setting – whether in the hospital, their offices or their homes.”
In addition, Paragon gives the hospital a highly integrated and efficient single-vendor solution for all of its revenue cycle and financial management needs, including billing, claims submission, accounts receivable management and electronic remittance posting.
Electronic documentation also facilitates HIPAA and regulatory compliance.
“Today’s community hospitals face tremendous challenges in continuing to achieve excellence in patient care while maintaining solid financial performance,” said Jim Pesce, McKesson’s senior vice president and general manager for Paragon. “We’re honored that Nyack, a hospital with a history of innovation, has selected the Paragon system as the foundation of its clinical and financial HIS strategy.”
The Paragon hospital information solution was rated No. 1 in the Community HIS category in the 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards.
While more than one-third of home health care and nursing home organizations said they expect the government’s economic stimulus package to increase use of healthcare information technology, another 52% said the stimulus package will have little or no impact on their businesses, according to a recent survey by IVANS, Inc.
“Home health and nursing home care is expected to be one of the fastest growing provider segments over the next several years,” said Clare DeNicola, IVANS President and CEO. “IVANS analysis reveals that while providers are optimistic about reform’s ability to improve patient outcomes, budget concerns, understaffing, and the lack of clarity in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act regarding stimulus funding for long-term care has them concerned.”
Providers Looking to Electronic Health Records to Improve Patient Care
According to the survey, nearly 70% of home health care and nursing home organizations say that electronic health records (EHRs) will have a positive impact on their businesses, and 56% of respondents have begun or plan to implement EHRs within the next year. Other key technology priorities for long-term care facilities include implementation of wireless networks, solutions to provide electronic documentation at point of care, and business continuity planning, the survey shows.
When it comes to sharing data outside the organizations, survey respondents were not as positive. More than 70% of respondents said they have no plans to participate in a Health Information Exchange (HIE). Experience with failed efforts in the past, lack of an immediate driver to move forward, and no standards were all noted as barriers to implementation of HIEs.
The survey, conducted by IVANS among 500 healthcare providers in May 2009, drew responses from more than 300 home health care and nursing home organizations, whose specific survey responses are reflected in this release.
RemoteScan Corporation today announced the release of RemoteScan Thin Scan, a software solution for using USB scanners directly with thin client devices. RemoteScan(TM) products lets end users scan directly into any hosted application, such as EMR, EHR (Electronic Medical Record and Electronic Health Record) and any document management software, from any scanner plugged into their own PC or thin client work station. RemoteScan is an alternative to custom FTP and folder based scanning solutions, and RemoteScan is a replacement of thick client scan stations.
“RemoteScan Thin Scan is the scanning solution for thin client users,” says Steve Saroff, company president. “RemoteScan is less expensive and more secure than what is commonly done in enterprise networks where customized software running on PCs is kludged together by software vendors and IT staff. RemoteScan is the alternative which replaces hack jobs.”
RemoteScan’s customers and strategic partners include Allscripts, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, and hundreds of other EMR and EHR manufacturers. RemoteScan software is also purchased directly by banks, transportation and manufacturing companies. Facilities which have satellite offices or use virtualization, can use RemoteScan to let end users scan documents and ID cards without hassle.
“The RemoteScan advantage,” says Saroff, “allows companies and organizations who are using thin clients or virtualization to buy any software solution for their paperless office, document management, or EMR, and then use any off-the-shelve scanner without having to add a custom thick client scan station. HIPAA makes it imperative that scanning is done correctly. With RemoteScan, scans are into the actual patient record, and no scanned image is stored in a temporary file or folder.”
RemoteScan works with all versions of Windows Terminal Services, Citrix(R), XenDesktop(TM) and other VDI network environments. RemoteScan supports all RDP and ICA(R) protocol setups, and works with any scanner that has either TWAIN or WIA support.
Lower revenues, reduced headcount and tighter IT budgets have placed increased pressure on CIOs and IT executives to find new ways to create greater efficiencies and increase productivity enterprise-wide.
Denni McColm, CIO at Citizens Memorial Healthcare (CMH), said that when it comes to efficiency-creating IT, the search is on. Citizens Memorial Healthcare is among 42 hospitals in 24 organizations to reach Stage 6 status of the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. That means Citizens Memorial Healthcare is fully paperless, with electronic physician documentation, full clinical decision support and full picture archiving and communications systems available throughout the enterprise.
“Every industry is feeling the economic downturn, even healthcare,” said McColm. “But I’m seeing more demand for software that will make us more efficient, help us do more with less.“
As an example, McColm cites Citizens Memorial Healthcare’s investment in ImageNow enterprise document management, imaging and workflow from Perceptive Software — technology that presents easily measurable, bottom-line benefits as well as incalculable advantages in employee satisfaction and customer service.
For McColm, the ability to generate more efficiency system-wide comes down to a very specific mission — eliminate all paperwork across the organization. “We calculated the costs of handling a single piece of paper from the point we order the paper through its entire workflow,” said McColm. “Our hard cost calculations showed that in one year, we spent $150,000 in paper, copies and toner combined. But the soft costs, the cost of handling all that paper, equaled 75,000 work hours—the equivalent of 36 people—at a cost of $900,000.”
Athenahealth, Inc. a leading provider of internet-based business services for physician practices, today announced the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has approved the software component of athenahealth’s service-based electronic health record (EHR), athenaClinicalsSM Version 9.15.1, as a conditionally CCHIT Certified 08 Ambulatory EHR pending advanced electronic prescribing verification, additionally certified for Child Health. According to CCHIT, athenahealth’s EHR service meets the Certification Commission’s electronic health record (EHR) criteria for physician office-based use. The Commission—a private, nonprofit organization—is the Recognized Certification Body in the United States for certifying health information technology products.
“Two key new areas of interoperability are required to achieve 08 certification,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., the chair of CCHIT. “First, ambulatory EHRs must be capable of advanced electronic prescribing functions so physicians can qualify for bonuses under Medicare’s new incentive program. Second, EHRs must be able to send and receive an electronic patient summary. These and other new criteria will ensure that certified health IT products help improve quality, safety, and efficiency while protecting the privacy of health information.” [Read more…]
Global healthcare (also called medical tourism) is a rapidly growing practice of traveling across international borders to obtain quality medical treatment, often at significant savings, even after accounting for airfare and a short vacation. To date more than 50 countries have identified medical tourism as a national industry.
While reliable statistics are difficult to obtain, a recent Deloitte survey of U.S. health consumers yielded indicators of the potential demand from U.S. consumers:
- Almost 90% would consider leaving their community or local area to seek care or treatment for a condition if they knew the outcomes were better and the costs were no higher.
- 3% report having traveled outside the U.S. to consult with a doctor or to receive treatment, and 27% said they might do so in the future.
- Nearly 40% would consider having an elective procedure performed in a foreign country if they could save 50% or more and be assured that the quality was equal to or better than what they can have in the U.S.
A large part of the decision to travel outside the consumer’s local community is linked to a successful outcome. The travel involved in achieving better results or lower costs can be either international or domestic. The Census Bureau estimates that about 39 million Americans, or 14 percent of the population, change address every year. While most people rely on a primary care provider for their health needs, anything other than a routine examination may require the primary care provider to interact with a number of other providers or for the patient to visit a specialist care provider.
In any case, the records from the primary and other care providers usually reside in several places rather than with the patient. This is even more true when travelling abroad for care. Successful post-treatment care for many types of procedures depend in large part on providing the most complete medical information on the patient as well as the records from procedures not performed locally.
An examination of the potential impact of information technology (IT) on both the supply and demand sides of the healthcare industry illustrates the potential for development of a truly portable health record.
I. The Supply Side ~ IT in the Health Care Industry and Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
The health care industry is currently one of the lowest adopters of information technology where just one in four physicians use some type of electronic medical records (EMR), and fewer than one in ten use a comprehensive EMR system (systems that collect patient information, display test results, allow physicians to order medications and assist providers in making treatment decisions).
The timeline to full adoption of the EMR model will be extended because of concerns about cost, liability in the event of software malfunction, changing standards, and full interoperability among different systems for healthcare providers.
The conversion from paper to electronic systems in the health care industry requires not only a massive investment, it will also require a long lead time to ensure that there are compatible and interoperable systems (i.e. that can exchange information in a compatible and readable format), a necessary condition to develop a comprehensive individual medical history.
For the rest of the facinating article please see the MedicalTourismnag.com website here.
The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT®) today announced that Medflow’s product Medflow EMR 7.1 is a pre-market, conditionally CCHIT Certified® 08 Ambulatory EHR and meets the Certification Commission’s electronic health record (EHR) criteria for office-based use. Ambulatory EHRs are designed for physician offices and clinics where most Americans get their healthcare. The Commission – a private, nonprofit organization – is the Recognized Certification Body in the United States for certifying health information technology products.
Two key new areas of interoperability are required to achieve 08 certification, said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair, CCHIT. “First, ambulatory EHRs must be capable of advanced electronic prescribing functions so physicians can qualify for bonuses under Medicare’s new incentive program. Second, EHRs must be able to send and receive an electronic patient summary. These and other new criteria will ensure that certified health IT products help improve quality, safety and efficiency while protecting the privacy of health information. In the third year of the program’s operation, the criteria and testing have been significantly updated again to provide physicians with more assurance that certified products will meet their needs for functionality, interoperability and security.
The Commission added 19 criteria to the 200 required in 2007. Those changes were focused on the ability to exchange patient information with other systems. A CCHIT Certified 08 Ambulatory EHR ensures:
- Additional electronic prescribing features: access to the patient’s medication history, formulary, and eligibility.
- Better and safer medication dosing, adjusted for patient weight and other factors.
- Better ability to prevent adverse reactions due to drug interactions or allergies.
- Use of standard formats to exchange basic patient information for continuity of care.
- Enhanced ability to view X-rays and other diagnostic images.
- Better management of patient consents and authorizations.
- Increased use of standard formats when receiving and storing laboratory results.
We’ll all soon have electronic medical records, given the $19 billion tagged for a big rollout of the long-touted paperless systems in the economic stimulus plan. Health care experts say EMRs will make medicine safer, more efficient, and more cost effective, and three quarters of the public say they’re all for it.
Here’s the latest, gleaned from research on health information technology in the current edition of the policy journal Health Affairs and a meeting of EMR superstars in Washington, D.C. The bottom line: Electronic medical records are essential, but they’re far from simple.
“As a software guy, I’m really optimistic about what technology can do to improve healthcare around the world,” said Peter Neupert, a Microsoft vice president. “And as a software guy, I think: Holy crap, this is really going to be hard to do.”
Here’s what they can do now:
1. Skip trips to the doctor. It’s a pain to have to trek to a primary-care doctor every time you need a question answered or a prescription reordered. Primary-care office visits in Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaii region dropped 25 percent from 2004 to 2007, after the health plan started offering people the option of e-mailing doctors. But since most doctors outside of a group program like Kaiser don’t get paid for e-mail consultations, this might be a tough sell.
For the remaining 5 ways EMR can make diagnosis easier and more convenient please see the Charlotte Observer website here.
The ONC released an eight page operating plan and timetable for itself and other federal agencies for issuing reports, rules and guidelines for federal healthcare IT programs under the stimulus act. The document fails, however, to provide a definition of “meaningful use” of electronic health-record systems or a deadline when that definition might be provided, nor does it say when HHS will establish a certification and testing procedure for EHR systems, both key requirements under the stimulus legislation.
You can download the entire operating plan and timetable here.