Forces Joined for Interoperability

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is a staff division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and they are focused on implementing an interoperable and secure nationwide health information system.  The EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG) is a New York-led group of 19 states and 47 EHR and HIE vendors. 

The Future of the Meaningful Use Program

Recently the American Medical Association (AMA) released a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Karen B. DeSalvo and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Marilyn B. Tavenner. The 30 page letter states, “After three-and-a-half years of provider participation, we are at a critical crossroad where we believe it is important and necessary to pause and fully assess what is working and what needs improvement before moving ahead to Stage 3 of the program.”  They have released a blueprint to improve the Meaningful Use program giving 4 steps they feel need to be considered:

  • Adopt a more flexible approach for meeting Meaningful Use
  • Expand hardship extension for all MU stages
  • Improve quality reporting
  • Address physician EMR usability challenges

The AMA further states that while over 78% of office-based physicians are using an EHR,

Stolen Medical Records in Jersey City, NJ

Patients of Dr. Nisar A. Quraishi, an internist in with a private practice in Jersey City, NJ may have had their medical records stolen and are now potential victims of identity theft.  Patients who have seem Dr. Quraishi between 1982 and 2009 have had their records stored in a shed behind the office and just last week this shed was broken into and records stolen. 

Will Voice Recognition in EHR Take Off?

It seems like voice recognition should be a standard in EHR systems given the fact that physicians are ‘familiar’ with the mechanics of it as they have always dictated reports.  But some of the barriers are the integration with many EHR systems, the large amount of clicking to get to the text boxes,

Many Unhappy EHR Users Switching

Many EHR systems are falling short of user expectations and this is leading to many switching to new solutions.  Some of the main reasons for dissatisfaction are that many vendors have fallen short with updates, that customer support has been lackluster, and that some systems are cost prohibitive. Polls by Black Book Rankings had found that as many as 17% of EHR users were set to switch systems and a KLAS (an independently owned and operated company,

ICD-10 Compliance Less than One Year Away

ICD-10 compliance is now less than a year away and a Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) survey showed that larger groups and facilities are being proactive while others seems to be taking their time (survey included over 500 responses from providers, vendors and health plans.) The delay in enacting ICD-10 negatively affected provider progress and WEDI Chairman Jim Daley stated that unless all stakeholders make a “dedicated effort”

HIMSS Officials Weigh-In on Meaningful Use Requirements

In June Sylvia Mathews Burwell was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Just recently, the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), which represents 57,000 health IT professionals, sent a letter to Health and Human Services requesting that the agency adjust the meaningful use reporting period to a single three-month quarterly requirement vs.