Archive for November, 2010

Nov
24
2010

OntarioMD recently published a survey that shows that physicians in Ontario who are using EMRs are seeing improved patient care and are experiencing better office efficiency. OntarioMD, a subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association, manages the Province’s EMR Adoption Program on behalf of eHealth Ontario, which oversees and funds the Program.

Among the highlights of the 1,750 physician survey for 2010 are:

  • 90% are using EMRs regularly to write and renew prescriptions;
  • 90% are regularly receiving and managing lab results electronically, up from 82% in 2008;
  • 92% are using their EMRs to enter their encounter notes, eliminating the need for paper records;
  • 73% felt they were primarily paperless, up from 60% in 2008.

What about the impact to their practices’ productivity and revenue?

  • In 2010, 84% of physicians reported improved or the same revenues, up from 74% in 2008
  • In 2010, 79% reported improved or the same productivity, up from 62% in 2008.

OntarioMD has been funding and supporting over 5,000 community physicians to adopt EMRs since April 2005. So while they may have a head start over the United States, there’s no reason to believe that American physicians who adopt an EMR will report significantly different results.

The HITECH Act meaningful use incentive program makes now the best time to consider adopting an EMR in your practice. DrFirst has partnered with over 130 EMR/EHR vendors who can provide you with the meaningful use solution to best meet your practice needs and specialty.  Click here to view a list of DrFirst Partners.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Nov
18
2010

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has been out and about promoting the fact that specialists can meet requirements for the “meaningful use” incentive payment program by taking advantage of exceptions in the final rule.

At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator of health information technology for the Department of Health and Human Services, pointed to exceptions to the meaningful use final rule that can enable specialists to qualify for incentive funds.

These exceptions were put in place because some meaningful use objectives are not applicable to every provider’s practice.   As a result, when choosing which of the “menu item” objectives to focus on, those that are not applicable to that specialty are counted as meeting meaningful use requirements. For example, dentists do not perform immunizations. Therefore, under the exceptions rule, a dentist who is an eligible provider would be recorded as meeting the meaningful use of the menu item Immunization Data to Registries.” Chiropractors would be noted as having met the e-prescribing requirement by virtue of the fact that they do not engage in e-prescribing.

To date, the ONC has not issued a formal statement for specialists aiming to meet the standards. However, Blumenthal has spoken publically a number of times stating that specialists could claim exceptions to rules that do not apply to them and that claiming exceptions is acceptable to meeting the requirement.

Specialists who would like to be eligible for meaningful use incentive money can look to DrFirst’s EMR/EHR Partners – over 130 strong – who can provide them with the right health IT to meet the unique needs of their practice and specialty.  Click here to view our Partners list.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Nov
17
2010

Have a look at the ONC’s Health Information Technology site page Health IT Journeys: Stories from the Road where testimonials about implementing an EHR are solicited and posted. There are case studies ranging from solo practices to hospitals and health plans. You’ll read about the success stories of physician offices that have found the technology streamlines office workflow and improves patient safety. You’ll also learn about the bumps in the road that some practices have faced on the way to full EHR adoption.

Check out the true-life tips and best practices shared by practices like yours. Here are a few:

  • Develop simple and complete patient demographic and medical information paper forms that match the software for easy entry
  • Schedule short, daily meetings to work through small but important implementation details
  • Don’t let the implementation stall out – continue to press on to maximize the functionality of the implementation

To learn how DrFirst can get you on the road to installing your own EHR through our Partners Program, e-mail sales@drfirst.com.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Nov
15
2010

In their article, “Debunking the 12 Key Myths of EHR Implementation,” Cheryl Waltko, Vice President of Equation and Christopher Sprowl, MD, MMM, President of HVA, made some solid and insightful observations about what is holding back many physician practices from implementing an electronic health record (EHR).

The authors debunk 12 myths:

  • EHR projects are IT projects
  • EHR software is useful out of the box
  • EHR vendors will provide all the project management and assistance I need
  • I can manage my own EHR project
  • All EHR systems are the same
  • EHR systems can communicate with one another
  • EHR projects do not provide acceptable return on investment
  • I can wait to implement my EHR
  • The budget for the project is equal to the quote I received from the EHR vendor
  • My practice can remain isolated from other practices in the community.
  • Productivity in my practice will decrease to intolerable levels during implementation of an EHR.
  • I can’t begin to implement until I know the exact definition of meaningful use.

The myth that stands out the most is the time-sensitive “I can wait to implement my EHR.” While in fact, this is true, it’s a myth to think it is necessarily in a practice’s best interest.

A physician practice CAN postpone adopting EHR technology. However, there is no better time to make a move towards EHR implementation. We are in the midst of a historic period of time where physicians who see Medicaid or Medicare patients can receive money (up to $63,750) for the adoption and meaningful use of EHR. This unprecedented incentive program will propel many practices into the electronic age and will increase patient safety and office productivity. Plus, a number of studies have shown that the cost of EHR implementation is recouped after as little as two years.

Hefty financial penalties are in store for practices that don’t get on board by 2015. Reductions in reimbursement fees could range between three and five percent.

It comes down to this: Adoption of an EHR ultimately means money in; failure to adopt an EHR by 2015 means money out. Consider your options carefully and don’t let the scary myths deter you from joining the paperless age.

If you’re not ready to go 100% paperless, you do have another option that will allow you to increase your office productivity and be eligible for federal incentive money. DrFirst’s certified Rcopia-MU is a modular solution that can help you qualify for federal incentive money. You can then put those funds to good use by implementing your complete EHR at a future date.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Nov
10
2010

Ever since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its reports To Err is Human (1999) and The Quality Chasm (2001), the entire hospital industry has been striving to improve patient safety. One of the major recommendations to come out of the IOM reports is that we use Health Information Technology (HIT) to build and support better systems and processes. The processes around medication management have been subject to special scrutiny, since many in-hospital deaths have been attributed to preventable medication errors. As we move to implement better and safer medication practices using HIT, we have to involve clinicians, administrators and technicians in these projects.

When it comes to medication management, the staff of the DrFirst Hospital Consulting team offers a unique methodology to help your hospital make major strides in implementing HIT to manage prescription output, improving process workflow, and transferring our staff’s knowledge to your hospital’s project team. How do we do this?

We offer:

  • Readiness Assessment in building Medication Management
  • MEDITECH “Best Practices” training in building Medication Management
  • MEDITECH “Best Practices” in building Medication Management
  • “Go Live” Consulting Services
  • DRx Alert Hospital DischargeRx Volume and Alert Service

The DrFirst Hospital Services group will review your migration path to HIT implementation for support of the clinical medication processes in your institution. In addition, we will advise you on the critical paths for involvement of all the clinical and non-clinical participants in this endeavor. Once our study has been completed, we will provide an oral report before leaving your facility.  A more detailed report will arrive within seven days of the DrFirst team leaving your facility.

About Ed Korba:

Edward J. Korba became the Principal Consultant for DrFirst in 2010. Prior to joining DrFirst, he was Executive Vice President of FormFast, Inc. During his long tenure in healthcare, he developed successful relationships with HCA and over 368 hospitals in the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom. Ed has spent many years in sales, marketing, and technology positions with companies like JetForm Corporation, Standard Register Company, and Basic Research and Technology. Prior to joining FormFast in 1995, Ed was leading a sales team with the JetForm Corporation, once the world’s leader in e-forms eventually acquired by Adobe Systems Incorporated, located in Ottawa, Canada. Ed began his career in healthcare in 1988 by building bar code systems for hospitals and healthcare companies needing help in understanding media, bar coding equipment and bar codes used for identification and indexing. His education and honors include degrees, B.A. in Mass Communications and a M.A. in Speech Communications with post graduate studies in Vietnamese Language from Southern Illinois University. He received a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and Good Conduct Medal from combat military service overseas.

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Nov
08
2010

In conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) upcoming personal health record (PHR) Roundtable, ONC is seeking public comments on issues related to PHRs. The public comment period is open through Dec. 10.

ONC is seeking the public’s input on the following topics:

  • Privacy and security and emerging technologies;
  • Consumer expectations about collection and use of health IT; and
  • Privacy and security requirements for non-covered entities.

Visit the ONC website to submit comments by Dec. 10: http://healthit.hhs.gov/blog/phr-roundtable/?page_id=18.

About Irene Froehlich:

Ms. Froehlich has been with DrFirst since its inception in 2000. In her role as Director of Marketing, she oversees the planning, directing, and coordinating all marketing and public relations efforts at DrFirst. Ms. Froehlich has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Find all posts by Irene Froehlich | Visit Website

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Whether you're looking for the latest news in healthcare technology, best practices for clinical and patient care, or to stay up to date on the latest federal and state healthcare legislation, you’ve come to the right place. The DrFirst blog is your source of insight, analysis and helpful content, to help you and your patients succeed in the ever-changing healthcare industry.