unnamed Heath care documentation is done for three reasons:

  1. health care delivery (that’s the obvious one)
  2. regulatory compliance (checking all the boxes our government and payers think are important)
  3. malpractice avoidance (no one wants to get sued)
These three categories actually apply to every task we do in health care, but let’s confine this discussion to documentation. Note in the accompanying figure, our three basic health care work ...

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The health information technology (HIT) world has been hit by a watershed event like no other. The Department of Defense (DoD), widely respected for its indiscriminate generosity to contractors, has awarded the most coveted prize in recent HIT memory: the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract. And the winner is ... Leidos, the contractor formerly known as SAIC. A couple of years ago, when the race for ...

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Eleven billion dollars. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? It is. But, I’ll give you even more perspective, Tony Robbins style. Eleven seconds ago you started reading this page. A few blinks of an eye. But, eleven million seconds? That was a few months back. 127 days to be exact. Can you remember what you were doing then? Eleven million seconds have passed since you did it. But, when you jump to billions, you’ll ...

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shutterstock_85514146 So, there I was yesterday, working frantically to keep myself above the water level of the rapidly rising swamp of patients.  Navigating, haltingly, the onerous and demonic EMR.  So I thought I ordered three nebulizers, but it was only one.  The respiratory tech approached me and informed me that she would put them in, but only this time. That I’d have to ...

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IBM_Watson Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick predicted supercomputers more intelligent than humans.  In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL states, with typical human immodesty, “The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made … We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.” Forty years later, IBM’s Watson pummeled humans in Jeopardy - a distinctly human ...

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shutterstock_112692424 The U.S. health care system is headed toward a profoundly digital future. Provider organizations around the country are adopting and updating their health information technology (HIT) infrastructures. Many have begun requiring that clinicians gain proficiency in electronic health records (EHRs) in order to provide clinical care. A proliferation of start-ups and HIT companies in health care is poised to disrupt (innovatively or ...

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shutterstock_211066027 Ask any frontline physician at the moment what one of their biggest daily frustrations is and you will probably hear a very similar thing whether you are talking to a primary care, emergency room, or hospital physician. The thing that most takes them away from patients and makes them forget the reasons why they went to medical school in the first place, ...

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An excerpt from The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age (McGraw-Hill, 2015). The YouTube video opens to show a balding middle-aged man sitting on a stool, strumming a guitar. In a gentle, twangy croon, the man, Robert Schwab, chief quality officer for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, Texas, sings “The Ballad of Go-Live,” ...

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shutterstock_185580974 Natural language processing might seem a bit arcane and technical -- the type of thing that software engineers talk about deep into the night, but of limited usefulness for practicing docs and their patients. Yet software that can “read” physicians’ and nurses’ notes may prove to be one of the seminal breakthroughs in digital medicine. Exhibit A, from the world of medical ...

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shutterstock_65521543 The latest salvo in the interoperability and information-blocking debate comes from two academic experts in the field of informatics, and was recently published in JAMIA. In the brief article, Sittig and Wright are endeavoring to describe the prerequisites for classifying an EHR as “open” or interoperable. I believe the term “open” is a much better fit here, and if ...

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