It has been quite a year.  Between 3 main hospitals, 2 major medical institutions and 3 major healthcare networks, our practice has been on 3 different echocardiographic reading platforms, 3 ECG reading platforms, and 8 different electronic health record systems including 4 instances of Epic alone. I am typically enthusiastic to a fault about new technologies and, time after time, have rushed in, often where angels feared to tread.  I ...

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shutterstock_116767843 Meaningful. Having a serious, important, or useful quality. You know this word because you want it to define your life. Nearly all of us, at some point, will seek a more meaningful existence. Most wish our jobs were that way too. Meaningless. Having no purpose or reason. Ouch. We don’t want anything to do with that. Meaningless makes us question what in the ...

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I just deposited a check into my bank account by photographing the check with my iPhone and zapping it through cyberspace.  I realize this is ho hum to the under 35 crowd.  Soon, there won’t be any paper checks as the entire transaction will occur electronically.  As a member of the over 35 crowd (plus 20 years), I am wowed by this process.  I remember being astonished when my kids ...

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shutterstock_140188489 Dear health IT staff, I know that, on many levels, physicians must be the absolute banes of your existence.  We are grumpy and resistant to change. And some of us are still confused by graphing calculators, much less complex modern computer systems.  We call you because we forgot our passwords, then because we forgot the new passwords.  We call because the system ...

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Of the nearly 100 people I interviewed for my upcoming book, John Halmaka was one of the most fascinating. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a national leader in health IT policy. He also runs a family farm, on which he raises ducks, alpacas and llamas. His penchant for black mock turtlenecks, along with his brilliance and quirkiness, raise inevitable comparisons to Steve Jobs. I interviewed him ...

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shutterstock_136890005 gomerblogCiting slow load times, confusing menu structure, and overall frustration with the user interface, St. Barnaby’s Hospital has announced that the old electronic health record (EHR) will be replaced with a new state of the art binder-based system, in which a so-called “paper chart” is kept for each patient. The new ...

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It was 11:47 p.m. That meant that I had 13 minutes to reach my pre-set goal of  “activity” that the fitness tracker on my wrist had been registering throughout the day. If I met the goal, I would get a “trophy” on the accompanying app. I probably looked pretty funny bouncing around my living room doing a squat here and a sit-up there, punching a pretend opponent, and running in ...

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Most readers know that an EMR (electronic medical record) is the back-end software that runs a health care organization. EMRs have been around for a while. Recently most large hospitals and health systems have begun building out the patient-facing version of their EMR; allowing patients to communicate electronically with their doctors, refill prescriptions, schedule appointments, and view clinical information. I’ve written at length about the differences between B2B software and B2C ...

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I think it’s fair to say that digital health is warming up. And not just in one area. The sheer number and variety of trends are almost as impressive as the heat trajectory itself. The scientist in me can’t help but make the connection to water molecules in a glass -- there may be many of them, but not all have enough kinetic energy to ascend beyond their liquid state. ...

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If you delve into the personal stories of health IT innovators, most journeys rest on their personal interaction with the health care system on behalf of themselves, a parent, a child, or perhaps a sibling. Just a few weeks ago, I had a small interaction with the health care system that confirmed many of the impressions I have developed of providers' strengths and weaknesses. There's no way to start except with ...

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