Through Dec. 15, federal regulators will accept public comments on the next set of rules that will shape the future of medicine in the transition to a super information highway for electronic health records (EHRs).  For health providers, this is a time to speak out. One idea:  Why not suggest options to give leniency to older doctors struggling with the shift to technology late in their careers? By the government's own estimate, ...

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In a recent post Rocky Bilhartz outlined some of the challenges health care providers face when working with software. Health care providers are spending more time in the digital world and less time interacting with patients. The problem of less patient contact, in part, accounts for their complaints leading to the desire to streamline repetitive tasks so they can get back to why they really choose to be ...

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Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson had a great post a while back titled, "Bootstrap Your Network With A High Value Use Case." He points out that the initial value proposition for Waze (the community-based traffic and navigation app acquired by Google) was simply to help drivers that like to drive too fast identify speed traps. But it of course quickly expanded way beyond that and now provides a lot more value ...

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Last week I was playing golf with some friends. The Boston area has been having a bit of an Indian summer, and we are lucky to still be getting out there (long may it last). The conversation during one of the holes turned to health care information technology, when my friend, who is also a physician, told me about his experiences with a (certain famous) new electronic medical record that’s just been installed in their ...

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The health care industry has traditionally moved at a snail’s pace when adopting innovation, but there is growing evidence that Silicon Valley’s ways are rubbing off on the sector. Recently, we have seen coders, scientists, and doctors team up to convene medical hackathons, the NIH has begun classes on lean start-up methods, and health care start-up incubators like Rock Health are flourishing. Even ...

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In Hollywood In the classic film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, an alien spaceship lands in Washington, DC, and delivers an alarming message; people of the earth must cease their internecine hostilities or face total annihilation. To prove their power, the aliens cause all electrical devices on the planet to stop working for 30 minutes. It's a pretty impressive show of force. In the office At 8:45 a.m. yesterday, despite the absence ...

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Health care remains one of the few services that require people to have a face-to-face interaction to obtain access. But more and more consumers are questioning that reality, and change is on the way. In January 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new provider reimbursement code for non–face-to-face health care services for patients who have chronic medical conditions. A new CMS code may ...

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For decades, physicians and other health professionals have opened their offices with the assumption that everyone will need to see the doctor eventually. Why? Because that’s where you go if you have a health problem and need to get checked out. As a retina specialist, I assumed that years of training, working with special hand-held lenses, would offer me a diagnostic skill set that very few people in the world have ...

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Robert was the picture of health. He had run eight marathons and finished countless 5K and 10K races. He tracked everything from sleep to food intake, logging his exercise parameters religiously. A seven-minute mile was a routine workout for Robert. But over the course of a few days, he noticed that he felt more winded during his run. One morning, when he awoke and checked his heart rate variability (HRV), it ...

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“It’s going to be ugly today” was my colleague’s assessment at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, when the electronic medical record failed to launch, the Internet could not be accessed, pagers and phones could not connect, and a recording on the helpdesk line noted, “Systems are down, and there is currently no estimated time of resolution.” So we waded into fourteen hours of practicing medicine without computers. This was not good. Patients’ ...

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