Computers, more specifically, electronic health records (EHRs), will someday revolutionize the practice of medicine. In fact, successful computerization of medical care is the most critical step necessary to transform the American health care system from its current sorry state to the 21st-century system of our dreams. It is ironic, then, that today EHRs represent one of the worst problems plaguing medical professionals. At this point, many physicians would say that ...

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With the Department of Justice announcement of the $155 million dollar eClinicalWorks settlement (including personal liability for the CEO, CMO and COO), many stakeholders are wondering what’s next for EHRs. Clearly, the industry is in a state of transition. eCW will be distracted by its 5-year corporate integrity agreement.    AthenaHealth will have to focus on the activist investors at Elliott ...

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I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the suboptimal nature of electronic medical records and what we need to be doing better. At their best, health care information technology systems can make finding patient medical data unbelievably quick and easy. However, at their worst, they take up an unacceptable amount of physicians’ time and also dumb down medicine, reducing our patients’ stories to rows of meaningless tick ...

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It’s more complicated to create an engaging app than many business managers expect. Especially in health care, one of the most complex industries. There are often different, opposing forces at work that make the task more challenging. Your odds of an excellent outcome increase significantly if you keep one word in mind: prioritization. In other words, deeply understanding a user’s priorities based on a changing context makes all the difference. What’s important ...

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Although every technology product released today seems as if it is “powered by artificial intelligence,” the actual AI revolution is ahead of us. When it arrives, it will be on par with the industrial revolution in changing our lives, especially in the world of medicine. John McCarthy, a legendary computer scientist, coined the term “AI” in 1955. He defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent ...

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When a new doctor joined our clinic, she spent a week learning our electronic medical record. She had used two other systems before, so she was no stranger to EMRs, but that’s how different they can be. That’s crazy! EMRs should be like cars, which range from the likes of Smart, Mini Cooper, and Skoda to Mercedes Maybach, Rolls Royce, and Porsche. They range from simple to sophisticated, from nimble city cars ...

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At HIMSS, I listened carefully to payers, providers, patients, developers and researchers. Below is a distillation of what I heard from thousands of stakeholders. It is not partisan and does not criticize the work of any person in industry, government or academia. It reflects the lessons learned from the past 20 years of health care IT implementation and policy making. Knowing where we are now and where we want to be, ...

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A patient comes into the ER complaining about throbbing migraines after falling off her bicycle; thus, the physician quickly orders an X-ray, complete blood count, and asks the nurse to schedule the patient for an MRI of the head and neck in case both those tests come back inconclusive. As an ER scribe, I saw many conditions where the physician would quickly do a physical exam, and then use a ...

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Recently, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz made comments concerning health care reform that illustrates  just how out of touch Congress is with modern medicine. In a press conference addressing the ongoing debate over Obamacare repeal, he stated that Americans should make a choice between purchasing health insurance and an iPhone — in the Congressman’s own words “rather than getting that new iPhone that they ...

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When I began my tenure at the University of Florida, the departure of a colleague left a very large inflammatory bowel disease practice that involved a lot of work both in and outside of clinic, just as the electronic healthcare record became mandatory. One unanticipated consequence of EHR is that physicians have to review everything before it is final in a patient’s chart. Thus, I spent countless hours in the EHR ...

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