Information technology clearly has a long way to go before it delivers on the immense promise of technology to truly improve health care. Most of the current solutions -- quickly rolled out in response to meaningful use requirements -- are slow, inefficient and cumbersome. Physicians (and nurses) spend far too much time staring at their screen and navigating the system, often to the detriment of patient care time. A study published last ...

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It seems like every few days we get a message in the in-basket of our electronic health record (EHR) about a new type of message that we will be receiving in our in-basket. They call these messages "system notices." OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, maybe not every few days, but the different types of in-baskets and all the information we are bombarded with is getting out of control. As users of electronic ...

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Terrifying truths about health care IT One would expect that in an era where smartphones are more powerful than our computers were 5 years ago, health care providers would have an arsenal of health care IT solutions to enhance patient care but also optimize their own workflow. Shockingly, in 2014 most health care IT solutions (such as EHR systems) are incapable of basic functions that we take for ...

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The documentation I get from everyone is terrible.  Seldom does it tell me what I actually want to know, and if there is useful information it is buried in an avalanche of yada yada.  The main reason for this is that documentation is driven by our ridiculous payment system, which requires us to follow arcane rules to generate notes that justify the obscure codes we submit for money from the ...

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Where are all the physician digital health innovators? This is a question I hear all the time from people working in, researching and observing the fast-moving health technology arena. The general thinking is that physicians are not involved enough in digital health -- and it shows.  Over the past year, I’ve been making it a point to talk with people from around the world, including doctors, about their perceptions of digital health. Physicians ...

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Apple Watch and HealthKit: A new age of virtual health care The practice of medicine and health care in general has become an electronic and increasingly mobile interaction. Patients are better informed, more engaged, more connected and have a much greater virtual presence. In fact, according to Pew Research, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter are those who are in the 45 to 65 age bracket.   Nearly 50 percent of all ...

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Your electronic health record may lack vital information Your electronic health record may lack vital information A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. When you walk into any physician’s office or hospital, computers are everywhere.  By 2013, nearly 70 percent of hospitals had moved away from paper charts and toward electronic health records, or EHRs, and more are making the change ...

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According to IBM, there are 2.5 exabytes of data created every day, and most of it is unstructured. Imagine receiving all the words ever spoken by human beings on your doorstep each and every day. Now, imagine consuming that, making sense of it and trying to keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of data creation each day. As a physician, I experienced firsthand the angst that comes with trying to keep up ...

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Dear ACO General Hospital: Thanks for contacting me about my most recent blog post.  I'm sorry to scare your administration about HIPAA information, but I am equally concerned about that and will always do my best to respect the privacy of my patients.  At your request I hid even more of that information. I know it's kind of embarrassing to have that kind of thing made public, and I am overall ...

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Why is medical IT so bad? A 57-year-old doctor I know is retiring to teach at a local junior college.  He is respected, enjoys practicing medicine and is beloved by his patients; therefore, I was surprised. While he is frustrated by the complexity of health insurance, tired by the long hours and angered by defensive medicine, the final straw is that he can not stand the world ...

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