Tech

How to choose the right electronic health record (EHR) consultant

Originally published in HCPLive.com

by Jonathan Bertman, MD

You may have seen advertisements, or may already have been contacted by people who’ve promised to help you figure it all out so you can get your share of the stimulus money. Be wary. The truth is that the Obama administration is still defining many essential elements of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and full details about the …

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Google Android versus the iPhone for medical apps

by Jeff Brandt

Verizon, Motorola, and Google, along with 9 other cell phone manufactures and countless world carriers, have teamed up to provide a smartphone with the power to deliver useful applications for medicine: the Verizon “Droid” smartphone, based on the Google Android operating system (OS).

The Droid’s processor is the same processor that powers the iPhone. The main reasons this …

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Do electronic medical records increase physician communication of critical test results to patients?

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

Advanced electronic systems that alert physicians when outpatients receive critical abnormal test results do not appear to reduce the rate at which these results are overlooked, according to research published in the latest issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

insidermedicinelogo Here are some ways you can ensure that abnormal results of medical testing that you undergo are …

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An iPhone or Blackberry for doctors and medical students?

by Tom Tharp

A recent Manhattan Research study found that twice as many physicians are using Apple’s iPhone this year than last, but that BlackBerry is still the most popular smartphone among physicians. The same study found the percentage of physicians in the U.S. using smartphones increased 20 percent from 2008 to 2009.

iphone-blackberry

With more and more physicians looking to the …

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A personal health record and using the PHR on a mobile smartphone

by Jeff Brandt

There is much confusion about Personal Health Record (PHR) in the market today.

PHRs are divided into three groups; Mobile SmartPhone (mPHR), Cloud Apps, and other devices such as USB and Smartcards. Each type of PHR serves a different purpose and provides a useful and needed service. I will speak to the strengths and weaknesses of each of them.

Web Apps/Cloud PHR

These are browser based systems that need to be …

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Poll: Is easy patient access to the medical record a good idea?

Boston’s Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital is engaging in a year-long project called OpenNotes, which will look at what happens when patients are given real-time unrestricted access to their medical chart. HIPAA gives patients the legal right to access their medical records, but actually getting them is often a slow, laborious process. This project will give patients access to their electronic record immediately following an office visit.

Is this a good idea?

Having easy …

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How much access should patients have to their medical record?

As more patient records go electronic, there is debate as to how much of it a patient should see.

This is a particularly sensitive topic, which I touched upon a few months ago, and brings out some contention between patients and their doctors.

Primary care physician Rob Lamberts’ practice is introducing a patient portal, and in this blog entry, he tries to delineate what patients should see, and what they need …

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Do you miss old-fashioned journals at the medical library?

Back in the old days, one had to go deep into the recesses of a medical library, find a dusty, bound old journal, and photocopy the article you wanted.

But those days are over, as pretty much everything is available online.

Although certainly more convenient, Abraham Verghese laments the loss of camaraderie that the digital age of medical information brings. Indeed, as Dr. Verghese reflects with his typical eloquence, “I …

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AMA: Health information technology help for physicians

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association.

by Joseph M. Heyman, M.D.

Health information technology (HIT) remains a hot button issue for many physicians, and opinions run the gamut. There are physicians and practice managers who are satisfied long-time users and those who question how HIT will benefit their practice and their patients.

My own experience is that of a solo-practitioner using HIT …

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How an EMR destroyed this practice’s medical records

A cautionary tale indeed.

Chris Rangel details the debacle of his institution’s electronic medical record implementation. Apparently, the IT consultants didn’t work well in concert with the EMR technical people, with Dr. Rangel noting a circle of blame between the two parties.

Indeed, the worst-case scenario happened – a catastrophic loss of patient data:

The backup system was supposed to be saving every EMR database copy but instead it was just backing …

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Does ePrescribe cost pharmacies money?

Electronically prescribing medications has been heavily pushed and marketed to both physician offices and pharmacies.

But in some cases, it’s not working out as planned. The Angry Pharmacist unloads on the initiative, noting that it costs pharmacies 30 cents to receive each electronic prescription. Multiply that by the thousands of requests they process, and it adds up. Furthermore, despite the marketing hype, ePrescribe “provides absolutely no cost or …

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6 top medical comments, May 31st, 2009

Here are some of the more interesting comments readers have left recently.

1. Dr. Grumpy on the art of medicine and electronic medical records:
I do use an EMR, but patient’s routinely tell me I’m good at listening. I think it’s an individual basis. Some doctors are technophiles, and put that first. That ain’t right. Some doctors are so intent on listening, that they may forget a detail, and then it …

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Will smartphones replace the pager?

It seems inevitable.

A recent study showed that 64 percent of doctors use smartphones, such as an iPhone or a BlackBerry. Medical schools, such as Georgetown University and Ohio State University, are beginning to give them out to students.

And I can certainly see the allure. They’re more powerful than PDAs, and there’s a wealth of medical applications that are being written for the devices. More importantly, they …

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Paul Ravetz: Can the art of medicine exist in the computer age?

The following is a reader take by Paul Ravetz.

Does the “Art of Medicine” really exist, or perhaps more importantly, can it do so in the computer age?

Computers are both the boon and the bane of medicine. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are excellent for retrieval of information about labs, medications, and past medical history of our patients. These records are much easier to access than our old paper charts. However, …

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Poll: Should doctors use Wikipedia for medical information?

According a recent study, 50 percent of physicians who go online for professional reasons use Wikipedia to answer health questions, and the number of doctors who this popular user-generated web encyclopedia has doubled over the past year.

The explanation for this is simple. Doctors, like everybody else, often turn to search engines like Google to quickly find information, and Wikipedia entries tend to come up among the top results.
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Why doctors should care about search engine optimization, and why SEO can make or break your practice

It’s not good enough simply to have a web presence.

Patients are searching for doctors, medical practices and hospitals via search engines, like Google, so whether or not you’re found on the first page can make a significant impact on the number of patients you see.

Furthermore, it’s in your best interest to have some control on how your name or practice comes up on search queries. …

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Medical blogging podcast on HCPLive.com

Don’t get enough of me from reading the blog?

I was recently interviewed by HCPLive.com’s MedTech Moments podcast. John Ellison asks me questions about medical blogging, including how to get started, the power of social media among physicians, and some of the risks physicians take by adding their voice to the blogosphere.

Thanks to Dr. Ellison for the interview, and enjoy the podcast.

Is health IT being rushed, leading to patient errors?

Bolstered by the stimulus, there’s no doubt that there’s a significant push for doctors and hospitals to adopt digital medical records.

I’ve written before how we’re essentially throwing money at Windows 95 technology, but now, as an article from BusinessWeek points out, there’s a real danger in moving too fast.

Somewhat under-publicized were the incompatibilities with older systems in the Geisinger Health System, which after …

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