Health IT

Statutes of limitations

Statutes of limitations for malpractice cases in Wisconsin don’t fully address injuries to developmentally disabled children, so a teenager who was injured at birth should still be allowed to sue his health care providers, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

(This is, I guess, an established fact in the case).

The case could have broad implications in Wisconsin, where the state’s medical malpractice environment is already in flux because …

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The disadvantage of being a computer-illiterate physician. “I’ve now seen two really excellent physicians really stumble when it comes to using an electronic medical record, and it puts them at a severe disadvantage. While they could easily perform a better and faster physical than me, take a better history, and come up with a better list of possible diagnoses, I’ve got them beat hands-down when it comes to entering orders, …

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The obstacles behind the government’s push for electronic health records. “Paying for the network will be the first major hurdle. Many cash-strapped hospitals and small-practice doctors have no interest in footing the bill for a medical Internet. One key reason is the mismatch between costs and savings: While health-care providers bear the cost of tech investments, Medicare and private insurers reap almost all the savings. Pamela R. Kushner, a family …

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Bizarre non-medical news of the week: The “chicken choking” toy is coming under fire.

“A product description on the Web site of Jaycar Electronics, a major Australian importer of toy, says: ‘Grab him by the neck and he will squawk and cluck like mad, flapping his wings and feet wildly as if he is really being choked.’

But Michael Beatty, a spokesman for the Queensland state …

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The case for an EMR post-Katrina
“Melinda Amedee was scheduled to have a tumor removed from her kidney at a New Orleans hospital on August 30. She lives far enough away from the city to have missed serious damage from Hurricane Katrina. But when the 17th Street Canal levee broke the day before, she knew she wouldn’t be having an operation at the Ochsner Cancer Institute anytime soon. With a …

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Medicare will give away the VA’s EHR to physician practices
“Now, however, Medicare, which says the lack of electronic records is one of the biggest impediments to improving health care, has decided to step in. In an unprecedented move, it said it planned to announce that it would give doctors – free of charge – software to computerize their medical practices. An office with five doctors could save more than …

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How one doctor uses Google in his medical practice

A recent study (via Clinical Cases and Images), suggested that many turn to the search engine first for information on their health:

Google, the internet search engine, has now become one of the patientÂ’’s best friends, second only to the family doctor.

A survey of 1,000 people found that 12 per cent turn first to Google. Fewer consult family and friends, the media or medical encyclopaedias when faced …

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The physical exam is dead – as evidenced by the growth of telemedicine services
“Robert Berenson, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute and a medical doctor, says much of medicine can be done simply by getting a verbal description of the patient’s condition and health history. While it’s best to know the patient beforehand, doctors quite often provide treatment for patients they’ve never met.

‘If you’re covering …

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Nashua Medical Group is featured as an A4 Health Systems case study
Look hard and you can find a picture of me.

Should Pfizer buy Merck?

Forbes.com makes a case.

EMRs are overrated and erodes the doctor patient relationship

“In our clinic, the computer monitors are placed so that the doctor can watch the screen or the patient, but not both. Frankly, it’s not much of a contest. The monitors are mesmerizing, with their colors and windows, boxes and beeps, menus of pills ripe for the prescribing. Walk down the row of offices and you see the patients looking at …

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An essay discussing when a doctor is too old, or too young

“The old doctor stored important details about patients in memory, and nowhere else. The doctor’s hesitantly typed notes recording office visits were brief and old-fashioned – a few sentences at most, difficult for anyone else to interpret.

The young doctor remembered little about each patient from visit to visit, but typed volumes, and was a big …

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Welcome to A4 Health Systems

I would like to welcome A4 Health Systems as a sponsored link, joining AdvancedMD. They provide the HealthMatics EMR, which coincidentally my practice has been using for the past 4 months. So far, no regrets. Their implementation has been relatively smooth and the product has proven to be highly flexible to suit a variety of practice styles.

Bill Frist writes about a utopian future of medicine in ten years

“I would like you to meet a patient from the year 2015. He lives in a world in which years ago America’s leaders made tough but wise decisions. They built on the best aspects of American health care and unleashed the creative power of the competitively driven marketplace. These changes resulted in dramatic improvements to the U.S. …

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Medpundit is switching to an EMR

Our practice also recently switched over to an EMR, using the A4 Healthmatics EMR. We are a 5-physician group and the transition was not without its growing pains. It is certainly true that some will be more comfortable using a computer than others. At first, the workflow was slowed – appointment times were doubled, with 15 minute appointments going to …

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Make VA electronic medical record systems available to all physicians

I second this notion. Of all the EMRs I have used, the VA system is the most polished, comprehensive, and evolved.

"Bedfellows of the insurers"

A thoughtful response to my piece on good business vs good medicine. The commenter argues that the fundamental problem is our dependence on the insurance system. Consequently, our health-care system is slanted against good medicine. It is the insurance companies that forces good business on our medical practice, and the physicians are unwitting pawns. Take a read:

The assumption is that somehow good business and good …

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Thinking about my schedule

Some big changes in the coming months. First we’re switching to an EMR. After that, there’s the increasing pressure by management to see more patients – not to mention having our compensation structure more directly correlate with our productivity RVUs. I’m thinking of changing my schedule structure – currently it’s the standard 15-minute blocks with 30-minute physicals. Many advocate the modified-wave structure. Looks good …

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The switch to EMR

So the big deal in my practice is the transition to an EMR in the upcoming months. Finally. Our administration has chosen the HealthMatics EMR by A4 Health Systems.

The plan will be to carry these laptops into the exam room, and in an ideal situation, directly enter notes into templates while doing the history.

Anyone have any experience with this system? …

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