From DrLyle: “Re: More thoughts on iPad. On one hand, it is well known that the general idea of using a tablet in healthcare has tried and failed multiple times. On the other hand, I do appreciate that the Apple iPad is lighter, easier, cheaper, and has better battery life… so it is closer to the ideal we need. I think that the outpatient world (of 2-3 stable exam rooms and sitting with a patient, where a single doctor inputs most of the data) is usually better served by the traditional PC and keyboard and large screen… while the inpatient world (different room for every patient, multiple providers who may be putting in smaller parts of the record) may be a better initial entry for this portable of a device, with the caveat that the use of gloves may be a negative factor. But more importantly, we must remember that the iPad is not magic one way or the other, it is still simply a tool… it will be up to innovate vendors and providers to make it something special in healthcare… and at this time, most EMRs and implementers have not been particularly innovative in using this format – so we’ll see if this changes the game!” DrLyle shares some additional insights on the iPad here.
AAFP tells of four separate physicians who claim EHR has improved their practices’ efficiencies and improve quality of care. One doctor said his group charges patients $25 a year to access their records electronically. I don’t know what shocked me for: that a practice would charge for using what I suppose is a patient portal, or, that 80% of the patients are participating.
I suppose this practice could charge for the new iPhone app they’ve developed, but for now it’s free. Caduceus Medical Group (CA) creates its own app that allows patients to email physicians, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and get directions. The app also includes links to the practice’s blog and health-related topics. The group plans to make the application available on other platforms, including Blackberry, Palm Web OS, and Android.
Wolters Kluwer Health introduces a new iPhone/iTouch application that facilitates CME credit for clinical research done online. The physician can use the XtraCredit application to document online medical research as a learning activity. Users also note in XtraCredit the search experience and the approved resources used. The physician pays five dollars and receives CME credit.
Quality Systems, parent company for NextGen, reports a 14% increase in quarterly revenue compared to last year and flat EPS. The market wasn’t impressed, and the stock price slipped from $60/share last week to $52.76 at Monday’s close.
Wayne Health Physicians (NC) selects Docs Billing Solutions to provide Ingenix’s Caretracker EHR, PM, and RCM software.
Iatric Systems, a company specializing in providing interface services to MEDITECH hospitals, partners with Aprima to provide EHR/PM software. Iatric will focus on providing Aprima’s application to physicians affiliated with MEDITECH hospitals.
A Minnesota family practice physician, tired of insurance companies and red tape, starts his own cash-based practice that also offers house calls. He relies on a simple Web site and a barebones EMR to run his Timewise Medical practice. I like his approach to setting prices: $35 for one ailment, $54 for two, and a tongue-in-cheek recommendation to get a physical if you have three problems. Sounds a heck of lot simpler than insurance eligibility and authorizations, co-pays, and patient responsible balances.
Here is a new take on telemedicine. Medicine at Work provides employers with an on-site clinic for employees. A paramedic helps with vitals while a physician “examines” the patient using telemedicine technology. Employers pay for the service with a fixed per-employee, per-month fee and presumably reduce sick leave time. Patients win because they no longer need to leave work and drive to see a doctor about a rash, respiratory illness, or other minor ailment. I think I’d use it.
Medflow, a EMR vendor dedicated to eye care physicians, appoints Ippolit C.A. Matjucha, MD as medical director.
Forget meaningful use, certification, and privacy concerns. As much as anything else, physicians fear they’ll sink tens of thousands of dollars into EMRs that don’t work properly and the vendor doesn’t (or can’t) make things right. The Huffington Post mentions a number of companies that filed bankruptcy, leaving their clients paying on loans for products not fully functional or never received. Am I the only who remembers these names: Acermed, MedComSoft, or Dr. Notes? Lesson learned is that buyers need to conduct due diligence before taking the plunge.