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News 11/26/13

November 25, 2013 News 1 Comment

From Ralph N: “Re: Practice manager interview. That interview sounded like a paid advertisement from athena.” While Erin was clearly enthusiastic about her billing and EMR provider, be assured that vendors never pay us for interviews, Readers Writes, or other posts. On HIStalk we have a section that is clearly labeled “Sponsor Updates” that includes items that may not be considered “hard news.” Often our sponsors ask us to consider interviews with their CEOs or clients – which we do not always agree to do – but in this case athenahealth is not a sponsor. Recently we asked multiple ambulatory EMR vendors for the names of potential interview candidates who were successfully using EHRs in their practice and appreciate athenahealth’s assistance in connecting us with Erin.

Nuance Communications announces the general availability of Dragon Medical 360 l Network Edition 2.0, which allows clinicians to document using multiple devices and provides an accuracy level of 98 percent or higher out of the box.

A Virginia gastroenterologist shares his transition from an academic practice to a small private group that he labels a “medical oasis.” He finds particular pleasure in the office’s low-tech set-up and absence of an EMR, which he calls old-school, unacceptable, and effective:

I write, by hand, notes that contain the information I need to help you feel better. When I finish our visit, I dictate a letter and often call or text your referring physician to let them know what’s going on. I bill based on the notes, but no one’s costing out the "elements of the encounter."

He is happier in his work and claims his patients are as well. Somehow the story makes me sad.

11-25-2013 3-43-54 PM

CMS publishes a tip sheet for EPs on Stage 2 HIE requirements. The document outlines the required data elements and provides guidance on data sharing objectives for summary of care documents, clinical summaries, and patient electronic access. EPs that have completed at least two years of Stage 1 MU can begin Stage 2 in 2014.

The use of secure messaging portals in EHRs may not improve outcomes or costs, according to a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers, who considered findings from 46 studies, conclude that “portals represent a new technology with benefits that are still unclear.”

A study of 215 primary care physicians reveals a significant decline in lab ordering rates when providers have a real-time display of cost information within their EMRs.

As Mr. H mentioned on HIStalk over the weekend, we are about to hit the traditionally slow news time in HIT.  If you are like me, your to-do list for the next few weeks includes not only work, but also plenty of holiday merriment, cooking, shopping, and decorating. Be assured that we won’t keep you away from the eggnog any longer than necessary by padding our posts with irrelevant news. 

11-25-2013 6-05-44 PM

On that note, I’m not sure if there will be enough news for a second news post this week. Just in case, best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving!

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