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July 2010 Features

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Extracting meaning from meaningful use

 By Phil Colpas, July 2010

Tagged:    Viewpoint

  Hospital Information Systems

HIEs: The future is now

 By Phil Colpas, July 2010

With all the talk about electronic medical records and meaningful use, it's easy to put health information exchanges (HIEs) on the back burner. But that's not an option. Communicating in a digital healthcare world without HIEs is like trying to navigate a highway system with no freeways.


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


IT infrastructure convergence key to managed network services

 By Rod Sampson, RCDD, July 2010

Aside from traditional telephone (voice) systems, pre-Internet protocol (IP) hospital communication systems were primarily devoted to life safety and monitoring applications, such as nurse call systems and fire alarms. Because of their life safety implications, these systems became strictly regulated. They were, and often still are, required to have their own dedicated infrastructures.


Tagged:    Infrastructure

  Revenue Cycle Management

Rural healthcare system drops AR days and cleans up claims

 July 2010

When the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) was formed in 2004, the organization's vision was to build a regional healthcare system that enhanced quality of life and resulted in healthier individuals. Likewise, Rayanna Moore, BSHM, MSOM, system director of revenue cycle, had a mission when she joined the organization in early 2008.


Tagged:    Revenue Cycle Management


Impact of meaningful-use criteria on EMR developers

 By Arthur Gasch, founder, MSP; and Bill Andrew, executive VP, MSP, July 2010

Because of the emphasis by the Obama Administration on converting 100,000 primary-care physicians using paper-based medical records to become users of electronic medical records (EMRs) that achieve meaningful use (MU), there is strong interest in how well the EMR market is doing.

Tagged:    EMR / EHR

  Hospital Information Systems

PACS helps medical center reduce turnaround time from hours to minutes

 By Jeff Hicks, July 2010

It is well known that most hospitals, regardless of size, deploy some type of digital imaging. As medical imaging continues to advance, hospitals must deal with the significant increase in data that is acquired and must be managed. Accordingly, almost all facilities are in one of three stages: leveraging a complete digital picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) solution, in the midst of deploying a digital PACS solution, or considering moving to a complete digital PACS solution. Therefore all hospitals are either implementing, have implemented, or are contemplating the implementation of a PACS solution that will enable their facility to efficiently manage complicated issues from large volume data storage to image distribution, work-flow efficiency, scalability and disaster recovery in a fiscally manageable way. Complicating the matter, many institutions necessitate a system that can manage all of these issues over multiple work sites with seamless coordination between clinical and information technology staff.

Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems

  Hospital Information Systems

How to boost operational efficiency in the enterprise radiology environment

 July 2010

Several years ago, North Shore-LIJ Health System, which cares for people of all ages throughout Long Island, Queens and Staten Island, established a strategy for information technology to implement enterprise solutions allowing for sharing of patient information across hospitals. In radiology, that has led to the installation of highly integrated, multi-vendor products which provide a robust and highly redundant technology environment.

Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems

  Industry Watch

ONC issues final rule to establish the temporary certification program for electronic health record technology

 July 2010

Tagged:    Industry Watch

  Thought Leaders

Value of unstructured patient narratives

 By Jeffrey Barry, July 2010

Current EHRs capture most information — patient demographics, medications and problem lists — as structured data, and often codify the details to support billing instead of clinical activities.

BarryCautionary tales of throwing the patient out with the paper — in technical terms, failing to fully utilize unstructured clinicians' notes in the EHR — are surfacing everywhere. In her April 22 New York Times commentary, Pauline Chen, MD, discussed the importance of the patient narrative, and the challenges of replicating nuances of care in current EHRs. A month earlier, Gordon Schiff, MD, and David W. Bates, MD, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that "free-text narrative will often be superior to point-and-click boilerplate in accurately capturing a patient's history."

Thought-critical, free-text physicians' notes are under threat. Current EHRs capture most information — patient demographics, medications and problem lists — as structured data, and often codify the details to support billing instead of clinical activities. The frequent use of the word "structured" in the definition for meaningful use released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may further encourage and compound this trend.

Tagged:    Thought Leaders


Healthcare’s survival in the Information Age

 By Gail Warden and Thomas McNulty, July 2010

Strategic planning, CEO leadership, user consensus and close collaboration
with software vendors are keys to creating an effective information system.

Warden-McNultyEditor's Note: The is the 11th installment in our year-long 30th anniversary "Pioneers in Healthcare IT" celebration, featuring articles from past issues of Health Management Technology, formerly called Computers in Healthcare. This article appeared in the March 1992 issue. At the time, Gail Warden was CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, and Thomas McNulty was senior vice president and CFO of the Henry Ford Health System.

The healthcare sector is one of the largest data producers of any industry. How providers use this data will prove extremely important as the industry progresses in the Information Age. Healthcare has always been labor intensive, but now it is becoming equally information intensive.

A 1990 survey conducted by Mecon Associates indicated that most healthcare executives were disappointed in the benefits derived from the information systems they use. This may be due to the complex process for the use and distribution of information and the fact that many systems are purchased with little regard to system integration.

Tagged:    Pioneers