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 Viewpoint

The more things change

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   By Phil Colpas, Managing Editor, August 2010

ColpasThe old adage actually goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." But with all of the sea changes taking place in our industry lately — the installation of electronic health records and health information exchanges; the confusion of meaningful use; and all-pervasive healthcare reform, to name but a few — it sometimes feels like nothing will ever be the same. One thing is certain: The next several years will offer quite a ride for those of us in healthcare IT.

Ever cognizant of the fact that these changes impact virtually everyone in the industry in one form or another, we here at Health Management Technology magazine are doing our best to cover a wide range of topics; something for everyone, if you will.

In this month's issue, we feature a carts roundup, with some of the latest, greatest and coolest products from five industry leaders; stories on call centers, work flow, medical transcription and patient safety; a piece on evaluating EHR systems; and an article that explores when it may or may not be appropriate to utilize a regional extension center as part of the EHR selection process.

And don't miss our new products section; our Industry Watch pages; our final Pioneers of Healthcare IT tribute; and an insightful commentary on meaningful use by our own resident EHR expert, Arthur Gasch.

Since the final meaningful-use rules (all 864 pages of them) were announced July 13, the feedback we have received has been, for the most part, positive. Here's what Carol Diamond, M.D., managing director of the Markle Foundation, says about it: "The two words are critical together — 'meaningful' and 'use.' The final rule has added flexibility to encourage providers to participate in the first phase of this critical effort to improve health, promote efficiency, drive innovation and protect privacy."

And Peter Basch, M.D., senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, agrees: "This marks a new beginning in the effort to infuse the health sector with the power of information."

Rest assured we will continue to cover meaningful use over the next several months.

Also, be sure to check out our Web site at www.healthmgttech.com, and have a look around our six microsites and industry news section, which is updated daily. While visiting the Web site, sign up to receive our free weekly e-newsletter for more stories and case studies not covered in these pages.

In future issues, topics covered will include work-flow management, medical transcription, storage management, security, CPOE, remote care, document management, charge capture, PACS, network security, claims and coding, FIS and mobile computing.

Next month, we celebrate our 30th anniversary with both a look back and a look ahead. Until then, as always, here's wishing you good healthcare IT.


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