Annie

Trade Paper Records for EMRs To Reduce Malpractice Risk

When attorneys Joel Korin and Madelyn Quattrone speak about the legal aspects of using electronic medical records, lawyer-wary physicians might expect them to extol the virtues of sticking with a paper chart.

Juries and expert witnesses, they might reason, would have a field day picking through electronically captured medical minutiae, surely almost always finding something incriminating that wouldn’t have been available on paper.

That’s not the case, however. When it comes to defending medical malpractice, Korin and Quattrone tell their audiences that EMRs help far more often than they hurt. In fact, they believe that the healthcare IT industry is missing a major selling point – EMRs reduce malpractice risks for physicians.

CA Hospital Improves ED Discharge Rate by Replacing Doctors with Scribes for EMR “Secretarial Work”

Four years after implementing an electronic medical records system, leaders at San Antonio Community Hospital (SACH) in Upland, CA struggled to improve the emergency department’s length of stay (LOS) statistics. Various initiatives had reduced LOS in other departments, but the ED had seen little improvement.

Administrators ultimately found a low-tech solution that did the job – scribes. “We had come to believe that the length of time charting in the EMR was creating the wall stopping us from decreasing LOS,” says Kevin Parkes, MD, SACH’s ER medical director. “We then began using scribes and saw a nice improvement in our patient discharge rates.”

Scribes Replace MDs After Four Years of Electronic Charting

The 279-bed acute care hospital first employed scribes in June 2012 to assist physicians with their EMR charting. “Our doctors had been doing all their documentation online for almost four years,” explains Terry Jers, ED information systems analyst for SACH. “Some physicians had asked for scribes right away, but we didn’t see the need for them. Over time, we decided we would try them out.”

USGIF-What you need to know

USGIF is the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.

It is USGIF’s aim to Build the Community, Advance the Trade Craft, and Accelerate Innovation.

For quite a few years now, several scientific, mathematical, analysis, and acquisition disciplines have functioned as components for a broader discipline and converged into GEOINT – Geospatial Intelligence. Over the years, GEOINT has turned into our homeland and national security cornerstone and is the centerpiece and functional center of numerous intelligence methods.

Not so long ago, the American private sector started to experience similarly a convergence of various geospatial intelligence directions and disciplines which has resulted in forming USGIF, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. This is the only (and first) foundation where intelligence members have the chance to work together toward reaching their mutual goals that include the improvement of the American national security while using their knowledge to benefit the organization’s work.

Customer-Friendly Contracts Will Spur Physician EMR Adoption (Ohio State Medical Association)

In an effort to simplify electronic medical records (EMR) contracting procedures, The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) is establishing a Standards of Excellence designation for physician systems vendors. “We think EMRs are a benefit to both physicians and patients,” says OSMA senior director Carol Wright Mullinax.

“But practices have a lot of anxiety about the whole EMR selection process and doctors are concerned about having their rights protected. Having the right contract language in place protects physicians’ rights and resolves much of the anxiety.”

Association, Consulting Firm Develop Terms and Conditions List

The Hilliard, Ohio-based OSMA has been working since March 2009 with national healthcare consulting firm The Coker Group to develop an approved list of terms and conditions for EMR contracts. “We are finalizing the list now, and then we will see which vendors are willing to commit to the final terms and conditions,” Mullinax says.

Are Health Record Banks the answer to Lagging EMR Adoption?

tc-13397-mainiconIt has been more than twelve years after President Bush’s mandate to provide electronic health records (EHRs) to all citizens within 10 years, and EHR adoption is still not as high as industry experts would have expected. High costs and a perceived low return on investment have made some healthcare professionals reluctant to implement them.

“It’s not so much the high cost of the technology that’s a problem, but the disparity of who gets the benefits,” says Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Forum (ITIF) public policy think tank.

Furthermore, the lack of a standardized health information infrastructure is playing its part. “We are also seeing issues with interoperability because there are no national standards for health data information, not only for what information should be in an electronic medical record but how that information should be shared within a network of providers,” Castro tells us.

How to Value Your Support Staff

You don’t need to go to a business school for your MBA degree to know that need to value your support staff. The best managers truly listen and respond to their support staff.
As I am considering taking an MBA course (I am choosing one without the need for a good GMAT score) I’m interested in what separates good from great managing practices.

During my pre-MBA course we talked about one cardinal factor, it is the degree to which the practice operates like a true team, which boils down to the physicians being attentive to the perspectives of their staff, and both the physician and support staff displaying genuine levels of mutual support.

CCHIT Not Good Enough for Privacy?

A stamp of approval from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) is not enough to guarantee that electronic health records can provide adequate protection of patient information, according to Deborah Peel, MD.

Peel, founder and chair of Patient Privacy Rights, a non-profit foundation based in Austin, TX, recently announced that she will be expanding the foundation’s initiative with a new EHR certification organization called Privacy Rights Certified.

“It is an educational foundation because our purpose is to inform the public about what kinds of health technology is truly safe,” Peel says. “We also want to educate the industry about what specific kinds of protections need to be built into EHRs.”

Although the new organization doesn’t have a website or logo yet, it is moving forward quickly. Certification will begin within the next 60 days, says Peel.

Defect Isolation and Convergence Debugging

What is convergence debugging? Convergence Debugging is an automated debugging method that isolates a set of test cases that converge on the internal root cause of a failure.

Convergence Debugging gives means to measure the debugging effectiveness of a set of test cases. It also can select a set of test cases that maximize debugging effectiveness.

Convergence Debugging

Isolate effective debug test cases
Measure debug effectiveness
Select effective debug test cases

Why convergence debugging? Converging test cases are closer to the fault with respect to program control and data. Analyzing differences among converging test cases is more effective in locating faults than diverging test cases.

Convergence Debugging

Duplicate Content and Joomla: Fixing htaccess

Joomla is a powerful platform capable of growing along with your business  However, duplicate content issues are a major problem with many Joomla sites if they haven’t been optimized correctly upfront. Fixing your .htaccess file to eliminate some of these issues will help.

An htaccess file is a file automatically installed during Joomla installation to manage your web server configuration. With Joomla installations, there is no automatic redirect involving www and non-www URLs.

This results in duplicated files and confused search engines  Google and Bing ask you to choose one in Webmaster Tools, and it’s also important to choose one in Joomla. There are several ways to do this, but here we’ll show you how with your htaccess file.

Indeed: It’s about People, Not Numbers

Since my undergraduate days, I had an interest in microbiology and infectious disease therapy and as I’ve progressed over the years that interest continues to grow.

Earlier in my P4 year, I was fortunate enough to have been on my Acute Care rotation with Dr. Jason Cota, one of my pharmacy school professors and an extremely talented infectious disease specialist.

It was an absolute pleasure having Dr. Cota as a preceptor; during my time with him, he helped me grow both professionally and personally, and I can honestly say he is one of the coolest people I’ve had the fortune to work with.

One of the things that Dr. Cota has always stressed to his students was the importance of antibiotic stewardship; that is, the practice of tailoring therapy to the specific pathogens causing a patient’s infection, as they are identified and their susceptibilities become known.