EHR Matters

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Topics Include:

  1. The Stimulus funding is gaining momentum with EMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) adoption even though terms are not clearly defined.
  2. New York City incorporates a substance abuse protocol into itsEMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) System.
  3. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV opinions onEMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) adoption among small medical practices and rural providers.

Category: EHR Matters
Date: May 1, 2009
Views:4,216 views

Hello I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Friday May 1st.

Toping EMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) news today, the quest for the definition of “meaningful use” continues. The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics has just concluded two days of hearings on the subject. The committee met with industry experts, government officials, healthcare providers, and other interested parties. Physicians and industry reps agreed that any definition of “meaningful use” must include interoperability, the ability to report standard quality measures, and advanced clinical decision-making.

The committee serves as an advisory board to the Department of Health and Human Services, which will eventually set the definition of “meaningful use” for an EMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) to qualify for Stimulus incentives. While the criteria for the incentives remain unclear, there is mounting evidence that they are working. R. Andrew Eckert, CEO of Eclipsys, recently told Business Week of a 250-bed hospital that shelved anEMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) order in the fall after losing $50 million in the stock market, has since reinstated the order. The move is "100% due to the stimulus," said Eckert.

In other Healthcare IT news,EMRs/EHRs (electronic medical records/ electronic health records) continue to show how they can serve and improve Public Health. New York City has announced that it will be incorporating a substance abuse screening protocol into its community basedEMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) system. New York implemented the Primary Care Information Project last year. City officials developed the system in cooperation with eClinicalWorks. The project hopes to become the country’s largestEMR/EHR (electronic medical record/ electronic health record) network with an emphasis on community health and prevention. The new protocol was created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is an interactive screening tool designed to guide clinicians through a series of questions for patients. New York City Officials believe incorporating the easy to use screening techniques with their EHR initiative will help reduce the city’s problems with drug abuse.

Traditionally, primary care physicians have not screened for signs of substance abuse.

Dr. Michael Maves, Executive Vice President of the American Medical Association, said that of the 23 million people who needed drug or alcohol treatment in 2007, nearly 21 million of them did not receive it - even though they had been seen by a physician.

On the political scene, Democratic Senator from West Virginia, John D. Rockefeller IV, has just introduced legislation to facilitate nationwide adoption ofEMRs/EHRs (electronic medical records/ electronic health records), with a focus on small practices and rural providers.

"We need advancements in health information technology across the board to improve the quality of care Americans receive," said The Senator. Senator Rockefeller is Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. The bill is called the Health Information Technology Public Utility Act of 2009, and it is intended to make Health IT more accessible. In a statement released to the press the Senator said "To make this happen, we need universal access to affordable and interoperable health information technology - from small, rural health clinics to large, urban hospitals."

We will be following the proposed legislation closely here on EHR Matters. I’m Lindsay Pine, thanks for watching.

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