From The Editor | August 9, 2013

Healthcare IT News for VARs — August 9, 2013

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-Stethoscope computer

Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving clients in the healthcare industry.

EHR Vendors Brace For “Year Of The Great Switch”

A Black Book Market Research survey reports EHR (electronic health record) vendors are preparing for the “Year of the Great EHR Switch.” According to a PRWeb release, 38 percent of healthcare providers could contract with new EHR vendors in the next year. Despite the cost of replacement, most plan to switch because of usability flaws and lack of service. Black Book followed up with a survey of physicians who plan to switch vendors and a list of EHR vendors that scored highest in replacement market satisfaction. Ken Congdon, Health IT Outcomes editor-in chief, comments on this topic in “The EHR Honeymoon Is Over.”

CMS Data Shows Doctors Successfully Using EHR

In spite of reported dissatisfaction, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medial Services (CMS) shows doctors are using EHRs to increase efficiency and provide information securely.  

Nonacute Healthcare Sectors Prepare For Challenges

A Q2 survey by Provista, a supply chain improvement company, shows cancer centers, physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, and home health agencies are preparing for healthcare reform. All are most concerned with declining reimbursements, rising operational costs, and increased regulations. All four sectors plan to cut costs, expand services or diversify, and pursue joint ventures or join accountable care organizations (ACOs).

10 States Partner To Share Health Records After Disasters

Four Gulf states have partnered with six states in the east and Midwest to help patients and healthcare providers access health information after natural disasters. Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia are working with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Providers in these states will exchange health information for patients who are unable to visit their regular doctors or facilities because of a hurricane or other widespread disaster.

HiTrust Analysis Shows Data Breach Trends

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HiTrust) performs periodic analysis of data breaches with information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other sources. The current study looks at incidents from 2009 to the present. Electronic data breaches overshadow physical data breaches — in a ratio of 96 percent to 4 percent. Hospitals and health systems account for most incidents, 160, with physician practices second with 139. The highest percentage of records breached (51 percent) occurred through mobile media.

Series Advises Dentists Who Are Choosing EHR Vendors

Dentistry IQ continues its series on electronic dental records, including what to look for in a vendor. The series gives VARs a chance to consider the process of negotiating terms of service from the dentist’s perspective. Links to previous articles are included, covering topic such as costs, evaluating system features, and integrating administrative features.

Professionals Comment On Health IT

In a Government Health IT article, John Criswell, CEO of Pulse 8, a healthcare technology and analytics vendor, discusses the growing area of healthcare analytics.

A Health IT Outcomes (HTO) article looks at whether EHR template limitations are slowing adoption.

HTO also finds that accountable care organizations’ success is tied to provider/patient communication.

In a Channelnomics article, Neal Bradbury, co-founder and VP of channel development for Intronis, advises offering backup services —a great need for healthcare providers —  could be the key to new business.

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