From The Editor | July 16, 2013

Healthcare IT News for VARs — July 16, 2013

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

Tablet Efficiency

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

Adverse Health-IT Related Events Study Will Lead to Corrective-Action Plans

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health and Information Technology (ONC) recently released the Health Information Technology Patient Safety and Surveillance Plan. Keep an eye out for reports from the Joint Commission, under contract with the ONC, which will study adverse health-IT related events and develop corrective-action plans. The American College of Physicians Executives (ACPE) also announced its support of the plan. The ACPE has a Health IT Leadership Certificate program that you might want to recommend to your customers. Program courses include electronic health records (EHR), electronic prescribing, and informatics and Meaningful Use.

Expanding Patient Access To Medical Records

Lygeia Ricciardi, director of the Office of Consumer eHealth at ONC, recently discussed progress toward expanded patient access to medical records, including a report on this year’s Patient Access Summit that included work on guidelines for third-party apps and tools for retrieving health data.

Bar Code Labeling Compliance Deadline Approaches

The deadline for your clients to comply with new laboratory specimen bar code labeling is April 29, 2014. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) developed AUTO12-A, Specimen Labels: Content and Location, Fonts, and Label Orientation; Approved Standard in 2011 for clinical laboratories to standardize labeling. Meant to reduce identification errors and increase productivity and efficiency, the new standard recommends bar code specimen labels are consistency. It is anticipated that compliance will affect laboratory accreditation in the future. Read more in Dark Daily and an archived article from the ASCP journal on the standard at its release.

Vendor Error Listed As Reason For EHR Meaningful Use Reporting Dropouts

An American Academy of Family Physicians article mentions the need for vendors — maybe some of yours — to make sure EHR internal tracking mechanisms are working properly throughout your clients’ reporting period. The article states EHR Meaningful Use attestation data published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows about 20 percent of first-time Meaningful Use attesters in 2011 did not attest to Meaningful Use in 2012. One reason cited for the decrease is that vendors might have inadvertently turned off tracking mechanisms during system updates.

 Healthcare Professionals Comment On IT

Ed Park, Athenahealth’s executive vice president and CEO, talks about the role of the cloud for healthcare data, including the perspective that the cloud’s true power is “an accelerant to innovation.”

A guest blog by Ted Reynolds and Maria Roberts on Healthcare Informatics looks at the increasing demand for EHRs, but how the rush to keep pace with technology — and to qualify for incentives — might have left physicians less than satisfied with their solutions. The blog cites recent Black Box polls that show almost 50 percent of physician shoppers in 2012 were replacing their electronic medical records system, and that one in six medical practices may switch in 2013. On MedCityNews.com, Mary Brislin also comments on dissatisfaction with some EHR systems and advice for selecting a solution.

Have you had to help your clients defend budgeting funds for a new technology solution that isn’t directly related to patient care? Read about a debate at Peterborough Regional Health Centre,

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