Posts Tagged medical practice

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Digging Into the Details of “Certified EMR” & Tips For Buying an EMR

Steps to digging under the meaning of EMR certification: 

Cocker Spaniel digging

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Click to see the most recent alphabetical list (by product name not company) of all products certified here.
  2. Find the company or companies you are using or are considering using.
  3. Check that the exact name of the product is what you have or might purchase.
  4. Check to find out if a module or part of the product is certified or if the complete product is certified.
  5. Check to make sure the version of the product is the version you have or will have.

If you have questions about each company’s exact criteria met, you are in luck!  On the ONC site here, you can click on each company’s detail (“View Criteria”) on the far right column labeled “Certification Status” to see what they have and don’t have.  Compare this to how you are anticipating using your EMR to meet meaningful use.  The more check marks a company has, the better-equipped they are (and more flexible) to meet your practice needs and to qualify for the stimulus money.

The ONC site with the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) is Version 1.0.  Version 2.0 is now being developed and will provide the Clinical Quality Measures each product was tested on, and the capability to query and sort the data for viewing. The next version will also provide the reporting number that will be accepted by CMS for purposes of attestation under the EHR (“meaningful use”) incentives programs.

You can tell ONC what you think would be helpful in the new version by emailing your ideas to ONC.certification@hhs.gov, with “CHPL” in the subject line.

If you’d like a list of just outpatient/medical practice EMR products or just inpatient / hospital products, I’ve split the big list into two smaller printable lists here:

Medical Practice / Outpatient

Hospital / Outpatient

Tips On Buying An EMR

To-do list book.

Remember that meeting meaningful use does not tell the whole story – if you are shopping for an EMR be prepared to go beyond a product’s certification status to consider:

  • Flexibility – does it make the practice conform to it or can it conform to the practice? How?
  • Templates and best practices – are you starting from scratch in developing protocols, templates and cheat sheets for your practice, or does it have a storehouse of examples to choose from or tweak?
  • Built for the physician, or the billing office, or the nurses, but doesn’t really meet the needs of all three? Make sure the functionality is not too skewed to one user group, but if it is, it should be somewhat skewed to the provider.
  • Interface and integration with your practice management system. Does the information flow both ways? Do you ever have to re-enter information because one side doesn’t speak to the other?
  • Interface with other inside and outside systems: Labs, imaging, hospital systems, ambulatory surgical center systems?
  • Built-in Resources: annual upgrade of HCPCS and ICD codes, drug compendium (Epocrates), comparative effectiveness prompting?
  • Mobile applications – EMR on your providers’ phones?
  • Data entry systems – laptops, notebooks, tablets, iPads, smartphones, voice recognition?
  • Hosting – in your office? at the hospital? at the vendor’s data center? in the cloud of your choice?
  • What’s the plan for ICD-10? Will they provide practice support and education for the change or will they just change the number of characters in the diagnosis code field?
  • Price, including annual maintenance and additional costs for training, implementation, on-site support during go-live, and additional licenses for providers or staff.

Posted in: Electronic Medical Records, Headlines, Medicare & Reimbursement

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Chris Brogan Gives Good Advice to Small Businesses (and Medical Practices are Small Businesses)

I have been a fan of Chris Brogan’s for quite awhile now.  He is a superstar on the social media landscape and I almost got to meet him once when I lived in Seattle (sigh.)  Today I came across his post  “5 Things That Small Businesses Should Do Now.”  Many medical practices are small businesses (privately owned and operated, with 100 employees or less), but may have not considered any of these options.

Here are Chris’s suggestions and my commentary:

  • Start a blog ”“ I can’t think of any simpler website technology to start and master, and there are cheap and free platforms readily available. Why a blog? Because they’re easy to create, because they’re easy to update, because they encourage repeat visits, and because you can use them in many flexible ways.

My comment: Most practices have websites and it is easy to add a blog to a website.   Some administrators and/or physicians would gladly take on a blog, and if not, there are some great writing professionals who can create and write a blog for you.  Professional bloggers get to know your practice and your patient demographic and create a voice for your practice that uniquely fits you.  A blog extends and enhances your relationship with existing and future patients. It’s all about the communication.

  • Start listening ”“ People are talking about you. Find out where they are and who they are.

My comment: It has been hard for physicians to come to terms with the fact that patients are publicly rating them. In some cases, physicians are requiring consumers to sign gag orders before becoming patients.  The truth is, patients will not be stifled and physicians need to monitor the bandwaves for commentary about them and take it seriously.

  • Try Twitter OR Facebook ”“ Let’s not rush things. Facebook has many more users, but it’s a bit harder to find customers, prospects, partners and colleagues. Twitter is easier to use and faster to connect with people, but there are far fewer users on there today. I’ll let you choose. If you go with Facebook, make a personal account under your own name, and then start a fan page for your business.

My comment: Does this seem too far out? It’s not! At the very least, practices should be learning about the technology and preparing for the time when they will need to jump in.  Businesses (who want customers) can no longer hold themselves aloof. You need to be part of the conversation, or at least know where/what the conversation is.

  • Get the word out ”“ If you’re going to spend time building these social sites, let’s presume that you want more people to contact you and interact with you through them. Print business cards with the company name, and/or the request for people to join your fan page or follow you on Twitter.

My comment: Your website and your social sites should be on everything you print that patients take home or receive from you, and can also be communicated to patients via automated communication: appointment reminders, messages on hold, emails, and electronic newsletters.

  • Try moving the needle ”“ now lets really get crazy. See if you can fill the place up with social-media minded folks. Okay, this won’t work for every business, but don’t be too quick to count out the idea. Let’s try inviting them to a store-only special event, or let’s give them a discount code. You know, the stuff you already know how to do. Any difference in the results? See if you can do some kind of really special one-day-only push, and what that brings to you.

My comment: This won’t work for every medical practice but it’s ideal for practices with elective services – plastic/cosmetic surgery, allergy, complementary & alternative medicine, sports performance, vision correction, cosmetic dental services, infertility treatment, etc.

Posted in: Innovation, Social Media

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