An ever-expanding amount of the nation’s medical records — millions of prescriptions, medical reports and appointment reminders — are now computerized and part of an ambitious electronic medical records program, the Obama administration reports.
Since the start of a 2011 program in which the government helps finance new health records systems, doctors or their assistants have filled more than 190 million prescriptions electronically, according to data provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Providers have also shared more than 4.3 million health care summaries with colleagues when patients change doctors, according to the data.
More than half of the nation’s health care providers and more than 80% of hospitals now have electronic records.
Read full article at http://www.usatoday.com.
U.S. hospitals have made major progress in adopting electronic health records systems over the past three years, according to a new report.
The number of hospitals with a basic electronic health records (EHRs) system tripled from 2010 to 2012, with more than four of every 10 hospitals now equipped with the new health information technology, according to the report scheduled for Tuesday release by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Given the size of our country, that’s amazing progress in a very short time period,” said report co-author Dr. Ashish Jha, an associate professor with the Harvard School of Public Health.
However, there is much more work to be done, the report indicates. These systems may have been adopted, but hospitals have not yet figured out how to use the new technology to improve patient safety and reduce health care costs.
Read full article at http://health.usnews.com.
An electronic medical records (EMR) system can easily help physical therapists manage multiple facets of patient care, from scheduling and treatment to appointment reminders. Physical therapist and marketing specialist, Nitin Chhoda, announced new ways for therapists to utilize physical therapy documentation software.
“Every practice has them – the no shows, cancellation and those who need reminders. EMRs provide therapists with a one-stop resource for managing all aspects of patient care. They’re efficient, cost effective and integrate easily with office workflow,” said Chhoda.
Verification of Insurance
Insurance coverage of patient runs the gamut from a full range of services to minimal intervention. When clients schedule an appointment, their insurance provider, coverage and eligibility for physical therapy services can be verified immediately. Electronic medical records system allows for verification on a single client or can be set for automatic batch verifications at the end of each day, all accomplished in real time.
Read full article at http://www.prweb.com.
Paramedics in South Lake Tahoe are beta testing private company software to comply with a federal mandate to store patient records electronically next year. Capital Public Radio’s Ky Plaskon reports.
Tahoe Paramedics are rushing to take a heart attack patient to the hospital. Paramedic Mike Mileski enters information in a tablet computer while they drive.
“We just go in here, plug in our times, basically documenting what proceedures we did, what we found,” Mileski says.
Read full article at http://www.capradio.org.
EHRs are an effective tool in the fight against infectious diseases, according to a new study by researchers at the Columbia University School of Nursing. Automated immunization reporting using EHR data helped speed the collection of vaccine data and allowed public health agencies to assemble a clearer picture of at-risk populations. EHR reporting also reduced the amount of paperwork involved in immunization tracking and freed clinical staff to pursue other tasks.
Health officials recommend children and adults be vaccinated against 17 preventable diseases. But tracking these immunizations can be difficult, especially among underserved populations, low-income patients, and children who may receive vaccines at multiple providers. The study looked at 1.7 million records submitted to the NY Citywide Immunizations Registry between 2007 and 2011, which spanned both manual record transmissions and an automated reporting program. The researchers found that submissions of new records increased by 18% after instituting automated reporting, and historical records of vaccines already received jumped by 98%.
Read full article at http://ehrintelligence.com.
With the advent of the electronic health record (EHR) and a dramatic increase in collaborative healthcare, many assume that the challenges related to patient data management have been conquered. However, while progress has been made, storage is still a sticking point.
Today, nearly all industries are struggling with ever increasing amounts of data. Hospitals are further tasked with the challenge ofdeveloping solutions that integrate data from patient systems with healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical firms and patients – all while adhering to compliance mandates.
Much of the issue surrounds the varied types of data stored; everything from emails and clinician notes to diagnostic tests and medical images. The sheer volume can be staggering. Consider that the business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan says that picture archiving and communication system (PACS) storage alone is growing at more than 20 percent annually in the U.S.
Read full article at http://www.biztechmagazine.com.
Providers are increasingly using electronic health records, both to manage their patients’ care and to provide more information to those patients, according to new data published Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices.
Already, approximately 80 percent of eligible hospitals and more than 50 percent of eligible professionals have adopted EHRs and received meaningful use incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid, according to CMS.
By meaningfully using EHRs, physicians and care providers have shown increased efficiencies while safeguarding privacy and improving care for millions of patients nationwide, the data show.
“Electronic health records are transforming relationships between patients and their health care providers,” said CMSAdministrator Marilyn Tavenner, in a press statement. “EHRs improve care coordination, reduce duplicative tests and procedures, help patients take more control of their health and result in better overall health outcomes.”
Read ful article at http://www.healthcareitnews.com.
With the demand for secure and reliable health information exchange (HIE) building as a result of healthcare consolidation, meaningful use, and accountable care, recent achievements in two states — Massachusetts and New Jersey — show positive signs that the infrastructure necessary for exchanging health information is coming together.
The first bit of news comes out of Princeton, NJ, with the announcement that the state’s Department of Health has awarded $1.57 million to a coalition of health organizations charged with creating and operating a statewide health information network, the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN), which will connect regional health information organizations already active in the state. The funds come by way of grants made available by theOffice of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
“The creation of the New Jersey Health Information Network will further expand the use of health information technology and health information exchange to better coordinate patient care in our state,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said in a public statement. “NJHIN will allow appropriate healthcare providers across the state to have electronic access to patient information such as medical histories, medication allergies and lab test results at the point of care.”
The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates has approved a policy to help physicians interact with their patients while using their electronic health records.
The policy, approved during the AMA’s annual meeting in June, asks the association to provide physicians with resources so that they can effectively use their EHRs in physician/patient interactions, and encourages physicians to ask patients about EHRs in their patient satisfaction surveys.
“Our board report looked at the effect of electronic health records on interactions between patients and physicians and found that the perspective and skills physicians bring to using computers determines whether the response to their introduction in the exam room will be positive or negative,” said then-AMA Board Chair Steven Stack, M.D in a statement. “We look forward to gathering more information to help physicians best incorporate this new technology into their interactions with patients.”
Read full article at http://www.fierceemr.com.
A new mark for certified electronic health records technology was unveiled by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology . The mark, pictured to the left, will appear on EHR products that have been certified by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body and will indicate that the product meets the 2014 Edition Standards and Certification Criteria.
“We’ve reached the tipping point of doctors adopting electronic health record systems and using them to improve patient care,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “The use of the ONC Certified HIT mark will help to assure them that the EHR they have purchased will support them in meeting the Meaningful Use requirements.”
Read full article at http://emrdailynews.com.