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Ideas, insight, and analysis to help physicians, medical groups and health systems stay informed and profitable in today's challenging health care environment.

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All Things EMR | Cloud Services

Ebola and the Information Flow Challenge


The Ebola crisis in Texas has tested our nation’s health care system in many ways, exposing weaknesses and potential breakdowns. In particular, the incident with the first diagnosed Ebola patient at Texas Health Presbyterian underscores a fundamental issue with information liquidity between providers, their care teams, and across the continuum of care. The ability to share information effectively is critical not just in responding to health care crises like Ebola — but also in delivering great, cost-effective care.

As athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush said in an interview with CNBC earlier this month: “The worst supply chain in our society is Read more


Patient Engagement

Patient Engagement: Going Beyond the Patient Portal


More than ever, market forces are influencing provider behaviors in how they practice medicine. Helping providers preserve the sanctity of their interactions with patients at the moment of care now takes on a new dimension — moving that connection to patients beyond the exam room, and beyond the four walls of any practice. This concept of patient engagement is an integral part of health care delivery today, whether you’re a solo practitioner, a multi-state health system, or anything in between. Achieving true patient engagement is more than simply adopting a patient portal — it takes the right combination of technology, … Read more


All Things EMR

Five Ways to Improve Productivity with an EMR


Brian Anderson, MD, Senior Manager, Clinical ContentOne of the major reasons that health care providers resist implementing an electronic medical record (EMR) system is the belief that using it will decrease provider productivity, reducing the number of patients they can see and therefore reducing practice revenue. However, an EMR that is designed around a streamlined workflow can enable providers to work faster and more efficiently. Having an EHR and vendor that can give you ongoing visibility and insight into efficiency and productivity is essential to improving performance. For example, we’ve found that providers who utilize our recommended workflows, customized by specialty, complete with care … Read more


Care Coordination

FQHC Success Vital to Health of Underserved Communities


As safety net providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) fill a huge void in American health care. They are at the front-lines serving the most vulnerable and delivering care of equal or better quality as the most lavishly funded medical groups. Growing inequality, reduced social mobility, and the thinning of the middle class means that the provision of health care to underserved communities has never been more important.

I feel a deep affinity with FQHCs and share their sense of mission. I spent 12 years as an emergency physician at Boston City Hospital, seeing patients referred from Boston’s numerous community … Read more


All Things EMR | Health Information Exchange

Health Care Interoperability 101


John Voith, Director of Transaction ServicesWhenever we talk about health care interoperability with other interoperability “experts,” hundreds (maybe thousands) of acronyms — ANSI, ERA, PIX, VPN, FHIR, HL7, XDS.b — start flying around. These are technical standards that were created to make information exchange easier for health IT developers, payers, providers, and patients — but this is not where an interoperability conversation should begin. Talking about specific exchange standards is overwhelming, and five steps ahead of where we should start. So I’ll begin here by answering the most basic question: What does interoperability really mean?

But even that’s not an easy question to answer. In … Read more


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