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Health IT in the News

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • Stay tuned, because in a few days we’ll be sharing some survey results highlighting what doctors think about everything from EHRs to ACOs to health care reform. And while some resistance to switching from paper charts to EHRs endures, most doctors are sold on them. This article illustrates that the problem may partly reside in the complex processes required by health care and the infinite nature of the information involved. The author offers a big idea solution. Think NASA.
  • The good news is that 48 of 62 regional extension centers (RECs)  were just awarded some $12 million in grants to promote the adoption of EHRs. Still, they don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve. This report shows a lot of doctors remain unfamiliar with RECs. We’re doing our share partnering with RECs trying to get the word out about these great resources. Here's a good piece on why RECs matter to doctors.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports on the findings of two surveys about the relationship between doctors and patients. It turns out that for doctors, “insurance paperwork topped their list of things that interfere with their ability to provide the best possible care. Financial pressure was No. 2.” We might know about a company that was created to solve those two problems…
  • Does the acronym “PHI” followed by the word “breach” make you stop in your tracks? It should. If that scenario isn’t bad enough to ponder, add another dark thought. Criminals are stealing the identities of doctors—which is scary no matter what—but then using them to commit Medicare fraud. NPR reports that story.
  • In case you don’t know about it, the Manage My Practice blog is a terrific resource even if you don’t manage a practice. The top story as we’re putting this post together points to a video of Susannah Fox from the Pew Internet & American Life Project explaining how the Internet is transforming health care.
  • HIStalk followed up the widely reported study that found that EHRs may not boost the quality of patient care. The head of ONC, Dr. David Blumenthal, pushes back here and in the original article here.
  • Last week we started off in Washington but we’ll end there now. According to The Health Care Blog, health care reform may live or die in a game of “¿Quien es mas macho?” We know the political battling over health care reform is generating uncertainty among doctors. Should they keep pursuing an EHR to meet the mandates and to bank Meaningful Use dollars, or will all that get vaporized in some Capitol Hill budget bloodbath?  More on the pall of uncertainty later…
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