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Health IT in the News

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • So make mine, a Benz? According to this article from Information Week, some CIOs think an EHR should be more like a car. The point, which was made in a letter to the new ONC, Farzad Mostashari, MD, is that EHRs need some standardization in the way that you can climb into any car and expect to find a steering wheel, gas pedal, brake, gear shift and all that. But just as car manufacturers build in their own custom features, the equivalent in an EHR makes it hard for clinicians to adapt to a new system. So, “One suggested improvement was to define a limited set of icons that would be consistent across applications, as well as consistent terminology for actions taken within the EHR.” Probably a good place to start would be making sure every EHR actually gets you where you want to go in terms of care and revenue…
  • These past few days have seen a series of reports from regional extension centers around the country announcing milestones in EHR adoption. Mississippi hit its mark and the 1,000th provider was enrolled in Maryland.  In Vermont some 750 doctors have signed on for assistance with EHR adoption and South Carolina put up some big numbers as well. In late 2009, athenahealth spun up a major effort to work with the RECs and we continue to collaborate with them today. Just last week we conducted a webinar training session for all of our extension partners and we continue to focus on our unique approach to guaranteeing Meaningful Use for our providers. In the most recent webinar, we walked the RECs step-by-step through each measure and highlighted areas where they are able to support athenahealth providers.
  • Speaking of EHR adoption, patients need to be assured about the use and the safety of their health information as growing networks mean more exchange of data. The market for EHR is growing too, according to this article from Healthcare IT News.
  • Hmmm, more time for Meaningful Use? That’s what a federal panel has recommended. According to this report, the Health Information Technology Committee for the Department of Health and Human Services wants decision-makers to cut some slack for doctors and hospitals to meet the second phase of Meaningful Use deadlines, shifting from 2012 to 2014. Our CEO, Jonathan Bush tweeted some initial thoughts about MU shifts this week. We’ll have more to say on that one…
  • Maybe we should be grateful we’re not stuck in a sooty locomotive factory all day or that life doesn’t mean you get to dig a massive canal with a shovel beneath the blazing sun, but it turns out this age of information is not so kind to its laborers either. Believe it or not, the hazards of sitting for hours a day using your body for not much more than clicking a mouse and tapping keys is being compared to the consequences of smoking. The article notes that some with an eye to longevity are resorting to stand-up desks, something you will notice in several offices here at athenahealth.
  • Finally, we’re happy to announce our recent membership in the Cloud Security Alliance where we join the likes of Google, Salesforce and Microsoft. It’s telling that we seem to be the only health care company in the group and the only self-described “cloud-based service” as well.
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