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EHR & HIT News Round-Up

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • One of the better blogs in health IT is written by the intrepid John D. Halamka, MD. Not only is he an ER doctor and CIO at Deaconess Beth Israel Medical Center, he has also been CIO at Harvard Medical School on top of being a full professor there. But regular readers may have been surprised to learn earlier this week that he’s stepping down from the role as CIO at Harvard because he says it requires more time than he’s able to provide.
  • It is true that you never hear about the thousands of airplanes that take off and land safely every day, but it does happen all the time. No, what makes the news of course are the horrible crashes or even when wingtips mistakenly brush on the tarmac.  But it was reported a few days ago that the World Health Organization has found that stepping into hospital is "riskier" than stepping on a jet airliner and that "millions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care..." The risks of infection and the dangers medical errors are not news but it's still a startling comparison.
  • As we know too well here at athenahealth, being a doctor today is not what it used to be. Given the obstacles to actually providing care, compounded with the threat of a malpractice suit, piles of debt from medical school and the challenges of running a successful practice, it's no surprise that many are asking themselves if it was all worth it. This piece in The New York Times from a working physician asks the question. What do you think? Are you happy with your choice? Is the path sustainable? Check out the 206 comments.
  • At lunchtime today, July 27, athenahealth will be hosting a free webinar on quality management and your EHR. You will learn what is offered in various quality management programs, which are the right programs for your practice and how the right vendor can help deliver profits. Sign up and learn what you need to know to get paid what you deserve.
  • We may try to explain to doctors how to use an EHR as a revenue source--and we prove it with performance--but how well do doctors explain those electronic charts to their patients? Not well, according to a poll reported in this recent article.   
  • Finally, The New York Times explores some of the friction between industry and government over the usability of EHR in this article.  Mary Kate Foley, VP for user experience here, is quoted in the piece. “What scares me is design details mandated from on high...That’s going to prevent me from making my electronic health records more usable. It will hurt innovation.” Stay tuned for more on usability here in the athenahealth blog...
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