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Analytics & Research

Flu Season Striking Early this Holiday Season


Iyue Sung, Director of athenaResearchAs many of us prepare to spend time with family and friends this week, you may want to think twice about sharing that slice of pumpkin pie with mom, or shaking hands with your brother-in-law — flu season has arrived.

Last week, we reported early signs of the flu season, based on patient visit data from the athenahealth cloud-based network. We track approximately one million visits per week to 20,000 primary care providers around the country who are on our EHR. Because athenahealth is a cloud based software and services provider, we are able to report on disease … Read more


All Things EMR

One Small Step for CommonWell, One Giant Leap for Interoperability


John Voith, Director of Transaction ServicesToday, the CommonWell Health Alliance, a non-profit organization that brings together health IT companies to advance health data sharing, has taken the first major step in making those dreams of connectivity a reality. As athenahealth is a founding member of CommonWell, I’m proud to share news that they have entered a new phase of their effort to advance health IT interoperability: CommonWell members can now enter into service agreements that open the door for a broader range of health care providers — and their patients — to benefit from CommonWell’s services.

So what exactly does that mean?

Well, for … Read more


Analytics & Research

Have There Been Lower Vaccination Rates This Flu Season?


Iyue Sung, Director of Core AnalyticsNext week is Thanksgiving, meaning the official start of the holiday season — and the unofficial start of flu season. Reports of production delays for flu vaccines leads to this edition’s question: Have there been lower vaccination rates this year?

Fortunately, data from the athenahealth cloud-based network suggests that the production delays have had minimal impact. These estimates are based on approximately 43 million primary care visits nationally from 2012 and 2014, between the 30th and 46th weeks of the year (week 46 in 2014 ended November 16).

Figure 1 shows the percentage of patient visits that included a flu … Read more


Patient Engagement

Why the Flexibility and Immediacy of Technology Are Essential To My Patients’ Satisfaction


Just about every obstetrician has heard it: “I think that I’m 21 weeks,” or “I think that I’m 26 weeks.” When a pregnant patient walks into the labor and delivery or the emergency room, I can’t rely on “think.” I must be able to pull that information up immediately and be able to tell them, “No, you’re actually this many weeks. This medicine is safe to take during this trimester, but not this trimester.” Patient communication and instant access to patient information are essential aspects of any care — in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, I believe … Read more


All Things EMR

A Walk in the Park, Running from Burnout


There are times when who you are and what you do are inseparable. A photographer views a scene from the camera’s point-of-view even when the camera is not in hand. A police officer assesses situations with an “on duty” reaction, even when off-duty. And a health care professional rarely turn off the knee-jerk reaction to assist when someone requires help. That immediate response moves from Center Stage when the white coat is off, but it never really falls away completely. We tend to view things through the prism of what we do every day. At times it’s a blessing; other … Read more


Rocket Fuel