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News 9/17/09

September 16, 2009 News 2 Comments

From NoExcuses: “Re: EMR sales and ARRA. In a recent conversation with a salesperson from an EMR vendor, he mentioned that many docs are are holding off on purchases because they fear the government will find ways around paying the money. Sounds like a crazy excuse; then again, doctors aren’t always reasonable.” At first blush it sounds like a lame excuse for not making one’s sales numbers. Then again, at the eCW conference, John Halamka described the struggles his hospital had getting physicians to move to EMR. After the hospital agreed to pay 85% of the cost, doctors still felt that having to pay 15% of the cost was too much. Then, the IPA figured out a way to pay the 15%, essentially making the EMR free. Free was not cheap enough for many doctors. It was not until the government said they’d pay the physicians up to $44,000 did they decide the price was right. Thus, it’s not surprising that plenty of doctors are still looking for excuses to avoid EMR, especially when most of them are not lucky enough to have a “free” EMR option.

Athenahealth puts its reputation and checkbook on the line, announcing a guarantee that physician users will qualify for HITECH incentives. If the athenaClinical physicians fail to qualify for the 2011 incentives , the company will offer them six months of free service. Athenahealth claims their Web-based, shared risk service model gives them a vested interest in physicians earning bonuses. In addition, their software platform allows them to tweak the rules engine in ways to force physicians to meet HITECH program guidelines. I’ll bet that physicians who had never before considered athenaClinicals will at least give it a look.

bay area

Bay Area Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine (CA) selects Prime Clinical Systems’ Patient Chart Manager.

RCM provider Capario achieves full HNAP accreditation from the EHNAC.

The Association of Departments of Family Medicine wants new family practice physicians to be better prepared to use HIT, with their educators training them to use EHRs to facilitate clinical decision making, communicate with their patients, and interpret data.

The Health IT Standards Committee submits its recommended EHR privacy and security standards. The initial set is basic, but by 2013, EHRs would be required to use HL7 BRAC role-based access control, security assertion markup language, and WS-Trust for secure exchange of Simple Object Access Protocol messages.

Good news on the effectiveness of electronic prescribing. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concludes that prescribing alerts in ambulatory care may prevent a “substantial” number of injuries and reduce healthcare costs. However, only 10% of drug interaction alerts accounted to 60% of the ADEs and 78% of the cost savings, suggesting that systems should focus on higher-level alerts and reduce alerts with nominal clinical value.

I’ll never tell if I wrote this or if it was one of my BFFs. In any case, it made me laugh.

SXC Health Solutions and Allscripts team up to enhance the e-prescribing options for SXC’s healthcare benefits management customers. EHR and e-prescribing clients of Allscripts will be able electronically receive data from SXC clients, including details on eligibility and medications.


Nuance Communications announces that eClinicalWorks and McKesson Practice Partner have successfully completed Nuance’s Dragon Medical EHR Certification program. Speaking of Nuance, I chatted with those guys earlier this week in Vegas. There was a suggestion that the company may still have an acquisition or two in the works.

A California bookkeeper is charged with stealing almost $1 million from Conejo Valley Women’s Group (CA). Elizabeth Ann Jones worked for the practice for 18 years and allegedly forged and issued hundreds of checks to herself, her creditors, and family’s creditors.

Two pet peeves that have crossed my mind in the last few days. First, answering your cell phone during a speaker’s presentation. Two, Web sites that require you to register before you can see any sort of demo. There. I feel better.


E-mail Inga. 

Comments 2
  • Could not agree more on the required registration just to see an EMR/EHR. My solution: I don’t bother looking at them. I figure, if their system is so lame that the only way they feel they can generate sales leads is to force me to provide my contact info ante-demo, rather than wait until they’ve had a chance to impress me with their quality and offer me the choice of talking with them further, then the demo would probably be a waste of my time anyway.

  • Followup to Inga’s Pet Peeve #2 and Gregg Alexander response on September 16th.

    Vendors are afraid of competitive espionage that can occur by allowing demo’s to be seen or downloaded to one’s pc is the main reason for the registration process — Of course, registering also gets you on the mailing and contact list.

    Also, they are afraid that without “proper training” required to operate their software, the user would quickly become frustrated and rule out their software – -kinda funny isnt it? If it is not intuitive and easy to navigate, how can the product be of any benefit to the end user anyway?

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