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Latest Posts

Medical Information Shared Machine-To-Machine

Check out John Halamka’s post on some of the excellent work one of the workgroups convened by the feds is doing. Here’s the complete quote:

Imagine if every EHR could send data to every other EHR using a simple addressing mechanism like email, a consistent REST implementation or a well described SOAP WSDL. Interoperability would follow rapidly because novel packages of data will be sent to support real business needs without any barriers of how to get the data from endpoint to endpoint.

The “addressing” part of the NHIN (Nationwide Health Information Network) Direct specifications is almost complete. The “implementation” workgroup is part of the fast moving NHIN Direct project which is developing lightweight standards for machine-to-machine communication of medical information. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at a few thoughts from a tumor surgeon*

Photo: Medical Records Before EHR Adoption

I came across this picture of my desk just before we went “all in” with our electronic medical record six years ago:

It was a huge amount of work for our staff to organize and box all those old medical records that were sent off to a site unknown. I remember early on when we tried to get some old records after that happened. People just shrugged – no one had a clue how to retrieve them.

But you know what?

Now that we’re farther away from that time, I can’t say that I miss them.

Still, my current desk looks just as disorganized.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Dr. Val Gives ABC News A Sneak Preview Of The Largest Health IT Convention Of The Year: HIMSS In Atlanta

This year, the Better Health team will be offering live coverage of healthcare’s largest tech conference: HIMSS in Atlanta, March 1-4. Three medical bloggers, Dr. Val Jones, Dr. Mike Sevilla, and Dr. Nick Genes will interview over 40 different exhibitors and stream their interviews live via UStream. You can ask questions of the interviewees by submitting questions to @drval during the event. Dr. Val Jones will report to ABC News, DC via Skype from the convention floor on Wednesday, March 3rd at 10:50am. Here’s a sneak preview of HIMSS:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v96kje6mCRU

Stay tuned to the Better Health blog for more information about HIMSS coverage… Or meet Dr. Val at HIMSS during her “Meet The Bloggers” panel discussion. Read more »

Your Doctor Will Now Be Fined For Putting Time With You Above Time With Your Chart

It’s an age-old problem, made more complicated by our new era of electronic medical records: optimizing collections in a time of unprecedented price pressures on our health care complex. With the economic downturn and declining government payments for services, everyone in health care is feeling the pinch.

It is no secret that work not billed will ultimately be work not paid. Hospitals and practice managers, adept at business principles, know this. Deep down inside, doctors know this, too. Historically, doctors dictated when they billed their patients, even if it meant waiting over a week to do so. If a doctor was to take a vacation, some of those billings could wait until his return.

Not so any longer. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Med Students Better At Finding Information On Facebook Than In EHRs

Generation Y medical students are supposed to be the tech-savvy ones. As it turns out, they may be more familiar with Facebook than with the electronic health records they’ll likely use in their medical practice. (Modern Physician, free-registration required)

Educators at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine assessed nearly 190 fourth-year medical students on their use of EHRs during a mock encounter simulating a cancer patient hospitalized with complications from chemotherapy.

Students were scored on their ability to find information crucial to the patient’s case within the EHR and their ability to analyze the EHR without alienating the patient. While most couldn’t access the information, they did interact with the patients face-to-face and even explained when they looked away to the computer.

Following more research, the school may incorporate class work on using EHRs.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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