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Feeling overwhelmed by the volume of patient information that you receive daily and are required to interpret, absorb, and categorize? We hear regularly from users of EHRs that there are benefits and challenges even with the most useful features and functions. Through feedback collected via the EHR user satisfaction survey, clinicians provided the following regarding…

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The huge investment in health information technology including EHRs, Drug Information, and a multitude of other systems has taken place over decades, recently accelerating as the promise of a technology-supported healthcare system becomes more of a reality. Incentive and accompanying penalty programs have been enshrined under the HITECH Act as well as through other programs…

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Guest Editorial by David Wiljer, PhD & Sara Urowitz, PhD As EHRs and EMRs have started to become more pervasive, and as reams of data are being generated, the focus on Meaningful Use of EHRs has been divided into primary and secondary uses of the data. Although there are several definitions emerging of primary and…

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Guest Editorial by Michael W. Jakovcic The federal incentives made available through the HITEC Act are driving thousands of practices to adopt EHRs. All too many times practices feel the need to rush the process, only to realize that the system they have just implemented does not meet their needs. It is important to have…

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One of the advantages of using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) is its ability to simplify research activities to the point that even small medical practices can do their own research, either to support quality improvement activities within their practice or purely for research purposes. Determining what type of research you are interested in and…

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A recent meeting at the White House brought together physicians at the vanguard of electronic health record system adoption and usage to discuss their broad range of experience, in particular their past successes and their current pain points. The discussion covered a vast range of issues: the absence of interoperability, poor usability, lack of needed…

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EHR systems are constantly being updated to provide new features and improve existing features. However, given the complexity of these systems, the updates may not be apparent unless they directly affect your workflow. As a result, many practices just keep doing the same thing they have been doing, even though a more streamlined alternate approach…

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Many clinicians are still unclear what clinical decision support (CDS) means. Eligible Professionals (EPs) in medical practices who have attested, or are in the process of attesting, to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs should already know that they must meet the Stage 1 menu criteria related to CDS. That means they must implement one clinical…

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Clinical Decision Support Systems (or CDSSs) are increasingly available through Electronic Health Records and include reminders, alerts, drug interaction checking and dose calculation systems as well as chronic disease reporting dashboards. Despite the pervasiveness of CDSSs, there is limited evidence regarding the ability of these systems to improve care and reduce costs. A systematic review…

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A controversial study in Health Affairs this month has provoked a series of articles and public exchanges about the potential for health IT to reduce costs while improving quality. Why so much attention to this article? The conclusions of the study call into question whether health IT will result in lower healthcare costs. Here are…

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On the final day of the HIMSS12 conference in Las Vegas, NV I had an opportunity to interview Thom Kuhn, Sr. Systems Architect, ACP. This is a summary of our discussion regarding his personal observations of the conference. AB: Thom, did you attend any sessions at HIMSS that stand out as particularly important with respect…

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