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Productivity can be defined as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services” (Dictionary.com). In a medical office, productivity refers to the number of patients seen and managed during the course of a defined period of work. The implementation of an EHR results in an…

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If your front office does not operate efficiently, it has a negative ripple effect throughout your entire practice. The Meaningful Use program, mandatory E-Prescribing, and health system reform initiatives at the state level are taking their toll on many practices. The transition towards Electronic Health Records and adaptation to new workflow processes is creating significant…

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In a November 1, 2011 Editorial, Kate Ackerman, Managing Editor for iHealthBeat, wrote an article titled “Health IT: A Boon or Bane for Patient Safety?” In the article, Ackerman summarized the findings of a meeting of the American Medical Informatics Association’s 35th Annual Symposium on Biomedical and Health Informatics, and pointed out that although Health…

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HIMSS defines Health Information Exchange (HIE) as “an electronic movement of health-related information among organizations utilizing nationally recognized standards and policies.” Organizations include hospitals, diagnostic facilities, and medical practices. Healthcare delivery is all about information exchange and could not take place without the ability to transmit referral requests, prescription renewals, lab reports, and hundreds of…

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Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $11.9M will be distributed to 40 rural health networks to support investment in health information technology. The news release states that each of the organizations will receive approximately $300,000 to purchase equipment, install broad band networks, and train staff. Assistance for rural health networks that provide care to underserved communities…

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Computers are extremely good at performing repetitive tasks, particularly for mundane things such as appointment reminders. By extension, EHRs excel at the same type of functionality, particularly when applied to patients with chronic disease. Individuals with complex co-morbid conditions require a great deal of management and generally this is more about consistently applying rules and…

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As debt-ceiling talks heat up, there is certainly quite a bit of drama taking place along the six-mile stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House. However, the CompTIA Tech Summit in Washington, D.C., on August 4 promises to deliver high-level panelists and thoughtful discussion, particularly on healthcare IT. From 9:00 a.m….

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A recent article in Lancet appears to demonstrate the benefit of using simple motivational text messages to improve abstinence rates of tobacco smokers. The punchline: among 5,800 randomized patients, “Biochemically verified continuous abstinence at 6 months was significantly increased in the txt2stop group (10–7% txt2stop vs 4–9% control, relative risk [RR] 2–20, 95% CI 1·80—2·68;…

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Data about the influence of EHRs on the quality of care provided is not always as encouraging as advocates of health IT would hope to see (see Annals of Internal Medicine: Chaudhry, 2006; Baron, 2007; Gordon, 2009; Friedberg, 2009). The evidence tends to suggest that fully enabled EHR systems implemented in well-organized practices do improve quality of…

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You may be in the golden years of your medical career (if you have planned well and are financially secure enough to retire anytime soon), so should you get on the bandwagon and implement an EHR? This is a question that many physicians face as they near the end of their practice days. If you…

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Special Open Door Forum 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Programs Date & Time: Tuesday March 22, 2011 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET Conference Call Only Dial: 1-800-837-1935 Conference ID: 51772165 Note: Capacity is limited so dial in early. You may begin dialing in as…

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