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A year ago if someone had told us our Healthcare IT Practice had any home on Twitter, or any other major social media forum, we would have — and probably did — laugh at the thought Yet, the recent legislation, the national push toward EMRs and EHRs, and the growing debate over ARRA and how to interpret “Meaningful Use”, has us tweeting along with the best of them.
Last week, the Meaningful Use Interim Rule was published. And, well, it’s confusing.
What is it and why do we care? Simply put, if money is “candy”, then Meaningful Use rules, when finalized, are the keys to the candy store, and more importantly, the instructions on how to fit the keys in the keyholes. What must a doctor’s practice do to comply with and take advantage of the ARRA/HITECH regulatory “rules of engagement to qualify for the money? What minimum requirements must be met, and what form of compliance reporting should be used to qualify for Meaningful Use reimbursement.
Why are pundits, practitioners and physicians tweeting about it? We have a unique opportunity to give feedback before this Interim Rule is made final. But, let’s face it, it’s 556 pages. Do you want to read it? http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-31217_PI.pdf. The “Standards & Certification Interim Final Rule: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology” otherwise known as the EHR certification requirements is another 136 pages. Available here. We simply must rely on thought leaders, the data they cite, their interpretation and their analysis, if we’re going to be a part of creating a workable (dare we say “meaningful”?) rule.
What should you do? Well, if you’ve read all 692 pages and are ready to provide feedback, the US Government has made that super easy to do. Just click here, and search for the regs by number. For the rest of you who are not ready, or have the time to ready the regs, we have some easy suggestions for you. First off, thanks for reading our blog. Please check back often, we promise to try to get you the real-time data that will help you interpret these and other confusing rules. Follow us on Twitter as well! People much smarter than we are blog and Tweet all day. We are committed to the timely and accurate flow of information and promise to retweet the informative and useful ones.
You are also welcome to call and e-mail us. We know this all seems confusing, but it is not as bad as it appears — as long as you have someone you trust at your side that understands which “keys” open the door to the Candy Store.
According to Healthcare IT News, a recent report by the Center for Studying Health System Change showed that EMRs are not as helpful as hoped in enabling the exchange of information across physician practices and care settings. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/study-finds-gap-between-emr-vision-reality
The study suggests a major disconnect between policy makers’ expectations and doctors’ experiences with their EMR and EHR technologies. In a nutshell, this article found what Vivo has been sharing with its clients all along – despite software vendors’ assertions, technology alone is not the answer. What is needed is a redesign of care processes and work flow; clinicians will also need to adopt new ways of working and communicating within practices and across organizations.
This is precisely why practices are calling Vivo. With our unique Workflow Process Analysis and Report of Findings Phasing Process, we walk our clients through simple, structured changes they can make within their medical practice to ensure EHR/EMR expectations are met.
For more information contact us at email@example.com
Recently, Canada’s CTO Jirka Danek gave a speech where he highlighted the opportunities in cloud and green IT for Canada. Bill St. Arnaud’s blog carried the details.
The arguments for Canada include:
- Well positioned to become a world leader in Cloud Computing
- IT investments by the government
- Existing data protection policies and regulations
- Existing talent pool
What does this mean for businesses outside of Canada? Watch for Canada (and other countries) to make inroads into the space. But also be cautious about data privacy requirements as they pertain to international boundaries. Look for higher-level providers to leverage Canadian providers for services lower in the stack.
In summary, this could provide great opportunities for businesses…where appropriate.
Stemming from the Microsoft Sidekick Data Loss event, some are highlighting the dangers of cloud computing. Of course there is also the contrarian view too. But the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Is cloud computing dangerous? As with many things, it depends on how you approach it. If you take a measured approach to gauge the opportunities and risks, then no. If you haphazardly march straight into it, then yes, it is dangerous. But that is nothing new…or it shouldn’t be.
The Wall Street Journal article (with details) outlined the mess that has been plaguing Sidekick users for a week now. Is this a case of failure in the cloud? No. Let’s ensure that the focus is on the right problem.
While the gory details are not well known, the details we do know point to poor choices on the operational front. It appears that a similar failure could have happened in any data center. This event is not an example of failure in the cloud, but support for ensuring that good DR/ BC processes are in place…and tested regularly.
Let this event not be a call to lynch the cloud supporters, but rather a call to dust off the DR/ BC plan and run through it.
Microsoft Sidekick Data Restore in process:
AFCOM’s Data Center World conference was held Oct 4-7, 2009 in Orlando, FL.
Dr. Zen Kishimoto from AltaTerra Research Network posted a nice set of updates to his blog: Zen and the Art of Data Center Greening. There is quite a bit of good information on data center details. Of particular note was the keynote speaker’s comments on Cloud Computing. Andy Parham, CEO of Bick Group referred to the 5 C’s that will change the data center market considerably forever (quoted from Zen’s blog).
Cloud plays a significant role in the transformation. And that data centers should be viewed for the value they bring to a business, not their technological parts.
You can see more of the details on Zen’s blog.