HealthLeaders Media IT - September 1, 2009 | Will the HITECH Act be Effective or a Bust?
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Will the HITECH Act be Effective or a Bust?
Carrie Vaughan, Technology Editor

When it comes to implementing electronic health record systems and exchanging health information electronically, healthcare providers are being incentivized, nudged, or hit with a stick. As everyone reading this probably already knows, healthcare providers have until 2015 to be deemed "meaningful users" of certified EHRs before they are penalized under the regulations outlined in the HITECH Act. So will the HITECH Act—based on where we are headed and the work that has already been done—achieve its goals? [Read More]
September 1, 2009
Editor's Picks
Is HIPAA's New Harm Threshold Good News or Bad?
In this article, my colleague Dom Nicastro takes a closer look at the "harm threshold" provision included in the Department of Health and Human Services' interim final rule on breach notification and analyzes whether organizations will take advantage of it as a loophole in the legislation. The provision states that unauthorized use or disclosure of personal health information is only considered a breach if it poses some harm to the individual. Healthcare providers and their business associates will need to perform a risk assessment to determine the potential harm to the individual whose PHI was compromised. Providers should answer key questions like who has the information and is there significant risk of financial, reputational, or other harm to the individual. [Read More]

CMS Seeks Vendor Input
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking technology vendors to partner with providers and test EHR-based quality data submissions, according to this article by my colleague Lisa Eramo. The pilot program will focus on submitting clinical EHR data using interoperability standards, such as cross document sharing, cross community access, and Health Level 7, to a CMS-designated clinical data repository. Submitting quality measures electronically will likely be a key element of the meaningful use requirements outlined in the HITECH Act. CMS is also asking vendors to help evaluate the current state of health information exchanges and offer feedback on what framework is needed for a national health information infrastructure. Vendors are encouraged to leverage existing products, if possible, according to an article in Federal Computer Week. [Read More]

Hospital Uses EMRs to Avoid Drug Errors
Here is a nice case study about Cherokee (IA) Mental Health Institute's efforts to reduce medication errors from mix ups in drugs that look and sound alike. After a near miss, CMHI changed the settings for all look-alike/sound-alike drugs in its electronic medical record system. CMHI identified 42 drugs that now appear differently in the order entry form by default and require additional attention from clinicians ordering those medications. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
CCHIT revamping EHR certification
Health Data Management - September 1, 2009

Minnesota-based HealthPartners saves money with e-records
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal - September 1, 2009

Electronic medical record mandates to increase jobs in IT
eWeek.com - September 1, 2009

Announcing the 2009 Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare
HealthLeaders Media - August 26, 2009
Webcasts
October 22: Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Gastroenterology
On Demand: Advanced Service Line Marketing: New Orthopedics Growth Strategies

From HealthLeaders Magazine
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Get ready for the failure of the HIT stimulus dream, episode of care contracting, the end of easy credit, and a public plan. [Read More]
Service Line Management
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Wellness and weight loss programs aren't major revenue generators, but healthcare reformers know they cannot effectively control costs without focusing more on prevention. [Read More]
IT Forum

The Role Software Vendors Must Play to Ensure a Smooth Transition to ICD-10: The healthcare industry may have two years longer than originally expected to complete the transition to ICD-10, but the 2013 effective date established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services leaves no room for procrastination, says contributor Sean Benson. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Will Your EHR Vendor Be Certified Under ARRA?: Claire Miley, a member of the healthcare practice of Bass, Berry & Sims law firm in Nashville, TN, says it's still too early for any technology vendor to say their products will meet the federal certification requirements for electronic health record systems under the HITECH Act. Providers should pay close attention to the preliminary certification requirements that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should be unveiling this fall to gage whether their vendor's products will be certified, she says. [Listen Now]
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