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There Is No Such Thing as Too Much TV in This Doctor’s Office: A Different Approach to Patient Engagement

There Is No Such Thing as Too Much TV in This Doctor’s Office: A Different Approach to Patient Engagement

A recent Accenture report found that patients in the United States are increasingly accessing their electronic health records (EHRs), with rates rising from 27% in 2014 to 45% in 2016. Most patients (92%) reported that they should have full access to their medical records, whereas only 18% of physicians shared this belief.   TVs to the Rescue? What if, instead of providing patients with access to their medical records before or after their appointment, physicians were able to share it with them in real-time during their encounter with the patient? Leveraging modern technology, physicians can change their point-of-care delivery model by sharing their screen with patients. It doesn’t require a major investment. With an HDMI cable and remote access, physicians can connect their laptop computer to a TV in order to project their patients’ records, thereby boosting engagement with patients. Doing this can also help physicians and patients identify potential inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn could improve overall patient care. Displaying a patient’s EHR on the big screen can help break down walls between physicians and patients by enabling them to interact face-to-face. A side effect of this could be increased patient trust in their physicians. In addition, when showing patients their BMI, blood pressure levels, and lab results graphed out over time, trending is instantaneously realized by both physician and patient. Furthermore, sharing other health characteristics on a large-screen TV may help patients feel empowered and involved in their care.   Implementing the Approach One key element for physicians and practices implementing this type of approach is a user-friendly, intuitive EHR system. A difficult-to-navigate EHR system...
Data Standards for ACS & CAD

Data Standards for ACS & CAD

With the emergence of electronic health records (EHRs) and administrative and professional databases, it’s critical to facilitate clear communication and assure the accurate interchange of data and information. Clinical data standards are important for managing patients, assessing outcomes, and conducting research. Having a broad agreement on a common vocabulary and a standardized list of data elements helps lay the groundwork for future clinical registries and quality- improvement initiatives. It also can be used in the development of performance measures. An Important Update In 2013, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA), in conjunction with 11 other organizations, developed a list of key data elements with standardized definitions for patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and coronary artery disease (CAD). The document was published jointly in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation. It updates information on elements specific to ACS that were released in 2001. CAD was added because of the overlap between the two conditions. The ACC/AHA publication listed key data elements and provided detailed definitions in seven categories, including demographics and admissions; history and risk factors; clinical presentation; diagnostic procedure; invasive therapeutic intervention; medications; and outcomes. The document is organized in tabular form to be a helpful tool for everyday use. Special attention is also given to important predictors of outcomes, including laboratory results and clinical presentation. This information should be mandatory reading for clinical investigators, quality assurance personnel, and research nurses. For cardiologists, the latest terminology and methods may seem obvious at first glance. However, even the most sophisticated practitioners can discover better ways to communicate and describe ambiguous...

EHRs Costly for Most Physicians

Most practices, especially smaller ones, do not appear to achieve positive returns on investment when adopting electronic health records (EHRs) with current meaningful use incentives alone. American researchers who surveyed community practices found that the average physician would lose $43,743 over 5 years. Only 27% would achieve a positive ROI under current meaningful use incentives for EHRs. Abstract: Health Affairs, March...
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Meaningful Use

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Meaningful Use

This July marked the 16th anniversary of the installation of our electronic medical record. Yup.  I am that weird. Over the first 10-14 years of my run as doctor uber-nerd, I believed that widespread adoption of EHR would be one of main things to drive efficiency in healthcare.  I told anyone I could corner about our drive to improve the quality of our care, while keeping our cash flow out of the red.  I preached the fact that it is possible for a small, privately owned practice to successfully adopt EHR while increasing revenue.  I heard people say it was only possible within a large hospital system, but saw many of those installations decrease office efficiency and quality of care.  I heard people say primary care doctors couldn’t afford EHR, while we had not only done well with our installation, but did so with one of the more expensive products at the time. To me, it was just a matter of time before everyone finally saw that I was right. The passage of the EHR incentive program (aka “meaningful use” criteria) was a huge validation for me: EHR was so good that the government would pay doctors to adopt it. I figured that once docs finally could implement an EHR without threatening their financial solvency, they would all become believers like me. But something funny happened on the way to meaningful use: I changed my mind. No, I didn’t stop thinking that EHR was a very powerful tool that could transform care. I didn’t pine for the days of paper charts (whatever they are). I certainly didn’t mind it when I...
Mobile Devices Up Patient Data-Breach Risk

Mobile Devices Up Patient Data-Breach Risk

Data theft and compromise in healthcare are on the rise, and the mobile landscape is further complicating security. A new 2012 HIMSS Analytics Report: Security of Patient Data reassesses the state of patient data security in the wake of recent technological developments. The 2012 HIMSS report has found that the rapidly rising use of devices not tethered to a workstation brings an increased risk of data loss and/or compromise that many organizations are not properly prepared to address.  For example, the use of electronic health records (EHR) makes patient data more mobile and accessible. It may also introduce third parties who are entrusted with patient data, extending patient data security beyond hospital walls. According to the report, 27% of respondents indicated that their organization had experienced at least one security breach that required notification in the past 12 months. This was up from 19% in 2010 and 13% in 2008. The main sources of security breaches in 2012 were: 56% unauthorized access by employee 34% unauthorized access to paper records 22% laptop/handheld device 10% data housed by a third-party vendor 9% improper destruction of paper records 3% network breach by outsider 2% data accessed from second-hand computer As the use of mobile devices becomes more common in exam rooms and administrative areas, so do the risks of security breaches due to employee negligence and outdated organizational policies. The report stresses that as healthcare moves toward more digital frontiers with an aggressive transition to EHR and mobile-based devices, privacy and security no longer should be treated as separate issues. Physician’s Weekly wants to know…do you feel that patient data is...
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