Tag Archives: EMR

Health Care Trends and EHR Systems

The EHR and HIS markets have boomed over the past five years, and a clear winner is Epic of Wisconsin. The owner is now reportedly a billionaire, and the company continues to win hospitals across the nation away from their top competitors.

There’s no sign that their growth is slowing soon. Even while HIS adaption may slow, Epic still has many hospitals to win away from competitors, and many mechanisms to do this. One of the major selling points is an integrated system that works across the outpatient clinics and inpatient hospital departments. While they don’t have every module perfect or ideal, they have become the safe choice for hospital systems looking to carefully move to an integrated system. While the database technology is ancient by IT standards, it continues to be the choice for hospitals that can afford it. Affordability is a key concern; hospitals have frequently ran into cost increases during the Epic implementation. The health care system purchasing Epic has to be prepared for a cost that will run far above the initial investment.

Leading competitors are looking for niches that they can win and protect against Epic. This would most apparently be the small hospital market, where Epic will not allow them to purchase their software through the vendor. Instead, these hospitals can be purchase through area health systems that are larger and would then operate the environment and offer it’s use out to the small hospital. This isn’t always appealing, as many small facilities may prefer to keep some control of their system, and not align so closely with a system that may even be a competitor.


Health IT Overview and EMR Evaluation

EHR Overview

What are the best systems out there for Electronic Health Record management? There are over 500 systems out there now, which can make for a very interesting evaluation process. However, when you look at quality scores and interoperability (how well the system exchanges data with other systems) the list will narrow. KLAS is a reputable organization that provides survey results for comprehensive comparison of the systems on the market.

Getting Started

Start evaluating the leading vendors. Ask questions about support, implementation, updates, Meaningful Use compliance. Are they close on Stage 2 compliance? Are they ready for ICD-10? You want to be sure to sign up with a company that is keeping up with the rapidly changing requirements of the health care industry. Certifications for these requirements are a must for any vendors you consider.

Be very inquistive during the demos. Ask to see ePrescribing and ordering of labs. Many systems require middleware for these operations, but many others don’t, so if this is important to you, don’t setting for a system that doesn’t have all the capabilities you need built in. Ask to see the reporting – do they have capable MU dashboards? Do they have a patient portal that can be customized to match the clinic’s branding? Is secure messaging built in so the doc doesn’t have to leave the EHR to communicate with patients and other providers electronically?

In Summary

Evaluation is critical and you don’t want to be one of the many clinics that are now shopping for replacement systems, because they made the wrong first selection. It’s too expensive and painful to going through the selection and implementation twice! Again, support and implementation services are critical. Talk to customers and get the real scoop on how these projects were handled, and how support works currently. You are now on track to picking the best system for your organization’s needs.

Good luck to you! Start here:


Meaningful Use Changes in Stage 2 – New EHR Software Requirements

MU Stage 2

Health care organizations and providers are faced with a crowded marketplace of over 500 vendors offering electronic medical records. We provide a simple, powerful online EMR software comparison tool, which helps you determine the best electronic medical records system for your specific needs.

Answer a few questions here now and save a lot of research time in the future. Learn about features, implementation, and pricing for EMR systems that best match your needs.

First, tell us about your organization. Answer these questions and click “Continue” below:


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Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Further EHR Capabilities and Analysis

Initial analysis of the first few objectives can be found in this article.

80% of patient have blood pressure, height & weight recorded as structured data.

The recent changes to Meaningful Use Stage 1 require that blood pressure is recorded for patients 3 years old and older, and height and weight for all patients.

This is more of a stretch than the demographics requirement, but is again reasonable and attainable objective for the second stage of the MU initiative.

80% patient over 13 have smoking status recorded as structured data.

This is fairly straightforward, and as it’s required (at a lower threshhold) in stage 1, most EHRs wil have their reporting configured to be able to accurately capture this, and providers are likely collecting this already on many. 80% is a higher metric, but we see this objective as low hanging fruit, provided the forms and templates are accurately capturing this and reports are configured appropriately to show this.

Implement five Clinical Decision Support rules. Enable and Implement drug to drug and drug to allergy checks.

Now, we’re stepping up the requirements. Depending on the quality reporting your organization is submitting, you may not be reporting on compliance with these Clinical Decision Support rules, but at this stage they do need to be implemented to meet the objective. It is ideal to get a good idea of how these function and how they are build and adjusted, during the EMR evaluation process.

We envision CMS stepping up this requirement to a compliance level in Stage 3, but we’ll see what comes of this.

Drug/drug and drug/allergy checks are a logical feature to utilize once an EHR is deployed, and should be utilized for patient safety.

We will be posting further analysis shortly, including additional objective changes that will impact your organization.

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