Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Should CCHIT Influence Your EHR Decision

Software Advice for Electronic Medical RecordsBy: Don Fornes
don@softwareadvice.com (415) 449-0532

CCHIT promotes that through their certification process, the organization “sets the bar for EHR products.” We agree. However, we question if that bar has been set too high relative to most ambulatory care organizations’ current requirements and IT capabilities. Even if a majority of EHR vendors achieve certification, will physicians follow suite by adopting the functionality specified in the CCHIT criteria?

As we review the list of CCHIT Certified EHRs, we recognize many great software products. We see great benefit to the features specified by CCHIT. However, we can’t help but wonder how long it will take for the traditionally “late adopter” physician market to accept and implement the requirements specified by CCHIT’s technologically savvy Commission.

So, in the interest of serving our provider audience, here are five key takeaways for use in determining CCHIT’s role in your EHR selection:

Review the CCHIT criteria yourself and determine the relevance of each to your ideal workflow. The criteria are well defined, so even if you do not need every capability, you could select a subset for use in evaluating EHRs for your practice.

Understand the binary nature of CCHIT certification. If an EHR does not fully address each of the CCHIT requirements, it will not be certified. Therefore recognize that there are many good EHRs that may not achieve certification, but may still meet your requirements. Consider the requirements of your specialty. If you need EHR capabilities specific to your segment of medicine, realize that CCHIT does not yet cover specialties. You have to evaluate specialty requirements on your own.

Do your homework on other critical evaluation criteria that fall outside CCHIT, including: ease-of-use, customer satisfaction and vendor viability. CCHIT is very clear that these due diligence items are the buyer’s responsibility.

Understand the biases of both CCHIT proponents and detractors. It is natural for these industry players to have strong opinions, just be sure to put them in context, do your own research, and understand that the ultimate decision is yours.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome to the future of nursing homes

By WARREN WOLFE, Star Tribune
February 24, 2009


Arnold Gardner will start his day in a new place today, a "neighborhood'' where bright sunlight streams down wide hallways. A specially trained aide will be on hand to help him dress, to cook his breakfast to order, do his laundry and lead a meeting where he and his neighbors choose rituals such as mealtimes and bedtimes.

It's as close to the nursing home of the future as you can find in Minnesota.
Gone are the uniform wake-up times and bedtimes, the set meal hours and even rigidly-defined roles for the staff.

Gardner is a resident of the new Sholom Home East, one of two nursing homes opening this week in the Twin Cities that represent the vanguard of "resident-centered care.'' It's an approach that marries building design, staff training and technology to support a philosophy that older people will live healthier, more rewarding lives when they retain a much control as possible over their own lives.

The newest example opened Tuesday in St. Paul. At 7:30 a.m., Gardner and 68 fellow residents of Sholom Home East near the State Fairgrounds began boarding buses, moving six miles south to a new $59 million campus off W. 7th Street overlooking the Mississippi River.

The next one starts today at 10 a.m. in Oak Park Heights. Mavis Riegel, 93 -- the first resident nine years ago of a senior apartment at Boutwells Landing -- will be rolled in her wheelchair across a red carpet to become the first resident of a new $30 million nursing home on the expanding campus operated by Presbyterian Homes and Services.

Both nursing homes have opened at a time when tight finances and stiff competition have forced 62 Minnesota nursing homes to close since 2000. A 63rd -- in Two Harbors, Minn., -- announced last week that it will close, too.

"There is so much difficulty in the [nursing home] industry," said Gayle Kvenvold, CEO of the nursing home trade group Aging Services of Minnesota.

"These two new homes really show that it's possible to shift from the old medical approach to a much more dignified, empowering, person-centered approach to nursing home care."

While different, the two homes share many features that have come to mark the "culture change movement" taking root in most states.

Resident life will revolve around "neighborhoods'' -- clusters of 10 rooms at Sholom and 12 to 14 at Boutwells. Aides will serve only one neighborhood, so staff and residents will get to know each other as friends.

Call lights still remain outside the rooms because government rules require them. But there will be no more loudspeaker announcements or ringing bells; aides and nurses will answer pagers, and will be able to talk with residents or co-workers from anywhere in the building. Records now are kept electronically.

Each home is part of a broader "campus" that offers a range of housing -- from independent-living apartments to end-of-life care -- and incorporates on-site amenities such as banks, beauty salons, auditoriums for public events, meeting rooms for community groups, adult day care, child day care, a doctor's office, dental and foot care, fitness centers, chapels, libraries, personal computers and Wi-Fi connections.

There are differences. Sholom provides kosher meals and has guest rooms for visitors. Boutwells has luxury nursing home suites, including two in which a well spouse could live with a nursing home resident.

"The nursing home of the future? Well, it's close, but that's an evolving target," said Barb Ruppe, administrator of Sholom East. "We've built so we can keep evolving as new ideas, new training and new technology come on line."

Donations and training

Two key factors separate the homes from most others: donated money and a commitment to continuous staff training.

"We couldn't have a building this beautiful and this functional without very, very generous help from the community," said Bruce Kahn, CEO of Sholom Community Alliance, which operates various levels of senior housing in the Twin Cities.

Of the $59 million cost of the Rossy and Richard Shaller Family Sholom East Campus, organizers raised about $38 million from donations. The complex includes the 92-bed nursing home, a 66-bed assisted living facility that opens March 1 and a 45-unit subsidizied apartment building that opened in May.

At Boutwells Landing, the 108-bed nursing home's $30 million cost included about $10 million in donations.

"You can't build a state-of-the-art nursing home based on the payments you get from government programs," which finance the care for about two-thirds of nursing home residents, said Dan Lindh, CEO of Presbyterian Homes. "Until we change the way we finance long-term care, we'll have to depend on the vision and generosity of benefactors."

At Sholom East, aides and nurses have been practicing living in neighborhoods for more than a year, administrator Ruppe said.

Boutwells has taken a different approach. Financed in part with $5.5 million in state grants, Presbyterian Homes and Minneapolis Community & Technical College have developed a three-year training program for certified nursing aides that could be adopted by other facilities around the country.

"When we advertised for staff, we had 721 applications," said administrator Laura Cognetta. "The training shows how much we value staff, and their response shows how much they want to change the way we care for our moms and dads."

Said CEO Lindh, "What's really gratifying is to literally create a new place with new concepts from the ground up. We're building on what others have done and we're pushing the envelope just a little bit farther."

'I'm gonna like it here'

At Sholom, Gardner was settling into his new room, testing out his new bed and chair, and gazing fondly at his view of J.R. Mac's Grill and Pub, where he and his late wife used to eat.
"Can't tell for sure until I taste the food," Gardner, a retired salesman, cracked with one of scores of volunteers roaming the home helping residents get settled. "But my guess, I'm gonna like it here."

Warren Wolfe • 612-673-7253

Monday, November 10, 2008

Advanced Technologies in Patient Care Settings

The innovative referral management system and discharge referral system online healthcare software solutions accelerate and automate long-term care referral placement, discharge planning, electronic medical records management, and patient referral tracking–all within HIPAA guidelines.

With online healthcare software solutions, hospitals and long-term care providers no longer must rely on inefficient fax-and-paper-based discharge planning, referral management, and medical records storage and archiving.

A rapidly growing list of delighted long-term care providers, hospitals and other healthcare organizations are benefiting from patient placement systems and online discharge planning systems. These innovative online healthcare software solutions include online fax servers, Web-based patient tracking systems and anytime electronic medical records management.

Patient placement systems fast, simple online healthcare software systems can boost your referral patient intakes, decrease patient length of stay, increase profits, and improve strategic operations. And you can trash that fax machine, once and for all.
Your hospital, long-term care facility or other healthcare organization also will enhance compliance with HIPAA guidelines with secure online software for patient tracking, discharge planning and electronic medical records management that ensures patient privacy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dynamic Bedside Point of Care Technology: IntelliDOT

The lightweight, wireless IntelliDOT handheld device enables nurses to perform safety checks and safely administer medications at the bedside with just one hand. As such, the system helps hospitals meet Joint Commission standards by positively identifying patients. Best of all, the IntelliDOT System lets caregivers verify the five rights of medication management – right medication, right dose, right route, right patient, right time – easily, quickly and comprehensively at the bedside.

The IntelliDOT charting link has eliminated the time nurses spend entering medication administration into computers, which enables nurses to spend more time with patients.

"The IntelliDOT and EPIC interface with Boston WorkStation works very well," said Jay Scherler, Vice President, Business and Support Services at Providence Healthcare Network. "In fact, one of the key selling points of IntelliDOT was that it could seamlessly chart back to our EPIC MAR."

Scherler was especially impressed with the implementation of IntelliDOT BMA. "I can't imagine a cleaner install than what we had," said Scherler. "It was one of the smoothest implementations I've ever experienced. I would encourage anyone on the fence waiting for a barcode medication administration system to consider IntelliDOT."

By simply scanning a patient wristband, the IntelliDOT System handheld device guides nurses through all required tasks and documentation for a patient. Information is automatically sent via clear, concise, organized and logical commands directly into the caregiver’s hand at the point-of-care. IntelliDOT organizes workflow at the bedside while automatically queuing critical tasks and displaying key information. What's more, nurses can document their work while they are working without additional computer log-ins.

"We've given well over a million medication doses using IntelliDOT BMA and we know for a fact that it's safer," said Bill Arrington, Director of Pharmacy at Stillwater Medical Center. "We did a post-implementation study and our medication error rate went to zero."

IntelliDOT Corporation
13520 Evening Creek Drive North
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 746 3100

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

PCMA on E-Prescribing: 'Each Year We Wait, More People Die'

Calling e-prescribing the most important issue to patients in the current Medicare debate, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) has unveiled a new TV ad urging policy-makers to require the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) in Medicare "before more people die."

The new ad, featuring a woman mourning at a gravesite, highlights the fact that more than 7,000 people die every year because of medication errors.

The ad is a wake up call to refocus the Medicare debate on patients, not just the providers who serve them. From a patient's perspective, e-prescribing is by far the most important issue in the current Medicare debate because it could save their life or the life of someone they love.

E-prescribing saves lives and money.

Medical Transcription Billing, Corp.
7 Clyde Road
Somerset, NJ 08873
Call: 1-866-266-MTBC (6822)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vocollect Healthcare Systems New Customer: Highlands at Wyomissing

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Vocollect Healthcare Systems, Inc.announces that The Highlands at Wyomissing, a continuing care retirementcommunity located in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, will deploy AccuNurse(R) voice-assisted care and take quality of care to new levels by enabling more proactive care and providing more time for direct resident care.

The Highlands will utilize voice-assisted care to enable dynamic, personalized, and interactive care throughout its nursing care program -shift-to-shift and caregiver-to-caregiver. By giving caregivers the capabilityto access resident care needs on-demand, complete paperwork simply by talking, and enhance care-team collaboration with Silent Paging(TM), The Highlands expects to achieve numerous performance gains.

According to Danielle Hammer, NHA, director of health services of The Highlands at Wyomissing, "We're always on the lookout for innovative ways totake quality of care to the next level, and technology is a key part of our strategic focus to help continuously improve resident care outcomes. AccuNurse is a one-of-a-kind solution that will enable us to achieve our goals of responding to resident needs in a timely way, maintaining a line of communication between our care team and enabling real-time flexibility so we can adapt to resident care needs on a daily basis - or even minute-by-minute,if necessary. With AccuNurse, we will not only improve outcomes, but will doso with dignity toward our residents, accuracy in our documentation, and accountability for the care we deliver 24x7 to all residents across all disciplines. We see voice-assisted care as a core component of achieving and maintaining a high standard of excellence throughout our community."

About Vocollect Healthcare Systems AccuNurse voice-assisted care from Vocollect Healthcare Systems, Inc. makes it easy for healthcare professionals to retrieve care needs on-demand,chart activities as they are completed, and Silent Page each other for help. Organizations using AccuNurse benefit from lower operating costs, maximized reimbursements, and improved quality of care. Vocollect Healthcare Systems is a subsidiary of Vocollect, Inc., the global leader in voice technology and delivering performance improvements in productivity, accuracy, cost reduction and worker satisfaction for mobile employees on six continents.

Original Article Here: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-25-2008/0004872874&EDATE=

MediVoice Partners With VisionTree: Voice ePrescribing Solution

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 24 /PRNewswire/ — MediVoice(R), LLC, the world’s first mobile voice-activation solution for e-Health and e-Prescribing, has formed a strategic partnership with VisionTree(R), a leading provider of interactive, web-based, patient-centered health record management and provider communication systems to integrate and market its mobile voice-activation solution with the VisionTree Optimal Care(TM) (VTOC) system.

“MediVoice is pleased to develop a strategic partnership with VisionTree. We are impressed with their web-based technology and the value it brings to physicians and patients,” said Anthony Milone, MediVoice, LLC, Board Member and Managing Director.VisionTree customers will be able to utilize MediVoice’s software platform to access the SureScripts(R) network for e-Prescribing and e-Health management.

MediVoice provides the world’s first commercially available mobile voice-activated e-healthcare solution. MediVoice utilizes the most innovative technology in speech solutions. It allows healthcare professionals to voice-activate electronic prescriptions, electronic medical records, and a wide variety of e-health services.

The use of e-Prescribing has been shown to reduce medical errors, reduce medical and administrative costs, and improve the efficiency and documentation of the medication prescription process.Martin Pellinat, CEO of VisionTree Software, said “The VisionTree Optimal Care(TM) (VTOC) platform is used by over 70 leading academic and community sites around the country for web-based patient communication and data management. With the ability for physicians to launch a voice-activated e-Prescribing solution, we have expanded the VTOC patient management system to not only include the patient’s health record, e-communication and disease management, but also include the ability for physicians to deliver the highest level of efficiency and quality care to their patients.”