ITEMS IN FPM ON TOPIC:
Electronic health records
Physicians who have completed Stage 1 meaningful use criteria face a new round of regulations in 2014 to remain in compliance. Stage 2 includes both brand-new rules as well as continued monitoring of existing criteria, many of which have been expanded or changed from optional to mandatory. These changes will require significantly adjusting many work practices and likely mean additional or updated technology. Attached tables detail the new Stage 2 requirements and the timetable for when incentives for participating in the program end and penalties for non-compliance begin.
As part of the meaningful use program, which awards financial incentives to physicians for use of electronic health records (EHRs), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is instituting random audits of incentive recipients. Practices facing these audits are advised to use a combination of careful record-keeping practices, close consultation with EHR vendors, and good relations with the auditors themselves to meet their record requests and avoid any penalties.
Beware the tendency of health information technologists to grossly underestimate the time and effort required to update and operate their products.
A filtered display would make notes easier to read, assimilate, and use.
Author explains final "omnibus" rule released from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 17 that it said would strengthen patient privacy protections, give patients greater control over their health records, and beef up the government’s ability to enforce the regulations.
The author describes her clinic's experience with secure patient-physician messaging, including findings about levels of patient interest in the service, successful and unsuccessful attempts to encourage use of the service, and an assessment of its overall success.
The authors summarize the results of the 2012 survey of AAFP member satisfaction with EHR systems, providing detailed results for several of the most popular systems.
If your initial reaction isn't positive, hang in there. You're not alone.
The survey instrument for the 2012 FPM survey of physician satisfaction with EHR systems, fielded in the form of an article in the May/June 2012 issue.
The author points out several ways that a new EHR system may disrupt billing and collections -- e.g. disrupting relationships with an external billing company or entailing a change in practice management system -- and suggests tactics for keeping the transition smooth and still taking full advantage of all the features of the new system.