EMR on CBS Sunday Morning

This is story that aired on CBS Sunday Morning on Sept 13, 2009.

The story focuses on the medical industry’s adoption of electronic medical records, EMR, into medical facilities. Most hospitals and doctors still use paper to track patient information, which easily creates errors that could jeopardize a patient’s health. Dennis Quad’s two new babies were giving the wrong dosage of a medicine at 12 days old. Mr Quad points out that the use of EMR could have prevented the mistake

The Obama Administration’s passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or what is referred to as the Stimulus Plan, has billions of dollars allocated as reimbursements to doctors for implementing and using electronic medical records. Doctors will start to receive payments in 2011 after they show that and EMR system is in place and is being used.

Some of the points made in this story:
• 100,000 patients die every year in hospitals due to errors.
• 83% of doctors store medical records on paper.
• Medical barcodes help reduce errors
• EMR will save time, save errors, and save lives
• Implementation of EMR will benefit patients.

Watch CBS News Videos Online


Is the EMR Meaningful Use Bar Set Too High?

Health and Human Services Department’s meaningful use group is readjusting the bar. According to George Hripcsak, MD, the co-chair of the HHS group, indicated that providers would still need to meet 80 percent of the requirements.

Areas being considered are patient engagement, care coordination, and public heath. Privacy and security will stay the same.

Read the full article here: Panel proposes reducing meaningful use measures


I Want Free Open Source EMR Software!

I’ve been reading a number of articles about open source EMR solutions for medical practices. One that I saw recently was Why Buy Open Source (Free) EMR Software. I know that open source has its place but I don’t think it’s in a medical practice. Many analogies come to mind when I think about an open source Electronic Medical Records system being used to track and store my medical history. I wouldn’t want a bunch of weekend mechanics working on my car, trying to make it more fuel efficient or functional based on what they think I need.

I did a quick search to see what the pros and cons are for open source software. Now I’ll tell you that I’m not going to read 1,420,000 entries on this subject. If you have the time, please feel free. Here’s the search link: Google Search – “pros and cons of open source software”

Some of the prominent entries I found on purchasing software created by a vendor in the industry are:

  • Focus – Who is designing the software: developers or medical practice staff? In many cases, it’s the developers. They create features based on their perceptions of what the business rules and business needs are.
  • Development – How well are the open source development procedures.
  • Testing – Is adequate testing of new functionality being performed. Will it crash when I update my application.
  • Support – Many open source solutions are developed by programmers that do the develop on the side or in their free time. If a new module or component is not working after being installed, who do you call for support?

All-in-all, it is up to the practice to decide which direction is the best for the medical practice. It is the responsibility of the practice to weigh all the pros and cons, and to understand the cost or value of the solution they are getting.

– The Digital Practice