Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EMR and EHR Challenges Edition

Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EMR and EHR Concerns Edition

Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EMR and EHR Concerns Edition

This week in EMR and EHR news, we learned that more doctors may be opting out of the the EHR program and taking the penalties because they don’t see a financial advantage for sticking with it. The business of healthcare highlights some of the challenges of managing EHR data when new business relationships grow, reports Fierce EMR. A newspaper in Canton, Ohio, reports on the challenges, including EHR mandates, that rural hospitals face under changing regulations.

This week's Clinical Documentation News Roundup brings you these articles and more about EMR and EHR challenges.

  • EHR Adoption is Only the First Step for Using Healthcare Data from EHR Intelligence: “EHR adoption has been the challenge of a lifetime for many healthcare providers, claiming the undivided attention of large hospitals and mom-and-pop shops since the EHR Incentive Programs started to promise rewards for stepping into the digital age.  While Stage 2 is putting renewed pressure on providers to collect and utilize EHR data in a meaningful way, healthcare organizations have new partners in vendors, consultants, and ACOs to help them leverage their data through analytics.  EHR adoption is an enormous step to take on its own, but it’s just the start of a glittering new world of insight and action as new sources of data meet new methods of extracting information. As patients become increasingly engaged in their care and financial reimbursement starts to depend more and more on outcomes, providers can’t be complacent when it comes to data collection.  What a nurse keys into the system during a hospital admission is only a tiny fraction of the data that’s becoming crucial for competent decision making, and patients are providing more and more of these statistics on their own.”
  • Healthcare Attorneys: New Business Relationships Will Create New EHR Problems from Fierce EMR: “The healthcare industry already has experienced several unintended issues related to electronic health records, many of which involve patient safety and upcoding. But as implementation of EHRs begins to mature and providers step up integration in response to health reform, there will be additional unanticipated operational and business problems involving EHRs that will arise. Health law attorneys Michael Kline and Elizabeth Litten with Fox Rothschild in Princeton, N.J., shared some of these forthcoming problems in a recent exclusive interview with FierceEMR. ‘EHRs are very beneficial, but these new relationships open questions of ownership of the patient information. Who has access to what information and who will pay for it?’ says Litten. ‘Then there is the question of what information can be put in the EHR and what can be pulled back out. Once you're in an integrated relationship, say an accountable care organization, who controls the medical records while you try to integrate care?’”
  • Navy to VA: We Printed Out Health Records and Mailed Them from NextGov: “Decades after the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department developed separate electronic health records for military personnel and veterans, here’s how the Navy transfers potentially millions of pages of sailors’ and Marines’ medical files to VA: It prints them out on paper and mails them via the U.S. Postal Service, Nextgov has learned. At the same time, VA has launched a massive bulk scanning operation to copy 70 million pages a month of the department’s own paper files, including service treatment records, into electronic format as PDF files. VA and the Defense Department reached an agreement in February for Defense to bulk scan all such treatment records as of Dec. 31 for electronic transfer to the VA, but that process still includes printing and mailing paper records. Karen Roberts, a Defense spokeswoman, said Defense sends millions of fields of data to the VA daily for both healthcare and benefit adjudication purposes.”
  • Health Law Rollout Poses Challenges for Rural Hospitals from the Canton Repository: “Aultman Orrville Hospital, formerly Dunlap Community Hospital, in Orrville, is one of Ohio's 34 critical-access hospitals. CAHs are small, rural hospitals that offer essential services such as 24/7 emergency care, according to the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals such as Orrville are facing uncertain changes, said Matthew Stewart, associate vice president of finance and CFO for the hospital. The law requires hospitals to switch to electronic health records by 2015 or face a penalty, Stewart said.”
  • Taking the EHR Penalty: More Doc Offices May Opt Out from ModernHealthcare: "Despite the federal government giving extra time to healthcare providers to stay at the next stage of electronic health record meaningful use, health information technology leaders worry the number of physician offices opting to bag the whole program will continue to grow."

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