EHR/EMR, Healthcare IT and Medical News from around the Internet 7-20-2012

Much has happened since the last time we reported on the state of the EHR/EMR and Healthcare IT landscape. This week we will attempt to summarize some of the major events impacting current and potential MediTouch EHR users.

Time Is Running Out to Earn Meaningful Use Incentives

As we’ve stated in a previous blog post, the Meaningful Use train is leaving the station, so time is running out to maximize the full Meaningful Use incentive payments for first year users. October 1 is the last day any practice can begin the Meaningful Use of an EHR if they want to receive their full Meaningful Use incentive payment. Luckily for providers, HealthFusion has created the MediTouch EHR Fast Track Program to help practices implement MediTouch EHR and attest to Meaningful Use by the October 1 deadline; but providers must act now! The Fast Track program affords practices a great financial opportunity to pay approximately $2000 – 2500 per doctor (2012 subscription fees for the MediTouch Platform) and receive $18,000 per doctor in Meaningful Use Incentive payment for the year. This is the last time that practices can maximize the full $44,000 in Medicare Incentive Payments.

Stage 2 of Meaningful Use is expected to be finalized next month in the beginning of September, providers should not miss their opportunity to maximize their government incentive earnings related to Stage 1 today. Contact HealthFusion and sign up for the MediTouch EHR Meaningful Use Fast Track Program before it’s too late!

The “Blue Button” Is Coming

The “Blue Button” is a Department of Veterans Affairs tool, launched in 2010, that enables VA patients to download their health information directly to their personal computer. The program has been very successful, and now the “Blue Button” is likely coming to the private sector. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced that it, “Will soon be launching an initiative to automate ‘Blue Button’ by developing standards and specifications that allow patients to not only download their health information to their personal computer, but also to privately and securely automate the sending of that data from their health care providers to their personal health records, email accounts, health-related applications, or other preferred holding place.”

While this announcement may cause some concern for some providers, it really should not for those using MediTouch. The MediTouch YourHealthFile patient portal already makes much of the “Blue Button” type data available in a fashion that does not place too much of a burden on the treating physician. Advanced patient portal features and increasing online interaction with patients is now becoming a reality, with MediTouch we make that transition simple.

Nearly All Doctors Recommend Mobile EHRs

A recent survey by Vitera Healthcare survey found that 9 out of 10 doctors would like to be able to use an electronic health record (EHR) on their mobile devices. As we’ve discussed in many past blog posts, the iPad is an ideal tool for healthcare professionals, whom already adopt the tablet at a higher rate than the general public, for use with EHR and Practice Management Software. Now, Vitera Healthcare’s survey has added further credit to our belief in the iPad for healthcare.

“In the survey of 240 Vitera customers–most of them office-based physicians–72% said they used mobile devices in healthcare. For the most part, the respondents said they used their smartphones, iPads, and other tablets to communicate with other staff members or to do medical research; only six percent of them were using mobile devices to connect to EHRs or do electronic prescribing. Yet 91% of the physician respondents said they’d be interested in a mobile EHR solution.”

While the majority of Vitera’s providers in the survey are not using their mobile devices with their EHRs, the issue likely rests with their EHR/EMR vendor, rather than the mobile device. Many EHRs and EMRs are not designed for use on the iPad with fingertip touch, forcing providers into disproportioned screens and laborious, time-consuming typing which completely defeats the initial purpose of the EHR as a time and cost saver. However, this is not the case with MediTouch EHR. Before any other EHR/EMR vendor, HealthFusion realized the impact mobile devices, specifically the iPad, could have on healthcare and EHRs/EMRs specifically. For this reason, HealthFusion created MediTouch EHR – the first iPad-native EHR software available, and, best of all, MediTouch is cross-compatible with traditional hardware (desktops and laptops; Windows or Mac), meaning it can run on a provider’s current hardware or any generation iPad!