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2013 Article Archive

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December 2013

features

ICD-10 Mythbusters
Does the new coding system really contain the formula for time travel? At this point, you never know what you’ll hear about the impact of the impending transition.

A New Day for ROI Workflows
Federal initiatives and technology advances are redefining release of information processes.

How to Address Transcription Fluctuations
Demanding turnaround times and anxious staff members make it difficult for department managers to contend with irregular workflow.

Technology Tandem Packs a Punch
The one-two combination of enterprise content management and an EHR can put poor document access down for the count.

departments

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
Coding for AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses is far from straightforward.

CIO Insider
Mobile devices can be an added dimension to an effective care strategy, but only if proper safeguards are maintained.

Evolving Education
While it’s a mad scramble to land HIM positions, smart candidates will take steps to ensure their résumés are in tip-top shape.

Products and Services
Elsevier has launched competency exams to assess coding and documentation skills.

News Briefs
The ECRI Institute Patient Safety Organization has released a new HIT hazard reporting system that aims to prevent patient harm.

On the Web
Most parents would like to exchange e-mails with their children’s providers but aren’t willing to pay for the service.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


November 2013

features

Inside the Documentation Pressure Cooker
Coders and clinical documentation improvement specialists sometimes are steered toward documenting in a manner that boosts reimbursement and quality scores.

The Case for a ‘Front-End’ Alignment
Experts weigh the pros and cons of implementing a front-end speech recognition system.

Does Government Surveillance Pose a Threat to PHI?
Privacy advocates suggest the recent controversy surrounding the National Security Agency should set off alarms in the health care industry.

Computational Genomics: It’s in HIM’s DNA
As more health care organizations make use of Big Data, there’s a growing need for HIM professionals schooled in genomics.

departments

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
New credentials developed by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity are designed to illustrate the industry’s evolution.

EHR Insider
A federal initiative challenged developers to make EHRs more accessible to people with disabilities.

CFO Zone
Experts offer tips on how to best measure the value of case managers.

Technology Showcase

HIT Happenings
Quality staff face numerous challenges in the effort to capture the necessary data to meet meaningful use requirements.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


October 2013

features

Two Systems, One Direction
ICD-10 and SNOMED CT may not be joined at the hip, but crafty health care organizations will utilize both to create dynamic documentation.

Frontier Health Care
Results from the Pioneer ACO program were varied, but the prospects for further expansion seem promising.

Addition by Extraction
Several health care organizations are taking advantage of EHR data to produce innovative treatment and prevention plans.

Breaking Up (With an EHR) Is Hard to Do
It may be a painful decision, but continuing in a faulty EHR relationship can be foolhardy.

departments

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
A combination of template-based documentation and dictation can help keep records in order.

Coding Corner
Too many CDI reviewers focus solely on MS-DRG payers, a strategy that won’t cut it in today’s health care environment.

On the Web
A study finds that Facebook could help educate high-risk individuals about HIV prevention and testing.

mHealth Update
Apps are changing how patients and physicians interact.

Evolving Education
An interesting coalition of diverse organizations has banded together to help Idaho providers meet the challenges of ICD-10.

Products and Services
Salutopia has released a technology that helps providers achieve accountable care and interoperability goals.

Datebook

News Briefs
A report suggests that states are crafting private medical registries that tie into national health surveillance.

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


Special AHIMA Edition September 2013

features

The New Omnibus Rule
The freshly minted rule contains a few cloudy areas where organizations may stumble.

A ‘Note’-worthy Collaborative Takes Shape
Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is piloting a unique “social” approach to documentation.

Five Challenges Facing Transcription Managers
You may be asking yourself, “What, only five?” Experts considered these to be the most pressing issues in the current landscape.

It’s Hip to Be Repaired
Advances in hip replacement surgery have made it more feasible for pain sufferers to return to the dance floor and other activities.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for hip replacement surgery

departments

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
Documenting from an EHR can be a nightmare for physicians, but there is a unique approach that may provide a solution.

HIT Happenings
Terminology tools help translate disparate clinical terms between HIT systems.

On the Web
UCLA researchers have found that chronicling the cancer experience online can reduce depressive symptoms in breast cancer patients.

News Briefs
Research has shown that heart failure patients whose EMR kept track of risks of 30-day readmission had a reduced chance of returning for care.

Products and Services
ICD-10 smartphone apps from Precyse University bring education to those who like to learn on the go.

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


September 2013

features

The Ongoing Quest for Interoperability
Getting EHR vendors, providers, and other interested parties on the same page is no small task.

Meaningful Use Audits Create Anxiety
Eligible professionals and hospitals face serious penalties should they fail to prove their attestation was properly filed.

Algorithms and Clues
Natural language processing has the wherewithal to make sense of clinical notes.

Whooping Cough Vaccination: Not Just for Kids
As the number of pertussis cases rises, health officials worry that adults may not be taking the disease seriously.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for whooping cough

departments

Editor’s Note

On the Web
Scientific evidence suggests that online psychotherapy is just as effective—sometimes even more effective—than conventional therapy.

CFO Zone
Risk adjustment places a premium on thorough documentation and well-trained coders.

EHR Insider
Experts discuss the key to making patient problem lists less worrisome.

ICD-10 Showcase

News Briefs
University of Michigan researchers say EHRs can help combat rising health care costs.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


August 2013

features

Can Social Media Data Find a Place in EHRs?
Logistics and legal concerns are major obstacles in the path of gathering this information for permanent residence in the medical record. 

Staffing Shortages Plague HIT
Stressed-out CIOs aren’t getting much help from IT professionals, many of whom ply their trade in other industries or opt to become consultants.

How to Select the Perfect CAC Solution
Address pertinent issues and perform thorough reference checks before pulling the trigger on an expensive purchase.

The Evolution of Telehealth
Changes are occurring rapidly within this influential technology niche.

departments

Editor’s Note

News Briefs
Mobile devices are all the rage in health care, but which one rates highest among physicians? A recent survey measures preferences and favorite apps and activities.

Evolving Education
Two HIM vendors have teamed up to provide free speech recognition training to students.

Coding Corner
On occasion, newborn coding rules go against the grain and leave coders with a mess to clean up.

Conference Currents
A HIMSS-sponsored ICD-10 forum detailed the highs and lows of the transition to the new code set.

Education Resource Guide

On the Web
Research by transplant experts at Johns Hopkins University demonstrates how social media such as Facebook can spark an increase in the number of organ donation signups.

Products and Services

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


July 2013

features

CPOE Anytime, Anywhere
Mobile apps that allow physicians to explore the world of speech-enabled computerized physician order entry currently are in development.

RAC Appeals: Should You Bother?
A plan to give providers the ability to deposit appeals into the esMD gateway may be one step toward making the process run more smoothly.

The Essentials of Policy and Procedure Management
Health care organizations risk running afoul of auditors if policies and procedures aren’t regularly updated.

HIEs Walk Funding Tightrope
Several factors, including an end to federal funding, have industry observers trying to determine how health information exchanges can maintain financial stability.

departments

Editor’s Note

Meet the New Advisors
Four distinguished health care professionals join the ranks of the For The Record editorial advisory board.

Evolving Education
Opportunity has presented itself to HIM professionals interested in pursuing a career in EHR management.

HIT Happenings
There’s interoperability and then there’s interoperability. Health care organizations must be certain their vendor is supplying the real deal.

Conference Currents
An international gathering of HIM professionals brought to light some of the more interesting global concepts of data collection.

Consulting and Outsourcing Product Showcase

Transcription Trends
Results from a recent Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity survey shed light on industry attitudes.

Products and Services
A new application creates structured data from unstructured text.

On the Web
A year-long study has given high marks to the text4baby text messaging program for its ability to help new mothers.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


June 2013

features

How to Fix Poor Dictation
Poor dictation habits can cause havoc for befuddled medical transcriptionists, resulting in safety risks and delayed turnaround times.

EHRs and Infection Control
A study details how EHR technology is failing to help infection preventionists collect data more efficiently.

In Sync With ICD-10
In the race to prepare for the new codes, will providers and payers be able to successfully cross the finish line together?

2013 OIG Work Plan: HHS Targets Three Areas
Mechanical ventilation, Medicare’s transfer policy, and cancelled surgeries take top billing.

departments

Editor’s Note

CFO Zone
By illustrating a more accurate picture of a facility’s quality of care, a well-conceived clinical documentation improvement program can yield a hefty return on investment.

Coding Corner
With many reports indicating there’s a nationwide shortage of qualified coders, newcomers wonder why it’s so difficult to land a job.

EHR Insider
Shared decision making and evidence-based care decisions form the basis of the Learning Health System, a proposed concept backed by data culled from standardized EHRs.

News Briefs
An Institute of Medicine paper advocates using individual health information to improve care and reduce costs.

On the Web
Scientists have created a new national database designed to make it easier to participate in autism research.

Products and Services
Nightingale and HealthFusion have partnered to deliver EHR benefits to Kmart customers.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for acute coronary syndrome

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


May 2013

features

Capturing Cancer Data in Real Time
The longtime battle against this horrific disease could get a boost from physicians electronically reporting data to state registries.

Dual Coding: An ICD-10 Jump-Starter
Kick the transition process into gear with a plan to code from both sides of the fence

Read Between the Lines
Being able to spot ill-advised copy-and-paste documentation can save coders from recurring compliance headaches.

When Disaster Strikes
A comprehensive business continuity plan can help alleviate hospitals’ fears about unexpected data loss.

departments

Editor’s Note

Letters to the Editor

mHealth Update
Remote monitoring devices are making it easier to track patients’ well-being while they are recovering from an addiction.

Transcription Trends
For departments struggling with overflow, a renewed approach to efficiency may be the answer.

Products and Services
A start-up company offers a free online medical records request platform.

CIO Insider
Dates can be tricky, especially when it comes to determining exactly when cash was posted to a hospital’s revenue cycle.

Coding & Revenue Cycle Management Resource Guide

News Briefs
Another day, another ICD-10 survey showing that health care organizations aren’t making enough progress toward meeting the 2014 deadline.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


Special Showcase Edition April 2013

features

Speech Recognition: A Work in Progress
Keep in mind that despite technological advances, speech recognition still is not a cure-all for inaccurate documentation.

All Aboard the HIPAA Omnibus Rule
Experts offer opinions on how best to handle the changes before the September compliance deadline.

How to Measure Duplicate Rates
An accurate calculation can give health care organizations an idea of where they’re falling short and nip serious problems in the bud.

School of Health
A full-service boarding school is taking an unprecedented, proactive approach to winning the war on childhood obesity.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for pediatric chronic lung disease

departments

Editor’s Note

Evolving Education
Staying abreast of industry twists and turns is sound advice for educational institutions looking to help fill the HIT workforce void.

News Briefs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched a new program to consolidate reporting requirements for its various HIT incentive programs

Products and Services
The transition to ICD-10 continues to be a cottage industry, spawning numerous products designed to make the journey less bumpy.

On the Web
A recent study shows that nearly three-fourths of consumers are willing to participate in remote health care.

EMR/EHR Annual Product Showcase

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on health care’s facts and figures.


April 2013

features

Healthcare Information: The New Terrorist Target
An alarming report issued early this year chronicles how the US healthcare system remains vulnerable to serious attack.

The Art of the Appeal Letter
Experts offer pointers on how best to address the nuances and subtleties of penning denial replies.

Mitigating the Risks of Offshoring Transcription
By taking into account several variables, healthcare organizations can benefit from a relationship with an overseas partner.

Improving the Query Process
AHIMA and the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists recently released updated guidelines on best practices for querying physicians.

departments

Editor’s Note

HIT Happenings
A University of Missouri study has raised questions about patients’ willingness to be treated by physicians who use computerized diagnostic tools.

On the Web
When selecting a child’s doctor, families prefer word of mouth to online ratings, according to a national poll.

News Briefs
A survey conducted by the Aloft Group produced sobering numbers on the progress being made toward ICD-10 implementation.

Products and Services
Humetrix has released a cross-platform version of its iBlueButton app that enables the exchange of health records between Apple and Android devices.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.


March 2013

features

Mining Untapped Data
Several significant hurdles are preventing healthcare organizations from realizing the promise of data-mining technology.

Observation Services: Many Shades of Gray
Complicated, confounding, and confusing, these encounters challenge coders to pay close attention to the slightest details.

Hello EHR, Good-Bye HIM?
Visit two healthcare organizations where the introduction of an EHR spurred significant changes for HIM professionals.

On Guard at All Times
When will CMS surveyors drop by? No one knows, making it imperative that healthcare organizations be ready for any unexpected visit.

departments

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
With more states basing Medicaid payments on the all-patient refined diagnosis-related group, facilities must make sure physicians and coding staff are taking proper care of patient documentation.

Evolving Education
AHIMA President Kathleen Frawley discusses the organization’s plan to educate and train HIM professionals in the face of an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

News Briefs
University of Michigan researchers say EHR data could help physicians determine which patients are best suited for ICU admission.

On the Web
A study of online conversations about drug side effects reveals the promise of social media to act as a sounding board for patient perceptions.

Products and Services
The eHealth Initiative has released a guide listing the digital tools available to help cancer patients better cope with their diagnosis.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.


February 25, 2013

features

Control Your Data Domain
Technology can help, but it’s not a cure-all for establishing a sound data governance strategy.

Making the Grade
For medical transcriptionists to survive in today’s healthcare environment, it’s going to take a revamped approach to education and training.

Short Stays, Complicated Decisions
Healthcare organizations be warned: Recovery audit contractors are taking a serious interest in short-stay admissions.

Caring for Health eRecords
Quality documentation, not financial incentives, need to be at the forefront of any plans to meet meaningful use requirements.

departments

Editor’s Note

CFO Zone
A patient-centric approach could lead healthcare organizations on the path to profitability.

On the Web
According to a survey by the American College of Physician Executives, a majority of physician leaders views online ratings as inaccurate, unreliable, and not widely used by the patients they serve.

Products and Services
A Web-based encoder can be integrated into the computer-assisted coding process.

News Briefs
Text messages that promote healthy lifestyles using an active voice could help improve teenagers’ nutritional and physical habits.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.


February 11, 2013

features

Partial to Dictation
When it comes to lessening physician complaints about documenting in an EHR, partial dictation may be just what the doctor ordered.

ICD-10’s Heavy Footprint
Changes are afoot and they’ll affect more than coders and clinical documentation specialists. In fact, physicians and patients also will be feeling the effects of ICD-10’s power.

Saving Healthcare Through Patient-Centeredness
As providers enter an era focused on patient engagement, electronic consent management systems are coming to the forefront.

ACOs Embrace Daunting IT Challenges
To succeed in an environment focused on lowering costs and raising the quality of patient care, some healthcare organizations are turning to data analytics.

departments

Editor’s Note

Evolving Education
As the demand for qualified coders escalates, a solid strategy for many hospitals is to cross-train transcriptionists.

Coding Corner
Coders who cherry-pick the department’s easiest charts can cause major problems.

News Briefs
An analysis from the RAND Corporation finds that the US healthcare system has yet to fully realize the expected cost savings from the use of EHRs.

Products and Services
A new platform from Orion Health gives healthcare providers the ability to develop customized mobile clinical applications.

On the Web
Because physician rating sites are hardly comprehensive, consumers should be wary of the data, researchers say.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.


January 28, 2013

features

Patients, Providers Partner to Boost Care
A significant player in meaningful use objectives, patient engagement initiatives have found a home at forward-thinking healthcare organizations.

Key Trends Shaping PHI Disclosure Management
It promises to be an intriguing year for HIM professionals faced with numerous release-of-information concerns.

NLP Works to Improve Documentation Processes
There are advantages and potential pitfalls to incorporating natural language processing into clinical documentation improvement strategies.

New Developments in Ovarian Cancer Detection
The disease has a high fatality rate because more than 70% of patients are diagnosed during its later stages.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for ovarian cancer

departments

Editor’s Note

News Briefs
Despite efforts such as HIPAA and the HITECH Act, little progress has been made toward stemming the tide of healthcare-related data breaches.

CIO Insider
How do CIOs address future needs while navigating a quickly changing technological landscape complicated by deadline-driven requirements to go digital?

Products and Services
The University of Texas’ health information exchange laboratory—the first in the United States—creates simulated exchanges comprised of virtual medical practices.

On the Web
Perhaps all that time your child spends on Facebook isn’t such a bad thing. Researchers have suggested social media can play a role in preventing childhood obesity.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.


January 14, 2013

features

Industry Disconnect
Are educational institutions offering the appropriate coding curriculums to help new graduates land that elusive hospital position?

Left to Their Own Device
The rise in the number of personal mobile devices being brought to the workplace has created security concerns for healthcare organizations.

CDI Broadens Its Reach
As scrutiny of outpatient services intensifies, there’s a bigger need to expand clinical documentation improvement efforts.

Dementia and DSM-5: Changes, Cost, and Confusion
Diagnostic criteria for dementia will be updated in May, but embracing the umbrella term “cognitive disorders” is not without controversy.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for cognitive disorders

departments

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
Distinguishing between medical decision making and medical necessity is key to gaining accurate documentation.

Transcription Trends
The increased usage of speech recognition has created a new breed of medical language specialists.

On the Web
According to Kaiser Permanente research, patients who can access their medical records online tend to visit their doctor more often than those who don't have online access.

Products and Services
Read about a translation tool that helps harried hospitals and payers move more easily into an ICD-10 environment.

News Briefs
A new study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that e-visits have certain benefits but also could lead doctors to overprescribe antibiotics.

Datebook

By the Numbers
Get the lowdown on healthcare’s facts and figures.