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2007 Article Archive

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December 26, 2007

FEATURES

POA Indicator Creates New Concerns
According to experts, the new reporting requirement could affect hospitals where they can least afford it: the bottom line.

An Epic Challenge
A large Iowa facility is keeping a smile on its employees’ faces as it tackles the daunting task of installing a clinical application system while maintaining its current legacy system.

Buyer Be Aware: Issues Surrounding Deinstalling an EMR
Your EMR is an unmitigated failure. Now what? If you take the necessary steps, the process doesn’t have to be as mind-numbing as it would seem.

Loud and Clear
Visit several facilities that have opted for speech recognition technology and are now reaping financial dividends.

Supplements for IBD — The Inside Tract on Treatment
Find out what remedies work best to ease these inner troubles.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for inflammatory bowel disorder .

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

News Briefs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed electronic prescribing standards, raising the question of whether such guidelines should be mandatory.

Technology Trends
As various factors conspire to lower the price of biometrics, the technology figures to gain a stronger foothold in the healthcare arena.

Datebook

www.watch
Interested in simplifying healthcare administration? Click to a new Web site to read about how it’s possible to help in the streamlining process.

Products and Services
Did Santa leave a BlackBerry under the tree? Increase its functionality by adding software that allows access to clinical information.

By the Numbers


December 10, 2007

FEATURES

Going the Distance
Three HIM departments stood out this year for implementing initiatives that made their entire facility more efficient.

Capturing the Right Notes
The development of a documentation improvement program can alleviate headaches for coders and enhance a facility’s overall well-being.

Electronic Case Management: Improving Patient Care and Efficiency
To ensure timely and effective care across the continuum, healthcare facilities are examining the benefits offered by this technology.

Uncertain About Certification
The idea of certifying medical transcription service providers has recently gained momentum. What are its benefits and drawbacks?

Curbing the Diabetes “Outbreak”
Staggering increases in the number of people with diabetes and potential diabetics have healthcare officials reassessing their prevention strategies.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for secondary diabetes mellitus

DEPARTMENTS

Letter to the Editor

News Briefs
A group of Johns Hopkins experts has called into question the methods used to rate hospital quality.

Coding Corner
Expectations were high for October’s release of the diagnosis-related group changes, but the complication and comorbidity system actually stole the show.

Datebook

www.watch
Kaiser Permanente's My health manager personal health record is now available at no cost to its 8.7 million members. The PHR's features include online appointment scheduling and prescription refill requests.

Products and Services
Just in time for the MS-DRGs, new electronic physician query software helps improve documentation. Also debuting is a technology that reduces a practice’s administrative burden.

By the Numbers


November 26, 2007

FEATURES

Chart Deficiencies: Stopping a Broken Record
Tired of hearing about delinquent charts? Several facilities have opted for technology to get their charts completed in a timely fashion.

Keyboard Kops
Healthcare facilities must step up their defense measures to keep pace with more sophisticated attacks on their clinical systems.

Drugs for Drugs: Medications to Treat Addictions
Despite the critics, medications to treat substance abusers are here to stay. Find out what some recent studies have uncovered about their effectiveness.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for drug-induced mental disorders

Manhattan Project
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has taken the unusual step of getting involved with a citywide EHR project.

Discharge Disposition Dilemma
PACT DRG discrepancies are causing headaches for post-acute care facilities already facing heavy financial burdens.

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Datebook

Transcription Trends
When implementing a speech recognition platform, one of the most important steps is making sure the physicians are on board.

Coding Corner
Mention computer-assisted coding and most HIM professionals think of an outpatient setting. However, the technology can also affect the inpatient environment.

News Briefs
If appropriate steps aren’t taken, privacy champions warn that patient information will be subject to data mining.

www.watch
According to a survey, Mom and Dad would be thrilled if more providers started their own Web sites.

Products and Services
EMR software, whether free or for subspecialty practices, is available for the taking.

By the Numbers


November 12, 2007

FEATURES

Creative CPOE Thinking
Community hospitals face a different set of challenges than most facilities when installing a computerized physician order entry system.

Stop Falls or Risk Payment Denials
The importance of curtailing patient falls has grown now that Medicare will not provide reimbursement for preventable conditions.

After the Storm
Out of nowhere, a rural Georgia hospital felt the brunt of a terrifying tornado, sending the HIM department into emergency mode.

2007 Software & Technology Buyers’ Guide
This comprehensive listing spotlights the companies and organizations transforming the healthcare industry.

Invisible Illness — What You Can’t See Does Hurt
Patients suffering from debilitating joint and muscle pain, fatigue, migraines, and other “silent” symptoms are sometimes not taken seriously by healthcare professionals.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for systemic lupus erythematosus

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
The 2008 coding season promises to be one filled with question marks and potential potholes.

EHR Insider
A former Wall Street software analyst offers 10 steps for selecting the best EMR system.

Conference Currents
This year’s AHIMA conference was all about exchanging health information.

News Briefs
The nonprofit eHealth Initiative has designed an action plan that helps healthcare organizations make better use of HIT.

Datebook

www.watch
Microsoft makes headlines by developing a platform to offer consumers free online PHRs.

Products and Services
Described as “Google Earth for the body,” doctors can access parts of patients’ electronic health records by clicking on corresponding areas of the animated body.

By the Numbers


October 29, 2007

FEATURES

Once & Done Transcription: A Bold Spin or Off Target?
A Gartner report recommends healthcare organizations adopt editor-based approaches to traditional dictation and transcription.

Patient Safety: A Tough Act to Follow
Check in on the status of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act, legislation signed into law by President Bush back in 2005.

Set to Rinse
Revenue cycle management is weaving its way into the HIM fabric, where maintaining clean claims tops the to-do list.

Coding Crunch: Who Will Feed the Cash Cow?
As the need for qualified coders grows, healthcare facilities are thinking of enterprising ways to attract candidates.

New in the Community
Brain tumors and other neurological conditions have been notoriously difficult to treat. Stereotactic radiosurgery is providing surgeons and patients with a new option and impressive results.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for stereotactic radiosurgery

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Money Matters
As consolidation among technology vendors continues at a record clip, what effect will it have on adoption rates and standards implementation?

Technology Trends
The Dossia Network, a coalition of major employers attempting to present its employees with personal health records, has found a new vendor to take over the project.

News Briefs
SureScripts has formed a council to help guide the development of tools to boost e-prescribing adoption among physicians.

Datebook

EHR Insider
Transitioning to a smart office is a huge undertaking, so it’s important to lean on your band of superusers for support.

www.watch
Displaying its ability to stay in step with the times, The Joint Commission has launched a Wiki-style Web site.

By the Numbers


October 15, 2007

FEATURES

A Winning Combination
Physician practices that can tell where their practice management system ends and their electronic health record begins often boast a smooth-running operation.

HIM Professionals: RHIOs’ Missing Asset
The AHIMA is doing its best to let its members know about the value of getting involved in health information exchanges.

Powerful. Dependable. The Future?
Banking in part on the technology’s familiarity, a working group is shooting to make PDF Healthcare a vehicle for health information exchange.

Something to Think About
The healthcare system may have to adapt as more older adults turn to complementary and alternative medicine.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for Alzheimer’s dementia

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
It often doesn’t become an issue, but coders should still familiarize themselves with ICD-9-CM coding conventions.

On the Case
Visit a Tennessee primary care group that has implemented a software package to help its physicians make better clinical decisions.

Datebook

News Briefs
Selected health centers across the country recently received good news when the federal government awarded grants to expand HIT use.

www.watch
In a plan announced by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, residents now can go online to view key performance indicators of the city’s public hospitals.

Products and Services
A software provider is offering free licenses for its electronic health record and practice management technology.

By the Numbers


October 1, 2007

FEATURES

Making Noise in Illinois
Legislation requiring Illinois facilities to produce requested records in an electronic format has come under fire.

Sharing Patient Data: Is It in the Cards?
New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center is home to an ambitious smart card project that hopes to demonstrate how the technology can promote information exchange.

Stop Using Band-Aid Solutions
Solving problems in the HIM department by patching troubled areas usually leads to poor results.

Incentives or Mandates?
It’s apparent the healthcare industry needs a bit of a push to spur EMR adoption. But should it be a nudge or a shove?

The Struggle to Fight Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers face an uphill battle to make a dent into this powerful disease that means all but certain death for those diagnosed with it.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for pancreatic cancer

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
Smart healthcare organizations avoid the trap of choosing between new technology and outsourcing.

Money Matters
Inherently simple measures can yield impressive returns when it comes to optimizing physician practice revenues.

EHR Insider
It’s difficult for practices to sort out EHR pricing structures, but there are ways to make the chore easier.

Conference Currents
The chairman of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems has urged CMIOs to become more involved with systems integration issues.

News Briefs
In business dealings, CBay and eScription reach an agreement.

www.watch
A Web site allows interested parties to compare EMR prices.

Products and Services Talk to board members through an online portal.

Datebook

By the Numbers


September 17, 2007

FEATURES

EMRs: Long-Term Gains in Long-Term Care
More than just a tool for acute-care settings, electronic medical records can make a difference in long-term care facilities as well.

Hoosier Daddy
Widely recognized as a trendsetter for medical information exchange, the Indiana Health Information Exchange has created a model of cooperation that could be emulated elsewhere.

Consumers Behind the Wheel — HIT Can Make It Happen
Noted healthcare guru Regina Herzlinger is among those who tout HIT’s power to make transparency a reality.

The Privacy Board — Protectors of Patient Rights
The arrival of HIPAA’s privacy rule created a greater need for hospitals to be more cognizant of potential misuse of private health information.

Early Start
Five years ago, the ambitious Women’s Health Initiative was stopped due to health concerns, but now evidence is emerging that could allay any fears about hormone therapy.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for cardiomyopathy

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Letters to the Editor
Readers relay their thoughts on recent FTR editorial copy.

Coding Corner
In just a couple weeks, changes to ICD-9-CM will take effect. Are your coders prepared?

Business Brief
Tired of footing the bill for losing valued employees, New Mexico’s Presbyterian Healthcare Services changed its hiring practices.

News Briefs
Health and Human Services has announced a plan to transition the American Health Information Community from a government advisory group into an independent, private organization.

www.watch
Physicians searching for the right software can turn to a Web site to receive the advice they need before making a purchasing decision.

Products and Services
To help raise breast cancer awareness, a transcription company has introduced a pink headset.

Datebook

By the Numbers


September 4 , 2007

FEATURES

Handshake Heroics: The Art of Vendor Negotiations
Instead of approaching talks with trepidation, learn how preparation and vigilance can lead to a fruitful experience.

Gone to Pieces
Healthcare organizations can benefit by observing how others have mishandled electronic health record implementations.

Coding’s Little Helper
Backed by electronic medical record systems, computer-assisted coding has the power to make life a bit easier for harried HIM departments.

Meet Our Advisors Q & A
Get up close and personal with the five health information experts who comprise our distinguished panel.

Kidney Punch
A bout with kidney stones ranks high on the pain scale, but there are ways to counter-punch before it attacks.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for kidney stones.

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Evolving Education
Healthcare organizations are overlooking a valuable resource if they ignore the benefits of hiring recent college graduates.

Coding Corner
The demands of variant terminologies and mappings can weigh on facilities, but there is technology available to help ease the load.

www.watch
A Massachusetts hospital has joined the transparency trend by detailing its own performance efforts on its Web site.

News Briefs
Rhode Island gets a jump on implementing a statewide electronic health record, while QuadraMed and Misys ink a deal.

Datebook

Products and Services
A new technology allows healthcare organizations to electronically capture and store patient signatures on admission, consent, and privacy forms.

By the Numbers


August 20, 2007

FEATURES

Freed From Paper’s Weight
Burdened by unwieldy paper records that were destroying efficiency, three healthcare organizations opted for electronic document management systems.

Detouring Deception
The recently released anti-fraud requirements for electronic health records attempt to muzzle the potential for wrongdoing.

Finding Its Voice
Integrating speech recognition technology with an electronic medical record can be an effective tool to improve efficiency and patient care.

A Big Headache Cured? Making a Standard Medication List a Reality
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is leading the charge to create a standard format for medication lists.

The Lonely Disease: LAM
Often misdiagnosed and virtually untreatable, lymphangioleiomyomatosis affects women during their childbearing years.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for benign lung neoplasms

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Letter to the Editor

Coding Corner
When dealing with data-mining researchers, it’s important that the coding office dig deep to deliver the correct information.

Technology Trends
Implementing bar code scanning can help facilities meet national patient safety goals.

News Briefs
According to a survey, many hospitals with electronic medical record systems continue to print and distribute hard copies of health information.

Datebook

www.watch
Can’t get enough election news? Now there’s a Web site devoted solely to providing content on how healthcare issues are affecting the race for the White House.

Products and Services
That didn’t take long. An electronic medical record is available that can be accessed from an iPhone. Also, feel like Liberace when you work on a Letscrol keyboard.

By the Numbers


August 6, 2007

FEATURES

Transcriptionville: In Search of Uniformity
Want to improve transcription? Experts agree that not only would standardizing document formats boost transcription efficiency, it would also make information retrieval that much easier.

And the Password Is ... Biometrics
This identification technology is making its mark in the healthcare arena as organizations use it to improve security and patient safety.

Patching Privacy Concerns
Under fire for allegedly neglecting security issues, HHS formed a group to analyze the barriers to electronic health information exchange.

Plan for the Panic
Faced with a sentinel event, healthcare organizations should be prepared to face the commotion with a decisive strategy that errs on the side of caution.

Coming Home — PTSD in Today’s War Veterans
The country finds itself bracing for what could be a serious mental health problem as combat veterans return from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for posttraumatic stress disorder

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
What makes India an attractive option to clinical documentation vendors in search of medical transcripitionists?

Conference Currents
An intimate gathering at the summer HIMSS Summit allowed attendees to get an up-close-and-personal look at HIT projects.

www.watch
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made its infection tracking system available to all U.S. healthcare facilities.

News Briefs
A new coding organization launches with an eye toward regulatory compliance, revenue cycle, and professional development.

Datebook

Products and Services
An outsourcing company expands its services to include automated speech recognition, and a medication reminder system receives FDA approval.

By the Numbers


July 23, 2007

FEATURES

Make the Connection: The 2007 Consulting & Outsourcing Buyers’ Guide
Take a look at the available talent that can help healthcare organizations solve pesky problems and relieve overburdened staff.

PHRs — Popping Up Everywhere
Popping up more frequently than lame-hitting utility infielders, personal health records continue to reshape the healthcare industry with the consumer in mind.

CPOE — Beyond the Pharmacy
The highly touted technology has demonstrated that it can positively impact the radiology department, too.

The Informed Patient
Backed by information culled from Internet sources, patients are coming to doctor’s appointments with a whole new attitude.

Chemical Kids — Environmental Toxins and Child Development
The toxic effects of industrial chemicals are linked to developmental problems in children.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for learning disabilities

DEPARTMENTS

Letter to the Editor
A reader concludes that it’s futile to play the waiting game with EHR standards.

Coding Corner
To have a successful coding career, a credential is all but essential. Learn about the various options and which one may be right for you.

Money Matters
Are patients leaving your facility without paying their bills? There are several subtle ways to alleviate this problem without strong-arming customers.

www.watch
New Internet developments include a site for budding HIM professionals, the formation of a physician forum, and a Web tool to sample health quality report cards.

News Briefs
Health Level Seven has released guidelines for how an organization can maintain an electronic health record for legal and business purposes.

Bookshelf

Products and Services
A technology system allows physicians to receive diagnostic information outside the confines of a medical facility.

Datebook

By the Numbers


July 9, 2007

Gauging Transcription’s Temperature
Three industry experts sat down with For The Record to discuss the profession’s prospects.

The 411 on Informed Consent
Get the information you need on the recent federal updates, as well as the lowdown on the benefits of automation.

Caught Between Security & Usability
A new study spotlights the flaws in USB-based personal health records, but does the value of the technology outweigh the security risks?

Making an ImPACT — Expanded PACT Creates New Challenges for Hospitals
Meeting compliance and reimbursement targets has become more difficult with the addition of 150 DRGs.

Bringing the Heat
A Massachusetts company has developed a treatment that uses nanoparticles to deliver targeted heat sufficient to kill cancer cells.

Coding and Transcription
Neoplasm guidelines

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Letter to the Editor
Medicare severity-adjusted DRGs are a laughing matter, according to one reader.

News Briefs
Former national HIT coordinator David Brailer, MD, PhD, has taken the reins of a new private equity fund that will help finance technologies to reduce healthcare costs.

Coding Corner
Significant changes are in store for healthcare organizations serving TRICARE-covered patients.

Technology Trends
Physician practices must be careful not to neglect adopting strategies and solutions for protecting their vital records.

www.watch
For the first time, a Web site is providing physicians with access to state and national data that reveals what drugs their peers are prescribing.

Products and Services
A smart card carries vital patient information to enhance patient care. Also, a new book proclaims “paper kills” as it touts the virtues of HIT.

Datebook

By the Numbers


June 25, 2007

FEATURES

Hardly Elementary: Creating a Successful RHIO
Three industry experts discuss the dos and don’t’s of developing a dynamite organization that will stand the test of time.

HIM Assessments: Helping Departments Achieve Their Goals
Much like your body needs a periodic check-up, it’s important that HIM departments be given the once-over to improve efficiencies and monitor best practices.

MPI: The Glue Holding HIE Together
What is the use of exchanging health information if there are questions about data integrity? Master patient indexes can help solve this problem.

Seek & Destroy
In the ongoing battle to eliminate cancer, researchers have turned to a protein found in HIV that could hold the key to a new treatment method.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for HIV and AIDS

DEPARTMENTS

Letter to the Editor

Coding Corner
Coders used to being “frugal” will need to change their mindset with the introduction of severity-adjusted diagnosis-related groups.

Technology Trends
A near-fatal family disaster prompted a father and a pediatricintensive care specialist to develop a clinical diagnosis decision support system.

EHR Insider
A veteran HIM professional offers her closing argument on what constitutes a legal electronic health record.

Datebook

News Briefs
Verizon employees recently received a nice little benefit when the company CEO announced the availability of a personal health records tool.

Conference Currents
Absent from TEPR? Find out the key goings-on in this recap.

Products and Services
Have tangled cords formed a miniature version of the Amazon jungle around your desk? Check out a menagerie of winders and clips that can sort out the situation.

By the Numbers


June 11, 2007

FEATURES

Bottom Line Bonanza
Healthcare organizations tired of seeing their claims put on the back-burner can follow five steps to improve receivables.

Microsoft’s Growing Interest in HIT: What’s It Mean?
The global company’s full-fledged foray into the healthcare field figures to change the shape of the industry as it blurs the line between competitors and partners.

The Proof Is in the Data
Industry experts agree that standardization and coordination are necessary if performance measurement is going to make an impact.

Mountain of Trouble
Healthcare organizations may find themselves in a predicament if they don’t properly dispose of old electronic equipment.

Treating Clubfoot Without Surgery
Eschewing traditional methods, a St. Louis orthopedist has adopted a treatment method that focuses on stretching and casting.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for clubfoot

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
The strain of billing problems can often be eased by stressing the need for physicians to provide complete and accurate documentation.

Money Matters
A Maryland physician practice couldn’t get a handle on its claims processing until it brought the system in-house.

News Briefs
The United States has joined eight other countries to form an organization that will help make SNOMED CT an international standard.

Evolving Education
A Tennessee career fair proves to be a huge success as it demonstrates the power of educating students about a life in HIM.

www.watch
An Ohio not-for-profit has adopted an e-prescribing system that could mark the end of paper prescriptions for its physicians.

Products and Services
A new resource for HIM employers and job seekers debuts, while charge capture technology merges with a popular electronic medical record.

By the Numbers


May 29, 2007

FEATURES

The Quest to Connect
Setbacks and small strides have appeared in equal measure as project leaders continue to push toward a national health information network.

Mobile Technology: Pint-sized but Powerful
These days, effective patient care often comes in small packages that can be easily handled at the bedside.

HIT’s Perfect Match
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has adopted a best-of-cluster strategy in an effort to overcome interoperability challenges.

2007 Coding Buyers’ Guide
Put your shopping shoes on and explore the array of selections available throughout the coding industry.

Spinal Interventions
Results from a recent study indicate that epidural steroid injections can effectively relieve neck pain.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for Pain

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
Think case mix is something from an episode of Murder, She Wrote? Learn how this foreign concept—at least to coders—affects a facility’s bottom line.

Transcription Trends
Technology’s effect on the transcription industry can be seen in the advances made in digital dictation.

Evolving Education
The AHDI and MTIA have organized a transcription initiative directed at military wives.

News Briefs
A pair of noteworthy transactions share the spotlight with the results from the 18th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey.

www.watch
In the ongoing effort to boost the number of physicians using HIT, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched a new interactive learning tool.

By the Numbers


May 14, 2007

FEATURES

MTSOs and Platform Providers Battle for Clients, Control
In a mad game of transcription monopoly, technology vendors and medical transcription service organizations are wheeling and dealing to gain a stronger foothold in the marketplace.

Ready for an Emergency? Don’t Wait to Find Out
Rarely do disaster recovery plans make it to the top of hospitals’ to-do lists. Such oversight, however, could lead to disastrous results.

Place Your Ad Here
Explore the potential impact of an agreement that will place advertising on an electronic health record.

Dementia — Erasing the Past
Doctors and other medical experts stress the importance of recognizing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease before it’s too late to take effective action.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for dementia

2007 EHR Buyers’ Guide
Choices, choices, and more choices. What’s a healthcare organization to do when it comes times to decide on an EHR vendor? This helps who’s who may be just the ticket.

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

EHR Insider
As systems become more prevalent, the process of purchasing an electronic health record has become subject to shifting market trends.

On the Case
Visit a Vermont community hospital that overcame a failed attempt at implementing a mobile software system to finally hit paydirt.

Conference Currents
The second meeting of the State Alliance for e-Health examined issues surrounding HIT advancements and privacy concerns.

News Briefs
A milestone was achieved when a West Virginia hospital became the first facility to implement the commercial version of VistA.

Products and Services
The spotlight falls on hanging folders without tabs, a device that destroys unwanted data, and a new transcription platform.

By the Numbers


April 30, 2007

FEATURES

Patient Safety Is Everybody’s Business
Tired of being bombarded by sobering facts and figures that illustrate a healthcare system in need of repair? Then do something about it.

CPOE Check-Up
Open wide and say “ahh” as a new Web-based tool gives your healthcare organization’s CPOE and EHR systems the once-over.

EDMS Technology — Rising Above Paper
The proliferation of hybrid medical records at many healthcare organizations makes selecting the proper document management system a top priority.

The Workmanlike Solution
Without much fanfare, document imaging technology helps healthcare organizations digitize paper records.

Hormone Deficiencies and Pituitary Tumors
Damage to the pituitary gland, often caused by hard-to-detect tumors, can wreak havoc on vital body functions.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for pituitary tumors

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note
The Color of Money

Coding Corner
Changes to both the index and tabular instructions for coding diagnoses relating to seizure disorders are impacting the industry on several levels.

Money Matters
The premiere of this new department analyzes what needs to be done to improve the patient billing experience.

Conference Currents
Get the scoop from the Fourth Annual Health Information Technology Summit.

News Briefs
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt recently announced steps for connecting gene-based medical care with HIT.

www.watch
Texas residents have more healthcare information at their fingertips thanks to a new Web site that monitors hospital charge data.

Products and Services
A toolkit has been developed to help facilities produce high-quality documentation.

By the Numbers


April 16, 2007

FEATURES

Character Study
Seemingly years in the making, a standard unit of measure is on the verge of becoming a reality in the transcription industry.

Leap of Faith
The transformation to an electronic healthcare setting spares no sector, including cancer registry.

On the Horizon — The Next Generation of EMRs
‘Stop treating an electronic medical record as if it were a paper record’ was the message delivered at a recent Medical Records Institute-sponsored conference.

Breathing Easier
Perhaps the most difficult of all transplant procedures, lung transplantation has proven to be quite successful at two leading healthcare systems.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for transplant complications

Spread the Word — Communication Key to Effective Care
It sounds simple, but the number of medical errors could be sharply reduced if providers and patients were better able to express themselves.

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note
Random Thoughts

Transcription Trends
A regular and unwanted visitor at many facilities, transcription overflow can only be eliminated at its roots.

On the Case
New Jersey’s Saint Clare’s Health System opted for automation to streamline its operations across several departments.

News Briefs
According to a new study, using a cell phone in a hospital will not cause medical equipment to go haywire.

www.watch
RxHub has received accreditation from the industry standard bearer, becoming the first e-prescribing network to receive such an honor.

Products and Services
A handheld tablet brings critical electronic medical record data to physicians wirelessly.

By the Numbers


April 2, 2007

FEATURES

ED Coding’s Juggling Act
The emergency department presents its own unique set of challenges to coders whose responsibility is to make sure the facility receives proper reimbursement.

CCHIT Certification: Is It for Everyone?
Cost concerns and other factors have some HIT experts wondering if the process is stifling competition. Meanwhile, the Certification Commission touts the standards’ effects on interoperability and quality.

Telemedicine: Healthcare Goes Anywhere
Bringing care to remote communities, telemedicine programs face a number of obstacles in their quest to improve the lives of the underserved.

Healthcare, Aisle Three
The number of retail health clinics is growing rapidly, making these pseudo physician offices the focus of much scrutiny.

Zen and the Art of Biopsy
Can hypnosis help manage pain? Harvard researchers uncovered interesting findings when they conducted a study involving 236 women undergoing large core needle biopsies.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for biopsy

DEPARTMENTS

Letter to the Editor

Coding Corner
Take a trip to the dark side, where coding compliance issues become muddled by the vast powers of electronic medical records

Conference Currents
Learn what happened at HIMSS when the industry’s top leaders gathered for the annual convention.

News Briefs
Frustrated with a lack of progress on privacy concerns, Paul Feldman resigned from his position at the American Health Information Community.

Health Monitor
The Reynolds Risk Score is based on new algorithms designed to measure a woman’s chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Products and Services
A notepad-like device has been designed to improve patient care, reduce workload, and enhance the way medical providers deal with electronic medical records.

By the Numbers


March 19, 2007

FEATURES

One Scan at a Time: Moving Paper to Electronic
At four facilities, document imaging is being used as a bridge to an electronic medical record and a catalyst for improved data quality.

EMR Selection: Checking out the Lineup
It may be the biggest decision a physician practice or facility makes, and yet some organizations do not properly map a unified strategy for the selection process.

Push Things Forward
The National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative makes it convenient for physicians to drop their pens in favor of technology.

The New Jet Set
It’s becoming fashionable to travel to exotic locations to reap the benefits of foreign healthcare systems featuring top-notch care at greatly reduced prices.

3-D Surgery: A New Dimension in the OR?
That’s so five minutes ago. A California company is helping to reshape how certain procedures are being performed in the operating room.

Coding and Transcription
Coding from diagnostic imaging

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

On the Case
In this department’s debut, learn how a Pennsylvania hospital expanded its use of bar coding to the pharmacy.

Coding Corner
Hospitals would be wise to differentiate between revenue enhancement programs and clinical documentation improvement initiatives.

News Briefs
Two Ohio communities are participating in an e-prescribing pilot designed to encourage physician adoption.

www.watch
Drexel University, in conjunction with the Coding and Reimbursing Network, is offering a certificate program.

Products and Services
To help combat health illiteracy, a module has been developed to meet the patient education needs of Spanish-speaking Americans.

By the Numbers


March 5, 2007

FEATURES

Is There Bite to HIPAA’s Privacy Rule?
Experts debate whether the much-discussed federal law lacks flavor and substance.

Stepping Up to Mobility: Making the Transition to Wireless Technology
The nature of this environment varies from institution to institution, but the consensus is that the makeover is worth the investment.

Building Hope in Basrah
Amid the constant threat of violence, workers and engineers go about the business of constructing a much-needed children’s hospital in one of Iraq’s most volatile regions.

Competing With the Big Guys
MTSOs often face an uphill struggle to compete against the larger companies. However, a keen business sense and help from MTIA helps them survive and thrive.

Betrayed by Our Bodies — Sensory Loss in Aging
Losing the ability to taste, smell, hear, see, and touch as we age has a profound effect on quality of life.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for macular degeneration


DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Transcription Trends
Medical transcriptionists who want to reinvigorate their careers may want to consider becoming independent contractors.

Coding Corner
By changing the way hospitals operate, EMRs are also reshaping the role of the coder.

Business Brief
Established by former AOL cofounder and chairman Steve Case, Revolution Health has the potential to, well, revolutionize the way consumers manage their care.

www.watch
Is it a reaction to the debut of Revolution Health? In any event, WebMD has upgraded its online offerings.

News Briefs
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has given the OK to the first 30 standards recommended for the development of a national health information network.

Products and Services
A digital dictation pocket memo gets a makeover and a medical record tool promotes portability.

By the Numbers


February 19, 2007

FEATURES

EDIS Implementation: What Speed Suits Your Facility?
Is it better to install your emergency department information system all at once or bits at a time?

Pay for Performance: The Boost Healthcare Needs?
The quest to improve the quality of healthcare has led some experts to tout the virtues of this incentive-laden plan.

Quiet Conquest — The ITIL Entrance Into American Healthcare
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library puts processes in place that allow people, software, and hardware to work more efficiently.

Keeping Joints in Commission
Do your knees feel as though you’ve spent a career as an offensive lineman? A combination of proper nutrition and exercise can make you feel like a rookie again.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for osteoarthritis

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

EHR Insider
The growing popularity of personal health records means changes for physician practices.

Transcription Trends
When selecting a platform for clinical documentation, healthcare facilities often fail to consider expandability.

Conference Currents
Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise Connectathon

News Briefs
According to a recent survey, patients and doctors have different viewpoints on several key issues.

Business Brief
For physician practices that opt for leasing over owning an electronic medical record, there are several key items to consider.

Health Monitor
Taking to heart the adage about the value of an ounce of prevention, a fledgling company sets out to remake healthcare attitudes.

www.watch
A midwestern university has established a PHR for its medical students.

Products and Services
Ergonomic office products and a color label printer are among the noteworthy items.

By the Numbers
This new department tracks the facts and figures making headlines in the healthcare industry.


February 5, 2007

FEATURES

Shifting Gears — MTs and Speech Recognition
Smart medical transcriptionists recognize that speech recognition is gradually changing their profession. How can they make the necessary adjustments?

Swinging for a More Perfect Approach to Coding
The imperfect science of coding can receive a boost from the implementation of electronic medical records, improving case mix and cash flow in the process.

High and Dry
As the chasm widens between those who have been in the coding industry for years and those looking to join, it’s time to take action.

Wired Clinics Meet Wired Patients
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Clinics, consumers are encouraged to join a Web program in which they can perform administrative tasks and “visit” with their physician.

The Dangers of Preeclampsia
Severe complications can occur if symptoms—which can appear both during pregnancy and postpartum—are ignored.

Coding and Transcription
Coding for pregnancy-related hypertension

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Note

Coding Corner
This October marks the arrival of an important change to the reporting of secondary diagnoses for all Medicare patients.

Health Monitor
Harvard Women’s Health Watch reminds women that there are seven factors to examine when considering your chances of developing breast cancer.

Drug Update
Researchers believe a dopamine agonist could be effective against Parkinson’s disease.

News Briefs
An important ruling in Massachusetts affects the court’s right to access mental health records. Elsewhere, a survey indicates that healthcare consumers want their electronic health records.

www.watch
A workflow solution company has announced plans to partially subsidize a Rhode Island e-prescribing initiative.

Products and Services
Instead of leaving patients to enter data at a central computer station, cardiac rehab professionals have a mobile solution at their disposal.


January 22, 2007

FEATURES

RHITs Take the Helm of Documentation Improvement
To get its clinical documentation in order, the University of Michigan Health System turned to its HIM staff.

A Doctored Approach
Gathering input from physicians can help healthcare organizations improve patient satisfaction and their financial ledger.

2007 Transcription Buyers’ Guide
Here’s your one-stop shop for everything you wanted to know about turnaround times and quality assurance.

Independent EMR Consultants: Is There a Need?
Physicians may be less apprehensive if they could rely on help from a certified expert who could guide them through EMR implementation.

Making It Personal
Not everyone reacts the same to prescribed medications. But what if pharmaceutical companies produced drugs designed for specific genetic types?

Coding & Transcription
Coding for metabolic disorders

DEPARTMENTS

Transcription Trends
Because of an increased demand for medical transcriptionists, many medical transcription service organizations have had to look outside the United States for help.

Coding Corner
A comprehensive checklist of the integumentary system spotlights the changes that went into effect at the beginning of the year.

News Briefs
Learn how the implementation of an electronic medical record did wonders for an osteoporosis screening program.

www.watch
The Medical Records Institute has introduced a new online tool that allows physician practices to compare electronic medical record systems.

Products and Services
Bolstered by antimicrobial protection, special file folders battle germs to keep work environments free from bacteria.

Health Monitor
Could increasing vitamin D levels help prevent multiple sclerosis? Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health believe that may be the case.


January 8, 2007

FEATURES

A Virtual Success
Step inside a Houston hospital after it decided to help ease the mess on local highways by sending its coding staff home to work.

Chasing Compliance: HIPAA’s Electronic Data Interchange Requirements
There are challenges, and then there are challenges. Meeting the specifications of this HIPAA component has been a doozy for harried healthcare organizations.

HL7 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Learn about the message standard that helps hasten HIT adoption and implementation.

Apples and Oranges
They’re the same but different. Coders in outpatient settings face a different set of challenges than their inpatient counterparts.

Brain Defects & SIDS
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have discovered a potential breakthrough that may take the mystery out of this silent killer.

Coding & Transcription
Coding for sudden infant death syndrome

DEPARTMENTS

Coding Corner
Healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes should seriously consider coders as candidates to lead their denial management and appeal processes.

News Briefs
According to a new report, the task of filling coding positions with qualified professionals is becoming more difficult.

Health Monitor
Because ovarian cancer often goes unnoticed until it’s too late, researchers are hoping symptom screening can increase early detection.

Drug Update
Just what the kids wanted to hear: With new vaccines approved for use, the immunization period now extends into adolescence.

www.watch
On a new patient flow Web site, animated sequences highlight one patient’s journey from emergency department to his room.

Products & Services
A software tool takes on the fight against health illiteracy by introducing a new kind of spell-checker.