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January 2014 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Outsourcing can be a convenient, less expensive option for health care organizations looking to shake up their transcription or coding operations. A customer-friendly contract cures many ills in overworked and understaffed departments.

However, like most things in life, it’s important to perform due diligence before entering into an agreement. As this month’s E-News Exclusive explains, it takes extensive detective work and research for providers to feel comfortable and secure with any new partner.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
HIPAA-Friendly Guide to Picking a Secure Outsourcing Company
By Elizabeth Hipp

All reported instances of medical data breaches put practices and patients on high alert, but the recent M2ComSys breach is especially troubling.

In August 2013, Cogent Healthcare and Genesis Health Systems announced the breach, which disclosed more than 32,000 patient records due to a reported firewall error. And in this instance, Google indexed some patient health records that were left unprotected on servers, which means it will be hard to remove the disclosed content

Why is this troubling? The company that handled the outsourced transcription work, M2ComSys, said it was based in Las Vegas, but it actually was a branch of M-Squared, a company based in Kottayam, India. Health and Human Services has yet to figure out how to penalize overseas vendors that violate HIPAA regulations, meaning the company can continue to do business with other unaware practices without any repercussions.

What is the lesson to be learned from all of this? Any company to which you outsource functions such as transcription needs to be fully vetted. In industries that outsource, including medical transcription, billing, and coding, overseas companies often pretend they are based in the United States to get work and charge higher rates. However, clients unfamiliar with outsourcing won’t know what to look for in a legitimate company. To help, here are some suggestions for researching an outsourced vendor.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Telemedicine Reduces Pediatric Medication Errors in Rural EDs

A study from researchers at the University of California, Davis has shown that telemedicine consultations from pediatric specialists reduced the number of drug errors in eight rural emergency departments (EDs). Published in Pediatrics, the study is the latest in research from the university demonstrating that telemedicine consultations can improve quality of care in rural settings.

“We wanted to look at medication errors and see how telemedicine consultations impacted those rates compared to telephone consultations or no consultations at all,” says Madan Dharmar, MBBS, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Pediatric Telemedicine Program. “We know that having a specialist treat children lowers the risk of medication errors. However, no one had ever studied whether specialists could use telemedicine to have the same effect.”

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Other News
ICD-10, Health Care Reform
Slow Patient Engagement Solutions

The current concerns over HIT regulations and health care reform could be delaying implementation of patient engagement solutions, according to MedCity News.

WebMD to Launch Health Device Marketplace
The WebMD 5.0 app will include a marketplace for buying personal health devices and some FDA-cleared medical devices, reports MobiHealthNews.
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Tech & Tools
CDocT Mobile Clinical Documentation Tool
Huff DRG Review Services’ documentation handbook for physicians now is available as a mobile app. Written by physicians, clinical documentation improvement specialists, and medical experts, CDocT integrates evidence-based best practices with clinical documentation guidelines, assists clinicians in accurately representing the complexity and severity of their patients’ health, and aligns physicians with quality and safety standards. It provides instant mobile access to physician documentation guidelines and clinical references, including information about complication or comorbidity and major complication or comorbidity groupings, quality assurance measures, hospital-acquired conditions, risk adjusters, and evidence-based guidelines for conditions such as sepsis, respiratory failure, and renal failure. Learn more »

Lippincott’s Nursing Advisor App
The Lippincott’s Nursing Advisor App, a mobile application of the online clinical decision-support solution for nurses, makes a lite version of the advisor available for individual clinicians, providing access to clinical information regarding diseases and conditions, signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment programs. The app features bulleted text, tables, icons for frequently used features, and full-color art. It is available on iTunes and Google Play.

TalkToDocs App
HealthTap’s TalkToDocs app makes the knowledge of 50,000+ physicians available immediately anytime, anywhere. Using the app’s voice-activated interface, users can ask their health- and wellness-related questions and receive instantaneous, personalized responses from qualified physicians. Learn more »
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