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May 2014 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
The surprise decision to delay the ICD-10 implementation date yet again sent HIM professionals scrambling for answers. The Internet was flooded with commentary and opinion, some of it better than others.

For those fortunate enough to be in Washington, D.C., shortly after the delay was announced, there was plenty of sound advice to be had at the perfectly timed AHIMA ICD-10/Computer-Assisted Coding Summit. This month’s E-News Exclusive delves into the gathering’s finer points while providing a sense of where the HIM industry goes from here.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
ICD-10 Delay Doesn’t Dampen Spirits at Summit
By Jane Bonewell, RHIT

Nearly 200 HIM professionals met in Washington, D.C., last month to hear the latest information regarding ICD-10 and how to effectively move ahead despite the delay. While attendees certainly were disappointed with the April 1 delay announcement, they focused on silver linings and next steps. As Godwin Odia, PhD, NHA, RHIA, senior health insurance specialist for the states Medicaid programs, mentioned, “HIM professionals are great at adjusting and moving ahead.”

And that’s exactly what attendees are doing. Most organizations represented already had decided to continue with their ICD-10 initiatives, meet on a regular basis, and include continued programs for ICD-10 readiness in their 2015 budgets. The following are my key takeaways from the 2014 ICD-10-CM/PCS and Computer-Assisted Coding (CAC) Summit.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Two Health Systems Join Georgia Health Information Network

Emory Healthcare and Grady Health System have joined Georgia’s Department of Public Health and the state’s Medicaid program in connecting to the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the statewide health information exchange network that electronically connects Georgia hospitals, physicians, and clinicians to safely and securely exchange patient health information. Connecting to GaHIN allows Emory and Grady to augment continuity of care by enhancing patient care coordination among its authorized providers and affiliates and improving access to a patient’s information for diagnosis and treatment.

GaHIN’s ConnectedCare technology allows its members to access a more complete view of their patients’ health information directly from their EHR systems. This minimizes manual and often time-consuming processes. Patients also benefit, as GaHIN helps gather information from multiple sources and provide this information to the caregiver at the time of service.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Other News
Rural Hospitals Face Tough Choices
on EMRs

Some cash-strapped small hospitals are trading independence in return for help with EMRs, according to Kaiser Health News.

New Tools in Recognizing Suicide Risk
Technology such as virtual patients and EMRs, in addition to questions about how well patients sleep, may reduce suicide, reports Sleep Review.
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ACDIS Conference News
ACDIS 2014: A Vendor’s Observations and Takeaways
By Kerry Martin

The seventh annual Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) conference in Las Vegas has come to pass, leaving VitalWare excited to be in the clinical documentation improvement (CDI) arena and ready to further help organizations with improving or jump-starting their CDI programs.

As a first-time exhibitor and second-time attendee, the company thought it knew what to expect, but our attendees were blown away. Even with the delay in ICD-10, more than 1,200 attendees were engaged and focused on the CDI educational sessions and vendor resources offered at this year’s conference. Networking opportunities were abundant and, at times, VitalWare staff was overwhelmed by the number of attendees who wanted to share their story with us. What we found both confirmed what we already knew and gave us a better understanding of the individual needs across the health care community. Below are just a few of our observations:

Full Story »
NCRA Conference Preview
NCRA Working in Harmony to Deliver Excellence
By Donna Weber, MS, CTR

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) is holding its 40th Annual Education Conference from May 15 to 18 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference, featuring the theme “Working in Harmony to Deliver Excellence,” will provide an opportunity to celebrate cancer registrars, registry professionals, and the NCRA’s many achievements as the association marks this anniversary.

In his keynote address, Otis W. Brawley, MD, FACP, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, will discuss the current state of cancer research and the important role of the cancer registrar and cancer data, the direction of the American Cancer Society and priorities for the future, and the relationship between the Affordable Care Act, patient-centered care, and cancer registry data.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
AppVisit allows physicians and patients to conduct eVisits, connecting patients with their providers for diagnoses, medical questions, appointments, and prescription refills for any medical specialty and most medical conditions. Patients can answer exam questions their provider has prepared, including diagnostic-specific pictures, and the provider can recommend the next steps, be it a diagnosis, in-person appointment, or prescription. All shared information is reproducible, auditable, EMR agnostic, and HIPAA secure. Learn more »

Google Glass Platform for OneDX
The New Medical Product Server unveiled Google Glass as a new platform for its OneDX mobile imaging management solution, enabling physicians to quickly access medical reports, inpatient location, and exam scheduling information from the Internet-connected eyewear. Deployable in HIPAA-compliant environments, OneDX facilitates rapid downloads of multiple studies simultaneously from any iOS or Android device, letting health care providers scroll through images taken at different times and collaborate with peers from the same or different locations in real time. Learn more »

Stool Color Guide, Mobile App
Watching for abnormalities in a newborn’s shade of poop can be a lifesaver in those born with the rare, liver-ravaging disorder biliary atresia, commonly heralded by white or clay-colored stool. Pediatric gastroenterologists from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have designed a one-page stool color guide that will be distributed to birthing centers nationwide. In addition, a free mobile app uses color recognition software to allow parents to snap photos of their baby’s stool, receive feedback immediately, and send the photos to their pediatrician. Learn more »
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Ak the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

This month’s selection:
What credibility does the extinction of transcriptionists hold at this time? Is it true that transcriptionists are no longer needed anywhere because of EHRs? Is my career as a transcriptionist over?

Former medical transcriptionist/editor at a local hospital in Victorville, California

There’s no doubt that clinical documentation is a dynamic work environment in 2014, but the same could be said of any year since computers replaced typewriters more than 25 years ago.

While it could be argued that today’s clinical documentation professionals face greater difficulties, it also can be said with confidence that their role in documentation is as vital today as it has ever been. Yes, in some cases EHRs have displaced workers; in other places, speech recognition has doubled productivity; and in still others, quality assurance is the dominant role being played with little “blank sheet of paper” transcription being done. In most health care institutions, cost concerns continue to be a driver, so offshoring also is a strong trend that shows little sign of abating.

With all this being said, it’s worth noting that many EHRs are failing on their promises, and medical transcriptionists, whether in-house or outsourced, have been reengaged to begin anew. This all underscores the need for calm nerves, sharp skills, and determination to deliver quality at every turn in the interest of patient safety. Those who follow this path stand the best chance of standing tall in the years ahead.

— Scott D. Faulkner is principal and CEO
of InterFix.
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