|   View web version
For The Record e-Newsletter
Subscribe or Renew
Give a Gift
Digital Edition
February 2019 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
In the cycle of HIT stories, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most: the patient’s well-being. Is that about to change this year?

The author of this month’s E-News Exclusive believes that will be the case as HIT leaders turn their attention to how better to engage patients.

Through technology, expect providers to produce data that will reveal which patients can benefit most from advanced preventive care.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
The Year of the Patient in HIT
By Betty Rabinowitz, MD, FACP

As we move forward into the new year, it’s natural to try to predict what HIT trends will have the greatest impact in 2019. Many experts have singled out artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain technology, and voice applications. I wholeheartedly agree that these health technologies and applications are garnering significant investment and industry focus. It is indeed exciting to think about applying AI to generate actionable insights and predictions using health care Big Data or applying machine learning to error-prone tasks in the physician’s workflow to increase patient safety.

This year, as in years past, I wonder how many of these predicted innovations will materially impact the day-to-day lives of practicing physicians across the country. I have a strong sense that, in reality, most practicing physicians will not feel the impact of these technologies for some time. I do, however, think there are HIT trends and themes that will impact practicing physicians in meaningful ways in 2019.

My central prediction for 2019 is that many HIT systems and platforms will be challenged to shift their focus from physician and health care team workflows to the patient. I say this because there are mounting regulatory requirements and incentives that now truly place engaged patients at the center of the clinical endeavor.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Heart Failure Telemedicine Programs Prove Effective Six Months After Discharge

Home telemedicine programs for heart failure are effective at preventing death for at least six months after hospitalization, but generally lose any benefit after one year, according to a meta-analysis of clinical trials. These findings, recently published in Health Affairs by a study team led by Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Professor Renee Pekmezaris, PhD, help educate health care professionals how to refine heart failure telemedicine programs and about who most benefits from these programs.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should. An estimated 6 million Americans have heart failure, one-half of whom die within five years of diagnosis. One way to decrease heart failure mortality is to be cognizant and proactive about symptoms post hospitalization. It is challenging for patients to continuously monitor symptoms and notify professionals, but this is a critical step for the patient’s health because medications and diet may need to be adjusted.

Home telemedicine programs offer a solution. They comprise health care professionals monitoring important vital signs and teleconferencing with patients on a regular basis to discuss their symptoms with the goal of identifying issues sooner and preventing rehospitalization. Pekmezaris’ analysis of 26 telemedicine programs in randomized controlled trials for heart failure found the programs are effective but lose their effectiveness over time.

Read more »
Embracing Risk at HIMSS
By Lee DeOrio

As the annual HIMSS gathering grows to unprecedented heights (will next year’s get-together require use of Orlando’s north hall, the conference’s former gathering space before attendance mushroomed?), the number of participants willing to take risks is following suit.

Technology start-ups are making inroads and noise even as the industry giants continue to loom large. Information blocking was a hot topic on the exhibit floor and in the hallways, where the general consensus was a big thumbs-up for the federal government’s efforts in that area.

However, several experts I spoke with questioned whether it was possible for the many agencies to coordinate their efforts. We shall see.

Embracing risk of another sort were sessions about value-based care. Most of the speakers focused on how data analytics can be key to unlocking the statistics to succeed in a population health environment. One of those sessions was also the source of my favorite fun fact of the entire conference: Starbucks spends more on health care than coffee beans.

Read more »
Products & Services
ECRI Institute Opens Access to Clinical Practice Guidelines
ECRI Institute, an independent, nonprofit patient safety organization, has launched the ECRI Guidelines Trust, a portal to expertly vetted, evidence-based guideline briefs and scorecards. The health care community has free access to the website, which will grow over time as more trustworthy clinical guidelines become available. The ECRI Guidelines Trust features new summaries of evidence-based guidelines from participating guideline developers, medical specialty societies, and other health care organizations. All Guideline Briefs include ECRI’s new TRUST Scorecard, which evaluates the rigor and transparency of a guideline to see how it stacks up against the Institute of Medicine standards for trustworthiness. ECRI evaluations are unbiased, fact-based, and free from industry influence. Learn more »

Wound Care Advantage Launches Virtual Scribe Service
Wound Care Advantage (WCA) announces the launch of WCA Virtual Scribe, a new service to reduce the time it takes for physicians to complete patient documentation tasks. WCA Virtual Scribe provides wound care physicians with a real-time remote collaborator, or scribe, with a deep understanding of wound care and hyperbaric medicine. During patient visits, WCA’s Virtual Scribe connects with the physician in real time and assists with documentation, offers EHR support, and frees up time to focus on patients. After a yearlong trial program, WCA Virtual Scribe is now operational and available to WCA partners nationwide. Learn more »

4medica Joins WTC Indianapolis to Deploy Worldwide Accurate Patient Matching
4medica, a clinical data exchange company, is setting its sights on matching patient data to the right records on an international level. 4medica has joined with World Trade Center Indianapolis to cultivate business relationships with health care organizations around the world that are looking for guidance on how to inject patient data integrity and interoperability into EHRs. While some countries assign patient-specific numbers, in the United States, no such number is assigned by the government; however, some state health care entities are circumventing that problem with the 4medica Big Data MPI, a master patient index solution which includes a “4ever ID” to assign to every patient identity. Once assigned, the 4medica Big Data MPI correctly matches incoming patient data to the right patient record in real time—and going several leaps forward, enriches this master patient record with the latest information after vetting its accuracy. Learn more »
Featured Jobs
The nation's top employers and recruiters of HIM talent advertise in For The Record magazine and post their job openings on Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers across the country!
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Is Offshore Coding Dead in the Water?
An eye-opening study spotlights the risks of choosing a coding partner that sends work offshore. Read more »

FHIR Blazes New Path Toward Interoperability
The standard may hold the key to dousing fears about health care’s ability to seamlessly transfer clinical data. Read more »

Diversity Key to Patient Matching
A RAND Corporation study found that a multiprong strategy may help put a dent in health care’s long-standing problem. Read more »

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
It may be 2019, but the health care industry continues to hang onto the beloved fax machine, a bygone technology whose time may be short if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has its way. Read more »
Other News
Catholic Health Plans $100 Million Tech Upgrade
Catholic Health, a health care system in New York, is investing $100 million to update its EHR system, reports WGRZ.

Piles of Medical Records Found Outside Atlanta Clinic
Hundreds of patient documents containing personal information were discovered in an Atlanta parking lot, according to WSB-TV.
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
Inpatient question: Does the physician have to document terminology such as “end-of-life care, comfort measures” to code palliative care? Or can palliative care be added as a secondary code if documented by other staff, a registered nurse, Social Services, or a case manager and not by a physician? We don’t want to unnecessarily query the physician.

If a physician recommends palliative care or hospice care and these options are refused by the family or patient, can you still code palliative care because it was recommended?

An outside consultant told us we should be coding this type of conversation that results in a refusal, by a patient or family, with palliative care Z secondary code. Can you add a secondary palliative care code if it is recommended but refused?

An RHIA, CCS, in Pennsylvania

Read response »
Advertising Opportunities
For The Record offers many flexible advertising programs designed to maximize your results. From print advertising to e-newsletter sponsorships, website advertising to custom e-mail marketing, For The Record helps maximize your investment. Email our experienced account executives today for more information or call 800-278-4400!

Coming up in our April 2019 issue is our Coding and RCM Resource Guide. Contact sales for more information. is the premier online resource to recruit HIM professionals. Post your open positions, view résumés and showcase your facility's offerings all at!
A Secure, Anonymous Résumé Bank
Job Alerts Sent to Your E-mail
Gift Shop
For The Record's online gift shop features a wide variety of items for HIM professionals for any occasion. Whether you are searching for products to give friends or colleagues, hand out to clients, or wear yourself, finding the right gifts is easy and affordable at For The Record's online gift shop. Choose from t-shirts, journals, clocks, buttons, mouse pads, and much more! Check out our secure online shop today or call toll-free 877-809-1659 for easy and fast ordering.