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Editor's e-Note
I just updated my MySpace page while playing the CD I purchased at Sam Goody. Sound outdated? You bet, but so does health care organizations sharing medical images via CDs.

This month’s E-News Exclusive explores a better, more modern method of moving patient data from provider to provider.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Heads in the Cloud
By Cate Hayes

The leaders of today’s health care industry pride themselves on advancement and innovation in medicine, yet many practices still hold on to antiquated CDs and DVDs to store patient data. CDs were invented in the 1980s and have been in use for nearly 40 years—even as newer, faster, and more secure technology has advanced. In some cases, medical practices can spend up to $15 per disk. In addition, many computers and laptops no longer support CDs, as companies such as Apple have essentially eliminated CD drives from their machines.

A new campaign, #DitchTheDisk, is advocating for the switch to a universal cloud-based data storage model within the health care industry. By utilizing the cloud, physicians will be able to share medical imaging data efficiently and effectively when communicating with patients.

Morris Panner, JD, is CEO of Ambra Health, a cloud computing company supporting #DitchTheDisk. Panner is a leading proponent of the movement. He believes that this change offers many opportunities for medical information exchange.

“I think it’s going to be a combination of thought leadership from the top of the profession as well as support by industry that’s going to break down the old ways of doing things,” Panner says. “And I think that’s what’s happening as we speak.”

Full story »
Key Takeaways for HIM Professionals at #HFMAAnnual
By Beth Friedman

The impact of new reimbursement models, egregious payer behavior, and regulatory change took center stage at this year’s Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Conference. Thousands of health care revenue cycle and finance professionals filled educational sessions and HFMA central to assess how new tactics and technologies can be implemented to combat the rising tide of reimbursement loss. HFMA panelists and presenters were candid about their relationships with payers and shared important strategies to improve the dynamic.

For example, regarding how risk-based contracts have impacted her health system, Gerilynn Sevenikar, vice president of revenue cycle at Sharp Healthcare, says, “Payers are taking advantage of providers and we’ve got to remove the friction. My hope is for technology or artificial intelligence (AI) to get us to clinical decisions we can all agree on.”

Having observed dozens of new AI vendors addressing health care revenue cycle challenges, I applaud Sevenikar’s goal. But while we wait for new tech to spark a revolution in reimbursement retention, we must also recognize our shared health care revenue cycle reality—change takes time.

Read more »
Products & Services
IMO Announces Availability of Periop IT Content Through Epic’s Foundation System
Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) and AORN Syntegrity announced that the Periop IT content is available in the Epic Foundation System. Periop IT streamlines the standardization of surgical scheduling dictionaries and maps them to health care code sets, such as CPT-4 and ICD-10-PCS. Hospitals may achieve benefits such as maximum reimbursement, accurate scheduling, and improved definitions of workflow efficiencies for the perioperative setting. By delivering quality content within a hospital’s EHR that is accessible for perioperative members, utilization and satisfaction can be enhanced across all care teams. Periop IT content allows clients to more efficiently leverage the perioperative expertise of AORN Syntegrity and IMO. Periop IT enhances claims and reporting workflows, optimizes communication, strives to improve patient outcomes and procedure scheduling, and reduces operation and IT workloads. Learn more »

NextGate and e4 Partner to Advance Positive Patient Identification and EHR Data Integrity
NextGate has entered into an exclusive arrangement with e4 to help health care organizations overcome the life-threatening and costly inefficiencies that result from duplicate medical records and patient identification errors. The partnership will align NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index platform with e4’s HIM and data cleanup services to quickly and cost-effectively resolve medical record duplicates and overlays. By combining their experience and proven capabilities into a single approach for patient identity and record remediation, NextGate and e4 will support providers with an end-to-end offering that resolves even the most contaminated systems to fast-track critical patient safety improvements and data-driven decision making.

Surgical Notes Launches Improved SNChart Transcription Management Web Portal
Surgical Notes has launched an improved version of its SNChart web-based transcription management portal. SNChart automates much of a surgery center’s manual, day-to-day transcription operations. Users can dictate, receive, review, edit, sign, and archive operative reports within one integrated platform that can be accessed from multiple endpoints, including smartphone app, web browser, and phone call. SNChart provides complete data integrity from start to finish by offering full integration with practice management systems. Noteworthy changes to the SNChart portal include new dashboard functionality that provides color-coded status indicators to identify workflow priorities, reports that provide insightful data, and global search capability; streamlined design and navigation; simplified user experience; enhanced security policies; expanded search and sort options; compatibility with all web browsers; and a more consistent look and feel with the SNChart mobile transcription app. Learn more »
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Through the Cracks
Knowing and addressing the barriers to proper charge capture can help organizations reach a better financial plateau. Read more »

Documentation’s Finer Points
Just in time for summer reading, AHDI has introduced the latest edition of its style book, which hopes to improve standardization across the industry. Read more »

The Labyrinth That Is HIPAA
The omnipresent law can pop up and become a consideration in a variety of settings. Read more »

Breach Preparedness Know-How
Being the victim of a data breach is a harrowing experience. However, hospitals with a well-rehearsed, well-coordinated plan in place have the best chance to minimize the damage. Read more »
Other News
Coast Guard Invests $60M in Unusable HIT System
The Government Accountability Office found the US Coast Guard spent seven years and $60 million developing an HIT system but did not end up with any equipment or software that could be used, according to

New Hospital-Records System Likened to a Tour of the Irish Countryside
A doctor compares learning Epic’s record system to navigating roads that don’t match the signs and maps, while receiving different directions from each person asked for help, in The Ottawa Citizen.
Industry Insight
Enjoin Launches Population Health CDI Program

Enjoin, a physician-directed clinical documentation improvement (CDI) services provider, announces a nationwide population health CDI initiative that unites the company’s recognized expertise in physician documentation with providers’ rapid move toward risk. The program’s linchpin—collaboration between Enjoin physicians, health care provider data, and at-risk organizations—results in a true depiction of the complete patient story and more accurate clinical data. With a documentation and patient-centric culture, patients benefit from advancing care models while providers achieve accurate risk adjustment and improved quality scores for the organization and its members.

“Many health care organizations are taking on more risk and in doing so, make the mistake of focusing exclusively on cost reduction, when their strategy should instead be twofold: reduce costs and improve documentation,” says Enjoin CEO James Fee, MD, CCS, CCDS. “Documentation is the single most important element that defines the complexity and morbidity of a patient population. In fact, improved provider documentation is a critical first step to positively impact care delivery.”

Read more »
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