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Editor's e-Note
How are you hiring new employees? It’s perhaps the most important question your organization must answer in order to give it the best chance at success moving forward.

In this month’s E-News Exclusive, a recruitment advisor makes the case for skill-based hiring when that next stack of résumés arrives on your desk.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
5 Reasons to Hire for Skill Over Experience
By John Carrozza

When hiring a new person into your organization, it’s very likely that you will review their résumé, CV, or professional profile and assess how their experience might apply to what your team needs. This is a very logical approach to assessing talent; however, when you look at how quickly the skills to perform each role are changing, only looking at past experience could leave you with a big skill gap. Hiring someone for their skills is a much safer and longer-term bet, but it’s hard to change how you may have been looking at talent.

There are many news headlines that share the warnings; we have enough bodies to fill the roles, but skills development is not keeping up with the demands of today’s businesses and tomorrow’s innovation. Even if unemployment rates are high, it does not mean you will have more available talent than your business needs. Hiring for skills means that your workforce is better prepared for changes your business may need to make in the future and are likely more adaptable to the future organization you are starting to envision.

Full story »
Industry Insight
eMDs Acquires Aprima

eMDs, Inc announces that it has acquired Aprima Medical Software, a provider of EHR and practice management software and revenue cycle management solutions to ambulatory care organizations. The acquisition creates a world-class provider of fully integrated financial, administrative, and clinical solutions that are utilized by more than 63,000 providers in more than 26,000 practices and hospitals across the world.

“eMDs’ acquisition of Aprima represents an exciting growth opportunity for both of our businesses,” says Derek Pickell, eMDs CEO. “The unique combination of our technologies and services prepares us to offer the most powerful and comprehensive portfolio of solutions available—and that means greater impact, increased productivity, and less operational burden for health care providers. Our bottom line is about facilitating the best patient outcomes, and together our companies clear the path for providers to do their best work while enhancing their financial strength.”

Read more »
Products & Services
Grocery Store Kiosks Give Patients Access to UPMC Care
UPMC is now partnering with Giant Eagle, the Pittsburgh region’s largest supermarket chain, to offer UPMC AnywhereCare kiosks in the pharmacy area of several Giant Eagle stores. The kiosks, available for use by anyone in Pennsylvania regardless of their insurance status or whether they are UPMC Health Plan members, will allow people to quickly connect to UPMC clinicians for treatment of minor illnesses. The in-store locations provide such peripheral devices as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and otoscopes for those who might need them, and Giant Eagle pharmacists and technicians are available to help with the kiosks and devices. Using the kiosk’s video camera, patients with a variety of nonurgent symptoms, such as sore throats or earaches, can be seen within minutes by a health care professional, who will assess the symptoms and recommend a treatment plan. The cost of an AnywhereCare visit varies from no cost to $49, depending on insurance coverage. Prescriptions, if needed, are paid separately by the patient, and are sent electronically to the patient’s chosen pharmacy. In addition to the Giant Eagle kiosks, UPMC AnywhereCare is available online or through a free app, downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Learn more »

Mediscribes Inks Deal With Premier
Mediscribes Inc, a leader in HIM and medical transcription technologies, has been selected as a vendor by Premier Inc. Through this partnership, Mediscribes will make its clinical documentation and transcription platform available to more than 4,000 member hospitals, health care providers, and doctors in Premier’s extensive network. Mediscribes will provide Premier member hospitals back-end and front-end speech recognition and other speech-to-text solutions at a discounted rate. At the same time, members are also guaranteed 99% quality documentation, fast turnaround times, and prompt customer support. Mediscribes’ comprehensive transcription platform includes tools that simplify the creation, sorting, and maintenance of electronic patient records. Its four main modules include a voice capture application, a file management system, a transcription tool for detailed report creation, and a portal for patient record maintenance and reference. Back-end and front-end speech recognition makes the transcription process seamless. Also, the HIPAA-compliant platform is cloud based, making it lightweight, scalable, and compatible with existing infrastructure. Learn more »

Synzi Launches ‘Next Generation’ Virtual Care Platform
Synzi, a virtual care company, has updated its virtual care and patient engagement platform with new features and functionality impacting key areas of reporting, user interface, security, and compliance. The improved technology and aesthetic offers a more intuitive user experience, enhanced visuals, simplified navigation, and new capabilities. The next-generation platform also offers a high-performance reporting dashboard, empowering organizations to better understand strengths and areas for improvement. Enterprise administrators can now benefit from an updated dashboard, reporting components, and advanced security permissions. Those with administrative access are newly able to manage access and permissions for each individual care team member and patient roster, ensuring users have rights to only what is necessary—simultaneously protecting the privacy of both the patient and provider. The refreshed reporting dashboard provides administrators with a clear view of user data, including patient preferences and engagement—details that can be analyzed to inform future decisions regarding care plans and strategies. Staff now have the ability to communicate with patients and colleagues bidirectionally (via e-mail, text, SMS, secure messaging, and video call) with advancements made to the application’s communication modalities. Further enhancements include improved video resolution and secure messaging. Additionally, providers are now able to enroll patients in support programs based on their clinical needs. Learn more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Altered Mental Status: More Info Please
Despite “altered mental status” being a generally accepted term throughout the medical profession, documentation experts warn that it typically does not adequately describe the care being provided. Read more »

Medical Record Requests Continue to Challenge Hospitals
When researchers checked in on the release of information process at 83 top-ranked hospitals, the results were not encouraging. Read more »

The Rise of the Chatbots
No, it’s not the title of the latest science fiction thriller to hit the big screen. Rather, it’s an examination of how the conversational agents fit into the world of health care. Read more »

Hitting the Mark on Coder Performance
Dashboards and EHRs have made it easier to track coder productivity, but a discerning eye is still required to ensure the data are painting an accurate picture. Read more »
Other News
Children’s Mercy Must Get Better at Protecting Kids’ Health Info, Says New CEO
Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, has experienced several security breaches in recent years, so new CEO Paul Kempinski is working to protect patient data, The Kansas City Star reports.

Huge Trove of Medical Records and Prescriptions Found Exposed
A security lapse left a fax server without a password, potentially allowing anyone to read the unencrypted faxes which contained personal data and health information, according to TechCrunch.
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
According to ICD guidelines, once a patient was diagnosed with HIV, this diagnosis should be with the patient from that time on.

1. Should the HIV diagnosis be with the patient at each visit even when it may not be clinically relevant?

2. Should the payers be notified via billing or just in the patient’s chart?

3. Some providers like to put it under history conditions but it’s not history.

Fang Tong, CPC, CPC-H, CPMA

1. It is always clinically relevant to know that the patient is HIV positive—that doesn’t mean he/she has the disease.

2. It is usually added to billing because it changes the severity of illness.

3. That is a debate for the ages—what belongs where in the problem list. There’s no right or wrong answer.

— Gila El Saadawi, MD, PhD, is chief medical informatics officer at M*Modal.
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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!
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