Getting Back to the Basics

After listening to the recent all-day Joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee meeting I was struck by the ongoing need and opportunity we have to bring clarity to the following terms: interoperability and health information exchange.  With good reason, these terms are everywhere. 

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Have you considered a career in Health IT Security?

Each month HIMSS Veteran Career Services (VCS) hosts a webinar on various topics regarding military to civilian transition.  October’s webinar topic was “Military and Health IT Security, How They Connect”.  Coincidentally, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month .

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Three Biggest Challenges to Meaningful Data Exchange

Healthcare needs to identify an efficient and effective method of capturing data and then exchange it to prompt meaningful, high-value care.

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It’s the Journey, not the Destination

An Appreciation of An HIT Pioneer, Dr. Morris Collen, And The Current State Of Meaningful Use

Journeys always produce transformations.  We are never the same at the end as we were at the beginning. Muddy Waters started his transformation on a train from Clarksdale, Mississippi to Chicago, from the Stovall Plantation to days driving trucks and nights driving crowds into frenzies at house parties and lounges across the city.   Muddy’s career blossomed his late 30s when his song, “I Can’t Be Satisfied” became a big hit for Aristocrat Records.

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Usability and Clinical Decision Support Part 2: Drug-Drug Interaction Checkers

By David Schlossman, MD, PhD, FACP, MMI, CPHIMS, Medical Oncologist/Board, Certified Clinical Informaticist, Missouri Cancer Associates/Boone Hospital Center


One commonly studied example of alert fatigue is drug-drug interaction (DDI) alerts, since DDI alerts are a requirement for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use compliance. The requirement was established with the expectation that such alerts would significantly reduce the incidence of adverse drug events (ADEs). Unfortunately, what I’ve seen is the majority of DDI checkers supplied in large commercial EHRs are too nonspecific and clinically unaware.

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Social Health Communities: 4 Types to Consider to Engage Value

By Jon Mertz, Chair of the HIMSS Social Media Task Force and Vice President of Marketing, Corepoint Health. Follow Jon on Twitter@jonmertz

Community used to be simple. It consisted by neighbors who participated in similar events. You met face-to-face or through a telephone call. Community seemed more tangible.

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Usability and Clinical Decision Support Part 1: General Principles

By David Schlossman, MD, PhD, FACP, MMI, CPHIMS, Medical Oncologist/Board, Certified Clinical Informaticist, Missouri Cancer Associates/Boone Hospital Center

As far back as 1990, Dr. David Eddy wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 263:1265-75), “The complexity of modern medicine exceeds the inherent limitations of the unaided human mind.” To overcome these limitations, the fundamental theorem of clinical informatics states: [human brain] + [information technology] > [human brain] alone. In other words, human intelligence supplied with the latest, most complete patient information and intelligently filtered, pertinent, organized clinical knowledge and biomedical information will make better clinical decisions and produce better outcomes than human intelligence left to its own devices. Systems designed to assemble a precisely calibrated mix of patient data and scientific information organized and displayed in a format which optimizes clinical decision- making are termed Clinical Decision Support Systems or CDSS. The HIMSS website has a nice introduction to the concepts and mechanisms of CDS.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Information Security Is Everyone’s Shared Responsibility

Safeguarding information is everyone’s shared responsibility.  Now, in light of well-publicized and recent cyber attacks, the alarm has sounded for all healthcare organizations to take proactive steps to safeguard information. Continue reading

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Time for Action on 2015 Meaningful Use Reporting Period

As I’m sure many of you know by now, in early September, CMS and ONC issued a final rule offering providers flexibility to meet the Meaningful Use timeline for 2014.  The Flexibility Rule, as it’s being publicly referred, did not allow for similar flexibility for 2015, as all non-first year eligible providers are required to use 2014 Edition Certified EHR Technology  (CEHRT) for the full year in 2015.  The full 12-month reporting period for FY15 would be required to receive MU incentive payments and avoid Medicare reimbursement payment adjustments in 2017.

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A Payor Perspective on the Value of HIE

Two members of the HIMSS HIE Toolkit Task Force recently interviewed Marty Hauser, a CEO of a large, multi-hospital organization in the Midwest. Their discussion focused on impact value and operational benefits of health information exchange organizations (HIOs) to the healthcare insurance industry.

Health Information Exchange (HIE) is generally recognized as having two definitions, one as a verb and the second as a noun.

  • The verb “HIE” is the sharing action between two or more non-affiliated organizations with an executed business/legal arrangement that have deployed commonly agreed-upon technology with applied standards for the purpose of electronically exchanging health-related data between the organizations. Federal and state policies have been created to encourage the verb health information exchange, an approach supported under the State Cooperative Agreement Grants awarded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, or ONC.

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