FCC’s new health director Matt Quinn

Photo of Matt Quinn (former) FCC Health Director

Some time last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quietly filled its long-vacant Director of Healthcare Initiatives position, responding to a call made last September by its mHealth task force. The FCC’s appointee, Matthew Quinn, is no stranger to healthcare innovation. With a background in two previous government agencies and a number of large and small healthcare companies, Quinn brings a range of experience to the role. It’s recently been announced that one of his first duties will be to advise an HHS workgroup on mobile health regulation.

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HCIT - The fastest growing occupation in the USA

More than 50,000 healthcare IT jobs have sprouted since passing the HITECH Act, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates they’ll grow by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018 – much faster than all remaining US occupations per industry. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report reflecting the doubling of EHR adoption among physicians in two years from 17 to 34 percent. The rate of adoption among primary care doctors also increased significantly, from 20 to 39 percent.

Usability is a major part of Meaningful Use Stage 2

Usability is often blamed by physicians' as the root cause of their dissatisfaction with their electronic health record systems (EHRs)

Some of the usability issues are addressed in Stage 2 of the ONC Meaningful Use incentive program.

During that stage, usability has been made part of the certification process. Vendors must go through formal usability evaluations in order to have their products approved as complying with meaningful use.

EHR companies partnering with outside software developers

EHR Vendors need Usability Help, not outside developers!

They should be also looking for usability help, not outside engineering-centric developers!

EHR vendors: Contact Us!

Electronic health record (EHR) companies are beginning to partner with outside software developers to help them ramp up new applications for care management, population health management and patient engagement. Athenahealth, Allscripts, and eClinicalWorks (eCW) all are placing big bets on this approach, although eCW is tilting more toward mobile health apps than the other two vendors are.

Meaningful Use Jobs

There has been a lot of chatter in the "twittersphere" about healthcare IT and Meaningful Use. We have noticed that there has also been a sharp increase in the number of Healthcare IT vendors that are seeking professionals with experience and knowledge of the current (and future) requirements for Meaningful Use funding.

The health information technology (HIT) provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) afford states and their Medicaid providers with a unique opportunity to leverage existing efforts to achieve the vision of interoperable information technology for health care.

Select Read More to see the top 20 Meaningful Use careers in your area

Electronic Health Records User Satisfaction Falls 12 Percent

American College of Physicians

Medical News reported the results of a report from the American College of Physicians indicating “satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators.” The announcement was made at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition. According to Michael S.

Debunking 10 IT Usability Misconceptions in Health Care

The usability of health and other information technology systems has long been a challenge.

And there are a number of common misconceptions as to why the problem persists, according to Nancy Staggers, RN, a professor of Informatics at the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing, and Lorraine Chapman, Director of Use Experience Research at Macadamian Technologies, a user experience design and software development firm that does work in the health care field.

Satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health record systems have decreased since 2010

Ihealth beat logo

Satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health record systems have decreased since 2010, according to a report from the American College of Physicians and AmericanEHR Partners, Medical News Today reports. The report was released this week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference.
The report is based on 4,279 responses to multiple surveys of clinicians conducted between March 2010 and December 2012 (Medical News Today, 3/7).

Report Findings

HIPAA Risk Analysis and Your Critical Starting Point

Risk

The HIPAA Risk Analysis is so important that it is the first item defined in the HIPAA Security Rule, a requirement since 2005. It forms the basis of your HIPAA compliance program, and should be updated annually or more often if something significant changes within your IT environment. The HIPAA Risk Analysis is the roadmap you must follow to secure electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) to ensure that you do not breach its confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

Applications Requested for ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator

logo for zero to 510

Applications are now open for ZeroTo510, an entrepreneurship accelerator program designed to help start-ups bring medical device products and services to market. Applications will be accepted until March 25, 2013.

“Last year, ZeroTo510 was launched as the first-ever program of its kind in the United States focused on medical devices”

Best Practices in Recruitment for HIT

In researching best practices for recruiting and retaining top-qualified HIT candidates, Oregon Health Network turned to the Learning Based Apprentice Program at OCHIN (www.ochin.org). OCHIN, based in Portland, Oregon, is an organization that helps providers and practices across the country select, install, and effectively use health IT.

Beyond involvement in these types of trainings, here are the bigger picture best practices they gleaned from an apprenticeship program:

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How Digital Technology Can Personalize Health Care

How Digital Technology Can Personalize Health Care (iPhone image)

Digital technology has transformed virtually all aspects of how we live, and now it's ready to revolutionize health care. In The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Dr. Eric Topal makes a convincing argument that the digital revolution will deconstruct how health care is delivered. For example, hand-held digital devices will provide precise diagnostic information virtually anywhere and transmit it instantaneously wherever needed. Smart phones and e-tablets will give individuals access to applications allowing them to understand and manage their health or disease.

Heart Health Mobile app has won the Department of Health and Human Services challenge

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation’s Heart Health Mobile app has won the Department of Health and Human Services challenge, part of its Million Hearts initiative, intended to leverage clinical and community prevention strategies to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The app is designed to help consumers assess their risk of heart attack or stroke and direct them to health screening locations in their community.

As the winner, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation will receive $100,000 to support the app's development and future versions.

A valentines day treat?

A free, easy-to-use mobile application that helps people prevent heart disease is now available through iTunes. The app, created by the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation as part of a nationwide competition, was announced today by Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the national coordinator for health information technology, and Janet Wright, M.D., the executive director of the Million Hearts initiative.

Usability: The future of EHRs

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a framework to think about the use of EHRs in relation to adverse events and patient safety. Lana Lowry, NIST project lead on usability and human factors for health IT, believes that in addition to a set of technical requirements for functionality, systems need to have the same set of user requirements for how a user performs with the system.

10 ways to Improve EHR Safety and Quality via Usability

An American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Task Force on Usability made 10 recommendations to improve safety and quality by enhancing the usability of electronic health records. These recommendations were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The AMIA task force examined the literature and vendor experiences with EHR design and implementation and made the recommendations across four major areas: human factors health information technology research, health IT policy, industry and the clinician end-user of EHR software.

FDA reaches out on Usability of EHRs

The use of Healthcare Information Technology/Systems continues to grow and affect patient care and patient safety. In efforts to support a safe environment, the FDA's MedSun program is exploring problems related to Healthcare Information Technology/Systems that may affect patient safety.These problems may be detected within the hospital environment by IT/IS professionals, end-users, super-users, management or others.

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