News Feature | July 11, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — July 11, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In this week’s news, EHRs are used to take on hypertension, and the CDC speaks out against electronic errors.

HHS Enlists EHRs To Tackle Hypertension

The Department Of Health And Human Services is kicking off an effort to encourage clinical practices in the use of health IT (specifically, EHRs) to reduce high blood pressure among patient populations. The EHR Innovations For Improving Hypertension Challenge was launched by the Office Of The National Coordinator as part of its Million Hearts initiative — a plan to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Read more at HIT Consultant.

Health IT Regulations Get Support From FDA

The EHR Association, made of up almost 40 EHR vendor members, largely supports proposals in a draft report released by the FDA and other agencies, according to Healthcare IT News. The letter, released July 7, expresses the EHR Association’s support of an approach to health IT based on “the level and nature of risk, then applying appropriate oversight mechanisms.” The letter so far has been well-received by industry insiders.

CDC Speaks Out On EHR Errors

The Centers For Disease Control, an agency that does not normally speak out on hospital operations, has released its opinion on EHR errors. Its lead health scientist for the division of laboratory programs, Megan Sawchuk, highlighted the fact that some labs are using legacy information systems that do not even have the capability to use current coding systems. Beyond that, different medical facilities use different codes for the same tests. This causes problems, especially for physicians who work with multiple facilities. According to Healthcare IT News, the CDC released a letter formally addressing the problem in May.

CMS Launches Meaningful Use Webinar Series

CMS has announced that it will be launching a three-part webinar series on Meaningful Use in partnership with the Workgroup For Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI). The series is open to all interested stakeholders including IT solutions providers. The hour-long webinars will begin at 2:00 p.m. EST with topics:

  • July 15: What the Delay Means to You — What you should be doing now and other questions answered
  • July 30: Meaningful Use Essentials for the Small Provider — What you need to do and when
  • August 13: Preparing for the Future of Meaningful Use — What you should be preparing for and how payment works

Visit the WEDI website for more details and to register.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

The report, "Healthcare Information Technology Software and Services Report Vertical Market Analysis of Leading IT Business Process Outsourcing and Electronic Medical Record Vendors" discusses various platforms, service models, and market strategies of major players in the IT BPO and EMR markets. It also provides an assessment of vendor strategies, outsourcing agreements, significant deals and corporate developments, and contract vehicles signed by BPO and EMR firms over the past three years. Key questions answered are:

  • What are the HIT implications of the ACA, HITECH ACT, Meaningful Use, and the shift to ICD-10?
  • What specific strategies are these BPO and EMR companies employing to gain market share?
  • Which trends will affect the healthcare IT marketplace over the next few years?
  • What particular services or capabilities are my competitors developing?
  • What specific business development activities are taking place, in terms of contract deals, partnerships or M&A?

The full report is available here.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.