Industry Watch September 2013

Aug. 26, 2013


EHRs get certified health IT mark

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has announced a new mark for certified electronic health records (EHR) technology. The designation indicates that the product, whether a complete EHR, an EHR module or another type of health IT product, meets the 2014 Edition Standards and Certification Criteria as certified by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB) in terms of interoperability, functionality and security.

“The use of the ONC Certified HIT mark will help to assure [doctors] that the EHR they have purchased will support them in meeting the meaningful-use requirements,” says Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology.

When the mark is associated with a certified “Complete EHR,” it means that the EHR technology can be used without modification to achieve meaningful use. A certified EHR module also can be combined with other modules to make a complete system.


Online training for docs

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), in partnership with ImplementHIT, has launched its latest training solution: “Clinical Documentation for ICD-10 by Specialty: Principles and Practice.” The interactive, online learning tool consists of short, self-paced training that doctors can access anytime, anywhere. Written by physicians, CDI specialists and medical coding experts, the program customizes learning by delivering three- to five-minute modules that cover each clinical specialty’s most seen conditions and allows further targeting to a physician’s 10 to 20 most billed diagnoses.

Learn more at

Data Exchange

Surescripts adds clinical messaging capabilities

Users of five popular health technology products can now share clinical information via Surescripts, connecting to an eligible universe of more than 300,000 care providers in acute (hospital) and ambulatory (office practices) settings across the country. In late July, Surescripts announced that its Basic Messaging and Communications product for clinical interoperability will be offered to all users of Inofile, Greenway, SCI Solutions and Vitera. SOAPware users will be able to communicate with users on the Surescripts network using a HISP-to-HISP connection. Epic, GE Medical, NewCrop, NextGen and several other health technology vendors are already connected to the Surescripts network.

These enhanced capabilities will allow providers across the U.S. healthcare system to seamlessly communicate and share important clinical information through a secure and integrated messaging service powered by the Surescripts network, which allows clinical care information, including immunization summaries, CCDs, referrals, discharge summaries and lab results, to be transmitted between peers, practices and health systems locally and nationally. The network supports all federal and state policies and standards for health information exchange, including privacy and security standards, technology interoperability standards and message types.

Secure Messaging

Emory University rolling out HIPAA-compliant texting app

HIPAA-compliant secure texting is taking a huge leap forward for employees at Emory University in Atlanta. The organization plans to have thousands of Emory staff in both the academic and hospital settings using the Mobile Connect, Powered by Amcom solution soon to ensure that sensitive information such as identifiable patient data remains protected, that staff can easily locate the people they need to contact and that messages requiring immediate attention are acknowledged and responded to quickly. The product also integrates easily with Emory’s Amcom hospital call center solutions, including its staff directory, on-call scheduling and emergency notification systems.

Learn more about Mobile Connect by visiting


Three-year outlook: ITaaS worth $11 billion in health IT savings

A new report from public-private government and health IT partnership MeriTalk quantifies the potential impact of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) models when deployed by healthcare providers, and the impact is big: $11 billion in the next three years.

“Health Check: Healthcare CIOs Prescribe Change,” based on a survey of 109 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members in Q2 2013 and underwritten by EMC Corporation, reports that through the adoption of ITaaS, providers can reduce IT costs by 9 percent, which translates into that big $11 billion in IT savings.

Ninety-four percent of the health IT execs surveyed have purchased part of their IT portfolio “as a service” to date, and on average they estimate that 47 percent of their current portfolio has the potential to be delivered via ITaaS by leveraging private, hybrid and public clouds in the future.

Ninety-nine percent of the healthcare providers surveyed are taking steps to transform their IT infrastructure. What are they implementing?

  • Eighty-seven percent are deploying virtualization.
  • Seventy-three percent are streamlining IT operations.
  • Forty-eight  percent are centralizing IT management.

Just over half (52 percent) say they are unable to find and hire all the IT staff with the right skills needed for innovation.

Read the full report at

INFOGRAPHIC Health IT hiring on the rise

The inaugural health IT workforce survey from HIMSS Analytics (sponsored by Medix IT) examines hiring trends and barriers for health provider organizations and IT vendors, providing key insights from a survey of 224 hospital and healthcare system IT executives.

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