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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 2/12/15

February 12, 2015 Dr. Jayne No Comments


AMIA announces its Third Annual Student Design Challenge. Teams of graduate students are invited to submit “novel and original ways to facilitate engagement between humans and computing data-analytic systems.” Eight finalists will be invited to present posters at the AMIA Annual Symposium, with the top four teams delivering formal presentations. Proposals are due by June 1.

My wish list of things that would immediately better my own human-computer interaction: high-quality real-time voice recognition that could immediately map to discrete data fields in my EHR to facilitate interoperability and E&M coding support; a reporting platform that would let me do clinical queries based on concept associations rather than painstaking identification of specific data fields; and ways to manage constantly-changing clinical recommendations that don’t require a fleet of IT staffers.

This week has been a whirlwind. We’re delivering the first burst of training for ICD-10. Our corporate decision-makers wanted to maximize physician time out of the office, so they have bundled education on readmissions, length of stay, and preventable harms together as well. Although it may have saved providers from making multiple trips to the hospital for training, I’m pretty sure most of their brains stopped absorbing about 45 minutes into the session. Our team was batting cleanup with the ICD-10 content, so we’ll be planning repeat sessions both online and in-person.

I’ve also been busy preparing a lecture for Grand Rounds. It used to be that Grand Rounds was about presenting interesting clinical cases or new advances in treating diseases, but now we spend a lot of time talking about Meaningful Use and other regulatory concerns. I’ve been tapped to talk about the Security Risk Assessment needed for successful Meaningful Use attestation. It’s probably a reasonable topic since it’s been part of the HIPAA requirements for nearly a decade, yet many physicians act as if they haven’t heard of it.

Not only can providers be asked to pay back incentive money, but they can risk other penalties from the Office for Civil Rights. It’s a complex topic because it’s not once-and-done like “implement a certified EHR” or “turn on drug/allergy checking.” It requires physicians to create the assessment and maintain it as a living document, reassessing risk as they purchase new technology or change their information strategies. Given all the recent breaches, I’d think there would be more interest in security and risk. I’m looking forward to it since I do enjoy helping community providers learn how to navigate some of the thorny issues that employed physicians don’t necessarily have to deal with.

There are a lot of free resources available to providers and they’ll be taking home a tool kit to keep them headed in the right direction, whether they decide to try to perform the risk analysis on their own or hire an outside professional to complete it. I’ll also ask them to suggest topics for the next “administrative” Grand Rounds. Reading the comments and suggestions on their evaluation forms is usually good for a laugh or two.


The New Year always brings new vendor contracts. In addition to a new benefits manager for our flexible spending accounts, we also have a new purchasing agreement for office supplies. My assistant ran across this informational popup today. I’m going to have to seriously indulge my office supply habit if I’m going to hit that minimum.

Are you hoping your Valentine brings you a fragrant bouquet of Mr. Sketch markers? Email me.

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