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Monday Morning Update 2/24/20

February 23, 2020 News No Comments

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HHS and ONC publish “Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs,” meeting the requirement of the 21st Century Cures Act that HHS address government-imposed burdens on EHR use.

HHS was looking at strategies that could be achieved in 3-5 years and that HHS could implement under its existing or expanded authority or as a influencer.

I noted these specific items, although it’s not clear how HHS and ONC see themselves being  involved beyond calling out the status quo as undesirable:

  • Use existing EHR data to reduce re-documentation and work with stakeholders to promote clinical documentation best practices.
  • Streamline the prior authorization process via standardized templates, data elements, and transactions.
  • Improve EHR usability by aligning design to clinical workflow, improving the usability of clinical decision support, and improving the presentation of clinical data.
  • Harmonize basic clinical operation across EHRs.
  • Standardize medication information and order entry displays.
  • Optimize end user log-on.
  • Simplify scoring of the Promoting Interoperability performance category.
  • Standardize data mapping across systems and implement a standards-based API approach for HHS’s electronic administrative systems.
  • Consider a first-year test reporting approach for new ECQM clinical quality measures.
  • Improve interoperability between health IT and state PDMP programs.
  • Increase electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

CMS Administration Seema Verma said in announcing the report, “The taxpayers made a massive investment in EHRs with the expectation that it would solve the many issues that plagued paper-bound health records. Unfortunately, as this report shows, in all too many cases, the cure has been worse than the disease. Twenty years into the 21st century, it’s unacceptable that the application of health IT still struggles to provide ready access to medical records,  access that might mean the difference between life and death. The report’s recommendations provide valuable guidance on how to minimize EHR burden as we seek to fulfill the promise of an interoperable health system.”

Reader Comments

From No More Tangles: “Re: Atrium Health. It’s a bigger deal than the commenter says, pretty much a rip-and-replace. They are Cerner’s first and largest hosted customer and this was a big decision for them even beyond acquiring Wake Forest. They are almost entirely Cerner, with some miscellaneous Meditech and old McKesson. They were using Epic only for professional billing in a subset of their physician practices. Navicent also had an urgency to move and passed on Cerner for their long-term future and chose Epic.” Atrium Health released its 2019 financial report last week that showed a $284 million profit on $7.49 billion in operating revenue (not including that of its regional partners) and CEO compensation of $7.25 million.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

We’re in that pre-HIMSS quiet period, where companies – wisely or not – hold their announcements for opening day, when they are likely to get lost among the others. It will therefore be light reading today.

HIStalk sponsors sent some cool write-ups for my HIMSS guide – descriptions of what their company does, what they will be demonstrating, fun giveaways and donations to charities, and in-booth events such as whiskey tastings, happy hours, podcasts, presentations, and Google Cloud’s “Build with a Googler.” I’ll make a downloadable PDF shortly.  I’ve done zero prep for the conference, but I’m starting this weekend by making a list of booths I want to visit from this list of 60 or so. You can text me during the conference at 615.433.5294.

Lorre wants to spice up our webinar calendar with new entries, so contact her and you’ll get a pre-HIMSS deal. Another sponsor thing I just remembered: fill out the form to be featured in my reader-requested Sponsor Spotlight. Hey, it’s free, so why wouldn’t you?


Most poll respondents have little faith in organizations keeping their health information private, but some trust medical practices and health systems.

New poll to your right or here: What would most entice you to interact with a HIMSS exhibitor that you don’t know much about?


March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.



World Wide Technology promotes Justin Collier, MD to chief healthcare advisor.

Privacy and Security

Queen’s Health Systems (HI) notifies 2,900 patients that their information was exposed by an employee who emailed an attachment to the wrong address.


A health reporter for The Atlantic writes up “the Uber for BS” of corporate buzzwords, calling out “stakeholders,” deep dives,” “optics,” “growth hacking,” “value-add,” and “synergy. She quotes an author who says people use buzzwords for the same reason they wear ties or Ann Taylor clothes to the office – to tell the world they are working. An anthropologist takes a more cynical view, saying that people use buzzwords when they aren’t really doing anything. Stay tuned for the HISsies “most overused buzzword winner – will it be “artificial intelligence,” “social determinants of health,” “cloud,” or “disruption?” I’ll circle back shortly after I’ve leveraged consensus in preparation for moving the needle among thought leaders.




Larry Tesler, who invented such computer functions as cut-copy-paste and search-replace in the early GUI days at Xerox, is Control-X’ed at 74.

Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech adds Staff Gateway, a Web-based HR solution portal, to its Human Resources Planning solution.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Kaleidoscope Conference February 24 in Houston.
  • OmniSys will exhibit at the PDS Super Conference February 27-29 in Orlando.
  • EHealth Radio features StayWell President Pearce Fleming.
  • Vocera celebrates 20 years of innovation.
  • Spok creates an infographic titled “3 Challenges That Affect Care Team Well-Being.”

Blog Posts



Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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