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July 14, 2022 News 1 Comment

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A JAMA viewpoint article by informatics leaders Kevin Johnson, MD, MS and William Stead, MD calls for expanding use of the SAFER guides to align health systems and EHR vendors in improving safety and usability, but also to develop a similar set of SMARTER guides to protect the cognitive attention of clinicians.

Broad topics include the use of collaborative documentation, designing workflows to minimize interruption, and aligning decision support to role and task.

The authors summarize:

The term electronic health record is a misnomer. The EHR is a complex sociotechnical infrastructure for automating clinical and administrative workflows within a healthcare facility or system. It is not designed primarily to capture and present a patient’s record as efficiently and effectively as practical. It is not an additive technology, such as a new imaging modality, that works within established practice workflows. Connecting EHRs to other health system technology requires complicated interfaces; connections among health systems require even more work. Second, the EHR has many stakeholders … in the US, requirements for reimbursement, regulatory compliance, and administrative workflow automation often take precedence over clinical efficiency and effectiveness … clinical teams are challenged by repetitive documentation, alert fatigue, increased workarounds, and decreased data quality.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

My infrequent health system encounters give me little patient exposure Epic’s MyChart, but my recent “is this COVID or something else” visit to an academic medical center’s urgent care clinic showed me how far use of MyChart has progressed. The urgent care provider notes and billing information were posted quickly, my meds list is correct since she reconciled it during that visit, appointment scheduling looks easy even though I didn’t use it, messaging is handy, and record-sharing appears easy with downloading or sending records or enabling Share Everywhere. MyChart is one of few health-related apps I’ve used that not only provides immediate value, but is just as slick and functional as anything I’ve used outside of healthcare and depth of its capabilities, which probably varies by customer site, is impressive.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

EHR consulting firm Healthcare Performance Group acquires competitor Health Data Specialists.

EHR and developer tools vendor Canvas Medical raises $24 million in a Series B funding round.

Healthcare Triangle closes a $6.5 million private placement.


  • Northwell Health chooses Google Cloud as its preferred cloud platform and says it will use the platform’s AI/ML capabilities to implement clinician decision-making support.
  • Infectious disease laboratory testing vendor HealthTrackRx will implement Shadowbox to connect its lab systems to customer EHRs.


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Xealth hires Joe Sedlak, RN, MBA (Health Recovery Solutions) as SVP of sales and Laurance Stuntz (Massachusetts EHealth Institute) as SVP of customer success.

Announcements and Implementations


A study involving GetWell’s remote patient monitoring technology finds that its use by COVID-19 patients resulted in lower hospitalization rates, ICU use, and length of stay.

Dubai’s Medcare Women & Children Hospital goes live on InterSystems TrakCare.


CHOP genomics researchers develop a phenotype algorithm that analyzes EHR information and biobanking data to identify patients who have ADHD alone versus ADHD with comorbid conditions.


Meditech announces Meditech Live, a customer leadership conference that will be held in Foxborough, MA September 20-22.

Government and Politics


FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD says that US medical product evidence generation is “mediocre” once medical product development progresses beyond the early phase. He says that “everyone in the United States has an electronic health record packed full of data that could be used to do studies very inexpensively.” He cites the astonishment expressed by some that FDA’s follow-up study on questionably approved Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm would take nine years, saying that the system should be able to quickly generate solid evidence to support post-market studies.

AMIA and the American College of Medical Informatics call for new privacy regulations following the Roe v. Wade decision that would protect digital health data from subpoena and areas that fall outside of HIPAA such as apps, websites, search behavior, and consumer location data.


A report concludes that England will need to create 40,000 more hospital beds by 2030 to be able to deliver pre-pandemic standards of care to an aging population. Per-person hospital capacity has halved in the past 30 years, with high bed occupancy and overtaxed ambulance and ED services. Report publisher Health Foundation also calls for remote patient monitoring and boosting social and community care options to allow timely hospital discharges.

MIT researchers create a publicly available set of 2,000 clinical questions whose answers physicians are most commonly seeking when using their EHR, hoping to reduce the time doctors interact with the EHR user interface by extracting the answers automatically. Initial results were poor because the evaluation questions that were used were not good ones, so the team is training a model that will generate thousands or millions of good clinical questions that will then be used to train a new model to answer them. [insert your witty observation here]


A study finds that employees in their 20s are pushing hardest for a return to in-office work, worried about the lack of community, mentorship and networking opportunities, and the physical space needed to do their jobs. Some of them are turning down job offers that call for remote-only employment. Older workers are happier with WFH because they have bigger homes, a well-establish group of friends, the freedom to transport their children, and a strong desire to avoid time-wasting commutes from the suburbs. One author says that hybrid policies that don’t mandate specific in-office days of the week can morph into remote-first work because people who show up find that colleagues and office energy are not there. One CEO says that the Great Resignation was really just people changing jobs because of their work preferences. An unintended consequence may be that younger employees work from the office, while older workers are allowed to WFH in the suburbs since companies can’t satisfy both groups with a single policy.

Sponsor Updates

  • Medicomp Systems releases a new “Tell Me Where It Hurts” podcast featuring Nick van Terheyden, MBBS of ECG Management.
  • EClinicalWorks partners with HealthEfficient to support its 40-plus member health centers across the country.
  • Everbridge adds Service Intelligence to its Digital Operations offering to help customers accelerate IT incident response, reduce time-consuming unplanned work, and maximize the value of digital service.
  • Meditech will host Meditech Live September 20-22 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Cerner describes how Fisher-Titus Medical Center replaced its hastily implemented early-pandemic virtual visit system of IPads and MIcrosoft Teams with an integrated platform from Amwell and Cerner, where a virtual rooming process mirrors in-process workflow as clinicians launch virtual visits as a video window within a patient’s Millennium chart.
  • Net Health announces that its rehabilitation outcomes management system, Foto Patient Outcomes, has been used in the 127th clinical research study published in a peer-reviewed medical and rehabilitation journal.
  • Netsmart releases a new CareThreads Podcast, “Unlocking Success in Palliative Care.”

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Thanks for mentioning the ability to easily share information between health systems via MyChart. I’m officially a snowbird now and both the health systems I use in Indiana and Florida use MyChart. I’ve got both instances of MyChart set up to share information for both health systems. The system in FL (which I consider to be my primary healthcare system) is new to Epic (they just went live in June) but they backloaded a fair amount of “legacy” data. This may come in handy if I need urgent/emergent care when I’m in Indiana.

    I’m retired from the health system in Indiana and know people who work in I.T. there. They were still on Cerner when I left.

    BTW, both health systems were Cerner clients for many years. Physicians at both health systems hated Cerner, as did the patient financial services folks.

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