Is BYOD going to improve coordinated care?

Bring your own device (BYOD) is going to revolutionize the way technology is looked upon, but what is BYOD? It refers to rules and procedures set by the practice allowing employees to use their personal mobile gadgets to access company data. It can improve coordinated care because it reflects future of the healthcare industry.


Mobile devices are becoming common by every passing day. Mobile revolution is by all means is here and roaring. Practices’ use of smartphones and other gadgets is a common practice now.

A recent global survey conducted by PEW research of companies all around the world found that 28% of their workforce uses personal devices for work related tasks. The research further stated that this percentage is expected to rise to 35% in 2013. In general as of May 2013, 91% of American adults have a cell phone, 56% of American adults have a smartphone. This boils down to the fact that technological gadgets are extremely common, and using them in a work environment can not only be useful, but may very well generate a new market for employees in a work environment.

It can improve coordinated care because providers, nurses, healthcare staff and patients are generally more comfortable with their own devices as they have more control over it. Think of it like this, if a provider uses a mobile EHR device on his own smartphone, isn’t it convenient? It is way more efficient since he can take his device anywhere he likes and keep his practice in check.

BYOD can increase patient safety and reduce the risk of medical errors. Personal devices can patch the critical communication gaps and allow for easy access of clinical information at the point of care with other clinicians for coordinating care of the patient.

To provide security for all personal gadgets of the employees can become a huge challenge for the IT department of the healthcare facility but at the end of the day, standardization is also an issue. But look at this way, new rules, regulations and structures that are being formed will pave the way for innovation. It will provide coordinated care to their patients by allowing wide and convenient access to the patients. Apart from that, the sooner the challenges met in terms of diverse use of mobile devices the better it is, because in the future more and more unique personal devices will be produced.

Personal devices do not need to be set up in a certain way to function, instead the devices allows limited functionality. Downloading healthcare mobile EHR app from the store or accessing company’s email from your email browser doesn’t require using company services that are set up in a restrictive way. It essentially saves the setup cost.

ICD 10 5 steps to take now

How to change physician perceptions about EHRs?

The usage of technology for physicians has always been a challenge. This old myth is not a myth but a fact that physicians do not necessarily like technology. For them it is too clunky, to say the least, shoddy! But hold on, jumping to conclusions isn’t always right. Maybe, they are over thinking too much. Maybe, they do not know that technology in healthcare is the only way forward, all other ways, if any, are now defunct. The use of Electronic Health Records is the way for future healthcare providers. Let’s have a look into some of the steps that could be taken to change the outlook of physicians about EHRs.

Seeing the good side: Providers can earn financial incentives by showing Meaningful Use of EHR software as directed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Why would government force the use of software that isn’t any good for providers? The answer is it is a common misconception that EHRs will slow down their practices’ output. Well over, $7 billion have been issued by CMS to professionals and hospitals, and an estimated $22.5 billion will be paid from 2011 – 2022 to eligible providers who adopt EHR technology. Considering providers can earn huge incentives, they should start using EHR as soon as possible.

Interoperability: Healthcare providers, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, patients and their families through the use of EHRs can be fed with real-time data. EHRs allow for the transfer of patient related data in different file formats too. One key feature of an interoperable system is the ability to provide patient data wherever the patient travels, that is, data across states can be accessed in real time along with the patient.

Cost effective: As a provider, what if you become stagnant? Will you be saving cost? These plethoras of questions rely on this very fact that data cannot be paper-based in the world of technology. It is an outdated way of maintaining patient medical records. With the use of EHR the practice saves storage space by maintaining all records on web. No need to open file cabinets upon cabinets to track a certain patient record. Paper cost money, while managing data electronically costs close to nothing. The staff needed to maintain records is multifold less than what a paper-based practice will require.

Lastly, providers are valid in fearing the fast pace of government in introducing EHRs. But to think it clearly will make them realize that there is no other way, the world has moved ahead in healthcare IT and we have to catch-up now. Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark is leading the way in EHR use. So, why should America remain at the back seat? The perception of the providers can change when they logically evaluate the points discussed above.


The Meaningful Use dropout rate—what does it mean?

The year 2012 saw a huge increase in the users of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, but at the same time, the retention rate dropped dramatically from 2011. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) report, in 2011 only 11,578; and in 2012, 9,188 family physicians attested to the Meaningful Use program. It is a huge dropout of around 21 percent drop, in terms of participation.

Has your practice registered for 2013? Hospitals currently participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program must complete registration and attestation for fiscal year 2013 according to the Hospital Attestation Deadline of November 30. Will the dropout rate continue this year? Let’s have a look into the factors which led to Meaningful Use dropout rate in 2012; and how your practice can avoid this.meaningful use

It is quite surprising that providers are dropping out because the incentives will continue to decrease in the coming years. Unfortunately, if the trend continues, only a few number of providers would have actually benefitted completely from the EHR incentive program.

It seems physicians need a motivational push to remain committed to the incentive program. Government initiated a campaign through Regional Extension Centers (RECs) in the first year (2011) to get physicians on board. RECs were provided incentives but they were not given any benefit for the next year (2012) to retain the number of registered physicians. As a result, the effort put by RECs were reduced to a sudden burst in the number of family physicians registering for the EHRs, but a negative retention rate of MU participants was witnessed in the next year.

The growing trend to replace the EHR software may very well be one reason of the MU dropout ratio. Providers, who are dissatisfied by their current EHR system, turn to replacing the system and with the latest technology available they can do so, but the implementation process takes time. The provider may well need time to train their staff and get accustomed to the use of the software. This results in missing the important date of registration.

Some physicians must’ve missed the attesting time for 2012 because of the carelessness on their part or simply the fact that information providing organizations like RECs or EHR vendors were not active enough to inform providers on the revenue they will miss upon if they did not attest. It is a mistake on the part of the provider, and failure on the part of the informants.

EHR vendors will be very active this year, because of the negative report. They should make sure this time that modify their software in a way that has efficient MU attestation dates reporting capabilities. A real-time MU reporting tool can help the practice remain on MU incentive track. When providers start relying on software, they expect their software to do everything for them. So, providers should demand such functionality from their vendors to be on track.

But wait CMS has its own plans, too. Drop rate will reduce and retention rate will improve, how? It aims to charge penalties for those providers who are unable to meet MU status by the year 2015. It wants to push forward with MU Stage 3, and for that it wants as many providers as possible on board.