Category Archives: News

ONC Offers EHR Interoperability Training

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The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has developed online training courses to teach the interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) with practical examples and stories. The training modules have been developed to educate Eligible Professional (EPs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) about how to achieve transitions of care, lab exchange, patient engagement and public health measures which are required by the stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program.

This online self-paced training series consists of five courses:

1. Interoperability Basics Training

This training course is approximately 75 minutes long and introduces basics of interoperability and highlights the benefits of enhanced Stage 2 Meaningful Use interoperability requirements which enable improved patient care and outcomes. The main topics covered by the course are:

  • Interoperability Basics Introduction
  • Defining Interoperability
  • Interoperability Path to Meaningful Use Stage 2
  • Building Blocks of Interoperability
  • The Effect of Interoperability on Categories of Care

2. Transitions of Care

The training course provides implementation guidance and practical examples to aid those who assist providers and hospitals, exchanging key information in support of care transitions. This course contains three lessons:

  • Introduction to Interoperability and Transitions of Care
  • Interoperability Standards for Transitions of Care
  • Implementing Standards-Based Exchange for Transitions of Care

3. Lab Exchange

The lab exchange course demonstrates the benefits of integrating labs and EHR systems in clinical settings where providers can send and receive lab orders and share lab results more efficiently and securely. This course contains five lessons.

  • Introduction to Interoperability and Lab Exchange
  • Incorporating Structured Lab Data
  • Lab Results Interface Guide
  • LOINC Codes
  • Sending Lab Results

4. Patient and Family Engagement

The course points out the tools and practices which the physicians should employ to engage patients in the care process. It exemplifies the ways physicians should use patient portals and online services to communicate with the patients, sending health education material and a summary of the clinical visit. Similarly, educating patients on how to keep track of medication, view lab results, and schedule appointments. This course contains four lessons.

  • Introduction to Patient and Family Engagement
  • Viewing, Downloading, and Transmitting Health Information
  • Providing Clinical Summaries to Patients
  • Using Secure Electronic Messaging

5. Public Health

The course covers the basics of population health management. How to form, educate and empower people about health hazards in the community. The responsibilities of care providers to diagnose, investigate and spread awareness about health issues present in a specific community and its recommended cure. This course contains six lessons.

  • Introduction to Interoperability and Public Health
  • Ongoing Submission to Public Health Agencies
  • Submission of Electronic Data to Immunization Registries
  • Submission of Electronic Syndromic Surveillance Data to Public Health Agencies
  • Submission of Electronic Reportable Lab Results to Public Health Agencies
  • Submission of Electronic Cancer Data to Public Health Agencies

These online training courses are available at HealthIT.gov website and they are really helpful to achieve Meaningful Use of EHR.

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SequelMed Year 2012 – In the Rearview Mirror

SequelMed observed another year of robust growth and covered certain milestones this year. The year 2012 is marked with a number of happenings in the healthcare IT sphere not only for us as a healthcare solutions provider, but for everyone directly or indirectly attached to health care services. The past year saw the historic ruling by the supreme court which endorsed Obamacare and invigorated health care reforms to carry over. The health care reforms came into the limelight again during the presidential election and Obama’s reelection as president paved the path for their continuity. The Meaningful Use program, ICD-10, HIPAA 5010, ACOs, Health Information Exchange (HIE), and Incentives are the buzz words of the year in health care.

At SequelMed, the excitement was palpable in the very beginning of the year when after months of diligent work, SequelMed announced ANSI version 5010 upgrade for its EMR, EHR and Practice Management software products. The update supports ICD-10 codes, improved tracking, the inclusion of new service codes and a greater transparency in checking eligibility of transactions. The ANSI 5010 implementation means a significant transformation in the data submission process, electronic data exchange and the data retrievals.

The first quarter saw an exceptional growth in the demand for EHR Systems. Over 114,000 eligible professionals and hospitals registered for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. The total federal incentive payments for the use of electronic health record systems soared to just over $2.5 billion earlier this year.

Health information exchange (HIE) was one big fad of the year. Patient referrals, data exchange and concerns over data breaches pushed electronic health record system vendors to develop secure tools that can ensure seamless connectivity, integration and interoperability of health information. SequelMed offered HL7 standard, CCR, CCD and DICOM interfaces to improve interoperability with imaging systems and medical devices while maintaining the security and integrity of the records through seamless data encryption techniques.

Medical coding and billing professionals at SequelMed identified the need for integration of different electronic systems installed at a health care facility. Our clients acknowledged that our EMR system can capture the clinical data, automate bills and send them electronically in standard formats for payments. This process helps billing professionals secure more than 97 percent of payments successfully. ‘They are now in better control of their finances due to an efficient electronic billing system.

SequelMed blog has kept its readers informed through webinars and insightful reviews of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program. To facilitate our clients and blog readers we summarized and published nutshell review of the Meaningful Use stage 2 final rule. We also reviewed Meaningful Use Stage 3 and its cherished outcomes. We pointed out 6 Meaningful Use Challenges for Practices.

SequelMed support and services remained intact during and in the wake of the hurricane Sandy despite the fact that it happened all around our corporate headquarters. And by the end of this year, SequelMed team is eyeing another year of success stories.

To keep track of our activities and updates in the coming year, follow us on Twitter, facebook and keep on reading the blog.

Hurricane Sandy – Disastrous effects avoided

In our 17 years in business, SequelMed has never seen a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy. Despite the effects incurred, SequelMed clients never missed a beat! Not one experienced interrupted service or the inability to access their data. SequelMed’s data center powered on, while many data centers are still to this day battling back from the power outages and heavy flooding.

In the midst and wake of the storm that ravaged the Northeast, the secure data center that houses SequelMed’s strategic computer data never lost power. With the surrounding devastation caused by the storm, SequelMed had the proper precautions and safeguards in place to ensure that clients would not lose connectivity. “We are proud to say that there was 100 percent uptime the entire time for cloud-based clients. Power audits and assessments were conducted so that power availability and equipment reliability would remain constant.” said Khurshid Mughal, SequelMed’s President.

While cloud-based clients were incredibly understanding of the possibility for potential downtime that was dependent upon the severity of the storm, SequelMed’s stable infrastructure helped exceed their expectations. Support continued to be available around the clock as did access to the EHR – never was service intermittent or inaccessible.

Our superior service did not go unnoticed. Below are some kind words from SequelMed clients which we would like to share with you:

• Rick Schnitzer, Chief Financial Officer – Guam Radiology Consultants – “Being that our practice is literally on the other side of the world; we had to be strategic in locating a vendor that could host our data. Knowing that SequelMed guards against natural disasters reassured us that when Hurricane Sandy was raging along the coast of the United States, our practice and interface were going to remain status quo. That pertinent fact allowed us to maintain the increased level of productivity and efficiency since our recent adoption of SequelMed.”

• David Levins, Vice President – Professional Billing Inc. – “When Hurricane Sandy was approaching the East Coast; we were concerned what the impact might mean for our clients that depend on the availability of their Cloud-Based SequelMed EMR. In the end, none of our clients experienced any down-time, even in the midst of the storm, which was very reassuring. SequelMed made certain that all disaster recovery measures were in place to ensure that their cloud-based clients never lost connectivity. That says a lot about SequelMed’s preparedness and their commitment to providing a high level of service to their clients.”

• Shawn Sundberg, Chief Operating Officer – MediSERV – “During Hurricane Sandy, MediSERV, a Northern Idaho based SequelMed client was wondering how much of an impact our business some 2,500 miles away would have. SequelMed houses and maintains our server in the northeast, so when Sandy devastated the east coast we were pleased and surprised to note that we had absolutely no disruptions in service. We were even able to speak with support the day after the storm hit. We pray that the east coast has a fast recovery and thank SequelMed for keeping the effects of Hurricane Sandy out of Northern Idaho!”

SequelMed understands how critical connectivity is to our clients, so we ensure that our team is available 24×7 and is ready to be of assistance, even when disaster strikes. To those clients who may still be affected by the storm’s devastation, SequelMed expresses our sincerest sympathy and well wishes.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays,
The SequelMed Team

EMR Etiquette

Of all things trending in the Health IT area, one of the current hot topics is “EMR etiquette”. A recent report stated that 69 percent of U.S. primary care physicians now use electronic medical records (EMR).

The question on everyone’s minds is what is the best strategy for balancing EMR use and excellent interaction between physicians and their patients? If you are a physician that uses an EMR system, please take a moment to participate in a survey hosted by software advisory firm Software Advice. The survey is only a few questions which should take only a couple of minutes to complete.

Please head on over to the Software Advice blog to take the Patient Interactions with EMR/EHR Use survey. Survey results should be live in a few months. Thank you in advance for your time as it is greatly appreciated.

The SCOTUS decision has reinforced healthcare IT propagation

Since when the SCOTUS took up the case against Obama’s healthcare reforms, an air of uncertainty surrounded professionals and organizations, attached in any way with the healthcare sector.

On Thursday, June 28, 2012, in a historical decision, the Supreme Court upheld the signature health care law and approved healthcare reforms to continue at its set course.

Directly or indirectly, the SCOTUS’s decision is going to affect healthcare IT in many ways. The healthcare reforms have their roots in information technology which is changing the system at many levels.

  • EMRs are converting a costly paper-based health system to cost-effective digital processing.
  • EHR systems are extending possibilities of interoperability by creating a model connecting patients, providers and payers.
  • Government health agencies are incentivizing health technology adoption, such as; the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has served as catalyst by initiating healthcare IT innovation challenge.
  • Ideal of a patient-centered health care system is developing.
  • Virtual health platforms and online patient portals are giving individuals easy access to their health information regardless of time and space.
  • Telemedicine is extending reach of healthcare providers to patients at remote locations.
  • Decision support systems are combining artificial intelligence with that of human understanding.

Finally, the last day’s the Supreme Court’s decision has shed the uncertainty off and everyone in healthcare IT is reinvigorated to work with the same passion and motive.