One U.S. medical center recently estimated it received about 50,000 faxes a month for consults and referrals, and sent about 10,000 faxes in the same period.
While this may seem absurd to any non-medical professional in an age of email, smartphones, networked tablets, and social media, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has prevented doctors from exchanging information without “reasonable safeguards” (including via email and Facebook) since 1996.
Getting around the red tape
For doctors looking to share life-improving patient information with other medical professionals, a HIPAA-compliant, physician-only network launched a year ago by Doximity (created by a group of former Epocrates execs) called iRounds has convinced approximately 7% of all the doctors in America to create and use roughly 35,000 secure accounts to quickly share patient information
After a detailed verification process (which includes a credit check and a comparison of supplied credentials to the American Medical Association’s database) a multi-step sign-in similar to what your bank uses online lets physicians securely and legally exchange patient records, test results, and other data with specialists. In doing so, such physicians could be paving the way for a new standard, where a more efficient consultation process could make a huge difference for time-critical analysis. Continue reading “Could a Facebook-Style App Help Doctors Help Patients?”
It’s relatively easy to implement something if you’re Belgium…not so much if you’re China. At least, that seems to be the case when launching any sort of new state-wide system: especially to replace anything that’s been running for decades or more.
In the case of efforts to adopt electronic health records (or EHRs), U.S. states, hospitals, and individuals have made progress in the last decade, but not as quickly as some other countries, whether those countries are similarly large with similarly-entrenched health records systems, or not.
Continue reading “8 Countries Doing Electronic Health Records Right”
So much about people isn’t visible on the surface. All you can tell at first glance is what someone physically looks like — you have no idea about their personalities or anything else they may not want to be completely apparent to strangers or new acquaintances.
An example of this is that people you’re just meeting could be wearing medical devices without you even recognizing it. While you may be surprised, this article will describe four external medical devices that can go unnoticed.
Continue reading “Medical Devices Your Date Could Be Wearing Without You Knowing”
Back in the day — like, in the 1990s — when people needed information fast and they weren’t sitting at a computer, they had to run to a computer, read a book, or make a phone call. Crazy, right?
Smartphones have changed everything. No matter where you are, if you have an iPhone, you have a whole array of tools at your disposal, from a compass to a calculator to a calorie counter to a cookbook.
If you can do almost anything on your phone, shouldn’t saving your life be a top priority? Some apple apps can do just that, and some of them are even free. (Of course, apps can’t replace the diagnosis and treatment of a doctor, but they can still be extremely useful.) We’re here to highlight some of the best ones out there today.
Continue reading “7 Medical Apple Apps That Could Save Your Life”
Interesting Fact: Per person, the US spends more than any other country on health care. Yet, the United States has been ranked 50th in the world for average life expectancy.
Experts believe a key to lowering costs and increasing life expectancy is the use of EHR/EMR technology to store medical records electronically. 28% of health facilities use this system, but generous incentives ($66,000 for doctor’s and more for hospitals) are expected to increase usage. Want to learn more? Here are some other fascinating facts about EHR in the USA:
Continue reading “EHR/EMR Facts and Amazing Statistics”
In 2007 alone, this country spent more than $2.24 trillion dollars on health care. In an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the government is encouraging medical professionals to implement an EHR/EMR process.
The government claims this can reduce this expense by $80 billion each year. To make this happen, they pumped $20 billion of stimulus money into EHR/EMR technology in 2009.
The EHR is created as doctors, hospitals, and laboratories share information to create a central repository of medical data for a single patient—much like the financial industry has pooled their files to create centralized credit reports. EHR/EMR is stirring controversy: naysayers are concerned about privacy issues and the cost; proponents are saying it will revolutionize health care by saving lives and money. Take a closer look at this issue and decide for yourself!
Continue reading “The EHR/EMR Controversy in 2011”