The Future of Electronic Medical Records: Sharing as Well as Storing

The Future of Electronic Medical RecordsWhat is the Future of Electronic Medical Records? Most healthcare providers are slowly but surely transitioning from the traditional hard copy paper record to the electronic medical record that is more easily entered, stored, and accessed. Tablets have replaced notepads for doctors dictating the patient’s medical history, review of systems, physical examination, and factors in medical decisionmaking. This has freed the healthcare provider from spending additional time entering data, and reduced the amount of time taken away from patient care. Tablets can also take visual images on the spot as needed.

The future, according to KERA, a north Texas public radio station, is tying all these records into a network that primary care physicians, specialists, and other healthcare providers can share. For example, it is still very common for patients to have to fill out the same forms over and over again when seeing other doctors, including specialists to whom he or she has been referred by the primary care physician. One reason is that various healthcare providers have different medical record software programs that do not necessarily communicate with one another over a network.

In the future, different specialists will be able to access medical information on a patient instantaneously, including notes from the primary care physician, and add data if necessary.  This would streamline the recordkeeping process that has been the bane of healthcare providers and free them up to spend more time taking care of patients.  As a bonus, the system could be geared to alert the primary care physician instantly when a patient has been admitted to the emergency room, or a record has been updated by another physician.

In the present, electronic medical records store patient information. In the future, healthcare professionals will find new ways to access and share patient information that goes beyond storing it in the patient record.

For more information contact us.

How To Use Twitter To Train Healthcare Students In 3 Steps

What can be said in 140 characters? To be honest a lot can be said between the first and last word that can change the world. It can start a revolution or raise awareness for a cause. The power of Twitter to shape the world is undeniable.

It brings people from all over the world into the global town square to air their thoughts, hopes and dreams for the world to latch on to. Twitter is a powerful tool that can also be used to change the worldTwitter healthcare and educate healthcare students at the same time. Some might say; how can Twitter possible be used to educate healthcare students? The answer is based on 3 simple concepts:

Study In Real Time

Utilizing Twitter to train healthcare students is easy once you set up your Twitter account.  Twitter allows you to communicate instantaneously with anyone on the platform.

This allows you to have real time conversations with your cohort about study material, class assignments and other relevant information. Organizing a study session is as simple as asking your friends to follow you and starting a conversation.

The average person reads about 300 words per minute, so a study session should be easy for everyone to keep up with.

The Hashtag

The # sign or hashtag is by far the most important symbol in the Twitterverse. It serves a dual purpose. It allows you to organize your tweets and helps you find them when you need them.

For example say a student wants to start a subject on ICD-10, all they would have to do is enter #ICD-10 and the tweets covering this subject with this hashtag handle can be found with a search.

The hashtag makes finding and organizing your conversations efficient and easy to manage. Hashtags allow you to create communities of people interested in the same topic by making it easier for them to find and share info related to it.

Finding Information You Need

Along with bringing together people from all walks of life, Twitter is also an effective tool for disseminating information. Millions of Twitter users use their accounts to promote a certain agenda, spread ideas and information.

Twitter allows you to link and share web pages that you think are important. While researching information for an assignment you may find something interesting on the web.

The odds are that this website will have a Twitter share button for you to click. This allows your followers and classmates to see the website you shared making researching information a breeze.

When these three concepts are blended together you get a platform that allows you to organize in groups, find topics and research information effortlessly. Twitter can serve as a valuable tool in educating the next generation of healthcare professionals on a platform that they are accustomed to using. If you have any questions about this topic please contact us today.

ICD-10 Delay: What It Means to Healthcare Educators and Students

For a second time, legislation was passed to delay the implementation of ICD-10 code sets used by healthcare providers until October 1, 2015. This decision will cause a one-year setback from an original adoption date on October 1, 2014. The announcement was in addition to a previous delay that occurred in August 2012.

Many organizations have been diligently working to train their coders and care providers for some time now. With the delay, clinicians and coders worry about losing their knowledge.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) responded to the signing of H.R. 4302 with a statement quoting CMS as saying that this delay could potentially cost the healthcare industry 6.6 billion dollars. Medical businesses have been working to educate both their coding and IT staff for months. Now they may have to retrain their staff in 2015, assuming there are no further delays.

ICD-10 Delay: What It Means to Healthcare Educators
ICD 10 healthcare educatorsHealthcare educators and students have been negatively affected. The ICD-10 delay has significantly impacted healthcare educators. Instructors are now required to adjust their teaching timelines and curriculum to cover both ICD-9 and ICD-10 for students. Because students need to learn the current system, as well as the future system, educators will have to teach both systems concurrently.

The delay means students will need to learn ICD-9 coding for an additional year. The delay also hurts students who are ready to enter their profession this year. Learning two different coding systems at the same time is extremely challenging for students. Those students who are at the end of their programs, and may have delayed coding courses so they would only need to learn the ICD-10, will now be required to learn both systems.

Students who learned ICD-10 coding, and who have recently graduated, won’t have the opportunity to use their new skills. It’s quite possible that these students will forget some of their ICD-10 coding skills if they are only using ICD-9 codes. Students may need to take additional classes or refresher courses and study the new codes a second time.

The delay also affects educators’ budgets. In anticipation for the ICD-10 transition, educators created budgets that would drop the resources needed to teach ICD-9 courses. Now, those courses must continue to be taught, and instructors’ salaries, classroom materials, and other necessary resources must come out of the existing budget.

Delaying the implementation of ICD-10 coding may help physicians and healthcare systems that were not prepared for the transition, but the setback has significantly hurt current students and put a larger burden on healthcare educators’ time and budgets.

For more information about making the transition to ICD-10, contact us today.

Monitoring Blood Glucose with Contact Lenses

One of the more onerous tasks that a person with diabetes has to perform is to constantly monitor his or her blood glucose levels by pricking their fingers and applying the blood drawn to a strip. Google is working on a special pair of contact lenses that has the potential to alleviate diabetics from that burden, according to an article in WebMD. Smart contact lenses can help monitor blood glucose levels for people with diabetes.

smart contact lensesThe lenses would have a tiny wireless chip and miniature blood-sugar sensor embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. They would measure blood glucose levels in human tears once a second and flash a warning light if levels become dangerously high. This kind of real time monitoring would prove to be a boon to people with diabetes, lifting the anxiety of missing a blood sugar spike that might prove to be dangerous.

Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to effectively process blood glucose, leading to a buildup in the blood. This can lead to nerve and blood vessel damage, blindness, comas, and possibly death. People with diabetes, besides monitoring their blood glucose levels, must take insulin and adhere to special diets to keep the condition under control.

According to the UK Guardian, the fact that blood sugar levels can be measured through human tears has been known since the 1950s. But it has taken decades until a 2011 experiment demonstrated how a wearable sensor would work. Google is currently seeking FDA approval of the blood glucose monitoring contacts as a medical device.

For more information on the benefits of smart contact lenses for diabetic patients, as well as other technological innovations that can be incorporated into healthcare education and curriculum development, contact us.

How To Use Google Glasses in Healthcare Training To Broaden Your Scope

Google Glass has been receiving a lot of press recently, especially in the field of medicine. Before we delve into how to use google glasses in healthcare training, let’s start by looking more closely at the device.

how to use google glasses in healthcare training, technology and healthcare, google glass and healthcareAs the name suggests, Google Glass is worn similar to a pair of glasses, minus one component: the lens. Instead of the lenses found in a traditional pair of glasses, the unit consists of a wire frame with a small, square computer in the upper right hand corner. The right side of the wire frame, close to the ear, acts as a track pad that turns the device off and on.

Once activated, the user can view the computer screen in their peripheral vision. The screen can be used to scroll through information, like a mini computer, or can be used as a live video capture of whatever you are viewing.

Google Glass was created for the public masses with the idea that now you can literally be connected to the Internet in a hands-free way. If you are in Paris and want to know how to get to the Eiffel Tower, simply turn Google Glass on with a swipe of your finger, ask the computer to locate directions, and begin walking.
When it comes to healthcare training, Google Glass has found many uses. Since this is our main focus, let’s consider some test cases below:

1. Ohio State University is using Google Glass during surgery, allowing the surgeon to perform a live surgery for training future surgeons.

2. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is using the device to pull up medical records before a doctor enters the room. Rather than sift through a file, the doctors scroll through the records on glass.

3. Rhode Island Hospital in Providence has used Google Glass as an interdisciplinary approach to medicine in the Emergency Room. When patients come into the ER with needs that may require a specialist consult, the attending physician can call through Glass and provide a live video feed of the patient to whatever specialist is on call.

The list of Google Glass indications for healthcare training are endless. In addition to live education, it can allow doctors to review symptoms before recommending treatment plans. It can also allow more autonomy for medical students as a supervisor or specialist is just a video conference away.

Google Glass is simply one aspect of healthcare training. If you are interested in learning about the various types of medical training we provide, please contact us.