Posts Tagged ‘Clinical Documentation’
Earth Day has come and gone, but we think it’s sort of like Christmas. Shouldn’t we have a “green” spirit all year long?
Practicing ecologically sound and sustainable policies are garnering continued interest across the healthcare marketplace. Have you been introduced to the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI)? This collaborative effort between hundreds of hospitals, the Center for Health Design, and Practice Greenhealth seeks to improve environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector in 6 key areas: engaged leadership, healthier food, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals, and smarter purchasing.
Going green is far from today’s flavor of the month – it’s propelling to “new normal” status faster than a Silicon Valley coding competition.
IT departments can lead the charge, too. How do your efforts to reduce “e-waste” – or electronic equipment that is nearing, or at the end of its useful lifecycle - stack up? According to a recent blog post in Earth911, “In 2009, about 2.37 million tons of discarded TVs, computers, peripherals (including printers, scanners, fax machines), keyboards, mice and cell phones ended up in the waste stream in the U.S, according to EPA facts and figures.”
How does your medical center or business recycle, re-use or upcycle electronics that are no longer in play? Currently, there is no Federal mandate to recycle e-waste. There have been numerous attempts to develop a Federal law, but to date – no surprise – consensus hasn’t been reached. There are however, guidelines to follow within each state that rival the stringency of any Federal mandate.
Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials – metals, plastics, and glass – all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves natural resources and avoids air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions caused by manufacturing brand new materials.
The problem is, some electronics, such as color CRTs computer monitors, color CRT TV tubes, and smaller items such as cell phones and other “hand-helds” may test “hazardous” under Federal law. If so, they are subject to special handling requirements under Federal law, subject to certain exemptions. Still, the EPA does encourage the reuse and recycling of used electronics, including those that test “hazardous.” For those regulatory requirements, visit EPA’s website.
Responsible Stewardship of e-waste is a Health Matter
It’s in our local and global interest to dispose of e-waste carefully to prevent the exploitation of those in impoverished countries where much of the e-waste from the U.S. has historically been disposed. Media coverage of companies that transferred e-waste overseas where unsuspecting workers scavenged through potentially hazardous material to forage recyclable metals exposed the problem our e-waste caused. This spurred many states to pass e-waste recycling laws that help to ensure responsible recycling and disposal of hazardous materials – check out your state’ s policy here.
Of course, a great deal of electronic components relegated to “e-waste” status isn’t waste at all, but rather could serve as readily marketable for reuse. It’s why companies such as Bitlist.com have emerged to turn one man’s e-waste into another man’s aftermarket treasure. At iData, we recycle all of our electronics locally, and we’re always searching for new ideas and resources. What’s your organization’s policy? Check out EPA’s site for ideas on recycling electronics. And share your resources with us; let’s all work together to make every day, Earth Day.
Want to get Off the Record delivered directly to your in-box? Sign up in the right-hand corner, and join the conversation with your comments!
Last week’s heartbreak in Boston was one of those moments when the frenetic pace of life comes to a screeching halt. A moment that inspired us to stop and grieve, chime in across the social media chorus, reflect on our blessings and lament the fragile world in which we live.
We could despair – and we all do at some level. But in the days that follow, those of us who serve or work in the healthcare marketplace can use the moment to glean some new perspective. To consider what we really do – visualize who we’re really helping. It’s not just our hospitals and managers and clients, it’s doctors and nurses. (Or the “Helpers,” as a popular Mr. Rogers’ Facebook meme reminded us.)
It gives us pause to consider that the programs, hardware, software and data we’re working so relentlessly to manage, repair, design, analyze, code and protect serves the needs of heroes dressed in faded blue scrubs, and the sick and injured for whom they often sacrifice.
Here at iData, we’ve stopped for a moment to think about those medical records that now include lost limbs and shattered bones. With the physical and emotional trauma associated with what has historically celebrated as a joyous event marked by legendary Boston pride. At the end of the day, the data we work so hard to capture and report belongs to people.
It’s why we, and so many across our industry, should take pride in what we do. The infrastructure and processes we empower ensures that healthcare data is captured and delivered efficiently. Which means clinicians can work more smoothly. And that means something to the injured runner who will now count on his specialists to be able to access and share information seamlessly.
It’s the least we can do.
For a bit of inspiration, remember on those days when the project seems never ending, when you’ve pulled an all-nighter to repair a glitch, when you’re struggling to decipher a physician’s verbiage – that the hard work contributes to something meaningful. People’s health. What’s more important than that?
So on that fateful day, what started as triumph turned into tragedy. But then, it turned to triumph again as stories trickled in showcasing doctors, nurses, first responders and many spectators who jumped in to help. And as always in the face of trauma most of us can hardly fathom, medical center personal deftly, calmly and compassionately navigated the chaos and the carnage.
According to the Boston Globe, “More than 13 hospitals treated some 180 victims, many in critical condition; at least 10 of them were children. Speaking to the press, trauma surgeons and emergency room doctors from the largest hospitals — including Mass. General, Brigham and Women’s, Boston Medical Center, and Children’s updated the public regularly with detailed casualty reports, describing emergency amputations, shrapnel wounds, fractures, ruptured internal organs, and severe burns. In doing so, they supplied some of the first clues as to what could have caused the injuries they were treating.”
These are the professionals we serve. They are why we get up every day to do it all over again in the midst of setbacks and struggles. Their grace and grit and immeasurable contributions can inspire us to push through. We’re helpers, too after all.
Are doctors really in love with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR)? Or are they just making the best of a rocky relationship?
We’ve talked a lot about the EMR – whether the promise of cost effectiveness, increased efficiency, or decreased liability truly delivers. We know full implementation for many medical practices is still a long way off as administrators adapt to such a radical, costly, time-consuming change.
And, what about the doctors and other medical professionals who actually use an EMR system? What are their experiences? What are their responses to this massive shift in data capture and analysis? (more…)
You’ve heard of identity theft – when a thief absconds with your social security number, or passport, or driver’s license and takes a covert joyride with your life. Buys a gleaming new car – jets off to Tahiti. But the latest fashion in stealing your identity for personal gain? Medical identity theft – and as the industry transitions from paper to online medical records, this under-documented crime is off on a serious shopping spree. Quick tip: keep those purses and wallets under a tight security regime – here’s why.
A new twist on white-collar crime:
According to The World Privacy Forum, “Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses a person’s name and sometimes other parts of their identity – such as insurance information — without the person’s knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods, or uses the person’s identity information to make false claims for medical services or goods.” (more…)
Each vendor promises to deliver the same thing. Quality. Whether it’s surgical instruments or building maintenance service, everyone claims to be the best. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, do the results measure up?
Or, did they over-promise and under-deliver?
It’s an essential question, because it is the healthcare administrator’s task to maximize the return on investment. In the case of medical transcription, excellence is more than an esoteric goal – it has to be the starting point. Errors carry a potential for serious consequences. Each patient history must retain the highest standards of integrity. So medical transcription providers must work as passionately as their customers to ensure the data is accurate and up-to-the minute – not just managers, but MT’s on the front lines. (Pun intended.)
What can happen when medical transcription goes “rogue?” (more…)
If you placed a Physician (Doc, for today’s purposes) alongside a Medical transcriptionist (MT), it’s likely you couldn’t find two people with less in common. So you think.
It’s true, our imaginary Doc and MT probably hail from very different backgrounds. One holds advanced degrees, commands a top-dollar salary and enjoys peer respect, and patient gratitude. (Hopefully.) The other may hold a college degree, but often learns on the job, earns an hourly wage and mostly completes his or work under the radar. Very often – at home, staving isolation and the jeers of dishes and laundry. (more…)
From the Desk of Kendall Tant, CEO, iData
With the continued migration toward the almighty EHR, it is incumbent on the CIO to make sound, cost-effective choices in Clinical Documentation choices. Oh, and 98% isn’t good enough. Accuracy is still King. You’ve heard the chattering about Speech Recognition (SR) – and you’re wondering if it merits a closer look.
As always, iData’s here to sort through the clamor and offer some direction.
Of course you’ve already encountered SR technology. Your own voice was captured and directed to the appropriate desk when you called the bank today and spoke your selections. It works – right? Fair enough. But the stakes are high here. There’s a big difference between, “no history of heart attack” and “blisters on his back.” You’ve got to work with a partner you can trust. (more…)
Clinical Documentation: The Industry Formerly Known as Medical Transcription
It’s no secret technology’s transforming the Clinical Documentation (formerly known as Medical Transcription) industry. Like businesses everywhere, the technological revolution to which we’re bearing witness requires every one of us to adapt in ways both significant and sublime. And in an industry that’s defined by words, it’s big news that we’re changing the verbiage we use to describe just what it is that we do.
A quick visit to the Medical Transcription Industry Association’s (MTIA) website and you’ll notice that while the URL is the same, their name has changed. Our industry’s primary trade association was just recently minted the Clinical Documentation Industry Association (CDIA). We think that’s pretty big news.
So what’s in a name?