Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cerner Statement

I missed last week’s deadline for RHIO MONITOR and Health Train Express due to some interviews and other related projects on EMR. I myself am in the midst of examining and implementing an EMR for my practice. In the process I have had the advantage of my research and study of RHIO as coordinator of a RHIO. In my evaluation it has become apparent that having an EMR which is certified by CCHIT is the ticket of admission, for any serious vendor. All that hard work of the past two years is paying off and demonstrates the process will take time and much patience. Of course I am speaking to the choir, but it emphasizes that we need to do a lot more educating of our fellow physicians. The scope and depth of understanding varies tremendously amongst physicians about EMRs, and RHIOs. There continues to be a divide between vendors and providers. According to my sources they have a difficult time and spend much of it explaining IT to providers. Providers’ eyes glaze over when given a new set of vocabulary and how these systems operate. The differences are also generational. Younger MDs have a set of material from their education which now exposes almost all school children to the basics and more of computers. Microsoft Windows is now the W of the three Rs.
One publication I have access to is a resource is “Functional Matrix” of a number of EMR solutions as prepared by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. While focused on ophthalmology it organizes in a readable manner the items all provider should look at when examining EMRs.
This resource can be found at: http://www.aao.org/aaoesite/promo/business/EMR3.cfm
A profound statement by the CEO of Cerner was quoted in iHealthbeat, published by the California Health Foundation.

Cerner CEO: Revamp Health Care Reimbursement SystemMarch 01, 2007
The U.S. health care reimbursement system is "grossly inefficient" and "needs to be changed," Cerner Chair and CEO Neal Patterson said Tuesday at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in New Orleans, the Kansas City Star reports.Patterson cited the Healthe Mid-America program, run by Cerner, as an example of how the system could be improved. The independent, not-for-profit program manages the employee health records of Cerner and about 20 other Kansas City-area businesses. Program participants can use an electronic debit and information card to pay for a physician visit and to access computerized personal health records with a PIN, the Star reports. Patterson cited a study that found that 31% of U.S. health care spending is on administrative costs and said that one of Cerner's "goals is to eliminate insurance companies as they exist today." The Healthe Mid-America program is being tested in the Kansas City area, and Cerner hopes eventually to expand the program nationwide, the Star reports (Karash, Kansas City Star, 2/28).

End quote: The Kansas City Star link expands on this brief .
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