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Is there a Migration of Patients to Paper-Based Dentists?

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Paper Medical Records Become Popular Again?

[By Kellus Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruitt

Starting long ago, I warned that as more dental patients are notified of data breaches – some more than once – we are likely to witness an event mandate stakeholders said would never happen: A migration of patients to paper-based dentists.

Now, because of the rapidly escalating costs and liabilities, defiant, slow adopters of electronic dental records [EDRs] can not only expect to provide dental care at a lower cost than “paperless practices,” but patients are on course to learn that some dentists do not put their patients at risk of medical identity theft by putting identities on computers.

Just sit back and watch!

The Ponemon Institute

In February, the Ponemon Institute published  their “Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft.”

 “Consumers expect healthcare providers to be proactive in preventing and detecting medical identity theft. Although many respondents are not confident in the security practices of their healthcare provider, 79 percent of respondents say it is important for healthcare providers to ensure the privacy of their health records. Forty-eight percent say they would consider changing healthcare providers if their medical records were lost or stolen. If such a breach occurred, 40 percent say prompt notification by the organization responsible for safeguarding this information is important.”

The Paper-Gold Standard? 

So if your patients start asking you not to put their identities – including medical records – on your computers, what will you do, Doc?

Since encryption is a non-starter in dentistry for solid, business reasons, and will make paperless practices even less competitive with paper-based, would you consider employing staff which knows how to use pegboard, ledger cards and lots of carbon paper (The gold standard of security)?

Or, would you prefer not to give up computerization, yet keep your patients safe?

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More:

Assessment

De-identification of primary electronic dental records is sounding better all the time. Am I right? If patients’ identities are not available, they cannot be hacked.

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Conclusion

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How eMR Vendors May Mislead You

Challenging Assertions

By Shahid N. Shah MS

As the physician executive of your medical practice, it’s your job to challenge any eMR vendors’ assertions about why you need an eMR, especially during the selection and production demonstration phase.

Information Availability [Anytime – Anywhere]

The most important reason for the digitization of medical records is to make patient information available when the physician needs that information to either care for the patient or supply information to another caregiver.

Electronic medical records are not about the technology but about whether or not information is more readily available at the point of need.

Reasons to Purchase?

In no particular order, the major reasons given for the business case of eMRs by vendors include:

• Increase in staff productivity
• Increase of practice revenue and profit
• Reduce costs outright or control cost increases
• Improve clinical decision making
• Enhance documentation
• Improve patient care
• Reduce medical errors

Assessment

So, doctors beware! Challenge vendor “authority.”

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Editor’s Note

Shahid N. Shah is an ME-P thought leader who is writing Chapter 13: “Interoperable e-MRs for the Small-Medium Sized Medical Practice” [On Being the CIO of your Own Office] for the third edition of the best selling book: Business of Medical Practice [Transformational Health 2.0 Skills for Doctors] to be released this fall by Springer Publishers, NY. He is also the CEO of Netspective Communications, LLC.

www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

Conclusion

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How Proprietary HIT Vendors May Demolish Health Reform

Top Five Issues from the Longman Report

By Staff ReportersNetwork

Here are the top five quotes from the Longman Report. The author, Phillip Longman, is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of: “Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Is Better than Yours as well as The Next Progressive Era: A Blueprint for Broad Prosperity.

http://www.newamerica.net/people/phillip_longman

The List 

1. Twenty years after the digital revolution, only an astonishing 1.5 percent of hospitals have integrated information technology systems. Almost all experts agree that in order to begin to deal with the problems of the health care system, this has to change. 

2. Done right, digitized health care could help save the nation from insolvency while improving and extending millions of lives at the same time. Done wrong, it could reconfirm Americans’ deepest suspicions of government and set back the cause of health care reform for yet another generation. 

3. Thanks to the stimulus bill, $20 billion is about to be poured into buggy, expensive, proprietary software that will not bring the benefits the Obama administration hopes for. Rather, it will amount to a giant bailout of a health IT industry whose business model has never really worked. 

4. The VA’s open-source software allowed a nurse in Topeka, Kansas, to adapt for her own work a bar-code scanner she saw used at a rental-car agency. Her innovation cut the number of medication-dispensing errors in half at some facilities, and saved thousands of lives. 

5. While a few large institutions have managed to make meaningful use of proprietary health IT, these systems have just as often been expensive failures. In 2003, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles tore out a “state-of-the-art” $34 million proprietary system after doctors rebelled and refused to use it.

Assessment 

http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2004/the_best_care_anywhere 

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On the Patient Friendly Google Health Initiative

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Data Integrity and Health 2.0 Accuracy Concerns Linger

google3

[By Staff Reporters]

According to its’ website, and mission statement, Google Health aims to put patients in charge of their digital health information. It’s safe, secure, and free.

Triple Play of Benefits

Google Health purports to:

  • Organize health information all in one place.
  • Gather medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies.
  • Share information securely with family members doctors and caregivers, etc.

Google says members are always in control of how data is used. It will not sell information. Members decide what to share, and what to keep private.

Link: privacy policy

Blogsite

Google health was launched in the spring of 2008. Since then, it even maintains its own blog-site, which stated on 3/4/09.

 “We continue to learn a tremendous amount since launching Google Health in the spring of 2008. We’re listening to feedback from users every day about their needs, and one issue we hear regularly is that people want help coordinating their care and the care of loved ones. They want the ability to share their medical records and personal health information with trusted family members, friends, and doctors in their care network”

Link: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/google-health-helping-you-better.html

Good thing too!

A Cautionary Tale

However, privacy advocates worry about the vast amount of data that Google is redacting. Growing consumer market clout means the early-adopter patient who cares about digital records, and eHRs, may have fewer choices in the future. And, for medical professionals, what does this say about CCHIT, Allscripts and the Military, etc; or, the emerging Wal-Mart eMR initiative for doctors?

Assessment

For example, when one now [in]famous patient named Dave deBronkart – a tech-savvy kidney cancer survivor – tried to transfer his medical records from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to Google Health, he was stunned at what he found.

Read this Link: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/04/13/electronic_health_records_raise_doubt

Is MSN’s Health Vault any better?

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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