Latest Health IT News > EHR and health IT news (June 4 to June 8)

EHR and health IT news (June 4 to June 8)

Author | Date June 8, 2012

Here are some highlights from this week:

Waiting is the hardest part: About six months after the first group of accountable care organizations (ACOs) were announced, many other providers are in application limbo and it’s hard to judge the progression of the ACO program. takes a look at both sides of the ACO argument.

Blue Button Special: ONC’s “Blue Button Challenge” seeks products that allow users to achieve tasks such as accessing their own EHRs and other data and downloading their health information in a text format to share with health care providers. This data could include anything from community data to personal device data. (via

Weighing cloud and Web EHR storage options: You know the growing list. Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox and Box are just a handful of cloud and Web-based services, which are so ubiquitous as to become the norm. In the third installment of our EHR Best Practices Series, we take a look at what the cloud and the web can do for the adoption of an electronic health record (EHR) system. (via

For those about to jump into the Mobile EHR deep end: You may know the advantages to using Mobile EHR applications. However, for smaller practices, transitioning from physical documentation to Mobile EHR and from there to Mobile EHR isn’t as easy as a flip of a switch. Providers need to think about security, cost and how comfortable their customers will be with Mobile EHR. (via

A new way to look at meaningful use data: Because diseases and procedures are so often documented in different ways, the focus needs to be on integrating data as well as systems. Through data localization and standardization, while not changing patient interaction, providers can accomplish meaningful use in a way that supports the ultimate goal of universal health information exchange (HIE). (via HealthcareITNews)

The health IT employment paradox: The gradual decline of the national unemployment rate hit a snag last month and rose one-tenth of a point to 8.2%, leaving 12.7 million Americans without jobs. Given this large number of individuals searching for work, how is it that there’s a purported workforce shortage in health IT? Isn’t it about time that the healthcare industry streamlined their hiring and staffing practices? (via

Rural Maine patients dig telemedicine: Due in part to a USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant, some rural Maine patients can now receive treatment without having to deal with long commutes. Telemedicine will be important for the 7,000 patients from Aroostook, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Hancock, Somerset, Washington, and northern Waldo counties receiving oncology services at the Eastern Maine Medical Center. (via

Only you can protect patient data: Most doctors likely take strong precautions to avoid patient data breaches. But they are fighting an uphill battle. Hackers have all the time in the world to probe systems for vulnerabilities and it only takes a minute for them to download the information of thousands of patients. By working with a technology vendor, doctors may find a number of options available that can help head off a breach. (via

CMS paying up: It was estimated that the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive program has paid out $5.58 billion to 110,650 physicians and hospitals through May 2012. There are still a number of providers that haven’t registered with the program, but an estimated at 238,139 Medicare and Medicaid partners had signed on as of the end of April. (via HealthcareITNews)

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