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Showing posts from August, 2011

EHR ... Have you got what it takes?

Every health care organization in the United States now faces significant Electronic Health Record (EHR) challenges.  Some organizations have invested millions of dollars in new systems and have matters in hand; other organizations are dealing with patched together legacy systems and are scrambling to get the funds and plans in order to roll forward.  Either way, there is something to be said for understanding what you are getting into; specifically, what has to happen and who should be doing it.  The following questions and answers are designed to transfer important knowledge to you.  If you have a question we haven’t thought of, please post it in the comments and we’ll do our best to get you the information you need.
What’s the value-add of a solid EHR?
EHR technology is not just an exercise in automating a vital element of patient care and business operations; it’s also about transforming how hospital clinical and financial operations perform.  Properly implemented, an EHR system …

Learn Through Lean

After celebrated success at Toyota, lean has made some forays into the health care industry, with some early successes.  Perhaps it makes sense for US hospitals to take a closer look at the Toyota Production System (TPS) because there was nothing wrong with their brakes after all.  No, that’s not the reason.  Fast forward to the Deficit Reduction Act war room, where legislators are busily hacking away at the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Last time we checked, these were among the health care industries' biggest customers or payers.  While the lean/6-Sigma training necessary to empower employees and contractors does disrupt things to some extent, the payoff appears to be tangible; more importantly, we are facing lean fiscal times so a lean organization is an absolute necessity, no matter how achieved.

Those health care practitioners who have already ventured into lean seem to agree on one thing, that their successes are only truly successful to the extent they are systemic.  Thi…

"Transparent" Hospital Mortality Data

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its US Department of Health and Human Services site to include a way for consumers to compare (see: http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/hospital-compare) three hospitals in their geographic area.  Although this new information is a terrific step in the right direction (i.e., transparency), what is presented is still rather rudimentary in terms of:  ease of locating -- unless you click on "Resource Locater," you won't find "Hospital Compare" -- there is nothing on the site to draw you to this new featurebreadth of specific disease comparisons --there are only six choices of diseases to compare in terms of how well the three chosen hospitals have performed, and even here we are being generous with six, since three of the choices are 'heart failure,' 'heart attack' and 'chest pains;'  if you group these three, there are actually only four…