Healthcare and Medical News from around the Internet 5-25-2012

This week, healthcare news from around the web is good news for MediTouch® users. SaaS, cloud computing EHRs, like MediTouch, are becoming increasingly popular among physicians. Telemedicine has been accepted as a reliable solution for rural healthcare, for which MediTouch’s web-based, cloud computing EHR is ideal. And, while there have been some rumblings about the quality of patient care while using dictation on an EHR, the problem experienced by other vendors is a non-issue with MediTouch EHR®.

Telemedicine Improves Healthcare

A recent study was presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 21st Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress exhibiting the benefits of telemedicine for the examination and treatment of patients in rural and remote areas. The study focused on patients with diabetes, a disease 17% more prevalent in rural areas. The majority of patients showed improved health thanks to telemedicine, and 97% of the participating patients were comfortable with the telemedicine examinations and found value in them. Telemedicine has proven to be not only clinically effective, but also cost effective. As the second and third stages of Meaningful Use require practices to utilize patient portals, like MediTouch’s YourHealthFile® Patient Portal, telemedicine will become increasingly prevalent in practices and patients’ homes. The traditional doctor’s office visit may soon become a thing of the past.

SaaS, Cloud Computing EHRs Popular among Small Medical Practices

Small practices are increasingly choosing SaaS, cloud computing EHR software, according to a recent report by KLAS. SaaS, cloud computing EHRs offer an affordable subscription model, without the need for expensive, in-house servers. With SaaS, cloud computing EHR software, like MediTouch, there is no need for maintenance or upgrades; everything is handled by the EHR vendor on their remote servers and included in the price of the subscription. According to Erik Bermudez, Research Director at KLAS, “SaaS technology really caters to that small physician practice. When you look at the dynamics of a small practice, it’s not going to have a full-time IT person to keep its systems up and running and to customize the EHR to its needs. Nor do these practices have a ton of money to dump $50,000 to $100,000 into an EHR system. So because of the features of SaaS, whether it’s IT or the money, SaaS is very attractive for those smaller physician practices.” One drawback of many SaaS, cloud computing EHR vendors is the lack of an integrated Practice Management system; MediTouch has never had this issue. HealthFusion’s® MediTouch was one of the first SaaS, cloud computing EHRs available, and still one of a small few with Practice Management software as well, making it the ideal, all-in-one EHR choice for any medical practice, small or large.

EHR Dictation Does NOT Degrade Quality of Care with MediTouch

One of the topics getting the most buzz in healthcare news this week was the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). The study focused on the affect of EHR dictation on the quality of patient care. The study resulted in a rather obvious conclusion: doctors who dictate into free-text EHRs (open boxes of text for data entry) were more focused on their dictation rather than their patients, resulting in a poorer quality of care. On the contrary, doctors using an EHR with structured documentation (buttons and boxes) were more likely to provide a better quality of care. The worry is that doctors who are engrossed in dictation is that they may not pay close enough attention to their patients, failing to notice alerts from the EHR or other signs from their patient that something is wrong. With MediTouch EHR this is never a problem. MediTouch combines structure and free-text fields in an amalgamation that raises it above other EHRs on the market. Clear and clean interfaces with large buttons designed for fingertip touch, combined with small text fields for direct data entry make MediTouch the ideal EHR. And, when combined with the new, 3rd generation iPad®, minor, staccato dictation is simple and does not detract from what really matters — the patient.