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OpenEMR Success Stories

OpenEMR has several new adopters sharing their success stories in the OpenEMR User Forum. Several of the new OpenEMR users discuss using Tablet PCs with WiFi, reducing transcription costs by $40,000 annually, and quick adoption and acceptance by office staff.

Dr. Sam B. writes : “We have already let go 3 transciptionists ($40,000 on annual budget). Our paper and toner costs have dropped about 40%. Our filing is all caught up and “the chart hunt” has improved by about 95%. The staff were immediately impressed with the improved communication in the office. I have been printing office notes for our Urgent Care patients – letting them take a printed note to their primary care physician.”

Mike S. writes : “The physicians use Tablet PC’s with Wi-Fi to connect to the server which runs the 2.5.0 software.”

A 12 provider clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico is running an OpenEMR pilot.

These are only a few of our success stories. We have many more success stories, plus exciting news for those concerned about open source adoption by the health industry.

OpenEMR has been working with a new Pennsylvania vendor that specializes in voice recognition services using the most prominent medical voice recognition software. That vendor is now able to assist you with integrating voice recognition services for use with OpenEMR.

If you have questions, you can send them to the OpenEMR mailing lists or post them in the OpenEMR User Forum.

CBO: Health IT Deficit of $17 billion over 10 Years

According to page 16 and 17 of this (PDF) Congressional Budget Office report. According to the report, the 2009 Stimulus package spending on Health Information Technology will run a deficit of $17 billion over 10 years: “…As a result of the effects of the health IT provisions on direct spending and revenues, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase on-budget deficits by a total of
$18.3 billion over the 2009-2019 period; it would increase the unified budget deficit over that period by an estimated $17 billion. Increased spending in the near term would be partially offset by Medicare savings in later years; as a result, those provisions would increase deficits by about $30 billion through 2014 but would yield savings in later years, reducing the net 11-year impact to $17 billion total through 2019…”
There you have it folks, no break-even point, perhaps not ever. Ten years in the ditch is a very long time. The only thing that could turn this around is a ban on federal spending for proprietary Electronic Medical Record software in which only Affero General Public License (AGPL) version 3 software can be purchased with federal funds. Current proprietary vendors can change their product licenses to AGPL to receive public money.

AMIA CIS-WG Approves Patient Demographic Interoperability

The American Medical Informatics Association Computer Information Systems Working Group has approved a white paper calling for implementation of basic patient demographic interoperability using IETF vCardDAV across all HIT applications including practice management. Surprisingly this mostly doesn’t exist right now and most have to register and re-register patients basic demographic information manually. It goes to the working group steering committee now for further approval.

Astronaut releases drag and drop patient registration, to lead industry effort

Astronaut which develops a Veterans Affairs (VA) VistA Electronic Health Record (EHR) distribution writes:

Astronaut has released Astronaut-CPRS with vCardDAV demographics support. The new client allows drag and drop patient demographic registration as well as vCardDAV export of patient demographic information. Patients can send their information from a smartphone or email for quick and easy registration. Astronaut will lead an effort to make this interoperability industry-wide across, scheduling, billing, ordering portals and more. Complete article here: Newsletter registration here.

Interoperability Fatal Flaw

Another local hospital closed its doors. This points out a major flaw in interoperability schemes. They are not resistant to business failure. The very flawed assumption is that medical entities last forever. The premise is that others get these little carefully regulated squirts of information from these entities. What if that entity no longer exists? All continuity lost, all data lost. All of these laws and regulations and standards and years spent on all these schemes are built on that flawed assumption. Now what?

Calendar Synchronization in OpenEMR

With the advancements in technology on a day to day life, the time to search for calendar, search for a date rolling the papers and marking the dates is reduced. Nowadays, accessing a handy online calendar through electronic gadgets and scheduling the tasks for the day or planning for a whole year has become very simple. Online Calendar hence holds a major role in adding tasks, dropping appointments, arranging meeting and planning other functionality over one’s personal comfort and concern.

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A Modest Interoperability Challenge


That’s it. Just demographics. Copy and Paste.

Changed 10/27/2014: I’ll make it even easier use the vCard standard. You don’t even need to transmit them even though that would be okay. Mandate that every application generate an XML page with name, DOB, gender, address, phone that can be copied and pasted and interpreted correctly into every other medical application. Just works, nearly every time.

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