Health Information Management

The EHR 'spin zone': Separating fact from fiction

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 15, 2009

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By Darice M. Grzybowski, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA, President and Founder, HIMentors, LLC

Healthcare reform, EHRs, quality initiatives, the underinsured, and clinical documentation improvement have been in the news, and they have been the subject of much debate.

Blogs, e-zines, trade journals, newsletters, social networking, e-mail, and Twitter all contribute to the information overload that is our shared experience. Has this glut of communication reached the point where it all starts to sound the same? Are we creating digital excess that makes sorting fact from fiction overly difficult? Vendors and professional associations put their own spin on EHR issues, so how do we really know what’s true and what isn’t?

Fiction in the EHR spin zone
Unfortunately, as a consultant, I see much more fiction with respect to software and systems than I care to acknowledge. Some vendors are very adept at dancing and romancing unsuspecting healthcare clients right into what I call the EHR “spin zone.” A consultant a hospital hires to help oversee the EHR implementation may actually be an employee of the software vendor. Is this individual able to be a neutral advisor to the client? Or is the so-called consultant more interested in implementing a product, rather than advocating for a client?

For more information about EHRs, or to purchase a copy of this article for $10, visit the HCPro Web site. Subscribers to Medical Records Briefings have access to this article in the October issue of the newsletter.

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