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Posts about:

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

Healthcare IT in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last week, I wrote about some of the things your healthcare information technology (HIT) folks are working on with respect to the novel coronavirus (aka SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV) and the disease that it causes (COVID-19). To summarize, we’re creating and loading the proper diagnosis codes so we can accurately report and create clinical decision support (CDS) tools. We’re building the new lab tests so once they’re available, our physicians will be able to order them in the electronic health record (EHR). We’re updating order sets and inserting the new tests as appropriate. We’re modifying the patient portal to ensure patients who are at high risk of disease aren’t exposed to other patients or clinicians who aren’t properly protected. I mentioned last week that travel screen is a bit passé at this point because we are well into community spread now (meaning it really doesn’t matter so much if you’ve traveled internationally or not).

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You Need a Person for That

My high-school-aged son is taking a personal finance class, and he recently asked some good questions about my retirement plans and investments. Since I’m a super-smart adult and knowledgeable about all things, I confidently answered his initial questions. Then he started asking more involved questions, and I was forced to fall back on my go-to answer: “I don’t know, actually, but I’ve got a guy for that.” (Since my retirement advisor is male, I’m ok with the guy terminology, but from now on, I’m sticking with person.)

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Do our EHRs Need a Touch Bar?

I’ll admit it. I’m just gonna put it out there: I’m an Apple fan boy. Ok? It’s out there. I love everything about Apple: their no-nonsense aesthetic; their hardware and software connections; even their headquarters building in Cupertino, California. I think Apple is cool. Does my fascination with all things Apple mean that I overlook their warts and sub-optimal output from time to time? Yeah, to some extent, that’s exactly what it means!

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Healthcare IT Guiding Principles

I’m no project manager (PM), I promise you that. I don’t like deadlines; I sometimes skip over details that I find boring or monotonous; for the love of all things holy, I do not live for spreadsheets. I believe all of these character flaws rule me out of any project management position. That said, I acknowledge that without project managers, nothing would get done. I’m glad PMs exist and that they’re good at what they do. While I don’t have the skillset or mentality of a project manager, I wholeheartedly agree with a key PM credo: the need for a guiding principles statement for information technology (IT) projects big and small.

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Agile Development of Clinical Decision Support Tools Using Stories

I recently read a fascinating article in JAMIA about using Agile development techniques and stories to prioritize, create, and test clinical decision support (CDS) tools in healthcare information technology (IT). I wanted to share it because I think Agile in general, and stories specifically, can be leveraged in many different ways that benefit clinicians and patients.

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Less is More

I’ve always been fascinated by minimalism. Be it philosophy, architecture, or design. The ethos of “less is more” seems contradictory at first, but it proves accurate and predictive in many aspects of life, or at least in my life. Much as the Fibonacci sequence shows up in random places all throughout nature, I find the concept of minimalism popping up in my clinical world and professional world.

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Physician, Train Thyself. Or Not. It’s Up to You, Really. You Tell Me.

I’m a smart aleck. Maybe you’ve figured this out already. Maybe you have another descriptive name for me. Whatever. Back in the day when I was practicing primary care pediatrics 24/7/365, I got to know a lot of my patients’ parents (who am I kidding? – moms) very well. This happens when you practice with only one other physician for many years. It’s a good thing. Often a mom would describe a child with upper respiratory infection (URI) symptoms, and after I heard the history, I’d snidely comment: “Listen, I’m such a good doctor that I’ve already narrowed this down to only two things. It’s either something, or it’s nothing.”

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