HIE, Patient Engagement and Project Management
HIE “the verb” – So like EMR and EHR, the industry just won’t embrace HIO and HIE. It doesn’t seem to matter that the definitions and standards have been set on these four acronyms. They are all different and not interchangeable, read the standards and definitions here. But unlike EMR and EHR where the vendors can just ignore the meanings because they have put too much money into marketing and branding, it hasn’t been that easy with HIE and HIO. The confusion is just too much for the end user. But once again the vendor has too much at stake in marketing and branding themselves as an “HIE”. So now what do we do? The marketing message is unclear which I think you learn is probably not so good in Marketing 101. Have no fear, marketing to the rescue. We don’t have to actually go back and use the right words or standards set, let’s just say “the verb” after HIE when we use it correctly.
Patient Engagement – When the Executive Order for EHR Adoption was signed in 2004, many thought that patients would drive the initiative just by consumer demand. After all it wasn’t the medical community demanding HIPAA was it? So fast forward five years later and the ARRA opens an opportunity to actually put some money behind this EHR initiative because not only were consumers not demanding, clinicians weren’t adopting. Fast forward to now in the final stretch of Stage 1 and proposing of Stage 2. The clinicians are adopting, now the patients need to get engaged. They want patient engagement so much they have written it into Stage 2 objectives for meaningful use. How clinicians will measure what their patients do on the outside will be interesting to see.
Project Management – A long time established practice in any other industry, healthcare on the ambulatory side is finally realizing that an EHR implementation is in fact a “Project”. For the physician, EHR adoption starts with selecting and implementing a system but that is just the beginning of the project. For small office based physicians, a practice administrator should have or add “Project Management” to their skill set. For mid-size and larger clinics and doctors offices, there is usually IT support on staff. Project management should be considered as a must have skill set for these employees. It is not enough anymore to have your niece or nephew coming in after school to keep your systems running. Hospitals on the other hand are fully aware of project managers, after all they are run by business people.