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Physician Documentation for Everyone, Secure Messaging, Mastering the Revenue Cycle

April 22, 2011
by root
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One implication of the rapid progress on meaningful use under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is that even more tasks will be added to physician documentation for the patient record, which already serves multiple purposes such as clinician-to-clinician communication and data analysis tasks. This month's cover story on page 8 takes a look at this new level of complexity, and the strategies CIOs and CMIOs are following to make physician documentation better for all stakeholders-not least the physicians themselves.

What have pioneering healthcare CIOs learned in their efforts to create accountable care organizations? The article on page 16 profiles four organizations, in which CIOs share their experiences, and explain why health IT is crucial to overcoming organizational and technological challenges associated with creating ACOs.

Secure messaging is alive with new innovations as clinicians embrace the cloud and mobile devices. And while the benefits of these new technologies are undeniable, provider organizations that ignore the security and privacy issues surrounding these new technologies do so at their own risk. The article on page 24 takes a deep dive into what it takes to protect sensitive data.

Meanwhile, at a time when hospitals are being asked to do more with less, healthcare leaders are taking a hard look at their revenue operations, both to prevent revenue leakage and to make sure their organizations are being properly reimbursed for all of the services they legitimately provide. The article on page 30 describes how two hospitals-the physician practice of a large academic center and a small offshore hospital that is part of a national health system-have followed separate strategies to maximize revenue in their organizations.

How are small, rural hospitals with limited resources meeting the challenges of meaningful use? On page 34, leaders of two such providers provide insight into their special set of challenges and how they are moving forward.

Finally, this month's Career Paths column, on page 48, offers tips to help make sure that your interview produces the best outcome.

Healthcare Informatics 2011 May;28(5):04