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Readers Speak

February 25, 2008
by root
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When you think of the upcoming HIMSS conference, which best describes your state of mind?

  • Excitement – It's a great opportunity to learn and grow. 55.17%

  • Nervousness – There are too many meetings, arrangement and obligations. Something has to go wrong. 17.24%

  • Ambivalence – It's part of my job, and I'll do what I have to do. 13.79%

  • Dread – There will be too many people, too many dinners, and too much forced conversation. It's painful. 13.79%

AHIC has hired LMI to establish a successor organization — AHIC 2.0. How would you describe your feelings about the future of AHIC?

  • It's very important to have a sound plan for AHIC's future, as the organization is vital to HIT adoption. 10.53%

  • AHIC does have a role to play. The private sector will be the key to HIT adoption, but a shepherding government hand can help. 68.42%

  • AHIC is a government boondoggle. The successor organization will be as irrelevant as the original. 21.05%

The hardest part about being an acute care IT leader (CIO, CTO, CMIO) is dealing with:

  • Unreceptive clinicians 28.00%

  • Inadequate funding 32.00%

  • Inefficient governance 12.00%

  • Unmanageable workloads 20.00%

  • Intransigent vendors 4.00%

  • Insufficient staffing/turnover 4.00%


Dear Mr. Guerra:

I read with interest the article “Not Going Away” by Daphne Lawrence in the December 2007 edition of HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS. Ms. Lawrence is on target that this is not going away. This is one area that the Dental Profession is light years ahead of the rest of the Healthcare Profession.

Dental electronic attachments have been around for years and there are now approximately 300 insurance Payors accepting these electronically from thousands of dental offices in all 50 states. While National Electronic Attachments (the country's largest electronic attachment clearinghouse) is adding 6 more new Payors in Dental this month, they will add more new Payors at Medical Electronic Attachment (Their sister company). It is embarrassing that the HL7 attachment subcommittee (of which I also meet occasionally) only pushed out 6 attachments to become standard later this year, and this took 10 years of meetings. In a meeting 2 years ago of interested parties in attachments in Washington, D.C. all interested parties except 1 were planning on the human variant attachment as opposed to the computer variant which went into the first pilot program.

I note that the article at the moment pushes a need for sophisticated equipment to handle attachments, when the software is already developed that lets a Provider sending attachments to use a $100 scanner (which most Providers have). The problem as I see it is that where in Dental there are Payors looking for Providers to send them electronic attachments, in Medical we have Providers looking for Payors who will receive electronic attachment.

My prediction is that by 2010 that Medical will greatly surpass dental in Providers sending electronic attachments. The one area that may cause this to go sideways is that Payors deciding to build their own attachment system will end up in the same place as Payors who decided to build their own electronic claims system.

Tom Hughes

Thomas W. Hughes, CEO/President

National Electronic Attachment, Inc.

4588 Winters Chapel Road, Suite 200

Atlanta, GA 30360