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Staffing for HITECH

December 1, 2009
by root
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As hospitals prepare to apply for ARRA-HITECH stimulus funds, staffing is going to become a critical issue. Given the small number of people that have extensive experience with CPOE and other major implementations, CIOs must think, plan and act strategically. Our cover story, “Got People,” page 36, examines the issues CIOs may soon face, including losing highly skilled members of their IS teams and being left behind in a nationwide stampede to obtain the best consultants. We show you the critical human resources issues involved in this industry-wide push and identify the key do's and don'ts going forward.

Physician documentation in EMRs will be a lynchpin of achieving meaningful use in hospitals, and some are already turning to speech recognition as a documentation solution. While structured notes can reduce some burden on the physician, finding the balance between structured and unstructured notes is a challenge. And while voice recognition can lower an organization's transcription costs, some docs are not interested in editing their own notes. Read “Can You Hear Me Now,” page 14, to see how these offerings can be balanced when some high earners want to stick with business as usual.

Though the ICD-10 conversion is still a few years away, the potential for losing reimbursement is high. Can CIOs afford to risk waiting on an ICD-10 strategy when they will be held accountable for lost revenues? Read, “Wait at Your Own Risk,” page 18, for a look at best practices in governance, project management, new titles, managing outside links, and identifying and mitigating risk.

With fewer intensivists available to treat higher patient volumes, hospitals are leveraging eICUs to connect providers and patients virtually. Cutting-edge organizations are finding ICU telemedicine can help ease the burden of caring for critically ill patients - provided all the right pieces are in place. Read “Critical Care Network,” page 26, to learn what is required from an infrastructure standpoint, the software used to feed real-time data between locations, and the tools used to analyze data and alert staff to problems.

Healthcare Informatics 2009 December;26(12):10