Takeaways from HIMSS today:
Allowing patients to interact with physicians through messaging and e-mail is a game changer, in terms of increasing patient loyalty and satisfaction. This makes total sense to me, as I'd like nothing more than to never speak the admin at my doctor's practice for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, you see, customer service is not their forte. One problem here: the docs (or someone on their behalf) have to return the messages. Imagine that!
Getting buy-in from practice staff is as important (probably more) than getting buy-in from physicians. Even more, I suspect getting a "green light" from the head doc still doesn't mean you are free and clear, unless you get the previously mentioned admin on board. You see, she is the one that runs the show.
CIOs that want to bring real automation to the hospital know they have to wire up the local docs. The best way to do this is hosting an ambulatory solution in their data center and serving it up to practices nice and easy at a discounted monthly fee (ASP/SaaS), allowing the physicians to pocket the Stimulus money on the back end.
Most failed clinical IT system implementations are due to 1) poor leadership 2) closed culture 3) poor governance. Well, HITECH sure lights a fire under the CEO/CFO, but if they are lacking in motivational techniques or vision, perhaps this the year to anonymously mail them a "Leadership for Dummies" book.
PS: I have heard it mentioned that the states are going to get some money which can be lent to hospitals for HITECH-related implementations. I'm not sure of the details on this, but will keep my ears open.
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