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On the 2nd Day of #HITChristmas … Monica Stout from MedicaSoft

Posted on December 14, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Note: In case you missed the other 12 Days of #HITChristmas, you can start with the first day here along with the story behind #HITChristmas or read all 12 days here as they are published.

On the 2nd Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Monica Stout from MedicaSoft.

Tell us about yourself and MedicaSoft.

I’m Monica Stout and I’m the Michigander Marketing Director at MedicaSoft. I have a 2.5-year old who keeps me on my toes and have traded my (breakable) vintage glass collections for LEGOs, monster trucks, and board books. I came to MedicaSoft 3.5 years ago from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where I was a consultant at the US Department of Veterans Affairs for many years. MedicaSoft is a healthcare IT software company specializing in an HL7 FHIR-based product offering spanning an open API platform, personal health record, electronic health record and reporting & analytics. We are also an accredited HISP. MedicaSoft took a look at some of the vexing problems in healthcare and designed software to solve those problems with open, modern, interoperable, and user-friendly software.

You were recently named as a partner on the VA EHR Project with Cerner.  Tell us about your involvement in that project.

Yes, we are really excited to work with Cerner and the VA on this important initiative. At MedicaSoft, we have long expertise with VA health IT systems and expertise in industry health information exchange and data interoperability. We are looking forward to participating as a Cerner team member as they roll out their EHR in an environment where exchanging health information between VA and community care providers is increasingly important. Expect to hear more about the Cerner/VA project in 2019 as the project gets underway!

What’s a patient story that epitomizes the impact of the work that MedicaSoft is doing?  

There’s a common thread we hear from patients, especially patients dealing with complex medical diagnoses and conditions, that they have so much information and no single source of truth or place to put all of their health information that can be easily accessed and shared with their care team. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear of hundreds upon hundreds of pages of health data that patients are forced to carry back and forth to appointments. This is an area where MedicaSoft provides tangible benefits to patients. All of a patient’s health data can be loaded into MedicaSoft’s PHR, HealthCenter, and it’s there to share (electronically) and provide a complete medical history to whomever the patient chooses.

You also provide the PHR for the Delaware Health Information Network.  Tell us about that and what services you offer them.

The Delaware Health Information Network (or DHIN) is a health information exchange that serves all acute care hospitals, major laboratories and radiology facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and medical providers in Delaware and several surrounding areas such as Maryland and Washington, D.C. DHIN utilizes our PHR/patient portal, HealthCenter, which is branded “Health Check Connect” for DHIN provider practices. DHIN also uses our open NXT Platform to manage all of its clinical and claims data.

Is interoperability real or is it talk?  Can you share any numbers that help us get an idea of how much interoperability is happening?

Interoperability is real. It’s hard to put numbers on it, but healthcare providers and payers are moving beyond the talk to real applications that require the secure exchange of reliable, usable clinical and claims information. Putting those applications into play is why we all talk about interoperability. At MedicaSoft, we “walk the walk” by providing a platform that harmonizes data and makes it available in an open, standards-based way. That means that using our platform lets you integrate applications from any vendor, or build them yourself, with the assurance that they all access high quality data. The open platform approach is the way of the future!

Some recent numbers in ONC in October showed that the industry as a whole has a long way to go when it comes to interoperability, but this is a good start –

41% of hospitals reported they were able to engage in all four functions of interoperability (electronically finding, sending, receiving, and integrating data from outside their own organizations) in 2017. Numbers are increasing each year:

2014: 23%

2015: 26%

2016: 29%

2017: 41%

What can the healthcare IT community do for you and MedicaSoft?

The healthcare IT community has already done so much for me in providing such great collegial relationships and friendships over the past couple of years. #HITMC, #HITsm & #HCDLR are phenomenal Twitter communities comprised of smart, thoughtful, motivated individuals really striving to improve healthcare. As far as helping MedicaSoft, continuing to connect us to folks who need our products or services is always super helpful as is helping us get out the word about the great (new) work we’re doing at our company.

Be sure to follow all of the 12 Day of #HITChristmas.

Ukulele Serenade for a Thankless Healthcare Job

Posted on December 12, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by CT Lin MD, CMIO at University of Colorado Health.

I just spent some time on the phone with an informatics colleague going through a particularly tough time with an EHR replacement and upgrade. Some bad things had happened at the organization: a major visionary physician leader had quit, a department chair had assumed control and was tightening the control on “physician productivity”. Furthermore, a major EHR upgrade had gone wrong resulting in a major multi-day outage and highlighting glaring gaps in “down-time procedures.” Morale was very low.

This physician informaticist was reflecting on their ability to make a difference in an incredibly challenging environment- “Am I still up for confronting all the challenges of this job?” This person pointed out that “decisions are made and I’m left holding the bag.” “Physicians are angry and I have no good news to tell them and no resources to do anything about it.”


When I asked the pointed question- “Is it time for you to quit?” The response was telling.

“Actually, even if they asked me to step down from this informatics position, I LOVE getting in there and solving complicated problems so much that I would probably still do this work. Even for free.”

This eloquent statement reflects the core drivers of an effective and valuable physician informaticist.

Friedman, in a recent New York Times article, talks about the triple acceleration: climate change, globalization, and technology acceleration.  These are upending our world, rewriting the rules, and causing us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew.

Our informatics work in healthcare is very similar. The rules change all the time- leaders change, visions change, vendors and products are always changing. Informaticists are the nexus between IT and clinicians, and are often blamed for anything that goes wrong. True story, when the WannaCry virus struck and took out the server farms at our transcription vendor last year (for SEVERAL WEEKS, our physicians and surgeon could not dictate their notes), the rumor within our organization was “You know, I heard that CT Lin shut that down because he just wants us to TYPE in his #*$&#$’ing EHR.”

If only I was that powerful. We often deal with problems not of our own making, limited or non-existent resources, and a lot of ambiguity.  So, “What can I do?” Here is my advice after walking a mile in my colleague’s shoes.

  1. Being a physician informaticist (PI) is often a thankless job. The quiet work we do: creating collaboration, understanding both IT and healthcare deeply, we translate and often avert disasters (avoiding bad design in templates, order sets, automated tools) that only we can see. When it works, the response is “Of course it was going to work. It is so simple.” When it doesn’t work, everyone knows it was you, even if it wasn’t.
  2. Your value to the leadership of the organization becomes more apparent over time- stay the course. When the PI stands up and helps calm the masses, when the PI can send email broadcasts or go to meetings and explain WHAT happened, and more importantly WHY and what is going to be done about it, he/she is usually more clear than the technologists and can speak the medical language of clinicians and patients. Over time, his/her value grows from being clear, steadfast, and a calming influence. Maybe the executives start including him/her in higher level decisions because they remember that value.
  3. Your value to the front line physicians and nurses is also incalculable. One time, a physician presumed that “Oh, the EHR project is going terribly… see how CT was walking with his head down and with that frown. Bad news.” On the other hand, being clear and concise (even if you can’t fix it) and being transparent about what is happening now and why, allows the PI to be a beacon in a storm, and the go-to person for clarity. PI’s often become a valued representative for physician interests.

As we talked this week, I had flashbacks of my years on the front lines doing this work. Over time, these memories are less like PTSD attacks and more like valued battle scars that one shows off proudly.

Thank you to our physician informaticists and our many colleagues working to adopt new technology- this song is dedicated to YOU.

Dear Burned Out Colleague (to Dear Theodosia, from Hamilton, the musical)

About CT Lin
CT Lin is a technophile, father, husband, ukulele enthusiast, and practicing physician. Dr. Lin is the Chief Medical Information Officer at University of Colorado Health. He writes a weekly blog on informatics and physician leadership at  CT uses creative and memorable techniques to help his organization through change from ukulele parodies to Haiku poems.

About Atos Digital Health Solutions
Atos Digital Health Solutions helps healthcare organizations clarify business objectives while pursuing safer, more effective healthcare that manages costs and engagement across the care continuum. Our leadership team, consultants, and certified project and program managers bring years of practical and operational hospital experience to each engagement. Together, we’ll work closely with you to deliver meaningful outcomes that support your organization’s goals. Our team works shoulder-to-shoulder with your staff, sharing what we know openly. The knowledge transfer throughout the process improves skills and expertise among your team as well as ours. We support a full spectrum of products and services across the healthcare enterprise including Population Health, Value-Based Care, Security and Enterprise Business Strategy Advisory Services, Revenue Cycle Expertise, Adoption and Simulation Programs, ERP and Workforce Management, Go-Live Solutions, EHR Application Expertise, as well as Legacy and Technical Expertise. Atos is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.

The FHIR Backpedal, Voice Interfaces, OpenNotes, and Complacency – Twitter Roundup

Posted on December 6, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Let’s take a quick trip around the Twittersphere and share some of the best healthcare related tweets we’ve seen recently. Plus, we’ll add a little commentary for each tweet as well. We hope you’ll add your commentary on Twitter with @healthcarescene and in the comments.

This might be a media back pedal. Everyone I’ve talked to that really understood FHIR has always said that the FHIR standard was not the end all be all interoperability solution. In fact, they specifically noted its limitations. Of course, that didn’t keep many outlets from reporting FHIR as the cure all. Glad to see they’re finally reporting on FHIR accurately. It’s good, but not a cure all interoperability solution.

Anyone that’s heard Colin Hung speak knows this is going to be a great webinar. Voice search and voice interfaces have become extremely popular. If you want to learn how they’re impacting healthcare, sign up for Colin’s webinar.

Powerfully simple story.

I think Aimee underestimates the power of complacency. However, I hope she’s right since long term complacency will feel really bad.