Health IT Newsletter – July 2015

Health IT Newsletter – July 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Happy July. I will be the first to admit that in this era of healthcare reform and its intersection with technology, these can be very frustrating and harrowing times.  However, despite all the changes in our profession, at the core of our mission as providers, I believe, is the best patient care possible – ‘Every patient, every encounter, every time.’  Sometimes, technology appears to hinder, not help, to reach the best practice goal. However, I truly feel in the long term, technology will help us make this a reality in an efficient and care-driven manner.

Over the next year, my goal, and the goal of the Clinical Information Systems team, to optimize the EMR experience positions us to achieve excellent patient care and improve the physician experience,  leverage technology, and assist clinical departments to maximize quality payment initiatives.

Meaningful Use (MU)

July 1, 2015 marked the start of the organization’s Meaningful Use (MU) measurement period.  Ongoing until the end of 2015, there are many changes within the EMR system, and Clinical Information Systems (CIS). CIS staff will contact you throughout the year giving elbow-to-elbow guidance on the measures.

Starting the first week of August, you will begin to receive scorecards produced by a tool called MU Assistant every fortnight. This will give you up to date information on your standing with MU measures.  A MPIP Contracting Office staff member will contact you to update your CMS information allowing TTUHSC El Paso to manage MU attestation simpler and more efficient.

Clinical Visit Summaries (CVS)

Not to belabor the MU theme, one area of concern is the printing of the Clinical Visit Summaries (CVS).  Our numbers fell precipitously due to a halt of CVS printing at the end of 2014 and early 2015, due to a security concern. The security concern is fixed.  The CVS is a great and brief way to let your patients know about their visit and allow providers to add information they need for follow-up.

Please print the CVS at the end of clinical visits, and continue to emphasize that staff check patient name and identifiers on printed CVS ensuring accuracy, before handing it to the patient.

So What’s New?

  • Cortext – This secure texting application installed on cellphones and some clinical desktops is a HIPPA and security-approved manner for text messages in the organization. It works on network and Wi-Fi, and we encourage all faculty and residents to use this for patient-related communications.  CIS plans to use Cortext to send clinic-related messages, such as system shutdowns, occasional tips, and FAQs.
  • CareManager – This clinical dashboard used in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine is undergoing a facelift and a will provide a Cardiovascular Risk Reduction dashboard for our Cardiology group to manage patient clinical information over the next few months. In addition to MU Assistant, it provides one of the first tools we have for timely and accurate analytics in a user-friendly dashboard.
  • ICD – 10 – We are working with UMC and GE to offer providers training materials based on their clinical specialty, that will help them transition into ICD-10, scheduled to go into effect October 1 of this year.
  • DocuSign – This application will allow patient sign on-boarding documentation prior to arriving at clinic, and speed up the waiting room process. The plan is to use this for surveys and other documents in a paperless manner over time.

Digital Health Bytes

A policy review of Meaningful Use – read here.

An alternative view on personal health information – read here.

Perhaps the future for our medical students – read here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding our EMR, Clinical Information Systems and any issues you have with the direction we are taking in Digital Health.

Thank you.




Ogechika K Alozie, M.D., M.P.H., CPHIMS
Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO)