Health IT Newsletter – October 2015

Health IT Newsletter – October 2015

Dear Colleagues,

As the calendar year winds down, I want to thank all of you for working so hard to give the best care possible to our clients.  I acknowledge that Health IT creates challenges to healthcare practice.  I truly believe all of these changes continue improving patient care and outcomes for the long run.

ICD 10

We entered the new world of ICD 10!  We began with some initial hiccups printing and sending orders (labs and radiology) to UMC.  We have worked with both clinical departments and UMC for a fix.  We are testing a programming change to the Centricity EMR that makes choosing ICD 10 diagnoses easier and more specific.

We monitor daily the impact of ICD 10 coding with the payers and resolved each of three events as they occurred. If we see a slowdown in cash flow or billing, we will share this information with Chairs and clinic administrators.

Take time to laugh about ICD 10 – here.

Meaningful Use (MU)

CMS announced changes to Meaningful Use (MU) of EHR measures last week (see attached).  The Clinical Information Staff (CIS) staff, in conjunction with MPIP, and Institutional Advancement created a MU Cheat Sheet (see attached) which we will pass out in clinics over the next few weeks. This will help clinical staff identify MU gaps and how to ensure we meet these measures.  CIS staff continues to work with providers for the rest of the MU measurement period for 2015.

MU scorecards continue to go out every two weeks. In the next scorecard, we hope to narrow down the measures to the MU measurement period for this year – October to December 2015. I encourage providers to reach out to CIS team members when questions regarding MU arise.

***In order to improve automation of much of MU reporting to CMS, please respond to a CMS I&A Connection Request email you may be receiving to grant access for MU attestation to our MPIP Department (Alyssa Cervantes) or to an email from MPIP/Ms. Cervantes requesting NPPES log in information. Please accommodate these requests, as this helps the institution manage MU better, and just as importantly, eliminates the need for yearly requests for such information.

So What’s New?

UMC CSI – University Medical Center El Paso is upgrading their EMR platform to Cerner, both in-patient and outpatient.  This will be a unique EMR integration process and improve our clinical integration with UMC, improve patient care, and reduce clinical information errors between both institutions.

RMS 2.0 – The new and improved Referral Management System went into effect September 30, 2015. Thanks to all the individuals that worked with CIS and DSRIP to improve the system.

Digital Health Bytes

  • Cerner leads the race for EMR interoperability – – read here.
  • The Social Security Administration joins CommonWell. El Paso hospitals are all on the CommonWell platform. Do you know what CommonWell is? – read here.
  • Another Texas healthcare giant plans merger– read here.
  • Star Trek tools are almost here – read here.

Healthcare is changing! It will become value-based, a transformational approach, requiring difficult short-term decisions in favor of long-term sustainability. Take a minute to listen to Michael Porter (Harvard Business School) and his take on the journey to value – watch 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)