Top headlines from HIMSS2012 (Wednesday edition)

MedCity News is providing in-depth coverage of HIMSS2012 as part of a special series sponsored by Hyland Software.

Stay tuned for details on Stage 2 meaningful use: Proposed regulations for Stage 2 meaningful use of electronic health records program will be posted online on Thursday. Anything regarding meaningful use regulations is a big deal to HIMSS attendees in part because of what the program represents: money.

Health providers who have met meaningful use criteria will be eligible for incentive payments from the federal government. A top official with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT offered attendees a sneak peak of the proposed Stage 2 regulation. “Here we come on interoperability and exchange,” said Farzad Mostashari. “We have done whatever we can to increase the flexibility and decrease the burden of these regulations.”


Building a new financial infrastructure for healthcare: Cleveland Clinic chief information officer Dr. Martin Harris advocated a new healthcare financial management infrastructure that would match the vision of networked clinical information exchange. “What I have in mind is a patient-centric financial management infrastructure that would clearly optimize the value of care to patients,” he said during a keynote at the Summit for Healthcare Information & Financial Technology, which is related to HIMSS.

Health IT industry not pleased with potential ICD-10 delay: A likely delay of the implementation of the ICD-10 coding system may have doctors smiling, but the health IT industry is in a decidedly less celebratory mood. “I haven’t talked to anyone who isn’t extremely disappointed,”  Susan Heichert, chief information officer at Allina Hospital and Clinics in St. Paul, Minnesota, said at a media briefing.

IT companies and health systems have been busily preparing for an anticipated October go-live date for ICD-10, but now indications from the federal government are that the time line for ICD-10 will be pushed back. So, it seems that IT companies and health systems that have put in all that hard work won’t have anything to show for it — at least for the time being.

Switching to ICD-10 from the previous system involves expanding the universe of billing codes doctors and hospitals use to classify medical procedures to 140,000 from a current 18,000.

Medical imaging, meet the cloud: Cloud-based image management can help deliver improved real-time access to medical images anywhere and on any device, according to the chief scientist for Harris Healthcare Solutions. But the healthcare industry hasn’t kept pace with other industries (sound familiar?) when it comes to making optimal use of the cloud.

There are several other advantages to using the cloud to manage images, such as reduced costs, improved scalability and fewer technology worries. Nonetheless, the technology is not without its technical challenges, which include cloud or network outage, performance and security.

The most boring technology at HIMSS? CDW wonders if its own digital signage is “the most boring technology at HIMSS.” The verdict is unclear, but we’re left with this lesson: “Ask not what the technology can do, ask what it does for the patient.”

Watch HIMSS2012 slide shows. Even if you aren’t at HIMSS, you can check out slides of speakers’ presentations here.

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