Do EMR and EHR Spell Doomsday?

It may be 2009, not 1984, but the book by George Orwell may indeed be predictive of the future.

 

A modified quote from Chapter two states “ the past is dead, the future is unimaginable”.  Read further to see what I mean.

 

As part of the commitment President Obama has made for health care reform, private medical practices, as well as hospitals and clinics must convert to Electronic medical records (EMR) or Electronic Health records (EHR) In order to help implement the conversion, President Obama has just budgeted 19 million dollars with an average grant of $44,000 per office.

Many systems may cost as much as ten times that amount.

 

Private offices that are struggling to overcome decreased third party compensation and spiraling costs may be pushed out.  For those that are dragging their heels to adopt a new system, failure to utilize the new system may be a departure from recognized standards.  Medicare and recognized insurance company will reimburse care at a decreased amount as a penalty.

 

Confusion reigns on a Grand Scale

 

Many hospitals and medical offices are now scrambling to incorporate the new technology into their systems.  The only problem is- there is not a universal system.  Many electronic programs are now available but they do not necessarily interface or communicate with each other.

 

The advantage to an electronic system was so that patients seeing various specialists in different locations could get automatic access to the records so that medications and laboratory tests would not be repetitious or in conflict.

 

But, who else will see the record besides the specialists and your primary care givers?  The administration may be foisting EMR on us to monitor the care of you and medicine in general.  Despite privacy issues, getting incentives from the government allows them to collect data from your records “for quality of care measures”. 

 

Welcome Big Brother- Come in and browse awhile!

 

This is a primary step for government to control healthcare in the future.

Will legislators decide what treatment options you must get for a particular symptom based on healthcare costs as opposed to optimal treatment?

Will government protocols then forbid physicians from  informing  patients what better treatment options are available but not allowed due to a prohibitive cost?

 

In fervor to have universal, affordable healthcare, are these changes slipping through without the public being made aware of the ramifications?

In Chapter 7 of 1984, “until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious”.

 

There are those that are welcoming this CHAOS or change on operating systems, looking forward to the day when healthcare is available to all.  There are those who are fearful of Big Brother and all possible hackers being intimately knowledgeable about parts of our lives.

 

Where do your sentiments lie? 

Who is this AMA?

The AMA (American Medical Association) was invited to the White House to participate in the Health Care Summit  as a reflection of President  Obama’s commitment to health care reform.

But, did you know that not only is it not mandatory to join the AMA, but most physicians choose not to. Two thirds choose not to as a matter of fact.  More not in the AMA, than in!

Why would that be? Most physicians feel that the AMA does not represent their needs or point of view. Many physicians view the American Medical Association as a political arm representing only a minority special interest group (who actually joined for group health care and insurance benefits). People of color were initially banned from the group.

So when the AMA is speaking for physicians in this country…..are they?

How Do You Feel?

There are many prostate cancers that are picked up by examination.  Yet many rely on going to the lab for a PSA (prostate specific antigen) alone.  While this blood test is essential for men over 50, it is not the only parameter for diagnosis.  PSA can be falsely elevated.  Inflammation or hypertrophy (enlargement) can cause a rise in the values.  So, more testing is done.  But what about the false negatives?   An abnormal prostate can be palpated- if you submit to an examination.

 

Breast cancers are only detected by mammography 85% of the time.  While it is important to have a mammography performed after the age of 40, it is crucial for a physical examination- both by oneself and by a physician.  Many breast cancers are palpated before it is picked up by xrays.  Those malignancies that originate in the ducts, may not be seen on film at all.

 

So, are you going to depend on lab machinery for your health?

Go for a thorough physical examination.  How do you feel?

Take a Number

What do you think of when mapping out your new ezine?

One of the items in your check list is to obtain an ISSN. This stands for International Standard Serial Number.  This identifies you for serial publications.  Althouth it is not a copyright protection, it does make you findable (especially if you are lucky to be distributed widely)

If nothing else, your ezine will appear more worthy.

The best part- there is no investment to obtain it!

Am I Just Tweeting in the Wind?

Have you ever been to Penn. Station in New York City? The place is teeming with people, jostling around, jockeying for a position, waiting for their trains or their train doors to open so that they can rush in and get a good seat. Hundreds of thousands of people pass by and yet, there is very little interaction between them.  New Yorkers pride themselves on being people watchers.  They watch the actions of other people, their expressions, their style, their  conversations.  Voyeurs for pleasure,entertainment  or knowledge.  No interaction. Twitter can be the same way.  Recently I noticed that there were 20 people posting on a page. A comment was made to one person.   The other 19 people were   the equivalent of standing up on a soap box and giving a shout or all talking at once.   Just like Penn. Station.

Positioning to #1- Big Money at Stake

Highlighted by  Allscripts:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On February 17, 2009 President Obama signed into law The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, providing us with a tremendous opportunity to transform healthcare in the United States. The law provides $19 billion in health information technology funding to ensure widespread adoption and use of interoperable healthcare IT systems such as theElectronic Health Record.

Allscripts is positioning themselves to be key players in this transition from paper to web-documentation.

Secret System for Making Millions

Psst- I gotta hot tip for the next winning stock-you’ll make a ton of money.

Doesn’t that sound like the local shyster you would expect to see at the racetrack.  There are many of those.  The floor is littered with useless stubs from races where people with hot tips lost their money.

“Got a system- you can’t fail”.  Isn’t that what many hopefuls and then “down-troddens”  say when they hit the Vegas Strip?  It’s no coincidence that the strip is littered with pawn shops that thrive on those who have a system.

So why would you listen to someone who “has a system” or wants to “give a hot tip” to you about the stock market.  I can assure you that if that broker (glorified salesman) really had the answers, he would be too busy raking in his gazillions to be talking to you.

There is no substitute for research and work.  If you want to invest in the market, you must do due diligence.  What that means is….read, study, read, study and then read.  Go to the library and get out the Wall Street Journal, Baron’s, Investment Business Daily and the business section of the New York Times.  After you acquaint yourself with the market, now it is time to play.

The “play” is with play money.  Keep the real money aside in an account until you really know what you are doing.  Make a chart.  Record your transactions.  Get the feel of how you would do.

Then, just  maybe then, you will be ready to make money. (not lose your shirt!)

The Stock Market: Is It Time?

What a funny time to be investing in the stock market.
The best advice that anyone can give you is that one should not put anything in the market that one can not afford to lose.
The second thing one must realize is that unlike years ago when people bought the “blue chips” and put it away for it to grow, you can no longer be “married” to any stock.
Any investment must be watched and dumped if it drops more than a certain percentage- for some that is 10%, for some 15%.
Don’t watch anything go down more than 50% and wait for it to come back.  Especially nowadays when companies which have been stalwarts in their field for decades are now declaring bankruptcy.
Another great piece of advice comes from Peter Lynch who states that one should only invest in companies that one is familiar with (or use their products).
Let’s say that you want to invest in a chain store.  Go shop at that store.  Is it crowded or empty?  How is the merchandise?  Are they trying to offload everything or does it look like  the merchandise is in demand?
The next piece of advice that most people will tell you is DIVERSIFICATION!  That complies with the old adage-“don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  If big pharma has a bad week or month and all your stock is in a drug company, goodbye savings.  If you have an equal amount in the energy sector which is doing well that week, you offset your gains and losses.
There are many who try to predict where the market bottom is. Many of the old parameters no longer apply.  The ole PE ratio is getting quite a workout with the extreme volatility and fluctuations.
There is still money to be made.
One must remember what buying stock means…that when you buy stock you are buying a piece of the company.  Do you like the products and services that the company offers?  Are they in demand?
Make sure that it is a company that you would want to own and then smile as you make your first investment…..Congratulations, you are now the latest part owner of that company! 

How You Sell a Product and Not Show It

The most successful way to sell or promote a product is to make it invisible.

Huh?

A promotion for a product will be highly successful if you follow the rule of transparency.  That means, instead of harping on the features of a product and what it looks like, make it recede into the background.  Instead, promote the benefits a buyer will obtain or the benefits that the buyer perceives and desires.

A good example of this can be seen with luxury car commercials.

The car pulls into a lot and is immediately surrounded by a bevy of sexy women.  The inference is that if you own that car, you will be sexy and desired.

Even you are subject to such inferences.  When you see a private limo passing by, you automatically wonder if there is a celebrity in the vehicle.  

Estee Lauder was a master of the law of transparency.  She didn’t sell cosmetics.  She sold beauty.  For a purchase and application of the pot of creams, the buyer would be desired and glamorous.

People buy things because of how it makes them feel- important, wealthy, sexy, smart.

If you can make your product transform the way people feel, your promotion is bound for success!

Business Blogging

The tips come courtesy of Rachel McAlpine, Director of Contented, a company focusing on better business writing on the Web and intranet. 

I think they’re very useful, but feel free to add your own! 

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TIPS FOR BUSINESS BLOGGERS 
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We have been developing some new courses, among them one 
on strategic blogging. We’d like to share a few tips. 

1. Don’t start unless you were born to blog or need to blog. Very few people can keep up the pace month after month, year after year, having something original to say, something worth saying. (However, a competent and persistent blogger can have fun and influence people.) 

2. Think first about strategy: what do you hope to achieve with this blog? Focus sharply. Explain your angle or topic in your tagline or description. 

3. Follow your organization’s guidelines — or create them! 

4. Focus every blog post on a single topic: it’s not a newsletter. 
5. Be useful, be fearless or both. Simply being useful is a worthwhile goal. 

6. Ask your blogging buddy to check each post, and stop you from being too personal, leaking company secrets 
or breaking the law. 

7. Use plain English and a conversational style. 

8. Link to others and give them credit for ideas.