Healthcare IT Today Search Engine Q&A

A few months ago, we dipped into the various COVID-19 searches that were being done to find Healthcare IT Today and offered answers and commentary on what people were searching.  We thought it would be fun to dip into the search engine traffic for another edition of Search Engine Q&A.

Remember that these are searches people have done (likely on Google) and then they’ve clicked through a link to Healthcare IT Today.  This isn’t scientific, but it did provide some interesting questions.  The bolded items below is what was searched.  Note: Questions are slightly formatted for better legibility (ie. capitalization)

Is Epic more costly than MEDITECH?

Yes!  This one is an easy one.  Good thing they didn’t ask if it’s worth the extra cost.  The whole value question is a much harder one.  Certainly if you ask MEDITECH it’s certainly not worth it.  If you ask Epic, they certainly think they deserve to be paid a premium for what they offer.  You’ll have to do your own analysis on this one, but the answer to the question itself is that Epic is definitely more expensive than MEDITECH.

Telehealth billing across state lines

This was on our previous Q&A, but it’s still being searched like crazy.  Here’s the article with the changes to licensure which is the key to billing.  Just be sure to check with your state laws.  They’re generally more important than the federal ones in this case.

Health Care Incubators

Incubators were all the rage in healthcare for a while.  In fact, startup incubators were huge and now there are entire networks of incubators that have done phenomenal work.  I think many of the healthcare incubators realized that healthcare took much longer than most incubators provided.  It’s one thing to do a consumer product which you can launch quickly.  It’s another thing to use an incubator to build a product for healthcare when you know the lead time is often 18 months for a healthcare organization to make a decision.

I just looked through a dozen incubators and it seems that most have pivoted to be investors, consultants, or communities.  That said, I did find 4 that still seem to be going forward and are accepting applications: Health Wildcatters, DreamIT, XLerateHealth, and Cedars-Sinai Accelerator.

Is zoom hipaa compliant telehealth?

It certainly can be.  They’ll sign a business associate agreement which is an important step.  You do have to purchase the HIPAA compliant version of Zoom.  The consumer version of Zoom is not HIPAA compliant.  That said, OCR did provide an enforcement discretion for even the consumer version of Zoom.  So, while the consumer version of Zoom is not HIPAA compliant, you won’t be penalized if you do use any version of Zoom for telehealth.  I just wouldn’t bank on that enforcement discretion lasting past the pandemic.  If I were you, I’d get a HIPAA compliant telehealth solution.  Lots of options out there, so no need to choose one that’s not.

Are hippa rules suspended due to covid19?

First of all it’s HIPAA, not HIPPA, but the fact that it sent you to this site means I probably misspelled it in the past too.  An easy mistake…but I digress.

Absolutely not!  HIPAA is still in force and you better be compliant.  OCR did offer a few enforcement discretions as mentioned above, but they’re pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

What advantages does electronic documentation in ehr offer over handwritten documentation in a paper chart?

We did a whole series of articles on the benefits of EHR.  Although, if you’re into this topic and want some perspective, you’ll enjoy this article by Dr. CT Lin called “All y’all EHR-using folks don’t know how good you have it.

It’s amazing how quickly we take the benefits of EHR for granted.

Legality of purging ehr

I’m surprised we don’t see more talk about this.  Purging paper charts was such an important topic for many healthcare organizations, but I see very few people talking about purging data from the EHR.  Have we just decided that we’re going to keep all EHR data in perpetuity?

For those not familiar with the discussion, it’s a challenging topic.  If you’re an urban healthcare organization that’s at risk for lawsuits, you generally would purge your old paper charts as soon as the law would allow.  If you’re a rural or research organization, you wanted to keep the data as long as possible.  There are challenging liability, patient care, and research implications on both sides and no one right answer.

That said, I haven’t seen an EHR that provides an option to purge old patient records that are past the legal retention period for a medical record.  My guess is that EHR vendors don’t want the liability of deleting the data either.  Especially since state laws make this a legal minefield.  That seems to leave us where we’re just not going to purge EHR data.

What is the role of EHR interfaces?

To make your life miserable.

Ok, maybe my trauma with EHR interfaces is showing through.  When an EHR interface works it can be like magic.  When it doesn’t, it will drive you absolutely insane.  It’s a mixed bag and EHR vendors often don’t make it easy to interface.  It’s essential, but you better choose an expert on EHR interfaces and the challenges associated with them or you’ll be really unhappy.

Job description for epic analyst

Each one is a bit different.  However, do a search over on Healthcare IT Central for Epic and you’ll find plenty of Epic Analyst job descriptions.

That’s all for today’s Search Engine Q&A.  Let me know if you like these in the comments or on social media.  It’s definitely a potpourri of topic, but hopefully that makes it more enjoyable.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

   

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