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Phoenix Ortho News

PV-PQRS Users: Set up Your EIDM Account

Subject - CMS Update July 15, 2015 - PV-PQRS Users: Set up Your EIDM Account     P...

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Phoenix Ortho provides the industry’s only orthopedic specific electronic health record solution which is adaptive, learns physician preferences, manages workflow and does not require templates. Our orthopedic focus eliminates 100% of the irrelevant content required by all multispecialty vendors. By deploying orthopedic specific solutions and leveraging the most progressive technologies available, Phoenix Ortho can make orthopedic physicians more efficient while improving the quality of patient care.

Imperfectly Seizing the Unknown
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Imperfectly Seizing the Unknown web 

Imperfectly Seizing the Unknown: Embracing Innovation in the Medical Profession

Kevin Kelly, former editor of Wired magazine, wrote an article several years ago where he discussed the radical transformation of the global economy based on the digital revolution of the 90s.  In the article entitled, “New Rules for the New Economy”, he postulated several “rules” to help individuals and companies thrive, not merely survive, under these new conditions. 

Without doubt the entire article is fascinating, yet one quote sticks out over all the others. Mr. Kelly proposed, “Wealth in this new regime flows directly from innovation, not optimization; that is, wealth is not gained from perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown.”  Profound, right?

Much like the digital environment that Mr. Kelly was writing about, there has been an equally radical shift in the business environment of private practicing physicians as well – one every bit as jarring and transformational.  It stands to reason that parallels can be drawn between the two events.

Innovation NOT Optimization. 

If innovation is the new guiding principle, what is meant by optimization?  The manager’s credo for years has been to take what exists and to make it better, be it personnel, products, or processes.  Efficiency became the buzzword as the profitability equation (profit = revenue – expenses) was vexed by an ever-decreasing revenue coefficient and matching rising expenses.

Classes abound at regional and national tradeshows describing maximizing patient throughput (remember the wave scheduling craze?), adding billable revenue sources (add PT, add MRI, add mid-level providers), increasing existing services (add ultrasonic guidance to injections), etc.  Perhaps these changes added revenue to the bottom line for a season, or perhaps the changes were instituted just ahead of changes in regulation or reimbursement remodeling leaving practices on the backside of the trend, never seeing the promised pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

The Wild Wild West of Orthopedic EHRs
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Cutting 'Em Off at the Pass

As a Texan I was raised watching "Spaghetti Westerns" on Saturday afternoons with my father. Often during the climactic chase scene the good guys (note the white hats) would be on horseback in pursuit of the bad guys (note the black hats) who were getting away. On cue, the leading man would shout, "We'll cut 'em off at the pass!" In short order the good guys would take a short cut (unknown to the bad guys), get in position (at the pass, no less), and thwart the bad guys, saving the day.

Perhaps you're wondering what this has to do with orthopedics? In a business version of life imitating art this formulaic plot sequence can be used as an excellent tool for averting major conflicts and knee-jerk reactions from clinical staff members – especially when implementing an EHR. We will first outline the actors, crimes, and getaway route before teaching you how to cut 'em off at the pass, allowing you to avoid catastrophe and save the day.

Recognizing the Actors
Unlike our western, the individuals in our conflict do not give us the benefit of wearing white and black cowboy hats. On any given day any one of us is prone to be a hero or a villain, but the usefulness of this tool depends on (1) you recognizing that YOU are ALWAYS wearing the white hat (yep, you're the good guy), and (2) you recognizing that those wearing the black hats are NOT actually bad guys – they are simply actors playing out a predictable role in a scene.

Since this article is focused on the use of this tool with respect to implementing an EHR, you can assume that your black-hatted actors will be concentrated in the clinical department. While the perpetrators may be limited to physicians, other major stakeholders and key clinical staff members (especially those with influence over your physicians) can don a black hat as well. Keep a sharp eye. Stay alert.