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Customer Experience and Design

Meaningful Use doesn’t have to be painful

In my last blog, I talked about the changes forced upon healthcare providers and some software developers who were striving to minimize the impact of these changes. I received comments stating their position that the providers must adapt and it seemed pointless to build systems that mimic an existing process.

I believe this approach is why technology adoption by physicians has been so low. Physicians are getting squeezed in every direction. Patients are more knowledgeable and want more of the physician’s time. Payments are shrinking forcing doctors to see more patients for the same revenue. All other costs are rising faster every year. Finally, new software designed by software engineers is causing the physicians to spend hours every day updating the systems. This time is not reimbursed.

Why NOT build a system that requires very little learning curve, supports their existing workflow and healthcare practices, and can be modified as they start to realize the advantages of a more streamlined process based on their migration from paper to electronic? Systems do exist that enable all of the above and then some.

If you don’t believe this has value, just ask the current physicians who have chosen to retire when Meaningful Use becomes punitive. They will tell you they are tired of learning new things, complying with new regulations that appear to add nothing for the patient’s health, and working longer hours for less take-home pay. The industry needs something to help it heal. Software designers need to take this into consideration when they develop solutions.

There exist examples of software that can support government regulations, provide a more comprehensive chart view that ultimately can improve patient health, and are far easier to learn and use than the database-style applications from the mainstream vendors. It takes some shopping. The innovators are not the giant companies. Instead, shop the fringes to find better solutions.

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Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins has over 25 years of experience architecting, developing, and implementing solutions for organizations in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Mike is experienced in healthcare, finance, defense, manufacturing, training, and retail industries. Some of Mike’s healthcare projects include: developing a core measures proactive monitoring system; developing an eHealth strategy for a growing community hospital; implementing transparent pricing and outcomes measurement solutions; automating clinical and administrative tasks through forms automation; connecting multiple healthcare systems through a common patient portal; and developing an electronic medical record application. He designed the Physician’s Portal and Secure Messaging Product for one of the top-five vendors in clinical information systems. His application development experience includes Amalga, CPOE, Clinical Portals, Patient Portals, Secure Messaging, HIM, Interoperability, and NEDSS for State level health departments. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Rational Consultant (RMUC), a LEAN Black Belt, and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). He is fluent in most methodologies and teaches the PMP Certification course in Atlanta.

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