Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BLS And AHIMA Publish Average Annual Wage Of EHR Specialist

Scope Of EHR Specialist
A recent report published by BLS (US Bureau of Labour Statistics) indicates that the salary scale of Electronic health record specialist profession varies depending on factors such as qualification of the candidate, location and nature of the healthcare organization where he is employed. 

BLS further states that it is impossible at the moment to give the salary data of the EHR careers as it is considered to be one of the fast emerging fields in the country. Nonetheless, the bureau has published the salary data of EHR careers in the past. 

BLS Publishes Salary Data of Electronic Health Record Specialist Jobs in the Past 

BLS observed that health record specialists in US secured an average annual wage of $32,000 in 2000. The data provided by U.S. Department of Labour also confirms this. However, previous reports prior to 2000 May show that the salary scales of health record specialists were rather low. In fact, the salary was hiked after the implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 1999. The Act mandated the basic salary scale for Electronic health record specialist and other professionals in the healthcare industry. 

The salary data published by American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also puts the annual wage of health record specialists at $31,502. AHIMA claims that it compiled the data after surveying more than 11,000 health information professionals. It further stated that the survey focused more on Electronic health record specialist jobs in the healthcare industry given the status of the profession as an emerging one. 

BLS Report Spells More Scope for IT Professionals in Healthcare Industry

The BLS report indicates that there is a growing demand for IT professionals in healthcare industry as it is being digitalized. The report further states that careers on system's side are relatively more rewarding. 
Annual Wage Of EHR Specialist

According to the BLS report, computer information system specialists in healthcare industry secured average annual wage of about 102,000 in 2000. It has significantly increased in the last couple of years. The average annual wage of computer support specialists in US in 2010 was not less than $46,260. 

The reports published by BLS and AHIMA are not 100 percent accurate. However, it gives one the impression that the demand for health record specialists is on the rise and certainly, it is one of the emerging careers not only in US but also across the globe. The fact that more candidates are enrolling lately for health record specialist programs confirms that this is true. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Electronic Health Records Clinical Decision Support Offers Enhanced Patient Care

Electronic Health Records
Healthcare institutions and providers utilizing EHR or Electronic Health Records, that are equipped with Clinical Decision Support (CDS) technologies are capable of providing enhanced blood pressure control and improved comprehensive cancer screenings for healthcare consumers or patients, when compared to those that do not use Clinical Decision Support functionalities. The American Journal of Managed Care reported in a recent study.

According to the researchers’ team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the necessary requirements for Meaningful Use have been set in practice already. “Although the Meaningful Use requirements have already been established, the evidence is inconsistent regarding improvement in healthcare processes or patient outcomes as a result of the implementation of general and individual EHR components,” they said. The team of researchers further added in their report that “Prior studies have shown that EHR-based CDS is associated with improved prescribing safety, preventive care measures, and diabetes testing and control. CDS has also been associated with some improvements in quality indicators, but results have been variable. Despite having EHR, many physicians report being unable to complete basic panel management activities, which affects their ability to deliver high-quality care for patients with chronic conditions.”

Making use of the information from the 2006-2009 National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, the team of researchers analyzed primary or initial care visits at three major kinds of Electronic Health Records enabled practices with Clinical Decision Support software meeting the first stage of Meaningful Use requirements. 

Those practices that completely enabled CDS and were fully functional were compared with those missing some of the functionalities; and the researchers found some significant and real differences in care. Completely CDS enabled providers had much better blood pressure control (86%), when compared to those lacking some of the key features (82%).
EHR Implementation

Health care institutions and practices having CDS features that notified them of acceptable lab results seem to be more likely to conduct cancer screenings. The results show 16% for CDS enabled practices as opposed to 11% for those having some features missing. Moreover, the overall Meaningful Use standards with Clinical Decision Support included shows significant positive effect on some national quality of care indicators and health outcomes.

The evolving impact of the Meaningful Use is something only time can answer when the stages continue to be more widely implemented and seamlessly incorporated in the care processes.