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Talking Epic Systems, Ebola and ICD-10 at AHIMA

Don Fluckinger and Shaun Sutner analyze the week's stories in health IT, discussing Epic Systems, Ebola, health data governance, interoperability.

This is the latest "HIT Squad" podcast, in which Shaun Sutner and Don Fluckinger discuss the major health IT stories of the last week.

Advancing the cause of data governance, preparing yet again for the advent of ICD-10, and getting ready for a second and more serious round of HIPAA audits -- these health IT hot topics were at the forefront of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) 2014 annual convention and exhibit in San Diego. The conference of health information managers in sunny Southern California was just ending as the deadly Ebola virus burst into the U.S. and exploded into a health IT controversy in the person of Thomas Duncan, a Liberian who was the first victim to be diagnosed with -- and die from -- the virus in the United States.

The murky circumstances surrounding the failure to admit and quarantine Duncan drew in none other than Epic Systems Corp., after Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital accused the EHR giant of somehow bearing responsibility for Duncan's release because of an alleged flaw in the Epic EHR system. The hospital retracted the charge two days later.

In this podcast, SearchHealthIT news director Don Fluckinger and news and feature writer Shaun Sutner -- the SearchHealthIT "HIT Squad" -- talk both about AHIMA and Epic's bad week in the media, which started when the New York Times published a trenchant story about Epic's interoperability shortcomings.

As Fluckinger discusses a sharp-edged opinion piece he wrote about Epic's recent image troubles, he makes the point that no one really knows quite yet what happened at the Dallas hospital and that it was perhaps unfair for the hospital's medical leadership to single out the Epic EHR program without an investigation, at the least. Clinicians, who base their care paths on well-researched evidence-based methods, should know better than to point fingers before a more thorough investigation and analysis could take place.

One pixel What is ICD-10? SearchHealthIT's definition
helps explain.

Sutner reports from AHIMA that conference attendees are indeed weary from ICD-10 prep, and wary of another delay in putting the much anticipated diagnostic coding system into effect. Congress last spring delayed the ICD-10 deadline until October 2015.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writer or contact @SSutner on Twitter. 

Next Steps

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SearchHealthIT readers react to ICD-10 delay

This was last published in October 2014

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