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Early adopters prepared for meaningful use, and other health IT news

For health organizations already wired for electronic medical records (EMR), meaningful use compliance involves merely keeping abreast of changes in the proposed rule. Atrius Health Inc., a large group of ambulatory providers based in Massachusetts, began the transition to EMRs 10 years ago, long before American Recovery and Reinvestment Act incentives were introduced.

Atrius’ director of clinical informatics, Dr. Michael Lee, says the organization is already compliant with about three-quarters of the proposed meaningful use criteria. He feels that Atrius is in a good position to meet the final requirements once they come out, but says they still have a few hurdles to jump before reaching the finish line.

Check out the rest of last week’s new stories from

Atrius Health, Beth Israel take lead on EMR integration — Atrius Health, a New England alliance of health care groups, has partnered with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to break new ground on EMR integration using Web services.

Medical records privacy: It’s not just HIPAA rules anymore — Federal Trade Commission and HIPAA rules, as well as individual states’ laws, now govern medical records privacy. Providers must cover all bases, including personal health record, or PHR, services.

For e-prescribing to reduce medical errors, alerts cannot be ignored — E-prescribing can reduce medical errors and improve quality of care, but doctors and clinicians must stop ignoring alerts from clinical decision support software, studies show.

FAQ: Which federal agencies administer the HITECH Act? — The HITECH Act sets many goals for the adoption of EHR technology. This FAQ explains which federal agencies and committees oversee meaningful use, standards and other health IT policies.

How one doc became a national health information technology leader — Watch Dr. David Blumenthal recount the story of how he became a national physician champion of health information technology.

State health laws complicate HITECH compliance — State health laws and executive orders add deadline pressure for health care providers facing strict timelines for meaningful use, standards and HITECH compliance.

Wanted: Your input on health IT interoperability — Help us to better understand the key challenges facing organizations working on health IT interoperability, by completing our reader survey. You may win a $50 gift card.

iPod Touch replaces medical show guide; Flash alternative in works? — The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has dumped its annual meeting’s hefty, paper program guide in favor of an iPod Touch.

Four states receive matching funds to implement EHR incentives — Four states recently received federal matching funds to help pay for planning activities related to implementing electronic health record, or EHR, incentives.

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