Related Stories

Five Best Practices for More Effective Use of Ambulatory Electronic Health Records to Manage Chronic Disease - 09/11/2019

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, which affects 30.3 million adults in the United States, is increasing with 1.5 million newly diagnosed cases of diabetes each year.  An additional 84 million adults are affected by prediabetes.  Consequently, this chronic disease has become the seventh leading cause of death in our nation.1 Statistics like these have caused the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and state health departments to encourage primary care physicians to not only adopt electronic health records (EHRs) but to use them more effectively to improve management of diabetes and other chronic diseases.  This paper discusses how small physician practices in North Texas improved their tracking of quality metrics for hypertension, obesity, and diabetes by leveraging available but underused EHR functionalities.  We also describe five “best practices” for more effective use of ambulatory EHRs to manage chronic disease based on findings in this study.


Improve Patient Safety by Focusing on Safe Practices for Drug Allergies - 09/10/2019

Your electronic health record likely contains multiple types of clinical decision support (CDS) tools to help you track a patient’s drug allergies. But despite the many CDS tools, adverse drug allergy interactions continue to occur. To help practices curb those adverse reactions, the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety created an online toolkit that focuses on using CDS and health information technology to safely prescribe medications.


Upgrade Your EHR Before It’s Too Late - 08/28/2019

If you participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare incentive payment programs, time is running out to upgrade to the 2015 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).


How User-Friendly Is Your EHR? - 08/16/2019

To help you prevent these types of errors in your practice, TMA has created a Technology and Patient Safety webpage that includes articles, interactive tools, manuals, and guidelines on how to make your electronic health record (EHR) technology safer. Use it to find information on contracting with EHR vendors, implementing or switching systems, and keeping your system secure.


How Can You Exchange Patient Data? - 08/08/2019

Health Information Exchange can be accomplished in different ways, and the needs and requirements vary by practice. While there are numerous ways to accomplish HIE, there are four types of HIE that are currently in use.


Q&A: SeattleMamaDoc Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, Headlines TexMed 2019 - 08/02/2019

Digital innovator, Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, will share her expertise at the May 17 opening general session at TexMed 2019 in Dallas. The title of Dr. Swanson’s talk: “How Technology is Transforming Health Care and the Physician-Patient Relationship.” Her answer to that question: “Rapidly and at a pace that’s hard for us to keep up.”


EHR Rules Would Add to Physicians’ Costs, Burdens, TMA Says - 06/25/2019

Proposed rules to promote electronic health record interoperability across the health care system would place excessive burdens and costs on physicians, while making it more difficult for patients to access their electronic health information.  That’s the thrust of a pair of letters the Texas Medical Association wrote to two federal health agencies last week.


TMA Pushing To Delay PMP Mandate, Buy Time for Integration With EHRs - 06/19/2019

Starting Sept. 1, physicians will be required to check the PMP before issuing any prescription for opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or carisoprodol, a mandate the Texas Legislature passed during the 2017 session. As this year’s session of the legislature enters its back stretch, TMA is hoping to persuade lawmakers to delay that mandate until March 2020 to allow for a widespread rollout of PMP-EHR integration.


Why Strong Passwords Are Important - 05/30/2019

Passwords are an early line of defense in protecting your patient data and an easy fix to strengthening your protections.


Security Alert: Are Your Browsers Vulnerable to POODLE? - 05/30/2019

Many of us take for granted that if we’re diligent about keeping our systems current with the latest security updates, we’re protected from threats. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.


HIPAA: Are You Prepared for a Patient Complaint? - 05/30/2019

The most common type of patient HIPAA complaint stems from interpersonal relationships and conflicts. Do you know what do if you receive a patient HIPAA complaint?


HIPAA Security: What Risks Are Realistic for Your Practice? - 05/30/2019

Here are some of the factors practices should consider when assessing the security of their patients’ electronic protected health information.


HIPAA Compliance Requires Continuous Monitoring - 05/30/2019

HIPAA security compliance means not only preventing compromised protected health information but also recognizing when it happens and being able to discover what went wrong.


HIPAA Security Rule: Move It to Top of Mind - 05/30/2019

Pilot audit reports suggest a good place to start your HIPAA security compliance is with a careful reading of the HIPAA Security Rule, and training.


20 Everyday HIPAA Tips(1) - 05/30/2019

The goal of HIPAA is to make sure the protected health information you are responsible for or come into contact with remains confidential, secure, and available when you need it. Here are basic steps every practice can take to help make this happen.


Medicaid Seeks Physicians for EHR Program Review Panel - 04/25/2019

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is accepting applications for its Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Audit Ad Hoc Review Panel.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - Senate Bill 944 - 03/26/2019

Like the authors of this legislation, TMA is an ardent supporter of protecting patient privacy. TMA believes that with the following recommendations, Senate Bill 944 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


Secure Patients’ Protected Health Information - 03/20/2019

TMA believes that with the following recommendations, House Bill 2191 will provide parity and consistency in current statute regarding a physician’s absolute requirements to protect a Texan’s confidential, protected health information (PHI) under state and federal privacy laws, particularly given the potential that under House Bill 2189 more covered entities (although not fully governmental entities) could fall under the purview of Chapter 552.


TMA Member Benefits: Help Avoiding Risk - 03/08/2019

TMA helps physicians "Avoid Risk" by providing expertise on regulations, and tools that mitigate exposure to practice risks.


Making the CEHRT Switch: EHR Upgrade Required for Incentive Payment Programs - 02/27/2019

In medicine, a lot of things can be stressful. Done right, the switch to the latest certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) doesn’t have to be one of them. The change is inevitable in the coming year for physicians already using EHRs to participate in Medicare or Medicaid incentive payment programs. Most practices are using the 2014 version. Beginning in 2019, physicians must use 2015 CEHRT for the 2019 performance period, which ultimately determines their payment.


Be in the Know When You Purchase an EHR - 02/15/2019

The recently updated TMA EHR Vendor Comparison Tool provides TMA member physicians access to an assessment of EHR products that have a solid Texas market base. It gives physicians a view of company information, product functionality, pricing, and interoperability capabilities when comparing EHR systems.


Greenway Clients Entitled to Free EHR Upgrade After Fraud Settlement - 02/12/2019

Electronic Health Record vendor Greenway Health has been ordered to offer its clients free upgrades to its latest version of Prime Suite as part of a settlement in a multimillion-dollar fraud case.  


Sign Letter Urging Congress to Address EHR Usability - 02/08/2019

This week, MedStar Health National Centers for Human Factors in Healthcare teamed up with the American Medical Association to launch a campaign asking Congress to address safety-related usability challenges in electronic health records.


Section 1: Let Doctors Be Doctors - 02/01/2019

Stretched to the Limit: There came a moment when all the clicking on boxes, filling out forms, and waiting on hold was just too much for Houston internist Lisa Ehrlich, MD. The time and energy spent on all of these seemingly endless tasks meant she could not give nearly enough to her patients.


Switching EHRs? Turn to TMA for Help - 12/06/2018

There are many things to consider when looking at a new EHR, including price, which functions suit your practice’s needs, and which vendors offer the right ones. If you’re considering switching to a new EHR, the Texas Medical Association has information and resources to help you make an informed decision.