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How do you deal with difficult patient communications?

As a healthcare professional delivering care to your patients, you have no doubt experienced difficult situations delaing with patient disappointments, anger and uncooperative attitudes. How best to deal with them? Recently, Medical Economics published an article addressing this situation. Here is a link to the article. Let us know what you think. (All rights to the article are owned by Medical Economics. The link below is being provided as a free service to our site visitors).

Tough talks: Best way to manage patient disappointments, medical mistakes involves communication, caring


Is your practice ready for a Meaningful Use Audit?

As CMS fast approaches the budgeted amount they paid as incentives to physicians and hospitals, the risk to practices for an MU audit increases. Here is a 10-minute checklist to get ready for a MU Audit.

Use the quality metrics dashboard provided by your EHR vendor: Many vendors have a dashboard that tracks quality measures. Follow the instructions provided by the vendor to ensure proper documentation. George Ellis Jr., MD, FACP, a participant and Medical Economics chief medical adviser, says his practice was able to attest to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use 100 days after his go-live date simply by following the instructions provided by his vendor, athenahealth.

Consider joining a health information exchange: Of the 17 core objectives in Meaningful Use Stage 2, three involve the exchange of electronic health information. This has been a concern for providers because many EHR systems lack interoperability. Health information exchanges (HIE) give members access to a centralized electronic repository where they can send and receive patient continuity of care documents.

Connect with local hospitals and providers to exchange information: Many physicians site exchanging electronic health information as their biggest concern when attesting to Meaningful Use Stage 2. One solution is to contact your local hospitals and other healthcare providers in your area. Start building a small network with them and discuss other data exchange opportunities.

Documentation is key: If you accept Meaningful Use money, then you may be audited. A failed audit means giving back incentive money. A primary reason practices fail these audits is because they do not have the documentation to support their attestation numbers.

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About the author: Adil Mohammed is the co-founder of Med-IT Systems, and blogs on the topic of IT in healthcare, and other issues like privacy/security, coordination of care, and new payment models affecting healthcare professionals. You can checkout his Google+ profile at Google