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In this Issue: Mitigating Legal Risks
In this issue of HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights learn how to protect your informatics department, how to mitigate risk when negotiating cloud contracts, and access a patient's perspective on EHR Data Integrity.

State of the Industry

Don't Make Your Informatics Department a Legal Target
By Marlowe Schaeffer Polk, JD, DO

  When considering the legal implication of clinical informatics, the effectiveness of documentation must be the bedrock of analysis. Every clinician is well aware of the old adage "not documented, not done." Yet as documentation becomes all the more "digitized," a new adage should arise "not documented properly; not safe, not legally sound and not paid."

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Meet an Informaticist

Legal Issues Every Nurse Informaticist Should Consider
By Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD

  Nursing Informatics is a booming and vital profession in healthcare. It requires a solid knowledge base in nursing and its application to the field of informatics. It can be fraught with legal issues as well. The Nurse Informaticist needs to ensure, insofar as is humanly possible, the legal issues inherent in this profession are avoided before they become problems that must be resolved. Here are 6 legal issues every nurse informaticist should consider.

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Strategies for Success

Negotiating Cloud Contracts: How to Protect Your Organization
By Michael Murphy

  The complexities of deploying informatics and other new technologies in the delivery of healthcare can be overwhelming. Healthcare providers are under pressure to improve patient care, lower costs, meet competitive threats and adapt to new insurance models. For many, existing IT systems are at best inadequate and, at worst, incapable of being adapted to the realities of 21st century healthcare. For cash-strapped and resource constrained healthcare providers, cloud solutions can be the best way to access the latest technology with minimal up-front investment. Access 5 ways to protect your organization while negotiating a cloud contract.

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A Patient's Perspective on EHR Data Integrity

  Now that portions of patient EHRs and visit summaries are available via portals and/or meaningful use requirements, not only will the organizations' internal users be complaining about system flaws, poor configurations or outstanding training issues — but so will the external users, the patients and recipients of the health information. It's time our industry professionals address the integrity of the information, not just the technical and operational mechanisms for the sending and receiving of the information. I am a patient at two local healthcare provider organizations that both use a well-known suite of clinical information system modules for the organizations' base electronic health record systems (EHRs). Here are some observations from my experiences.

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Trend Spotter

Celebrating Informatics in the Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath
By Lorren Pettit
  Like many, I was shocked and horrified with the bombings at this year's Boston Marathon. The attacks were truly senseless. They were obviously meant to send a message. But what exactly that message was, was lost on me. If they were meant to "break the American spirit," then marathon runners are the last group of people whose spirits are going to be easily broken. In the words of my teenagers, the attacks were an "EPIC FAILURE."

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HIMSS14 Call for Proposals and Reviewers Now Open
While the conversation continues around HIMSS13 on various social channels and elsewhere, HIMSS is pleased to announce that the HIMSS14 Call for Proposals and HIMSS14 Call for Reviewers are now opened through Monday, June 3, 2013, 5 pm CT. 

mHealth Summit Call for Presentations Open Through June 7
The 2013 mHealth Summit is looking for transformational and groundbreaking submissions that deliver pragmatic evidence that mHealth is moving from theory to adoption and from pilot to scale.  The 2013 mHealth Summit is the premier international forum connecting the mobile health ecosystem for mHealth research, education, thought leadership, exhibits and action-provoking panel discussions.

HIMSS13 Online Continues On-Demand Access Through June 7
HIMSS13 Online provides access to select on-demand events from the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans for only $39. Participants can gain actionable information and engage with peers as they seek out practical solutions to healthcare's most demanding challenges. On-demand access to select portions of HIMSS13 Online will be available until June 7. Please click on the link above to learn more.

Tool Box Picks

Compiled by Cheryl D. Parker, RN, MSN, PhD, FHIMSS

Legal Expert: Due Diligence a Key Part of Data Security
Providers must scrutinize potential vendors as well as their own practices. This Health Informatics article focuses on three key areas: data and devices encryption, practice due diligence and vetting vendor partners.

13 Legal Issues for Hospitals and Health Systems
This Becker’s Hospital Review article presents 13 legal issues affecting hospitals and health systems in 2011 and beyond.

5 Keys to the Legal Issues of Social Media in Healthcare
Social media has moved into the main stream of patient engagement. This Healthcare IT News article highlights what legal ramifications you need to keep in mind.

Video: Why Hospitals Need Social Media Policies
Learn why your hospital needs a social media policy in this humorous, cautionary animation from Vernon Dutton's YouTube channel.

Legal Requirements Checklist for Vendor Contracts
Use this template to gather information from vendors on how they will structure the contract if their product is selected.

Developing a Winning IT Negotiations Strategy

Because negotiations can be such a dreaded topic, this JHIM column highlights how investing a small amount of time and resources to develop a negotiations strategy early can often reap substantial benefits later on.

Cheryl D. Parker, RN, MSN, PhD, FHIMSS, is chief nursing informatics officer at Rubbermaid Medical Solutions.

Big Data And Healthcare Analytics Forum. Improving Care. Reducing Costs. Uncovering Opportunity. June 4 - 5, 2013. Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center Washington DC Area.

Join the Discussion

Will the "risk" of physicians knowing too much limit the potential benefits the EHR?
I had a very interesting visit with my GP a week ago. I had recently seen a specialist and my GP and I were discussing the visit. My GP was sitting in front of a laptop in the exam room that gave them access to the results (labs and notes) of my specialist visit. Being my first time to see a specialist, I thought "Good... it's great to see HCIT playing a positive role in my care." ... and then things got interesting...

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Upcoming Events

ACA's Opportunities for Improving Care Quality & Efficiency, Part 3
May 15, 2013

Virtual Forum: mHealth Impact—The Most Rapid Transformation in Healthcare Today
May 22, 2013

Simplify Workflow and Access to Patient Data in Canadian Hospitals
May 24, 2013

Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum
June 4-5, 2013
Washington, DC

Enabling Innovation in Healthcare: The Opportunities and Challenges
June 5, 2013

Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition
June 11-12, 2013
Washington, DC

HIMSS Chapter Events

Webinars and Audio Conferences

Renew Your HIMSS Membership?

Ensure the continuation of your HIMSS member benefits, login to the Member Center to renew your membership today. If you need a paper invoice, request one via e–mail to the Member Services department. You can also renew by phone at 312-664-4467 (option 8, then 2).

Clinical Informatics Insights is a monthly e-newsletter published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) that provides timely and comprehensive coverage on the effective integration of informatics across the continuum of care.

Editor's Note: The inclusion of an organization name, product, resource or service in this e-newsletter should not be construed as a HIMSS endorsement of such organization, product or service, nor is the failure to include an organization name, product or service to be construed as disapproval.
Copyright© 2013 by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission.
Contact HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights at

Members of HIMSS Informatics Team
Joyce Sensmeier, RN–BC, MS, CPHIMS, FAAN, FHIMSS, Vice President, Informatics
Christel Anderson, Director, Clinical Informatics
Jennifer Roniger, Program Manager, Informatics

Advertising inquiries:
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