How to Stay Informed in the Healthcare Industry

Monday, 24 October 2011

Deadlines are looming, incentive requirements are changing and overall the healthcare industry is in a constant state of flux. So how do HIT resellers and healthcare professionals both clinical and administrative stay on top of the changes and demands that are being introduced into the healthcare arena?

In the world of HIT resellers staying current is critical to the success of the organization. The ability to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of healthcare clients is certainly a challenge but one that can be met with the help of a few different websites. A good place to start to become familiar with the specifics that pertain to your client’s specialty is the site of the ONC or The Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology, the premier site for updates regarding changes in the healthcare industry. The next stop is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Search under “Meaningful Use”, “EHR Incentive Programs” or “Physician Incentive Programs” for updates that are specific to physicians. Additional places for top line information would include:

For clinical personnel it is always a wise decision to become a member of your specialty association, register and request weekly or even daily updates be sent to your email. For example: Nurses can access the American Nursing Association (@nursingworld), this website offers government policy updates and addresses the needs of nurses in their professional settings as well as patient care. Another website dedicated to nursing is the American Academy of Nursing Executives (@tweetAONE). Nursing has become so specialized that there are resources available directed to the different specialties. Nurse.org provides multiple lists of websites dedicated to these specialties and are listed by state.

The resources available to physicians are endless and again our recommendation would be to first join the association related to your specialty. One example would be the American Academy of Family Physicians (@aafp). This is site is dedicated to Family Practitioners and offers: updates on clinical practices and research; continuing medical education opportunities and certification; tips on how to run a practice; the opportunity to become a member of advocacy groups; and updates on healthcare reform.

For non-clinical personnel whose primary focus is information systems in the healthcare environment, I recommend becoming a member of HiMSS, Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. From the site: "HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare."

Additional resources that could meet the needs of all of the above listed professionals include:

All these sites offer insight into the healthcare industry, provide crucial information surrounding the industry and government changes as well as additional resources.

As a side note, the Medical Group Management Association (@mgma) is a very involved organization dedicated to non-clinical personnel whose primary focus is practice management. This group is very proactive and provides support to various government advocacy programs through their Government Affairs Department.

Finally, there are a number of focus groups via LinkedIn that will open doors for education and professional affiliations. Trying to stay informed and involved can become a full-time job but when you take the time to do the legwork and get connected you will discover the sites and associations will provide a great benefit your day-to-day responsibilities.

Category: Channel Education