Cygnus Workstation Solutions for Healthcare

Cygnus creates wood and metal computer workstation solutions with a focus on the healthcare industry. Wall mounted computer desks, charting stations, articulating arms and medication cabinets are some of our largest sellers. This blog is a place where we share articles of interest as well as new product updates.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Meaningful Use Rules Now Official


HDM Breaking News, January 13, 2010

Agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 13 officially published two rules covering the meaningful use of electronic health records provisions of the HITECH Act within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Publication of the rules starts the clock for the public comment period, with both rules having a March 15 deadline for comment. The proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services defines "meaningful use" of electronic health records to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments. It lays out a series of measures to collect and report data to government agencies. The rule is 169 pages long in a PDF format.

An interim final rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology sets initial standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria for EHR technology. The rule is 33 pages long in a PDF format. A forthcoming rule will establish an EHR certification program.

The rules are available at gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.htm

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Making your Investment Pay Off

Ran across this great video by the Fox Group. The video runs about 10 minutes and goes into pretty good detail into the operational benefits, financial incentives, and potential pitfalls of migrating a medical practice to an electronic health record system.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Importance of Paper – Yes, Paper – in Health Information Exchanges

by Ashish V. Shah

By several different measures, the past President and current President of the United States have little in common. But both do share a vision of transitioning the American healthcare system to the use of electronic health records (EHRs) as quickly as possible – George W. Bush backed a 2014 deadline and Barack Obama has provisioned incentives within ARRA to drive adoption by 2015.

The byproduct of this type of commitment has spurred heavy investment in the healthcare IT industry, focused primarily on the development of EHR technology to improve operational efficiency and patient care. So, why are some physicians rejecting the notion of EHRs or in some cases … de-installing them? You would think with strong Presidential support and no shortage of financial investment in the industry that penetration of EHRs into the physician market would exceed 33 percent.

The reality is that at least 67 percent of physicians today who receive information from caregivers or labs outside of their care setting depend on paper. What they care about is having timely and reliable access to the information they need – not whether it comes to them in paper or electronic format – and they most certainly won’t stop depending on paper overnight. In fact, even physicians with EHRs often must depend on paper, especially if their EHR is not interfaced to the data sources. Without interfaces, their EHRs are empty and, by many accounts, not very useful. If the EHR isn’t useful, they say, why disrupt the familiar paper-based workflow? [Continue Reading]

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Release of $851 Million from Recovery Act to Upgrade & Expand Community Health Centers, To Serve More Patients


Grants Will Support Centers that Provide Care to Millions of Americans

Washington, DC – First Lady Michelle Obama today visited Unity’s Upper Cardozo Health Center and announced the release of $851 million in grants to address immediate and pressing health center facility and equipment needs and increase access to health care for millions of Americans The money was made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and comes as more Americans join the ranks of the uninsured due to the economic downturn and skyrocketing health costs.

"Community Health Centers provide care to the Americans who need it most and their work has never been more important," said Obama. "These grants will help Unity’s Upper Cardozo and thousands of centers across the country expand and serve more Americans who simply can’t afford insurance coverage anymore. ."

The Recovery Act Capital Improvement Program (CIP) grants will support the construction, repair and renovation of over 1,500 health center sites nationwide. More than 650 centers will use the funds to purchase new equipment or health information technology (HIT) systems, and nearly 400 health centers will adopt and expand the use of electronic health records.

To see a list of Recovery Act CIP grantees by state, go to www.hhs.gov/recovery.]

Continue Reading Article [HERE]

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Federal CIO Launches IT Spending Site Built For Sharing


To promote greater government transparency and public access to information, US CIO Vivek Kundra has launched a new Web site for tracking spending on government IT projects.


At the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City on Tuesday, the federal government's recently appointed CIO Vivek Kundra announced the launch of USAspending.gov, a federal IT spending Web site that allows anyone to track federal IT contracting dollars and grants.

The site was developed to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, a law that requires public organizations to disclose receipt of federal funds.

As a senator, Barack Obama was one of the sponsors of the bill; as President, he has continued to support the principle of greater government transparency, with some notable exceptions like White House visitor records.

Continue reading the whole article HERE

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

EHRs Being Used to Track H1 N1

EHRs Being Used to Track H1 N1
May 4, 2009 From EHR Scope Blog

Last week I created a post that discussed how EHRs could be used to help track and suppress an infectious disease outbreak such as the Swine Flu. Today I can report on how it is actually being done!

Minnesota based Quinnian Health, announced it has partnered with Dallas’s TelaDoc Medical Services to provide remote consultations, and access to its Qhealth Platform.The announcement comes as the WHO has officially declared H1 N1, or Swine Flu as Pandemic. [Continue Reading]

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Friday, April 17, 2009

You EHR, I say EMR...

I've posted surveys on LinkedIn about using the terminology EHR/EMR several times and got so many odd responses that made finding this post really enjoyable. Below is a great blog post from the EHR Scope Blog.

PHRs, EHRs, EMRs –Digesting the Alphabet Soup

April 17, 2009

PHR, EHR, EMR , can all make HIT a bit confusing PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick). Certainly everyone agrees what the letters in the three acronyms stand for – Personal Health Record, Electronic Health Record, and Electronic Medical Record. Yet the terms are often misunderstood and misused – even within the industry.

The two most often used interchangeably, albeit incorrectly are EMR and EHR. To the layperson and even to healthcare professionals it may sound like there is very little difference between an Electronic Health Record and an Electronic Medical Record, but there are clearly defined distinctions, depending of course on who is doing the defining.

Continue reading the article HERE

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

DoD and Veteran Affairs to Combine EHR's


It looks as though President Obama is really moving along with his health plan by cleaning up goverment right off the get-go. The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs both have active EHR programs but as of now have been unable to share information back and forth.

With an announcement earlier this week, plans are being forged which will begin the process of creating a link between the two systems. This will be a model for healthcare facilties throughout the country if all goes as planned.

Hopefully they share their problems and solutions so other implementors can learn from the experience.

Below is a post from the EHRScope Blog


White House Announces Plan to Integrate DOD and VA EHRs

The Obama administration announced this week that the Departments of Defense(DOD) and Veterans Affairs(VA) will finally create a path to integrate the flow of patients’ information between DOD’s AHLTA and the VA’s VistA EHR platforms. Each of the disparate systems in and of themselves represents a successful implementation of EHRs, however until now there has been little or no ability to transfer patient data between the two systems.

Read the complete post HERE

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Fueled by incentives, now is the time to invest in an EMR


Cerner has some great resources on its website including webinars about the Economic Stimulus Package and EMR implementation.

From the CERNER Site:

The road to electronic health record (EHR) adoption just got a little sweeter for physicians with President Obama’s recent signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Widely referred to as the economic stimulus package, the act provides approximately $35 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives to eligible professionals for “meaningful use” of qualified EHR systems in their practices (use of a hospital EHR does not qualify the physician or provider for these incentives). Read More >>

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Network Lock Keeps Full Audit Trail for Security

Cygnus now has a network-based lock solution as a security option for all of its wall mounted computer workstations. The networked lock will make it easier for the staff to access the cabinet with the simple swipe of a proximity card. The new lock will also make it easier to monitor access by creating a real-time audit trail for each cabinet.

One of the many great features of this lock system is the ease of administration. Users can be added and deleted, access restricted to certain floors, and much more all from a central location with the use of a simple software interface.

The lock is powered over the ethernet network (PoE) so there is no need for an additional power supply to be dropped by an electrician. Setup is simple due to the lock being a true IP device.

For more information visit the netlock product page. Talk to a product specialist at 888-760-8159.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

President Obama to Sign ARRA’s HITECH provisions


From HIPAA.com
Ed Jones, Author & Healthcare Authority


The Senate joined the House on Friday evening, February 13, 2009, in passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes provisions relating to Health Information Technology. Title XIII of Division A and Title IV of Division B together are known as the “Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act” or the “HITECH Act.” We will be highlighting attributes of the HITECH Act through the end of February. READ MORE>>

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


Today Ed Jones writes on HIPAA home site about the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Tuesday afternoon the Senate passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called Economic Stimulus bill. Previously, the House of Representatives passed its version, H.R. 1. Now, the joint House-Senate conference committee will resolve funding and language differences in the House and Senate versions of ARRA. As we have noted earlier, each of these versions contains incentives for adoption of health information technologies, which are described in the so-called HITECH provisions of the House and Senate versions. President Obama is expected to sign a reconciled bill in the near future, assuming that the Democrats in the Senate can achieve at least 60 votes in a procedural motion to move the bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Once signed into law, HIPAA.com will provide a detailed analysis of funding, language, and timeframe provisions of the reconciled HITECH provisions.

READ MORE>>>

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obama's national health records system will be costly, daunting


I've been posting quite a bit about the new administration's e-health records push. While the initial cost is steep ($10 billion per year for the next five years) it would end up creating jobs while saving the nation about $300 billion per year by cutting down on duplication, false claims, errors and more.

Here is a great article by Lucas Mearian from ComputerWorld.

January 20, 2009 (Computerworld) President Barack Obama has said that a national electronic health records system will be a priority in his first term, not just for streamlining workflow at hospitals and physician offices but to cut costs and improve the quality of health care.

And while he has pledged to invest $10 billion a year over the next five years on the effort, the price tag for such a system could be closer to $100 billion over the next 10 years, according to experts. They also note that sticking to his five-year timetable could prove to be daunting. READ MORE>>

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A more strict HIPAA?

The HIPAA regulations are pretty strict and there is a rumble that HIPAA slows down research and gets in the way of standard medical practice. But should there be concern with making regulations tighter when no one enforces it as it is? Check out this recently posted is this article by Anne Zieger, editor of FierceHealthIT.

Why toughen HIPAA when nobody enforces it?
January 25, 2009 — 7:25pm ET | By Anne Zieger
This week, House Ways and Means Committee members should be considering an economic stimulus package that includes provisions to beef up HIPAA. Yes, you heard me right--they're thinking about adding more stringent protections to a law that virtually never gets enforced anyway. READ MORE>>

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Monday, January 26, 2009

More Money for Healthcare IT

Looks as though the Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing an additional $3-5 billion for health information technology. With the date set for 2014, healthcare facilities will be required to implement electronic health records and this certainly appears to be assistance towards those costs. Below is an article by Patrick Yoest from the Wall Street Journal.

Proposed spending in the U.S. Senate's stimulus package includes $3 billion more for health information technology than that proposed by the U.S. House, a summary released Friday by the Senate Appropriations Committee shows. READ MORE >>

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Panel releases details on $20B in health IT spending

We're finally starting to get a sneak peak at the proposed incentive package promised by the new administration. There certainly appears to be a big push to get physicians and health care facilities on board with electronic health records. Below is a great article from Alice Lipowicz on the Federal Computer Week website.
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The House Ways and Means Committee is calling for $20 billion in spending to encourage the adoption of health information technology, including payments of as much as $65,000 to physicians who can demonstrate that they are using electronic data. The committee's chairman, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), released details Jan 16 of the Health IT for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which is to be included in an economic stimulus package.

The bill seeks to advance the use of health IT, including electronic health records, Rangel said in a news release. The measure would spend $20 billion on incentives to encourage doctors and hospitals to use health IT, the news release states. The incentives include payments of $40,000 to $65,000 to doctors who can show they are "meaningfully utilizing health IT, such as through the reporting of quality measures," the release states. READ MORE >>>

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Point of No Return?


In a nutshell what Cygnus promotes is keeping computers close to the patient at all times with ZERO footprint in the floor of a patient room. At a recent trip to a hospital in lower Michigan, we saw computers on wheels (COW's) in almost every room, hardwired to the network. If you're going to go to that trouble to lock down the cart, the best solution is to put that same technology and put it on the wall.

"Wall-Mounted PCs - According to the survey, these devices are gradually replacing COWs as a more useful point-of-care computing tool. Ironically, COWs have helped establish wall-mounted PCs. “The good thing about the COWs is that they let you know where to put a fixed station,” says Malkary. Click
here to read more.

Article by By Annie Macios in For The Record Magazine Vol. 20 No. 10 P. 14.

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