Monday, March 29, 2010

Speaking about health IT acronyms on ReachMD

This week, you can find me on ReachMD talking about health IT acronyms. Do you know what CHI stands for?

The world of HIT can be confusing enough – it helps if you understand of all the acronyms out there.

Let’s start with HIT. To clinicians, HIT could mean heparin induced thrombocytopenia, a possible side effect of heparin exposure. But what I mean by HIT, or health IT, is Health Information Technology. Another acronym that has a different meaning in clinical medicine than in health IT is CDS. CDS could stand for controlled drug substance, but in health IT, it means clinical decision support. We’re now seeing more clinical decision support being integrated into electronic health record systems to enhance order sets by incorporating evidence-based treatment decisions.  How about RLS? Restless leg syndrome? No, Record Locator Service. An RLS is an index that lets clinicians find out where the patient information they seek is stored so that they can request it directly from its source. Then there’s CDE: Certified diabetes educator? No, clinical data exchange.

Finally, the by-now familiar EMR, which stands for electronic medical record has been replaced— with EHR or electronic health record. You won’t find the acronym EMR being used by the government or in the HITECH Act.  You also won’t find the acronym EMR on the health and human services or medicare-medicaid websites. So, if you’re in the habit of saying EMR, I encourage you to make a new habit of saying EHR instead.

Now that you’ve had this tutorial, you can test your knowledge of health IT acronyms and compare it to your peers’ by participating in the ReachMD Poll.

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