Monthly Archives: May 2015

LOINC Codes. The New Standard Code Set for Lab Results and Reporting?

Those of us who have been working on ICD-10 (very painful—-oops, Freudian slip) implementations know CMS mandates the use of standard code sets on HIPAA-covered transactions by HIPAA-covered entities.

What about LOINC code?  Do you even know what this is?

It appears we are getting one step closer to CMS mandating the use of LOINC codes on lab related transactions.

Are we in for an ICD-10 related kind of implementation?  How much of a change is it for those impacted?


Do We Really Want Total Interoperability? Let’s Be Honest….

Just when I started getting excited about FHIR and it’s prospects for fostering (dare I shall say) true interoperability within health IT, we should recall whether the private sector really wants this.  The question is whether we have the will to give up something (for instance making capital investments to change existing coding and systems architecture) for the common good (the disparate parts of healthcare being able to seamlessly exchange information).

After reading this article, “at the risk of quelling the FHIR party it’s time for a reality check on the fledgling interoperability standard, if only because what’s happening now will, in hindsight, likely be the fun part.

One need look no further than those now-ubiquitous XML and associated standards, however, to understand some of the growing pains on the road ahead.

At one point in time, the old guard of enterprise IT vendors — IBM, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle to name the big guns — came together with a number of specialty shops via standards bodies to craft those web services specs.

But then each vendor would take that work back to its headquarters and essentially bend the specification as far as they could toward their own will. Did the initial version of Microsoft’s integration server seamlessly access information in an Oracle database or SAP’s applications? Not so perfectly. What’s more, Forrester, Gartner or IDC analysts were saying at the time that these companies, Microsoft specifically, weren’t necessarily all that interested in interoperating with the so-called competition.

“I would suspect this will replay itself in healthcare,” said Steven Waldren, MD, director of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Center for Health IT. “Layer on the confounding factors such as the multiple purpose of health records, ambiguity and uncertainty in the data, complexity of health information, misaligned business drivers, and it is going to be a rocky 2017-2020.”

Greetings from Sunny Arizona! WEDI’s National Spring Conference Is Underway.

The 24th annual WEDI Conference is well underway in the very sunny (and hot!) Scottsdale, AZ.  Many representatives from Axiom are on-site including Sales (Bill), the senior leadership team (Paul, Sandra, and Rich), and those from the Consulting Services division (Gina, Peggy, Satish).  And we can’t forget about Gigi from the Phoenix office, either!

There are a lot of good topics on hand ranging from (you guessed it!) ICD-10, HIE, FHIR, and privacy and security matters.  Stay tuned for future blog posts for conference highlights.