Herding Cats and Changing Physician Behavior

March 6, 2017

The idiom “herding cats” typically refers to the impossible task of organizing a class of entities that are uncontrollable or chaotic. As a physician, I can attest first-hand that managing doctors and changing physician behavior is quite a bit like herding cats.

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Hold up! Don’t start secure texting orders just yet, Joint Commission says

June 17, 2016

By now you’ve heard that the Joint Commission this year issued an about-face on its ban against using secure text to send orders, stating that yes, you can use secure, encrypted text messaging platforms to communicate orders for treatment, patient care or services to the hospital or other health care settings.

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Tom Sullivan, MD: HIT Standards Committee Testimony

March 14, 2014

On Wednesday, I shared my thoughts on privacy and interoperability with the HIT Standards Committee’s Privacy and Security Workgroup. As the Chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce Healthcare Industry Committee that deals with emerging strategies for “Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” I have a front row seat, so to speak, on the issues facing the healthcare community on these topics.

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The Prescriber Role in Controlled Substance Fraud, Abuse and Clinical Workflow Considerations

January 21, 2014

Much has changed in the prescriber and the clinical IT vendor communities since the DEA issued the Interim Final Rule in early 2010, making electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) legal at the federal level. For instance, the White House’s decision to highlight the controlled substance drug abuse epidemic and crisis has spurred state legislators and regulators to pass new laws and strengthen existing regulations, such as the regulations that govern the state PDMP registries mentioned in earlier installments of this series.

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How Will the Meaningful Use Stage 3 Delay Impact Providers and Stakeholders?

December 12, 2013

In light of CMS’s recent announcement that it has decided to delay the onset of Meaningful Use Stage 3 until 2017, the first question everyone seems to be asking has been: how does this affect providers and MU Stage 2? The short answer is there probably will not be many, if any, immediate or impactful changes for the great majority of providers in small to medium ambulatory clinical practices.

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Which one is more important...PDMP versus EPCS?

November 25, 2013

This is the fourth installment of a five blog series on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and the Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS). As the title suggests, one might ask which program is more important. Of course, as the reader may suspect, the answer depends on the perspective of each individual user.

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EPCS – What’s New?

November 11, 2013

For the third blog in our series about the Controlled Substance Epidemic and Crisis, I’d like to talk about Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and its importance in the healthcare market and the controlled substances epidemic. Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances is a concept that has been discussed for many years although it was not until the Drug Enforcement Agency published the IFR (Interim Final Rule) in June 2010 that EPCS became legal at the federal level.

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PDMP – What is it?

October 11, 2013

For the second blog in our series about the Controlled Substance Epidemic and Crisis, I’d like to talk about an abbreviation that soon will have growing impact on the practice of medicine and in particular the way we prescribe controlled substances to our patients.

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The Controlled Substance Epidemic and Crisis

August 28, 2013

Here we are toward the end of the summer of 2013, and not a day goes by that we don’t view or hear of some story in the local or national media that chronicles the usually tragic consequences of the widespread fraud, abuse, and diversion of controlled substances.

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How Often Do You Get Personal Invitation to a Private White House Colloquium?

May 31, 2012

How often do you get personal invitation to a private White House Colloquium? Whatever is your answer, for this author it was an exciting surprise and a unique opportunity to walk into a historic building adjacent to the President’s official residence – the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, and to meet and speak with some high level administration officials.

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About the Author

Tom Sullivan Chief Strategic Officer

Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D is a board-certified specialist in cardiology and internal medicine with over 40 years of clinical practice. He currently works for DrFirst and sees patients part-time in Massachusetts. His expertise in the application of information technology to health care has helped to create an international standard (ASTM) for the exchange of medical record information called the Continuity of Care Record (CCR). With AMA, he was founding chair of their e-Medicine Advisory Committee, worked with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, represented the AMA and helped create the Physician EHR Coalition and is past chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service.