HIMSS helps ease EHR pain with PACT

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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has developed the PACT (Physicians Adopting Computer Technologies) conferences to address various concerns clinicians and healthcare practices face when selecting, buying and installing an electronic health record (EHR).

The one-day conferences will be held in Jacksonville, Fla. on November 6 and in Portland, Ore. on November 13. The PACT conferences will feature physicians now using EHRs who will discuss the challenges they faced, and how they overcame them, to successfully implement the EHR in their practices.

"Physicians are interested in introducing healthcare IT systems into their practices, but they also have questions about implementation time, expense, and the products themselves," said Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, HIMSS medical director and director of the ambulatory care initiatives. "The PACT presentations are designed so that physicians will hear from their peers who are successfully using the electronic health record in their practices. These clinicians understand the challenges of identifying and investing in technology that would best serve their practices and their patients."

Alan Wenner, MD, a family physician in a four-physician group in Columbia, S.C., and John Bachman, MD, a professor of family medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., will present the keynote address in Jacksonville, Fla. Dr. Wenner and Dr. Bachman have worked together for eight years to make patient-generated medical history via computer entry a reality and have presented at physician conferences throughout the country.

Opening the event in Portland will be Robert Lamberts, MD, of the Evans, Ga. Medical Group. A four-physician office, the Evans Medical Group implemented the EHR in 1996 and was the recipient of the 2003 HIMSS Davies Award in recognition of its accomplishments in the primary care setting.

Following the keynote presentations, HIMSS said attendees can attend one of two education tracks: one for physicians who are exploring the technology and another for those who have implemented an EHR and want to maximize their return on investment. Technology demonstrations and exhibits of EHR products now in the marketplace are designed so that participants can see how the systems work and ask questions related to their specific EHR implementation needs.