Healthcare Acronyms for Dummies

Posted on behalf of David Cohen, Regional Sales Manager
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and as a teenager and through my thirties I would trek into Cambridge to visit Harvard Square with my friends.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting Harvard Square, it is an incredibly interesting area, filled all types of eclectic shops, restaurants and of course Harvard students, locals and tourists.  Our favorite pastime other than dining at one of the many delicious eating establishments was browsing through the handful of world-class books stores.  We’d spend hours reading random sections of what-ever books caught our eyes.  Those warm memories of reading, of learning, of in fact exploring our world while trapped between the many rows and islands of books are amongst my life’s favorite.
I don’t get the opportunity to visit Harvard Square often these days as marriage and parenting have filled up those random off hours, as well as the demands of a fast-pasted job in the healthcare business. Reading paper books has been replaced by sprinting through news and magazine articles on my iPhone or Kindle. Let’s face it, the world is a faster place now.
Working in healthcare I naturally want to keep up on regional and national trends in the industry, as well as understand the many acronyms that are always sprinkled in articles and tossed around in daily conversation.  I love the book series For Dummies, as it provides a quick, consumable way to get a solid understanding of whichever topic you like – Investing for Dummies, Genetics for Dummies, even Golf and Yoga for Dummies!
Why not Healthcare Acronyms for Dummies?  I find it challenging to keep them all straight. There are so many, and they’re often used interchangeably.  It sure would be a great book to have!
Some of my favorite healthcare acronyms include-
HCIS– Healthcare Information System
HIS – Hospital or Healthcare Information System
HIMS – Healthcare Information Management System
EHR– Electronic Health Record
EMR– Electronic Medical Record.  These terms are used interchangeably by many people but depending on who you’re talking to they can also mean different things (confusing, right?).
FHIR (pronounced “fire”) – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. This resource standard is the current ‘next big deal’ as it will enable interoperability between legacy HCIS systems and make healthcare information accessible to providers and individuals on virtually any device (laptops, tablets, mobile phones).
IE – Interface Engine.  A software platform that allows seamless data exchange between hospitals, providers, clinics and vendors.
CCD – Continuity of Care Document.  An electronic document used for sharing medical information about a patient that allows for the transition of patient care from one provider or healthcare institution to another provider or healthcare institution.
There are thousands of healthcare acronyms and each is more interesting than the next, really.  If you’re interested in learning more, why not meet me in Harvard Square and we can talk over lunch, and then head to a local bookstore!