Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 17th December, 2011.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

Three Technology Trends Your Company Can't Ignore

Information Management Magazine, Nov/Dec 2011

Daniel Burrus
HDM Breaking News, December 5, 2011
Technology is evolving - fast. For that reason, it's imperative that your company focuses not just on the changes that are happening today, but also on the technological trends that are emerging and shaping the future of your organization and your industry. Why? Because the more anticipatory you can be in regard to technology, the more creatively you can use it to gain competitive advantage.
As someone who has been accurately predicting the future of technology for more than 25 years, I urge all leaders to focus on the following three trends that are emerging and reshaping the business landscape as we know it.

Patient Data Losses Jump 32%

Growing use of mobile devices in healthcare has intensified the security risk associated with managing patient data.
By Nicole Lewis,  InformationWeek
December 07, 2011
The frequency of patient data losses at healthcare organizations has increased by 32% compared to last year, with nearly half (49%) of respondents citing lost or stolen computing devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, according to recently published figures from the Ponemon Institute's second annual benchmark study on patient data security.
The latest report--2011 Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security--estimates that data losses and security breaches cost the U.S. healthcare industry about $6.5 billion. And healthcare organizations face challenges in their ability to stem those losses.

Dealing with Doctors' Reluctance Toward PHR

Greg Freeman , December 9, 2011

This article appears in the November 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Physician engagement with patients through personal health records may be more of a challenge than getting patients to use the system, says G. Daniel Martich, MD, FACP, chief medical information officer and vice president for physician services at UPMC.
Because of the particular software design of the e-visit portion of the PHR at UPMC, it can be used only by generalists such as primary care internists and family care practitioners. Of the 69 UPMC practices and 350 physicians in that category, 27 of the practices have opted in completely. Individual physicians also can opt in, and in the other 42 practices at least one doctor has agreed to respond to participate in HealthTrak and respond to the e-visit portion of the PHR.

Open Health Tools, Georgia Tech to spur IT adoption

December 09, 2011 | Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
ATLANTA – Open Health Tools, a multi-stakeholder open source community whose chief health informatics officer is Robert M. Kolodner, MD, the former national coordinator, is joining with the Georgia Institute of Technology on a public-private initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of health information technology.
“The overarching mission of this initiative is to provide a virtual environment in which diverse stakeholders work together to unleash the innovations necessary to bring the industry to its future state,” said Steve Rushing, director of Health@EI2, which is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.
The new pro will include participants from government, healthcare providers and provider organizations, patient and personal health advocacy organizations, open source and commercial vendors, public health organizations, academic and non-academic researchers, start-up companies and entrepreneurs.

ONC: Standards for HIE Won't be Optional

HDM Breaking News, December 8, 2011
In a new blog posting, Doug Fridsma, M.D., of the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT gives an update on efforts to develop standards for the exchange of health information. And he makes clear the standards won't be optional.
"Reducing optionality improves interoperability and lowers the cost for vendors to implement, thus lowering the cost for health care providers as well," Fridsma writes. "ONC is identifying the vocabularies, the message, and the transport 'building blocks" that will enable interoperability. While vendors should be able to flexibly combine them to support interoperable health information exchange (HIE), these 'building blocks' need to be unambiguous and have very limited (or no) optionality."

How one IPA enabled clinical integration for 1,500 docs

December 08, 2011 | Patty Enrado, Contributing Editor
Brown & Toland Physicians' recent selection of Allscripts Community Record, powered by dbMotion, represents a big step toward realizing the IPA's vision of providing clinical integration and connectivity for its 1,500 primary care and specialty physicians in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What's remarkable about Brown & Toland's path to clinical-information sharing is that the IPA, which is physician owned and governed, defined its goal eight years ago - long before the HITECH Act - and was challenged by the fact that it neither employs its physicians nor maintains their systems. "We've been on this mission to figure out how we - as an independent group of physicians - can share clinical information," according to COO Mark Ficker.

ONC taps Hollywood for HIT video

December 07, 2011 | Mary Mosquera
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is going Hollywood, or at least contracting a California production company, to create a video to explain to the public the value of health IT and how individuals can engage with their providers.
The video is an example of ONC’s expanded efforts to get consumers more involved in their health and healthcare and encourage them to raise the importance of electronic health records with their providers, according to an ONC official.
ONC’s strategy includes supporting a change in how consumers view themselves as receivers of healthcare, to feel empowered to request access to their information, take action with their data and work as part of a team with their providers, said Lygeia Ricciardi, senior adviser for consumer e-health at ONC.

Health IT Leaders Launch Info-Sharing Website

Founded by clinicians, site called Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care encourages the medical community to share its EHR successes, complaints.
By Ken Terry,  InformationWeek
December 07, 2011
A group of physician health IT leaders has launched a nonprofit website for doctors that's designed to promote the transformation of healthcare through the use of information technology. Although not directly aligned with the federal government's Meaningful Use program, the website, Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care also could help physicians achieve Meaningful Use by aiding them in implementing electronic health records.

Study: Prescribing errors spike with EHR upgrades

December 7, 2011 — 2:08pm ET | By Marla Durben Hirsch - Contributing Editor
Transitioning to an upgraded electronic health record system appears more likely to lead to errors in e-prescribing than implementing one for the first time, according to a recent article published in MedPage Today.
According to two studies presented at the New York eHealth Collaborative's Digital Health Conference in New York last week, sites that previously had not used e-prescribing had an 85 percent decrease in errors once they made the switch from paper prescribing.

Microsoft Moving Most Health Care Products to GE Joint Venture

HDM Breaking News, December 8, 2011
Microsoft Corp. is exiting much of its health care-specific business by moving those products into a joint venture with GE Healthcare.
Microsoft will retain the HealthVault suite of software for health care consumers. But Microsoft's Amalga data aggregation and analytics software, as well as its single-sign-on and context management software acquired several years ago when it bought Sentillion, move to the joint venture.
Amalga enables providers to combine data from disparate information systems across facilities to better understand the needs of specific patient populations, develop appropriate care plans, track progress and report on outcomes. The content management software enables the viewing from patient data from multiple disparate systems on a single screen.

How EHRs can help Berwick’s 5 reasons for waste in healthcare spending

Last week, Don Berwick completed his 17 month tenure as administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. The nation should be grateful that such a visionary was at the helm. The nation should be frustrated that he was never confirmed.
In his parting interview with the press, he noted that 20 percent to 30 percent of health spending is “waste” that yields no benefit to patients.
Berwick listed five reasons for the enormous waste in health spending:
*Patients are overtreated
*There is not enough coordination of care
*US health care is burdened with an excessively complex administrative system
*The enormous burden of rules
Certainly regulatory reform is needed, but electronic health records can go far to addressing each of these issues.

CSC to earn another £2 billion from NHS

8 December 2011   Jon Hoeksma
Computer Sciences Corporation has told US investors that it expects to earn up to £2 billion more from its contract with the Department of Health, for providing electronic patient record software to the NHS.
Despite its dismal record on delivering the Lorenzo electronic patient record software to NHS trusts in the North, Midlands and East - just three out of 97 contracted - CSC has told investors it still expects to make a profit on its NHS deal.
This will come mostly from recurring maintenance of legacy systems it put in as stop-gaps. And CSC doesn’t believe the NHS will terminate its contract.
According to an investigation in the Times, CSC says that it will earn revenues of £1.5 to £2 billion over the remaining term of the contract.

Doctor or patient? Who will drive mHealth?

December 07, 2011 | Eric Wicklund, Contributing Editor
WASHINGTON – Who’s more important to the advancement of mHealth – the physician or the patient?
To Krishnan Ganapathy, of the Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation in India, the answer quite clearly is the physician – and he’s quite sure that all this new technology and all these new services won’t be accepted by people unless it’s all recommended by their physicians first. But to Joseph Kvedar of Partners Healthcare’s Center for Connected Health, the future of mHealth may lie with the patient.
 “I think there is a role for automated coaching and maybe, maybe, the doctor isn’t the center of the universe,” he said.
Ganapathy and Kvedar were two members of a five-person panel at the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. for Tuesday morning’s Super Session, titled “Mobile Health in the Clinical Enterprise.” In an hour-long session taken up almost entirely by each panelist’s opening remarks, the conversation centered primarily on how mHealth initiatives can be advanced, and who should do the advancing.

Can Social Media Become A Boon to Health Care?

Insurance Networking News

Ara Trembly
HDM Breaking News, December 6, 2011
One of the most predictable things about technology fads is that as soon as they attain "fad" status, we try to apply them to every conceivable problem, regardless of how practical or advisable the application.
This thought came to mind when I read a recent posting on ScienceDaily which noted that, "Social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube can be powerful platforms to deliver and receive healthcare information, especially for patients and caregivers who are increasingly going online to connect and share experiences with others with similar medical issues or concerns."
The posting adds, however, that these sites may lack patient-centered information and can also be sources of misleading information that could potentially do more harm than good, according to the results of two separate social media-related studies unveiled recently at the American College of Gastroenterology's 76th Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, D.C.

Kaiser Permanente Wins Four eHealthcare Leadership Awards

Health care provider recognized for commitment to online excellence

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 - 9:44 am
OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 7, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente recently received one of the first eHealthcare Organizational Commitment awards for its use of the Internet and technology to support its  commitment to total health. The health care organization provides easy and convenient online tools and information to help members choose a health plan that meets their individual needs and then manage their health through My Health Manager on
The eHealthcare Leadership Awards received more than 1,200 entries in 2011 and websites were rated on Internet excellence and how they compare to similar websites in their group classification. The awards are sponsored by Strategic Health Care Communications, an organization that supplies marketing, communications and business development information to health care organizations through its two publications, Strategic Health Care Marketing and eHealthcare Strategy & Trends.

Most Providers Unprepared for HIPAA Audit

Dom Nicastro for HealthLeaders Media , December 2, 2011

Most healthcare organizations charged with HIPAA compliance are not fully prepared for a privacy and security audit by federal regulators, a November survey conducted by HCPro, Inc. reveals.
For hospital leaders, already challenged on the technology front to implement ICD-10, electronic medical records systems, and pursue meaningful use certification, that's not great news. The government has already begun conducting audits.
Earlier this year, the Office for Civil Rights, the enforcers of HIPAA privacy and security, engaged a contractor to audit covered entities and business associates at random.  The objective was to assess how many would be HIPAA-compliant by December 31, 2012.
December 5, 2011

Nothing cutting edge about Canadian ehealth strategy, critics say

Critics have argued of late that Canada’s ehealth strategy entirely missed the boat because of an excessive focus on developing massive centralized data systems as opposed to promoting meaningful use of electronic health data by physicians and patients.
The situation may be even more worrying than that, though, as one of architects of Canada’s ehealth strategy says the evolution of technology, itself, has all but completely made that plan obsolete.
New technologies such as tablets and mobile devices long ago outstripped Canada’s ehealth strategy, says Will Falk, who is credited with writing one of Canada Health Infoway’s first business plans. “There are only a couple of homecare mobile projects that have received Infoway funding to date. This in the country that invented the Blackberry?”

Healthcare Cloud Brings Access Control Concerns

N.Y. nurses service finds single sign-on enables its mobile workforce to use its multiple, disparate cloud apps.
By Neil Versel,  InformationWeek
December 05, 2011
The shift to cloud computing has exposed a series of worrisome dichotomies in healthcare, an industry that handles sensitive data and thus has unique privacy requirements.
Consider the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), which supports a largely mobile workforce of more than 14,000 healthcare providers. The cloud allowed the organization to make decisions on technology for business services without having to get the IT department fully involved, according to chief information security officer Larry Whiteside Jr. But that also meant different areas of the enterprise chose different cloud hosts.

Sebelius lauds smartphones at mHealth Summit

December 06, 2011 | Eric Wicklund, Contributing Editor
WASHINGTON – The practice of medicine is undergoing a sea change, thanks to the smartphone.
So said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other speakers, such as Eric Topol, vice chairman of the West Wireless Health Institute, at the mHealth Summit, a three-day conference and exhibition on mobile health technology at the Gaylord Resorts and Conference Center in Washington. The event counts 3,600 registered attendees – up from 2,400 last year.
Both Sebelius and Topol focused on the game-changing aspects of mobile health technology to improve clinical outcomes, promote preventive medicine and reduce wasteful spending and healthcare costs. And they issued a call to arms – or minds – to support innovation in the field of mobile medical devices.

Docs' Top 3 PHR Fears

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , December 6, 2011

Healthcare organizations are working to encourage patients to get engaged in their healthcare data, in part by making Personal Health Records more user-friendly. Part of the adoption problem isn't just a lack of consumer awareness, but the fact that many physicians are wary of records that are created and controlled by patients.
Among their concerns: time, accuracy, and control over data.
Physicians who are reluctant to participate in the PHR system at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center most fear that having a direct connection between themselves and their patients  would take too much time, Daniel Martich, MD, chief medical information officer and vice president for physician services at UPMC, tells HealthLeaders Media.

Govt to opt patient data into trials

6 December 2011  Rebecca Todd
The government wants to change the NHS Constitution so that patient information is automatically included in clinical research.
The move, which will be subject to consultation, is part of a raft of government announcements designed to boost investment in Britain’s life sciences sector and to drive innovation in the NHS.
The headline announcement, that data linking hospital and primary care data could be released to drug and other companies, created a storm of controversy in the national media, with privacy watchdog groups warning that it would herald the “death of privacy”.

NHS open data plans 'death of privacy'

5 December 2011   Rebecca Todd
Privacy groups say a government plan to share anonymised NHS data with commercial companies will herald the “death of patient confidentiality”.
Prime Minister David Cameron is due to give a speech this afternoon unveiling plans to boost the UK’s life sciences sector.
According to wide-spread coverage of his speech, these will involve a new service, developed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, that will link anonymised hospital data with data from primary care.
The government is to spend £60m developing the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. It is not clear whether companies will pay to use it.

Apple’s Secret Plan to Steal Your Doctor’s Heart

Nancy Luo didn’t expect an answer when she e-mailed Steve Jobs one Wednesday evening two summers ago. But less than a day later, an Apple emissary knocked on her door at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
It was Aug. 25, 2010, the last day of a long heatwave in Chicago. Luo — a second-year resident at the hospital’s internal medicine department — had been assigned the tricky task of figuring out whether a pilot program that put iPads in the hands of the hospital’s residents was working out. So she sent a note to the CEO of Apple.
The iPad had hit the market just four months earlier, but the young, tech-savvy residents at the hospital were already using Apple’s tablet to access medical data on the go. Luo thought that with some internal tweaking, she could measure whether the students were actually saving time with the iPad. “I just wanted to see if maybe Apple wanted to help us out,” she remembers.
Jobs didn’t get back to her, but at 5:21 a.m. the next day, she had an answer. Luo didn’t even read the e-mail at first, assuming it was some sort of automatic response. But when she did, she was amazed. The note was from an Apple employee named Afshad Mistri, who offered to swing by the hospital later that afternoon — he just happened to be in Chicago that day. “Your e-mail was forwarded to me for follow up from Steve,” wrote Mistri, Apple’s medical market manager, the company’s go-to guy for the medical industry.

Military Surgeons Association names MC4 top IT team

December 02, 2011 | MC4 Public Affairs
The Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) program was recognized by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) as the 2011 top information technology (IT) team. The AMSUS IT Team Award honors organizations that have made significant contributions in IT, specifically those that improve the effectiveness and cohesiveness of federal health care initiatives. In 2010, MC4 helped field the rapid expansion of technology used to remotely connect Soldiers with mental health physicians in the combat zone.
The Army’s MC4 program trains, fields and supports IT systems that allow deployable medical staff to document and track patient care, digitally manage medical supplies and conduct health surveillance in the combat zone. In addition to fielding new technology, last year MC4 launched new training initiatives to improve electronic medical record-keeping on the battlefield. In return, MC4 users have realized faster set-up times and easier use of the medical records system, while combatant commanders have gained better data integrity and a clearer picture of population health.

KLAS: Wave of PACS replacements will surpass $10M

Written by Evan Godt   
December 2, 2011
PACS replacements, which had slowed overall, are expected to ramp up significantly riding a wave of replacements starting in the largest hospitals and eventually sweeping over smaller facilities. Nearly one in six hospitals and health systems with over 1,000 beds reported they have plans to replace their PACS, according to a recent report from market researcher KLAS.
"These large hospitals and health systems are seeking more innovative technology and deeper strategic partnerships for imaging," said Ben Brown, KLAS medical imaging general manager and the report’s author.

CDC data on EHR adoption overlooks inconvenient facts

December 4, 2011 — 7:13pm ET | By Ken Terry
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services last week boasted that the percentage of doctors who had basic electronic health records doubled between 2008 and 2011. That's certainly a good sign. So is the increase in the percentage of physicians who say they plan to show Meaningful Use. More than half of doctors now say they aim to attest to Meaningful Use, vs. 41 percent in 2010.
But it's way too early to break out the champagne. To start with, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which conducted the physician EHR survey, dropped the category of "fully functional" EHRs that it had used in previous years. It's now looking only at how many doctors have basic systems and how many say they have any "EMR/EHR" system at all. (That's so vague that it's virtually meaningless.) Why the comprehensive EHR category was eliminated is anyone's guess; but it's a good bet that the CDC did it to make the numbers look better.
Monday, December 05, 2011

Putting Health Care Analytics in the Hands of Patients

Despite the health information revolution and health care consumerism that the Web has ignited, many decisions in medicine today are still made without reliable comparative information. The analytics methodology that can address patients' and physicians' needs for comparative information does exist. However, it is not consistently applied and it is not easily accessible at the point of care. Specifically, analytics on comparing hospital quality have primarily focused on experts and have made their way into professional reports that are sold for thousands of dollars to hospital administrators. For the most part, they have not yet been made usable or accessible to patients and their busy physicians.


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