Saturday, August 04, 2012

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 4th August, 2012.


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.
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Hospitals' Adverse Event Reporting Systems Inadequate

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , July 26, 2012

An Office of Inspector General's report last week again poked holes in the credibility of the nation's hospital patient harm reporting system. After analyzing clinical records for Medicare beneficiaries treated by 189 hospitals, the agency determined those hospitals had reported only 1% of adverse events.
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Kaiser: Data Transparency Key to Optimizing Analytics

JUL 26, 2012 9:33am ET
Using data in a transparent manner has enabled Kaiser Permanente to create a culture of high performance, according to Bernadette Loftus, M.D., associate executive director in the Mid-Atlantic States for Permanente Medical Group.
Analyzing performance data and making it available to all physicians--a competitive bunch--lets each physician and their peers know how they are doing in achieving specific quality measures. “People change their ways when they walk down a hallway, see scores on the wall, and someone they know is doing better than them,” Loftus told attendees of Health Data Management’s Healthcare Data Analytics Symposium in Chicago.
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Dashboards Make a Good First Step in Analytics

JUL 26, 2012 9:26am ET
There are perceptions of how well a health care organization is operating and then there is the reality of data presented in a manner that is easy to find and understand. Presentation is the beauty of dashboard technology for executives, according to Andrew Proctor, M.D., senior director of business intelligence in the medical operations division of Cleveland Clinic.
And while the clinic has lots of money, business intelligence is a journey that is doable even for small organizations over time, Proctor said during Health Data Management’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium in Chicago. The clinic started its journey toward better understanding operational indicators in 1993, but it wasn’t until getting dashboards in 2006 that the indicators became really useful.
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AHIMA unveils online tool for health information professionals

By Erin McCann, Associate Editor
Created 07/26/2012
CHICAGO – Officials at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) announced Thursday the unveiling of an interactive Web-based career development tool aimed at assisting students and health information professionals find and track relevant career paths. 
AHIMA officials say the Health Information Management (HIM) Career Map was designed in response to the rising demand for qualified health information management professionals in this rapidly changing field. The first career tool of its kind for the healthcare profession, HIM Career Map was unveiled at the Assembly on Education meeting in Orlando, Fla. 
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Community Health Map: A Geospatial And Multivariate Data Visualization Tool For Public Health Datasets

From the abstract: "Trillions of dollars are spent each year on health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services keeps track of a variety of health care indicators across the country, resulting in a large geospatially multivariate data set. Current visualization tools for such data sets make it difficult to make multivariate comparisons and show the geographic distribution of the selected variables at the same time.
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Health IT VC hits highest level since 2010

By Kate Spies, Contributing Writer
One can practically hear it buzzing: A recent report from global consulting firm Mercom Capital Group shows the healthcare IT sector was a hive of activity in quarter 2 of this fiscal year.
Based on Venture capital (VC) funding levels, deal totals, and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, in fact, the sector is experiencing its highest levels of economic bustle since 2010.
In the quarter months of April, May and June, “Venture capital funding continued to scale new heights,” stated Mercom’s managing partner Raj Prabhu.
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AP News

Cerner falls despite larger 2Q profit, revenue

Posted on July 26, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Cerner Corp. posted solid second-quarter results and raised its full-year net income and revenue estimates Thursday, but shares of the health care technology company slumped in aftermarket trading.
Cerner, which makes medical software systems, said its net income rose 36 percent in the second quarter, and excluding one-time costs, the result surpassed Wall Street expectations. The company also raised its 2012 profit and revenue outlook. But shares of Cerner plunged $7.54, or 9.7 percent, to $70.50 in aftermarket trading as investors appeared unimpressed with revenue growth that was slightly shy of expectations.
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Remote Patient Monitoring Market To Double By 2016

Tight budgets and emergency room overcrowding will contribute to the uptick in remote and wireless patient monitoring systems to track vital signs. By 2016, the U.S. market will top $20 billion, new research says.
The U.S. market for advanced patient monitoring systems has grown from $3.9 billion in 2007 to $8.9 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach $20.9 billion by 2016, according to a study by Kalorama Information. Efforts to reduce costs in healthcare, avoid emergency room overcrowding, and prepare for a growing number of elderly patients in the years to come are a few of the drivers for the adoption of these systems.
In Kalorama Information's recently published report, "Remote and Wireless Patient Monitoring Markets", researchers predict the U.S. healthcare system faces "a looming healthcare crisis of unseen proportions," and there will be fewer healthcare personnel and funds to address the industry's growing needs. AdTech Ad
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Nurses, PAs use health IT more than physicians

July 26, 2012 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Ancillary providers, such as nurses and physician assistants, not only use EHRs and other digital technology significantly in their work, but they do so more than physicians, according to a new study by Manhattan Research.
The annual study of 1,019 advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses and physician assistants found that they relied on EHRs, smartphones and other technology extensively in performing their duties.
The study found, among other things, that the ancillary providers spent more time online for professional purposes than do physicians, logging in 14-16 hours a week versus 11 for physicians.
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Six Southern procurement groups formed

26 July 2012  
Six collaborations involving 21 Southern acute trusts have been formed to invest in a variety of new IT systems including e-prescribing, clinical portals and clinical documentation.
The trusts, which got nothing from the National Programme for IT in the NHS, are hoping to secure central funding for the systems.
Four of the six want e-prescribing, four want clinical documentation and three are after a clinical portal.
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Survey: Providers Prioritize Health IT Consumer Engagement, But Lack Clear Definition

Written by Kathleen Roney | July 25, 2012
While consumer engagement in health information technology is high on the list of priorities for providers, many lack clarity in their definition and approach, according to the "Consumer Engagement with Health Information Technology Survey" conducted by the National eHealth Collaborative.
The survey was designed to build an understanding of consumer engagement strategies currently underway and planned for the future. It was distributed to 450 members of NeHC's Health Information Exchange Learning Network. The survey asked how organizations define consumer engagement, how they use health IT to engage consumers and what challenges they have encountered.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Health IT Integration Key To Reducing Medication Errors

Medication errors have been a problem for decades, but national concern has escalated since the Institute of Medicine in 1999 estimated that they kill at least 7,000 Americans annually, with preventable medication errors adding about $2 billion in additional costs each year to hospitals across the nation.
Medication errors not only cost us precious lives, they drain budgets and detract from investments that could otherwise be used to treat patients and enhance the quality of care. According to a follow-up study by IOM in 2006, each preventable medication error adds at least $8,750 to the cost of a hospital stay. Overall, medication errors cost insurers and health care providers in the nation up to $77 billion each year.
The continued proliferation of medication errors is an endemic problem. Despite the ongoing evolution of health care technology and the federal push to institutionalize health IT through the meaningful use program, the costs of medication errors continue to permeate health care.
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Direct Project Guidance Issued

Recommendations for Implementing Secure Messaging

By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, July 23, 2012
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has issued new guidance to health information exchanges and others for how to implement Direct Project secure messaging in a standard way.
The guidance addresses what ONC portrays as inconsistencies in the use of the Direct Project protocol for secure peer-to-peer clinical data exchange.
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ICD-10 Deadline Uncertainty Breeds Healthcare Procrastination

American Hospital Association says if the government issues a final rule and deadline on the new diagnostic code set, reticent healthcare groups will work hard to meet it.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) would like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to, as quickly as possible, issue a final rule that includes a firm deadline for ICD-10 implementation so that providers will have enough time to be ready by that date, AHA officials told InformationWeek Healthcare. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes CMS, proposed in April that the deadline for shifting to the new diagnostic code set be postponed for one year, from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014.
Because of the uncertainty about the deadline, hospitals' focus on ICD-10 is starting to waver, said Chantal Worzala, director of policy for AHA. "We are in an environment where the demands on providers are really great," she said. "So there is a natural tendency to prioritize among all the things you have in front of you. We asked CMS to finalize its rule as quickly as possible so we can go back to a state of certainty about the date." AdTech Ad
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iRobot’s in-hospital robots to link doctors, patients

The Boston Globe
July 24, 2012|Dan Adams
Military and consumer robot manufacturer iRobot Corp. in Bedford will unveil a new product Tuesday intended for the health care industry as it diversifies its product line in preparation for looming defense cuts.
The 5-foot-4-inch, 140-pound “telemedicine” robot will be produced in partnership with InTouch Health of Santa Barbara, Calif., a maker of in-hospital robots, and is designed to help patients with health emergencies get more rapid treatment from specialists — especially at night, when hospital staff levels are lower, the company said.
“Telemedicine is about getting the right expertise to the right place at the right time,” said InTouch chief executive Yulun Wang. “If a patient has a stroke and comes into the emergency room, you better get a stroke neurologist there quickly. Otherwise, through sheer delay, it can be a matter of life or death.”
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5 keys to HIEs and the changing market

By Michelle McNickle, New Media Producer
Created 07/24/2012
A recent study by ICD MarketScape evaluated 16 vendors and concluded the HIE landscape is shifting from "connecting the ecosystem with exchange data and meaningful incentives," to transforming data into "actionable information."
"HIEs hold a unique position in the evolving HIT ecosystem to support the shift to actionable data," said John Stanley, principal with Impact Advisors. "[The] integration of independent but cooperative organizations and information systems place [HIEs] in the position to be mutual gateways for data management and workflow integration among participating organizations."


Stanely outlined five keys to HIEs in this changing market.
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5 things to know about CCD

By Michelle McNickle, New Media Producer
Created 07/23/2012
It's common knowledge that the Continuity of Care Document (CCD) specification is a healthcare standard EHRs will use to exchange data, based on requirements outlined in meaningful use. But Rob Brull, product manager at Corepoint Health, says there's more to know about the spec, and how it will impact organizations' MU efforts in the months ahead.
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EHRs call for tech etiquette in the exam room

July 24, 2012 | By Susan D. Hall
Just as a teenager zoned out on texting instead of listening can drive parents crazy, doctors who ignore tech etiquette in the exam room do so at their peril, according to an article at amednews.com. And no, it's not OK to respond to texts during a patient visit. 
The way a physician handles the disruption caused by consulting an EHR "can absolutely make or break the relationship between doctor and patient," said Larry Garber, MD, an internist and medical director of informatics at the Reliant Medical Group in Worcester, Mass.
Suffice it to say that the doctor's focus should be on the patient, not a PC or tablet. 
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  • July 20, 2012, 5:18 PM ET

Philips Recalls Flawed Patient Data System

Philips Healthcare recalled a defective patient data exchange system after finding it could transmit incomplete reports on heart tests, which the company said could lead to “misdiagnosis” and “incorrect treatment decisions.”
The company issued the recall of 226 customer systems in June, three months after a healthcare facility reported to the Federal Drug Administration that the Xcelera Connect product was sending incomplete cardiology reports into patient records. No patient was known to have been harmed by the issue, a Philips spokesman said.
The recalled system, which transmits ultrasound cardiology lab reports into patient electronic medical records, was in use at around 200 healthcare facilities in over a dozen countries, including the United States. “When we identified the problem we took action and fixed it,” said Bryan Schnepf, a senior marketing manager at Philips. Philips Healthcare is a unit of Philips, in Amsterdam.
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ACC-based software boosts appropriateness of heart scans

American College of Radiology guidelines aren't the only ones being used to develop software to rein in inappropriate utilization. A new decision-support tool based on American College of Cardiology (ACC) appropriateness criteria demonstrated its value in reducing unnecessary cardiac imaging exams in a recently completed pilot project.
The investigational multimodality tool increased physicians' use of the right tests over time, concluded a new study from Weill Cornell Medical College and several other U.S. institutions.
The prospective trial involved 100 doctors and almost 500 patients scanned over eight months. Use of the software tool to gauge appropriateness increased the proportion of appropriate tests from less than half in the first two months of the study to more than 60% in the last two months, while inappropriate studies dropped from 22% to 6%.
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EPS R2 benefits NHS but not GPs - report

23 July 2012   Rebecca Todd
The Department of Health has restarted the process for primary care trusts to be able to deploy the Electronic Prescription Service Release 2.
However, a new report evaluating the impact of EPS R2 says there are few strong incentives for general practices to adopt it, so it is unlikely to have a swift and smooth national uptake.
PCTs need to have ministerial authorisation before prescribers can use EPS R2, but the authorisation process was suspended last March because of slow progress from system suppliers.
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A Call for Intuitive EMRs

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , July 24, 2012

I've previously remarked that software can't do it all—resolve all antiquated workflows or figure out stumbling blocks in people and politics. Unfortunately, that's just what EMR software is about to be asked to do.
Software is a funny thing. Done well, it anticipates the needs of human beings, or other software, and responds in flexible, flowing harmony.
Done poorly, software epitomizes everything wrong with modern society: impersonal, inflexible, regimented, mundane, boring, even maddening.
Where does your electronic medical record software wind up on that spectrum? Chances are, it doesn't look so good in comparison to your searching experience on Google or your shopping experience on Amazon.
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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute seeks input on draft methodology report

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor
Created 07/23/2012
WASHINGTON – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced Monday the start of a public comment period for its landmark draft Methodology Report, which proposes standards for the conduct of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).
Feedback received during the 54-day comment period, which ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, September 14, will be analyzed for potential incorporation into a revised version of the report that is to be considered for adoption by the PCORI Board of Governors at its November 2012 public meeting in Boston.
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80% of docs say technology improves provider-patient communication

July 23, 2012 | By Susan D. Hall
Eighty percent of physicians in a MedPage Today survey say technology has improved communication with their patients. That's significant, after a white paper from the American Hospital Association's Physician Leadership Forum recently named communication one of the biggest gaps in physician competency.
More than two-thirds of the 214 physicians surveyed spend three or more hours on a computer each day, and one in four spends more than three hours on a mobile device. Their number one reason to use both computers and mobile devices was to look up medical news, according to the survey, "Today's Physician: Managing Change."
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Monday, July 23, 2012

'Age Is Just a Number' -- Does It Hold True for EHR Adoption?

Older physicians are less likely to use an electronic health record system than their younger counterparts. A recent Health Affairs study found that in 2011 30.8% of physicians older than age 55 were using a basic EHR system, compared with 40% of doctors younger than age 40 and 35.5% of doctors ages 40 to 55.
There are several reasons for the lower EHR adoption rates among older physicians. Some older physicians might not be as technologically savvy as younger doctors and thus are reluctant to transition to an electronic-based workflow. In addition, older physicians are more likely to work in solo or small practices, which face greater financial barriers to EHR adoption. Further, some older physicians say they'll be ready for retirement by the time they start to see any return on investment from EHR adoption.
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Enjoy!
David.

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