Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Monday, September 01, 2008

Additional News Bits of Note for the Week.


IT Expert: Top Pharma Firms Use EDC for Clinical Trials

The world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies are completing their transition from paper case report forms to electronic data capture (EDC) systems for clinical trials, according to an industry leader.

EDC is still a growth industry, but the growth is likely to slow in the next three to five years, Nick Giannasi, senior director of Oracle’s Health Sciences Global Business Unit, said.

“One of our clients, a top five pharma with headquarters in Europe, now does 20 percent of its trials on paper and wants to move to all EDC trials within three years,” he said.

“A lot of studies are still run on paper, so I think the EDC market will continue to grow for a number of years and then plateau,” he continued. “Although it will vary slightly in different regions of the world, we expect growth to slow down in the next three to four years and plateau in three to five years.”

More here:


Hopefully these innovations will reduce the cost of clinical trials and maybe ultimately the medicines these trials evaluate.


Paper on life support?

Tennessee ready to launch nation's first e-Health highway

Nashville Business Journal - by Linda Bryant Nashville Business Journal

Tennessee is on the verge of becoming the first state in the U.S. to get an electronic health records information exchange up and running.

The state has been working on regional pockets of the ambitious "eHealth Initiative" over the past three years, spending more than $50 million in state and public funds.

The puzzle pieces of the complex network should start to come together as a whole in early September.

That's when 550 providers across the state will go live with a dedicated, private "highway" that will allow them to share secured patient records and information through a network extending into all 95 counties.

Hundreds of participants will follow by the end of the year, since the state plans to link over 2,000 medical practices, clinics and rural providers to the network by then.

Advocates are high on the AT & T designed system, comparing it to a private, secure Internet for health care in the state.

"This is the trend of the future," says Melissa Hargiss, acting director of the state's eHealth Initiative. 'It's laying the groundwork for bigger changes."

More here:


This is quite an important state-wide initiative that will be well worth following.


The Doctor Goes Digital

Health care industry moves to electronic patient record-keeping

ROB CARSON; rob.carson@thenewstribune.com

Published: August 24th, 2008 06:56 AM | Updated: August 24th, 2008 07:03 AM

It’s a ritual that’s as much a part of seeing a doctor as sticking out your tongue and saying “Ahhhh.” A medical assistant searches along a wall of shelves crammed with manilla folders. She comes back with a dog-eared file stuffed with hand-scrawled paper dating back to your first measles shot – your medical “chart.”

In the age of warp-speed computers, this old-fashioned method of record-keeping seems like a quaint remnant – almost unbelievable in a field so propelled by technology as medicine.

But the fact is, the health services industry has lagged at least a decade behind other economic sectors in making the shift to the digital age. In Washington state, as elsewhere, the shift to electronic medical record-keeping has been a slow, painful struggle.

“The health care industry is one of the few that doesn’t rely on computers,” said Richard Onizuka, policy director of the Washington State Health Care Authority and head cheerleader for the effort to establish a unified and efficient system of digitizing health care in this state.

Long article here on why all this is needed and is slowly happening:



Internet innovators top 100 Most Powerful list

By: Jennifer Lubell / HITS staff writer

Story posted: August 25, 2008 - 5:59 am EDT

It was clearly the Internet that drove this year’s voting for the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.

Via hundreds of thousands of mouse clicks from their laptops and PCs, Modern Healthcare readers filled the top three spots in this year’s online poll with some of the biggest names in information technology—besting presidential contenders and the man they’re hoping to replace, other prominent lawmakers, bureaucrats and big-name healthcare players in all sectors of the industry.

Steve Case, co-founder of America Online and founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Revolution Health Group, and Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, had never even made the list in prior years. Yet in 2008, they placed first and second respectively, an indicator, perhaps, that most people in healthcare no longer see IT as just a product of wishful thinking but a real and viable solution that will help ensure the long-term success of the healthcare industry.

Meanwhile, at the No. 3 spot is Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp. and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, someone who’s no stranger to the 100 Most Powerful rankings. Last year, he was No. 7 and in 2006, he claimed the top spot.

More here (registration required):


There is a .pdf of the full list available for download from the site.


Six Lessons from Beyond

Maureen Larkin, for HealthLeaders Media, August 21, 2008

There's no better place to talk quality and innovation than the hallowed halls of Harvard University. I've spent the last three days on the Cambridge, MA, campus attending the annual Quality Colloquium, and Tuesday I listened to a session about what hospitals can learn about quality and safety from other industries.

This panel had four speakers, and all but one had experience in aviation, an industry which, like healthcare, was once plagued by safety issues and distrust from the public. The panelists shared how the industry went from one with dismal safety statistics in the 1950s—almost three quarters of its accidents were caused by human error—to one that has made safety its No. 1 priority. I'll share six key takeaways from the afternoon's discussion.


The ideas here are very sound indeed. Well worth a browse!


India's Poor Get Health Care in a Card

Credit Plan Gives Nation's Neediest the Funding for
Medical Treatment -- and Tool for Charging It

August 26, 2008; Page A10

Jagadhri, India

Virender Kumar's leg was crushed when a truck hit the motorbike he was riding, and he was brought to a private hospital. The ward at Gaba Hospital is damp and cramped. Ceiling fans whir in the sweltering heat.

But things aren't as bad as they could have been for the 36-year-old shoe salesman. Because of a new Indian government initiative, Mr. Kumar carries a smart card that entitles him to 30,000 rupees, about $700, of hospital care. That can go a long way at the treatment prices set by the program. A day in intensive care, for instance, costs as much as $23.

"For poor people, it's great," says Mr. Kumar.

To qualify for the National Health Insurance Program, families must meet certain criteria and generally earn less than about $100 a year.

The smart card, which contains personal data and fingerprints for an entire family, costs participants less than $1 -- what could be a day's pay for a casual laborer. The fee is intended to make sure beneficiaries value the program and take time to understand it, and it creates an obligation on the part of the government to deliver. The card is good at any hospital, private or public, that has enrolled.

Much more here (subscription required)


What a vast project – all one can do is wish them luck!


CDC: Pandemic Stories Raise Awareness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an “Internet storybook” containing narratives from survivors, families and friends of those affected by the 1918 and 1957 influenza pandemics.

Reading the stories “is a must” for anyone involved in public health preparedness, said CDC Director Julie Gerberding, M.D, in a statement announcing the storybook. “Complacency is enemy number one when it comes to preparing for another influenza pandemic.”


The storybook is available at pandemicflu.gov/storybook/index.html.


A great scary story to finish!


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