Quote Of The Year

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News Extras For the Week (10/12/2008).

Again there has been just a heap of stuff arrive this week.

First we have:

EHRs may reduce physicians paid malpractice settlements

By Molly Merrill, Associate Editor 11/26/08

A new study finds that the use of electronic health records may reduce paid malpractice settlements for physicians.

The study, which appeared in the November 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, shows a trend toward lower paid malpractice claims for physicians who are active users of EHR technology.

There is broad consensus that electronic health records are an essential foundation for the delivery of high quality care. As electronic health record adoption proceeds as a national health policy objective, some have wondered whether EHRs can help to prevent medical malpractice claims," said Harvard University Assistant Professor Steven Simon, senior author of the paper.

The study examined survey responses from 1,140 practicing physicians in Massachusetts during 2005, focusing on demographic characteristics and the length and extent of EHR use. The investigators compared the presence or absence of malpractice claims among physicians with and without EHRs, including only claims that had been settled and paid.

The study found that 6.1 percent of physicians with EHRs and 10.8 percent of physicians without them had paid malpractice settlements in the preceding 10 years. The investigators, after controlling for potential confounding variables, found a trend favoring EHR use, although the results weren't statistically significant.

More here:


Yet another reason to go electronic it seems!

Second we have:


Saudi readies largest e-health system

Riyadh: Sun, 30 Nov 2008

The largest electronic health system in Saudi Arabia has gone fully operational following a series of successful tests, said the Arabian Company for Trade and Industrial System (Alcantara).

Alcantara is an exclusive agent for Nexus AG of Germany and the Swedish enterprise resource planning applications company IFS.

The Nexus system is applied in a number of other hospitals in Saudi Arabia and more than 600 hospitals in Europe, US and other parts of the world.

Automatically accessible to all Armed Forces hospitals, the system serves to eliminate duplication of patient records, besides streamlining procedures and allowing for speedy and efficient administration, said a top Alcantara official.

“The project is considered as the largest electronic health system ever in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It aims to overcome the phenomenon of duplication and scattering of Armed Forces members’ medical files in their various locations.”

So far, the first phase of the unified information system has been successfully completed.

It covers data on patients’ admissions, discharge and transfer systems, management of outpatient clinics, and patients’ registration, pharmaceutical and laboratories systems.

Systems users – administrators, doctors and laboratory technicians, pharmacies – can now access all information on patients in a unified electronic file that can be accessed easily and automatically.

Much more here:

Sounds like EHRs are even starting to penetrate the Arab world – a good thing indeed! Bit of a pity it had to be a military deployment!

Third we have:

Consent to view to get first test

01 Dec 2008

Five GP practices in South West Essex are to become the first GPs in the country to implement the new ‘consent to view’ model for the Summary Care Record from this week.

The practices will also implement consent to view for access to patients’ Detailed Care Records using TPP’s SystmOne.

Just under 15,000 patients from the five practices will receive information today (1 December) explaining how the SCR works and the implications for them as part of the 16 week consultation period.

After the consultation records will be uploaded by implied consent if patients have not chosen to opt-out, but the SCR will only be available to view if the patients give consent at the time of each clinical encounter. The new ‘consent to view’ model was agreed by Connecting for Health in September.

South West Essex has also opted to implement ‘consent to view’ for its detailed care records,as revealed by EHI Primary Care in September.

More here:

Heavens sorting out the privacy model has been a challenge for the NHS. Don’t imagine it would be any easier if we were to go to a large scale IEHR implementation without some major and difficult work needing to be done.

Fourth we have:

Former UCLA hospital worker admits selling records

By: Associated Press

Posted: December 2, 2008 - 5:59 am EDT

A former employee of 595-bed Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center pleaded guilty to selling information from the medical records of celebrities and high-profile patients, including Britney Spears and Farrah Fawcett, to the National Enquirer.

Lawanda Jackson, 49, spoke quietly as she entered her plea to the felony charge of violating federal medical privacy law for commercial purposes in U.S. District Court.

More here


A sobering and salutatory tale for all I would suggest.

Fifth we have:

Radiology reporting takes on a sharing approach

By Bernie Monegain, Editor


Two standards groups are making progress toward interoperability in radiology.

Health Level Seven and The Health Story Project announced on Tuesday a new development in the standardization of information flow between radiologists and electronic health record systems.

The organizations made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

The Health Story Project was previously known as the CDA for Common Document Types project, or CDA4CDT.

Executives of M*Modal, one of the founders of Health Story, said the new implementation guide for diagnostic imaging reports would create a standard channel for sharing the clinical detail in narrative radiology reports. This, they said, would make it possible for radiologists to make the information readily accessible to computerized clinical information systems.

The new implementation guide for diagnostic imaging reports will help radiologists capture and share the whole report or patient story in an industry-accepted, human- and machine-readable format that includes both narrative and structured data, according to HL7. As a result, high-quality diagnostic decision-making reports will be more easily available to both referring clinicians and clinical systems.

More here:


This is important stuff indeed. We all need to follow where this goes!

Last for this week we have:

Few consult online health care ratings, studies say

9:28 PM PST on Sunday, November 30, 2008


The Press-Enterprise

When it comes to finding the best health care providers, people still rely more on opinions of friends and family than Internet research.

More and more sites that rate health care services are cropping up on the Web, but national and state studies show that fewer people consult such quality ratings for decisions on insurance plans, hospitals or doctors.

Still, hospitals believe the online ratings are important, because good ratings bring better insurance contracts and doctors and more patients and money.

"It's certainly a marketing tool we can use when we get recognized by an independent health care ratings company," said Tobey Robertson, spokeswoman at Community Hospital of San Bernardino. In June, HealthGrades, a publicly traded health care ratings organization, recognized Community Hospital for five-star clinical excellence in maternity care, one of the facility's core services.

"But we encourage everyone to talk to other people who have used the hospital," Robertson said.

HealthGrades and other ratings organizations typically analyze data that health care providers are required to submit to regulatory agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to formulate rankings.

More here:


This is a very interesting outcome indeed. I am interested in knowing what readers think of this result.


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