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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Health IT Benefits Rubbish – Why Should We Ignore These Announcements.

The following few bits of silliness appeared last week

First we have the following :

Insufficient evidence of value of IT in healthcare, says ACE

By Avantikumar , MIS Asia , 02/26/2009

There is insufficient evidence of the value of IT in the healthcare industry, according to a new global alliance, ACE, launched at HIMSS AsiaPac09, held on 24-27 February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

ACE is a non-profit international group called Alliance for Clinical Excellence, formed to help healthcare organisations.

Speaking at HIMSS AsiaPac09, a regional healthcare IT conference, Oracle's Asia Pacific and Japan vice president, healthcare and life sciences, Dr Mehdi Khaled said there was a need to address the crucial problem of assessing the cost-and-benefit equation of IT in healthcare.

"In the airline and aviation industry, the number of accidents has been dramatically decreased," said Dr Khaled. "This has been due to that industry's ability to address issues, and agree to standards with metrics to prove the value of their standards and the value of the adopted technology.

"In addition, the car industry's use of crash desks to design safer vehicles should encourage a similar initiative in the healthcare industry. When it comes to the IT area: electronic health records (EHR) and clinical applications."

This is a multi-lateral global issue and concerns all stakeholders in the industry. Dr Khaled added: "IT should be treated like a drug clinical trial from lab through to market. Environment may be a factor and the IT environments and its values in different territories may be different.

"The Alliance for Clinical Excellence is an open, global collaboration focused on creating evaluation metrics of the cost and benefit (net value) of IT in healthcare with the aim to improve disease outcomes while reducing cost burdens. It aims to deliver evidence-based metrics, analysis and tools on a wide range of healthcare IT domains, in order to provide transparent and actionable recommendations to healthcare industry stakeholders."

More here:

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/022609-insufficient-evidence-of-value-of.html

Second we have:

Study says public needs to know more about health IT benefits

By Gautham Nagesh

Story updated on Feb. 23, 2009

The federal government must educate citizens about the benefits of electronic medical records to justify the trade-off between patient privacy and health care improvements, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Academy of Public Administration.

The report, "A National Dialogue on Health Information Technology and Privacy," is the result of an online discussion the academy led last fall on how to use IT to improve care and protect patient information.

The weeklong discussion attracted more than 2,800 visitors and hundreds of ideas and comments from health care IT officials and stakeholders, including Vivek Kundra, who is being considered for the position of e-government administrator at the Office of Management and Budget. OMB, the General Services Administration and the Federal Chief Information Officers Council asked the National Academy of Public Administration to moderate the debate.

The report said consumers are likely to endorse uses of health information technology if it would improve their personal care, but are reluctant to support using their data for research or broad health care initiatives.

"People seemed to understand in a very personal way the risks to privacy associated with things like electronic health records," said Lena Trudeau, program area director at NAPA. "They don't seem to connect in the same way how the use of health care IT can result in better personal outcomes."

Participants understood in abstract terms how electronic health records could improve health care as a whole, but did not grasp the personal benefits in the same way they did the privacy risks, according to Trudeau.

More here:

http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090219_4990.php

Third we have this press release:

Orion Health Joins Major Industry Leaders

Friday, 27 February 2009, 10:02 am

Press Release: Orion Health

Orion Health Joins Major Industry Leaders in Alliance for Clinical Excellence (ACE)

AUCKLAND - February 27, 2009 - Orion Health today announced its participation in a new global industry alliance to determine the cost-benefit equation of IT in healthcare.

The Alliance for Clinical Excellence (ACE), launched at the regional HIMSS Healthcare IT Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, is a significant global initiative with several other major industry leaders aimed at helping healthcare organisations improve disease outcomes while reducing cost burdens.

ACE participants at the launch included Orion Health, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, Hong Kong Society of Medical Informatics, iSoft, MOH Holdings (Singapore), National University of Singapore (School of Computing), Oracle Corporation and CHIK Services.

ACE will address the healthcare industry's growing global demand for predictive, evidenced-based metrics to determine the cost-benefit equation that helps evaluate the deployment of IT systems.

Orion Health says the alliance will be of great strategic benefit to healthcare organisations globally. Believed to be the first industry-focused alliance of global significance Orion Health's CEO, Ian McCrae, says the company's participation will provide practical and long term benefits to its customers.

"Every day, Orion Health sees examples where our products have helped to deliver better patient care, improved operational efficiencies and increased patient satisfaction. This is anecdotal evidence to support that fact higher quality care can be delivered at less cost to the organisation. This new global initiative will go a long way towards quantifying this cost-benefit equation" said McCrae.

The immediate priorities for the ACE participants will be to work on defining best practice approach and methodologies to address these challenges in a global setting.

About the Alliance for Clinical Excellence (ACE)

The Alliance for Clinical Excellence is an open, global collaboration initiative focused on creating evaluation metrics of the cost and benefit (net value) of IT in healthcare with the aim to improve disease outcomes while reducing cost burdens. It aims to deliver evidence-based metrics, analysis and tools on a wide range of healthcare IT domains, in order to provide transparent and actionable recommendations to healthcare industry stakeholders.

About Orion Health

Orion Health's easy-to-use solutions and applications improve patient care and clinical decision-making by providing integrated health data in a single, unified view. By enhancing existing healthcare information systems, Orion Health's Rhapsody integration engine, Concerto physician portal, and workflow solutions provide healthcare workers with easy access to patient data and trends, and reduce errors and omissions by streamlining information transfer.

Worldwide, Orion Health is implementing health information communities involving over 35 million patients with tens of thousands of active users. Orion Health's partners include leading health system integrators and IT vendors such as Accenture, IBM, Oracle Corporation and others. Orion Health has more than 1,000 clients around the world, including the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Auckland District Health Board, HealthAlliance, New South Wales Health, UCLA(USA), Capital Health(Canada) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

-ends-

The release is found here:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE0902/S00109.htm

This is all very odd as far as I am concerned. George Bush, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as well as virtually every other leader of a G7 country are convinced of the business case for Health IT and are investing lots.

There is a compelling evidence base at both the institutional and organisational level about the improvements in quality and safety that flow from sensible use of Health IT.

See these two links for all the details:

http://healthit.ahrq.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=653&parentname=CommunityPage&parentid=4&mode=2&in_hi_userid=3882&cached=true

and here:

http://healthit.ahrq.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=653&&PageID=12790&mode=2&in_hi_userid=3882&cached=true

For a UK perspective this page is a good one:

http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/about/case/healthcare

Third this paragraph takes the term ‘managerial gobbledygook’ to a whole new level.

“About the Alliance for Clinical Excellence (ACE)

The Alliance for Clinical Excellence is an open, global collaboration initiative focused on creating evaluation metrics of the cost and benefit (net value) of IT in healthcare with the aim to improve disease outcomes while reducing cost burdens. It aims to deliver evidence-based metrics, analysis and tools on a wide range of healthcare IT domains, in order to provide transparent and actionable recommendations to healthcare industry stakeholders.”

If it talked about enabling health system reform, saving lives and may be empowering patients through access to information they might have a cause. Anyone know what an “evidence based metric” is? And what is a non-evidence based metric I wonder? These are the sort of people who talk of evolution as a ”theory” and deny anthropogenic global warming because they know no better!

Sometimes there are ‘none so blind as those that choose not to see’! Anyone with a brain knows Health IT is transformational (if done properly) rather than something imposed on a static system – so, in fact, the premise for the existence of the Alliance (ACE) is actually flawed before it starts! 1980's style attempts to measure cost benefits ratios have been than and are doomed now to failure because both the costs and the benefits change as any implementation proceeds. Those proposing this sort of approach maybe should look at the more modern (by only 25 years) dynamic approaches to understanding the value Health IT can bring. This is frankly a commercial and amateur beat-up in my view!

David.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having spent a couple of years in Singapore with frequent visits to KL,Bangkok, Jakarta the last sentence of your post sums it all up.

Anonymous said...

Looks like another group trying to bignote itself for potential commercial gain. It's foundation members don't impress me much: Oracleand IBM joins anything that comes along, and the 1980s view of the world ACE has would appeal to a backward-looking company like iSoft, but I am surprised Orion Health has signed on. I always saw them as looking to the future, rather than the past.

Anonymous said...

This must be the same Orion Health whose claims its subsidiary HealthLink operates Australasia’s largest health information network, connecting over 4000 health organisations.

http://www.nzte.govt.nz/section/14606/16248.aspx

Anonymous said...

Looking at the Orion health web site one reads that Orion health is the company that "also believes Orion Health’s Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude is a key success factor for the business.

“This translates globally into an attitude of creative problem-solving and the willingness to do what it takes to get the job done for customers. Our customers are aware we are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. We have a very high level of responsiveness and that dovetails into our product development. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our products.”

Orion Health is aiming to become a $1 billion company by 2010 and to be seen as a global leader in healthcare and technology. With its innovative approach and can-do attitude, the company is now poised to take a leadership role in the North American and European markets.

Watch out iSoft and Cerner - Orion health is on your tail.