Quote Of The Year

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


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links 01-12-2009

Here are a few I have come across this week.


Forging ahead with electronic health records

November 26, 2009

Tom Closson

The digital exchange of health information (often called electronic health records or EHRs) is essential to transforming Canada's health-care system. Unfortunately, it appears that governments may be quietly re-examining their commitment to creating EHRs as they look for ways to reduce public spending in the wake of large, recession-fuelled deficits. Our advice is that we must continue to move forward.

Jurisdictions that have created EHRs know that the benefits are not hypothetical. Better information exchange between providers is reducing medication errors, improving patient referrals and follow-ups, and empowering patients to be more involved in their own care. These are areas where Ontario woefully underperforms today. With the help of EHRs, we can improve Ontario's health system performance.



Procurements for South complete by April

25 Nov 2009

The Department of Health’s chief information officer, Christine Connelly, has said she wants the formal procurement process for systems in the South to begin in January and to be complete by the beginning of April 2010.

According to multiple sources, Connelly announced the timescales in a speech at the Additional Supply Capability and Capacity (ASCC) market awareness event held by the DH in Westminster yesterday.



Bury formally accepts Lorenzo R1.9

27 Nov 2009

NHS Bury has accepted iSoft’s electronic patient record system, three weeks after becoming the first NHS organisation to go-live with Lorenzo Regional Care Release 1.9.

Last week, E-Health Insider revealed that NHS Bury had set its own ‘local criteria’ to determine whether the implementation had been a success.



Position Paper: security risks, online banking and eID cards

ENISA launches new Position Paper on security risks in online banking through European eID cards

The EU’s ‘cyber security’ Agency, ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) today presents its new Position Paper. The paper is focusing on authentication risks with European eID Cards. It analyses 7 vulnerabilities, identifies 15 threats and gives security recommendations.



Nilekani likely to create database for e-health card

fe Bureaus

Posted: Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 0000 hrs IST

Updated: Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 0000 hrs IST

New Delhi: The health ministry has sought the Unique Identification Number Authority of India project head Nandan Nilekani’s assistance in creating a database of children from humble background who could be allotted electronic health cards. The cards would be handed over to parents and guardians of the children who would form part of the database. This would enable them access to free medical treatment in all the state-owned hospitals including primary healthcare centres. The decision was formalised on Wednesday at a meeting between Nilekani and minister of state for health and family welfare Dinesh Trivedi.



Microsoft and Stakeholders Look at eHealth, Standards and Interoperability

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Interoperability and eHealth might at first glance appear as very different concepts - but the actual relationship between the two is extremely important. Microsoft recently hosted a session on interoperability and standards in eHealth as part of its overall interoperability series.



QMH goes it alone with iSoft

26 Nov 2009

ISoft has signed a £1m deal with NHS Wandsworth to provide the latest version of its CliniCom Patient Administration System to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton.

The contract will see Queen Mary’s Hospital split from its joint iSoft PAS, which is currently hosted by Kingston Hospitals NHS Trust, after Kingston goes-live with Cerner Millennium as part of its commitment to the National Programme for IT in the NHS.



States, Consumer Advocates Challenge Rx Data Mining

Andrew Zajac


November 24, 2009

Washington Bureau

When your doctors writes you a prescription, that's just between you, your doctor, and maybe your health insurance company--right?

Wrong. As things stand now, the pharmaceutical companies that make those prescription drugs are also looking over the doctor's shoulder, keeping track of how many prescriptions for whose drugs the individual physician is writing.



November 24, 2009

Public Database Is Urged to Monitor Drug Safety


What could be done to prevent another Vioxx? This pain medication for arthritis became a blockbuster after its introduction in 1999, only to be taken off the market in 2004 when a study linked the drug to an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.

A new study published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine offers an ambitious proposal to determine a drug’s risks sooner than they might otherwise become evident. The authors propose a system to examine widely prescribed drugs through safety analyses that would pool data as they emerge from various clinical trials of a medication and aggregate the information for a fuller picture of a drug’s harms and benefits.



VA, Kaiser plan to link electronic medical records

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 1:11 a.m.

— A pilot program linking two of the largest electronic medical record systems in the country will be launched in San Diego County in mid-December by Kaiser Permanente and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.



November 24, 2009

Digitizing the health of a nation


Special to The Globe and Mail

Electronic health records will improve the quality and accessibility of health care while reducing wait times and saving taxpayers money

Getting Canada on track to make electronic health and medical records more efficient has had its ups and downs, but to date, there are nearly 300 projects under way, which have already helped save money, speed up some processes and improve care.



Discharge summary target 'to be missed'

24 Nov 2009

The vast majority of NHS hospitals look set to miss the government’s target for delivering discharge summaries to GP practices within 24 hours from next April.

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, predicts that less than 50% of hospitals will hit the target. Other industry observers have suggested that as few as 20% could be delivering discharge summaries within 24 hours by 1 April 2010, despite a contractual obligation to do so.



Health IT panel to heed calls for simpler EHR standards

By Mary Mosquera
Thursday, November 19, 2009

A panel advising the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) said it will heed the overwhelming consensus it has received in recent public comments to develop the simplest possible certification standards for accelerating health IT adoption.

The Health IT Standards Committee’s implementation workgroup reported today that it distilled the testimony of industry organizations within and outside healthcare, as well as contributors to its public blog. The participants provided details of their experiences with adopting standards.



24 November 2009

eHealth Worldwide

:: UK - Mobile mHealth Center Launched (Healthcare IT News - 11 November 2009)

An m-Health Innovation Centre is being established in Manchester, England, to act as a focus point for mobile health in the United Kingdom. The University of Manchester is partnering on the initiative with the GSM Association, an group of mobile operators and related companies, to foster innovative mobile applications and services that promote healthier lifestyles and early intervention.

Many articles follow.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Once Ahead of Curve, Medical Informatics at Center of Change

For a couple of decades now, the American Medical Informatics Association has been ahead of the cultural curve in recognizing the potential for IT to change the way health care is delivered.

Culture -- led by lawmakers, policy wonks and even the general public -- is catching up, and informatics experts are glad to have company.

"This is our time," Ted Shortliffe, president and CEO of AMIA, said during the organization's annual symposium on biomedical and health informatics last week in San Francisco. He added, "We've been working on these things for years and years and not making a lot of headway some of the time. But now things have changed. We are in the midst of an historic shift, and this organization is right in the middle of it."




RHIO: 100,000 Give Consent

HDM Breaking News, November 23, 2009

The Rochester RHIO in New York has announced that more than 100,000 patients have consented to their physicians viewing their health information via the RHIO.

Rochester RHIO started a pilot in 2007 with five practices and 27 physicians. Today, it serves more than 1,500 authorized providers including 500 physicians. Data exchanged via the RHIO includes lab reports, radiology images and reports, medication histories, and hospital discharge summaries. By January, the service will include emergency medical treatment data and information on health and human services for senior citizens.



ONC Gets a Blog

HDM Breaking News, November 24, 2009

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has launched a blog to provide an industry wide forum on health I.T. issues.



Switch To Electronic Records Getting Mixed Reviews At Hospitals, Clinics

Huffington Post Investigative Fund and American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop | Fred Schulte

More than five years ago, one of California's leading hospitals decided to leap into the future of medical care by digitizing its patients' health records. Despite a $50 million investment and countless hours trying to overcome persistent technical headaches, the system is still not fully up and running.

This summer, the University of California San Francisco Medical Center quietly wrote off more than a third of the money it has spent, terminated its contractor and prepared to start part of the project from scratch.



Evaluating eHealth: How to make evaluation more methodologically robust

eHealth—the organisation and delivery of health services and information using information technology (IT) systems—is playing an increasingly important role in shaping health care systems. This week PLoS Medicine publishes the third in a series of articles evaluating eHealth. Richard Lilford and colleagues consider the evaluation of health IT systems as they are employed following pre-implementation testing.



Digital Divide Appears Between Hospitals That Treat The Rich And Poor

"Hospitals that disproportionately care for poor patients are less likely than other hospitals to have adopted health information technology," according to an October study published in Health Affairs, American Medical News reports. The economic stimulus legislation in February directed $19 billion in federal investments to help all types of hospitals adopt electronic records, but some researchers are concerned the money may not close that divide.



Medicine Bottles Get Net Connection

A new pill bottle cap with a wireless Internet connection flashes when it's time to take a pill and even calls forgetful patients with reminders.

By Mitch Wagner


n Internet-connected pill bottle cap sounds a bit over the top, but its creator says the device can generate real health improvements, cost savings, and even revenue for insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Called GlowCap, the bottle cap reminds patients to take their pills and keeps track of whether they're taking them when they should. The caps are built into lids that fit on prescription bottles. They contain chips that communicate wirelessly with a home server that's about the size of a nightlight and plugs into an electrical socket. The server contains a cell modem that connects to theAT&T (NYSE: T) network and to a service that runs in the cloud and connects to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Health, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) HealthVault, and standard electronic healthcare systems.



Strengthening Hospital/Physician Communication

Web portals can strengthen communication between a hospital, its staff and the community it serves.

By Asim Masood, MD

The relationship between a hospital, its physicians, staff and the communities it serves can be strengthened through greater communication and education, which Web portals are uniquely positioned to provide. For example, physicians, always short on time and often facing complex -- sometimes life-or-death -- decisions, can benefit greatly from a portal that unifies clinical data from myriad disparate systems into a single, intuitive view.

The ability to securely access all of a patient's medical information, regardless of the physician's current location, the time of day, or the number of venues in which the patient receives care, is invaluable to patient safety and outcomes. This is the power of Web portals -- providing a singular view of all information and a means to communicate that is easily accessible when, where and how the target audience needs and wants it.



Indiana exchange debuts data-monitoring service

By Joseph Conn

Posted: November 23, 2009 - 8:00 am EDT

The Indiana Health Information Exchange is debuting its year-old quality improvement and patient data-monitoring service for the first time outside of the greater Indianapolis area, the exchange announced.

The Indianapolis-based regional health information organization calls the service Quality Health First.



MGMA to Feds: Pilot Meaningful Use

HDM Breaking News, November 23, 2009

The federal government should conduct a small pilot project with a number of vendors and a variety of physician practices before incentive programs for meaningful use of electronic health records start, the Medical Group Management Association recommends.

The pilot would ensure that the process of demonstrating meaningful use is achievable and practical, the Englewood, Colo.-based association said in a recent letter to David Blumenthal, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology. "This pilot could assist in determining potential roadblocks to program success and identify solutions to those roadblocks."


Text of MGMA's letter to Blumenthal is available at mgma.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=31758.



MGMA warns that IT stimulus money could be wasted

By Joseph Conn / HITS staff writer

Posted: November 23, 2009 - 10:45 am EDT

The Medical Group Management Association, in a sharply worded, five-page letter to David Blumenthal, head of HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, warns of potential dire consequences if the government overreaches in setting up the health IT subsidy program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The letter, dated Nov. 22 and released publicly today, was signed by MGMA President and CEO William Jessee.



Electronic health records could be a deadly target during a cyberwar

By Bob Brewin

Most health officials worry about hackers stealing sensitive information such as an AIDS diagnosis from someone's electronic medical record, but a technology manager for a health care system in the Pacific Northwest said it's just as likely the digital files could be a target of terrorists or a nation state during war.

Countries have invested millions of dollars in computer systems to conduct a cyberwar against the United States "and the best way to do that is to destabilize the population," said Chad Skidmore, director of network services for Inland Northwest Health Services, a network of 34 hospitals in Spokane, Wash. To do that, hackers could infiltrate health systems to change patient records so misinformation will lead to deadly consequences.



Comparative Effectiveness (Why Does It Matter to You?)
By Geri Aston

The federal government has earmarked $1.1 billion to create a process for comparing medications, devices and treatments. The goal: research focusing on "real people" in the "real world."

The $1.1 billion in new federal funding for comparative effectiveness research presents a host of opportunities but also some challenges for hospitals.

Both the Institute of Medicine and the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research in June issued reports on their priorities as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which authorized the new funding. The documents make it clear that the organizations see a major role for hospitals in conducting the research and ensuring that the findings make their way into clinical practice.



CMS pushes for uptake of transaction standards

By Brian Robinson
Monday, November 23, 2009

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services is pushing ahead on both its internal and external priorities to ensure it meets fast-approaching deadlines for putting new electronic transaction and billing standards in place, its e-health leader said last week.

The agency’s systems staff is on schedule to make the necessary changes in order to start testing for compliance of the new 5010 version of the X12 standards for HIPAA transactions in January 2011, according to Tony Trenkle, director of the Office of e-Health Standards and Services at CMS.



Stocks: Three Overstuffed Turkeys

Amazon.com, Cerner, and Intuitive Surgical may be profitable and innovative, but their stock valuations are likely too rich for most investors' tastes

Sometimes a stock looks so enticing that investors just can't help themselves.

The market appetite is such that the stock rockets higher, leaving behind most reasonable measures of the company's worth. To commemorate this week's Thanksgiving feasts, BusinessWeek went hunting for stocks that have arguably inspired feeding frenzies over the past year.



E-health technology can improve medical services

Sunday, 22nd November, 2009

By Ivan Kahangire

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology recently embarked on Phase Two of the $106m (sh212b) on the nation backbone infrastructure IT project. Government’s noble intention is to extend 2,130km of fibre optic cable to the countryside, so as to provide high speed bandwidth for faster communication, data and information flow.

While this is being done, it is hoped that other ministries are planning and laying strategies to put this fiber optic cable to the best use to improve service delivery to the common man. Only then will this truly translate into “bridging the digital divide”.




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