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Studies examine "social contagion" theory to find how electronic medical records adoption is spreading -- and how it can grow even more quickly.
By Pamela Lewis Dolan, amednews staff. Posted Sept. 13, 2010.
To figure out why physicians and hospitals are slow to adopt electronic medical records, researchers are looking at institutional and social networks to see if they can discover the key to overcoming resistance.
A study in the August Management Science posited that smaller and newer hospitals, and those that have some tech "celebrity" status, are the most likely to influence other hospitals to adopt EMRs.
An earlier report published in the May Journal of the American Informatics Assn. concluded that the most likely indicator of doctors' interest and use in EMRs is whether their friends use them. Not merely peers, but doctors they consider close on a personal or social level.
Many CIOs are finding HITECH constitutes an overwhelming test of their clinical knowledge, but they should also recognize it as a golden opportunity to learn.
By Anthony Guerra, InformationWeek
Sept. 15, 2010
When ARRA/HITECH was signed into law early last year, it quickly became apparent that the nexus of clinical practice and information technology would be a great place to focus one's career. Eighteen months later, as the nuances of the program have taken shape, that observation carries even more weight.
While those still in the more formative phases of life (high school, college, graduate school) have time to adjust trajectory in hopes of hitting their new target, those currently in executive healthcare IT roles -- especially CIOs -- have a more challenging course correction to make. Since almost all CIOs have risen through the IT ranks, it's not that sphere where they require support. Rather, it is the clinical realm.
A new breed of smart phone-based health care apps are tightening the connection between patients and providers
- By John Moore
- Sep 10, 2010
Jonathan Cho, chief of the National Cancer Institute’s Communications Technology Branch, is the first to concede that the agency’s flagship Cancer.gov Web site isn’t designed for mobile devices with bandwidth- and screen-size constraints.
However, many people still pursue the cumbersome experience. He said nearly 150,000 users attempted to navigate the Web site with a mobile device in June. They used everything from Apple iPhones to more obscure handsets.
Some doctors, known for their technophobia, are relying on Nuance Communications Inc.'s speech-recognition products to help them keep better records, particularly as the government pushes for more electronic health data.
Under the federal stimulus package passed last year, the government made it an objective that everyone in the U.S. have an electronic health record by 2014. This will need to be an aggressive undertaking, given that the records of an estimated 80% of U.S. physicians and 90% of hospitals remain on paper.
By Scott Malone
NISKAYUNA, New York |
NISKAYUNA, New York (Reuters) - In its century in the healthcare business, General Electric Co has tackled big tasks from inventing the X-ray machine to helping drive the spread of electronic medical records.
Now the largest U.S. conglomerate is turning its attention to a seemingly simple problem that costs the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion to $15 billion per year -- making sure that physicians and nurses wash their hands.
September 16, 2010 | Patty Enrado, Special Projects Editor
DENVER – The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center will analyze data submitted by Quality Health Network to see if health information exchange positively impacts the use of healthcare services.
The year-long study, funded by a federal grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, will determine whether the number of diagnostic and clinical exams declined in the Grand Junction, Colo., region because physician had better access to data at the point of care and therefore did not order duplicative tests, said Dick Thompson, executive director and CEO of QHN.
Google foresees a big future for both stationary wireless and mobile wireless healthcare.
The search giant, which is famous for its iterative and incremental improvements, strayed from form this week. It came up with a major overhaul of its Google Health personal health-record platform.
Aaron Brown, Google senior product manager and the point man for the PHR overhaul, says wireless and mobile applications will play an increasing role in helping Google Health attract a broader audience, which he says will include "wellness consumers." In thinking about that challenge, "We realized we had to do some pretty significant changes that would have been difficult to do incrementally."
Posted: September 17, 2010 - 11:00 am ET
Just as the starting gun is about to fire for hospitals seeking to meet Stage 1 criteria for the meaningful use of electronic health records in the first payment year of the stimulus law's health information technology subsidy program, healthcare policy advisers to the federal government are talking about time frames for ratcheting up criteria for Stage 2.
During a meeting this week of the federally chartered Health IT Policy Committee, George Hripcsak, co-chairman of a special work group on the meaningful-use criteria, went over a proposed schedule for developing the second round of standards providers must meet to get paid for effectively using an EHR system. The first "payment year" begins Oct. 1 for hospitals and Jan. 1, 2011, for eligible office-based physicians.
HDM Breaking News, September 13, 2010
The "minimum necessary" standard for the use and disclosure of protected health information should more clearly detail the health care provider's stewardship role in determining what is the minimum necessary, according to the American Health Information Management Association.
The Chicago-based organization has submitted a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights on a proposed rule published July 14. The rule, mandated under the HITECH Act, would make changes to the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules.
September 16, 2010 — 11:37am ET | By Neil Versel
While EMR adoption may not soon become a condition of licensure, the Federation of State Medical Boards says that using an EHR may be helpful for physicians wishing to demonstrate clinical competence when it comes time to renew their medical licenses.
"As the Federation of State Medical Boards works with its member boards in the months and years ahead to implement [a program called] Maintenance of Licensure, it is clear that electronic health records will be of value as doctors fulfill that professional obligation and demonstrate ongoing clinical competence," FSMB President and CEO Dr. Humayun Chaudhry says in a press release. A framework for the MOL program, adopted in April, calls for physicians to take part in continuous reflective self-assessment, assessment of knowledge and skills, and demonstration of performance in practice, AAPF News Now reports.
September 16, 2010 — 1:57am ET | By Neil Versel
I have a love-hate relationship with Google.
Google is my go-to site for Internet search. And like many others, I've been known to waste time on YouTube. I'm a regular user of Gmail, Google News, Blogger and Google Docs (which is great for collaboration).
But Google's business model is largely based on mining personal data, which is why I was reluctant to get an Android smartphone. And then there's the laughable "don't be evil" mantra. Lately, Google's been in cahoots with Verizon in an attempt to circumvent "Net neutrality."
When a physician examines a new, seriously ill patient, he needs information — fast. That information includes the patient's history with a particular ailment, whether the patient has other medical conditions, medications he's been using and allergies he may have to certain drugs.
Finding a way to make such information quickly available to physicians, hospitals and clinics across the country is one of the key challenges that face Vimla Patel and her team at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
The school is participating in the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) Program, which is directed by the Health and Human Services Department's Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The program aims to get health care organizations around the country to adopt digital infrastructures that can quickly store and share such information as needed. Four major research institutions are participating.
HDM Breaking News, September 13, 2010
The Joint Commission has introduced the Targeted Solutions Tool, which is a Web-based application that walks hospitals through step-by-step processes to improve persistent quality and safety problems.
The first process being offered is to improve hand hygiene. Subsequent processes will cover hand-off communications, wrong site surgery and surgical site infections.
September 13, 2010 | Molly Merrill, Associate Editor
SPOKANE, WA – A recent survey of hospitals and other healthcare providers designed to understand the capacity and use of telestroke care in the Northwestern United States found 88 percent of respondents believe their rural communities suffer from a lack of stroke neurologists.
The survey was distributed online to members of the Washington State Department of Health Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC) and the Northwest Regional Stroke Network (NWRSN). Survey results were released by the Regional Telestroke Initiative (RTI), a collaborative effort to address stroke care in the Northwest region.
Posted: September 15, 2010 - 12:00 pm ET
The Association of American Medical Colleges has filed comments on the proposed amendments to a federal health information privacy rule contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus law.
The AAMC, in its nine-page letter (PDF) to the Office for Civil Rights at HHS, focuses on research, fundraising and the right of a patient to control access to elements of his or her health record pertaining to treatment or procedures the patient pays for out of pocket.
This sample survey of California dentists examines their use of and interest in health information technology, including the adoption and usage of electronic dental health records (referred to as EDHRs). “Technology” was defined as computer hardware and software, clinical equipment, and Internet/Web site tools and applications. The survey also explores dentists’ interest in federal stimulus support for EDHR adoption provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14, 2010
Some 1,655 critical access and rural hospitals in 41 states, and the nationwide Indian Country will share $19.8 million in federal funds to help facilities convert from paper to electronic health record technology.
In making the announcement Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that by making this transition, these small and rural facilities can better qualify for "substantial EHR incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid."
By Mary Mosquera
Monday, September 13, 2010
The recently installed “blue button” on the Veteran Affairs Department’s MyHealtheVet portal represents a first step toward the type of full access to their personal health records veterans can expect to see when the VA stands up the virtual lifetime electronic record (VLER).
That was how Peter Levin, the VA’s chief technology officer described the relationship between the blue button project and VLER, the ambitious VA-Defense Department plan to track the health, benefits and administrative records of people from the day they are inducted into the military through the remainder of their lives as veterans.
Standford School of Medicine, September 10, 2010
Stanford’s medical school joins a small but growing group of educational institutions across the nation experimenting with iPads as a way to lighten the load of textbook-toting students, and to learn how best to teach an extremely tech-savvy generation of students who’ve grown up in a wired world.
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14, 2010
For $29.99 you can buy a smartphone app that translates a baby's cries. For $3.99 you can buy an app that claims to stimulate hair growth by issuing inaudible frequencies that increase blood circulation in the scalp. And for 99 cents you can flick a finger and send a cow bouncing around your phone's screen.
So what would patients pay for a mobile app to monitor their health? One recent study suggests the answer lies somewhere between the cost of an implausible baby decoder and that of a questionable hair restoration technique. Look at the numbers a little more closely, however, and the price drops to less than a game of cow-tipping.
14 Sep 2010
Healthcare IT company EMIS has announced an increase in profits for the first six months of the year from £5.8m to £6.7m.
The company, which floated on the Alternative Investment Market in March, also saw revenue grow slightly from £28.9m in the first half of 2009 to £29m in January to June 2010.
The company said recurring revenue increased from 74% to 81% and market share in the UK increased from 52.5% to 53.8%.
In Scotland, market share has increased from 12.7% to 46.9% as part of NHS Scotland’s drive to switch practices using GPASS software to either EMIS or fellow healthcare IT supplier INPS.
13 Sep 2010
The primary care elements of the National Programme for IT in the NHS will be left largely untouched by the end of the Department of Health’s review of the programme.
GP Systems of Choice, Choose and Book, the Electronic Prescription Service and GP2GP record transfer will all continue. A DH spokesperson told EHI Primary Care that they were now seen as “part of ongoing operations of the NHS.”
The programmes will cease to be managed as projects but as IT services under the control of the NHS.
14 Sep 2010
CSC has announced it has won a contract to deliver its master patient index system across Austria.
The system will allow healthcare professionals to perform a nationwide search of electronic patient records, which they will then able to access regardless of where they are stored.
By using the application, health professionals will be able to see a detailed, single view of a patient’s medical record from any hospital or location.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives for HealthLeaders Media, September 13, 2010
This excerpt fromThe CIO's Guide to Implementing EHRs in the HITECH Era covers the senior executive's role in implementing an electronic health records system. Those in the C-suite who must lead this change are best prepared if they understand that it may indeed be profound. The guide is published by CHIME, The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
The CEO and the senior executive team must fully support the organization's efforts to implement an electronic health record. This support must be tangible, public and sincere. The CEO puts forth the organization's vision for improving quality and patient safety and positions IT as a key strategy for achieving the outcome.
Posted: September 13, 2010 - 10:15 am ET
New York awarded a combined $109 million in health information technology grants to promote medical homes to 11 hospitals, health information exchanges and other healthcare organizations, the state's health department announced.
The grants will focus on coordination of mental health, long-term care and home healthcare, according to a news release. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. received a $10 million grant for a project that focuses on schizophrenia patients.
September 13, 2010 — 1:18pm ET | By Neil Versel
Just 10 percent of healthcare CIOs do not expect to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid bonuses for "meaningful use" of EMRs during Stage 1 of the federal incentive program, 2011-12, according to a new survey of College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) members.
Some 28 percent of the 152 survey respondents say they will achieve meaningful use during the first half of fiscal year 2011, which begins Oct. 1, 2010. Another 62 percent expect to reach the goal between April 1, 2011, and the end of Stage 1, Sept. 30, 2012.
September 13, 2010 — 12:29pm ET | By Neil Versel
England's National Health Service is effectively ending the National Programme for IT, moving away from a centralized, national strategy for deploying IT to hospitals and clinics across the country in favor of "a more locally-led plural system of procurement," according to a statement released by health minister Simon Burns. The decision is supposed to save 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion), including 200 million pounds ($309 million) from narrowing the scope of a Computer Sciences Corp. contract.
"Improving IT is essential to delivering a patient-centered NHS. But the nationally imposed system is neither necessary nor appropriate to deliver this," Burns said, according to E-Health Insider. "We will allow hospitals to use and develop the IT they already have and add to their environment, either by integrating systems purchased through the national contracts or elsewhere."
September 13, 2010 — 1:37pm ET | By Neil Versel
Will non-IT people ever get it?
Remember the news from July that a contractor to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., had lost backup files containing data on as many as 800,000 people? The story got worse last week.
As FierceHealthcare reports, the hospital and two affiliated organizations determined that the files were gone forever, and said they would publish notices of the data loss in a major newspaper, on each organization's website and in the hospital and physician offices. What they would not do is send personal letters to each of the 800,000 individuals whose personal, health or financial information may have been compromised.
September 09, 2010 | Molly Merrill, Associate Editor
ROCHESTER, MN – Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have shown that by leveraging electronic medical records they were able to determine genetic variants that influence susceptibility to peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which is associated with "significant mortality and morbidity."
The research was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) by a team of authors from the Mayo Clinic Divisions of Cardiovascular Diseases and Biomedical Informatics and Statistics.
Researchers concluded that EMR-based data, used across institutions in a structured way, "offer great potential for diverse research studies, including those related to understanding the genetic bases of common diseases."
By Mary Mosquera
Friday, September 10, 2010
The Office of the National Coordinator announced today nearly $20 million in funding for technical assistance to help critical access and rural hospitals across the nation convert from paper-based medical records to certified electronic health records (EHRs) systems.
The grant awards will go to 46 of the 60 existing regional health IT extension centers (RECs) to target support for 1,655 critical access and rural hospitals in their areas in 41 states and Native American reservations, tribal lands and dependent communities.
ONC awarded grants amounting to $643 million earlier this year to create the 60 RECs.
Chris Seebregts says there’s a growing sense of excitement among talented young software programmers in Africa. These days, they are seeing new opportunities to apply their skills in an area of great social impact: health care.
But what’s health care got to do with software design?
Lots, explains Seebregts, a senior manager at the South African Medical Research Council, Executive Director of Jembi Health Systems, and a key player in a cluster of IDRC-funded projects on “e-health” in Africa.
WARNING: Do You Really Want to Prescribe This?
A computerized order entry warning system prevented some potentially inappropriate medication use in hospitalized older patients.
Older patients are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events (ADEs) because of the number of medications they receive, plus their lessened ability to metabolize drugs. ADEs occur in as many as 40% of hospitalized older patients and lead to substantial morbidity and mortality.
Researchers studied prescription orders for older patients (age, 65) who were admitted to an urban academic medical center in Boston during 6 months before or after implementation of a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) drug warning system. Ordering patterns for three groups of drugs were analyzed: The first group was flagged by the warning system as not to be used as per the Beers criteria. The second group of Beers medications was flagged to be used at reduced doses in elders, and a third group of Beers medications (controls) were not flagged. The mean rate of prescribing not-to-be-used medications dropped from 11.56 before CPOE warning implementation to 9.94 orders daily after implementation of the warning system. No significant change was noted in the rate of ordering medications in the dose-reduction or the unflagged group.
Monday, September 13, 2010
by Helen Pfister and Sandra Newman, Manatt Health Solutions
The federal government continues to move ahead with implementing various provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This update summarizes significant developments in July and August.
Committee OKs Privacy Recommendations
The Office of the National Coordinator for IT's Health IT Policy Committee approved patient privacy recommendations from the privacy and security work group (Tiger Team) last month, marking a key milestone on one of the most difficult roadblocks on the road to widespread use of electronic records in health care.
According to the recommendations, the direct exchange of health information between two providers generally does not require patient consent beyond current mandates. Consent, however, might be needed when a physician gives up control of a patient's health information after sending it through a health information exchange to another physician practice or testing lab. If the HIE adds the record to its database for future distribution to providers in its network, patient consent would be necessary.
The Commonwealth Asian Regional Meeting on e-health – use of information and communication technology for health will be held today and tomorrow. The meeting will be inaugurated by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, a Health Ministry spokesman said.
According to the spokesman the event will be held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo 3 and it will bring together senior officials from the health ministries and ministries responsible for Information Communication and Technology (ITC) in the eight Commonwealth countries in Asia.