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Published: October 31, 2010 3:00 a.m.
LAURAN NEERGAARD |
WASHINGTON – Think you entered the digital health age when your doctor switched from paper charts to computerized medical records? Think again: An e-chart stored in one doctor’s computer too often can’t be read by another’s across town.
Now the country’s largest network for paperless prescribing is poised to help tackle that hurdle. Surescripts is expanding so that doctors around the country can choose to share medical reports, X-rays and other health data over its network much as they send e-prescriptions to drugstores today, regardless of what competing brand of computerized health records they use.
“What doctors would like to do is share comprehensive information with each other – give me the whole file as opposed to writing me a note,” says Cris Ross, Surescripts executive vice president . “No other industry would stand for that level of clumsy communication.”
Kaiser Permanente study outlines health care IT best practice
November 5, 2010 (OAKLAND, Calif.) – An electronic message sent to physicians the moment they ordered a blood test for elderly patients reduced unnecessary use of the test that is often false-positive for the elderly, according to a paper published in the November edition of American Journal of Managed Care.
The D-dimer test, combined with a clinical risking algorithm, can help in the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in veins, otherwise known as DVTs) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). The risk of developing a blood clot in the venous circulation increases with age, and yet the overall accuracy of the D-dimer test worsens as patients get older, and is only 35 percent for patients 65 years of age and over. This can result in numerous false-positives and additional, unnecessary testing.
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , October 28, 2010
It was easy to feel a bit sorry for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Wednesday. They've got a big and likely acrimonious job ahead of them.
They've been charged by the Affordable Care Act to create PhysicianCompare.hhs.gov by January 1—only 64 days away—and make it even better than HospitalCompare.hhs.gov.
Then, not later than Jan. 1, 2013, for reporting periods to begin no sooner than Jan. 1, 2012, the agency must post information on quality, performance and patient experience for physicians enrolled in the Medicare program on a public website.
The smart people at CMS will have to figure out how to fill this site—an adaptation of Medicare's current Physician Finder not just with information about doctors that patients can use to make smart decisions about where to get care. They also must make the data useful for providers to improve upon that care.
October 29, 2010 | Bernie Monegain, Editor
BURLINGTON, VT – More than 40 percent of U.S. hospitals plan to invest in new health information management systems, according to a new study from healthcare technology research firm CapSite.
CapSite released Oct. 29 its 2010 U.S. Health Information Management (HIM) Study, an analysis of the U.S. HIM market in response to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
29 Oct 2010
The healthcare sector will spend approximately €64.2 ($88.9 billion) worldwide on information technology and communications products in 2010, an increase of 3.2% on 2009.
However, while IT spending is on the rise, upfront and operational costs are keeping healthcare providers from implementing electronic medical records.
These findings come from the 2nd Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities survey released by the Computing Technology Industry Association.
02 Nov 2010
As a junior health minister, Tom Sackville presented the first ever IT strategy for the NHS. He remembers being obstructed by civil servants and baffled by the decisions he had to take.
He doubts things are much different for his successor, Simon Burns, who will be speaking at eHealth Insider Live 2010 next week. Michael Cross reports.
It’s not every healthcare minister that gets to present an IT strategy for the NHS. Perhaps surprisingly, only two national strategies have been unveiled in the NHS's history.
We're now in the run-up to a third, which is expected early next year, following the consultation on the coalition government's ‘information revolution’ document.
This means that, in the past 20 years, only two UK government ministers have stood up and presented a new NHS-wide IT strategy to the public (or, at least, to the sub-set of the public who attend such events).
One of them was Conservative Tom Sackville. He has a blunt message for his ministerial successors: "Do not trust your civil servants."
October 28, 2010 | Molly Merrill, Associate Editor
OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – Core health IT purchases, including new network equipment, are priority investments for healthcare professionals this year – but the desire for mobility is also driving docs to put Tablet PCs at the top of their shopping lists, according to new research from CompTIA.
CompTIA's Second Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study also reveals that healthcare providers are generally satisfied with the IT solutions they now use in their practices. But they're also interested in better reliability, improved performance and lower costs for future purchases.
"Healthcare providers have clear objectives for their IT investments – reducing costs, saving time, improving productivity and most importantly, improving patient care," said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. "Anything that may disrupt patient care is a serious issue, so product reliability is especially critical."
November 1, 2010 — 1:04pm ET | By Neil Versel
The state of New York hopes to build the nation's largest health information exchange with $129 million in state and federal funding.
In a plan submitted to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology last week for federal approval, the New York State Department of Health and the public-private New York eHealth Collaborative detail their vision for a network connecting "hundreds of hospitals, thousands of medical practitioners and up to 20 million patients a year," according to a press release. When completed in 2014, the network is to provide immediate, secure, online access to medical records for every patient statewide.
Posted: November 1, 2010 - 10:45 am ET
HHS National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal said the U.S. has four problems it must overcome to be able to have a strong healthcare IT system.
Currently, the country's healthcare IT system is challenged by a lack of adequate funding; logistical problems relating to physicians' questions and concerns about which health IT system to buy, how to implement it, and whether it will become dated; a lack of infrastructure to support health information exchanges; and a fourth barrier associated with the general public, he said.
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , November 2, 2010
Prosthetics technology has been advancing rapidly of late, with a number of breakthroughs or emerging technologies that will help those with artificial limbs feel sensations such as pressure and heat and, as a result, move more naturally with more exact dexterity. Grasping a small item such as a cup of coffee, for example, would be much easier if there were a two-way interface between brain and fingers.
The Department of Defense has such high hopes for the technology that they’ve granted researchers at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of engineering $5.6 million to create a research facility to work on lightning-fast connections between robotic limbs and the human brain for injured soldiers and other amputees.
By AMOL SHARMA in New Delhi and BEN WORTHEN in San Francisco
Indian technology companies are eyeing a coming wave of U.S. spending to digitize health-care records. But sensitivity over outsourcing and resistance by American hospitals to sending medical information overseas could thwart efforts to win big contracts.
The U.S. government next year will begin to dole out billions of dollars to health-care providers who adopt electronic medical records. Doctors also face a federal mandate to upgrade software as the U.S. switches to a new system of insurance billing codes.
2 November 2010
International Telecommunications Union - October 2010
...at the end of 2010, fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions will reach an estimated 555 million globally (or 8% penetration), up from 471 million (or 6.9% penetration) a year earlier.
We discuss 12 HIT fallacies and their implications for design and implementation. These fallacies must be understood and addressed for HIT to yield better results. Foundational cognitive and human factors engineering research and development are essential to better inform HIT development, deployment, and use
FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube direct users to a site Texas Health Resources created to promote its use of electronic health records.
By Anthony Guerra, InformationWeek
Nov. 1, 2010
What good is implementing electronic health records (EHRs) if nobody knows about it? Not much, according to Texas Health Resources, a 24-hospital health system located in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
To makes employees, clinicians and the public aware of the massive implementation -- which has spanned five years and millions of dollars --people such as Ferdinand Velasco, M.D., vice president and chief medical information officer at THR, are encouraging the use of social media to get out the word.
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 11:42 | Written by Matt Kanner
Only about 15 percent of physicians in New Hampshire currently offer electronic prescriptions—despite the fact that more than 95 percent of pharmacies are equipped to handle them. It’s a shame, says to Micky Tripathi, because electronic prescribing would enable many patients to pick up their prescriptions right away, without the long waits.
Tripathi is president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. The organization recently opened its New Hampshire Regional Extension Center, in order to increase access to electronic prescriptions and a wide range of other electronic health records across the state.
The project is part of the federal government’s Health Information Technology Extension Program, which allocates $677 million to establish a nationwide system of regional extension centers. The centers train and support clinicians who adopt electronic health records and provide technical support as needed.
HDM Breaking News, November 5, 2010
The Obama administration is looking to take some of the risk out of cloud computing by proposing a set of standard security requirements that would apply to all federal agencies and contractors.
Under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the government would establish a common security baseline for cloud computing providers. The common baseline would ensure cloud-technologies adhere to a standard set of security controls, allowing the government to "approve once, and use often" the service of an approved cloud computing provider.
By Joseph Conn
Posted: November 5, 2010 - 11:30 am ET
Results from the third annual survey of healthcare information technology security officials have been published by the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, indicating a significant minority of healthcare organizations, particularly physician practices, is still not performing formal security risk analysis while allocations for security have remained flat over the past three years.
Also, about one-third of respondents to the survey reported their organizations have experienced at least one known case of medical identity theft.
Experts Expand Use of Cell Phone Technology to Save Lives of Mothers, Infants and Children in Developing World
Posted on: Tuesday, 2 November 2010, 09:05 CDT
Simple mobile technology, like basic cell phones, can be used to save the lives of mothers in childbirth, and improve the care of newborns and children, reaching underserved populations in remote areas.
More advanced mobile technology can do even more, such as checking on patients, keeping records, improving diagnosis and treatment in the field, and letting community health workers consult general practitioners and specialists for guidance.
"With mobile technologies for health, called 'mhealth' or 'mobile health,' we're extending capabilities to where they don't exist today," says David Aylward, who heads mHealth Alliance, a partnership founded by the United Nations Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation.
"At the most basic level, mobile phones can be used to keep track of people, call for emergency assistance, remind them of appointments and share information," says Julian Schweitzer, PhD, former Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Care (PMNCH) and the Chair of the Finance Working Group for the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, launched in September. "But then you can layer on things like check lists, protocols, the steps to ensure a safe birth and action instructions in particular circumstances," says Dr. Schweitzer.
Number of doctors using info almost double over past year
By Tom Blackwell, Postmedia News
Eager to counter two years of bad publicity over a multimillion-dollar spending scandal, Ontario's health minister boasted Tuesday that the province's overhauled electronic-health records program had managed to get five million patients on to digital medical charts.
Critics say Ontario, the federal government and other provinces, however, are still squandering billions by relying on expensive commercial software to implement electronic health records, rather than free, open-source programs that are proving effective and much less costly.
Deb Matthews, the Health Minister, told a news conference there are now 5,500 doctors using electronic records in her province, which she said was almost double the number a year ago and the most of any Canadian jurisdiction.
CompTIA survey found that many IT firms want to enter the lucrative healthcare market, but many aren't sure where to begin.
By Nicole Lewis, InformationWeek
Nov. 3, 2010
As hospitals, physician offices and other healthcare delivery organizations accelerate the adoption of health IT, a new study shows that a majority of IT solution providers are not currently doing business in the healthcare vertical, although many are trying to enter the market.
The new statistics are part of the Computing Technology Industry Association's (CompTIA's) 2nd Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities survey. Among the report's findings are that 56% of IT solution providers are not currently doing business in the healthcare vertical. Slightly more than half are evaluating entry, and 28% of this group indicated that they want to enter the market, but are unsure how to do it.
28 Oct 2010
The European Commission aims to provide patients with secure access to digital health records by 2015, as part of its Digital Agenda for Europe.
Speaking at the Global eHealth Forum in Hamburg, Flora Girogio of the EC’s ICT for Health unit, said Digital Agenda for Europe will develop the necessary infrastructure.
There are seven pillars to the strategy, covering issues ranging from developing interoperability and standards to ultra fast Internet access, digital literacy and eGovernment solutions.
Microsoft extends its cloud-based HealthVault PHR portal into China through a licensing arrangement with iSoftStone Information Technology.
Microsoft has announced plans to license its HealthVault personal health portal to Chinese IT outsourcing company iSoftStone Information Technology, making the PHR platform available in China.
Wuxi, a province of Jiangsu, China, will be the first area of the country to gain access to HealthVault, with additional areas of Jiangsu to follow, according to Mark Johnston, director of international market development for Microsoft's Health Solutions Group.
3 November 2010 Last updated at 00:49 GMT
A man with an inherited form of blindness has been able to identify letters and a clock face using a pioneering implant, researchers say.
Miikka Terho, 46, from Finland, was fitted with an experimental chip behind his retina in Germany. Success was also reported in other patients.
November 4, 2010, 12:01 amBy STEVE LOHR
The new Republican majority in the House has vowed to undo vast swaths of the Obama administration’s agenda for health care reform. But analysts predict that technology projects will be mostly off limits.
“The tech spending is set to go on,” said Lynne Dunbrack, an analyst in the Health Industry Insights unit for IDC, a technology research company. “The better use of health care technology to reduce costs and improve care has bipartisan support.”
The latest evidence of the corporate enthusiasm for this market comes from AT&T, which on Thursday is announcing a new division called AT&T ForHealth.
By Gregg Blesch
Posted: November 3, 2010 - 10:15 am ET
Computer-based risk assessment and decision support can help prevent falls in hospitals, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study's authors developed an application and tested it in a randomized trial at four acute-care hospitals, involving about 10,000 patients and 48,000 patient days. Based on the results, they project that about 90 falls a year (one per 862 patient days) could be prevented in the hospital units where the tool was tested.
By Sabine Vollmer
Posted: Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010
CHAPEL HILL What's the difference between an RFO and a UFO? RFOs are more common.
Retained foreign objects, or RFOs, are instruments and tools that surgeons forget inside their patients. About one in every 5,500 patients who underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic over a three-year period was wheeled into the recovery room with a forgotten object inside, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Surgeons forget clamps, screws, needles and broken guide wires in their patients. And controls often prove useless.
The most common RFO is the surgical sponge, even though these sponges are manually counted before and after surgery. Studies have shown that in more than 80 percent of the cases where sponges are left inside patients, the manual counts in the operating rooms were correct.
BRUSSELS, Belgium - (HealthTech Wire News) - Each European country is entirely responsible for its healthcare, including the health information systems that support healthcare delivery. The result of this approach is a fragmented landscape with a patchwork of systems often unable to exchange records across borders with other nations. Increasingly stakeholders at the European level recognize the need to jointly set more consistent interoperability standards for a more robust healthcare IT market.
Greater consistency through EU-level initiatives
To provide leadership and to create a sense of urgency regarding interoperability among Member States, the European Commission has made substantial progress driving greater consistency between countries through a number of European-level initiatives. Lacking a direct authority, the Commission has applied its considerable influence using policy recommendations and directives, and pressing a concern for citizen health safety in cross-border care delivery.
By Mary Mosquera
Friday, October 29, 2010
The Health & Human Services Department announced Friday it would make up to five grant awards to a group of states to design and set up the computer systems and networks necessary for operating state health insurance exchanges called for in the health reform legislation.
The “early innovator” grants would go to individual or clusters of states working on setting up the exchanges, designed to be a single destination where consumers and small businesses could shop for, compare and purchase health insurance plans.
The technology models developed under the “early innovator” grants would then be shared with other states.
27 Oct 2010
NHS Connecting for Health has released the latest version of the Choose and Book electronic booking software.
Choose and Book Release 5.0 went live last weekend, and includes redesigned screens as well as additional functionality to support different care pathways and address appointment slot issues.
CfH says the changes will make the e-booking system easier to use and save time for patients, GPs and hospitals.
In total, more than 24m referrals had gone through Choose and Book by the beginning of this month.
November 1, 2010 — 12:00pm ET | By Neil Versel
Zynx Health, a Los Angeles-based developer of content for clinical decision support systems, is teaming with five major healthcare organizations to test clinical decision support as a means of preparing for the types of accountable-care organizations that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require.
The pilot program will examine a new Zynx product that analyzes existing clinical decision support and makes tactical recommendations for the health systems to reduce variations in care, save money and produce better outcomes, according to Zynx, a subsidiary of Hearst Corp. It also will seek to identify and overcome potential barriers to wider adoption of clinical decision support.
Mobile Clinical Results software allows doctors to remotely access patient medical records.
By Nicole Lewis, InformationWeek
Oct. 29, 2010
Health information technology provider PatientKeeper announced this week that its Mobile Clinical Results software, which provides physicians with "anytime, anywhere" access to their patients' medical records, now supports the Google Android operating system.
The Newton, Mass.-based company said the move will help PatientKeeper tap into a growing market of physicians who are turning to Android devices to access medical records. The company also noted that handheld devices that run its software are used by nearly 24,000 physicians at more than 400 hospitals.