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Posted: June 30, 2011 - 12:00 pm ET
Electronic prescriptions are as likely as handwritten ones to contain errors, according to a study from a group of Boston-based researchers.
The study, "Errors associated with outpatient computerized prescribing systems," is published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
The report is based on a retrospective study of 3,850 computer-generated prescriptions received by a commercial outpatient pharmacy chain in three states in 2008. A clinician panel reviewed the prescriptions to identify and classify medication errors, potential adverse drug events (defined as those that might cause patient harm) and the rate of prescribing errors by prescription type and by system type.
June 30, 2011 — 8:38am ET | By Janice Simmons
The physician practice market, not expectedly, appears to be accelerating in terms of terms of purchases of electronic health record (EHR) systems, according to a report from the research firm, CapSite. More than half of the 1,300 independent and hospital-owned practices the firm interviewed said they anticipate buying a system within the next two years.
Of the practices not purchasing new systems, 70 percent said they already have an EHR system that can supporting meaningful use criteria under current federal provisions.
June 27, 2011 By Brian Heaton
At first blush, the job title “health IT coordinator” (HIT coordinator) likely resonates with most people as a technical position. In reality, the role has more to do with program management and relationship building than network administration and computer upgrades.
From legislative policy development to fielding questions from industry stakeholders, HIT coordinators are helping guide the shift to electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchanges for each state. But the change hasn’t been easy.
The work is well funded, thanks in part to the $25.8 billion devoted to health IT investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. But the influx of cash has also accelerated the pace of the technology’s adoption, leading to myriad communication and administrative challenges for states.
Medical providers, insurance companies, agencies and all the parties involved in this increasingly electronic landscape have interests that don’t necessarily align with one another. So it’s up to HIT coordinators to foster those relationships in order to provide the best health care for each state’s citizens as EHRs and health information exchanges are being deployed.
Change management (CM) is foundational to achieving effective and efficient use of information and communications technologies (ICT) for health. Successful change implementation results in solution adoption and other long-term benefits such as improved patient care and positive organizational impacts. Success occurs when the systems, processes, tools and technology of the change initiative are embedded in the new way clinicians do their everyday work. CM is an essential driver of adoption, realizing many benefits of health ICT initiatives across Canada.
Recognizing this, Infoway has established and supports the Pan-Canadian Change Management Network, a grassroots collaborative of change management leaders that has come together to develop and guide leading practices in change management for health ICT projects.
- JUNE 29, 2011
Our experts say cloud computing will change the direction of business IT
The biggest technology buzzword of the 21st century will come of age as the economic recovery accelerates the trend for companies to move their IT architecture to a shared network. The cloud offers the chance to cut costs and quickly modify computer resources, while improving integration and collaboration across the workforce. It was identified as a key issue by all of our respondents.
"The increasing growth of tablets, smartphones, software as a service and cloud-based applications is an incredible opportunity for businesses to establish a new relationship with their customers and to accelerate business growth, through a new wireless workforce," says Tim Watkins of Huawei Technologies.
Journal Report: Rebooting Business
Large health care IT companies are expected to emerge as the long-term winners following increased investments in HITECH Act meaningful use solutions and the beginning of widespread adoption of electronic health records, says K. Newton Juhng, Senior Vice President of FBR Capital Markets & Co.
“I don’t want to be on a system that could potentially get bought by another company and eventually the system gets sunsetted,” Juhng said. “The process for providers to go a new system is somewhat painful, and they certainly don’t want to have to go through it twice. Investors should look to vendors that are going to survive those types of movements.”
- July 1, 2011, 2:15 PM GMT
By Ben Rooney
Shamus Husheer’s opening line as a speaker is guaranteed to get him a laugh: “My name is Shamus Husheer and my job is to get the women of Britain pregnant.”
Behind the laughs, though, Mr. Husheer has developed a technology that is helping thousands of women get pregnant without recourse to drugs or invasive techniques for a fraction of the cost of IVF. In the U.K. a cycle of IVF costs on average some £4,500 ($7,200).
New Zealand born Mr. Husheer, who started his company, Cambridge Temperature Concepts, straight after being awarded a PhD from the chemistry department at Cambridge University says the fertility monitor, called DuoFertility, is as effective as conventional IVF.
Posted: July 1, 2011 - 11:45 am ET
Networks of small medical practices can offer guidance to policymakers about how to overcome barriers to health information technology adoption and use, according to a recently released study.
Researchers from Center for Studying Health System Change said independent practice associations can serve as a model for coordinating practices' health IT activities and providing IT support to practices in the form of assistance from technology-savvy physicians who can support the move from paper to electronic records.
Written by Brian Dunham
June 28, 2011
SAN ANTONIO—Evaluating hospital networks, data, drivers and device types should be completed before embarking on an interoperability strategy, offered Bridget A. Moorman, MS, CCE, of BMoorman Consulting, at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Conference & Expo June 25.
Despite the lack of a clear and specific meaningful use (MU) definition of “interoperability,” Moorman said the expected American Reinvestment and Recovery Act's (ARRA) Stage 1 date for device interoperability is 2015. Identified in the legislation, hospitals must be able to electronically chart three vital signs, Moorman said: blood pressure, height and weight. Interestingly, the law does not specify that information must be integrated electronically. Therefore, it could even be typed into a computer, she said.
As hospitals rely more on electronic data, worries over potential errors grow
June 27, 2011
The medical error that killed Genesis Burkett began with the kind of mistake people often make when filling out electronic forms: A pharmacy technician unwittingly typed the wrong information into a field on a screen.
Because of the mix-up, an automated machine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital prepared an intravenous solution containing a massive overdose of sodium chloride — more than 60 times the amount ordered by a physician.
When the nutritional fluids were administered to Genesis, a tiny baby born 16 weeks prematurely, the infant's heart stopped, and he died, leaving behind parents stunned by grief.
Although a series of other errors contributed to the tragedy, its origin — a piece of data entered inaccurately into a computer program — throws a spotlight on safety risks associated with medicine's advance into the information age, a trend being pushed aggressively under health reform.
Despite a Chicago-area baby's death from a drug overdose, health IT advocates say EMRs are still superior to paper charts.
By Neil Versel, InformationWeek
June 30, 2011
Some health IT advocates are bracing for a new anti-technology backlash after a major newspaper called the safety of safety of electronic medical records (EMRs) into question with a front-page story about a premature infant who died from a medication error that stemmed from a data-entry gaffe.
The lead story in Monday's Chicago Tribune chronicled the death of Genesis Burkett, a baby boy administered a fatal overdose of intravenous sodium chloride at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., last October. The child reportedly had received more than 60 times the dosage a physician ordered.
23 June 2011 EHI staff
Today eHealth Insider is launching a major campaign, calling for every NHS provider organisation to consider appointing a chief clinical information officer.
The EHI CCIO campaign begins with an open letter to health secretary Andrew Lansley, urging him to back the campaign.
The letter calls on him to recommend that every NHS trust in England should identify a clinical information champion as a first step towards appointing a CCIO to lead the Information Revolution he has promised for staff and patients.
Posted: June 28, 2011 - 12:15 pm ET
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released an online tool to help patients find healthcare quality information and select local providers.
The tool, called Comparing Health Care Quality: A National Directory, allows users to select a region on an online map and then provides links to reports from local quality organizations and hospital associations, according to an RWJF news release.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Managing Editor
WASHINGTON -- This week, health care experts from the private and public sectors highlighted the critical intersection between health IT adoption and health care delivery and payment system reform.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius helped kick off the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit and the Second National Accountable Care Organization Summit on Monday, saying there is "no question that electronic health records ... must play a key role" in health care reform efforts.
She added that "it doesn't make sense" that the current health care delivery system "primarily rewards for the number of procedures" conducted. Sebelius said the U.S. instead needs to focus on approaches that simultaneously improve care and reduce costs, noting that the federal government is committed to rewarding innovation.
Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , June 28, 2011
Look for the Office of the National Coordinator to release by next year all of the final rules for Stage 2 of meaningful use.
Farzad Mostashari, MD, the National Coordinator for Health IT, explained Monday that his office is busy reviewing information from the Health IT Policy Committee, which in early June recommended delaying for a year, until 2014, Stage 2 of the meaningful use program for those providers that comply with Stage 1 criteria in 2011.
Mostashari made his comments at the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit in Washington, D.C.
June 27, 2011 | Mary Mosquera, Senior Editor and Tom Sullivan, Editor
The monikers ‘Health Data Initiative’ and ‘meaningful use’ are not commonly seen together, but there is an intersection where they meet. And on that corner is Todd Park, CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Park spoke with Government Health IT Senior Editor Mary Mosquera and Editor Tom Sullivan at the Government Health IT Conference in Washington this month about how those pieces fit together into a more coherent whole, forthcoming changes to the Blue Button application, and what’s next for the Health Data Initiative – both the contest itself and the recent winners.
Posted: June 28, 2011 - 12:00 pm ET
After eight years, there is a changing of the guard in the leadership of a key standards-setting organization for healthcare informatics.
Since 2003, the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society has served as secretariat for Technical Committee 215 of the International Organization for Standardization, a position delegated to HIMSS by the American National Standards Institute, the U.S. member body to the ISO.
HIMSS also will step down as administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/Technical Committee 215, which is responsible for "coordinating work with U.S. technical experts and developing positions on committee matters," according to a HIMSS news release. Both roles will end June 30.
27 June 2011 Fiona Barr
A Labour MP has written to the Prime Minister, criticising proposals to publish GP practice prescribing data.
Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, claims the plans would put patient confidentiality at risk and has demanded that David Cameron justify the proposals.
The government has asked the NHS Information Centre to carry out an impact assessment on the proposal, which was outlined in the government’s Plan for Growth document in March, as part of efforts to encourage growth in the healthcare and life sciences sector.
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , June 28, 2011
When I heard that President Obama would be speaking about one of my favorite subjects—robots—I knew that's what I'd write about in this week's column. Obama, speaking at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, was announcing the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which brings together major U.S. manufacturers and universities—and a more than $500 million investment in "advanced manufacturing." In case you were wondering—that's a fancy way of saying robots.
It's clear that robots have been and will continue to be a boon to the healthcare industry—from robot-assisted surgery to remote healthcare. Obama didn't touch on healthcare much but it occurred to me that I'd already done a lot of reporting on robots. In fact, I've written more about robots than I should probably admit.
HDM Breaking News, June 27, 2011
Washington-based eHealth Initiative, a collaborative industry advocacy organization, has released the second of three new enhancements to its Health Information Exchange Toolkit.
The first phase released in April was a primer addressing steps for starting an HIE. These included creating a governance model, drafting legal and information sharing agreements, and protecting patient privacy, among other issues, along with sample products.
The Federal Health Information Model.
June 24, 2011 | Mary Mosquera
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) intends to hire a vendor to explore and evaluate methods to electronically obtain and record from patients their informed consent about sharing their health data.
The vendor will also identify innovative ways to educate patients about how they can exercise their choices with their providers regarding the electronic exchange of their personal information, according to a June 22 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.
The ability for patients to decide whether they should provide electronic consent in situations that would trigger it is a step that can build trust in sharing their health data and accelerate exchange.
June 24, 2011 | Kate Spies, Contributing Writer
PITTSBURGH – A health portal used by patients and doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is now accessible on iPhones and iPads, thanks to the new mobile HealthTrak application. With its innovative approach to managing patient health - through technology like eVisits and tethered records - easy access to the portal is becoming more important than ever.
UPMC is one of the nation's premier nonprofit health systems. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the center is composed of 20 hospitals, a 1.4-million member health plan, and more than 400 doctors' offices and outpatient sites. The HealthTrak portal is a powerful technological thread running through UPMC, helping to provide integration.
A pilot study finds better disease management when EHRs are used in the context of a patient-centered medical home.
By Neil Versel, InformationWeek
June 23, 2011
An electronic health record (EHR) system can help improve the care of patients with multiple chronic diseases by enabling better coordination of care between healthcare providers, insurers, and patients themselves, a new study shows.
The study, sponsored by a multi-stakeholder group that included eHealth Initiative, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and Health & Technology Vector, a small, Hartford, Conn.-based health IT and care redesign firm, found many process improvements in the care of patients with both Type 2 diabetes and a cardiac-related condition when an EHR was used in the context of a patient-centered medical home.
HDM Breaking News, June 24, 2011
Telecommunications giant AT&T has launched a new cloud-based medical imaging and information management service.
Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Ala., and Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System have signed agreements to pilot the service, which will connect doctors to patients' medical images, promising faster treatment.
The imaging service enables providers to store, access, view and share patient medical images and information over a secure infrastructure. The cloud service is offered on a pay-as-you-go pricing system where providers pay based on the gigabytes of information transferred per month.
June 23, 2011 — 3:48pm ET | By Ken Terry
A new KLAS report ranks vendors in the increasingly important area of infection surveillance software. According to 200 hospital respondents, including 174 infection preventionists (IPs), the top three vendors are CareFusion, Hospira (TheraDoc), and Premier. Hospitals with under 400 beds were most satisfied with CareFusion, while larger hospitals liked Hospira best.
Partly because of new Medicare policies, including non-payment for hospital-acquired conditions, the use of infection surveillance software is growing rapidly. KLAS estimates that 20 to 25 percent of hospitals are using "a real-time infection surveillance system," up from 10 to 15 percent in 2009. This shows that the market has a lot of room for further growth, KLAS notes.