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."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 10 September, 2011.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

Global telemedicine market on growth track

August 30, 2011 | Bernie Monegain, Editor
LONDON – The global telemedicine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent, driven mainly by growth opportunities in Europe, according to a recent report by Technavio, specialists in emerging technologies market research.  
The report covers the Americas as well as the EMEA and APAC regions.
 “Though the United States has been dominating the global telemedicine market, Europe and developing nations are rapidly catching up," said Technavio’s industry analyst. “This shift is occurring mainly because of the increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases and the increasing availability of online healthcare services.”

How PHRs boosted shareholder value at EMC

August 30, 2011 | Mary Mosquera
Two IT companies that have made personal health records available to their employees in an effort to engage them in their health care have also found that it’s good for business.
Storage hardware and software provider EMC Corp. and Cerner Corp., a maker of electronic health records, differ somewhat in their methods, but employee adoption of personal health records (PHRs) has resulted in measurable improvements in employees’ health, higher productivity, and reduced healthcare costs for the companies. 
The use of PHRs should increase based on recommendations for meaningful use stage 2, in which patients will be able to view and download their information to their computers or PHRs via patient portals and other methods. 
Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Rise of Electronic Medicine

Medicine today is a sea of paper and fax machines, privacy barriers, and unconnected data. The public is ready for a better system.
Last November 9 at 2 a.m., I received a phone call from a hospital in Southern California. "Your mother needs an emergency operation," said the voice on the line. "Your father had chest pain while at her bedside and both are in ICUs. We have no idea what medications they take, what allergies they have, or what problems they have been treated for. Can you help?"
This is medicine today. A sea of paper and fax machines, information silos, privacy barriers, and unconnected data. And yet, we know the public is ready for a better system. According to a 2010 Harris Poll, four in five Americans believe any doctor treating them should have instant access to their medical record online.

Morecambe Bay still working on Lorenzo

1 September 2011   Shanna Crispin
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust says it’s on track to have two further Lorenzo modules go live this autumn, despite further minor delays.
In July, eHealth Insider reported that the trust was due to go live in August with the pathology requesting and reporting module of the iSoft electronic patient record.
However, a trust spokesperson has told EHI this will now be deployed in the autumn, as additional work on data messaging needs to be completed.

Medical home achievement the goal of athenahealth 'accelerator program'

August 29, 2011 — 4:04pm ET | By Ken Terry
athenahealth has launched an "accelerator program" for its cloud-based electronic health record to help physicians achieve recognition as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). athenahealth is the first EHR vendor to meet the corporate review requirements of the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), which recognizes practices that meet its PCMH requirements. In addition, NCQA will continue to evaluate athenahealth's EHR.
The accelerator program will include prebuilt content that can help practices meet some PCMH criteria, according to athenahealth.

West Virginia Selects Thomson Reuters' HIE Advantage™ Platform for Statewide Health Information Exchange

Published Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

/PRNewswire/ -- The West Virginia Health Information Network (WVHIN) has selected Thomson Reuters HIE Advantage™ as the technology backbone for its statewide health information exchange (HIE) system. WVHIN is a state agency governed by healthcare payer, provider, consumer, and government stakeholders.
The system will securely capture real-time clinical and administrative data from electronic medical records, healthcare claims, and other sources and provide clinicians with comprehensive patient histories at the point of care so they can make better-informed clinical decisions.
By Joseph Conn

Taking license with open-source software

Let's wade together into the deep weeds of open-source software licensure.
For nearly a decade, the Veterans Affairs Department, developer of the publicly available VistA electronic health-record software, has kept at arm's length a growing community of outside, open-source VistA developers and users.
Recently, however, the VA embraced open source as a strategy for VistA enhancement. It hired the Informatics Applications Group, or Tiag for short, to create a not-for profit corporation, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, to oversee the program.

EHR shortcuts can backfire

August 31, 2011 | Jeff Rowe, HITECH Watch
It’s no secret that many HIT advocates are frustrated at the pace of the HIT transition.
To be sure, the healthcare sector notoriously lags behind most other major sectors of the economy when it comes to implementing new technology. But sometimes it helps to step back and remember what, from the providers perspective, is actually involved.
This consultant provides just such a view, though it comes largely in the form of a warning that many providers are not using their EHRs properly.
“A disturbing number of practices,” he says, “have failed to analyze the clinical content of their EHR and are distributing exam documents and other information that do not adequately or accurately document patient care. In the more serious situations, EHR clinical documents misrepresent the care provided and the patient’s condition.”

iPods, Androids Could Be Cancer-Detection Tools

Cancer screening...is there an app for that?
Not quite, but a newly developed device run by an iPod Touch, iPad or Android tablet could help diagnose cancers in poor or rural settings, researchers say.
The hand-held and solar-powered system, called a Gene-Z, can perform genetic analysis of blood samples in the field when connected to a consumer tablet like the Android.
When a patient has cancer, certain changes occur in microRNAs -- molecules that regulate genes -- that can be detected by the device.

Final CMS e-Prescribing Rule Eases Requirements

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , September 2, 2011

More physicians and practices can expect to avoid cuts in Medicare payments now that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has softened e-Prescribing rules.
In its final rule, published in the Federal Register Tuesday, CMS added new "significant hardship" exemptions, agreed to exempt those practices that are already meaningful users of certified EHRs, and extended the deadline to apply for those exceptions by one month to November 1, 2011 for the 2012 payment adjustment.
A 1% cut in fees for those who are not successful e-Prescribers will begin in 2012. Providers also face a potential 1.5% and 2% cut for 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Salford Royal looks to EPR for safety

1 September 2011   Lyn Whitfield
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is looking to further its ambition to be “the safest hospital in the NHS” by going out to tender for a new electronic patient record system.
The trust is looking for a provider to replace its iSoft Clinical Management system with a "more functional and integrated" electronic patient record system, through a five year contract worth up to £10m.
ICM was first implemented more than ten years ago, when the trust wanted to “create a patient centric, comprehensive clinical record for every patient to improve patient care.”
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Friending Your Doctor Online

A new social-networking service aims to improve the flow of communication by connecting doctors and patients online.
By Katharine Gammon
A social network that doctors can prescribe to their patients: that's the idea behind a new San Diego startup called Wellaho. The company creates software to manage and support patients after they leave the hospital by bringing together different parts of a patient's support system. Doctors, family, and friends could all be part of the network, which can be customized for individual patients. The system will begin clinical trials in three large San Diego hospitals next month, with a larger rollout planned for 2012.
Other patient-based networks, including PatientsLikeMe, HealthCentral, Inspire, CureTogether, and CaringBridge, are gaining popularity with the chronically ill. But this one is different, says Wellaho's founder, Naser Partovi. "It's prescribed by a doctor, and it involves clinicians as well as friends and family. It's much more controlled."

Taming High Health Costs Takes Taming High-Tech

01:49 pm
August 30, 2011
Expensive technologies like proton beam therapy and hot chemo baths are among the reasons America's health care spending is rising at an unsustainable clip and making the federal deficit so hard to tame.
But two of the nation's top health care economists are expressing doubts that accountable care organizations — one of Obama administration's most-hyped mechanisms to save money — will be able to overcome the medical system's lust for the new new thing.
Established through last year's health law, ACOs are networks of doctors and hospitals that would collaborate to provide quality care at lower cost, with the motivation of keeping a share of the savings they deliver to Medicare and private insurers. Medicare has been working for months to get the program running by next year.

What's Going On With Health Benefit Exchanges?

Health Data Management Blogs, August 30, 2011
It's quite amazing to see the reaction to the health insurance/benefit exchanges that have been mandated by the health reform bill, to be created and maintained by each state to manage its uninsured population. There were seven states/coalitions that had received the early innovator grants, ranging from just above $6 million to Maryland, all the way in excess of $50 million to Oklahoma. Now that is some range of innovation, I must say. But I deviate. The point is that two of the top three grantees—Oklahoma and Kansas--have since returned the grants. And by the looks of the conversations we have been hearing in the corridors of power, there may be others who are contemplating a similar response. On the other hand, the second round of grants provided additional funding to the smallest grantee, Maryland, in excess of $20 million. That brings me to my original question.

Lessons learned from Steve Jobs

August 30, 2011 by MassDevice

Newly resigned Apple CEO and technology titan Steve Jobs left quite a mark on health care and med-tech.
I recently spoke with several reporters about Steve Jobs' impact on healthcare , thanking him for the past 15 years of innovation. In preparing for those interviews, I reviewed Steve's career milestones,
In 1997, Apple Computer was in trouble. Its sales had declined from 11 billion in 1995 to 7 billion in 1997. Its energies were focused on battling Microsoft. It had lost its way.
Steve Jobs made these remarks at MacWorld 1997, a few months before becoming Apple's CEO. He outlined a simple go forward plan:
1. Board of Directors
2. Focus on Relevance
3. Invest in Core Assets
4. Meaningful Partnerships
5. New Product Paradigm
How can we apply these 5 ideas to the work we're doing in HIT?

BI Tools Prep Clinicians For Accountable Care

Healthcare organizations are turning to business intelligence software to help navigate a new era in the delivery of patient care, says KLAS report.
By Nicole Lewis,  InformationWeek
August 30, 2011
Healthcare providers pursuing accountable care organization (ACO) initiatives are increasingly relying on business intelligence (BI) tools to help identify inefficiencies, quality gaps, and cost issues, reports a study from healthcare research firm KLAS.
The report, Business Intelligence: Making Cents of Performance, notes that in an era in which pay for performance will shift the focus from quantity of care to quality of care, many clinicians see BI tools as an essential component monitoring patient care data and focusing on enhancing efficiency. The aim is to adopt new business models to accommodate the changing requirements of 2010's health reform law.
Lorin Bird, KLAS research director and author of the report, told InformationWeek Healthcare he'd spoken with a healthcare provider that had used Humedica's BI system--which connects patient information across varied medical settings and time periods--to generate information that showed a higher quality of care and lower costs when compared to medical peers.

EHI focus on: paperless at King’s

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is hoping to virtually eliminate paper in the next two years. Shanna Crispin joined staff at the IT department’s annual open day to find out more.
31 August 2011
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is on a tight deadline to becoming paperless – it has set 2013 as the year it wants paper eradicated.
Granted, the trust already has been 60% and 70% of its departments operating on electronic systems; but converting the remainder within two years will be no mean feat.
The trust first went live with its iSoft iClinical Management (iCM) electronic patient record in 1998; and director of ICT Colin Sweeney says it has had an ambition to become paperless ever since.
“When I think about it, it has really been the last six months to a year that we’ve been saying ‘yes this is a real objective for us’,” he tells eHealth Insider at a recent open day to promote the concept to staff. “But when we started off with our EPR vision back in 1997 I think we thought that ultimately we would go paperless.”

EHI focus on: Aintree University Hospitals

Aintree University Hospitals may have found that mythical animal: the electronic patient record system that takes trusts paperless. Shanna Crispin reports.
22 August 2011
The electronic patient record system being assembled at Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is fondly referred to by staff as a ‘unicorn’ – as in they’ve found one that exists.
The trust is less than a year away from becoming paper-light and 18 months shy of completing an IT strategy aimed squarely at implementing an operational electronic patient record.
Sticking with System C
The trust has been a System C customer for more than a decade, and in 2009 opted to stick with the supplier and deploy its Medway Sigma system – instead of taking what might have been on offer from the National Programme for IT in the NHS.

Aintree info exchange goes two-way

22 August 2011   Shanna Crispin
Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has started to give local GPs online access to patient information held on its in-hospital system.
The trust went live with a link-up between local primary care systems and its Medway patient administration system, using EMIS Web, back in June 2010.
It initially gave urgent care clinicians access to information held on the GP systems, such as allergies, medications and results.
Now it has started giving GPs the same access to information held in the hospital’s Medway Sigma electronic patient record.

Natural Language Processing IDs Medical Complications

Embedding NLP into electronic health records allows clinicians to spot more postop complications, finds JAMA study.
By Ken Terry,  InformationWeek
August 29, 2011
While we have yet to reach the holy grail of converting free text to structured data in an electronic health record (EHR), natural language processing (NLP) is beginning to show real promise in healthcare. The latest indication of this is a study showing that the application of NLP to free text in an EHR identifies postsurgical complications more accurately than the analysis of discharge billing codes.
The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the NLP method to the use of administrative data in the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP). The study population is a randomly selected sample of nearly 3,000 patients treated at six VA hospitals between 1999 and 2006.

Behind the mHealth, Telehealth Boom

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , August 30, 2011

The market for technologies that bring healthcare to patients instead of the other way around—mobile healthcare and telehealth—has been growing steadily. And many predict it will take an even bigger jump in the next few years.
That growth will be driven by a number of factors, including government initiatives and a trend toward collaboration between healthcare organizations and vendors.
The global mobile healthcare application market was $1.7 billion last year and it’s expected to reach $4.1 billion by 2014. And the global telemedicine market is expected to reach $19.5 billion by 2014, according to two separate reports released by Infiniti Research, a global market research firm based in London.

Nurses urged to lead on informatics

30 August 2011   Daloni Carlisle
NHS Connecting for Health’s chief nurse is to launch a programme to develop leadership skills for nurses in informatics.
Two three-day workshops will take place in late September to look at the leadership skills that are needed and how they can be developed.
Susan Hamer, the director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, said: “This is not an informatics course. It is about understanding the shifting context and trying to increase leadership capacity.”

EHI CCIO interview: Susan Hamer

NHS Connecting for Health’s director of nursing, midwifery and heath visiting has been studying the role of chief nursing information officer that is emerging in the US. As a result, she is an enthusiastic supporter of the EHI CCIO Campaign.
30 August 2011
In July this year, Trinity Mother Frances Health System in Texas advertised in the Washington Post for a chief nursing information officer.
In the lengthy job description was this key phrase: “The CNIO leads nursing in the design and execution of technology-enabled process change that maximizes patient safety, quality of care and operational efficiency.”
Trinity Mother Frances’ job is one of a number of similar posts that have been created in the past 18 months as leading healthcare organisations in the US have started to advocate for a senior nursing executive to lead, co-ordinate and champion informatics and IT. Yet the very idea that a UK hospital would place such an advert is almost unthinkable at present.

EHR App Draws on Photos, Images

HDM Breaking News, August 29, 2011
HealthFusion Inc. has introduced a feature for its ambulatory electronic health records software enabling physicians to draw on a patient picture or one of more than 100 built-in anatomical images.
The MediDraw feature works with the vendor's MediTouch EHR on a tablet, laptop or desktop computer running Windows or Apple operating systems. A physician can access embedded anatomical images, or take a picture of a patient and use a smartphone to upload the picture to the EHR via the Internet, and then draw with a fingertip on the picture.

Super-sized HIEs rise up nationwide

August 22, 2011 — 7:06pm ET | By Ken Terry
Even as some health information exchange projects fail, others are rising to take their place, and some are quite large. The two latest examples are regional HIEs in western Pennsylvania and southern California.
The ClinicalConnect exchange in Pennsylvania will include nine of the area's health care systems. Among them are Altoona Regional Health System, Armstrong County Memorial Hospital, Butler Health System, Excela Health, Heritage Valley Health System, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, St. Clair Hospital, The Washington Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
Starting with a pilot at Heritage Valley, ClinicalConnect will be implemented over the next two years. There are plans to bring in other regional health systems in the near future.

HIEs save payers big bucks

August 25, 2011 — 4:15pm ET | By Ken Terry
A study of emergency-department visits conducted by Humana in the Milwaukee area shows that payers can save money if EDs have access to community health information exchanges (HIEs).
When ED clinicians queried patients' encounter histories in the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE), the patients' visits cost Humana $29 less, on average, than did visits by patients whose doctors did not have the benefit of that information, the study found. Much of the savings came from a reduction in redundant testing.
The study, which ran from 2008 to 2010, involved 1,482 fully insured Humana members who sought care at 10 Milwaukee hospitals. The test group consisted of patients for whom the WHIE database was consulted during at least two ED visits; the database was not consulted for those in the control group, who also made at least two ED visits.

Study: HIE Cuts Emergency Dept. Costs

HDM Breaking News, August 29, 2011
A study of emergency department visits at 10 Milwaukee hospitals finds average savings of $29 per visit when the attending physician can access historical medical encounter information from a patient's insurer via a health information exchange.
"Decreased utilization of imaging procedures and diagnostic tests drove this cost-savings," according to the study, published in the July-August 2011 issue of American Health & Drug Benefits and available here.

Increased stress causing hospital CIOs to rethink their job situations

August 28, 2011 — 4:25pm ET | By Ken Terry
Nearly a quarter of hospital CIOs are considering leaving their positions for a less stressful job within the next three years, according to a survey by healthsystemCIO.com. Moreover, 55 percent agree with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka that with all of the projects being heaped on their plates, the position of CIO might eventually be untenable. Halamka made this remark in an earlier interview with healthsystemCIO.com, a blog written by former Healthcare Informatics Editor Anthony Guerra.
Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and, in some cases, accountable care organizations have made the CIO's job more difficult than ever. Fifty-five percent of the respondents believe that they need more senior IT staff, especially project managers.
Sixty-five percent have communicated their concerns to the hospital managers above them. In written comments, some of the respondents said that the managers don't understand that the initial investment in hardware and software is only the beginning of the ongoing investment in implementation and maintenance of complex applications. But other respondents noted that their hospitals are doing the best they can to give them the funds they need to do a good job.

Axolotl HIE is now OptumInsight

August 24, 2011 | Diana Manos, Healthcare IT News
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – Axolotl HIE solutions are now part of OptumInsight (formerly Ingenix) healthcare management systems and services, Optum announced Wednesday.
"For more than 16 years, Axolotl Health Information Exchange (HIE) solutions have been consistently top-ranked among all HIE systems," Optum said. "Hospitals, regions and entire states that use Axolotl HIE are unequalled in delivering vital patient information, empowering clinical collaboration, improving quality of care and patient safety and reducing healthcare costs."

7 things to consider when choosing mobile devices

Technically Speaking. By Pamela Lewis Dolan, amednews staff. Posted Aug. 29, 2011.
For physicians who want a mobile device, what's the best choice -- a smartphone or a tablet? Or both? Or something else? Experts say the answer depends on how a physician is planning to use the device, and where.
Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting firm, published a white paper that looks at the decision-making process of adopting one or more major wireless devices -- smartphones, tablets, push-to-talk and machine-to-machine (M2M) monitoring tools, such as home monitoring instruments that send data to an electronic medical record. The paper, which received financial support from Sprint, says the decision can be broken down into seven criteria: functionality, usability, security, network connectivity, durability, application availability and price.

Mostashari: Pick a health problem, 'knock the heck out of it'

August 29, 2011 | Bernie Monegain, Healthcare IT News
National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD, urged an audience at the annual Allscripts Client Experience Conference Monday morning to pick a health problem - stroke or heart attack, for example – and "knock the heck out of it."
"All of you out there, pick a target."
As he has before, Mostashari reminded the group that "technology is not an end to itself." Better care for individuals and better care for the population, along with lower costs are the goals, he said.
He forecast more innovation and more connection between healthcare providers and individual consumers for the future, and "more liberation of data."

Red Cross: Social media prevalent in disasters

August 25, 2011 | Molly Merrill, Contributing Editor
A pair of new surveys conducted by the American Red Cross confirmed that the uptick seen on sites such as Twitter and Facebook is part of a growing trend of Americans turning to social media in response to emergencies.
“Social media is becoming an integral part of disaster response,” said Wendy Harman, director of social strategy for the American Red Cross.
Clear evidence of this was the East Coast earthquake that occurred on Aug. 23, which produced more than 40,000 earthquake-related tweets on Twitter, was discussed in more than 3 million Facebook accounts, and caused Twitter to hit 5,000 tweets per second.

EHR Vendors Give Keyboard-Hating Docs Pen Alternative

Digital pen technology becomes an option from more EHR vendors. Will it help doctors cross the bridge away from legacy process?
By Ken Terry,  InformationWeek
August 26, 2011
Digital pen technology--an alternative to keyboard-based data entry--is starting to make serious inroads in healthcare, according to Anoto, the Swedish company that manufactures the leading digital pen in the U.S. Most significantly, electronic health record (EHR) vendors are beginning to offer Anoto-licensed digital-pen applications as part of their hospital, ED, and ambulatory-care products.
Anoto partner Shareable Ink said it has integrated its application with the EHRs of Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, McKesson, and Meditech. Allscripts confirmed that it is offering Shareable Ink with its Enterprise EHR for large group practices and is in the process of implementing it with its Professional EHR for medium-sized groups.

ANSI launches operations to approve EHR certifiers

August 26, 2011 | Mary Mosquera
WASHINGTON – The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has launched its program to approve organizations that want to certify electronic health records for meaningful use.
ANSI will accept applications through Oct. 7, with its first organization accreditations anticipated in 2012, the standards-setting group said in an Aug. 25 announcement.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT named ANSI in June as the sole authorized accreditor of certifying bodies for the permanent certification program.


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