Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late 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, April 13, 2013

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 13th April, 2013.

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.

4 ways health IT can build trust

By Benjamin Harris, New Media Producer, Healthcare IT News
Created 04/04/2013
Medicine is a two-way street; it works best when the patient and the provider trust each other, and can work together for the best outcome. While technology can enable those outcomes, when improperly used -- consider the epidemic of patient data breaches -- it can also raise some eyebrows and scare some people away from embracing it. Scott Zimmerman, president at TeleVox Software, understands these concerns. But he sees technology offering a net gain on the road to improving patien-physician relationships and enhancing trust. He shares four ways health IT can improve the quality of care and enhance trust between the patient and the provider.

Patients Like Online Health Records Access, Study Says

Veterans in study said the ability to view notes, lab results and other documents helped them communicate better with their doctors and led to better health.
When patients at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., were given access to key parts of their electronic health records such as visit notes, lab results and discharge summaries, they believed that the ability to view their records helped them in many ways. They said they gained knowledge about their health, did a better job of taking care of themselves, had an easier time talking to their doctors and participated more fully in office visits, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
On the other hand, some veterans were disturbed when they saw inconsistencies, previously undisclosed information, or derogatory language, said researchers. AdTech Ad
The study showed that common provider concerns about giving patients full access to their records appeared unwarranted. However, the authors said, record sharing "is likely to change providers' work, necessitating new types of skills to communicate and partner with patients."

HIT Errors 'Tip of the Iceberg,' Says ECRI

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , April 5, 2013

Healthcare systems' transitions from paper records to electronic ones are causing harm and in so many serious ways, providers are only now beginning to understand the scope.
Computer programs truncated dosage fields, leading to morphine-caused respiratory arrest; lab test and transplant surgery records didn't talk to each other, leading to organ rejection and patient death; and an electronic systems' misinterpretation of the time "midnight" meant an infant received antibiotics one dangerous day too late.
These are among the 171 health information technology malfunctions and disconnects that caused or could have caused patient harm in a report to the ECRI Institute's Patient Safety Organization. Thirty-six participating hospitals reported the data under a special voluntary program conducted last year.

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends electronic prescribing

April 3, 2013 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement recommending that pediatric healthcare providers use e-prescribing to improve quality and reduce costs. According to the statement, published in the journal Pediatrics, the prescription error rates for children range between 5 percent and 27 percent; moreover, these errors can create more severe complications for children because of their more narrow therapeutic profiles and the inability of some of them to communicate adverse effects.

HIT unprepared for 'omics' onslaught

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
Created 04/04/2013
Data systems in healthcare are lacking when it comes to the storage and handling of increasingly complex medical information, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Physicians are moving en masse to electronic health records, but existing data systems aren't sophisticated enough to make optimal use of ever-expanding patient information, according to one of the report's authors, Justin Starren, chief of the division of health and biomedical informatics in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
This problem that will only be exacerbated as data grows apace – fueled by innovations such as next-generation genomic sequencing – and becomes cheaper and more available to health care providers.

Retrial begins for iSoft execs

3 April 2013   Central News court reporting agency
Three former senior executives of iSoft faced retrial today accused of ‘cooking the books’ to bury bad news about the company to boost its value.
Stephen Graham, Timothy Whiston and John Whelan are being retried at Southwark Crown Court after their first, four month trial ended without a verdict last August.
Patrick Cryne, a co-founder and former chief executive of the company, was not part of the first trial for medical reasons and was not before the court today.

Why health data digitization is here to stay

April 4, 2013 | By Ashley Gold
Despite federal incentives and penalties, as well as payer demands, for health data digitization, some providers continue to resist the trend. One health policy and ethics analyst aims to address why in a recent Hospital & Health Networks article.
Emily Friedman, wondering if reluctant providers' concerns should be taken more seriously, says she can understand the resistance. She lists some of the arguments against digitization: primarily, lack of ease of use, citing a 2012 CompTIA survey that found 58 percent of respondents think systems are hard to use.

"Requiring busy people who might be technologically challenged to clamber up a steep learning curve is asking a lot, in or out of health care," Friedman writes.

The big-data and analytics revolution in health care

Analytics is transforming many facets of the health-care industry, from drug research to patient care. “The big-data revolution in US health care: Accelerating value and innovation” traces the evolving role of analytics from retroactive reporting to prediction and intervention, and quantifies the potential benefits and organizational challenges. This article includes a video interview with McKinsey director Nicolaus Henke, who discusses the capabilities organizations will need to integrate analytics effectively.

5 reasons to get sold on analytics

By Benjamin Harris, New Media Producer, Healthcare IT News
Created 04/02/2013
Welcome to the data world. Many secrets are hidden in big data, and now, with the computing power to unearth them, analytics promises to deliver transformative power wherever it is put to work. Still, the technology is a relative newcomer in the healthcare world. Brett Furst, CEO of Arbormetrix, says there is nothing to fear – and that analysis of clinical data has much to offer the medical world. Here, he shares his top five requirements to succeed with, or at least get excited about, the power of clinical analytics.

President Obama’s Challenge: Map the Brain

APR 2, 2013 3:33pm ET
President Obama on April 2 launched a national public-private initiative to map the human brain, adding federal funds to private sector efforts as was done to map the human genome.
The federal government between 1988 and 2003 invested $3.8 billion into the Human Genome Project, with an economic return of $141 for every invested dollar, totaling $796 billion, the White House says.
The goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to discover new treatments, preventions and cures for such disorders as Alzheimer’s, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury, the President said.

7 health technologies developed for veterans

April 3, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
Technology has always played a big part in providing and improving healthcare for U.S. soldiers, both at home and abroad. For instance, the Blue Button, launched in 2010, initially was designed as a means for veterans to easily access and download their health information to use, as necessary. The technology, which since has been made available to non-veteran patients, as well, continues to evolve, with registration reaching one million patients last summer.

Access to EHR data 'overwhelmingly' positive for patients

April 1, 2013 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Providing patients with access to the information in their electronic health records "overwhelmingly" yielded positive benefits, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
While patient review of their health data is an opportunity to engage them in their healthcare, some clinicians have expressed concern about such open access. The researchers, from the Veteran's Administration and elsewhere, sought to determine patients' actual experiences with such open access by studying the My HealtheVet EHR access pilot program.  They used focus group interviews conducted at the Portland Ore.-based VA Medical Center, which had the highest percentage (72 percent) of enrollees in the pilot.

Press Ganey spotlights ways to improve the patient experience

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor
Created 04/02/2013
A new report from Press Ganey reveals the value of capturing every patient’s voice in order to focus efforts on enhancing the quality and safety of care.
The report, "2013 Strategic Insights: Targeted Performance Improvement," identifies new thinking and analytical approaches organizations can adopt to efficiently and effectively enhance performance, according to a news release. Press Ganey, a patient experience improvement firm, works with more than 10,000 health care organizations, including 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
“In order to continue to advance the patient experience and perform at the highest levels clinically, leadership will require continuous innovation,” according to Patrick Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “A new framework is needed, and every patient must be given a voice. Sustainability will require operational integration of advanced analytics to drive targeted, day-to-day improvement.”

Study: Medication Errors in the ED Decreased With Computerized Provider Order Entry

Written by Sabrina Rodak | April 02, 2013
Computerized provider order entry systems in the emergency department can reduce medication errors, according to a study in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Commentary: EHR usability must amplify human potential

By Tim Andrews, Vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton
It's an exciting time for the health IT community: the wider use of electronic health records (EHRs), coupled by new integrated delivery models, clinical support systems, and mobile technology provides an amazing opportunity to dramatically improve care delivery while changing how patients and providers interact.
Unfortunately, this rapid change has wreaked a bit of havoc on health IT providers. Over the past few years, vendors have been consumed by EHR certification and support for Meaningful Use while continuing their own feature development. However, this rapid rollout of EHRs has laid a solid foundation from which we can build.
Now, I believe we need to turn our focus from critical internal development — the plumbing — to the user experience. As our healthcare system moves away from an ad hoc, fee-for-service system and towards an integrated care model, we must design and create health IT solutions that will enable and empower users — from patients to providers.

Allscripts opens lab with Singapore IT org

By Anthony Brino, Associate Editor
The U.S. health IT company Allscripts is partnering with Singapore’s Integrated Health Information Systems (IHIS) to open a lab bringing information technologies to health systems in Singapore and possibly other Asian countries.
IHIS is an organization of the Singapore Ministry of Health’s (MOH) public holdings group, and has been helping bring IT tools to the country’s regional health systems, many also owned by the MOH.
“The joint laboratory will enable local clinicians and IT professionals to work closely with international experts to create software that will integrate seamlessly with our hospitals’ workflows and address our future healthcare challenges,” IHIS CEO Chong Yoke Sin said in a media release..

Massive disparities in GP IT spend

28 March 2013   Rebecca Todd
Expenditure on GP IT varies enormously nationwide from between just 50p per head of population in Wiltshire to more than £10 in West Essex.
This massive disparity in spending, revealed in a Freedom of Information request to the NHS Commissioning Board, has left the board struggling to delegate GP IT funding to clinical commissioning groups.
However, enquiries by EHI reveal that for at least one primary care trust, the reported figure represents its entire IT budget rather than just money spent on GP IT.

All change, please

At midnight, the latest reorganisation of the NHS finally took effect. Lyn Whitfield outlines the changes and their impact on NHS IT.
28 March 2013
It’s hard to believe that between 1948, when the NHS was established, and 1974, when regional and area health authorities were created, the health service was left un-reorganised.
Since then, the pace of ‘reform’ has picked up to the point where major changes, such as the introduction of general management and the internal market, can be expected every decade, and minor changes to purchaser or provider bodies can be expected every year.
Even so, the shake-up that took effect at midnight is bigger and far more hotly contested than most.

Shaken NHS faces uncertain future

1 April 2013   Lyn Whitfield
The latest round of NHS reforms, which took effect at midnight, have been greeted with unease and concern about what they could mean for the future of the health service.
Mike Farrar, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which, as a management organisation might be expected to flag the more positive aspects of the changes, instead warned of the challenges ahead.
“We need to recognise the huge challenges facing the health service,” he said. “New structures alone won’t enable us to tackle these changes, and we should not see them as a silver bullet.”

Marc Probst: Data standards, ICD-10 among healthcare's biggest hurdles

April 2, 2013 | By Dan Bowman
Among the biggest challenges currently facing the health IT industry, two in particular that stand out, according to Intermountain Healthcare CIO Marc Probst, are interoperability and ICD-10. With regard to the former, the outspoken Salt Lake City-based hospital executive, who also serves as a member of the federal Health IT Policy Committee, has made no bones about the fact that he thinks the government needs to set standards now.
"We've got to get things standardized, and it's not happening fast enough," Probst ( pictured right) told FierceHealthIT in a recent interview.

Obama's BRAIN Initiative takes aim at Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

April 2, 2013 | By Ashley Gold
The Obama Administration's Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, first alluded to in the president's State of the Union Address in February, officially was launched by the White House this morning. In a press conference touting the announcement, Obama called the knowledge that potentially could be gained through the project's efforts "transformative."
"As humans, we can identify galaxies light years away … but we still haven't unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears," Obama said. "The most powerful computer in the world isn't nearly as intuitive as the one we're born with."
Three organizations--the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency--will provide approximately $100 million in funding for the initiative beginning in FY 2014, according to a White House announcement. Additionally, according to the announcement, NIH will establish an academic working group to "define detailed scientific goals" of the program, as well as to create a "multi-year scientific plan" for the program.

HL7 Makes Good on Offer of Free Intellectual Property

APR 1, 2013 4:26pm ET
Standards development organization Health Level Seven International in September 2012 pledged to offer much of its intellectual property via a free license, and that property now is available, effective April 1.
The free property includes all published standards, domain analysis models, profiles and implementation guides. HL7 also will make free other select intellectual property, such as implementation tools, on a case-by-case basis. The intellectual property will not be licensed on the open source market, under which developers may make enhancements. The freely available property means the content must be licensed for use but the license is free.
In September, HL7 CEO Charles Jaffee, M.D., said the property was being made freely available to advance interoperability across the globe and better align with other standards organizations that
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Could New Cancer Care Database Be a 'Game Changer' for Medicine?

by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Managing Editor
WASHINGTON -- Experts say an announcement made last week by the American Society of Clinical Oncology could have significant implications for the future of health care delivery.
ASCO announced that it successfully completed a prototype of a cancer care database that leverages health IT to improve care.
CancerLinQ is a knowledge-generating computer network that will collect and analyze cancer care data from millions of patients and then combine that information with expert guidelines and other evidence to generate real-time, personalized guidance and quality feedback for doctors.

Health IT Priorities Put Regulations Before Innovation

Implementing electronic records and meeting Meaningful Use rules are top of the list in our Health IT Priorities survey. Is there room for breakthrough technology?
The tension is palpable among healthcare IT pros, given how much change is happening at once in their industry. Lynn Witherspoon, chief medical information officer at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, sums up the challenges: "Care delivery redesign and associated reimbursement changes, ongoing Meaningful Use and healthcare reform requirements, and the difficulty of developing new cultural norms will make next year a very busy one."
AdTech AdAnother respondent to our InformationWeek 2013 Healthcare IT Priorities Survey puts things more bluntly: "Most healthcare CIOs are supportive of the majority of the new functional requirements that are being forced on us. However, federal requirements are coming too many, too fast. … The rate of change is such that systems and changes are being implemented less than optimally."
This furious pace of change explains why tactical and regulatory objectives dominate this year's Healthcare IT Priorities Survey, just as they did last year. More than 60% of the health IT pros who responded to our survey cite managing digital patient data and meeting regulatory requirements among their top priorities, rating each a 5 on a 1-to-5 scale.

Phishing a Real Threat to Healthcare, No Fooling

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , April 2, 2013

It was a long holiday weekend several years ago, and I received a message on Facebook from someone I trusted, a longtime acquaintance from a well-known high-tech company. He had posted something to my Facebook wall. I thought it was benign. But his Facebook account had been compromised, and now I had been phished.
I knew about phishing; essentially it's an email fraud scam or online con game. I thought I would be safe if I only opened messages from people I knew, on networks I believed to be safe. I spent the next day, however, profusely apologizing to my Facebook friends, who now had postings to their own Facebook walls, from me, inviting them to click and be sucked into the digital chaos. We all had a good non-laugh changing our passwords and apologizing on down the line.
I was lucky that the only harm I suffered was a little embarrassment. And I now I know I'm in pretty good company. Last week, we learned that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has been the victim of credit-card fraud. The court did not provide any other details, according to the Associated Press. But if you ask me, the odds are that Justice Roberts had been phished.

Stanford researchers develop disease-detecting biological 'computer'

April 1, 2013 | By Ashley Gold
A new biological computer developed by Stanford University researchers could potentially detect disease and kill off rogue cells, according to a new study published in Science magazine.
The advancements, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, are described as "microscopic natural computers inside [human's] cells that could guard against disease and warn of toxic threats."
The achievement is a portent to computers inside the human body that could screen for cancer or toxic chemicals. Lead researcher Drew Endy told the Mercury News, "We're going to be able to put computers inside any living cell you want," which he said could answer any biological question within a cell, and count cells, too.

Securing health data from hackers requires a holistic approach

April 1, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
Though less common than breaches from lost laptops or other devices, hacking is on the rise in healthcare, experts say. Fending off cyber criminals, however, should go beyond treating security as a routine matter of protecting patient privacy, according to a recently published research report from CSC's Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices.
"It needs to more of an ongoing, constant, holistic type of approach where you're looking at your systems from the perspective of someone on the outside," lead author and senior research specialist Jared Rhoads, pictured, told FierceHealthIT, speaking about the risk assessments the report recommends.
Rhoads described hacking as "still the kind of thing that statistically won't happen to you yet," but that "is happening often enough that we're taking notice of it." A recently published Wired article hypothesized that as health data increasingly is pushed online, hacking becomes less a question of "if" and more a question of "when."


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