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, April 05, 2014

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 5th April, 2014.

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.

Latest ICD-10 one-liner is no joke

Posted on Mar 28, 2014
By Tom Sullivan, Editor, Government Health IT
ICD-10 has been the butt of countless jokes during the last several months but none so surprising as the latest one-liner. Only this isn’t funny.
Whether you’re on that chair edge hoping President Obama gets a chance to sign the provision pushing ICD-10 back within the Sustainable Growth Rate fix into law, or crossing fingers that the Senate kills it come Monday, no matter.
The reality is that a code set conversion simply should not be about politics.
Other than lazily dumping ICD-10 and the SGR process for determining how much to pay doctors who treat Medicare patients under the umbrella term of healthcare reimbursements, the tie between them prior to the now infamous Section 212 bomb within the bill, ICD-10 and SGR have almost nothing to do with each other.

Data-sharing cuts unnecessary ER visits by 10 percent

March 28, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
A data-sharing initiative among emergency departments in Washington reduced ER visits by Medicaid patients by 10 percent in the program's first year, according to a report from the Washington State Health Care Authority.
It hasn't been a completely voluntary effort, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. After attemts to cap reimbursement for non-emergency visits to ERs led to outcries from providers, the state, hospitals, and physicians came together to create what they call their "Seven Best Practices"mainly that doctors need more information in the ER and afterward to provide the most effective care in the least-costly setting.

HHS unveils security risk assessment tool

March 28, 2014 | By Ashley Gold
A new security risk assessment (SRA) tool aimed to help healthcare providers in small to medium sized offices conduct risk assessments of their organizations is now available from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The tool was first mentioned at a session during HIMSS14 in February.
"Protecting patients' protected health information is important to all health care providers and the new tool we are releasing today will help them assess the security of their organizations," National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said in announcement. "The SRA tool and its additional resources have been designed to help health care providers conduct a risk assessment to support better security for patient health data."

Increased Use of Health IT Equates to Less Face-Time with Patients, Says Report

Written by Ayla Ellison (Twitter | Google+)  | March 27, 2014
A new trend report has confirmed increased use of health IT by healthcare providers results in a decrease in face-to-face interactions with patients.
The newly released report is part of an ongoing series that analyzes the results of the third bi-annual Health IT Survey. The survey was conducted in 2008, 2010 and 2012 to identify primary trends in health IT systems as well as current and emerging software applications.

Agencies See Big Data As Cure For Healthcare Ills

3/26/2014 12:25 PM
Federal healthcare agencies believe big data will improve the nation's health -- but few are prepared to use it, a study finds.
Two-thirds of federal executives working in healthcare-focused agencies believe that big data will improve population health management and preventive care. But even though feds report in a new study that they must tap into emerging technologies such as wireless health devices and machine-to-machine monitoring systems, only a small percentage of government agencies have implemented them.
According to the findings, 63% of federal IT professionals feel that big data will help track and manage population health more efficiently, 62% view big data as a way to significantly improve patient care within military health and Veterans Affairs (VA) systems, and 60% believe big data will improve how preventive care is delivered.

eHealth Initiative to lay out healthcare roadmap for 2020

March 27, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
The eHealth Initiative has set out to create a vision for healthcare through the end of the decade through a public-private collaborative effort called the eHealth Initiative 2020 Roadmap.
Though meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, it plans to make key policy recommendations to implement at a federal level and propose actions for the private sector to spearhead to transform care delivery through data exchange and health information technology (IT), according to an announcement.

IT leaders stressed about project money

Posted on Mar 27, 2014
By Bernie Monegain, Editor
Not having enough money to complete a successful IT implementation is the top worry of participants in the 25th Annual 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey. The survey examines a wide array of topics crucial to healthcare leaders including IT priorities, issues driving and challenging technology adoption and IT security.
While a majority of the survey participants -- 65 percent -- reported IT budget increases, which is likely a contributing factor to the transition to a paperless environment, HIMSS officials noted in a news release, a lack of adequate financial resources now tops the list of barriers to successful IT implementation. This is a shift from the past two years when the primary IT challenge was insufficient and untrained staffing resources.

Unlocking the Power of Health Data

by David Harlow Thursday, March 27, 2014
In this day and age, with fewer and fewer exceptions, each of us has a digital footprint as a patient. Each of us has an intentional digital footprint, created by each of us directly and by the trusted others with whom we interact in the real world and online -- through electronic health records, personal health records, personal tracker data, blogs, tweets, etc.
Each of us also has a trail of additional information that is a by-product of our online existence, our digital exhaust, which is out there to be mined for data. All of these data sources -- individually or, more likely, when aggregated with that of others -- may turn out to be usable as information, or perhaps even knowledge.
That is the promise of EHRs, and one key policy argument behind the federal government incentive program promoting their adoption: that health data writ large -- big data -- when properly analyzed will yield medical insights not otherwise accessible to us; that evidence-based medicine will be advanced immeasurably and that the dissemination of best practices will be tremendously accelerated.

Growing Beyond Yesterday's Population Health Management

3/26/2014 09:06 AM
Data can transform healthcare, but not with just any ordinary analytics.
Analytics -- the mathematical savior of oh-so-many population health management (PHM) programs -- is all the rage in health IT marketing circles these days. As the electronic medical records gold rush slowly ebbs over the next few years, attention is gradually shifting to approaches we can use to fundamentally change the cost and quality of care... and what we should do with all this data.

HHS Health Information Exchange Strategy Lacking, Says GAO

MAR 25, 2014
Health information exchange technology has the potential to bring patient information directly from an electronic health record to a provider delivering care.
However, a new Government Accountability Office report has found that providers and stakeholders in four states are facing several challenges with ongoing electronic health information exchange efforts. Barriers include insufficient standards, concerns about varying privacy rules among states, difficulties in matching patients to their records, and costs.
The problem, GAO says, is that the Department of Health and Human Services and its various units lack specific prioritized actions and milestones to address obstacles to successful information exchange. In particular, several providers told GAO that they have difficulty exchanging certain types of health information due to insufficient health data standards. 

AHIMA Warns About Use of EHR Copy and Paste Practices

MAR 26, 2014
The American Health Information Management Association has issued a position statement warning industry stakeholders about the risky practice of copy and pasting within an electronic health record.
"Use of the copy and paste functionality in EHRs can result in redundant, erroneous, and/or incomprehensible health record documentation," states the document. "Misuse of this functionality has the potential to result in or contribute to several overarching challenges, with implications for the quality and safety of patient care, medical-legal integrity of the health record, and fraud and abuse allegations."

Virtual doctor visits take off at Kaiser

Posted on Mar 24, 2014
By Jeff Rowe, Contributing Writer
In 2013, Kaiser Permanente conducted 10.5 million patient-doctor visits via e-mail, telephone or video tools, and in a new report the organization discusses some of the ways those visits took place.
For example, a secure e-mail service allows users to attach images (such as a digital picture of a rash, for instance) in a message to a Kaiser dermatologist. In 80 percent of those cases, the dermatologist was able to offer a definitive diagnosis and prescribe without an office visit.

Blowing in

The government is confident that cloud-based services are the future of IT in the public sector; and many suppliers agree with it. The NHS is not convinced, although primary and community services are starting to put a finger in the wind. Fiona Barr reports.
Two years ago, the head of the government’s G-Cloud programme predicted that cloud computing would cut government IT costs by up to 75%.
For a cash-strapped NHS that probably sounded like an appealing hypothesis; although it is one many healthcare organisations have seemed reluctant to put to the test.
Security concerns
The reasons for that reluctance are likely to be multi-faceted. One obvious barrier to adoption is a lack of confidence about the security of identifiable patient data held in the cloud.
Organisations are nervous about losing control of their data, in much the same way that many were concerned about moving from organisation-based to hosted solutions a decade ago.
In primary care, most GP practices had servers in their practices ten years ago, but since then hosted solutions have become the norm - and the cloud is now taking over.

Study: Bedside sensor reduces length of stay in hospital and ICU

Laura Pedulli
Mar 24, 2014
A sensor placed under a hospital bed that continuously monitors a patient’s heart, respiratory rate and movement was shown to significantly reduce patients’ total length of stay in a hospital and intensive care unit (ICU).
Harvard University Medical School researchers conducted a controlled 7,643 patient outcome study of EarlySense’s monitoring system, in which they compared a 33-bed medical-surgical unit (intervention unit) to a sister control unit for a 9-month pre-implementation and a 9-month post implementation period.

Mobile health market projected to surge

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

March 25, 2014 -- The market for global mobile health (mHealth) technologies is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55% to reach $21.5 billion in revenues by 2018.

More Medical Interoperability Could Lead to Big Savings

March 25, 2014
Medical interoperability could be a source of more than $30 billion a year in savings and improve patient care and safety, according to a new white paper released by the La Jolla, Calif.-based Gary and Mary West Health Institute and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
The white paper, summarizing the HCI-DC 2014: Igniting an Interoperable Healthcare System conference, features lessons learned and synthesizing findings into a call for action to achieve an interoperable healthcare system. The West Health Institute’s HCI-DC 2014, which took place Feb. 6, 2014 in Washington D.C., and was co-hosted by ONC, brought together experts from across the healthcare community to consider how interoperability can cut costs, improve efficiency, reduce errors, and improve health .

HHS lays out 4-part health IT strategic plan

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor
The Department of Health and Human Services has named health information technology as key to the “modernization of the American health care system” in its latest strategic plan.
The plan has four major goals, which include:
  1. Strengthen health care
  2. Advance scientific knowledge and innovation
  3. Advance the health, safety, and well-being of the American people
  4. Ensure efficiency, transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of HHS programs
And to that end, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology plays a big part, according to HHS. ONC "pursues the modernization of the American health care system through a collaborative framework that addresses critical health information technology (IT) challenges by supporting the adoption of common policies and standards that support the meaningful use of health IT,” the plan says.

4 ways to high performing supply chain

Posted on Mar 25, 2014
By Todd Ebert, Contributing Writer
The supply chain represents about 25 percent of a healthcare facility’s operating budget, and industry trends strongly indicate that this percentage will continue to grow. Thus, supply chain optimization is not an option, it's a must.
Here are some solid best practices that can help your facility build a “new” supply chain focused on efficient processes and maximized outcomes.
Obtain senior management commitment
Continual commitment from senior management helps keep projects moving and demonstrates their importance to all hospital staff. Even if the project originates in materials management, the materials manager should win executive team support before engaging physicians and surgeons. Senior leadership must be willing to support the process, stay with it through difficult moments and see it through on an ongoing basis.

Health IT leaders must 'adapt or die'

March 25, 2014 | By Ashley Gold
Healthcare organizations struggling with information technology must "adapt or die," according to a recent article in CIO magazine.
Thanks to electronic health records, patient data is now in repositories, and CIOs must make sense of all that data and protect it.
Skip Snow, a senior analyst with Forrester research and advisory firm, told CIO about five technology imperatives for U.S. healthcare providers--here are three:
  1. Clean up data: Snow says organizations must at least be able to import and export HL7 continuity of care (CCD) files; they also should consider creating an infrastructure that safeguards protected health information (PHI).
  2. Invest in customer and patient insight: This means investing in clinical, operational and financial data management tools and establishing a common vocabulary for shared business entities.
  3. Embrace mobile: mHealth, among many other uses, can be used as a bridge between remote monitoring and EHR systems, easing patient concerns about telehealth.

Kaiser informatics director: IT must be about continuous quality improvement for nurses

March 25, 2014 | By Dan Bowman
No one IT system is perfect for improving care, according to Ann O'Brien, RN, director of clinical informatics at Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente. Rather, she said, continuous performance improvement should be the primary goal of technology use in healthcare.
"You have to look at what can enable small amounts of change" as it relates to a larger goal of better quality for patients, O'Brien (pictured) said, speaking last Friday at an IT summit for nurses held by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the American Nursing Informatics Association and the American Nurses Association at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Md.

Hot stuff

An electronic check list to help GPs identify patients at risk of stroke and get them the right treatment was a winner at the EHI Awards in 2013. Fiona Barr reports.
25 March 2014
A simple IT solution that enables the delivery of gold standard care for patients time after time is the Holy Grail for those working with NHS technology.
One such solution, an electronic checklist for patients who have suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), has been developed in Essex; and scooped  the award for ‘clinical treatment and care’ at the EHI Awards 2013 in association with CGI.
The hyper-acute online TIA (HOT-TIA) referral form automatically calculates a patient’s risk of stroke for GPs, creating a red alert for immediate admission if the patient is at high risk and enabling those at low risk to be seen within seven days.  

Interoperability Needs More Than Fired-Up Buyers

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , March 25, 2014

Health information technology buyers have been demanding interoperability for some time, yet too many IT vendors have too often kept the door to interoperability locked tight, denying the industry $30 billion in potential savings.

On his first comedy album, Bill Cosby did a timeless bit called The Pep Talk where a football coach gets his team all fired up in the locker room before game time and then sends them forth… only to be stopped by a locked door.
This bit came to mind as I read a new report from the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, which along with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, held a one-day conference on healthcare IT interoperability last month.
In the report, the authors urge all buyers of healthcare IT, that's healthcare systems, hospitals, practices and patients, to insist that technology vendors make their products work well with each other, share data, and support open standards.

The Use and Misuse of Information Technology in Health Care: Several Doctors Reply

One of them writes, "There is a very American tendency to look for technological fixes for significant problems.  In general, technological fixes only work in the context of appropriate institutional structures."
James Fallows Mar 24 2014, 5:00 AM ET
Our new issue has an interview with Dr. David Blumenthal about why it has taken the medical system so long to adopt electronic record-keeping, and what it will mean when the switch occurs. (Blumenthal led the Obama administration's effort to encourage that change.) On Friday several technology experts and doctors weighed in with responses. Here are a few more.
1) "Give us a cotton gin." Creed Wait, a family-practice doctor in Nebraska does not like the mandated shift to electronic records, at all. [I've added his name, as he sent permission to use it. Also he has moved from Texas to Nebraska.] For now, I am sharing his detailed complaint in full, rather than interspersing comments or "Yes, but" queries:
The saying is, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. “

Tripathi: Health IT and HIE Starting to ‘Take Off’

MAR 21, 2014
The changing market climate has improved incentives for the adoption of healthcare information technology and health information exchange and as a result HIT and HIE are “beginning to take off,” according to Micky Tripathi, president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.
“Up until five years ago, the healthcare system had notably underinvested in electronic health records and health information exchange compared both to other sectors in the economy and other industrialized countries,” said Tripathi. “But, we’ve made a tremendous amount of progress based on the Meaningful Use program over the last few years.”
Tripathi, who gave the industry perspective March 20 at a Federal Trade Commission workshop in Washington, argued that Meaningful Use Stage 1 has been “an enormous success” and “now what we are seeing is a lot of tension in what’s the appropriate role of government” in Stage 2 and Stage 3.

Arizona to study best practices for patient matching

March 24, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
Arizona plans to explore best practices and alternative approaches to correctly match patients to all of their available records across multiple organizations.
The effort is part of the Health IT Roadmap 2.0 from the state's Strategic Enterprise Technology Office, which describes 19 key initiatives to advance health information technology and health information in Arizona.
"It is a controversial issue," Arizona Health-e Connection CEO Melissa Kotrys told Healthcare Informatics, "but when we convened stakeholders to talk about key issues, this topic of the difficulty of patient identification came up, even with master patient index solutions. So there was enough interest to explore this topic further."

How nurses can maximize technology use for better patient care

March 24, 2014 | By Dan Bowman
Nurses looking to get the most out of healthcare IT for their patients would be wise to adopt such tools in their own everyday lives, according to Patricia Sengstack, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Bon Secours Health System, a Baltimore-based system with 18 acute-care hospitals that spans seven states.
Speaking last week at an IT summit for nurses held by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the American Nursing Informatics Association and the American Nurses Association, Sengstack (pictured)--who also serves as ANIA president--outlined several tips for nurses who want to embrace their role in health IT.

Med device recalls double

March 24, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
Recalls of medical devices have doubled in the past decade--the number of recalls grew from 604 in 2003 to 1,190 in 2012, an increase of 97 percent, according to recent a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report.
The rate actually lags the rate of growth in the med tech market overall, as FierceMedicalDevices points out.
Class I recalls-the FDA's most serious category, reserved for potentially deadly defects--rose from seven in 2003 to 57 in 2012.
Meanwhile, U.S. medical device expenditures climbed from $73.7 billion in 2001 to $156.3 billion in 2010--an 112 percent increase. What's more, the number of medical devices on the market grew by 25 percent from 2008 through 2012 alone.

ONC corrects 2015 Edition proposed rule

Beth Walsh
Mar 23, 2014
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has made corrections regarding four certification criteria to its proposed rule for the voluntary 2015 Edition of EHR technology certification criteria.
ONC's Federal Policy Division Director Steven Posnack corrected the preamble text and gap certification table for the certification criteria that were omitted and provides information on inactive web links that appear in the proposed rule. "These errors are identified and corrected in this correction notice," Posnack wrote.

Telehealth Gets New Momentum, Allies

by Rebecca Vesely, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Monday, March 24, 2014
Health reform and improved technology are driving interest in telehealth adoption among providers and patients -- and policymakers are starting to get the memo.
It's a marked change since just a year ago, when policy momentum around the issue was somewhat stalled. Last March, just 13 states had legislation pending on telehealth. Today, 34 states and the District of Columbia have active telehealth legislation, with 44 statehouse bills addressing improved reimbursement for telehealth services, according to new data from the Center for Connected Health Policy in Sacramento, Calif.
"People are starting to recognize that telehealth has value in the context of health reform and the steep demands placed on providers to meet issues around timely access, especially to specialists," said Mario Guttierez, executive director of the CCHP, which is partially funded by the California HealthCare Foundation. CHCF publishes iHealthBeat.
Brussels, 24 March 2014

eHealth in the EU: what's the diagnosis?

"Europe is facing a healthcare crunch as a result of our ageing population. By making the most use of digital tech, we can reduce costs, put the patient back in control, make healthcare more efficient and help European citizens to take an active part in society for longer. We have to keep our finger on the pulse!"– Neelie Kroes
What's the diagnosis?
According to two surveys in acute care hospitals (those intended for short-term medical or surgical treatment and care) and among General Practitioners (GPs) in Europe, the use of eHealth is starting to take off, with 60% of GPs using eHealth tools in 2013, up 50% since 2007. But much more needs to be done.

'Wouldn't It Be Amazing If Everyone's Medical Records Were Available Anonymously To Research Doctors?'

Dylan Love Mar 23, 2014, 2:39 AM
Speaking at the 30th anniversary TED event in Vancouver earlier this week, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page hypothesized a system that would make people’s medical records available anonymously to research doctors for the sake of having access to a wide pool of medical information.
He also used the idea to make a compelling point about how and why we share data online.
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone’s medical records were available anonymously to research doctors?” Page said. “When someone accesses your record — a doctor — you could see which doctor accessed it and why. You could maybe learn about what conditions you have. I think if we just did that, we could save 100,000 lives this year.”


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