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March 14, 2010 Posted by | Benefits, Cost, Electronic health records, health information technology, healthcare, hospitals, insurance, Pension, Plan design, Prevention and Wellness, retirement, Technology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Meaningful Use has Implications For Patients, Not only Providers

Editor’s note: What about the impact on patient health and outcomes?


Survey: Meaningful use compliance reduces physician productivity
A Medical Group Management Association survey found that 67.9% of responding doctors said fulfilling the 25 meaningful use requirements to qualify for stimulus incentives slows their work flow. Doctors surveyed said implementing a certified electronic health record to enable at least 10% of patients to access their medical records within 96 hours of data availability is the most difficult meaningful use measure to meet. Modern Healthcare (free registration)(3/5)

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, health information technology, healthcare | , , , | Leave a comment

NQF Issue Brief on HIT Privacy

Privacy: From Barrier to Enabler of Health Information Technology (HIT)
Good healthcare depends on good information. This issue brief emphasizes the importance of HIT adoption in making sure the right information about the right person is delivered—in usable form—to the right place at the right time. If implemented carefully, EHR systems will appreciably improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of American healthcare, leading to widespread and sustainable quality improvement.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, health information technology, healthcare | , | Leave a comment

Lab Data Exchange

CMS says electronic data exchanges are OK under 1988 clinical labs law
Medical testing labs are allowed to exchange electronic test data under the 1988 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, which established quality standards for testing labs, according to the CMS. The agency issued the guidance to clarify CLIA’s effect on the government’s efforts to implement health information exchanges and networks. Government Health IT (3/4)

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, health information technology, healthcare | , , | Leave a comment

Hospital ICUs could benefit from clinical dashboard implementation

Hospitals can improve patient safety and clinician workflow in their intensive care units by equipping the facilities with a clinical dashboard to enable medical providers to access patient data for use in charting and decision-making. Factors such as intensive collaboration and long-term experience with electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry systems could play a role in the successful automation of ICUs. Healthcare Informatics(3/2010)

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, health information technology, healthcare, hospitals | , , | Leave a comment

Federal legislation key driver of EMR adoption

According to a new report released by Accenture, fifty-eight percent of U.S. physicians who don’t use electronic medical records (EMRs) intend to purchase an EMR system within the next two years. Among  key findings:  

  • about 80 percent of physicians under the age of 55 plan to implement an EMR system within the next two years;
  • three-quarters of non-users are intrigued by the idea of purchasing an EMR system from a local hospital – if the purchase is at least partially subsidized by the hospital;
  • on average, non-users would expect a hospital/health network to subsidize about half the cost of an EMR system;
  • the key driver of EMR adoption is federal legislation – 61 percent cited federal penalties for non-adoption and 51 percent cited federal incentives;
  • non-users underestimate the cost and time requirements to implement an EMR system, but also have an exaggerated perception of difficulties in using EMR systems, compared to the actual experiences of EMR users;
  • and the vast majority of current EMR users – 90 percent – believe that their EMR system has brought value to their practice, in particular “changing the way their practice works for the better.”

Source: Accenture, March 2, 2010.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, Federal Government | , | Leave a comment

HHS panel considers EHR risks as reports detail injuries, deaths

Editor’s note: The following article points up several issues with HIT, however it does not compare to the number of issues that are caused or created by paper records and reduction that is enable by connected HIEs.

By Mary Mosquera
Sunday, February 28, 2010

While electronic health records are considered key to improving the quality of healthcare they can also be a risk to patient safety, and government and industry officials are calling for better use practices and possible closer oversight of EHRs by regulatory agencies.

The Food & Drug Administration has received 260 reports of health IT-related malfunctions with the potential for patient harm in the past two years, including 44 reported injuries and six reported deaths, said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of FDA’s Center of Devices and Radiological Health.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, healthcare | , | Leave a comment

Use of the Internet is Changing Health Care

A recent survey of adults aged 18-64, conducted from January through June 2009, found:
  • Women were more likely than men to look up health information on the Internet (58.0% versus 43.4%)
  • 6.0% of adults had requested a refill of a prescription on the Internet in the last 6 months
  • 2.7% had made an appointment with a healthcare provider using the Internet in the previous 12 months
  • 50.8% had used the Internet to look up health information during the past 12 months 
  • 4.9% had communicated with a health care provider by e-mail in the past 12 months 
Source: “NCHS Health E-Stat: Health Information Technology Use Among Men and Women Aged 18-64: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2009,” National Center for Health Statistics, February 2010, 

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, healthcare | | 1 Comment

Healthcare IT and Hospital Readiness

A recent survey sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Dell has found that the data centers of small and medium-sized hospitals in North America, Europe, and China are not prepared for the “wave of data” that will soon be inundating them.

The verdict on hospitals’ readiness to handle this additional demand – including the capability of data centers to store and process the workloads necessitated by the ever-increasing resolution of EMR images – is mixed as countries spend billions to implement healthcare IT.

Among the issues reported by IT executives:

  • In the US, regulatory issues and compliance requirements were cited as significant hurdles. Server proliferation – small and medium providers averaged 75 servers per hospital – and application complexity made for further complication.
  • In the UK, financial and budget issues were a major source of concern, as was the scaling and management of storage.
  • In China, lack of capacity (an average of just four servers per hospital), lack of standards, and aging servers were worrisome to IT executives.
  • In Canada, staffing challenges and data security were frequently mentioned.
  • In France, rapid data growth (expected to increase by 50 percent over the next two years, twice as fast as other countries) was problematic.
  • In Germany, little use of virtualization suggested an incomplete utilization of newer technologies.

Source: Healthcare IT News. “Hospitals not ready for swell of data to come.” January 28, 2010.

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, healthcare, hospitals | , , | Leave a comment

Blumenthal says all docs will support EHRs in the future

The widespread adoption of EHRs may not be apparent at present, but “in a few years doctors will all support EHRs,” said Dr. David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology. “Using EHRs will become a core competency for physicians. And once we’ve established that, it will be considered an absolute requisite,” Blumenthal said. Healthcare IT News (2/5)

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Electronic health records, healthcare, physicians | , , , | Leave a comment