Monday, November 12, 2007

No-Cost EHR Interoperability Testing Software

A no-cost, open-source software tool for testing the interoperability of electronic health record systems will be available to vendors March 21, 2008, Government Health IT reports.The tool, which is being jointly developed by the Certification Commission for Healthcare IT and Mitre, will allow vendors to ensure that their EHR systems can exchange information on patients treated by more than one provider.

The tool, called LAIKA, also will initially support testing of the Health Level 7/ASTM Continuity of Care Document, a core set of patient information including: Name; Address; Health problems; and Medications (Ferris, Government Health IT, 11/9).Mark Leavitt, chair of CCHIT, said, "This project is an important first step in our journey toward testing and certifying the interoperability of health IT systems" (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 11/9).

CCHIT and Mitre have undertaken this open-source project without government support, Government Health IT reports.Developers will demonstrate the tool at the Feb. 12, 2008, CCHIT meeting (Government Health IT, 11/9).

Source: iHealthbeat

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Microsoft Acquires Health Information Technology From Global Care Solutions

Microsoft today announced it would acquire software and intellectual property from Global Care Solutions, a health-information systems developer based in Bangkok, Thailand. The financials of the deal were not divulged. acquires care from global health information microsoft solutions technology

The privately held company's information technology will partner with Microsoft to provide hospitals around the world with resources to more efficiently manage scheduling, medical records, and billing in a multitude of languages.

Global Care Solutions originally developed its system with Bumrungrad, an internationally acclaimed hospital out of Bangkok, in mind. The facility treats more than 1.2 million patients from 190 countries annually. The GCS system aids the staff in managing clinical workflow so efficiently that it boasts an average wait time of 17 minutes.

With the technology giant virtually in the news every day, shareholders haven't responded to the acquisition in an overly dramatic way. As of 12:15 p.m., MSFT is at $34.80, down 0.63%, yet notably trading more than 17% above its 80-day and 160-day moving averages.

Source : IB times

Docs need EHRs, but shouldn't count on ROI

The “tipping point” for placing electronic health records into physician practices has already been reached. But the probability of seeing any return-on-investment after implementation remains years away.

William Bria, MD, chief medical information officer at Shriners Hospitals for Children, voiced these opinions at the HIMSS Virtual Conference & Expo on Tuesday. Bria headlined an education session at the event entitled “How to Introduce the EMR in your Office with Minimal Bother. ”

“Implementing an EHR system is not a minimal fuss for a practice, it’s a major fuss,” said Bria, who also serves as chairman of the board of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. “If done poorly it can be a disruptive mess.”Bria emphasized the complexity of turning a paper-based practice into a digitized healthcare space, but he stressed that major gains in patient care could be achieved, so long as workflow was optimized.

“The workflow aspects of healthcare are similar in complexity to those in aerospace,” he noted. “When you talk about automating a medical practice, that complexity has to be given some respect.”Bria cited research by the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute that found physicians using EHRs only spend about 0.43 additional minutes with each patient, when duplicate and administrative tasks are taken into account.

And those physicians surveyed firmly believed that information technology improved patient care, Bria added. Determining the ROI associated with EHR use is difficult for physician practices, Bria told conference attendees. The “real” cost of implementation isn’t just the investment in computer hardware, software, and vendor support services.

“The hidden cost of an EHR is the amount of time you’re going to have to spend changing your practice as a result of implementing,” Bria said. “You will be inefficient initially as a result of the change. That’s why an EHR implementation is a long-term process.”It’s important for physicians to ask tough questions of EHR vendors, Bria affirmed. He said that the EHR certification process run by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology could make purchasing decisions easier.

Nevertheless, physician practices need to more clearly explain their day-to-day workflows to vendors. “Physicians need to tell a vendor’s sales staff exactly how their practice works and what they need from EHR software,” said Bria. “You need to ask a vendor specific questions.”Some of those questions might include: Does an EHR automate suggestions or orders for common health screenings (such as vaccinations and cancer screenings)? Will it allow data input by “less-expensive” employees in the physician practice (as opposed to physician-only input)? Will the EHR provide high quality actionable data for all of the providers? No ambulatory EHR product is a good fit for every practice, Bria said, and no single system provides perfect clinical decision support.

For this reason, Bria cautioned that physicians should not assume an “automatic diffusion of improved quality of care” after buying an EHR. “I’ve been doing applied medical informatics for 30 years, and the match between the technology and what we do as physicians is not yet where we need to be,” said Bria. “But that doesn’t mean you should wait [to implement healthcare IT]. You just need to get involved and make sure a product is configured to your practice’s needs.”

Source: Healthcare IT News

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Device Makers Push Bill To Reimburse for Telemedicine

Device Makers Push Bill To Reimburse for Telemedicine

The Advanced Medical Technology Association is pushing legislation pending in the Senate that would require Medicare to reimburse physicians for remotely monitoring patients with chronic diseases, which the group argues can enhance care and reduce hospitalizations, Government Health IT reports.

AdvaMed is trying to get the bill, with some of its coverage scaled back to reduce costs, included in the Medicare bill being drafted in the Senate Finance Committee.To support its position, AdvaMed released a report, called "Telehomecare and Remote Monitoring: An Outcomes Review," which details the Veterans Health Administration's advanced use of telemedicine.

The report notes that some studies on the benefits of remote patient monitoring do not rigorously compare patient outcomes of those with home monitoring against those without. The report also acknowledges that some costs will increase as a result of remote monitoring.

However, the report concludes that evidence shows remote monitoring "may be one of the only economically viable ways to manage an aging population, the prevalence of chronic disease and the growing constraints on health care spending" (Ferris, Government Health IT, 10/31).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WellPoint, Zagat To Launch Online Physician Rating Tool

Health insurer WellPoint, which provides benefits to about 35 million people, and Zagat Survey on Monday announced that they will launch an online physician survey tool in January 2008 to let their members rate their experiences with doctors, Indianapolis Star reports (Lee, Indianapolis Star, 10/23).

WellPoint members will be able to rate physicians on a zero-to-30 scale based on:

  • Availability;
  • Communication;
  • Office environment; and
  • How much members trust them (Reuters, 10/22).

WellPoint said that each entry on the Web site will contain a physician's contact information, the scale ratings for each category and the percentage of members who recommend the physician (Fuhrmans, "Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 10/22).

Patients also can include comments or recommendations, although the system will have a filtering process to restrict inappropriate information, Jason Gorevic, WellPoint's chief marketing and product officer, said.

Physicians and consumer advocates say that while the online tool could offer useful consumer information, the ratings will not measure the quality of medical care, the Star reports.

Deanna Willis, an assistant professor of family medicine at Indiana University, said, "The people who are going to be motivated to go and do something like this are going to be really happy or unhappy ... The voice in the middle is more likely to get lost."

Jon Marhenke, president of the Indiana State Medical Association, said that physicians could learn about flaws in their appointment scheduling systems but added that the site will not be an indication of the "quality of medical care provided."

Ron Pollack -- executive director of Families USA, a consumer group -- said, "While I'm in favor of more information, I'm not sure this information might not turn out to be misleading."

Gorevic added that the ratings are not meant to replace information on quality and costs (Indianapolis Star, 10/23).

Now this what i am looking forward to : Virtual reality technology will find buyers in healthcare industry

virtual reality applications have experienced double-digit growth both worldwide and in the U.S. since the turn of the century, and the 2010 U.S. market for virtual reality in surgery, medical education, therapy and other areas will grow to $290 million, according to a new report from research firm Kalorama Information.

Kalorama’s report, entitled Virtual Reality Market in the US Healthcare Sector: Markets for Remote Surgery, 3D Modeling, Pain Distraction and Other Applications,claims that VR applications have “revolutionized” the global healthcare industry.

The report surveys the current U.S. market for VR applications including growth factors and trends, forecasts, and a demand-side analysis demonstrating the drivers for VR applications.

Kalorama notes that VR applications provide opportunities to perform medical tasks in a risk-free environment and make training assessable to large numbers of students. VR simulators also allow medical professionals to remain up-to-date on the latest technical procedures required in their profession.

Current VR applications assist in numerous medical modalities from pre-operative planning and robot-assisted surgery, to medical curricula to teach anatomy of body parts. VR also allows for the visualization of medical data that can be integrated and simulated into 3D models to gather insights into the cause and effects of injuries. VR is even used as an alternative therapeutic for pain and depression, and can replace or reduce pharmaceutical usage in some cases.

“While still at a very nascent stage of commercialization, VR technologies are being widely used by the Department of Defense, medical schools and hospitals, and manufacturers of medical equipment on a variety of levels with significant benefit,” notes Steven Heffner, executive publisher of Kalorama Information. “The establishment of industry standards should lead to rapid commercialization of products, and ongoing technological advancements will only further the market, particularly in the surgery segment.”

Source: Healthcare IT News

Friday, October 19, 2007

Unique Experience of American Banking Customer Service.

Yesterday, I had very unique experience of Customer Service of a Large Bank and Mathematical Skills of the people who are efficiently helping people who called customer service.

Scenario: ( the data used is to illustrate the example)

Time : 9:00 pm

Krishan checks his bank statement online and see some error in interest rate that has been applied and decided to call the customer representative of the Bank.

( in btw error was...... They gave $3 interest rate on $ 1200 last month where as they gave $ 2.80 interest on $1500 Current month.....with fixed interest savings account)

The ring goes and then Polite computer voice tells you all the deals they have and i can do banking online and all crap....and since i tried all the digits on phone finally they transferred to me to Person but before that i have to enter my 16 digit account Number and last 4 digit of SSN. Now you assume that person who picks up phone knows this already but noooooooo..

He like This xyz bank how can i help you( very enthusiasm and i thought may be he is hungry as its dinner time so i said i am fine as long as he can answer). I explained him the above interest error scenario. The first answer he gives me is... Sir, Interest can go down..... I told him if you don't know about your own bank's saving account that it has fixed interest rate. Then he is like sir, you must have withdrawal money out of account that can reduce the interest. And i was like can't u see on your screen the balance you are giving me interest rate on is higher than last time and that says it should have higher interest than last month regardless i withdrew money or not... He is like Sir did you calculate Interet rate that it is actually correct or not....( as if i am free and just decided to call him to say are you doing..... how is your day going ).. I said...forget about using calculator...If the interest rate stays same ..then if your balance increased over the period of the time you get higher interest not lower....He is like computer calculates our interest.....(I am like....can't he see its wrong.)..then he just stopped talking all of sudden and i thought he must be checking i waited like 5 min on the phone ( no hold music nothing) i was like something is wrong...i keep on saying hello you response......( it seems that he put on mute and went to get dinner or something)....... after 10 min i hang up and called again.

Now guess what same whole thing again............................but this time the guy who was on the phone was nice....and he assumed that i am smart enough to calculate interest and i am right and he is like i will put you on hold for a while.....he comes back and say i will transfer you to some department he said and those people will take care of it. and Transferred me to this other dude.

and he like this is XYZ bank how can i help you....( I am like ohhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD......not again i don't want to tell whole this again)....i did the whole story again...he again gave me crap of computer can't be wrong, you must have withdrew some money & interest change... And i am like ..........look this is the third time i am explaining all this and if you don't understand what i am trying to tell you please transfer me to someone who can understand...and this is the last time i am trying to explain you.
--- I have not withdrew any money of this account everrrrrrrrrrr so forget abt just last month
---- this account has flat fixed interest rate....doesn't change.
----- Simple Math rule....higher balance get higher interest than lower balance with same interest rate.

Again...he is like i have to do some research....he goes come back seems there is a mistake we will adjust your interest and will get u letter.

So out all this 1 & 1/2 trouble.. i was like can you please even tell me how can this happen....he is it must be computer....( i am like oh my god...another gebbsy coding......)



P.s. Still haven't got that interest adjusted to looking forward to this utmost satisfying experience again tonight.

Have Online Consumers Used Health Search Engine Sites To Find Health Information?

Seventy percent of online consumers surveyed said they have used a Web-based search engine to find health-related information, but just 7% of online consumers surveyed said they have used a health-specific search engine, according to a survey by Forrester Research.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents who reported using a health search engine were ages 41 years old or younger, according to the survey.

In addition, consumers who have used a health search engine reported higher technology optimism and ownership of broadband connections.The survey also found that 31% of online consumers who have used a health search engine said that the health information they find online often is difficult to understand, compared with 13% of respondents who have not used a health search engine.

In addition, 32% of respondents who have used a health search engine said they find the amount of health information available online intimidating, compared with 14% of respondents who have not used a health search engine, according to the survey.Results are based on a Q2 2007 survey of 5,551 online U.S. consumers.

Source: Forrester Research

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Microsoft joins lawmakers, activists to demand patient privacy rights

Lawmakers, corporations and activists joined today to urge Congress to protect patients' medical privacy rights. Activists say such rights are not adequately protected, especially when it comes to electronic health records.

At a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Coalition for Patient Privacy, at least 46 states, national organizations and corporations, including Microsoft, petitioned Congress to include adequate patient protection in any healthcare IT legislation it may pass.

Today's request is based on the Coalition's extensive 2007 patient privacy principles and calls for privacy that applies to all health information regardless of the source, the form it is in, or who handles it.

According to Deborah Peel, MD, founder and chair of Patient Privacy Rights, the Coalition
developed the privacy principles to serve as standards for legislation. Today's effort is just a small part of a greater effort to curtail passage of currently proposed federal healthcare IT legislation that Peel said offers consumers no control over access to personal health information.
Today's briefing follows the coalition's endorsement of Microsoft's new patient-protected personal health record platform announced last week - a product Peel said is based on the coalition's privacy principles.

Frank Torres, consumer affairs director at Microsoft said protections such as those defined by the oalition are needed to ensure the creation of a healthcare IT ecosystem that consumers can trust. "We can empower people to lead healthy lives, while putting them at the center and in control of their health information," Torres said.

In Peel's view, privacy protections must follow the data. "There should be no secret health databases, and no one should be able to access personal health information without informed consent," Peel said. "All Americans want their children and grandchildren to be judged on their abilities, not on their health or genetic records."

Rep. Ed Markey, (D-Mass. ), chair of the House Privacy Caucus, was a speaker at today's briefing and one of the signers of the letter to Congress.

"Medical information is probably the most sensitive and personal information that we have about ourselves," Markey said. "Without strong privacy safeguards, a health IT database will become an open invitation for identity thieves, fraudsters, extortionists or marketers looking to cash in on our medical histories."

Markey said he would be working with Congress to craft legislation that both promotes the use of healthcare IT and preserves patient privacy. "A nationwide, seamless, effective health IT network holds tremendous promise in terms of better coordinated care, reduced medical errors and reduced costs," Markey said, "but in order to fulfill that promise, such a network must have tough privacy safeguards."

Source : Healthcare IT News

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pfizer Inks Deal To Join Online Physician Social Network

On Monday Sermo, an online forum for about 30,000 physicians, will announce a partnership with drug maker Pfizer that runs against the forum's founding principle of allowing physician communication without input from the pharmaceutical industry, AP/BusinessWeek reports.

Only Pfizer's medical staff will have access to the Web site, and any postings by them must be clearly identified as coming from a Pfizer source logging onto the secure system, Daniel Palestrant, Sermo's CEO, said Sermo began in September 2006 as a forum for anonymous discussions between physicians on topics such as drug side effects, without advertisements. Recent online polls and focus groups found that Sermo members wanted the pharmaceutical industry to participate in discussions in a controlled environment and without advertisements.

Pfizer sees Sermo as a supplement to its existing communications with physicians through medical journal articles and postings of clinical trial data on government registries, AP/BusinessWeek reports (Jewell, AP/BusinessWeek, 10/14).

The partnership puts Pfizer in a challenging position because regulators and lawmakers scrutinize drug companies' interactions with physicians to see if the companies are offering doctors financial incentives or promoting their products for unapproved uses, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pfizer said it will discuss the partnership with FDA (Johnson, Wall Street Journal, 10/15).

Sermo said it is adding between 1,000 and 2,000 new physician members weekly. The Web site also recently upgraded its authentication requirements after medical bloggers said they posted stories that said they obtained physician medical license data and accessed Sermo by impersonating doctors, Palestrant said. He added that Sermo is in talks with other companies (AP/BusinessWeek, 10/14).


Richard Thrasher, a Texas ear, nose and throat specialist and Sermo member, said that he overall welcomes Pfizer but noted that "[o]ften it's looked badly upon by other physicians when you are perceived to have a close relationship with a drug company.""It takes a lot of courage for Pfizer to do this, because the response isn't going to be universally positive," Palestrant said. He added that the pharmaceutical industry is "always in crisis" and that "there have been trust issues with physicians" (Wall Street Journal, 10/15).

What Health Topics Do Internet Users With Chronic Conditions or Disabilities Search for Online?

Nearly three out of four Internet users with chronic conditions or disabilities said that they search online for information about a specific diseases or medical problems, according to participants in a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey.

Sixty-four percent of survey respondents reported searching online for information specific medical treatments or procedures, and 51% of respondents searched online for information on prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The survey also found that 42% of Internet users with chronic conditions or disabilities searched online for information on alternative treatments or medications, while 33% searched online for information on a specific physician or hospital.

About half of survey respondents with a chronic disease or disability reported using the Internet, compared with 74% of respondents without a chronic condition. However, 86% of Internet users with a chronic condition or disability looked online for information on at least one of 17 health topics, compared with 79% of Internet users with no chronic conditions, according to the survey.

Fifty-three percent of Internet users with chronic conditions said their last online search was in relation to their own health questions, compared with 33% of Internet users without chronic conditions. The survey also found that three out of four Internet users with a chronic condition report that the information they found in their last online search affected a decision about how to treat an illness or condition, compared with 55% of Internet users without a chronic condition or disability.

Atleast it can be tracked now - SC - Rx Drug Tracking Database

South Carolina Plans To Launch Rx Drug Tracking Database

By the beginning of next year, South Carolina health officials plan to launch a new computer system to track certain prescription drugs, the AP/Charleston Post and Courier reports.

The system will track the prescribing physicians and dosage of painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants, as well as the name, date of birth and address of the patient. The computer system is designed to let physicians and pharmacists track what medications patients are taking and determine if patients are refilling prescriptions. The system also will help law enforcement officials identify physicians who are overprescribing medication and patients who are abusing prescription drugs.

Privacy Concerns

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has raised concerns about the amount of information that will be stored in the database, the AP/Post and Courier reports.

In a June 2006 letter to the state Legislature, Sanford wrote, "Centralizing those records electronically in one government agency creates too large a risk of unauthorized access to the deeply personal medication information of thousands of law-abiding South Carolina citizens."

Sanford vetoed the bill authorizing the program, but lawmakers voted to override it. The computer system will have several security measures, including the ability to audit users and track what data are accessed (AP/Charleston Post and Courier, 10/15).

Source : iHealthBeat

Physicians see mobile devices as breeding ground for bacteria

Physicians’ fear of infection is on the rise, spurred by the increasing use of mobile technology at the bedside, according to a new study by Spyglass Consulting Group. Healthcare Without Bounds: Point of Care Computing for Physicians discusses existing workflow inefficiencies in accessing clinical information, current usage models for computing devices and solutions, and barriers for widespread adoption.

Of the 100 physicians interviewed by Spyglass, 65 said they were worried about the threat of infection from the use of computing devices at the point of care. When Spyglass conducted a similar study in January 2005, 25 percent of the 102 physicians interviewed said they were concerned about the infection risks associated with mobile technology. Spyglass founder and managing director Gregg Malkary figures the increased concern is directly related to the increased use of devices. Steven J. Davidson, MD, chairman of emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, says hand washing is the key to preventing infection. “I do think that mobile devices may serve as fomites (carriers of infectious organisms) and that in general these devices are not easily cleaned,” Davidson said.

“It is a reasonable concern to recognize this and hence with that awareness for clinicians who use mobile devices to understand that they must disinfect their hands before and after using their personal mobile devices.” He said Maimonides does not have a policy regarding the maintenance of personal mobile devices since because the organization does not envision personal mobile devices being used in patient care. As for keyboards, they are cleaned regularly, he said. “I watched several on one counter being done in my ED just yesterday morning.”“Anecdotally,” says, Malkary, “many organizations don’t have policies.

Nobody wants to take responsibility for cleaning these devices.”Add to this the new Medicare rules that would withhold payments to hospitals for the costs of treating certain “conditions that could reasonably have been prevented,” and the concern over infections rise. Some industry insiders say the new rules could prompt hospitals to conduct more patient tests at admission to determine whether the patient is infection free.

Spyglass conducted the telephone interviews over a four-month period beginning April 2007.

Key findings include:
  • • Physicians were concerned point-of-care computing devices may interfere with the physician/patient relationship.
  • • Physicians are increasingly using clinical systems at point of care to access patient information, use productivity tools, and browse the Internet for healthcare related issues.
  • • Physicians believe the right point-of-care computing device is dependent upon a physician’s physical location, urgency of the situation, tasks to be performed, complexity of the applications required and most importantly, the physician’s personal preferences.
  • • Fewer than 14 percent of physicians interviewed were using Smartphones to access single function clinical applications to manage patient data, prescribe medications electronically and capture patient billing charges.

Physicians preferred to use a full size terminal and keyboard to access clinical information systems at point of care.

Source : Healthcare IT News

Thursday, October 11, 2007

There must something in clooney's records........

More than two dozen hospital staffers have been suspended for four weeks after allegedly peeking at George Clooney's confidential medical information after he was hurt in a motorcycle accident last month.

Clooney, 46, suffered a broken rib and scrapes in the Sept. 21 crash, while his passenger, Sarah Larson, 28, injured her foot. Both were treated at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen.
No physicians employed by the hospital were among the 27 employees suspended, said Eurice Rojas, the hospital's vice president of external affairs, Wednesday.
The investigation was initiated after an audit revealed that employees had looked at the records without authorization, Rojas said. The suspensions began last week and continued this week, he said.

"We conduct audits on a regular basis to make sure our systems are protecting individuals' rights," Rojas said. "We conducted an audit immediately with respect to this situation and that resulted in (the investigation)."

"This is the first I've heard of it," Clooney said in a statement Tuesday. "And while I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers."

A spokeswoman for the union representing some of the workers said as many as seven of the employees may have been authorized to view the records.

"While we believe that individuals need to be held accountable if they violated patient privacy, we also believe that the hospital had a responsibility to establish proper systems to protect patient privacy," Jeanne Otersen, a spokeswoman for the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, said in a statement.

"The hospital instead rushed to judgment and imposed harsh economic penalties, instead of working to prevent future breaches of security," Otersen said.

Federal law mandates that only direct caregivers — including doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff involved in a patient's care — see such information.

"Our commitment is to always conduct our behavior in the highest possible standards and any conduct that violates the trust of our patients and the high standards we set is taken very seriously and treated in a very serious manner," the hospital said in a statement Wednesday.
Clooney and Larson were injured when the actor's motorcycle and a car collided on a narrow road in Weehawken, across the Hudson River from New York City.

Source : Yahoo News.

More patients turn to Internet for healthcare answers,

A report released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that of the 34 million adults living with disabilities or chronic diseases, about half go online to find helpful information regarding their condition.

Once online, 86 percent of these e-patients say they have searched for information on an average of 17 health topics. Of those surveyed with no chronic conditions, 79 percent reported searching on the same topics, the study found.

According to the study, use of the Internet by chronically ill Americans has grown over the past four years. Though those with chronic conditions are less likely to use the Internet, once online they are nearly as engaged as the general Internet population.

The patients with chronic conditions use the Internet to search for information on treatment decisions how to cope with pain and other topics, the study said. The downside is that most e-patients with chronic conditions do not consistently check the source and date of the health information they find online.

It appears that the patients with chronic conditions search for answers to their healthcare questions in hopes of coaching their doctors on possible methods of care.

"Doctors are always in a hurry," said one e-patient who participated in the study. "By researching online I can find information that fills in gaps in my knowledge, and allows me to ask better questions of the doctor. I also find out information that the doctor hasn’t shared with me, but it is important for me to understand my disease."

A study released last October by the Pew Research Center found that 10 million Americans use the Internet on a daily basis to learn about health, placing health searches at about the same level of popularity as paying bills online, reading blogs, or using the internet to look up a phone number or address.

Source: Healthcare IT News

Friday, October 5, 2007

Microsoft's New Online Tools Face Obstacles, Competition

Microsoft on Thursday joined a crowded field of technology and insurance companies offering personal health records, raising questions about whether consumers will use the new product, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Large health insurers -- like UnitedHealth, which operates PacifiCare and WellPoint -- have offered Web-based PHRs for a couple of years and believe they have an advantage over outside vendors, such as Microsoft, because they can preload each enrollee's PHR with claims information (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 10/5).

Microsoft hopes that individuals will grant physicians, clinics and hospitals the right to transmit prescriptions, test results and other medical information directly to their HealthVault account (iHealthBeat, 10/4). However, providers have little incentive to share the data or resources to populate an electronic record, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Philips to pay $110M for home cardiac monitoring company

Royal Philips Electronics is extending its cardiac care services into the home.
The Amsterdam, Netherlands-based company announced Thursday it is acquiring Raytel Cardiac Services, a Windsor, Conn. -based supplier of home cardiac monitoring services, and other ancillary operations from Israeli-based SHL Telemedicine, Ltd. for approximately $110 million in cash.

“Heart disease is the number one killer in the West. So Philips has invested heavily over the years to become the top supplier to hospitals of medical equipment for managing heart disease,” said Ron Feinstein, CEO of Philips’ Home Healthcare Solutions business group. “Patients are living longer and healthcare costs are rising, so we’re looking for innovative and effective ways to support both patients and the healthcare system.”

“Raytel can help us extend the cardiac care cycle into the home,” Feinstein continued, “which is where patients prefer to stay, and where we see opportunities for addressing healthcare costs as well as quality of life issues.”

Raytel Cardiac Services, a division of the Raytel Medical Corporation, keeps track of its home cardiac monitors through monitoring centers, where trained technicians analyze incoming patient data and provide real-time patient information to prescribing physicians.
Philips officials say they hope to boost Raytel’s business by capitalizing on the company’s existing relationships with 15,000 referring physicians and cardiologists serving more than 200,000 patients annually.

Philips, which serves approximately 750,000 customers through its Lifeline products and services, aims to introduce Raytel clients to Lifeline as well as the company’s in-house line of remote patient monitoring products and services. In addition, the company hopes to develop home-based monitoring products and services to address congestive heart failure.

The activities being acquired by Philips are expected to have 2007 sales of approximately $55 million. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007, at which time Raytel will become a part of Philips Home Healthcare Solutions.

Source: Healthcare IT News

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Microsoft launches HealthVault

Microsoft today launched a new technology platform it bills as the answer to how consumers can best get a handle on their healthcare information – and share it. Called Microsoft HealthVault, the technology not only has the support of healthcare providers, patient activists and device manufacturers, it also passes muster with one of the industry’s toughest privacy rights advocate Deborah Peel, MD, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, one of 50 organizations that comprise the Coalition for Patient Privacy.

The company also unveiled a new search engine called Microsoft HealthVault Search. The promise of HealthVault is that it will bring the health and technology industries together to create new applications, services and connected devices, said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. People will be empowered to monitor anything from weight loss to diabetes, he said.

“People are concerned to find themselves at the center of the healthcare ecosystem today,” Neupert said, because they must navigate a complex web of disconnected interactions between providers, hospitals, insurance companies and even government agencies, Neupert said. “Our focus is simple: to empower people to lead healthy lives.”He said the launch of HealthVault makes it possible for people to collect their private health information on their terms. Also, companies across the healthcare industry will be able to develop compatible tools and services built on the HealthVault platform. Addressing concerns over privacy and security was critical to development and launch of HealthVault, Microsoft executives said. Peel said Microsoft is leading the way for the rest of the industry. “Their model is that consumers truly should control the information and that’s the direction they want to take as a company,” said Peel. “We really think that because they are the industry leader that the rest of industry will have to follow or be left behind.”

“Microsoft has agreed to adhere to all of the privacy principles that the coalition developed in 2007.” Peel said. “Not only adhere to them in terms of contracts but to be audited on these principles. We think they’re setting a new amazingly high bar and frankly, we think what they’re doing is really the best practice that entire industry needs to follow.”A Who’s Who of healthcare IT industry leaders seemed to have joined Microsoft for the hoopla in the nation’s capital. Microsoft announced 40 partners for HealthVault. Among them are the American Heart Association, Johnson & Johnson, Polar, maker of heart rate monitors, MedStar Health, a healthcare system that serves the Baltimore and Washington region, and Chicago-based Allscripts, developer of electronic health records. Allscripts will be first to connect with HealthVault with its eRx Now, the Web-based electronic prescribing solution offered at no cost to physicians across the country as part of the National ePrescribing Patient Initiative, or NEPSI.

HealthVault lets patients of eRx NOW physician users receive an electronic copy of their medication history, conditions, and allergies, which they can then transfer to their own personal health record or other HealthVault-enabled consumer health application. Frank Opelka, MD, CEO of LSU Healthcare Network in New Orleans, said HealthVault was one more reason why doctors “should run, not walk to embrace electronic prescribing through NEPSI and, on a broader scale, electronic health records.”“What we are really talking about is connecting healthcare,” said Tullman. “It’s not enough to have good software, it’s got to be connected.”

Source: HealthcareItNews

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Well this something comfortable to fly in....

Off EHR news but can't resist to put...its intersting......

Even though the Aeroscraft dwarfs the largest commercial airliners, it requires less net space on the ground than any plane because it doesn't need a runway. The airship takes off and lands like a helicopter: straight up and down. The Flying Luxury HotelTomorrow's cruise ship will sail through the air, not the waterBy Joshua Tompkins

LIFTOFF!On a pressurized plane, windows like these would explode outward . The Aeroscraft does not fly high enough to need pressurization.

This is not a Blimp. It's a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It's the Aeroscraft, and when it's completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and oceans as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.

Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the craft's weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body—driven by huge rearward propellers—generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.

This two-football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010. Pasternak says several cruise ship companies have expressed interest in the project, and for good reason: The craft would have a range of several thousand miles and, with an estimated top speed of 174 mph, could traverse the continental U.S. in about 18 hours. During the flight, passengers would peer at national landmarks just 8,000 feet below or, if they weren't captivated by the view, the cavernous interior would easily accommodate such amenities as luxury staterooms, restaurants, even a casino.

To minimize noise, the aft-mounted propellers will be electric, powered by a renewable source such as hydrogen fuel cells. A sophisticated buoyancy-management system will serve the same purpose as trim on an airplane, allowing for precise adjustments in flight dynamics to compensate for outside conditions and passenger movement.

The automated system will draw outside air into compartments throughout the ship and compress it to manage onboard weight.

The company envisions a cargo-carrying version that could deliver a store's worth of merchandise from a centralized distribution center straight to a Wal-Mart parking lot or, because the helium-filled craft will float, a year's worth of supplies to an offshore oil rig. "You can land on the snow, you can land on the water," Pasternak says. "It's a new vision of what can be done in the air."


Long-range travel for passengers who are more concerned with the journey than the destination

Dimensions (feet): 165 h x 244 w x 647 l
Max Speed: 174 mph
Range: 6,000 miles
Capacity: 250 passengers

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

So much for standardization :Study pokes holes in NPI data

A recent study of standardized provider identification numbers released by the federal government calls into question the accuracy of the data associated with those numbers. Some 19.7 percent of the business addresses associated with National Provider Identifiers are invalid because physicians have moved, retired or are deceased, according to a recent audit by SK&A Information Services.

SK&A is an Irvine, Calif. -based company that sells a product that provides telephone-verified NPI numbers. It conducted a phone survey of nearly 7,000 providers to assess the accuracy of the numbers, said Mike Green, vice president of products and research for the company. Each provider in the country is expected to have an NPI that will serve as a unique identifier, replacing legacy provider numbers that payer organizations have assigned to providers. NPIs eventually will be required on all claims forms. Nearly 1.8 million NPIs have been issued, SK&A contends. .

The company contends that NPI data is as much as 28 months old, because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began issued standardized NPIs in May 2005. Its research also shows that 68 percent of the NPI numbers were assigned more than eight months ago. SK&A contends that the average age of an NPI is 13.2 months. The government originally had set May 23 for when it would require NPI use on claims forms, but in April developed a contingency plan to delay implementation of NPIs as long as one year. NPIs were supposed to be available from the federal government in mid-summer, but the government delayed release of NPIs until September to give providers time to correct information associated with their NPIs. NPI and associated data is critical to the industry; optional data fields associated with the NPI contain legacy provider identification numbers, which payers can use to link existing data in their information systems with the new NPIs.

SK&A is continuing its study of NPI data released by the government to see if other anomolies show up, said Jack Schember, the company’s director of marketing. “This study on NPI data quality highlights the challenges that healthcare payers and marketers will face when trying to accurately match or link their provider legacy information to the new federally mandated NPI number,” said Dave Escalante, President and COO of SK&A Information Services Inc.

source: Healthcare IT News

InfoLogix buys systems integrator Healthcare Informatics Associates

HATBORO, PA - InfoLogix, which provides mobile enterprise technology for the healthcare and commercial industries, has acquired Healthcare Informatics Associates, a privately held management and consulting firm and systems integrator. The companies did not reveal the terms of the acquisition deal.

InfoLogix began to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol IFLG on Sept. 24. Today’s stock price range was $3.62-$3.75. HIA is privately held. The acquisition of Seattle-based HIA cements InfoLogix’s position as a ‘single source’ provider for healthcare mobility technology, according to InfoLogix executives. Analysts forecast the market for healthcare consulting will exceed $30 billion by 2010. HIA will operate within the InfoLogix organization as the company’s healthcare consulting and systems integration service line. Mary Ann Bartley, HIA founder and executive vice president, will be joining InfoLogix as executive vice president of Healthcare Consulting Services. Gerry Bartley, president and CEO of HIA, will be joining InfoLogix as executive vice president and managing director of Healthcare Consulting Services. “We are very excited to be joining InfoLogix and see great synergies between our companies because of our outstanding consultants, our mutual premier clients and InfoLogix’s cutting edge solutions for the healthcare market,” said Bartley.

InfoLogix’s customer base now includes more than 20 percent of all hospitals in the United States, according to the company. “More than 1,400 hospitals rely on InfoLogix as their enterprise mobility partner, and we believe the addition of HIA will enable us to expand the strategic value of our current and future customer relationships,” said David Gulian, president and CEO of InfoLogix. “InfoLogix’s expertise in healthcare mobility solutions, together with HIA’s combination of IT and clinical experience, provides us with exceptional depth to directly address the core business issues of hospitals across North America as a premier management consultant and systems integrator.”

source: Healthcare IT News

Monday, September 24, 2007

Online Health Care Tools Usage

Online physician and facility finders are the most popular online health care tool used by nonelderly, commercially insured U.S. residents who use online health care tools, according to a survey by Forrester Research. However, just 19% of respondents said that they are reassured that they are making the correct decision by using physician finder tools.

The survey also found that 23% of respondents use health plan selection tools, 19% use online health risk assessments, and 12% use drug quality comparison tools. Eighteen percent of respondents said that they have used online drug cost comparison tools, and 34% of those said that they were confident that they were making the right decision by using the drug cost comparison tool, according to the survey.Nine percent of respondents said they have used a hospital quality comparison tool, while another 9% said they have used health care cost information tools.

Results are based on an online survey of 3,403 nonelderly, commercially insured U.S. consumers who use online health care tools. The survey was done in the second quarter of 2007.
Source: ihealthbeat, Forrester Research

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I guess By the end of Next Year EMRs will have RFID integrated technology

AT&T offers RFID technology for healthcare

AT&T announced the availability of a radio frequency identification tracking solution for healthcare operations, to increase visibility and safety by monitoring patients and equipment. AT&T says that it is the first network services company to provide a RFID solution for the healthcare industry.

"Health care organizations can now turn for the first time to a network services company to meet all of their RFID needs for products and services," said John Regan, VP, business marketing, AT&T.

The solution provides Wi-Fi-enabled, location-based service to track equipment, devices and patients. Staff can access the service from a Web browser and be provided with updates in real-time.

"In the demanding health care environment, enhanced visibility and accuracy regarding the location of people and critical assets is crucial to providing optimal clinical care," said Brad Hunter, director of technology solutions for the American Hospital Association. AT&T is offering the devices, infrastructure and systems needed for full-scale tracking applications - including tags, software, networks and data storage.

An alert system provided by the solution works to monitor “at risk” patients in the event that they wander, or are moved by staff, to increase patient safety. Data collected by the tracking solution can be used to manage mobile asset inventory across a single healthcare facility or multiple sites, for the purpose of alerting staff when equipment is low - or if it was just misplaced. "By introducing mobile technology, such as RFID, in the health care workplace, staff can save time, eliminate unnecessary costs, reduce theft and unnecessary inventory, and, most important, deliver better patient care,” Hunter added.

Source: Healthcare IT News

Thursday, September 20, 2007

HCA North Florida Expands Its RTLS to Track Patients

The hospital group, having already deployed active RFID to monitor the whereabouts of movable assets, will use the technology to keep tabs on its patients.

After two years of testing active RFID technology for use in tracking assets at several of its hospitals, HCA North Florida Division is expanding its RFID-based real-time location system (RTLS). The organization, consisting of nine hospitals in northern Florida and eight in southern Georgia, now wants to test the technology, combined with 2-D bar-coding, to track patients. Its goal is to improve patient care, patient safety, hospital operations and workflow.

HCA North Florida is part of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), one of the country's largest providers of health-care services. Nashville-based HCA is composed of 173 locally managed hospitals and 108 outpatient centers in 20 U.S. states, as well as England and Switzerland. Founded in 1968, HCA was among the nation's first hospital companies; it currently employs about 180,000 people and reported revenues of $25.56 billion in 2006. The North Florida division is employing 433 MHz active RFID tags and readers, made by RTLS provider Agility Healthcare Solutions, to track the locations of numerous assets, including infusion pumps, wheelchairs, beds and thermometers. "We are tracking anything that moves," says In Mun, the organization's VP of research and technology.

The RFID hardware uses a proprietary air-interface protocol and is already in place at several of the organization's hospitals, though Mun declines to identify the sites involved at this time. Since deploying the RTLS, Mun says, HCA North Florida has cut the time required to locate equipment and improved the overall management of leasing contracts, equipment maintenance and warranties. "In hospitals like ours, engineers can spend more than 30 or 40 percent of their time simply looking for equipment," he explains, adding that without RFID, items are typically identified only through bar codes, which require line-of-sight reads to determine an asset's specific information, such as maintenance schedules. "And when you have hundreds of items, like we do, trying to find them all can basically be an impossible task."

The asset-tracking RTLS has enabled Mun and his colleagues to better understand RFID technology, and to determine what works best for the organization's facilities. For example, the division tested Wi-Fi-enabled RFID systems but discovered the technology wasn't the best choice. "A [Wi-Fi-based RTLS] is designed to manage a few items per access point—20 to maybe 50 items," Mun says. "But if you go into a medical service area, there might be a hundred or more items there, so that area becomes a black hole." The Wi-Fi systems Mun and his colleagues tested employed active tags requiring relatively large batteries (about the size of a credit card), making the tags too bulky to fit on thermometers and other small items. HCA North Florida also tested passive RFID, but Mun says the technology did not provide reads as reliable as those achieved with active RFID.

Source : RFID Journal - By Beth Bacheldor

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

EHR Systems Remain at Risk for Security Breaches, Study Finds

Electronic health record systems remain vulnerable to security risks despite advances in developing certification processes for EHR systems, according to a 15-month study by the eHealth Vulnerability Reporting Program, Healthcare IT News reports.The researchers surveyed more than 850 provider organizations and tested seven EHR systems, including five that had been certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare IT. The study evaluated current industry information practices and benchmarked health data security practices against other industries.

The study found that:
Product certifications do not address application hardening or known vulnerability reporting but help evaluate functionality, interoperability and security capabilities (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 9/17);
EHR vulnerabilities could be identified using standard tools and techniques; and
EHR vendors either are not disclosing or are inadequately disclosing vulnerabilities to customers, preventing organizations from appropriately managing risks or adopting controls.In addition, researchers could not identify an organization that has established guidelines to appropriately manage risks associated with EHR systems, prompting the conclusion that no organization has the responsibility, charter or mission to address security vulnerabilities in EHR systems (eHVRP press release, 9/17). The study advocated security enhancements to EHR products and strategies to manage the risk of privacy breaches (Healthcare IT News, 9/17).

Research aims to boost RFID security, integration

ROCHESTER, NY - Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology have announced that they will begin to work on enhancing the integration of radio frequency identification into cardiac sensor networks - a wireless technology for telemedicine delivery - as well as enhancing security within these systems. The National Science Foundation’s Cyber Trust Program has given a $400,000 grant to support the research, which will be headed by Fei Hu, assistant professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. Hu will collaborate with Yang Xiao, professor of computer science at the University of Alabama.

The Institute believes that, due to the growth of the United States’ nursing home and long-term care populations, there is a greater need for medical monitoring. “Through this project we hope to increase the integration of RFID into existing cardiac sensor networks, ensure the overall security of the system and promote the implementation of the technology in nursing homes and adult care facilities across the country,” said Hu. Cardiac sensor networks use wireless sensors to remotely monitor a patient’s heart beating pattern and blood pressure and transfer this information to doctors and hospitals off site.

According to Hu, the networks are seen as a major avenue for increasing the quality of diagnosis and reducing the need for medical supervision. RFID technology has faced scrutiny due to issues associated with security. Hu and Xiao will research the use of anti-interference technology to reduce radio distortion of these networks and design and test new RFID security schemes that will decrease the chance of information being stolen.

They will also look to assist the overall implementation and integration of RFID to further the development of this technology in telemedicine systems. “There are well known security challenges associated with cardiac sensor networks and RFID,” Hu noted. “It is my hope this research will assist in better protecting these systems and allow greater numbers of doctors and patients to take advantage of the benefits of telemedicine.”Hu and Xiao’s team will include a number of RIT students, both graduate and undergraduate, as well as researchers from the University of Alabama’s Department of Computer Science.

Source : Healthcare IT News 09/19/07

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Very Interseting - Indian healthcare IT firm eyes European purchase

NEW DELHI, INDIA - Companies in Belgium and France are in talks with an India-based healthcare IT firm looking to seal a $100 million all-cash buyout to move into the European market.
Chennai, India-based Helios & Matheson said it hopes to close the expansion deal by the end of the fiscal year.

It is currently negotiating with the unnamed Brussels- and Paris-based firms.
"We are looking at a foothold in Europe," G.K. Muralikrishna told India's Economic Times. "We plan to complete the transactions in three phases (in two years time) but all through cash."
Helios & Matheson generates about 40 percent of its revenues in its healthcare IT operations, and is growing steadily following a number of acquisitions in the United States.

The company told ET the expansion would increase its workforce from 1,600 to 3,000 by 2009.

Source: Healthcare IT News By Chip Means, Contributing Editor 09/18/07

Robotic surgery makes medical history

ST. PAUL, MN – Medical history was made recently when the first robotic surgery was performed at Regions Hospital, a private, non-profit hospital here.

Sixty-year old Clay Barritt underwent successful cardiac surgery to repair a heart valve last week. His operation, for mitral valve repair, is normally a complicated procedure that traditionally requires open-heart surgery. However, Barritt’s surgery was performed using a technology called da Vinci S Surgical System, made by the California-based company Intuitive Surgical Systems, and was minimally invasive, leaving little scarring. The da Vinci is a computer-enhanced system that interposes a computer between the surgeon's hands and the tips of micro-instruments.

The system replicates the surgeon's movements in real-time. The surgeon performs the surgery while sitting at a console, where he has a 3-D image of the surgery site. Using a device called an EndoWrist instrument, the surgeon’s hand movements are scaled, filtered and seamlessly translated into precise movements inside the patient. "The robotic system is revolutionizing heart surgery," said Goya Raikar, MD, head of the hospital's cardiovascular surgery department, who performed the surgery. "It represents one more piece of our ongoing commitment to provide the best comprehensive care to our patients." Reportedly, the system has been found to be beneficial, reducing recovery, hospital stays, pain, scarring, blood loss and risk of infection.

On average it is reported that hospital time is cut in half and patients are back at their normal operating levels in about two weeks. "We did a lot of research and knew that this was the route we wanted to go because of the faster recovery time," Barritt said. "I was sitting up in my bed three hours after surgery. That's amazing." Regions offers a full range of da Vinci assisted cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass surgery. In addition, the hospital uses the system for treating prostate cancer and other urological, general, thoracic, and gynecological surgeries.

source: Healthcare IT News By Molly Merrill, Contributing Writer

Monday, September 17, 2007

Very impressive : Boston Scientific reports successful remote monitoring of cardiac patients

NATICK, MA – Data released last week by Boston Scientific Corporation reported the success of wireless remote monitoring technology in managing cardiac patients with the company’s wireless LATITUDE patient management system. The data is based on the first 15,000 patients monitored with Boston Scientific’s LATITUDE patient management system.

All the patients have implantable cardiac devices. To date, this data represents the industry’s largest experience with the remote monitoring of such devices. The LATITUDE patient management system is able to detect clinical events between a patient’s scheduled follow-up visits and then send the clinical event data directly to the physician.

Over the course of 106,000 monitoring months, and out of a 15,000-patient population with an average follow-up of seven months, the system detected 948 patients with at least one event of sustained atrial arrhythmia for more than 24 hours. "Remote monitoring between regularly scheduled follow-ups may enable clinicians to observe these events sooner in their device patients, which gives physicians the option to intervene earlier," said Mark A. Silver, M.D. , director of the Heart Failure Institute at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, IL.

The LATITUDE patient management system also detected 1,516 patients who received at least one event of shock therapy for potentially life threatening arrhythmias. "Equally important is regular monitoring of a patient's weight and blood pressure, which are key indicators of potential heart failure in patients," Silver said. Remote wireless weight scale and blood pressure cuffs are an optional feature of the LATITUDE system.

Currently, more than 60,000 patients are enrolled on the system at more than 1,300 clinics across the United States.

Source : Healthcare IT News By Molly Merrill, Contributing Writer 09/17/07

Well one more reason to use good EMR.

I think all insurance company should start giving this kind of benefits as that will encourage Doctors to use EMR.

Beginning January 1, 2008, a Minnesota-based insurance company will offer a premium credit to solo physicians and physician group policyholders using electronic medical records. The Midwest Medical Insurance Company board of directors claims that they are taking this step because EMRs can improve the quality of care through better patient safety.

Source : Healthcare IT News By Richard Pizzi, Associate Editor

Friday, September 14, 2007

EMR Ratings for hire

This is very interseting blog posted on EMR update. Which talks about Marketing and EMR ratings by consultants

Zotec - EmPhysis Merger

(September 14, 2007) Indianapolis-based Zotec Partners LLC, a vendor of practice management and radiology information systems for hospital-based physician specialty practices, and physician practice management vendor EmPhysis Medical Management have merged.Terms were not disclosed, but EmPhysis has contributed all assets and become a shareholder in Zotec.

The combined company will operate under the Zotec name and be based in Indianapolis.Before the merger, Zotec served 5,000 physicians in 43 states. Rockwall, Texas-based EmPhysis, which specializes in serving radiology, anesthesiology and pathology practices, had about 500 physician clients in several Western states. The merger expands Zotec’s product portfolio and geographic reach

We @ BOND saying this from long time.

We @ BOND have this integrated Kiosk Check in system from last one year so we definately know that its efficient and speed up the procees.....

Emergency Department Kiosks Speed Patient Check-In Process

Some hospital emergency departments throughout the country have begun using self-service computer kiosks in waiting rooms to help reduce long lines and help nurses identify the most urgent cases, the AP/Miami Herald reports. At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Texas, which has three kiosks, patients spend about eight minutes checking in using touchscreens to enter their name, age and other personal information.

Patients can choose from a list of ailments and a list of body parts to indicate where they feel pain. Patients with serious injuries, such as those with gunshot wounds or who have been in car accidents, still are rushed in for treatment. Once patients are done registering, the information is transmitted to a nurse's computer screen. Patients with chest pains, stroke symptoms or other serious complaints take priority.

New Jersey's Newark Beth Israel Medical Center plans to install ED kiosks in the next few months."Patients don't always know if their symptom is potentially bad or serious," said Dr. Marc Borenstein, chair and residency program director for Beth Israel's department of emergency medicine.However, despite the kiosks, patients with lesser complaints often still wait a couple of hours for a nurse and several more to see a doctor, according to the AP/Herald

Source: ihealthbeat

open exchange for health care professionals

The Joint Commission has launched a pilot Web site, WikiHealthCare, as part of an effort to create an open exchange for health care professionals to share information, Modern Healthcare reports. The commission's goal was to create a site where health care providers, administrators, researchers and other professionals could share ideas and collaborate on issues, according to Jerod Loeb, executive vice president of quality measurements and research for the commission's department of health services research. The site currently features only two topics, one of which is smoking cessation.

The commission will monitor the popularity of the new site through September and report to its executive committee in October to determine the extent of use. The commission claims the site has more than 1,500 users, but only about 10 users now post to the site, Modern Healthcare reports.The commission would like practitioners from its accredited organizations to use the site as a forum to provide suggestions and feedback as the commission develops new standards and accreditation rules.

While there already is some involvement by accredited organizations, the site is a way to leverage technology in increasing participation, according to Scott Williams, associate director of quality measurements and research in the Joint Commission's health services research department (DerGurahian, Modern Healthcare, 9/12).

Source : ihealthbeat

That's very encouraging....for Patients in India

First 'pharmacovigilance' center launched in India
Healthcare IT News
By Molly Merrill, Contributing Writer
NEW YORK – Accenture and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company have joined forces to launch the pharmaceutical industry’s first pharmacovigilance center, in Chennai, India, to monitor safety data collected on medicines. Pharmacovigilance entails the capture, assessment and reporting of potential side effects on medicines.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RHIO Market Growth Small

The revenue generated from regional health information organizations remains minuscule compared with the rest of the health care information technology industry, according to a new report on RHIO finances.

Report authors estimate the RHIO market size in the United States this year at $128.6 million--about seven-tenths of a percent of the health I.T. market--with growth of only 2.3% from 2006. Further, RHIOs--even the most mature operating in production environments--remain heavily dependent on grant funding.

Healthcare IT Transition Group, a Tulsa, Okla.-based consulting and research firm, surveyed 168 RHIOs and health information exchanges for its report, “Sustainable RHIO Funding and the Emerging Business Model.” The group received 63 responses and the report’s conclusions result from the 38 RHIOs that submitted complete data.

Approximately one-half of the 38 RHIOs reported being in the start-up stage, with one-quarter each in a transition stage or in production. Cash flow remains the primary non-technical challenge, according to respondents, with partner relations, privacy concerns and legislative/political issues also prevalent.

Grants comprised 84% of revenue for start-up RHIOs in 2007, compared with 73% in a similar survey conducted last year. Most responding RHIOs in this year’s survey anticipate the need for continued grant funding, including 60% of the RHIOs identifying themselves as being at the self-sustaining level.

Source : Health Data Management

Fastest Growing Specialties using EMR


Well .... it might be little hard to convince patient to get something under their Skin

Well .... it might be little hard to convince patient to get something under their Skin to do patient check In or tracking.

WASHINGTON, DC (September 13, 2007) --

The American Medical Association released a report that outlined the pros and cons of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags - implanted devices the size of a grain of rice that are used to store medical information. The devices could give emergency room doctors quick access to the records of chronically ill patients and reduce medical errors, the report said. But implanting the tags also may compromise patient privacy. In addition, their small size could allow them to move to other parts of the body. They may also cause interference with electrical devices such as defibrillators.Made from a microchip and a copper antenna encased in a glass capsule, the device transmits a unique 16-digit number that can be read by a handheld scanner. The number is used to locate a medical record stored on a secure Web site. VeriChip Corp. of Delray Beach, Fla., is selling kits containing scanners and the large-bore needles used to insert the chips. The company has sold about 2,500 chips worldwide for use in people, and several hundred have been implanted, including about 100 in the United States. The devices, originally developed to track livestock, have been implanted in more than six million cats and dogs to trace lost or stolen pets.

source : HIMSS News

Dallas Hospital Chose MedSeries4

Dallas Hospital prepares for CPOE and EHR system
Healthcare IT News
By Molly Merrill, Contributing Writer
DALLAS - The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, a pediatric center for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, plans to implement a clinical applications suite that will lead it toward a computerized physician order entry system and an electronic health record in 2008. The Dallas hospital has chosen the MedSeries4 system from Siemens Medical Solutions. Hospital leaders say the system will allow medical staff to access current, integrated views of patient data from any Internet connection or wireless handheld device.

God Help Michigan Docs !!! .....They chose Misys

Michigan docs choose a vendor to help build HIE
Healthcare IT News By Richard Pizzi, Associate Editor

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – West Michigan Physicians Network, an organization of 450 physicians representing various medical and surgical specialties and practice sizes, has named a preferred healthcare IT vendor to help it create a community-wide health information exchange. The WMPN Board of Directors has endorsed software products offered by Misys Healthcare Systems of Raleigh, NC, including the Misys EMR for electronic medical records and the Misys Tiger practice management system.

The physician network announced that, as EMR adoption increases in West Michigan, physicians could begin sharing selected patient information and data via the Web-based Misys Connect technology. “WMPN leadership strongly believes in the long-term value of EMR in supporting the patient care goals of our physician practices and the community,” said Tom Janda, executive director of West Michigan Physicians Network. “Our job is to assist our members in making the best decisions regarding EMR, to negotiate attractive contract terms, and to assist where possible with implementation.”According to Misys, multiple practices within WMPN are already using the company’s products, and the vendor claims that its broad customer base in the western Michigan area was a major factor in the selection process. “In reaching this important decision point, the West Michigan Physicians Network has fulfilled a primary commitment to its physician members and also outlined a promising future for the patient population of the state,” said Mike Etue, senior vice president of sales for Misys Healthcare. As part of the new relationship, WMPN said that its members already are starting to take advantage of pre-negotiated contract terms and favorable product pricing to deploy new software in their practices.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I guess Patient Check in and tracking won't be that difficult after all

VeriChip Says Implantable RFID Chips Safe for Humans

VeriChip on Tuesday said that it would thoroughly review reports from an Associated Press article that linked its microchips with cancer in lab rats and mice, the South Florida Business Journal reports. The company also reiterated that its chips are FDA-approved (South Florida Business Journal, 9/11). The chips allow hospital staff members to access a code and go online to open a patient's medical profile, which is stored on VeriChip's database for an annual fee (iHealthBeat, 9/10).After the AP story was published, VeriChip's stock dropped by 62 cents on Monday, and VeriChip's parent company, Applied Digital Solutions, also saw its stock fall to a new low on Monday. Shares for both companies also continued to decline on Tuesday (South Florida Business Journal, 9/11). VeriChip and federal regulators said the animal data had been included in the review of the application to implant chips in humans, but there are no controlled scientific studies linking the chips to cancer in dogs or cats. They added that lab rodents are more prone than humans or other animals to developing tumors from all types of injections (Feder, New York Times, 9/11).About 2,000 people nationwide have been implanted with VeriChip's radio frequency identification technology chips (iHealthBeat, 9/10)."At this time there appears to be no credible cause for concern," Karen Riley, FDA spokesperson, said.Since learning of the article, VeriChip said that it has found studies from its own manufacturer that conclude microchip implants do not cause malignant tumors. The company also noted that the article and research made no link between microchips and cancer in humans (South Florida Business Journal, 9/11).

Source : ihealthbeat

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Type of Health Care Organization Is Most Prone to IT Staffing Challenges?

Nearly all respondents to a survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society said that they have experienced IT staffing shortages in their health care organizations.
Source : iHealthBeat

Canadian Visa Experience.

Well...finally got experience of some other consultate other than US....was entirely not that Exciting as of US embassy.....

was fun !!!! got the Visa.....not no fun........

poor Kaushal.....has to wake up early on his day off to took me to Consulate....but still its good time......talking while driving...

There was this African Native wanted to get the CAnada visa......and was denied based on the ground that he has no ties with home country to come back.....and his response to that argument was....i have 26 childerens back home ( i did make sure with kaushal who was sitting next to me....he has 26 childerens back home.....wwowwwwww).....and the whole argument was....informative over all...

we do have to wait for 2 hours almost to get the Visa.....was boring.............but GM building is fun itself......there cars display was very exotic.....

All and all good experience.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mackinaw Island Trip

it was fun in northern michigan.....we started @ 7:00 am though we thought of starting it @ 6:00am as it was 4 hours drive from where we were....but anyhow eventually we started and reached there around 11:00...then we took ferry to go to Mackinaw island...that was best boat ride anyone can have.......

I perticually enjoyed the island and weather except road apple but well that is inevitable on the island...all my other friends were having health issues with Windy weather but well i was so happy to be cold weather as Florida heat.....can't take it i enjoyed all of the weather change i can take...

The only bad side of this was stomache bug.....but hey you can't control those....may be that yuckky food i have eaten on Mackinaw island........(vegetarian...not much of option for food)

anyhow will upload once i get the pictures........

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Well i know.....Temple is not a good football team...but common to score 19 against Navy...i consider that to be pretty awesome.......i think our coach is trying really hard to improve.....

GO OWLS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michigan Trip

Looking forward to it !!!!!! Finally we four best friends are going to be together after almost 6 + years....i can say since we left india....we all are never together @ one island....definately going to be great trip.....

Largest class ever moves in TU

The largest freshman class in Temple history has arrived.

An estimated 4,300 freshmen have enrolled at Temple for the 2007-08 academic year — almost 6 percent more freshmen than last year, and about 33 percent more than in 2000.
When combined with the estimated 2,700 transfer students who are projected to enroll this fall, the number of new undergraduate students at Temple is likely to reach 7,000, another all-time record.
In the world of college admissions, Temple continues to be as hot as an August afternoon. Nearly 17,900 applications were received in this admissions cycle, an increase of about 44 percent since 2000.
About 20,000 prospective students and family members visited Temple and toured campus during the year.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Helped creating Diane's First Blog

Showed Diane how to create her own blog today. I think she got it how to do that but not sure that she will be touching it in near future. But if you want to visit her blog then click Diane

Sunday, August 5, 2007

my first blog

I am so exicted to post my first blog...i will put in more stff once i am use to this till then....ciya