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.