Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lenovo/IBM recalls laptop batteries made by Sony

Lenovo and IBM Corporation, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies, have announced the voluntary recall of certain lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Sony Corporation. In the interest of public safety, Lenovo will offer customers free-of-charge replacement batteries for all recalled batteries.


Dr. Robert Kolodner appointed interim National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Dr Kolodner's experience as chief health informatics officer at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) makes him an excellent choice.SV

During his tenure as chief health informatics officer at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Kolodner made major contributions to health information technology in both government and the private sector. He has actively guided the VA activities in the establishment of a life-long, comprehensive, computerized clinical record for the nations' veterans, as well as strengthening the working relationship between VA and the Department of Defense.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

SCCIPA Selects McKesson's RelayHealth to Achieve NCQA Physician Practice Connections Guidelines

Emeryville, CA, September 19, 2006 — Santa Clara County Individual Practice Association (SCCIPA) and McKesson announced that SCCIPA will use McKesson's RelayHealth® secure, Web-based healthcare communication system to support measures outlined by The Silicon Valley Pay-for-Performance Consortium.

Importantly from a work flow perspective, Relayhealth will be available via the single sign on using PPMSI's proprietary Web-based managed care software, Access Express. Thus avoiding the hassle factor of multiple logins. SV


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Miami Children's puts medical records online

Miami Children's Hospital is the first hospital in Florida, and possibly the nation, to give patients online access to their medical records, thanks to a program developed by a local business.

Starting in early September, consenting patients and their parents were able to go online to view summaries of their hospital stays, images of surgery and recovery and prescription drug regimen. The system is only installed in the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU), which sees 250 to 300 patients a year, said Jeff White, who directs IT for that department.

South Florida Business Journal

New State Regulations Allow for Safer, More Efficient E-Prescribing

Healthcare Leaders Launch Campaign to Help Georgia Physicians and Pharmacists “Get Connected” to Reduce Medication Errors and Eliminate Needless and Costly Paperwork

ATLANTA – September 21, 2006 – Physicians and pharmacists in the State of Georgia are now legally allowed to transmit prescriptions electronically. In August, the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy adopted new e-prescribing rules that officially went into effect on September 7th.

In response to the adoption of the new rule, the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) and the Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) have joined with many of the state’s local community pharmacies to announce the launch of a statewide e-prescribing campaign, which aims to encourage adoption amongst physicians and pharmacies.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Albany Memorial Hospital to expand CPOE

The Hannaford Charitable Foundation is donating $25,000 to Northeast Health to aid in the expansion of the Computer Physician Order Entry system at Albany Memorial Hospital.

CPOE systems are designed to reduce hospital errors by creating an integrated, uniform electronic method of managing patient data and medical history. Information on treatment history, medications, tests and diagnostic images can be input by physicians and made accessible to Northeast Health doctors at any of the Troy, N.Y., health care network's many locations.

The Business Review (Albany)
Cleveland Clinic and other Ohio hospitals began process of sharing Electronic Medical Records

During her first appointment with a new gynecologist this summer, Sue Valko could not recall details of her June 2000 hysterectomy, an important part of her medical history.

Dr. Christine Slotta turned to her computer and soon had Valko's background at her fingertips.

"To have her pull up all the information, it was fantastic," said Valko, 60, of Oakwood Village.
United Physicians to Offer DrFirst Rcopia e-Prescribing Solution to its 1,700 Southeast Michigan Members

Physician to Patient Email:Little change between 2001 and 2005

Could economics be a barrier for some? SV

WASHINGTON, DC—Only about one in four physicians (24%) reported that e-mail was used in their practice to communicate clinical issues with patients in 2004-05, up from one in five physicians in 2000-01, according to a national study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

The American Health Information Community (AHIC), a recently formed federal commission, has identified secure online communication between physicians and patients—especially those with chronic conditions—as one of a limited number of "breakthrough" information technologies targeted for rapid development. Moreover, 80 percent of online Americans would like to communicate with their doctors via e-mail, according to a March 2005 HarrisInteractive Health Care Poll.

Aetna joins Bridges Bridges to Excellence in Mid-Atlantic Region

EHRs will facilitate qualifying for bonuses through reminder and tracking systems.SV

Aetna Inc. is the second health insurance company operating in the mid-Atlantic to join a national program that gives financial rewards to doctors who meet national standards for patient care and running their practices efficiently.

The Connecticut-based health insurer plans to roll out a voluntary program next year in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas that pays doctors $80 yearly for each diabetic patient and $160 for each heart patient treated according to national standards for high-quality care.

Baltimore Business Journal

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

ACP summary of the guidelines related to EHR and e-Prescribing donation with commentary

Definitely a good read.SV


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Toshiba Battery Recall

As per Toshiba:

Toshiba has identified a problem with some of the batteries in Toshiba portable computers manufactured between March and May of 2006. The affected batteries simply stop working, i.e. they stop accepting a charge, and they no longer supply power to the computer. They do not overheat, or pose any safety related issue or concern.

The affected batteries were sold with several Toshiba portable computer models, and were also sold as accessories. The problem has been fixed by the third-party battery vendor, and batteries manufactured since June 1, 2006 are not affected by this problem.


Monday, September 18, 2006

UnitedHealthcare's new ID card to combine Account and Health Information

UnitedHealthcare is preparing to introduce an innovative identification card that contains both the member's account information and medical history.

The Philadelphia-based insurer will begin rolling out the cards in January, which will allow members, including some 130,000 people in Western Pennsylvania, to convey key health and account information with a swipe of the card.

Pittsburgh Business Times

Friday, September 15, 2006

eHealth Initiative and HIMSS Align on Health Information Exchange (HIE) and RHIO Initiatives

Two great organizations coordinate efforts.SV

CAQH Initiative to Speed Physician Access to Patient Insurance Coverage Data

The benefits of an interoperable healthcare system are well understood. The availability of information in real-time at the point of care can reduce medical errors, allow physicians and their patients to make informed decisions about treatment options, and reduce administrative burdens. The challenges are equally well understood. Technology adoption rates, data security, and inconsistency associated with transactions and interactions between stakeholders are limiting the ability to realize a complete solution.

Through CORE, CAQH is working to make it easier for physicians and hospitals to access eligibility and benefits information for their patients at the point of care. CORE operating rules will allow providers to submit a request, using the electronic system of their choice, to obtain a variety of coverage information for any patient and from any participating health plan. Providers will receive more consistent and predictable data, regardless of health plan.

H.R. 4859: Federal Family Health Information Technology Act of 2006

Talk about an 800 pound gorilla!SV

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Third District Congressman Jon Porter formally introduced health information technology (HIT) legislation that will improve health care safety, quality and efficiency for millions of Americans. Porter’s bill, the “Federal Family Health Information Technology Act of 2006,” will provide every participant of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) with an electronic health care record, and effectively serve as the largest HIT demonstration project in the country.
Official Title: To amend chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, to provide for the implementation of a system of electronic health records under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Porter’s bill requires insurance carriers within FEHBP to create carrier-based electronic health records for all participants. The bill also requires the carriers to create a personal health record, where participants can use a web-based service to input information such as dietary requirements, allergies, etc. Finally, the bill provides incentives for local health care providers to implement HIT in their own offices.

Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) has joined Porter’s efforts as original co-sponsor of the bill, which has been referred to the Government Reform Committee.

Sept 13, 2006: Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote .
2006 Update in Healthcare Quality, Efficiency, and Pay for Performance

A CME course presented by the American College of Physicians and Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education

October 20 – 21, 2006
Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts

In its 2001 report, “Crossing the Quality Chasm,” the Institute of Medicine Health Care Quality Initiative reported a large gap in the quality of care that Americans receive compared to the evidence base for good clinical care.

In response, private sector healthcare purchasers, Congress, physician organizations, and others have launched many new initiatives and programs, each seeking to improve the quality of health care and the “efficiency” of clinical services provided in the United States.


HIT Forum

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Albany NY group chooses First Consulting Group to create RHIO

Health Information Exchange of New York, known as HIXNY, and First Consulting Group (Nasdaq: FCGI) of Long Beach signed a letter of intent Sept. 7 calling for the non-profit enterprise to use First Consulting's FirstGateways(TM) platform as the basis for the network. The proposed RHIO would link area hospitals, physician groups and insurers, allowing them to share electronic patient records. The goal is to reduce errors, prevent duplication of tests and procedures, and improve overall efficiency, thus trimming costs and improving the quality of care.

The Business Review
The EHR:IT Gets Clinical 10/19-20/2006

Discounts for members of sponsoring organizations and 20% discount registration before 9/19/06.


We invite you to join local physicians to explore the merits of investing in Electronic Medical Records, including:

* System selection criteria

* Determining essential versus superfluous product features

* How do you find systems most closely suited to meet the unique needs of your practice?

* Overcoming barriers to adoption

* Facilitating implementation


Thursday, September 07, 2006

CMS Self-Referral Exceptions: e-Prescribing & EHR

This update of the regulations can help jumpstart the adoption of e-Prescribing and Electronic Health Records.SV

BACKGROUND: Section 1877 of the Social Security Act (the Act), commonly referred to as the “Stark” law, prohibits a physician from making referrals for certain “designated health services” (DHS) payable by Medicare to an entity with which the physician (or an immediate family member of the physician) has a financial relationship, unless an exception applies. Section 1877 of the Act also prohibits the entity from submitting claims to Medicare or anyone else for Medicare DHS that are furnished as a result of a prohibited referral. Violations of the statute are punishable by denial of payment for all DHS claims, refund of amounts collected for DHS claims, and civil money penalties for knowing violations of the prohibition.

(CMS-1303-F) sets forth the terms and conditions of the MMA-mandated physician self-referral electronic prescribing exception and also sets forth the conditions for a new regulatory exception for arrangements involving the donation of electronic health records software or information technology and training services. The MMA mandated a similar safe harbor under the anti-kickback statute for donations of electronic prescribing technology made to physicians and certain other entities. The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is simultaneously issuing a final rule regarding the MMA-mandated anti-kickback statute safe harbor for certain electronic prescribing arrangements, as well as a safe harbor for the donation of electronic health records software or information technology and training services.



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

eRx Collaborative Boosts Patient Safety with 8,000 Prescriptions Changed in June

Record Number of Electronic Prescriptions Changed as a Result of Drug-Drug and Drug-Allergy Alerts

The eRx Collaborative announced today that in June nearly 8,000 electronic prescriptions changed as a result of drug-drug or drug-allergy alerts, which is approximately 2 percent of electronic prescriptions written by Collaborative prescribers.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Arizona Launches Teletrauma Program

August 16, 2006 •• 649 words •• ID: pho147080294
Virtual medicine is now reality. Nine rural hospitals in southern Arizona will soon be able to talk to trauma specialists at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson through live video linkups. In a matter of months, there will be no excuse for any patient to die in southern Arizona because of a lack of access to trauma doctors, said Dr. Rifat Latifi, a trauma surgeon at UA's Medical Center who leads the program. A gift of $285,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield...