Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Innovative Transaction Fee Model Designed for Multiple Payors to Create Recurring Revenues and Funding for Future Zixcorp Pocketscript(R) e-Prescribing Deployments

It looks like there is growing momentum behind paying per e-precription.
If anyone knows the name of the other vendor, please let us know. SV

Zix Corporation (ZixCorp(R)), (Nasdaq:ZIXI), the leader in hosted services for email encryption and e-prescribing, today announced a contract for a new 500-physician e-prescribing program, to be split evenly between ZixCorp and another vendor. In addition to a full sponsorship for each prescriber's deployment and first year of service, the contract also contains a $1 per qualified e-script transaction fee beginning in the first year and going forward, the majority of which will go to ZixCorp to cover on-going annual prescriber licenses and other costs associated with providing the service. The remainder of these transaction fees will be used to fund future deployments of additional prescribers, creating a self-perpetuating expansion model. The total dollar value of these script fees will be a function of the number of payors who ultimately choose to participate in the program.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Zix Corporation Announces First e-Prescribing Premium Payor Services Contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

It is good to see a forward thinking Payor recognizing the Financial value of e-prescriptions as well as the Patient Safety value. SV

Zix Corporation (ZixCorp(R)), (Nasdaq:ZIXI), the leader in hosted services for email encryption and e-prescribing, today announced it has reached an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) for the industry's first Premium Payor Services agreement. ZixCorp's Premium Payor Services provide access to future value-added services and deliver enhanced reporting for both payors and providers, aiding in analysis for incentive program initiatives.

The Premium Payor Services funding model, which is in addition to the annual subscription fee per prescriber, is typically one dollar per qualified script processed or, as in this case, a flat fee license based on historical usage patterns calibrated to yield a similar amount.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

IPOD compatable PHR (Personal Health Record) using HealthFrame 2.1

Here's another reason to send Steve Jobs a thank you or just buy an IPOD. SV

Here are some features:

Calendar Use the calendar for a time-based view of your medical record: tests, treatments, visits or other relevant occurrences.

• Charts Graphical charts provide visual feedback on your key medical indicators: weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.

• Expense Tracking HealthFrame can record and report on expenses related to any aspect of your medical care (visits, medications, etc).

• Forms & Reports HealthFrame generates common forms based on your health records: family history, summer camp, medical history, etc.

• Journals Journals are a collection of notes (journal entries) around a particular health or wellness-related topic.
• Library Access to relevant, accredited information about your health (conditions, medications, immunizations, tests).

• Medical History This powerful, easy to read, and easy to customize report succinctly summarizes your entire medical history.

• Related Links HealthFrame™ lets you add or link to any related information you want.

• Sync with iPod With a click, transfer emergency contact information, provider and medication lists, known allergies, etc. to your iPod.


Monday, December 18, 2006

J. Joseph Garrahy appointed Chairperson of Patient Portal Technologies Healthcare Industry Technology Advisory Board

Patient Portal Technologies, Inc. (Other OTC:PPRG.PK - News) announced today the appointment of J. Joseph Garrahy, former four-term governor of Rhode Island, as chairperson of the Company's newly formed Healthcare Industry Technology Advisory Board. As a former chairman of the National Governors' Association Subcommittee on Healthcare Policy, Governor Garrahy was a key spokesman for state leaders on health matters.

Patient Portal Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of process improvements and efficiencies for healthcare institutions. The Company's products and services utilize a state-of-the-art proprietary software platform that optimizes patient flow, reduces administrative costs, and maximizes reimbursement.

Patient Portal

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative Selects Wellogic to Build Health Information Exchange Infrastructure

This will serve as a great test bed for all of us interested in RHIOs. Cudos to Massachuessetts' MAeHC. SV

The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) has selected Wellogic as its technology vendor to build a health information exchange connecting three hospitals and more than 100 physician practices, as well as reference labs, imaging centers, pharmacies, and other healthcare service providers and trading partners. Development of this exchange utility marks the second phase of MAeHC's charter to bring together the state's major healthcare stakeholders for the purpose of establishing an interoperable electronic health record (EHR) system that will enhance the quality, efficiency and safety of care in Massachusetts.

The MAeHC was formed in 2004 with a $50 million commitment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Three pilot communities were selected from a group of 35 applicants to study and demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of implementing EHRs in community settings. The Wellogic exchange will connect all participants in the two largest of the three communities, Brockton and Newburyport. Physicians in the third community, North Adams, unanimously selected the EHR system of one vendor, making it unnecessary for an independent information exchange to be created. It is anticipated that the communities will become a model for health information exchange for the rest of the Commonwealth, as well as for the nation.

The third vendor was eClinicalWorks.

Please share your experiences.SV



Thursday, December 14, 2006

CMS PVRP Quality Measures Specifications and Statements: 1.5% Bonus for 2007

Can your EHR facilitate collecting and reporting these measures?
Let us know. SV

PVRP Quality Measures Specifications

PVRP Quality Statements List

Quality Net registration

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has appointed 15 people to The Texas Health Care System Integrity Partnership: topics include Medical Records and Health Insurance

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed 15 people to create a health partnership between the public and private sectors that will work on medical records and health insurance.

The Texas Health Care System Integrity Authority, which Perry announced in October, aims to create an electronic medical records system, help consumers comparison shop for health care and give small employers more health insurance choices.

Austin Business Journal
Project HealthDesign Selects Nine Teams to Design and Test Innovative, Consumer-Centered PHR Applications

There some very interesting proposals. Stay tuned. SV

Princeton, N.J. – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today kicked off a landmark program to design and test bold ideas for how consumers can use information technology to better manage their health and navigate the health care system.

Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records, a $3.5 million initiative, has selected nine multidisciplinary teams that will build new tools that advance the field of personal health record (PHR) systems. The teams were chosen from a pool of more than 165 applicants and each has been selected to receive an 18-month, $300,000 grant. Primary funding for Project HealthDesign is provided by RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio, which supports innovative projects that may lead to breakthrough improvements in health and health care. RWJF is pleased to collaborate with The California HealthCare Foundation, which contributed an additional $900,000 to the initiative. The program is directed by Patricia Flatley Brennan, R.N., Ph.D., professor of Nursing and Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Project HealthDesign
Germany Starts Testing Electronic Health Records on Smart Cards

This is very impressive technology. Other than the cost, two issues come to mind:

1) what if the patient forgets his/her card?,
2) what if there is a disaster and there is no electricity? SV

Germany started testing electronic health insurance cards which will eventually contain the patients' complete health history in digital format. The high-tech card is Germany's largest IT project.

"From today, 10,000 insurance holders will be receiving the new electronic card, whose functions will be gradually tested in doctors' offices, pharmacies and hospitals over the next few months," said Marion Caspers-Merk of the German Ministry of Health on Monday.

The new electronic health insurance card, which should be released for general use in 2008, is meant to reduce administrative costs in the health industry and simplify information access for medical workers.

In addition to containing the carrier's photo, which is expected to reduce the abuse of health insurance privileges, the card has an electronic chip that will eventually contain the patient's complete health record.

What's your opinion?


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lessons learned from pilot site implementation of an ambulatory electronic health record: GE Centricity and Kryptiq

As ambulatory care practices face increasing pressure to implement electronic health records (EHRs), there is a growing need to determine the essential elements of a successful implementation strategy. HealthTexas Provider Network is in the process of implementing an EHR system comprising GE Centricity Physician Office-EMR 2005, Clinical Content Consultants (now part of GE), and Kryptiq Secure Messaging throughout all 88 practices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is hoping to extend the system to other practices affiliated with Baylor Health Care System as well.

Baylor Health System

Friday, December 08, 2006

Medical Economics Magazine Article: CME (Continuing Medical Education) Online and at the Point of Care

Medical Economics Magazine

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Five large employers including Walmart participate in PHR (Personal Health Record):DOSSIA

This is yet another major PHR initiative and promises to be portable. SV

Dossia is an internet-based software platform that will provide complete, lifelong electronic medical records — at first, to employees of the founders group of companies.

These records will belong to employees, and will be portable if the employee changes jobs or insurance companies, or retires. Employers and insurance companies will have no access to any information in any employee’s health record.

After the initial development period, the Dossia technology platform will be freely available to software developers so they can create applications that encourage the adoption of electronic personal health records far beyond the original employee groups. It will be an open system created to ultimately benefit every patient and health care provider, and to improve the quality of care across the entire health care system.

The Dossia founders group includes BP America, Inc., Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Toyota and Wal-Mart. They have joined together to fund Dossia as a new kind of health care benefit to their employees, dependants and retirees. Any other companies who are interested in empowering their employees, and who desire to help to reduce inefficiency and errors in the health care system, are welcome to participate.

Dossia is being developed by Omnimedix Institute, a non-profit health care research and information technology development organization based in Portland, Oregon.



Monday, December 04, 2006

Group Health Cooperative's internet based communication tool gains "Momentum"

Group Health Cooperative uses Momentum to provide Risk Assessments while connecting patients with doctors and health care "Lifestyle Coaches". This is a great proactive tool. SV


Friday, December 01, 2006

NASCIO has just published: Profiles of Progress: State Health IT Initiatives

Check it out. SV

(November 2006)
A product of NASCIO’s Health IT Committee, this compendium provides a state-by-state “snapshot” of progress that each state has made in the health information technology (HIT) implementation process. Each individual state profile highlights the steps that states are taking in regards to HIT issues, from Executive Orders and legislative-driven initiatives to public/private or public/non-profit partnerships. Most importantly, the compendium examines the roles and responsibilities the state CIO has in these efforts.

National Association of State Chief Information Officers

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Louisville health information exchange expands scope. LouHIE

Congratulations. A great role model for the rest of the country. SV

Planners of a Louisville-area electronic network of health records hope to enroll 300,000 to 500,000 patients -- at least three times the number originally envisioned.

The ambitious undertaking, which could become a national model, is intended to reduce medical errors and costs -- for example, by heading off unnecessary tests or dangerous medications.

The network, an idea that grew out of research at the University of Louisville, initially aimed to include 100,000 patients.
SureScripts to Offer Higher Level of Certification called Gold RX

Let's hope most EHRs strive for Gold Status. SV

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – November 14, 2006 – SureScripts today announced a new certification status designed to recognize physician software and service providers that are truly advancing electronic prescribing and healthcare interoperability in the United States. SureScripts GoldRx™ certification status will be granted to electronic medical record (EMR) and e-prescribing solutions that not only have been tested and marketed as e-prescribing capable, but have a proven track record with pharmacy interoperability.

CCHIT to Expand Electronic Health Record Certification to Some Specialties

This is a great opportunity for Specialties to have their specific documentation and workflow needs addressed. SV

CHICAGO -- November 28, 2006 -- The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHITSM) announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has authorized and funded the Commission to expand its certification scope of work for ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) products to begin addressing some medical specialties and specialized care settings.

"Expanding the use of certified electronic health records for different specialties within the health care community means more patients will have access to better quality care at better value," said Robert Kolodner, M.D., interim National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, HHS. "This expansion of the certification process will lead to significant improvements in the quality of individual's healthcare and the overall health of the population."

An environmental scan to gather this information will begin immediately with the goal of reporting results to the Commission at its January meeting. CCHIT will encourage the engagement of specialty societies as work begins. CCHIT will also communicate its progress through its web site,, in CCHIT eNews and in a Town Call to be held on December 11 at 2:00 PM Eastern time. Details of the call will be available on the CCHIT web site.

Dr. Patricia Hale, MD, FACP, Chair of the NYACP HIT Committee will serve in a critical leadership position as Vice-Chair of the NYeC corporation.

Congratulations to a good friend and influential spokesperson for the Physician Community. SV

This organization will help coordinate eHealth initiatives.

United Hospital Fund

Monday, November 27, 2006

GE Healthcare Provides Infrastructure for Vermont Information Exchange, Vermont Health Information Organization (RHIO)

GE Healthcare
HHS promotes State Alliance for e-Health initiatives

Get involved. SV

Washington, D.C. HHS announces a new opportunity for various state-level decision makers (governors, legislators, attorney generals, etc.) to collaborate in their efforts to address challenges in state-level interoperable health information exchange (HIE). HHS anticipates that this collaboration will remove barriers to HIE and improve overall quality of health care.

The States play a critical role in the delivery of healthcare. There is a need for state-level interstate collaboration and consensus-building about the laws, policies and practices that govern potential approaches to interoperable HIE. This collaborative process will fuel creativity and partnerships and allow for the appropriate inputs of subject-matter experts. The State Alliance creates a vehicle through which states may come together to evaluate and possibly resolve:

State-level privacy and security issues
State-law practice of medicine barriers, and
State-level health information organization issues in governance, sustainable financial models, and the role of payors and integration of public health and benefit programs.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Medical Society of the State of New York sponsored Health Information Technology Seminars

Here is the current link for updated meetings as well as the link for non-MSSNY HIT Seminars. Visit the HIT Forum to post information about your events. SV


HIT Forum
The Central Florida Regional Health Information Organization has elected its inaugural 15-member board of directors

It has repesentation by Health Care Providers and Health Care Payers. SV

The Central Florida Regional Health Information Organization has elected its inaugural 15-member board of directors as a step toward establishing an electronic medical network in Central Florida.

The officers are: Becky Cherney of the Florida Health Care Coalition, chairwoman; Rick Schooler of Orlando Regional Healthcare, vice chairman; Karen van Caulil of the Health Council of East Central Florida, secretary; and Dr. Ross Edmundson of Florida Hospital, treasurer.

Orlando Business Journal

Perot Tapped for $1.1B in IT Management, Upgrades at 57 Tenet hospitals

Dallas-based Tenet said Tuesday in a regulatory filing that it will pay Perot $1.1 billion over the next 10 years to make the upgrade.

Dallas News

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

EMI 911 rCard, a portable "CCR"

Here's something that caught my eye. The price is reasonable, about $79.99 with annual renewals at $20.00. Volume discounts are available. SV

The EMI 911 rCard is an interactive, easy to use, electronic device that stores and displays essential Emergency Medical Information at the touch of a button. The full-color, high-resolution screen vividly displays medical charts, photos and text to instantly provide lifesaving data to doctors, nurses and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The card is so small it can be carried in a pocket, purse or backpack!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Fairview, HealthPartners and Allina medical groups are using MyChart online from EPIC to correspond online with patients

E-mails and phone calls paid at least in part by insurers are a fast-growing solution to a common ailment in health care: the unnecessary visit to the doctor's office.

Doctors have used phone calls for years to cut down on these visits — to tell patients with simple colds to stay home, counsel patients with chronic diseases or prescribe obvious treatments. But now clinic groups and insurers have begun to make this a more formal medical service. And insurers have agreed in the past year to pay at least for medical advice via e-mail, also known as e-care.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

NextGen plans to use Instant Medical History (IMH) from Primetime Medical Software

This a a great decision. We currently use the application as supported by Phreesia.It is a great time saver and can improve physician /patient communication.SV


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Athenahealth adds an e-Prescribing function to athenaClinicals

athenahealth has partnered with SureScripts, the biggest e-prescribing network in the U.S., to offer clients an e-prescribing solution as part of athenaClinicals. athenaClinicals connects practices to the SureScripts Electronic Prescribing Network, which allows physicians to submit and review prescription data simply and securely in a 'true' electronic format - between the computers at the pharmacy and computers at the physician practice. This greatly reduces the need for phone calls, faxes and paper prescriptions from the prescribing process.

Medication Management Systems Inc. permits pharmacists to assist patients on multiple medications and supplements

Some EHRs may want to incorporate some this programs features and/or create interfaces. SV

With pricey prescription drugs at the center of the health care affordability debate, is anyone paying attention to whether all those medicines are doing what they're supposed to do?

Using the company's software, a pharmacist is guided to ask patients about all the medications they are taking, including over-the-counter products, prescriptions they "borrow" from family or friends, herbal products and social drugs -- alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. The software also helps pharmacists get a complete picture of all the conditions the medications are meant to treat.

The Star Tribune

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Zix Corporation Enhances Value of e-Prescribing Technology Platform by Aggregating Data
from RxHub, SureScripts and PerSe

Dispensed history not associated with insurance plans will be available. SV

Company Tests New e-Prescribing Services to Deliver Higher Quality and More Complete Information at the Point-of-Care

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 9, 2006--Zix Corporation (ZixCorp(R)), (Nasdaq:ZIXI), the leader in hosted services for email encryption and e-prescribing, today announced that it was testing the delivery of data aggregated from disparate sources to enhance the value of its technology platform, as well as assessing the use of a new industry drug description nomenclature to improve the accuracy of drug identification. The types of information being aggregated include dispensed drug histories, eligibility and formulary information.

Monday, November 06, 2006

McKesson to Acquire Per-Se Technologies for $1.8 Billion

This a a major consolidation of two key HIT players.SV

SAN FRANCISCO & ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) and Per-Se Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI) announced today that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement under which McKesson will acquire Per-Se. Per-Se is a leading provider of financial and administrative healthcare solutions for hospitals, physicians and retail pharmacies. Under the terms of the agreement, McKesson will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Per-Se for $28.00 per share in cash. In total, including Per-Se’s outstanding debt, the transaction is valued at approximately $1.8 billion. By the third year, McKesson expects to realize pre-tax synergies of at least $50 million to $75 million.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pennsylvania eHealth Initiative

If you practice in Pennsylvania, review this site. SV

The Pennsylvania eHealth Initiative (PAeHI) was created to encourage the development and use of electronic medical records (EMR) in Pennsylvania along with health information exchanges (HIE), which will ultimately tie into a national system allowing patients and health care providers to securely access medical records regionally and throughout the country.
Govenor Lynch of New Hampshire promoting e-Prescribing plan

The e-prescribing practice will eliminate problems with mistakes in medication dosages, save time for pharmacists trying decipher bad handwriting and cut medical costs by making the whole process more efficient, Lynch said.

Lynch hopes New Hampshire will become the first state in the country to rely totally on e-prescribing practices.
Lodi Memorial Hospital has implemented an EHR from MediTech

An EHR is an integral step to improving patient safety and system efficiency. SV

Patient charts in the medical/surgical, intensive care, obstetrics, physical rehabilitation and transitional care units of the 173-bed, 54-year-old nonprofit community-owned hospital are no longer being kept on paper. Soon, patient records in the emergency department and inpatient surgery all will be relegated to computer screens...

By the end of 2007, Lodi Memorial will have spent about $8 million implementing its electronic records system created by Medical Information Technology Inc. (Meditech) of Westwood, Mass., according to hospital spokeswoman Carol Farron.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

HHS Designates CCHIT as a Recognized Certification Body

Congratulations to CCHIT for its accomplishment and for helping blazing the trail for HIT distribution! SV

CHICAGO – OCTOBER 24, 2006 – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has designated the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHITSM) as a Recognized Certification Body (RCB). In August, the Department published two final rules providing an exception to the physician self-referral prohibition (commonly referred to as the Stark law) and a safe harbor under the anti-kickback statute. These provisions allow hospitals, health systems, health plans and others to donate interoperable electronic health record (EHR) software to physicians and other healthcare practitioners under specified conditions, one of which is that the software must be interoperable. EHR software will be deemed interoperable under both rules if it has been certified within 12 months prior to the donation by a certification body recognized by the Secretary.

"The HHS final rules allow hospitals, doctors, and other entities to collaborate on health IT projects, achieving economies of scale not available to individual medical practices. This will help overcome a major financial barrier, accelerating progress toward our goal of widespread adoption of robust, interoperable EHRs. CCHIT is proud to have been deemed a Recognized Certification Body, and we thank our volunteers as well as every stakeholder who has contributed to our efforts," said Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, chair, CCHIT.

CDPHP implementing electronic medical prescription using the iScribe system

Cudos to CDPHP for taking the initiative in promoting e-Prescribing.SV

Capital District Physicians Health Plan and its pharmacy benefit manager have launched a three-year electronic-prescribing program in the Albany, N.Y., market.

SilverScript Insurance Co. of Nashville, Tenn., will offer its iScribe electronic prescribing tools to more than 400 CDPHP health care providers throughout the area. The local initiative is part of SilverScript's broader national appeal, targeting 10,000 physicians in seven states.

Albany Business Review

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gateway notebook battery recall: another Sony battery recall

Sony Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Previous Fires
The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Rechargeable, lithium ion batteries containing Sony cells used in Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, Gateway Inc., Sony Electronics Inc., and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. notebook computers.

Units: About 340,000 batteries (an additional 3,080,000 battery packs were sold worldwide)

Battery Cell Manufacturer: Sony Energy Devices Corp., of Japan

Hazard: These lithium ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: There have been 16 reports of notebook computer batteries overheating, causing minor property damage and two minor burns. All of these reported incidents and injuries have been associated with earlier recalls of notebook computer batteries containing these Sony cells. There have been no incidents involving batteries sold by the notebook manufacturers participating in this announcement.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Monday, October 23, 2006

CCHIT releases updated list of certified EHRs

Congratulations to all new additions. SV

* ABELSoft Corporation (ABELMed PM - EMR 7.0)
* AcerMed, Inc.(AcerMed 1.0)
* Allscripts (HealthMatics Electronic Health Record 2006)
* Allscripts (TouchWorks Electronic Health Record 10.1.1)
* Bond Technologies (Bond Clinician EHR 2006)
* Cerner Corporation
(PowerChart 2005.02)
* Community Computer Service (MEDENT 16)
* Companion Technologies
(Companion EMR v8.5)
* CPSI (Medical Practice EMR 14)
* eClinicalWorks (eClinicalWorks Version 7.0 Release 2)
* Eclipsys Corporation (Sunrise Ambulatory Care 4.5)
* EHS (CareRevolution 5.0i)
* e-MDs (e-MDs Solution Series 6.1)
* Epic Systems (EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2006)
* GE Healthcare
(Centricity® EMR 2005 Version 6.0)
* Greenway Medical Technologies (PrimeSuite 2007)
* iMedica Corporation
(iMedica Patient Relationship Manager 2005, version 5.1)
* Infor-Med Corporation
(Praxis® Electronic Medical Records, version 3.4)

* JMJ Technologies
(EncounterPRO® EHR 5.0)
* LSS Data Systems (Medical and Practice Management Suite Client Server Version 5.5 (Service
Release 2.1))
* McKesson (Horizon Ambulatory Care Version 9.4)
* MCS-Medical Communication Systems (mMD.Net EHR 9.0.9)
* MedcomSoft (Record 2006 (V 3.0))
* Medical Informatics Engineering (WebChart 4.23)
* MediNotes Corporation (MediNotes e 5.0)
* MedPlexus, Inc. (MedPlexus EHR 8.5)
* Misys Healthcare Systems
(Misys EMR 8.0)
* Netsmart Technologies (Avatar PM 2006 Release 02)
* NextGen Healthcare Information Systems (NextGen EMR 5.3)
* Nightingale Informatix Corporation (myNightingale Physician Workstation 5.1)
* Noteworthy Medical Systems, Inc.(Noteworthy EHR 5.4)
* Practice Partner
(Practice Partner 9)
* ProPractica Inc.(Streamline MD 9.0.9)
* Sage Software
(Intergy® EHR v3.00)
* Sage Software
(Intergy® EHR v3.50)


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The current Internet Explorer Version 7 may not be compatible with your current system

You can disable the auto-update installation of IE v7 by installing a program from Microsoft.( I know it sounds ironic)

Check with you software vendors before installing IE v7

Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More physician groups and managed care organizations promote online communications

San Ramon-based Hill Physicians Medical Group and Berkeley's Alta Bates Medical Group already allow patients to communicate securely with their doctors through a system designed by Emeryville-based RelayHealth, a divison of McKesson Corp.

Now Kaiser Permanente, which a year ago launched its own secure program for doctor-patient communication in Northern California dubbed "e-mail your doctor," has begun marketing the same program to parents of children under age 12.

East Bay Business Times

Ask you EHR vendor if their system can or will soon be able to submit data to CMS. SV

New Demonstration Program Tests Financial Incentives for
Improved Quality and Coordination in Small to Medium Sized Group Practices

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced a new initiative to pay physicians for the quality of the care they provide to seniors and disabled beneficiaries with chronic conditions, reflecting the Administration’s ongoing commitment to reward innovative approaches to get better patient outcomes for the health dollar.

We intend to provide better financial support for quality care,” said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, “Through this demonstration and the rest of our set of value-based payment demonstrations, we are finding better approaches to doing that than ever before. This is another important step toward paying for what we really want: better care at a lower cost, not simply the amount of care provided.”

The Medicare Care Management Performance (MCMP) Demonstration was authorized under section 649 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). It will be implemented in four states: Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, and Utah in 2007.

Under this demonstration, physician groups will continue to be paid on a fee-for-service basis. Participating physicians will submit data annually on up to 26 quality measures related to the care of patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease, as well as the provision of preventive health services such as immunizations and cancer screenings to high risk patients with a range of chronic diseases. In its first year, the program will be a “pay-for- reporting” initiative to provide baseline information on quality and to help physicians become familiar with the quality measurement process. In subsequent years, based on their performance on the quality measures, practices will be eligible to earn an annual incentive of up to $10,000 per physician and up to $50,000 per practice year.

CMS already is conducting a pay-for-performance demonstration involving practices with 200 or more physicians. Early results from the Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration have shown quality of care improvement in hospitals under a pay-for-performance system. In addition to the initiatives for hospitals, physicians, and physician groups described above, CMS is developing a value-based purchasing demonstration for nursing homes – building on the progress of the Nursing Home Quality Initiative – and for home health and dialysis providers as well.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Whole Health and iHealthrecord to Provide Transportable PHRs to Fortune 1000 Companies

Transportable is the key word in the title. The next key will need to be interoperable.SV

Cleveland-based Whole Health Management, Inc. has launched a secure and transportable personal health record service that will be provided to Fortune 1000 companies. The PHR service, iHealthRecord by Medem, is being delivered by Whole Health in a collaborative effort between large employers, local healthcare providers, and Whole Health's on-site clinics and wellness centers. Unlike other proprietary PHR services offered by employers and health plans, the new Whole Health service is fully transportable, owned and controlled by the employee, and connects employees both to clinicians at the on-site Whole Health clinics and to other providers in the community.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Physician gathers leaders to encourage building of RHIO in Ocala, Florida

In a presentation to members of Public Policy Institute of Marion County, he proposed the county join the ranks of nearly 100 other communities around the nation that have implemented a network called the Regional Health Information Organization.

Seek said RHIO is a network in which health-care providers securely and easily share patient information.

"The choices we have now to talk to other doctors is to call, page, fax or mail information, and they are all clunky," Seek said.

Electronic sharing of patient information could increase efficiency and increase the quality of care, while lowering its cost and making the information portable.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Two Health Care Organizations Select Galvanon's MediKiosk to Automate the Patient Check-In Process

We have found in our practice, that the use of a "kiosk", even one not yet integrated with our EHR, has improved operations by having updated medical and demographic information. SV

Use of hospital kiosks will allow organizations to streamline patient registration, reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction

MAITLAND, Fla. – Galvanon, an NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) company, announced today new contracts with Princeton HealthCare System (Princeton, N.J.) and Virginia Hospital Center (Arlington, Va.).

Both organizations will use Galvanon’s MediKiosk, a self-service patient check-in kiosk that allows patients to identify themselves upon arrival at the facility, view and confirm demographic and insurance information, electronically sign consent documents, enter medical history information and make co-payments. This self-service approach shortens wait times for patients while minimizing the time and expense associated with managing paper registration forms for front-office staff.

Aetna Introduces Powerful, Interactive Personal Health Record based on ActiveHealth's CareEngine System

Now if they could build interfaces with CCHIT certified EHRs and make it portable, imagine the possibilites! SV

HARTFORD, Conn., October 3, 2006 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced the launch of its new CareEngine® System-powered Personal Health Record (PHR) that provides members with online access to personal information, including individual personalized messages and alerts, detailed health history, and integrated information and resources to help members make informed decisions about their health care.

Aetna’s PHR is the first to utilize the CareEngine System, which is a proprietary technology platform developed by ActiveHealth Management, a branded, standalone business of Aetna. CareEngine continuously scans an individual’s health data and claims information against highly respected sources of medical literature, and alerts consumers and doctors about possible urgent situations and opportunities to improve care. The CareEngine-powered PHR automatically combines detailed, claims-driven information gathered across the health care spectrum - such as physician office, lab, diagnostic treatment and prescriptions – to generate a comprehensive personal health record. This information is processed by CareEngine to generate personalized health care alerts and messages that are delivered directly to the member.


The world just got smaller again. SV

Imagine Johns Hopkins faculty members performing microsurgery in Tanzania from a computer terminal in a Baltimore operating room, or health care experts in Vietnam presenting an avian influenza patient to medical students gathered in the Hopkins outpatient center. These are some of the possible applications of a high-tech Internet communication system that will be used for the first time next week to link Johns Hopkins faculty with clinicians in India.

Internet2 is a high-speed, high-bandwidth, dedicated Internet network developed in 1996 by leaders in the research and education community in the United States as a way to better support education and research collaborations worldwide. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Johns Hopkins faculty members will use this technology to conduct an interactive clinical education program on HIV/AIDS, with leading health care professionals in India.

Johns Hopkins
Delaware to Build First Statewide Health Information Network, "DHIN", (RHIO)

Statewide intiatives can be used to connect local RHIOs and serve as the building blocks for the NHIN. SV

DOVER, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) and the Delaware Health Care Commission today announced a contract award to Medicity, Inc. to build the first statewide health information exchange to give physicians instant electronic access to patient information at the time and place of care. The signing of this contract is a critical step in making the idea of electronic health records a reality in Delaware and builds on the nearly $5 million in federal funding that Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper and U.S. Representative Mike Castle have secured.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

University Hospitals of Ohio to Implement Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager™

Eclipsys Corporation® (NASDAQ: ECLP), The Outcomes Company®, today announced that University Hospitals (UH), Cleveland, OH, has contracted for Sunrise Clinical Manager and its fully integrated modules, including Sunrise Acute Care™, Sunrise Ambulatory Care™, Sunrise Emergency Care™, Sunrise Critical Care™, Sunrise Pharmacy™, and Knowledge-Based Charting™.

Consistently ranked among America’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, UH is the leading healthcare delivery system in Northeast Ohio with 150 locations throughout the region. An interdisciplinary team of UH physicians, nurses and senior management selected Eclipsys after an extensive analysis of other clinical information solutions.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fujitsu notebook PC Battery Recall by Sony

I guess all the major manufacturers are finally involved.SV


Sony press release September 28, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Minneapolis-based Allina electronic records system now at two more hospitals

Allina Hospitals and Clinics is forging ahead with a $240 million push to digitize health records, adding two more hospitals to the new system.

As of Sept. 1, medical records at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley are paperless. Five of Minneapolis-based Allina's 11 hospitals now house their patients' records electronically.

Allina is using Excellian, a software program that creates one paperless e-record for each patient and digitizes the hospital's billing system. Madison, Wis.-based Epic Systems created the program.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Monday, October 02, 2006

West Virginia University Hospitals Spending $40M on New System

Here's an update to our July 20, 2006 posting.SV

MORGANTOWN -- Not one to fall behind on technology, West Virginia University Hospitals is spending at least $40 million on its new electronic medical records system that organizers say could revolutionize health care delivery at affiliated hospitals.

Dr. Ann Chinnis is executive director of WVU's EPIC project, and that is no pun on the scope of the undertaking. EPIC is the name of the computer program WVU is purchasing to revamp how it handles medical records and other information.

The State Journal

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...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Used Smartphones and PDAs often have sensitive data from previous owners

Used smartphones and PDAs for sale on eBay are loaded with sensitive personal and corporate information ranging from banking records to text messages and corporate emails that can be easily retrieved by hackers and data thieves, according to a sampling by mobile security software provider Trust Digital.

Trust Digital

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More than $100 million invested in building virtual health sites

Ninety-five million Americans -- about 80 percent of online adults -- have searched the Web for health information in the past year, and the overwhelming majority have been disappointed.

More than 70 percent of those searchers either did not find what they were looking for or had a hard time knowing what to believe, according to market research studies by Jupiter Research and Yankelovich Inc.

That frustration has attracted some famous deep pockets, including America Online co-founder Steve Case, his former employer Time Warner Inc., the Carlyle Group and Allen & Co. Together, they have put more than $100 million into building virtual destinations that offer consumers something beyond disease encyclopedias.

Washington Post

Monday, August 28, 2006

Illinois Governors: Recommends e-Prescribing by 2011;Creates new Division of Patient Safety

In an effort to reduce the number of medical errors that claim the lives of more than 4,000 Illinoisans and nearly 100,000 Americans each year, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proposed sweeping and comprehensive changes to cut down on errors and improve patient safety. Medical errors cost $1.5 billion a year – in Illinois alone – contributing to higher insurance premiums, higher costs for hospital visits and treatments, higher co-pays, higher insurance rates for doctors and higher costs of prescription drugs. At Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, the Governor today proposed that all providers use “e-prescribing” to reduce errors and save time and money by eliminating paperwork. E-prescribing, or computerizing prescriptions, would mean doctors could easily see what other medications the patient is taking so there are no allergic reactions or other interactions, and then send the prescription to the patient’s pharmacy electronically to avoid mix ups.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Group of 600 practitioners in Central Oregon hires eClinicalWorks for EHR

Planning to build a shared electronic medical record system across Central Oregon, a group of 600 doctors and other medical providers on Monday said they have hired a Massachusetts company to supply the clinical information system.

The privately held company, eClinicalWorks, said it serves about 5,500 medical providers across the United States.

Doctors have been envisioning digitally linked record systems since the late 1980s, and large health systems such as Kaiser Permanente and Providence Health System have spent millions making the transition. Computerized record systems have the potential to increase efficiency by making test results and other patient information readily available when needed, such as in emergencies. Such systems also may reduce errors by flashing warnings about drug interactions and prompting caregivers when a patient is due for a health test.

The Oregonian
RxHub Receives Reports of ePrescribing Successes from Physicians Nationwide
Over 6 Million Patient Medication Histories Delivered

Patient Safety Improved

Electronic prescribing improves patient care and safety as evidenced by a recent highly publicized drug recall. Upon receiving notice about an immediate drug recall, Dr. Salvatore Volpe, a physician practicing in Staten Island, N.Y. used his e-prescribing application, PocketScript, to search for patients who had been prescribed the medication in the past. By accessing patient medication history through the application in less than a minute, the physicians and staff found every patient that needed to be notified without combing through a single chart. Physicians notified their patients of the recall and identified an alternative prescription to issue in its place. “Having access to this data allowed us to identify those patients at risk, and contact them immediately to change their prescription to a safer alternative,” said Dr. Salvatore. “This convenient tool is evidence of the value of medical office automation in improving patient safety and improving medical practice efficiency."

One in a million chance of being quoted, too bad it wasn't the lottery.
Click on the link for the other five stories. SV


Friday, August 25, 2006

Frist touts health cost benefits of IT

More widespread adoption of information technology can help the country reduce some of the waste that adds to the nation's escalating health-care costs, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told doctors and other staff at Greenville Hospital System Thursday.

Greenville News
Sony made laptop batteries exchange program by Dell and Apple

Dell has identified a potential issue associated with certain batteries sold with Dell Latitude™, Inspiron™, XPS™ and Dell Precision Mobile Workstation™ notebook computers. In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies, Dell is voluntarily recalling certain Dell-branded batteries with cells manufactured by Sony and offering free replacements for these batteries. Under rare conditions, it is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could pose a risk of fire.

Apple has determined that certain lithium-ion batteries containing cells manufactured by Sony Corporation of Japan pose a safety risk that may result in overheating under rare circumstances.



Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thousands of Walk-In Clinics planned by Pharmacy Chains and other retailiers

In some cases even the Co-Pay is covered by the Health Insurance Companies.
These chains should add additional impetus for the adoption of interoperable EHRs. SV

Physician Assistant Jennifer Smith, left, goes over a patient enrollment form with Jessica Brost at a Minute Clinic inside a CVS pharmacy in Eagan, Minn.
By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
BLAINE, Minn. — At 10:50 a.m., Keri Krumm walks through a CVS/Pharmacy store here to MinuteClinic, a 100-square-foot room next to the pharmacy counter.

A nurse practitioner takes her name, inputs it into a computer and sees that Krumm visited a MinuteClinic before, is allergic to penicillin and has insurance. "What are you here for?" the nurse practitioner asks.

Krumm, 34, woke with red, itchy eyes and fears pinkeye. Nurse practitioner Carole Stranger checks her eyes, ears, neck glands and temperature and asks if she's fine otherwise. "No surprise. Pinkeye is what you've got," Stranger says.

She prints an electronic prescription for eye drops, and Krumm walks 20 feet to get it filled. Krumm is in and out of the store within 20 minutes. Her insurance picks up the $49 visit. "I like that I can get in and out," Krumm says.

Retail clinics like this one are spreading nationwide as more than a dozen clinic operators plan to open thousands in stores such as CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Kerr Drug.

USA Today

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kaiser patients to get online access to records

Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is letting patients access portions of their medical records online.

The service first rolled out this month in Gwinnett County to 47,000 members and will be available to the remaining 221,000 members in early September.

Atlanta Business Chronicle
Texas Hospitals To Spend Millions on Electronic Health Records

Government pressure is prodding Houston-area hospitals to spend millions on going electronic with medical records.

The federal government pays almost half of all health care claims through Medicare and Medicaid, and is primarily pushing the value of going paperless.

President George W. Bush set the tone early last year by calling on doctors and hospitals to move medical records from filing cabinets to electronic files for the purpose of cutting costs and saving lives.

Houston Business Journal

Monday, August 21, 2006

Florida Governor Jeb Bush Pushes Health Database

A RHIO grows in Florida. SV

In coming weeks, major employers in Tampa Bay will be asked to join the effort to build a regional health information network, part of a statewide system that is one of Gov. Jeb Bush's pet projects.

The governor, who was at Tampa General Hospital on Friday with members of his network advisory group, praised the efforts in Tampa Bay and other metro areas and urged them all to find a way to keep the system growing after he leaves office in January.

The Tampa Tribune

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Care Tech Solutions buys Sabre Consulting

Troy-based health information technology company CareTech Solutions has purchased an Oxford-based Web development company to help it cash in on the growing demand for electronic medical records.

CareTech, which provides computer and Web services to hospitals around the country, has purchased Sabre Consulting in a cash deal. Neither company would disclose the price of the sale.

Detroit Free Press
Missouri HIT group to make recommendations to the governor

A group looking for ways to make better use of technology in health care says it will make recommendations to the governor by Labor Day, but insists that its work is far from over.

The Healthcare Information Technology Task Force, which met Thursday, is supposed to deliver a report by Sept. 1. But state health director Julie Eckstein, task force chairwoman, said members will continue working in coming months to develop more concrete ideas about the direction they think the state should go.

Columbia Missourian

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Telemedicine and Medical Assistants

TV doc treats outside the box

Remote Control Medicine is now available.
Can robots be far behind?SV

Got an earache or itchy rash?

Then log on, look into the camera and listen to the doctor.

Health-e-Station is a cozy off-hours clinic where strep throats, colds, sinus infections and other minor ailments are treated by a doctor who is miles away and talks to the patient over a plasma TV.

The first Health-e-Station opened this week in the Braelinn Village shopping center in Peachtree City, but many more are planned.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bill Seeks National Medical Records System

An important expectation in this bill is that it will be designed by private industry and primarily funded by private industry. We have already seen the Managed Care Companies begin to come to the table with the development of PHRs (Personal Health Records). The next step is to help the providers of care afford EHRs.SV

WASHINGTON — After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Mississippi, thousands of evacuees with health problems faced double jeopardy because their medical records had been lost — forcing doctors in evacuation centers to rely on educated guesswork in treating patients they'd never seen before.

One group was spared that risk: former members of the armed forces whose records were available electronically from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For these patients, doctors in Texas, Arkansas and other states that took in Katrina refugees could call up medical charts, prescriptions, lab results — even videos of medical imaging tests.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

House Approves Legislation To Expand Use of Electronic Health Records

The House voted 270-148 to approve an amended version of a Senate bill (S 1418) passed last November that would promote the use of health care information technology, CQ Today reports. Prior to the vote, lawmakers inserted into the legislation the text of a House bill (HR 4157) (Crowely, CQ Today, 7/27). The House bill, sponsored by Reps. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) and Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), would codify the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within HHS and would establish a committee to make recommendations on national standards for medical data storage and develop a permanent structure to govern national interoperability standards. The bill also would clarify that current medical privacy laws apply to data stored or transmitted electronically and would require the HHS secretary to recommend to Congress a privacy standard to reconcile differences in federal and state laws (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/27). Under the bill, the number of billing codes health care providers use to file insurance claims would increase from 24,000 to more than 200,000 by October 2010. In addition, the legislation includes an exemption of anti-kickback laws that would allow hospitals to provide health care IT hardware and software to individual physicians. According to CQ Today, the legislation differs significantly from the Senate bill, which does not include the provision on billing codes or the exemption of anti-kickback laws.

TriZetto Personal Health Record Technology and CMS

TriZetto Personal Health Record Technology to Be Used in Six-Month Feasibility test for The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – August 3, 2006 – The TriZetto Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TZIX) announced that its collaborative care management and personal health management software, called Personal CareAdvance®, has been chosen as part of a six-month feasibility test sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The government is running only two such tests to determine how best to transform CMS claims data into personal health records that offer value to both Medicare beneficiaries and their care providers. TriZetto is a subcontractor on the project to Capstone Government Solutions, a joint venture of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee and Cigna Government Services, an arm of Cigna Corp.


Friday, August 11, 2006

IBM Brings Electronic Medical Records One Step Closer Through Open Technology

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 9, 2006--IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a major step in the drive toward a national electronic medical records system by contributing software technology that supports the exchange of healthcare information to the open source community.

The software, contributed to the Eclipse Foundation's Open Healthcare Framework (OHF) project, provides a mechanism to connect isolated "islands" of information that today reside throughout the healthcare system to any Health Information Exchange (HIE). Software developers will also be able to build applications that can aggregate and sift through this information to improve healthcare delivery and research while protecting individual privacy.

CNN Money
Eclipsys, Zynx Health Form Strategic Business Alliance to Add Zynx Content to Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager™

Boca Raton, FL and Los Angeles, CA — August 9, 2006 — Eclipsys Corporation®, The Outcomes Company®, (NASDAQ: ECLP), and Zynx Health, a leading provider of evidence-based clinical decision support, today announced a strategic business relationship that will enable customers using Eclipsys’ Sunrise Clinical Manager to add Zynx’s body of clinical content and content-management tools to the integrated modules of the Eclipsys advanced information solution.

InteGreat Teams with IntelliDose to Offer Medical Oncology EHR Capabilities for Multi-specialty Group Practices

Great Falls, Mont., clinic first to embed oncology software in IC-Chart

Scottsdale, Ariz. - August 3, 2006 - InteGreat®, a leading provider of electronic health record (EHR) systems for physician group practices, today announced its exclusive partnership with IntelliDose®, an oncology clinical information software solution designed by oncologists to optimize safe and effective healthcare for cancer patients. By embedding IntelliDose software into InteGreat's IC-Chart® EHR solution, physicians in a multi-specialty group practice that includes oncology can house patient information in a single database.

The Physicians' Foundations are making a $2.6 million program-related investment in DocSite

DocSite, LLC, announced that the Physicians' Foundations, after a yearlong review, chose to make DocSite's product suite the cornerstone of an important technology and quality initiative for small and solo physician practices.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Emdeon plans $565M sale of its Practice Services unit

Elmwood-Park based Emdeon Corp. has agreed to sell its Practice Services unit for $565 million, the company said Tuesday.

Practice Services, which provides doctors with software to manage their offices and electronic health records, is to be sold to Sage Software of California.

North Jersey

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Medicare Payments to Doctors Face Cuts

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 — The Bush administration on Tuesday proposed a cut of 5.1 percent across the board in Medicare payments for services provided by doctors to elderly and disabled patients in 2007.


In June 2006 however, CMS made the following statement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a notice proposing changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) that will improve the accuracy of payments to physicians for the services they furnish to Medicare beneficiaries. The proposed notice includes substantial increases for “evaluation and management” services, that is, time and effort that physicians spend with patients in evaluating their condition, and advising and assisting them in managing their health. The changes reflect the recommendations of the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) of the American Medical Association."

Either way, practices that do not improve operations and provide adequate documentation are sure to fare worse.SV

Monday, August 07, 2006

GHI offers Personal Health Record for its members

GHI joins Blue Cross/Blue Shield and others.
Hopefully, the MCOs will offer connectivity to individual PHRs like Relayhealth and iHealthrecord.SV


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Virgina establishes Health Informtion Technology Council

Another state joins the growing wave!SV

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Plans Unveil Blue Health Intelligence

CHICAGO - Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans announced today the creation of Blue Health Intelligence (BHI), a unique resource that will help to improve healthcare quality through opportunities to share critical health information initially with employers, and in the future, with consumers and providers. BHI is the premier health intelligence resource in the nation and will strengthen the movement to greater healthcare transparency by ultimately providing unmatched detail about healthcare trends and best practices.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

GHI provides members with Personal Health Record

GHI is pleased to introduce the Health Manager, two online self-management tools designed to help GHI members become more knowledgeable about their current health status and potential health risks. The data will equip them with helpful information to take a more active role in caring for their health.

The GHI "Health Manager" includes the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and the Personal Health Record (PHR).

This may compete with products from and
Integration with EHRs would be of great benefit though not mentioned on the site.SV

My Offers Free EHRs During Hurricane Season

Up to 100,000 documents and 2,000 photographs per account are being offered to Florida residents.

A certification process would help consumers choose among the different entities offering such services. SV

Naples News

Monday, July 31, 2006


CCHIT has announced the certification of two additional ambulatory (office and clinic based) electronic health record (EHR) products and full certification for two products that were conditionally certified. This brings the total number of CCHIT CertifiedSM products to 22 .

iMedica Patient Relationship Manager 2005, version 5.1 , by iMedica Corporation and Praxis® Electronic Medical Records, version 3.4 , by Infor-Med Corporation underwent inspections that demonstrated compliance with CCHIT’s published criteria and received CCHIT Certified status for 2006.

The two products announced earlier as pre-market, conditionally certified that have now achieved full certification status are MEDENT 16 by Community Computer Service and Medical and Practice Management Suite, Client Server Version 5.5, (Service Release 2.1) by LSS Data Systems. CHIT certified the EHR component of the LSS product.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Capital Health of Canada chooses Epic Systems to create electronic health records

Capital Health selects Epic to develop Canada’s largest electronic medical record system.

Capital Health
CCHIT:Certification Commission Healthcare Information Technology publishes "buyer's guide"

CCHIT is the recognized certification authority for electronic health records and their networks, and an independent, voluntary, private-sector initiative.

CCHIT’s criteria for Ambulatory EHR certification criteria include more than 300 items across three areas – functionality, interoperability and security. These criteria provide a baseline for selecting a comprehensive EHR for your practice. CCHIT has prepared a guide book to help you understand the existing criteria and how it applies to your practice.

New DOQ-IT website address at

Established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), QualityNet provides healthcare quality improvement news, resources and data reporting tools and applications used by healthcare providers and others.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

PIER Launches Quality Measures Tool Prototype

For members of the ACP

Assess and improve ambulatory care by accessing this easy-to-use tool. The Quality Measures Prototype is designed to help physicians understand and navigate the "starter set" of measures issued by the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA). Included in this tool is a list of quality measures, the criteria for applying them, and links to supporting recommendations and evidence in PIER.

You will need your ACP ID number if you are not already registered. SV


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

California Governor calls for start on medical e-records

The momentum continues to grow.SV

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order Monday asking state department heads to develop plans for spending $240 million creating electronic medical records for rural communities and health safety-net providers.

Contra Costa Times