Wednesday, May 31, 2006


WESTBOROUGH, Mass. AND AKRON, Ohio—May 30, 2006—eClinicalWorks™, a leading provider of unified ambulatory clinical information systems, today announced that Summa Health System has selected eClinicalWorks unified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management (PM) solution. eClinicalWorks solution could be utilized by 1,100 providers to efficiently manage data, thus improving patient care. Providers will have the choice of the Application Service Provider (ASP) or client/server model of the product along with access to the Web-based Patient Portal.

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Utah To Create Health Records Exchange Without Central Database

The Utah Department of Health is leading an effort to streamline the exchange of medical records without creating a central database that puts security or privacy at risk.
Secure exchange of electronic medical records and other health information, called "eHealth," is touted as safer for patients while improving care and reducing costs. Utah is a national leader in the use of electronic medical information, says Barry Nangle, director of the health department's Center for Health Data.

By Lois M. Collins
Deseret Morning News

Monday, May 29, 2006

Health Care Networks Awarded $52.9 Million In HEAL NY Grants

ALBANY---Twenty-six regional health care networks across the state have been provided $52.9 million in grant awards as part of New York's Health Information Technology (HIT) initiative. These projects are designed to help expand the use of technology in New York's health care system and improve the quality of care for patients.

North Country Gazette
2006 TEPR Awards Winners:

Document ImagingFirst Honors:
SRS Software - Freedom Chart Manager
Second Honors (tie): e-MDs - Doc Man
Second Honors (tie): Medical Communication Systems mMD.Net

DIMStandalone e-Prescribing Systems
First Honors: Allscripts - Touch Script eRx
Second Honors: Purkinje - ePrescribe
Third Honors: Dr. First - R copia

EMR Systems for Small Practices (1 - 5 Physicians)
First Honors: Practice Partner - Patient Records
Second Honors: eClinicalWorks - e-Clinical WorksThird Honors: Medical Communication Systems - mMD.Net

EMREMR Systems for Medium and Large Practices
First Honors: eClinicalWorks - e-Clinical Works
Second Honors: Allscripts - Touchworks EHR
Third Honors: Practice Partner -

Patient RecordsMedical Transcription Businesses
First Honors (tie): MedQuist - DoQment
Enterprise Platform
First Honors (tie): Spheris

Hot ProductsFirst Honors:
Misys - Homecare PDA Solution
Second Honors: Synamed

Personal Health Record Systems
First Honors: CapMed - Personal Health Key
Second Honors: Medical Communications Systems - mMD.Net PHR
Third Honors: Cerner - IQ Health

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Massachussetts Lt Governor to take a stab at Medical Malpractice reform

Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey announced plans to file sweeping medical malpractice reform insurance with provisions favoring out-of-court settlements, limiting lawyers' fees on high awards, making doctor apologies inadmissible in court and closing loopholes in the current law's $500,000 noneconomic damages cap.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Group To Study EHR Network in Maryland, Washington, D.C.

The Maryland/D.C. Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology is trying to create an electronic network that would link doctors and hospitals in Maryland and D.C., cut down on medical errors and give health care workers quicker access to patient information.

Washington Business Journal

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


48 health plans commit to Physician and Hospital Quality standards

WASHINGTON—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced that 48 health plans, including five preferred provider organizations (PPOs) [see sidebar], covering more than 20 million Americans, have committed to measure the quality and cost of the care provided by their network physicians and hospitals, and to be evaluated on how well they communicate the results to their customers. Reviews against NCQA’s new Physician and Hospital Quality standards will begin this summer and continue throughout 2006.
Kentucky to award grants for ePrescribing

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services will soon launch a new ePrescribing grant program for physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers.
The grants will help fund the purchase of technology or services necessary to begin ePrescribing, which allows health care providers to securely submit prescriptions, refill authorizations and other pharmaceutical information to pharmacies.
We have been using a new service for the past two months, that I would like to share with you.
It's run by a company called Phreesia.

The company provides wireless "webpads" that permit taking a medical history from the patient while they wait in the waiting room, exam room or consult office. The questions are based on a product called Instant Medical History. In addition to a medical history, you can customized the questions so as to collect patient demographic information.
The system then wireless prints out the results for review by you or your staff.
If you are interested in learning more, drop me a line at

If you have any experience with this or other similar systems please post your comments here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Electronic Medical Records Gaining Popularity Among Physicians

May 14, 2006
Ten years ago, Douglass A. Morrison, MD, was none too enthusiastic about the electronic medical record (EMR) being developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for use throughout its health system.

"I thought we would spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen, and it would take us away from patients," said Dr. Morrison, who directs the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson, and is a professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.
"Today I think the electronic medical record enables us to take better care of patients -- and to do it more consistently."

Morrison�s comments came at a special symposium on the electronic medical record being held at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 29th Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

Not all skeptics have become fans.
More insurers reimburse doctors for online care

Harry Wessel | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted May 15, 2006

When Tamara McCartney's chronic sinusitis flared up this year, she knew she needed a prescription antibiotic.

But instead of a long drive to the doctor's office in St. Cloud, missing as much as a half-day of work, she spent less than 15 minutes at home completing an online questionnaire from her doctor. The next day, her Avelox prescription was waiting at a nearby pharmacy.,0,1851080.story?track=rss
Blue Cross to double incentives for Massachusetts physicians

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has announced that it would double the amount it spends on performance incentives for physicians and hospitals in Massachusetts this year.

The company plans to spend $189 million—or 4% of its 2005 provider payouts in the state—on incentives, making it a leader among insurers in the pay-for-performance movement nationally, said the May 10 Boston Globe. Under the program, incentives will make up as much as 13% of the insurer’s payments to 5,200 primary care physicians in the state—compared with 10% now—or about $10,000 per individual physician.

The move by the nonprofit company sparked some criticism from physician groups, the Boston Globe said. A representative of the Massachusetts Medical Society was quoted as saying that insurance companies should wait until nationally accepted quality measurements are in place and more physicians have installed electronic health records.

Blue Cross executives interviewed in the article said that the company may begin to replace its annual inflation updates with the pay-for-performance incentives. Even though a standardized measurement system is not yet in place, they said, payments based on quality and efficiency are necessary to stem rising costs and premiums, which have increased more than 10% annually for five years in a row.

Blue Cross is also developing programs that would base between 5% and 10% of payments to specialists on performance scores, said the Boston Globe. The company is expanding its hospital incentive program to include 60 hospitals, up from 29 last year.

The Boston Globe is online. (Subscription required.)
Breaking NewsInsurers to unite on personal health records

A coalition including the nation's largest health plans intends to begin offering consumers a Web-based personal health record in a pilot program this fall. The coalition includes members of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and America's Health Insurance Plans, potentially representing 200 million Americans. The coalition's plan is significant partly because it could create an insurer-based national health information network as an alternative to regional health information networks. The program still needs further organizational approvals. -- by Joseph Conn