Sunday, May 25, 2008

Google Health is now ready for primetime

Google Health has agreements in place with quite a few partners to exchange data (with the patient's permission) forward/receive records from healthcare providers, request second opinions and perform online office visits.

Please note the following caveats: neither Google Health nor Microsoft's Healthvault are covered by the current HIPAA regulations. Also, the same username and password that grants you access to Google Mail grants you access to Google Health. In exchange for losing some of the convenience of single login, I would recommend at least nested passwords and and preferably nested user names and passwords.

Translation: to access Google Health after the general login, one would need an extra user name and password. This would decrease the likelihood of someone getting into your Health account.

Another interesting feature to add would be the ability to lock out subsections of the record for viewing or selective transfer of the information. I do think, however, that the recipient would need to be notified that information is being withheld. SV

Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center
Cleveland Clinic MyChart
Longs Drug Stores
MinuteClinic from CVS Caremark
Quest Diagnostics
Walgreens Pharmacy


Saturday, May 24, 2008

NAHIT releases HIT definitions

This should make for more clearer conversations. SV

The National Alliance for Health Information Technology Releases HIT Definitions Report

Chicago, May 20, 2008— The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (Alliance) today released its final report, “Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms”. This report reflects consensus work completed over the last several months on definitions for six important health information technology (IT) terms.

Funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) this project was initiated in response to a growing need to address ambiguous and divergent definitions impeding health IT progress. The lack of clear terminology can lead to unintentional consequences with respect to regulation, other forms of health care policy, contract and purchasing decisions and other health IT initiatives. This need was highlighted by the Alliance’s literature review which identified between 18 and 63 possible definitions for each of five key health IT terms: electronic medical record (EMR,) electronic health record (EHR,) personal health record (PHR,) health information exchange (HIE) and regional health information organization (RHIO.)

The Alliance convened two work groups of experts to develop consensus definitions for these five terms. Because of dual interpretations of HIE as both a process and an organization, it became necessary to clarify the difference between the process of information exchange (HIE) and the oversight and accountability functions necessary to support that process. The project’s Network Work Group therefore added and defined a sixth term, health information organization (HIO.)

“We have developed what we believe to be clear, consistent definitions that offer both immediate and longer-term, practical benefits. We have proposed language that is easily understood by non-technical leaders in health care delivery, policymakers with responsibility and accountability for decisions in the area of health IT, consumers who are being asked to participate more fully in their care and wellness and need education tools to do so.” says Horowitz.

The definitions are:

Electronic Medical Record

An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization.

Electronic Health Record

An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one health care organization.

Personal Health Record

An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual.

Health Information Exchange

The electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.

Health Information Organization

An organization that oversees and governs the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.

Regional Health Information Organization

A health information organization that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs health information exchange among them for the purpose of improving health and care in that community.

The full report from the Alliance includes the specific definitions and summarizes the deliberations and conclusions of the two work groups. It concludes with a look forward, envisioning how the definitions, if adopted over time, can support an interoperable infrastructure to realize the benefits of health IT. A copy of the full report can be found at

About the Alliance
The National Alliance for Health Information Technology is a diverse partnership of senior executives from all healthcare sectors working to advance the adoption of clinical information technology systems to achieve measurable improvements in patient safety, quality of care and operating performance. The Alliance collaborates with healthcare and government leaders to influence healthcare decision-makers to act effectively in creating an efficient, safe, unified, and inclusive health system. Since its founding in 2002, the Chicago-based Alliance has helped forge consensus and accelerate progress on such important initiatives as developing an industry-endorsed interoperability definition, creating a public directory of health IT standards and authoring Rules of Engagement: A proven path for instilling, and then installing a CPOE approach that works. The Alliance is a co-founder of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) and its CEO chaired the Commission on Systemic Interoperability (CSI). More information about the Alliance is available at

Lois Padovani
Padovani Communications

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield expands e-Prescribing project to include a "PHR"

In addition to e-Prescribing information, physicians will now have access to claims based diagnoses of other physicians treating the patient as well as "test results". This definitely expands the utility of the "standalone" e-Prescribing service. SV

"Now all licensed New Hampshire practitioners who are part of our ePrescribing program are also able to access both medical records and claims data on Anthem members, anytime, anywhere by using their web-enabled cell phone," said Richard Lafleur, M.D., medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, who added that participants could also access the new program from their office or home computer.

Bronx RHIO update

The Daily News just published an article regarding the six hospitals that will begin sharing information. The consortium of 28 organizations that will finally be involved range from Private Hospitals, HHC Hospitals, a VA Hospital, VNS and more. SV

Daily News

Bronx RHIO

Monday, May 12, 2008

Father Joe's Villages and McKesson's Practice Partner EHR Help Improve Care for Underserved Communities

This is a wonderful act of charity. SV

"Father Joe’s is a non-profit corporation that consists of several facilities offering a variety of services and programs to the homeless. “McKesson’s EHR has been instrumental in helping us serve this very needy, and often overlooked population throughout the San Diego area and in Indio,” said Dr. Margaret McCahill who serves as the Medical Director at the St. Vincent de Paul Village Family Health Center, which is a part of Father Joe’s Village."


Father Joe's Villages
Prematics: e-Prescribing

New start up company has heavy hitters on "Board".
Reads like a Who's Who of e-Rx and former Government HIT experts. SV


Friday, May 09, 2008

Oklahoma City ERs to be share medical information

Patient safety will be improved and medical costs will be reduced.
How? Reduced adverse drug events, quicker diagnoses, reduced duplication of tests and more. SV

The data to be exchanged includes:

patient demographics, medications, allergies and reactions, diagnosis history, laboratory results, procedures, immunizations and health care providers.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CMS (Medicare) and South Carolina offer PHR (Personal Health Record)

It is only for fee for service Medicare.
No links with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D or Medicaid. Too bad.
Patients can add to it however. Its a good start but needs the additional links. SV

MyPHRSC is a free and secure electronic Personal Health Record that stores your Medicare claims history for the past 24 months in one convenient place. Updated daily, the health record provides you with one place where you can track your medical history. With MyPHRSC, you don’t have to search through your paper records to find what you need. You can access your records in one place, wherever you are, and whenever you need them. With MyPHRSC, you can view and manage the following Medicare claims information:

Provider Visits
Medical conditions