Friday, April 30, 2010

Register for eHI's Free Webinar on Regional Extension Centers

Service Offerings and Sustainability
Wednesday, May 26, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (ET)

This second session in the series will be held on Wednesday, May 26 from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (ET) and will focus on Regional Extension Centers (REC) Service Offerings and Sustainability.


The eHealth Initiative will hold the second FREE webinar in a series on the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Program. The series is aimed at the REC and provider communities and will offer an educational forum to share insights and learn from one another.

The May 26th Webinar will feature:

Understanding How the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) will Support the Regional Extension Centers in Their Mission
Ned Ellington, PhD, Director, HITRC Division, Office of Provider Adoption Support, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)

Reactor Panel - Moderated by Derek Schoonover, Vice President of Government & Strategy, McKesson Corporation
Amy Andres, Chairperson of the Board, Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP); Health Information Technology Officer for the State of Ohio; and Chief of Staff at the Ohio Department of Insurance
Melissa Rutala, MPH, Director, Regional Extension Center, Arizona Health-e Connection
Monica Arrowsmith, Director of the Indiana Health Information Technology Extension Center, Purde University


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Promoting Use of Health IT: Why Be a Meaningful User: Dr David Blumenthal

I have been blogging for several years on the advantages of HIT.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. David Blumenthal's ONC blog. Dr Blumenthal makes a succinct case for implementing EHRs. SV

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 | Posted by: Dr. David Blumenthal | Category: ONC

As I write, physicians throughout the United States are deciding whether to become meaningful users of electronic health records by 2011 when Medicare and Medicaid start making extra payments to meaningful users. For some the decision may be pretty simple. Almost 200,000 doctors already have adopted EHRs and are using them at a basic or sophisticated level. For these physicians, the journey to meaningful use, and its financial and clinical rewards, may be comparatively short. Many other doctors, however, remain undecided.

I don’t want to minimize the obstacles. When I started using an EHR, I found it challenging. I often longed for a dose of my old prescription pad (confession – I cheated once in a while). I chafed at reconciling medication lists, updating problem lists, scanning through seemingly endless consultant notes. (In the past, many wouldn’t have been available – lost somewhere in the paper world.) It was much easier to use the triplicate x-ray requisition I had used for 30 years than the radiology order entry software required by my EHR. My visits were longer and more complicated. Every time I turned on the computer, it seemed, I had to learn something new.

But I am glad I did it, as are 90 percent of all physicians who adopt an EHR, according to a scientific survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine. My EHR made me a better doctor. I really knew what was going on with my patients. I could answer their questions better and more accurately. I made better decisions. I felt more in control.

Physicians don’t go into medicine because it’s easy. They go through grueling training – spending endless days and nights at the bedside or in the OR. They face tough personal and clinical decisions throughout their professional lives. They constantly have to grow and learn to keep up with the science and practice of medicine. That’s what makes them the professionals they are. That’s what earns their patients’ and colleagues’ respect and admiration. That’s what gets them up in the morning knowing there’s nothing else they would rather be doing.

The EHR is just another of the transitions that physicians are constantly called upon to make in the interest of their patients, their professional competence, and their professional self-esteem. Its advent is inevitable – no more avoidable than the arrival of the stethoscope in the early 1800s or anti-sepsis in the mid 1800s ( both of which some physicians furiously resisted) or the ICU in the mid-1900s. Positive change is often disruptive, but it is irresistible nevertheless. In 10 years, paper records will be the exception. Lagging physicians will be seen as quaint throwbacks, no longer at the top of their game, nostalgic reminders of a bygone age when offices brimmed with manila folders and piles of forms, or when nurses and doctors searched endlessly on hospital rounds for that one essential patient chart that always seemed missing from the nursing station. (How many millions of hours have clinicians spent wandering hospital floors looking for those elusive missing paper records?).

Still, some physicians may be tempted to put off the inevitable, trying to postpone the disruption and expense. Why not wait five or six years? Maybe it will get easier? Less expensive?

For several reasons. First, the sooner physicians start using an EHR, the sooner they and their patients will realize its benefits – the ability to share patient data with colleagues and patients, the ability to retrieve old data effortlessly, the ability to access patient records remotely, so they answer patient questions intelligently from home, or even from a medical meeting.

Second, right now, the federal government is making a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, offer: it will help physicians pay for the transition with up to $44,000 in extra fees from Medicare, or $63,750 from Medicaid. Physicians can take the leap now with financial and technical help from the government. Or they can do it on their own (or facing a financial penalty) in five years.

Third, anyone who is building a practice, and wanting to recruit young, talented physicians needs to confront the reality that the next generation will expect and demand that their own medical home have a modern information system. I know this from personal experience. With two children in medical school, and a daughter in law who is an intern, I know young physicians will never settle for paper records. Wait, and the cream of the recruiting crop will pass you by.

To me the choice is clear. Physicians’ professional, clinical and financial interests all point in the same direction. Become part of the future. Become a meaningful user of an electronic health record.

–David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. – National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

ONC: Health IT Buzz

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NYC REACH for Free Meaningful Use Summit

Sponsored by the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), NYC REACH, and the New York Chapter American College of Physicians (NYACP), this free full-day program addresses Meaningful Use incentives for physicians:

How the Meaningful Use criteria for EHRs translate to better quality
care for patients and improved public health
Who qualifies for up to $44,000 in Medicare incentives and up to $63,750 in Medicaid incentives and how to meet the federal criteria
Where to get assistance selecting, implementing, and using EHRs

Day at a Glance:
8:30 – 11: 00 am Education Sessions
11:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 4:00 pm Afternoon Sessions

For providers not yet using an EHR: Vendor Demonstrations
For providers currently using an EHR: Break out sessions on Patient Centered Medical Home, Privacy & Security, Patient Engagement, Health Information Exchange, Maximizing Revenue, EHRs for Public Health, Pay for Performance, and more
Who should attend: Providers and practice staff interested in how Electronic Health Records can help their practice

May 13, 2010
8:00am Registration & Breakfast
Brooklyn Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street • Brooklyn, New York
Questions: Call NYACP at 518-427-0366

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NY Academy of Medicine:Medical HIT Update Conference May 3,2010


On May 3, 2010, the New York Academy of Medicine Special Interest Group on Informatics will host a session entitled Update on Medical IT: What Every Health Professional Needs to Know.


The speakers are -

o Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, MACP, FACMI; President & CEO American Medical Informatics Association and NYAM Trustee;

o George Hripcsak, MD, MS, Professor and Chair of Biomedical Informatics, and Director of the Center for Advanced Information Management, Columbia University; and

o Rachel Block, Deputy Commissioner Office of Health Information Technology Transformation NYS Department of Health

You are invited to a pre-session reception, co-sponsored with NYAM, at 5:00 PM to welcome guests, acknowledge recent medical informatics-based grants received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and announce a new Health IT training program scheduled for fall 2010.

We encourage you to register early and attend this event.

New York Academy of Medicine

1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7200

Center for Advanced Information Management

The Center for Advanced Information Management (CAIM) at Columbia University is a NYSTAR (New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation) Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), one of 15 CATs at major research institutions in the state. The CAT program mission is to support university-industry collaborative research and technology transfer in commercially relevant areas. CAIM serves to bring the resources and expertise of the institution to bear on problems and challenges of interest to the state’s industries that it serves. CAIM staff and participating faculty members help companies achieve technical and economic success in various ways, depending on need and stage of development. Biomedical informatics is one of the core technologies promoted by CAIM.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

NYC Regional Electronic Adoption Center for Health (NYC REACH)

Here is information on NYC Reach made possible by ARRA Funds.SV

The NYC Regional Electronic Adoption Center for Health (REACH) is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Fund for Public Health in New York to help make sure doctors in New York City don't get left behind. Our mission is to assist them in adopting technology and methods that measurably improve the health of New Yorkers. Some providers may also be eligible for incentives for EHR use from federal, state, or private programs. Our job is to help offset the transition cost and burden as much as possible through training, education, and links to funding sources.

Drawing on the experience of the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), which oversees this organization, REACH has a team of experts for all stages of EHR implementation and use. A New York City mayorial initiative founded in 2005, PCIP succeeded in bringing over 1,800 providers live on Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and is now the largest community-based EHR program in the country. PCIP worked closely with the Fund for Public Health in New York to develop a program that educates and assists providers through the entire process of implementing an EHR, from preparing the office to effective use that leads to health quality improvement.

Metropolitan Health Networks,(MetCare) Florida PCMH Savings

MetCare is a NCQA PCMH III medical group that cares for 35,000 Medicare patients.

Quality measures related to Breast Screening, Cholesterol management and Diabetes management were significantly improved.

After one year, Total Medical Expenses rose only 5.2% versus 26.3%.

Congratulations!!! SV


Monday, April 05, 2010

Federal Register: DEA:Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances:Final Rule

The good news: the DEA will permit electronic prescriptions of controlled substances
The bad news: EHRs will need several new features that may delay implementation for a little while

Conclusion: Another road block to the adoption of e-Prescribing has been removed.
Stay tuned. SV


1) Prescriber in-person identity proofing (fortunately this can be done at a DEA-registered hospital)

2)Authentication protocol would have to be two-factor

3)Pharmacies would have to regularly check on the prescriber’s status

4)Both the electronic prescription service provider and the pharmacy system provider would need to obtain annual third-party audits for security and processing integrity. 3rd party audits

SUMMARY: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is revising its
regulations to provide practitioners with the option of writing
prescriptions for controlled substances electronically. The regulations
will also permit pharmacies to receive, dispense, and archive these
electronic prescriptions. These regulations are in addition to, not a
replacement of, the existing rules. The regulations provide pharmacies,
hospitals, and practitioners with the ability to use modern technology
for controlled substance prescriptions while maintaining the closed
system of controls on controlled substances dispensing; additionally,
the regulations will reduce paperwork for DEA registrants who dispense
controlled substances and have the potential to reduce prescription
forgery. The regulations will also have the potential to reduce the
number of prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting and
misunderstood oral prescriptions. Moreover, they will help both
pharmacies and hospitals to integrate prescription records into other
medical records more directly, which may increase efficiency, and
potentially reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting to have
their prescriptions filled.

Federal Register
HHS Awards $144 Million in Recovery Act Funds:Education and Research Winners

HHS Awards $144 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Institutions of Higher Education and Research to Address Critical Needs for the Widespread Adoption and Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology

Academia and the Research Community will support health providers by delivering more than 50,000 new health IT professionals to the workforce and addressing current and future barriers to achieving meaningful use of health IT.

Workforce Award recipients, by program area, include:

Community College Consortia Program ($36 million)

Curriculum Development Center ($10 million)

University-Based Training Programs ($32 million)

Competency Examination Program ($6 million)

Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) Program ($60 million)