From EMRNurse: “Re: Epic. Reporting from the Emergency Nurses Association conference in Salt Lake City. Lots of IT vendors, most of the big ones that have ED or Health System wide products. One seems to be missing – Epic. There is also a group forming to write a best practices document on ED applications. See the ENA technology listserv for details in the next few weeks. It can be found at ENA.org.”
From Phillip Elliott: “Re: tamper-proof prescriptions. I disagree that the tamper-proof paper script mandate is anti-EMR. Making paper harder to work with should drive people to e-prescribe, no?”
From Mike Bossy: “Re: Siemens. Bobby Orr wonders about Siemens’ focus with MS4, Soarian, and INVISION. What about their relationship with NextGen? Is NextGen their partner du jour until they toss them aside when their EMR is finally ready (or they think it is ready)? Where does Soarian Clinicals end and NextGen EMR start for Siemens customers?”
From The PACS Designer: “Re: iGUARD. iGuard keeps you updated on the latest findings on drug interactions and their side effects along with any new safety alerts. There’s a live webcast October 4th on this subject.” I tried it and was less than impressed. You enter your list of drugs and then wait for an e-mail back on each one, but most of mine said to wait several days for a response. All I could figure out that it does is flag a “risk rating” once you finally get the e-mail, but I’m not sure exactly what benefit that offers. Ask your pharmacist, look up your drug on any of thousands of patient information sites, buy a drug reference book — all provide more actionable information. I don’t see the point of it at all, but that’s just my opinion.
From HITman: “Re: HIPAA. What Ivinson Memorial Hospital is doing is right on track with HIPAA. Employees, when it comes to their own medical records, are no different than any other patient under HIPAA. They must follow the same policies and procedures to request access to their records. The reasoning that they have a computer password or the key to the file room doesn’t make them exempt from HIPAA. Covered entities must protect PHI. They must treat every record the same and every patient the same. Accessing records outside the scope of the minimum necessary or the need to know the information in order to perform job duties is not allowed under HIPAA. Kudos to IMH for sticking to their guns and HIPAA!”
From Philip Rivers: “Re: Ted Borris. Ted came to QuadraMed with CPR. We are excited to have him.”
John has a summary of this week’s AHRQ meeting. Nuggets: research hasn’t proven that healthcare IT improves quality, NHIN is a pipe dream, PHR privacy is getting no attention, and AHRQ-sponsored studies show that e-prescribing doesn’t reduce adverse drug events. I’m not surprised since AHRQ’s HIT studies are usually inconclusive at best. Could it be because it’s the user and not the system that drives the results, especially when looking at an unrelated marketbasket of healthcare organizations as though it were a population-based healthcare study? IT, if deployed wisely with process change, can sometimes make good organizations better. That’s it. Anyone who expects more is being naive. It isn’t what you have, but how you use it, a concept that somehow seems lost in the pre-purchase optimism of hospitals convinced that their carefully aimed checkbook can painlessly cure all organizational ills.
Scott Shreeve opines on athenahealth’s IPO. I like reading his stuff because he’s so energetic and positive. It’s like the standard war movie scene where the wisecracking fresh recruits are marching excitedly off to battle and pass a returning group of battle-weary veterans whose gaunt faces show the horrors of war they’ve witnessed and possibly committed. I realize I’m in that latter group.
Advice from a BI consultant to providers: “Stop thinking like a healthcare company. Providers are notorious for making known vendors and established consultants their trusted advisors. Instead, they should think like retailers. ‘Cerner and McKesson don’t have all the answers,’ one HMO administrator confided to me recently, as if it were a secret. ‘What we’d really like to know is what McDonald’s and Target are doing.'”
Thoughts on the healthcare IT vertical market from the perspective of Microsoft channel partners: “Moreover, some larger hospitals are hiring partners to build their EMR applications from scratch. Once you factor in annual maintenance fees, Velu says, some packaged EMR products can actually cost more over their lifetimes than handmade systems do … Hospitals, for example, tend to be wary of risk. ‘They’re followers, not leaders’ … Doctors can be tough customers too. ‘They’re notoriously cheap’, says Summers.” I don’t know of any hospitals building EMR applications from scratch. If you do, let me know, because I’d be interested to learn more.
A hospital CFO blames its new Dairyland system for not getting bills out on time. From the article: “The hospital has had many problems getting its issues solved with the software company.” Somehow I doubt it’s all Dairyland’s fault since they’ve installed quite a few systems in their time, but every patient accounting implementation starts out rough.
Strange: a UK government official was late for a hospital construction group picture, so his image was Photoshopped in (not all that skillfully, judging from the result). The kicker: he’d just scolded the press for faking footage.
The Australian Medical Association wants airlines to pay doctors who treat fellow passengers or upgrade physician passengers upfront for being “on call”. Once doctor was refused an upgrade for helping vomiting fellow passengers, so she sent the airline a bill.
A big UK hospital will use Sentillion for single sign-on and context management.
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Sue Ellen Mischke: Ever noticed there are two HMAs and they couldn’t be more different except their names are exactly the same? Health Management Associates, the hospital chain. For-profit to the nth degree. Then, Health Management Associates (www.healthmanagement.com) the consulting firm, which specializes in public hospitals, public health departments, and Medicaid agencies. They couldn’t pick customers with less money if they tried. Actually, I never quite put that together, but that is a great observation. I’m learning that I am not always great at observing little details. Like I just found out yesterday that when a major league baseball team plays at home, their jerseys say the team name (e.g., Yankees), but, when they are away, the jerseys say the name of their city. Who knew?
The market for physician financial information systems is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2006 to an anticipated $6.22 billion by 2013. This according to a Research and Markets study.
Susquehanna Health, the first facility to go live on both Soarian Clinicals and Financials, has signed on with Siemens for additional technology and service solutions. The Williamsport, PA-based health system plans a “facility revamp” project to be completed over the next five years.