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Readers Write 6/4/08

June 4, 2008 Readers Write 2 Comments

HIStalk will feature articles written by its readers in a weekly issue.

I encourage submission of articles of up to 500 words in length, subject to editing for clarity and brevity. Opinion pieces, issues summaries, or humor are welcome, provided they would interest a primarily healthcare and healthcare IT oriented audience. Submissions are subject to approval. For copyright protection, authors must indicate that the material has not been published elsewhere, that it contains no copyrighted material, and that published submissions become the property of HIStalk (to keep intellectual property lawyers at bay). Authors must include their real or fictitious name for purposes of attribution. All opinions are those of the the respective author.

Send your article (as e-mail text or in Word) and become famous! Thanks to our authors, who voluntarily share their time and expertise with the readers of HIStalk.

HIStalk vs. Trade Magazines
By MrDan

I’m sure that trade magazine has never made a mistake. No wrong facts, no bad sources, no mistakes. Unlike you anonymous bloggers who write whatever you want, despite being rated by thousands of readers as their primary source, the most reliable, and better then all the rags.

Or, gosh … maybe they feel threatened?  That you produce better content in less time for free and threaten their institution? 

The publisher could have e-mailed you, identified the issue, and requested a correction. You know, the exact process they want people to follow for their publication. But apparently he thinks that, since bloggers are inferior people who can never rise to the level, caliber, and pure nobility of him and his colleagues, it’s a better idea to throw a bitch-fit and smash you in your own forum. And you STILL issue a clarification (much faster than the rags do, I might add – within days, not months), and take his criticism in stride, answering without insulting.

Have I seen his publication? Yep. Been curious?  Yep. Am I someone they want as a reader, as a senior at a major vendor? Probably.

After this, will I ever subscribe or read a copy? Nope. The bias and lack of foresight and careful thought reflected by the publisher has tainted the entire organization for me.

Sorry, I feel very defensive of you and that just pissed me off. Hope all is well, and keep it up!

M.U.S.E Conference
By Green Tea

The independent MEDITECH users group (M.U.S.E.) met May 27-30th in Dallas, TX for their 2008 International conference. I understand that there were approximately 1,900 in attendance, including vendors. I am surprised that there have been no postings, so I thought I would provide one user’s view.

If you haven’t been to a MUSE conference, this may be one of the few conferences that keeps a strong focus on user networking with limited interference by vendors. Most of the sessions are presented by users and vendor education sessions are clearly identified. MUSE has also done a pretty good job trying to screen out user education sessions that have been sponsored by vendors. The user sessions may not be as polished as some conferences, but you typically get the straight story without any spin.

The hot topic was MEDITECH’s new platform – FOCUS. Doylestown Hospital (MEDITECH’s first conversion from Magic to FOCUS) presented about their journey. It was an interesting presentation considering they just went live a couple of weeks ago (I smell a HIStalk interview!) They kept it very objective and educational. 

It was interesting to hear CIO comments on FOCUS. Some are embracing it, others are questioning it. Unofficially, I would score it 25/75 right now. Of course, the rumor mill was at work that MEDITECH will lock out third-party vendors such as Iatric Systems, I-People, Shams, etc. It seems like a bad idea to me since these vendors often take the heat off MEDITECH when MEDITECH can’t deliver niche solutions.

The vendor hall was modest compared to many other HIT conferences. Iatric Systems had some of the biggest crowds, at least when I was looking. JJ Wild (Now "A Perot Systems Company") had a much larger contingent than years past. I-People brought in a couple of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders if you are into that sort of thing. Best give-away goes to Valco for the cowboy hats — they were everywhere. 

One prominent vendor was missing again– MEDITECH. 

Well, that just scratches the surface of some of the conference highlights. It might be interesting to hear from a few other readers to get their interpretations/opinions.

Personal Health Records
By Tommy Callahan

You agree with Carol Wayne and Neil Patterson that patient-entered data can not be trusted, yet you reference an article that states that data entered by young patients into a tablet PC vs. paper is more valuable to a physician in providing care. 

The bottom line: when physicians see new patients, they must "trust something typed in by the patient for medical-legal reasons" (or written) in order to provide care.

As a consumer, at a minimum, I would find value in a PHR that would auto-populate my history data into a physician’s PM and EMR, if for no other reason than my memory stinks and I have kids that get sick and get hurt, particularly while on vacation, and I have had to complete too many histories to count. There is also a bit of value to the provider if his staff does not need to read my usually awful handwriting to enter my demographics into the PM/ADT system.

I attended a conference in DC last year that included a dozen or so PHR vendors. I can’t recall the name of one of the vendors that maintained the form formats for most doctors and/or interfaces to most of the PM/EMR systems. The concept was that you simply indicate the doctor or clinic that you will be visiting as a new patient and the company will provide your data to the office in a usable format in advance of your visit. Pretty valuable to me as a consumer.

Open Source Software Review – caGRID 1.2
By The PACS Designer

caGrid is the service oriented architecture for the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG), whose goal is to develop applications and the underlying systems architecture that connects data, tools, scientists, and organizations in an open federated environment. To meet this goal, caBIG will bring together data from many and diverse data sources.

caGrid enables numerous complex usage scenarios, but its basic technical goals are to:

(1) enable universal mechanisms for providing interoperable programmatic access to data and analytics in caBIG
(2) create a self-described infrastructure wherein the structure and semantics of data can be determined through programming efforts
(3) provide a powerful means by which services available in caBIG can be discovered and leveraged.

caGrid implements grid technologies and methodologies that enable local organizations to have ultimate control over access and management.

With caGrid’s support by some of the most prestigious universities, the user of caGrid is getting a first-class operating environment as a tool in fighting cancer. Since caGrid uses the service oriented architecture approach, it leverages many legacy cancer databases. Support is broad through a membership of well-regarded universities such as Ohio State University and also the National Cancer Institute.

TPD Usefulness Rating:  9.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. MUSE still goes on after all this time with few CIOs in attendance and missing the main vendor (MEDITECH). They must be doing something right. The IS Applications staff and user departments get a lot out of the peer networking. While the CIOs at HIMSS the real work at MEDITECH hospitals gets done at MUSE. Next year it’s in Vancouver…may be worth the trip to see it first hand again. Vancouver in May beats Chicago in April anytime.

  2. I agree with Kevin. It was a first class event. My colleagues attended a vendor session by a consulting company called “CliniSystems” which was standing room only. The topic was on Mistakes that are being made creating and building assessments. I think that there are many hospitals out there that are going to be struglling when trying to get their assessments and system in order before even thinking of moving to 6.0.







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