Indiana Regional Medical Center thanks Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) for getting it $350,000 in federal money to buy an EMR. Question: shouldn’t they be thanking the people like you and me who are actually paying for the porkfest? Given the federal spending spree, It’s not shocking any more that at least a half-dozen other hospitals were named in news stories this week for getting federal grant money for EMRs.
Proloquo2Go makes Apple’s list of the top iPhone apps for 2009, surprising many who didn’t expect to see a medical app on the list. The $189 software helps people with speech problems by converting text to speech.
Quotes from this week’s e-mail from Kaiser CEO George Halvorson (forwarded by a couple of insiders):
Putting medical information in the computer and then leaving it in electronic silos is just as non-functional as putting medical information on pieces of paper and leaving the pieces of paper in file drawer silos. Medical information needs to flow to the caregiver at the point of care. It needs to be available when the patient needs care … We looked to the other biggest and most successful electronic medical record system in the United States — the Veterans Administration (VA) — and we decided to see if we could figure out ways for patients from our system to visit their system — or patients from their system to visit our system — with the medical information following the patient electronically. Our information can follow our patients now, to some degree. KP patients can remotely access their own medical record.We also often give our patient copies of their medical records. Our patients who travel sometimes carry their medical record with them on a thumb drive. That particular experiment has been a success. So we have done some data transfers for some individual Kaiser Permanente patients. But that data did not flow directly to another caregiver, or to another care team. The goal of our VA project was to see if we could design a secure way to transfer that data purely electronically. We managed to do that.
Inga found this news story, which she calls “something Weird News Andy might like.” A man is arrested after speeding down a country road and running over two people, wearing only pajamas and flip flips. He bolts from police in the five degree weather, heading for his wife’s office. But what’s really bizarre is his lawyer’s defense: “caffeine-induced psychosis”. Next think you know, Folgers will be in a class action suit.
Listening: Biffy Clyro, Scottish rock.
Scumbag lawyers: Google QuadraMed and you’ll get three ads with the same headline, all trying to convince QDHC shareholders to jump on a class lawsuit claiming breach of fiduciary duties by QuadraMed management. Google the names of any of the three law firms and the phrase “breach of fiduciary duties” and you’ll get thousands of hits from their previous legal efforts.
From my last poll, it appears that enough new folks will go to HIMSS to offset those who are dropping out. If it’s a representative sample, you might therefore expect attendance to increase a little. New poll to your right: did EMR vendors and trade associations influence the Obama administration’s decision to spend billions on EMR usage?
A WSJ editorial called Health Care’s ‘Radical Improver’ covers athenahealth. One quote from the editor:
The Athena model is superior to most electronic medical record systems, or EMRs, which are generally based on static software that are inflexible, can’t link to other systems, and are sold by large corporate vendors like General Electric. One reason the digital revolution has so far passed over the health sector is sheer bad product. The adoption of EMR in health systems across the country has been dogged by cumbersome interfaces, error propagation and other drawbacks … Mr. Bush is less sanguine about the White House cost-control approach of better living through technocracy … he singles out the idea of dispensing bonus payments to hospitals that find ways to reduce Medicare spending. If the bonus is higher than what the hospital would have been paid under the status quo, then Medicare is worse off—but if the bonus is less than what the hospital would have earned otherwise, in what sense is it an incentive to change?
And a fun quote from Jonathan Bush:
It’s probably terrible that all this new bureaucracy is being created. But there’s going to be 50 new Medicaid-type plans in these insurance exchanges, run by the same insurance commissioners, these same sort of glazed-over-looking state secretaries of health. You know, just not really the brightest bulbs in the chandeliers of the world. Medicaid, the worst payer in the country by a factor of four! Mother of pearl! So I feel a little bit like a robber baron. I am going to make oil money dealing with them.
In Canada, Campbellford Memorial Hospital joins several others in abandoning an $80 million project to use a common hospital information system (Meditech). As is happening in the UK, nobody has the money to chase a grand interoperability plan at the moment. Another hospital in Canada just started its Meditech project last week.
Ten EDs of Orlando Health and Florida Hospital will start sharing data in January in a Central Florida RHIO project.
UPMC’s health plan will offer the $690 Insight Brain Fitness Program software to its Medicare members at no cost.
University Medical Center (NV) notifies 71 trauma patients who were seen on Halloween and the day after that their personal information appears to have been sold to personal injury lawyers. They are now requiring employees to enter PINs on copy machines and may add electronic door controls.
Red Hat will host an online forum on cloud computing on February 10.
Congratulations to the hospital IT people named as Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders:
- Avery Cloud, SVP/CIO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
- Philip Fasano, SVP/CIO, Kaiser Permanente
- Stanley Huff, CMIO, Intermountain Health Care
- Edward Marx, CIO, Texas Health Resources
- Bill McQuaid, CIO/AVP, Parkview Adventist Medical Center
- Susan Schade, VP/CIO, Brigham and Women’s Hospital