From Stifler’s Mom: “Re: Medicare. Doctors to take a pay cut. Tricare’s getting cut too.” AMA’s president decries the 21% Medicare pay cut that will hit doctors on April 1. It’s a Catch-22 situation: more patients will be insured under healthcare reform, which will eliminate the need to use hospital EDs for basic care, but the scarcity of primary care docs coupled with reduced payments means those patients will wind right back up in the ED because they won’t be able to get appointments otherwise. As long as Medicare richly rewards procedure docs while stiffing PCPs, there will by the law of supply and demand be way too few PCPs. Just giving everybody an insurance card isn’t going to solve that problem. Let’s hope Don Berwick can blast through the bureaucracy, not only at CMS, but throughout the federal government. If anyone can, I’d say it’s him. Personally, I can’t believe he took the job and I’m sure he didn’t do it to fulfill a long-held hope of becoming a bureaucrat.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Apple’s iPad release. The wait is over. Saturday will usher in the iPad era for Apple. There will be many reviewers to tell us what they think of their new business and play tool. One of our own, the esteemed Dalai, will give us an early indication of its usefulness when he gets his iPad via a shipper from China and starts to play!” I got Mrs. HIStalk a netbook for traveling and I kind of like that, too. It will fit into a mid-sized purse, weighs next to nothing, has a battery life of over 10 hours, and hops onto a wireless network easily. It’s running Win 7 Starter, is fast, has all the hard drive you’d ever need, and sports the usual array of external ports. The keyboard feels pretty good and the display is just fine. It comes with Microsoft Works, which can read and write Word files, but I’ll hook her up with Google Docs. It’s pretty cool for less than $300.
The Charleston, SC business paper writes up Carolina eHealth Alliance’s project, in which 11 hospital EDs are exchanging information using technology from TELUS Health.
Tressa Springman, CIO of Greater Baltimore Medical Center, writes an article called Improving Clinician Communication that describes that organization’s rollout of the TeamNotes clinical documentation system from Salar, which they integrated with their incumbent EMR. “Too often, hospitals are forced to implement technologies to meet an externally mandated deadline. These are the situations where teams are faced with short-changing the required thoughtfulness of the good design, resulting in a bad system that needs to be reworked. In contrast, I feel very good about our implementation of Salar’s clinical documentation at GBMC, because I feel that we are doing it for the right reasons, at the right pace and in a quality manner driven by a high degree of physician engagement.”
Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children rolls out GetWell Town from GetWellNetwork, offering patient education, entertainment, and Internet access. The company will announce an agreement tomorrow with Child Health Corporation of America that will make GetWell Town available to its 40 leading children’s hospitals.
East Orange General Hospital announces that it will implement GE Centricity Enterprise. This is an interesting quote: “East Orange General Hospital, under EOGH President Kevin Slavin, started community meetings regularly. In one of the meetings, a GE representative happened to be there and they helped introduce the system to the hospital.” Nice work by the salesperson who “happened” to show up and pitch product at a community meeting. They earned that big commission.
A reader asked me which full hospital information systems a 200-bed hospital with light IT resources should look at. I gave my answer, but I’m curious: what would yours have been? E-mail me your thoughts and I’ll compile them here and share what I said.
A doctor who made $1.5 million writing over 100,000 prescriptions for online “patients” he hadn’t examined gets five years in prison.
A good idea from HHS’s Adoption/Certification Workgroup: put feedback buttons on EHR screens so clinicians can report problems. It’s not a new idea and some systems have them, but they all should if you ask me.
HERtalk by Inga
From Bad Blake: “Re: Scott Freeman. The former territory vice president at McKesson Physician Practice Solutions, has accepted the role as head of business development for Zynx Health out of Los Angeles.” I see that Scott lists the new job title in LinkedIn, even though someone else is credited with the BD title on Zynx’s website.
From Clareece Jones: “Re: Berwick over CMS. Great news for patient safety.”
Saudi Arabia National Guard Health Affairs wins the Excellence in Electronic Health Records Award for its use of QuadraMed CPR. The award, which was presented at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, is given to the healthcare providing making the most innovative use of EHR to reduce error and increase safety and efficiency.
A Connecticut radiologist who was terminated from his physician group accesses a hospital’s computer system and looks at images and personal data for 957 patients. The doctor then allegedly contacted some of those patients and encouraged them to seek service at a different hospital. Apparently after the doctor left the staff at the original hospital, he hacked into the DPAC system using other radiologists’ passwords. The state attorney general is investigating. If I were investigating, the first thing I’d ask is how the heck did the doctor have access to all those passwords.
Eclipsys partners with Rothman Healthcare Research to build Rothman’s Patient Condition Tracker Solution software on the Helios by Eclipsys open architecture platform. The integration will give Eclipsys hospital clients the option to use Rothman’s application in an integrated environment without needing to develop an additional interface.
CPSI’s CPOE, E-Mar, and pharmacy applications achieve “approvable” status from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The designation means the software can be installed in Ohio hospitals without further inspection from the Board of Pharmacy.
You can find the list of Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals here. The ratings are based on public information and assess hospitals’ performance in 10 different areas. Thomson Reuters claims that more than 98,000 additional patients would survive each year if those patients received the same level of care as ones treated in Top 100 facilities.
Frederick Memorial (MD) expands its relationship with MEDSEEK to develop a comprehensive eHealth ecoSystem. I believe that is a fancy way of saying that Frederick will be combining its existing MEDSEEK physician portal with a consumer-facing Web site.
eClinicalworks says it has implemented 2,000 providers across 400 independent practices in New York City over the last two and half years. Another 600 providers and 100 practices are in the implementation process.
And in the Midwest, physician network Advocate Physician Partners partners with eClinicalWorks and will recommend eCW’s PM/EMR to its 2,600 independent physicians.
North Florida Surgeons selects Allscripts EHR/PM solution for its 34-provider practice. The practice’s CEO says that a key reason they selected Allscripts was the availability of Allscripts Patient Payment Assurance module to to calculate patient responsible amounts and secure payment authorization prior to surgery. I mentioned this in HIStalk Practice yesterday and the Allscripts folks told me that this particular module, which is offered in partnership with mPay Gateway, is proving to be a big competitive advantage. I suppose that serves as a good reminder that clinical software is not the only thing providers are worried about these days.
Speaking of Allscripts, the former Healthmatics division president David Bond and ISTA CEO Kernie Brashier join Navicure as VP of sales and CTO, respectively. Less that a year ago Mr. H mentioned that Bond had started a social networking site for teen athletes, which I guess wasn’t as fun as the RCM biz.
The North Hawaii Health Information Exchange (NHHIE) is leveraging Wellogic technology to connect the North Hawaii Community Hospital, the Hawaii IPA, and independent physicians, as well as labs, pharmacies, and other care providers.
The chairman and CEO of MMR Information Systems tells an HIT investment forum that the company expects that by year end, over one million people will use MyMedicalRecords PRH and MyESafeDepositBox services. I just wonder who all these people are, since I don’t know anyone who actually maintains a PHR.
The trustees for St. John’s Medical Center (WY) approve a $1.2 million software purchase to expand the hospital’s EMR system. I believe that St. John’s currently uses McKesson’s Paragon. The local paper was a bit short on specifics, but it sounds like St. John’s plans to add e-MAR functionality.
Mr. H is graciously allowing me to take Thursday off. Best wishes if you are celebrating Passover or Easter this week. I’ll be feasting on malted eggs, and if I’m lucky, a dark chocolate bunny.