From The PACS Designer: “Re: Android’s coming up fast. The latest information available on shipping volumes for mobile platforms shows the Android platform beating everyone else easily. While the healthcare space is benefiting from the huge volume of available Apple apps, it won’t be long before Android development expertise grabs the opportunity to offer solutions for big data applications which are sorely needed by researchers and practitioners.”
Our field involves technology and health, but only about half of respondents use apps to monitor or improve their own health. New poll to your right, inspired by Dr. Jayne: if you’re going to the HIMSS conference, will you be open to the possibility of finding a new job?
Healthcare IT news is always slow in November and December unless some company decides to do a year-ending acquisition, so don’t think a shorter HIStalk post means you’re missing anything. It’s not a magazine with an incentive to pad out the issue with non-newsworthy junk. As I always say, 90 percent of my job is deciding what “news” to ignore. I hate reading stories with attention-getting headlines and cleverly written prose that turn out to be a complete waste of time.
Sunquest forms The HIT Group, soliciting member companies that agree with its position that the FDA should regulate healthcare IT, with particular emphasis on patient safety and software development practices. I wouldn’t expect many companies to join except those who, like Sunquest, are already regulated by the FDA, but it would be a bold move for vendors to encourage regulation and use their influence to make it reasonable rather than waiting for the FDA to spring a potentially vendor-unfriendly surprise. As a patient, it’s hard to argue against external oversight of systems that are becoming more influential in how care is delivered. I’m not quite sure why the announcement letter capitalizes words and phrases that don’t require it, such as “patient,” “health information technology,” “government,” and “patient safety.”
The New York Times finds that Healthcare.gov was doomed from the start by an unbroken string of bad decisions: the White House’s infatuation with creating a dazzling site, its inflexibility on an October 1 go-live that required ill-advised shortcuts, White House meddling that caused weeks of delay in answering simple software engineering questions such as whether the user should be required to enter their Social Security number, CMS’s decision to use the NoSQL database despite warnings from contractor CGI that not many people know how to program against it, CMS deciding to act as its own systems integrator instead of hiring an experienced company, and putting a CMS official in charge without giving him the authority to make decisions without first contacting the White House. The gist of the article is that White House arrogance combined with CMS incompetence created a disaster that everybody saw coming but nobody could stop.
Encore Health Resources will present an HIStalk Webinar, “Looking Behind the Curtain: Value Based Care’s Impact on the Revenue Cycle” on Thursday, December 12 at 1:00 Eastern.
Health Canada apologizes to 40,000 medical marijuana users when it mails an information update with a privacy-torching return address of the Marijuana Medical Access Program.
Block Island Medical Center, a two-doctor practice in Rhode Island, reports frustration with its conversion to an unnamed EMR in its quest to collect HITECH incentives. The executive director says “it takes hours to enter records” and one of its doctors reports, “What used to take minutes to write in is now taking hours. The other night I was here until midnight.” A board member says the EMR is “totalitarian,” while the board president said they should have had an implementation person or guide.
The western Montana region of Providence Health & Services lays off employees to offset the cost of new positions required to support Epic.
Virginia-based gastroenterologist Michael P. Jones, MD (who, interestingly enough, also holds a degree in dentistry) writes a Los Angeles Times opinion piece on EMRs, saying it takes doctors more time to document procedures than to actually perform them and that the main role of EMRs is to create “a bill of sale” to get insurance companies to pay for services. He’s not a fan of the healthcare system in general, either:
My job is to listen and observe, to figure out who really does have something bad going on and who may simply be feeling the effects of life’s wear and tear. There’s a huge difference between that and the healthcare industry, which is more about industry than health or care. Third-party payors don’t really care what happens in an exam room. The visit that you, as a patient, have been anxiously waiting for could just as easily be shoes or oranges or pork bellies to these folks. It’s just a commodity. It’s just data. And now the industry wants it documented in a format that works for billers and statisticians but not so much for doctors: the electronic medical record.
- Prominence Advisors is named as a “National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” for 2013.
- Infor announces enhancements for its MediSuite system for hospitals in Canada, including workflow enhancements, the addition of care models, and improved physician integration.