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Morning Headlines 11/25/13

November 24, 2013 Headlines 2 Comments

Tension and Flaws Before Health Website Crash

The New York Times says the White House, CMS, and the prime contractors all knew that Healthcare.gov was not ready for its October 1 launch.

THE HIT GROUP

Sunquest forms The HIT Group, a group of health IT vendors calling for FDA regulation over the health IT marketplace. Sunquest is hoping other vendors join its call for stronger and clearer regulatory guidance. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, legislators hear testimony from FDA representative Jeffrey Shuren, MD concerning the recently proposed SOFTWARE Act which would restrict the FDA from exercising oversight on EHRs and clinical decision support tools.

Providence moves to save $5M at western Montana hospitals

Providence Health’s western Montana region, which includes St Patrick Hospital and St Joseph Medical Center, will lay off an undisclosed number of employees in an effort to offset the cost of hiring additional staff to support the network’s EHR.

So much data-gathering, so little doctoring 

A Los Angeles Times op-ed piece by gastroenterologist Michael Jones, MD calls EHRs "the latest wrench the healthcare industry has thrown in the way of doctors just listening to their patients." He goes on to explain that he left academic medicine for a small private practice, where he still hand writes all his notes and then calls the referring physician to discuss his findings.

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2 Responses to “Morning Headlines 11/25/13”

  1. 1
    Basic Science Says:

    Mr H. – I worry that people who don’t actually read these articles and only your blog post summary walk away with the righteous indignation against EHRs. Your summary was pretty must cause and effect, but the article seems to indicate something different.

    This is a pretty simple thing, technology enables organizations to operate with fewer people thus reducing wages, benefits and long term costs to health systems. We can’t have it both ways…

    Here’s what you wrote:

    St Joseph Medical Center, will lay off an undisclosed number of employees in an effort to offset the cost of hiring additional staff to support the network’s EHR.

    Here’s what the article actually said:

    “As new jobs have been added over the past year – some in association with our new electronic medical record system – we’ve had to make tough decisions around functions and positions we can no longer afford,” the release states.

    Because of pressures on revenue streams, new jobs have largely had to be offset with cuts to other positions. “It’s a painful transition, but one that cannot be avoided if we expect an improved health care delivery system that is also more affordable,” the release states.

    Departments are responsible for finding efficiencies and eliminating duplication without compromising patient care.

  2. 2
    Gopal Singh Says:

    I listened to the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Hearing on HR 3033 with Dr. Shuren, the FDA CDRH Director.

    I am impressed by their naivety and how little most of the Representatives know about HIT, and how ridiculous it is for these people to make decisions about what should or should not be regulated for the safety of patients.

    Without realizing it, Rep. Blackburn explained the genesis for the Bill which will gut all surveillance of HIT: She stated that there are hundreds of HIT companies in her state of Tennessee.

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