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September 2, 2008 News 10 Comments

From Cherry Forever: "Re: RHIOs vs. PHRs. Another big difference is that RHIOS are controlled by the providers. They can add or remove data as they will. PHRs are controlled by patients – very different business model. The RHIOs sell themselves to providers as ‘safe places’ to share data. PHRs will have a harder time doing that. Also, RHIOs tend to be focused on data from a given region. PHRs are not, though that could be fixed by giving PHRs feed from the various RHIOs. Some RHIOs are set up as federated models (with a centralized index and a service API to call the provider data base when records are needed). I don’t see provider CIOs as lining up to allow random PHRs to call their data bases. It’s hard enough to get RHIO access, very hard.  They are also likely to want to limit the data that is fed to the PHR; it won’t be the same data set that is sent to the RHIO."

From Sarah P. Admirer: "Re: Sarah. Say what you will about Sarah P. Cheap shot to not editorialize on candidates equally, though." Actually the cheap shot was at former unsuccessful candidate Jeanne Patterson. Without the Cerner connection, I wouldn’t have had the slightest interest.

From The PACS Designer: "Re: OpenMRS Touchscreen. TPD posted a writeup recently about OpenMRS software that is used mainly outside of the U.S. and is gaining in popularity. Now, interns from Trinity College, Wesleyan University, Connecticut College, the University of Hartford, and the University of Connecticut have completed The Touchscreen Toolkit Project and four other software projects that can serve a variety of humanitarian applications, from Hartford to Africa to Sri Lanka. The Touchscreen Toolkit Project is a part of the Humanitarian Free Open Source Software (HFOSS) project. The toolkit is being implemented in the Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS) project as a module that will allow clinicians to use OpenMRS with a touchscreen." Link1, Link 2, Link 3.


Listening: to this gadget, which is streaming my old favorite Aural Moon progressive radio, one of the 13,000 streaming stations it runs. It’s just a USB drive with some jukebox software and predefined links to streaming radio stations, but it’s still cool (and the tiniest USB device I’ve seen, barely bigger than the plug itself). I got it from Buy.com for $24.99 and free shipping. Plug it in, up comes the jukebox with search by genre, name, or location. A couple of clicks and I’m looking at a list of 486 stations in China, followed by a supposedly alternative station that’s playing a bad, non-English duet of Rhinestone Cowboy.

An ED admission prediction tool is being used in Australia to forecast demand for staffing and OR time.

Tomorrow is Readers Write day, so if you’ve got something to say, send it my way (rhyming unintentional).

A Computerworld article says that hospitals aren’t using supply chain automation like they should, calling healthcare "dinosaurian." Reasons: low budgets, acceptance of labor-intensive processes, lack of a big player like Wal-Mart, and lack of standards. One multi-hospital client spent eight times what it could have if all of its buyers purchased together at the most favorable price. Good article.

Peter Bodtke, vice president of non-profit WorldVista, will ride his motorcycle 11,000 miles throughout eight Central American countries to promote awareness of VistA. He’s doing all of South America next year. He’s looking for donations and sponsors to help pay for the trip.


Google rolled out the beta (isn’t everything Google in permanent beta?) of its new IE-killer browser, Chrome. I’m running it and it’s a bit sparse and slightly buggy, but I’m sure that won’t last. Like the new IE, it has Porn Mode (i.e., "incognito"). They were supposedly anxious to get Chrome out because IE’s Porn Mode won’t let Google collect stats and user habits for advertising targeting. It’s not ready to be a permanent replacement for Firefox (it seems to be slower except on Javascript-heavy sites) but it’s worth playing around with.

A hotly debated issue: is the fist bump an acceptable form of business greeting?

Federal investigators hit the road for Indiana, making unannounced hospital visits to audit billing for the back surgery called kyphoplasty after whistleblowers brought billing issues to Uncle’s attention.

Send me your news, rumors, and ideas. I read every e-mail.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga


e-MDs founder Dr. David Winn is stepping down from his CEO role and will assume the role of Chairman of the Board. Dr. Michael Stearns, who has been serving as President will now add CEO to his title. Winn says he will expand his medical missionary work in foreign countries and other philanthropic endeavors. e-MDs also just hired Maria Rudolph as VP of Business Development. Rudolph previously worked at Cerner, Quadramed, and a couple of medical associations.

King’s Daughters Medical Center (KY) claims its ED wait times have been cut from an average of 220 minutes to 118. The hospital attributes most of the increased efficiency to the implementation of its T-System EMR.

Medicity is spinning off a new venture named Allviant which will develop a product called CarePass. The new group will be based in Scottsdale. It will focus on designing tools to help consumers interact with providers and ultimately reducing the time patients spend waiting, calling, and filling out forms.

NQF endorses nine national voluntary consensus standards for HIT. The areas included are eRx, EHR, interoperability, care management, quality registries, and the medical home. Will the endorsements have any effect?

Last week I asked some questions about labs, lab standards, etc. Thanks for all the great words of wisdom on obviously a hot topic. I am compiling a few of the responses into one piece for our Readers Write posting on Wednesday. Here are a couple thoughts to consider until then. “I think that labs agree we all need to work together to bring faster adoption. Following a recent EHRVA lab summit with participants from multiple affected parties, everyone agreed we needed to develop a use case to send to ONC. Now it appears the labs are banding together to block their support because they don’t want to invest in it.” Another: “There actually has been a great deal of work done in recent years in an attempt to establish a standard. While the HL-7 specifications are typically used for results communications, the individual lab providers themselves have different terminologies/codification of results within that specification. The ELINCS initiative attempts to set this straight.”

I had to visit my local Apple store today (note that one can only drop an iPhone so many times before it starts to have problems). In case you decided to wait until the stores were less frenzied over 3G sales, you best keep waiting. It was packed at 11:00 a.m. with lots of happy shoppers.

Gustav thankfully was not Katrina, but still has created some chaos. Twelve Louisiana hospitals are considering moving 800 patients because they don’t have air conditioning. Meanwhile, at least three Iowa hospitals have asked for over $4 million from the Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission to restore facilities flooded earlier this summer.

I plan to watch some convention coverage tonight. For those interested in mixing fashion in with your political viewing, Cindy McCain is all about haute couture. I just wish we could see more of her shoes.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re Cherry Forever’s comment on RHIOs and PHRs, when will everyone give it up and concede that EHRs are the essential component of this troika?? Information (not data) must be clearly identified as to it’s source. No doctor or nurse I’ve talked to is willing to make clinical decisions based on patient-entered data (yes, data). If PHRs can bridge that gap, amen.

  2. Re: Google’s product pushes

    Ever wonder if Google’s business products are designed based upon eavesdropping on its search requests regarding competitors products?

  3. Fist bump is not an acceptable way to great people at work.

    When ever some throws the fist, I want to throw paper and say “you lose, Paper covers rock, maybe next time.”

    Also, if my significant other saw me at the office doing that and asked me what I was doing and I retort ” Honey, All I did as to give the new cute secretary a fist bump”. That is not the how I want to start a conversation.

  4. RE RHIOs and PHRs: “No doctor or nurse…is willing to make clinical decisions based on patient-entered data”

    Everytime I go to the doctor’s office, I have to complete a health history form (patient-entered data, just happens to be on paper rather than a screen), my memory isn’t what it used to be and I inevitably forget something that could be important.

    I have begun to keep a narrative health history in a .doc document that I can print and take with me, and the reation of my doctor is, “WOW, thanks, this is really helpful, so much more complete than what I ususally get, this will help us develop a better treatment plan.” To me PHRs are just the next step, so I don’t have to use ink and paper, in the progression of making data available for my provider. During the course of the visit, we will translate this data to useful information as it relates to my problems at the time.

    I would love to have the provider dump their data into my PHR, so that I can review to make sure that what was discussed at the visit is what actually made it into their record. It’s a great way for me to clarify, increase my knowledge, become a better patient, better comply with the treatment plan, develop a relationship with my provider, etc, etc.

    Yes, PHRs are a marketing tool. But not only for the provider to the patient, but potentially for the patient to the provider, to sell them on how to be better healthcare professional and to retain me as a patient.

  5. Mr HISTalk. You probably have more influence on the word of consumer electronics thatn you may know. I checked out the USB Jukebox and it is over $33.00 everywhere, including BUY.com. You ARE a market maker!

  6. PMD, good response to Cherry Forever. RHIOs and for that matter the convoluted pie in the sky NHIN will never get serious traction. Rather, it will be a mix of PHRs, HIEs and PHSs (personal health systems, ala Google, Microsoft and Dossia). Honestly, what is so different from a consumer giving a physician access to their PHR rather than filling out another clipboard form? A physician will not use either as the sole source of information, simple a starting point to work from.

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Reader Comments

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