Former Rep. John Fleming, MD (R-LA) will join HHS in the new role of deputy assistant secretary for health technology at an unspecified date. The job will effectively put him at the head of ONC (which is facing an uncertain organizational future in light of potential budget cuts) and in good company with former National Coordinators Vindell Washington, MD and Karen DeSalvo, MD – both natives of Louisiana. Fun fact: Fleming is a third-degree black belt, and was one of the first family physicians in his area to offer evening and weekend hours to better accommodate patient schedules.
March 29 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Improving patient outcomes with smartphones: UW Medicine Valley Medical Center’s story.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Jones, MBA, MSN, VP of patient care services and nursing operations, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center; Wayne Manuel, MBA, SVP of strategic services, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center. UW Medicine Valley Medical Center dramatically improved patient outcomes after moving to a smartphone-based platform for clinical communication and alarm and alert notification. Before-and-after analysis shows a reduction in hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and skin integrity events, fall and slip events, and medication errors. By limiting overhead paging, the medical center also created a calmer, quieter environment and improved engagement among nursing and hospitalists. Hospital executives will describe their experience and vision for the future in addressing quality, cost, and the patient-caregiver experience.
Announcements and Implementations
Specialty care technology company Integra Connect develops a set of services – including patient risk analysis and stratification, and real-time care coordination and management – for oncology practices participating in the CMS Oncology Care Management program.
Gainesville Radiology Group (GA) extends its PM and RCM agreement with Zotec Partners.
HBI Solutions enlists health IT services firm J2 Interactive to assist its predictive analytics end users with implementation, adoption, and training.
The Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians elects Flora Sadri-Azarbayejani, DO president.
Navigating Cancer adds telemedicine and remote-monitoring capabilities to its Care Management technology for oncologists.
Research and Innovation
WebMD and the Scripps Translational Science Institute embark on a pregnancy study using WebMD’s Pregnancy app to better understand contributing factors to a healthy pregnancy. Using Apple’s ResearchKit software, study participants will be able to record and share information during and after pregnancy, including medication use, vaccinations received, blood pressure,and weight change. Women will also be able to share biometric data from connected wearables, and receive visualizations of their data and that of their peers. I sincerely hope they’ve taken mental health into account. How comforting would it be for an expectant mother to realize that the crying jag she’s been on for the last two days is fairly normal for her peer group? Or, for her OB to determine that the pre-baby blues she’s experiencing are indicative of the depression she may sink into after her due date?
A JAMA Pediatrics analysis of 37 studies finds that mobile health interventions had a small but significant effect on the health outcomes of the 30,000 minors aggregated in the studies. The researchers conclude that, “Given the ubiquity of mobile phones, mobile health interventions offer promise in improving public health.” “Promising” seems to be the key word here, as physicians have yet to fully figure out the best way in which to receive and act on the data, not to mention get reimbursed for it.
The local paper highlights the love Michigan State University College of Medicine students showed family medicine on Match Day. Nearly 43 percent of the 200 students accepted into residency programs chose primary care. It’s an encouraging statistic given a study released earlier this month that found the US will face a shortage of up to 43,000 PCPs by 2030.