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News 3/28/17

March 28, 2017 News No Comments

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Physicians in Wisconsin will join their peers in 30 other states April 1 when legislation kicks in requiring them to check the state’s PDMP database before issuing prescriptions for controlled substances. Pharmacies and other dispensaries have reported such prescriptions since the program launched in 2013. A special effort is being made to educate PCPs on the appropriate use of opioids and alternative medications. UW Health Pain Management Clinic Director Alaa Abd-Elsayed, MD will use a CDC grant to launch the awareness initiative.


Webinars

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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.

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

Eastern Shore Psychological Services rolls out AlphaFlex EHR software from MediWare Information Systems at its four facilities in Maryland.


People

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Former practice manager Robert Still (County of Lancaster) takes on the role of executive director for the Radiology Business Management Association.

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InnovaTel Telepsychiatry appoints Charles Gordon, MD (Texas Spine and Joint Hospital) chairman and former US Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) vice chairman of its new advisory board.


Telemedicine

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The local news covers the growing user base of DocMJ.com, a virtual practice geared towards Florida-based patients seeking medical marijuana prescriptions. Launched in 2016, it has has so far helped 1,000 patients sign up for the state’s Compassionate Use Registry – a database of qualified patients and ordering physicians. Florida seems to be getting its medical marijuana ducks in a row: Lawmakers approved an amendment last fall allowing physicians to prescribe medical marijuana for a range of conditions, and are preparing to consider legislation that would shorten the time between consultations from 90 to 45 days.

A Sermo survey of 1,651 members reveals that 41 percent believe the country is doing a “fair” job of adopting telemedicine, though 44 percent feel their states are doing a poor job with such programs. Responding physicians believe Ohio has implemented telemedicine the most effectively, followed by California. New Jersey and New York were found to be the most lacking in telemedicine friendliness.


Government and Politics

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While I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, I do find this summary of the #GOPDnD hashtag quite humorous.


Research and Innovation

A survey of 200 Millennial physicians reveals that 34 percent have found the reality of practicing medicine to be worse than they expected, though that hasn’t hampered their commitment to the career. Just over 80 percent report they are committed – even optimistic – about their role in changing the way healthcare is delivered. Many are already exploring the option of taking on the additional roles of entrepreneur, consultant, health system executive, and academic researcher. When it comes to health IT, they believe they’re more data-driven than their older colleagues. Sixty-two percent believe EHRs are an important part of their ability to care for patients.

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Coming to a reality near you: Tesla founder Elon Musk teases followers about the formal launch of Neuralink, an AI business that will develop brain implants to help humans merge their thoughts with software. Such technology could be used to treat brain disorders like depression and epilepsy, though Musk seems to think it will ultimately be effective in helping humans function in a world increasingly dominated by robots.


Other

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Better late than never, I suppose: “Brand experience” agency Cramer releases its review of HIMSS17 booths, highlighting the rise of the “living” booth designed to give attendees all the comforts of home. Salesforce and Athenahealth earned accolades for seating, creative use of height and/or second-story space, and outdoor themes. (Several booth reviews point to unnamed HIStalk sponsors.) I seem to remember the folks at Dodge Communications publishing a similar type of wrap up several years ago. I’d love to see them pick that back up for major industry tradeshows.

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Rumor has it Johnny Depp will star in King of the Jungle as “computer virus magnate-turned-accused murdered John McAfee.” The movie will depict a magazine writer’s visit to McAfee’s residence in Belize – a trip “filled with paranoia, machine guns, sex, and murder.” McAfee, who had multiple run ins with local authorities, was in fact wanted for questioning related to the 2012 murder of a local who had complained about McAfee’s tendency to shoot guns and exhibit “roguish behavior.”


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 3/27/17

March 27, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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President Trump’s decision to table voting on the AHCA didn’t stop several PACS from running television ads congratulating Republican lawmakers on passing the bill. Two legislators thanked in the ads did not, in fact, vote for the bill. Twitter commentary was understandably quick to follow, with commentary from former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt not far behind. Slavitt, who recently announced his affiliation with the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior advisor, took to USA Today to share his advice on how the administration can move forward with crafting healthcare legislation that will appease both sides of the aisle, and, more importantly, meet the needs of the American people. A snippet:

“In recognition that bigger solutions will take time, the president and Democratic leaders should create a bipartisan commission with experts from Congress and the real world, charged with exploring smart ways to reduce healthcare costs that could result in bipartisan legislation. Healthcare is too expensive. It’s the cost of a prescription or a night in the hospital that drives our premiums.”


Webinars

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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.

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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South County Orthopedic Specialists (CA) installs Toshiba Medical’s Vantage Elan MR system.


Telemedicine

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AHRQ asks stakeholders to submit information, including details on completed and ongoing studies, to help inform its review of telehealth for acute and chronic-care consultations. The systematic review will focus on answering the following questions:

  • Are telehealth consultations effective in improving clinical and economic outcomes?
  • Are telehealth consultations effective in improving intermediate outcomes?
  • Have telehealth consultations resulted in harms, adverse events, or negative unintended consequences?
  • What are the characteristics of telehealth consultations that have been the subject of comparative studies?
  • Do clinical, economic, intermediate, or negative outcomes vary across telehealth consultation characteristics?

People

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Paul Markowski joins the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists as CEO. He has quite a track record with medical associations, having most recently served as EVP and CEO of the American College of Chest Physicians. Markowski has also done stints with the AMA, CHEST, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology.

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From “snake oil” to salaried staff: The AMA seeks a digital health programs manager to “manage and execute initiatives focused on improving the quality, usability, and effectiveness of EHRs and mobile health technologies for Physician Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability Digital Health Strategy,” among other things. Glassdoor.com reviewers give the association’s CEO, James Madara, MD a 36-percent approval rating. Forty-two percent would recommend it to a friend. I don’t have access to full reviews; however, recent review titles like “No Substance,” “A pool of talent squandered by poor leadership decisions,” and “Glut of mediocre to horrific middle-management” don’t paint a pretty picture for prospective employees.


Government and Politics

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CMS recognizes Healthcare Access San Antonio as a qualified registry. Originally formed as an HIE, it is the first such entity in the state and the first to receive such a designation. Recognition as a registry will enable the nonprofit to expand its service line to include clinical reporting and revenue-capture assistance, particularly for small physician practices. “Since we collect patient information and provide community reports, it made sense for us to develop a suite of services that can relieve the burden from the physician’s practice,” says HASA Executive Director Gijs van Oort. “Approval from CMS to report on behalf of a practice is a critical component of that.”


Research and Innovation

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NIH researchers use facial recognition technology akin to that used by Facebook and in airport security screenings to correctly diagnose DiGeorge syndrome, a rare, genetic disease that affects African, Asian, and Latin American children. Using technology developed by Marius Linguraru, an investigator at Children’s National Health System’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, researchers were able to correctly diagnose the disease in children across all ethnic groups nearly 97 percent of the time. The technology has also achieved similar results in diagnosing children with Down syndrome.

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CDC releases the results of its most recent National EHR Survey, which looks at the EHR adoption and utilization of in-office physicians. The survey of 10,302 physicians found that primary care docs were the largest group of adopters at 89.6 percent. Cardiologists (95.6 percent), neurologists (94.5), and urologists (94) were top specialty-practice adopters. The field of psychiatry showed the lowest rate of adoption at 61 percent.


Other

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Coming soon to our shores? Given the proclivity of pedestrians to stare down at their phones while walking, Dutch officials embed traffic lights in the pavement as part of a one-street pilot project aimed at curbing traffic accidents. “Smartphone use by pedestrians and cyclists is a major problem,” explains a representative from HIG Traffic Systems, which installed the experimental LED light strip/traffic light. “Trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone looks at their smartphone instead of traffic.”

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I like this idea: Lyft will test an in-app payment feature that allows customers to round up their fare and donate that difference to charity. It has not yet disclosed what charities it will support. The ride-sharing company is no doubt looking to set itself apart from Uber, which is working its way through a number of crises including several sexual harassment allegations.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 3/23/17

March 23, 2017 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Milwaukee, Portland, and Minneapolis take the top spots for shortest wait times in the latest Vitals report. The study shows that, on average, a patient spends 18 minutes and 35 seconds waiting to see a physician – a decrease of over a minute compared to 2016. Wait times have decreased 13 percent since the annual study launched in 2009. The study’s authors surmise that wait times will continue to decrease as options like telemedicine and urgent care facilities continue to proliferate.


Webinars

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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.

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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Santa Monica, CA-based Casetabs develops a surgery coordination app for Iphone users, especially ideal for physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospitals that want to coordinate care amongst caregivers, send and receive real-time patient updates, and reduce cancellations and delays.

Zynx Health will integrate Healthwise patient engagement and educational resources with each step of its care plans, giving providers a more efficient way to pull such content from their EHRs.


People

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Sam Karam (Optum) joins AMC Health as CTO.

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Endotronix hires Mike Dilworth (Nanosphere) as VP of manufacturing and operations, Katrin Leadley, MD (HeartWare) as CMO, and Richard Powers (CardioMEMS) as CIO. The Woodridge, IL-based company has developed cloud-based technology and sensors to help providers and patients detect the onset of heart failure.

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Senior-focused primary care medical, management, and tech company ChenMed hires George Wheeler (Bon Secours Health System) as market president for JenCare Senior Medical Center (VA), Donald Trexler (Acadia General Hospital) as market president for JenCare Louisiana, Jim Whitling (Alcon) as chief of HR, and Gaurov Dayal, MD (Lumeris) as EVP, chief of strategic growth.


Government and Politics

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The House vote to repeal and replace the ACA is postponed due to a lack of Republican support.


Other

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The South Florida Business Journal looks at the waves Miami-based EZLabz is making in the world of mobile lab testing. Launched in 2015 by Physicians Group of South Florida MDs Jordan Hackmeier and Joel Lusky, the company is working to offer local physicians and their patients a cheaper and less time-consuming alternative to blood work done in house or by more well-established companies like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. It added an online platform to its mobile in-office services this week. Its founders have yet to draw salaries; instead, they are pouring revenue back into the company in hopes of securing additional investment and launching a mobile app.

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The local news profiles the innovative yet tech-less ways in which one local pediatrician is teaching her patients and their parents some pretty basic concepts about good nutrition. Nimali Fernando, MD started Yum Pediatrics (VA) in 2014 to offer traditional healthcare appointments and cooking classes via her Doctor Yum nonprofit. “This way,” she says, “I can see patients on one side of the building or go into the kitchen side and participate in whatever is happening. It’s proven to be a really interesting way of practicing pediatrics, but it’s absolutely different and fun every day.” 


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

News 3/22/17

March 22, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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GE Healthcare CEO John Flannery says the company will double its workforce of 5,000 software engineers within the next several years as part of a previously announced broader plan to invest $500 million in software talent and development. Flannery says the engineers will most likely be put to work making the company’s Predix industrial cloud platform more medical-app friendly. He added that, “We’ll be hiring software engineers, data analysts, imaging analysts, to develop our own apps, but also to develop the platform and the capability of the platform to host hundreds of other applications.”


Webinars

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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.

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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CareWire adds predictive analytics from Connance – including behavioral and socio-demographic data – to its text-based appointment reminder and patient engagement platform.

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The Center for Family and Child Enrichment (FL) selects TenEleven Group’s behavioral health EHR to streamline administrative functions and better serve families in Miami-Dade County.

Entrada adds enterprise mobile scribing capabilities to its physician documentation solution, giving physicians EHR-friendly options based on their note-taking preference in one solution.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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HIE image-exchange and clinical referral technology vendor EHealth Technologies will invest $310,000 in expanding its headquarters in West Henrietta, NY by nearly 12,000 square feet. It also plans to hire an additional 84 staffers over the next three years.


Telemedicine

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Salus Telehealth partners with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors to offer military family members virtual grief counseling at no cost.

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Austin Regional Clinic (TX) partners with local telemedicine company EMD Access to launch virtual urgent-care consult services in May. It is in the process of developing a similar offering for patients with chronic conditions. ARC, which has 20 locations, seems to be on a bit of a health IT buying spree: It added evidence-based clinical guideline support from Wolters Kluwer to its Epic HER earlier this month.


People

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Richard Moran (Menlo College) joins VideoKall’s Board of Directors. The Potomac, MD-based company is preparing to launch a line of virtual consult kiosks that seem similar in scope to HealthSpot, which, as readers may recall, sold its assets to Rite-Aid for $1.5 million after shutting down for unspecified reasons last summer. None of the company’s three presumably full-time employees ties to healthcare, which makes me wonder how well the company will fare.


Government and Politics

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My “Government Faves” Twitter list has been relatively quiet since the Trump Administration took over (with the exception of one former CMS staffer.) Eight tweets in, CMS Administrator Seema Verma seems to be getting the hang of the social media tool.


Sponsor Updates

  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at CLMA KnowledgeLab 2017 March 26-29 in Nashville.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at AMGA March 22-25 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Healthwise exhibits at Ehealth Initiative’s annual conference March 21-22 in Washington, DC.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 3/21/17

March 21, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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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.


Webinars

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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.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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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.

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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.


People

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The Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians elects Flora Sadri-Azarbayejani, DO president.


Telemedicine

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Navigating Cancer adds telemedicine and remote-monitoring capabilities to its Care Management technology for oncologists.


Research and Innovation

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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?

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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.


Other

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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.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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