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Sunday, March 25, 2007

NATIONAL HEALTH INFORMATION NEWS-WATCH

Timely and current information regarding RHIOs in the United States is available at NHIN Watch, http://nhinwatch.com/performSearch.cms?channelId=1

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) offers a listserv mail list which announces what ONCHIT is doing to advance RHIO development.
It can be found at: https://list.nih.gov/archives/health-it.html

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Google announces collaboration with Practice Fusion

Practice Fusion and Google, the internet search engine have announced a collaboration whereby the EMR and RHIO solution will be offered to providers free of charge. Income will be derived from advertising banners supplied and linked by Google, which will be accessible from the EMR pages used by the provider online. Privacy issues are one of the main concerns for this business model, which however can be addressed since the advertising would not be linked to particular patient's records.

Featured in RHIO Monitor CALRHIO selects Vendors

Featured in: CalRHIO Selects Medicity and Perot Systems Corporation to Build Statewide Health Information Exchange for California
CalRHIO Selects Medicity and Perot Systems Corporation to BuildStatewide Health Information Exchange for California
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March13, 2007 – CalRHIO announced today that it has selected Medicity, Inc.,teamed with Perot Systems Corporation (NYSE:PER), to build a statewidehealth information exchange utility service that will offer Californiahealth care providers secure electronic access to patient medicalrecords, where and when they are needed.
“CalRHIO’s primary goal is to deliver critical health informationservices reliably and affordably to clinicians, patients, state,county, and federal health agencies, and local exchange effortsthroughout California,” said CalRHIO CEO and President DonaldHolmquest, MD, JD. “Medicity and Perot Systems were selected becausetheir solution offers a strong, proven, and scalable technologyplatform that will eliminate limitations on how individual health careorganizations and local communities design and implement the healthinformation exchange services they need.”
“In addition to a suite of solutions that are already integrated andinteroperable, Medicity and Perot Systems brought an innovativefinancial model to the table that will enable us to sustain the projectlong term,” said Molly Coye, MD, MPH, one of the founding directors ofCalRHIO’s board and CEO and president of the Health Technology Center.“Creating a sustainable business model is one of the biggest challengesfor health information exchange efforts nationally,” Coye noted, citingfindings of a federal study she chaired last year that assessed ninestatewide HIE initiatives.
Medicity and Perot Systems’ first step will be to assist in theprocurement of private seed money to fund start-up costs for theCalRHIO HIE utility service, including building the statewide backboneinfrastructure and integration, marketing and communication, andCalRHIO’s operating budget. Financing requirements for this phase areestimated at $300 million.
The health information exchange platform will make it possible forphysician offices, hospitals, and health plans that have invested inhealth information technology to use their current technology to accessdata outside their walls. While details of charges are yet to bedetermined, the savings expected as a result of having betterinformation will be many times greater than the cost, according toHolmquest.
Through its partnership with Medicity and Perot Systems, CalRHIOwill offer a suite of secure, privacy-protected services from whichorganizations can select to use all, some, or none. For example, forcommunities that want to enable all their health care providers toexchange information, CalRHIO’s HIE utility service will offer anoptional alternative to building and financing their owninfrastructure. For communities that have already initiated localhealth information exchange efforts, the services offered will becompatible and complementary.
“It is imperative that we get a technology solution up and runningas soon as possible to accommodate the needs of California doctors,hospitals, and patients,” Holmquest said. “Every day in California,50,000 or more patients are experiencing suboptimal care solely becauseimportant medical information is missing from their records. Payers andpatients are paying huge additional costs because of the fragmentedcare that result from lack of timely information.”
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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cerner Statement

I missed last week’s deadline for RHIO MONITOR and Health Train Express due to some interviews and other related projects on EMR. I myself am in the midst of examining and implementing an EMR for my practice. In the process I have had the advantage of my research and study of RHIO as coordinator of a RHIO. In my evaluation it has become apparent that having an EMR which is certified by CCHIT is the ticket of admission, for any serious vendor. All that hard work of the past two years is paying off and demonstrates the process will take time and much patience. Of course I am speaking to the choir, but it emphasizes that we need to do a lot more educating of our fellow physicians. The scope and depth of understanding varies tremendously amongst physicians about EMRs, and RHIOs. There continues to be a divide between vendors and providers. According to my sources they have a difficult time and spend much of it explaining IT to providers. Providers’ eyes glaze over when given a new set of vocabulary and how these systems operate. The differences are also generational. Younger MDs have a set of material from their education which now exposes almost all school children to the basics and more of computers. Microsoft Windows is now the W of the three Rs.
One publication I have access to is a resource is “Functional Matrix” of a number of EMR solutions as prepared by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. While focused on ophthalmology it organizes in a readable manner the items all provider should look at when examining EMRs.
This resource can be found at: http://www.aao.org/aaoesite/promo/business/EMR3.cfm
A profound statement by the CEO of Cerner was quoted in iHealthbeat, published by the California Health Foundation.

Cerner CEO: Revamp Health Care Reimbursement SystemMarch 01, 2007
The U.S. health care reimbursement system is "grossly inefficient" and "needs to be changed," Cerner Chair and CEO Neal Patterson said Tuesday at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in New Orleans, the Kansas City Star reports.Patterson cited the Healthe Mid-America program, run by Cerner, as an example of how the system could be improved. The independent, not-for-profit program manages the employee health records of Cerner and about 20 other Kansas City-area businesses. Program participants can use an electronic debit and information card to pay for a physician visit and to access computerized personal health records with a PIN, the Star reports. Patterson cited a study that found that 31% of U.S. health care spending is on administrative costs and said that one of Cerner's "goals is to eliminate insurance companies as they exist today." The Healthe Mid-America program is being tested in the Kansas City area, and Cerner hopes eventually to expand the program nationwide, the Star reports (Karash, Kansas City Star, 2/28).

End quote: The Kansas City Star link expands on this brief .