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Archive for the ‘Electronic Health Records’ Category

Assessing Patient Health Information Needs

On May 7th, the Health Information Technology section of AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) sponsored the presentation A National Web Conference on Assessing Patient Health Information Needs for Developing Consumer Health IT Tools. Featured speakers included:

  • Wanda Pratt, Ph.D., Professor, Information School, University of Washington
  • James Ralston, M.D., Associate Investigator/Physician, Internal Medicine, Group Health Research Institute
  • Patricia Flatley Brennan, Ph.D., Moehlman Bascom Professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison

The presenters described projects to improve communication of safety concerns among hospitalized patients, promote effective management of patients with diabetes, and improve asthma care in children. Presentation slides from the talks are now available on the Health Information Technology website.

San Francisco General Hospital Library Receives NLM Grant to Reduce Health Disparities!

Congratulations to Stephen Kiyoi, Library Director at San Francisco General Hospital, who is a Principal Investigator on a newly awarded three-year, $300,000 NLM Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities (G08) from the National Library of Medicine. The project, Patient Engagement with Personal Health Records, will support the research and development of better ways to engage safety net patients with personal health records.

Partnering on the grant are Courtney Lyles, PhD, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, from the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP). The CVP is an internationally recognized leader in health communication and health policy to reduce health disparities, with special expertise in the social determinants of health. The team will also partner with Yemila Alvarez, Community Outreach Manager at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). SFPL will help disseminate and scale project interventions across its 27 branch locations.

NLM VSAC Publishes Annual Update for 2014 Clinical Quality Measure Value Sets

On May 1, 2015, The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), published the annual update for the 2014 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) value sets for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals. Providers will use these updated eCQM value sets to electronically report 2016 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR), and the EHR Incentive Programs. CMS updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to improve alignment with current clinical guidelines and terminologies and to remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released eCQM value sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the VSAC requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record (EHR) technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria.

The NLM update of the VSAC eCQM value sets coincides with the CMS posting of the annual update for the 2014 eCQMs for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals, available in the CMS eCQM Library. CMS has re-specified all of the 2015 updated measures using Quality Data Model (QDM) 4.1.2 based-HQMF version R 2.1. 2014 Clinical Quality Measure Resources.

The following resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 eCQMs.

NLM Mourns Dr. Morris F. Collen, Medical Computing Pioneer

The National Library of Medicine is saddened at the passing of Dr. Morris F. Collen, known around the world as “Mr. Medical Informatics,” on September 27, 2014. He was 100 years old. In addition to his wide-ranging contributions to medical informatics, Dr. Collen was a valued advisor to NLM. He was a member of the Lister Hill Board of Scientific Counselors from 1984 to 1987. He served on the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee, which advises NLM on the journals to be indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed, from 1997 to 2002, chairing the Committee from 2000 to 2002. He also contributed to NLM Long Range planning.

Morris Collen earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1938. His residency at the University of Southern California/Los Angeles County General Hospital took him to California, where he started what would become a legendary career at Kaiser (later Kaiser Permanente). He served as chief of medical services at Kaiser’s Oakland hospital from 1942 to 1952, and medical director the following year. From 1953 to 1961, Dr. Collen served as physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente (KP) in San Francisco.

During World War II, Dr. Collen was one of the first doctors to experiment with the use of a new wonder drug–penicillin–for the treatment of pneumonia in shipyard workers, at a time when most of the drug was shipped overseas for members of the armed forces. Dr. Collen’s interest in the use of computers as a way to improve medical care developed during a 1961 conference on biomedical electronics. Soon afterward, he founded Kaiser Permanente’s research division and created a prototype electronic health record fed by punch card into a huge IBM mainframe computer. The record included information from patient screenings and lab results. One of Dr. Collen’s major achievements at KP was the development of the multiphasic health checkup, which addressed the physician shortage of the 1950s, post-World War II. This series of procedures and tests, given to thousands of KP members, screened for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Not only did these revolutionary tests save physicians’ time; they constituted a significant experiment in preventive care. Dr. Collen eventually automated the multiphasic health checkups, moving them onto a punch card system in 1964.

Electronic health records are in the headlines today, but their bloodlines run back to Dr. Collen. Kaiser Permanente’s early EHR system became internationally known because of his groundbreaking efforts. In fact, he predicted that the computer would have “the greatest technological impact on medical science since the invention of the microscope,” as noted in a 2008 Kaiser Permanente publication.

NLM Announces New VSAC Tutorial

The National Library of Medicine has announced a new Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) tutorial, Updating Value Sets. The nine-minute tutorial is available as a link from the UMLS Video Learning Resources page, the NLM Distance Education Resources page, and is posted at the NLM YouTube site. Additional tutorials designed to assist users with VSAC and VSAC authoring tools are in development. NLM encourages comments about the tutorial and suggestions for further topics, which may be sent to NLM Customer Service.

The NLM Value Set Authority Center is developed by NLM in collaboration with Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide searchable access to value sets that are used to define concepts used in clinical quality measures, and to support effective health information exchange and many other biomedical informatics applications and programs. Since October 2013, VSAC also offers the Authoring Tool that allows users to author value sets.

The National Library of Medicine Announces 2014 Association of Health Care Journalists-NLM Fellows

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) are pleased to announce the 2014 AHCJ-NLM Fellows. This year’s class features eight reporters and editors representing diverse media backgrounds and interests. The program, now in its sixth year, brings journalists selected by AHCJ to NLM for four days of training in use of NLM’s health information resources, such as PubMed, PubMed Health, Genetics Home Reference, TOXMAP, ClinicalTrials.gov, and MedlinePlus. The Fellows also receive briefings about health care issues, such as the adoption of electronic health records by patients and health care providers, as well as consumer health resources provided by the National Cancer Institute. New in 2014, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) will update the AHCJ-NLM Fellows about innovative health care issues, such as comparative effectiveness research.

The 2014 AHCJ-NLM Fellows are:

  • Karen Bouffard, health care writer, The Detroit News. Bouffard was a 2013 National Health Journalism Fellow with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism.
  • Matthew Glasser, health and medical producer, NBC Southern California. Glasser is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and was the co-creator and executive producer of NurseTV and Healthcare Heroes.
  • Sarah Karlin, senior writer, The Pink Sheet and The Pink Sheet DAILY. Karlin formerly was the FDANews’ congressional and generic drugs editor.
  • Kimberly Leonard, health reporter and producer, U.S. News & World Report. Leonard was a health reporter with the Center for Public Integrity prior to joining U.S. News & World Report.
  • Cheryl Platzman Weinstock, freelance health/science writer, who specializes in women’s health issues. Weinstock’s work frequently appears in the New York Times, Women’s Day, and the Oprah Magazine. She contributed to the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of 9/11.
  • Marie Powers, staff writer, BioWorld Today. Powers was part of the BioWorld Today team, which received the Best Daily Publication award in 2013 and 2014 from the Specialized Information Publishers Association.
  • Cindy Sharp, health and medical reporter, Associated Press Television and Online Video. Sharp previously worked for MSNBC and Tribune Broadcasting.
  • J.K. Wall, health care reporter, Indianapolis Business Journal, and The Dose, a blog on health care finance. Wall worked as a business reporter at The Indianapolis Star before joining the Indianapolis Business Journal.

NLM VSAC Publishes Annual Update for 2014 Eligible Professional CQM Value Sets

The National Library of Medicine Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has published the annual update for the 2014 Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Value Sets. The update includes revised value sets to address deleted and remapped codes in the latest terminology versions, as well as new codes for addressing CQM logic corrections and clarifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update these electronic reporting specifications annually to ensure that the specifications align with current clinical guidelines and terminologies, and that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released 2014 CQM Value Sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. The NLM update of the VSAC coincides with the CMS posting of the official updated 2014 Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measures.

The following resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 CQMs:

  • NLM: Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) Provides downloadable access to all official versions of vocabulary value sets contained in the 2014 Clinical Quality Measures.
  • AHRQ: United States Healthcare Knowledge Database (USHIK) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Web site with 2014 eCQMs and other health information technology resources. This site provides a number of formats for viewing, downloading, and comparing versions of eCQMs and their value sets.
  • CMS: eCQM Library Guidance for understanding and using Eligible Hospital and the Eligible Professional Clinical Quality Measures.
  • ONC: Clinical Quality Measure Feedback System ONC encourages the EHR technology developer and user communities to provide feedback regarding the implementation, structure, intent, and data elements pertaining to CQMs.
  • Questions? Contact NLM Value Set Authority Center Help.

NLM Value Set Authority Center Publishes Annual Update for 2014

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has published the annual update for the 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Value Sets. The update includes revised value sets to address deleted and remapped codes in the latest terminology versions, as well as new codes for addressing CQM logic corrections and clarifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to ensure that the specifications align with current clinical guidelines and terminologies, and that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released 2014 CQM Value Sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. The NLM update of the VSAC coincides with the CMS posting of the official updated 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs).

The following additional resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 CQMs:

MedlinePlus Connect now Supports ICD-10-CM!

MedlinePlus ConnectMedlinePlus Connect now supports queries using ICD-10-CM codes. Upon receiving a problem code request with an ICD-10-CM code, MedlinePlus Connect returns relevant, patient-friendly health information from MedlinePlus, Genetics Home Reference, and other reliable health resources. MedlinePlus Connect will continue to support ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT codes for problem code requests.

Learn more on the MedlinePlus Connect Web application documentation and Web service documentation webpages!

Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 2-8, 2014!

March 2-8, 2014, is Patient Safety Awareness Week, established by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), which supports “Creating a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm.” The National Library of Medicine (NLM) supports the work to keep patients and healthcare providers free from harm by making available quality health information. Following is information from the NLM MedlinePlus Patient Safety health topic Web page that describes actions patients can take:

You can help prevent medical errors by being an active member of your health care team. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results. To reduce the risk of medical errors, you can:

  • Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Take a relative or friend to your doctor appointment to help you ask questions and understand answers.
  • Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery.
  • Tell your health care provider(s) about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements. Tell them if you have any allergies or bad reactions to anesthesia. Make sure you know how to take your medications correctly.
  • Get a second opinion about treatment options.
  • Keep a copy of your own health history.