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Archive for the ‘Informatics’ Category

EHR Meaningful Use and Standards Published

The Department of Health and Human Services has published the final version of the rules for EHR “meaningful use,” as well as EHR standards and certification criteria for electronic health records.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a summary of the meaningful use rules.

Electronic Health Record Resources

During the March 24 MLA webcast entitled “Now’s the Time: Understanding the Electronic Health Record Maze and the Health Sciences Librarians’ Role,” speaker Jan Willis recommended several websites to access information about electronic health records:

MEDLINE/PubMed Search & Electronic Health Record Information Resources
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/ehr.html

Health Information Technology and Health Data Standards at NLM
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/healthit.html

HHS Health Information Technology
http://www.healthit.hhs.gov/

In addition, you can access the Twitter page for the webcast at http://twitter.com/search?q=%23mlaehr. There you’ll find interesting comments from webcast viewers as well as many more links to valuable information about EHRs and PHRs.

EHR “Meaningful Use” Rule Resources

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the “HITECH Act,” which established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have updated a web page containing links to resources about the electronic health record “meaningful use” rule: see http://www.cms.hhs.gov/Recovery/11_HealthIT.asp. Links include a proposed definition, proposed requirements, and an FAQ.

Public Health Informatics Competencies

The CDC has published a document containing recommended public health informatics competencies. The purpose of competencies is to “enable public health professionals to leverage the power of modern information technology in the science and practice of public health.” See: http://www.cdc.gov/InformaticsCompetencies/.

2009 Report on Health Information Technology Adoption

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has published a new report on the rate of electronic health record adoption in hospitals. The report is entitled, “Health Information Technology in the United States: On the Cusp of Change, 2009.” The report discusses: “needed integration steps between performance measurement initiatives and HIT. Other topics covered include: adoption of electronic health records in U.S. hospitals, and specifically among hospitals that care for the poor; state roles in the advancement of HIT; and recent federal initiatives related to HIT.”

The report is available for download from http://www.rwjf.org/qualityequality/product.jsp?id=50308.

NRHA Quality and Clinical Conference handouts

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association Quality and Clinical Conference. The NRHA has made the handouts from the conference available at http://tinyurl.com/l48pgb. Topics include electronic health records, telemedicine, and models for rural health care.

Google Health and NLM

An interesting blog post from Google describing how the Google Health personal record system will work with NLM data vocabularies to ensure accuracy in patient’s personal records: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/listening-to-google-health-users.html.

Federal Government Open Source Gateway Software for EHRs

The federal government has announced open source gateway software, called Connect, which will allow the electronic health records of various federal agencies (including the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, and the Indian Health Service) to communicate with the Nationwide Health Information Network. See the Connect project site for more information: http://www.connectopensource.org/display/Gateway/2009/04.

Follow the HIMSS 09 conference online

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference is currently being held in Chicago, but even if you can’t attend, you can follow it online. Visit http://www.himssconference.org/ and click on “HIMSS09 Online Update.” You can visit the conference official Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/HIMSS. You can also follow comments about the conference using the #himss09 “Twitter hashtag” (a keyword that marks Twitter comments about a certain topic) — to see the updates, go to http://twitterfall.com/?trend=%23himss09!%23494234. Note that you don’t have to sign up for Twitter to view either for these since the updates are publicly published.

Cleveland Clinic Experiences with Microsoft HealthVault

The March 31 issue of The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper, published an article describing early patient experiences at the Cleveland Clinic with Microsoft HealthVault. Patients with chronic conditions, such as hypertension, take regular measurements that are sent to to Cleveland Clinic’s EHR system via HealthVault. Doctors at the clinic can monitor the results and adjust the patient’s treatment as needed. The article gives a real-world example and includes a video. See http://tinyurl.com/dk9uj3 for the original article, and http://tinyurl.com/c49qzs for some interesting commentary about the article.