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Archive for the ‘Hospital Libraries’ Category

Hospitals and Social Media — a Quick Note

Connie Schardt, President of the Medical Library Association, recently posted the following notice to several listservs. Her main point is importnat enough to reprint here.

“An interesting blog post: — How Hospitals are Quietly Leading the Way with Social Media at Perhaps attitudes are starting to change about the use of social media within hospitals.”

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 Topics include electronic health records, telemedicine, and models for rural health care.

Telemedicine Using Remote Presence Robots

Last week, I attended the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Quality and Clinical Conference in Park City, UT. At the conference, Doug Romer, Executive Director-Patient Care Services at Grande Ronde Hospital in LaGrande, OR, gave a fascinating talk and demonstration of the “remote presence” telemedicine services provided by the hospital in conjunction with various partners.

The hospital uses an inTouch RP7 robot that can be controlled remotely by physicians not located at the hospital. The robot has a monitor, camera and audio system so that the patients and remote physician can see and hear each other.

At the conference, Mr. Romer conducted a live demo of the system using the hotel’s wireless Internet access — participants were able to communicate with a patient undergoing an ultrasound and see the results of the ultrasound live. We were instructed that the patient did not want to know the sex of the baby, so to please not reveal that information when we saw the ultrasound!

To see the system in action, view the video the hospital has made available on this page:

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:

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:

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 and click on “HIMSS09 Online Update.” You can visit the conference official Twitter feed at 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!%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 for the original article, and for some interesting commentary about the article.

Article on open source projects in health informatics

The International Journal of Medical Informatics has published an article entitled “The State and Profile of Open Source Projects in Health and Medical Informatics.” The study reviewed open source projects listed in the open source database SourceForge. The article concluded, “A wide range of OSS applications are in development, from bio-informatics to hospital information systems. A profile of OSS in health and medical informatics emerges that is distinct and unique to the health care field. Future research can focus on OSS acceptance and diffusion and impact on cost, efficiency and quality of health care.” Find a summary of the article at [SD]

New Study on Use of Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals

A new study detailing the use of electronic health records was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 25. The study showed a very low level of adoption of EHR’s in U.S. hospitals. You can read the paper here, and listen to an NPR interview with the paper’s author here.

Is your hospital eligible to receive recovery funds?

The Department of Health and Human Services is making $268 Million in Recovery Act funding available to support hospitals. Eligible hospitals are those that serve a disproportionate share of low-income or uninsured individuals and are known as Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH). States receive an annual allotment to make payments to DSH hospitals to account for higher costs associated with treating uninsured and low-income patients. This annual allotment is calculated by law and includes requirements to ensure that the DSH payments to hospitals are not higher than the actual costs incurred by the hospital to provide the uncompensated care. The Recovery Act increases the amount of allotments available to states from approximately $11.06 billion to $11.33 billion for 2009. You will find a list of hospitals on the state’s health services sites: Arizona, California, and Nevada. Hawaii is not slate for an increase in DSH funding for 2009.

[From HHS press release dated March 20, 2009]