s Health Information Technology Links to 27 May 2012 | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Health Information Technology Links to 27 May 2012

Dr David More

articles by this author...

From a Medical IT Perspective: I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology. There is no choice.. it has to be made to work! That is why I keep typing. Disclaimer - Please note all the commentary are personal views based on the best evidence available to me - If I have it wrong let me know!

Visit my blog http://aushealthit.blogspot.com/

This blog has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on how things are progressing in e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Person-controlled Electronic Health Record. From Recommendation To Reality NOT!

I thought it would be useful to have a close look at where the NEHRS (PCEHR) sprang from and just how poor the thinking around its conception was. Here are the key message and the recommendations of an amazingly short 16 page document (removing the duplicated recommendations) that started all this:

The document is date 30 April 2009 and can be downloaded in full from here:


This document is a late addendum to the Interim Report of the National Health and Hospitals Commission and was released just before the final report in June 2009.

Person-controlled Electronic Health Records

Key messages

o Health care is knowledge intensive. The timely and accurate communication of pertinent, up-to-date health details of an individual can enhance the quality, safety and continuity of health care.

o Current health information systems are disjointed, which often results in health care professionals operating with incomplete or incorrect patient information. It is estimated that up to 18 per cent of medical errors are a result of inadequate availability of patient information.

o As technology, work practices and medical knowledge continue to evolve in the coming years, the complexity of health care interactions will become greater, which means the need to document and readily access a patient’s health profile will become more critical.

o A person-controlled electronic health record would enable people to take a more active role in managing their health and making informed health care decisions.

o Investment in health IT lags well behind that of other information-centric consumer industries such as the financial and telecommunication industries, which have invested heavily over the last 20-30 years to achieve global connectivity.

o According to recent research commissioned by the National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), 82 per cent of consumers in Australia support the establishment of an electronic health record (EHR).

o The implementation and widespread use of information technology in the health sector (e-health) is one of the most important enablers of personal health management and quality health care.

o The overall economic benefit from increased productivity and reduced adverse events that would be achieved with a national individual electronic health record in Australia has been estimated to be between $6.7 billion and $7.9 billion in 2008-09 dollars over 10 years.

o The protection of privacy and confidentiality is a key factor in winning widespread community acceptance and uptake of electronic health records.

o Health providers and the IT industry must work together to develop open, nationally-agreed standards for the secure electronic capture and storage of personal health information.

o The essential role of governments in a new e-health environment is to protect the public’s interest through legislative reform and ensuring people retain control over who has access to their personal health information.

Here are the recommendations.


1. We propose that, by 2012:

every Australian should be able to have a personal electronic health record that will at all times be owned and controlled by that person;

every Australian should be able to approve designated health care providers to have authorised access to their personal electronic health record; and

every Australian should be able to choose where and how their personal electronic health record will be stored, backed-up, and retrieved.

2. We propose that the Commonwealth Government legislate to ensure the privacy of a person’s electronic health data, while enabling secure access to the data by the person’s authorised health providers.

3. We propose that the Commonwealth Government must introduce:

unique personal identifiers for health care by 1 July 2010;

unique health professional identifiers (HPI-I), beginning with all nationally registered health professionals, by 1 July 2010;

a system for verifying the authenticity of patients and professionals for this purpose - a national authentication service for health (NASH) - by 1 July 2010; and

unique health professional organisation (facility and health service) identifiers (HPI-O) by 1 July 2010.

4. We propose that Australian governments drive the national development of open technical standards for e-health, and that they secure national agreement to open technical standards for e-health by 2011-12. These standards should include key requirements such as interoperability, compliance and security. The standards should be developed with the participation and commitment of industry, health professionals, and consumers.

5. We propose that the Commonwealth Government develop and implement an appropriate national social marketing strategy to inform consumers and health professionals about the significant benefits and safeguards of the proposed e-health approach.

6. We propose that significant funding and resources be made available to extend e-health teaching, training, change management and support to health care practitioners. The commitment to, and adoption of, e-health solutions by health care providers is key to the success of a person-controlled electronic health record.

7. We propose that the Commonwealth Government mandate that the payment of public and private benefits for all health and aged care services be dependent upon the provision of data to patients, their authorised carers, and their authorised health providers, in a format that can be integrated into a personal electronic health record, such that:

hospitals must provide key data, such as referral and discharge information, by 1 July 2012;

pathology providers and diagnostic imaging providers must provide key data, such as reports of investigations and supplementary information, by 1 July 2012;

other health service providers - including general practitioners, medical and non-medical specialists, pharmacists and other health and aged care providers - must transmit key data, such as referral and discharge information, prescribed and dispensed medications and synopses of diagnosis and treatment, by 1 January 2013; and

all health care providers must be able to accept data from other health care providers by 2013.

---- End Extract.

With a month to go it is clear we are nowhere near what was envisaged a little over 3 years ago and funded to the extent of almost $2 billion 2 years ago.

As you read the document it seems clear to me there is confusion about just what is being recommended and what it will do.

As always the Key Messages includes problems with information access and flows causing problems but totally lacks any clarity on just how much of the problem will be fixed by what is being proposed.

It is always good to also know that 82% of the public support something that they have no clear idea as to exactly what it is - like an EHR and I won’t even comment on the benefits claimed as they were claimed in the absence of any understanding as to what the system might actually do.

As far as the recommendations and the time frames suggested they do seem just a little ambitious (verging on fantasy even). (According the .pdf the author of the document is Peter one Broadhead who is an executive in DoHA who was involved in the NHHRC process but is now not even apparently associated with e-Health (if Google is to be believed) - smart man is all I can say.)

I will note in passing NASH is still not there, identifiers are not used by the majority of patients or practitioners, hospital are not ready to transmit information to repositories and there is hardly any planned personal control of where an individual’s information is held. And just how does one ‘own’ a clinical record that is in the hands of the Government?

Essentially the PCEHR is a thought bubble that has drifted off the reservation and will never deliver what was intended then and even what was planned when funding was allocated. It really is a model bureaucratic implementation fiasco.


Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, May 27, 2012 3 comments


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Senate Estimates Hearings On E-Health Are Being Held 30th May 2012. Will Be Interesting.

As of Sunday May 27 2012 here is the program:


Health and Ageing Portfolio

Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)

7:15pm – 8:15pm

Outcome 10 Health System Capacity and Quality

Program 10.2: e-Health Implementation

National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA)

The link to the page is found here:


Here is the link to access the hearings and outcomes



Live broadcasts

Senate estimates hearings are broadcast live over the Internet. Details can be found here.

Hansard transcripts

· To view the current transcript production status of Senate Legislation Committees considering estimates see the Estimates Transcript Schedule.

· To view published Hansards please visit Parlinfo.

----- End Extract.

Enjoy the hearing. Doubtless I will have a few words to say later in the week.



Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, May 27, 2012 0 comments


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Saturday, May 26, 2012


Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 26th May, 2012.

Here are a few I have come across last week.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.



National report shows surge in e-prescribing among health practitioners

By Erin McCann, Associate Editor

Created 05/17/2012

ARLINGTON, VA – By the end of 2011, 58 percent of office-based physicians were using e-prescribing, with solo practitioners contributing the most significant growth, according to Surescripts, which released today “The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare Year 2011.”

Included in the report is data analysis that documents the prevalence of e-prescribing adoption and use in the United States from 2008 through 2011.



ONCHIT programs that assess HIT individual competence

Author Name : Stephen C. Burrows, DPM, MBA | Date : May 17, 2012

Many health professions have a mechanism for certifying individuals as to their knowledge and competence. While there have been a few to certify individuals in the field of healthcare information technology (HIT), none have dominated the field.

As part of a nationwide strategic plan for advancing the use of healthcare IT, Congress passed the HITECH Act and provided a significant amount of grant money for a number of initiatives. Included is a knowledge assessment program for HIT Professionals known as the Competency Examination Program. According to the ONCHIT, this program will “enable health IT professionals, employers, and other stakeholders to assess their own health IT competency levels or the competency of their health IT staff members, as appropriate.”



New HL7 program seeks to spur EHR participation

By Erin McCann, Associate Editor

Created 05/17/2012

ANN ARBOR, MI – Health Level Seven International (HL7) announced Wednesday the inception of its pilot membership program and launched a website aimed at increasing caregivers’ participation in the development of electronic health record (EHR) standards.

"For several years, the HL7 leadership has voiced its concerns about the typical first encounter with the standards development process,” said Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7. However, he added, “Now we are in a better position to translate the practical clinical expertise of these caregivers into tangible improvements in the interaction with the health record technology."



Experts get creative in protecting patient IDs in audit trails

May 18, 2012 | By Ken Terry

A body that advises the state of Massachusetts about health information exchanges has devised an unusual approach to maintaining the privacy of patient information while allowing the use of audit trails.

In a recent blog post, John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, explained that the technology workgroup of the Massachusetts State HIE Advisory Committee recently grappled with an issue that arises from the use of the Direct secure messaging protocol: When one provider sends a Direct message to another, it is surrounded by an electronic "envelope" that contains key information about senders, receivers and content in the form of metadata. While unauthorized parties cannot access that information, it is also unavailable for audit purposes.



Hospitals enlist vendors for data analytics help

By Susan D. Hall

Created May 17 2012 - 11:55am

Providers are increasingly turning to big tech companies to help their data mining efforts, according to an article [1] at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Vendors such as Microsoft, SAS, IBM and Oracle are giving mounds of data the once-over in an analytics industry that generated more than $30 billion last year, according to research firm IDC. That figure is expected to grow to $33.6 billion in 2012--and healthcare is a leading customer.

The article gives some enticing examples.

For example, a hospital in Washington, D.C., called in Microsoft to help look at readmission rates--the data helped pinpoint the infected room.



Google ranks high for health research, but all search engines lacking

By mdhirsch

Created May 17 2012 - 12:04pm

The top four search engines all provide "rich" health and medical information, but none of them stand out as the best, according to a new study [1] published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The researchers, from the University of Missouri and China, compared the top four search engines--Google, Bing, Ask.com and Yahoo!--for usability and search validity. They noted that most people use just one search engine when conducting research on a health-related topic, and then view the websites only on the first page of the search. The researchers wondered if this was the best way to obtain information.



JAMIA: Why do some providers use HIEs and others not?

Written by Jeff Byers

May 15, 2012

Understanding end users' perspectives towards health information exchange (HIE) technology is crucial to the long-term success of HIE, according to researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., who developed an in-depth understanding of HIE usage by applying qualitative methods.

Publishing their findings in the May edition of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Kim M. Unertl, PhD, department of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt Implementation Sciences Laboratory, and colleagues conducted an ethnographic qualitative study from January to August 2009 in six emergency departments (EDs) and eight ambulatory clinics in Memphis, Tenn.



Diabetes mobile app bolsters role of pharmacists in patient adherence

Posted By Stephanie Baum On May 16, 2012 @ 5:48 pm In MedCity News eNewsletter,SYN,

One of the most significant factors influencing healthcare costs is patient adherence [1]or lack thereof. If diabetes patients don’t take their medications, watch what they eat and monitor their blood-glucose levels, they risk complications that can lead to hospitalization.

A semifinalist in Sanofi US’ (NYSE:SNY) Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge [2], iRetainRx [3] believes it can overcome that challenge by providing a cloud-based system to help patients and caregivers connect with pharmacists and providers. Using a mobile device such as a computer, iPad or smartphone, they can get a video link to their pharmacist to get answers to questions and pharmacists can call attention to issues such as risky drug interactions.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Look at Social Media in Health Care -- Two Years Later

by John Sharp

Two years ago I wrote an iHealthBeat Perspective, titled, "Social Media in Health Care: Barriers and Future Trends." Let's take a look at how far we have come and whether my predictions are on target.

Online Communities and e-Patients

Since 2010, pharmaceutical companies have joined startups, patient communities and providers in the social media realm. Many startups, particularly those enabling patient communities, have matured and broadened their scope. PatientsLikeMe has expanded to more than 1,000 conditions, CureTogether has gained the attention of major press outlets and 23andMe is defining personal genomics.

In addition, both PatientsLikeMe and 23andMe have published results in medical journals, bringing further validation to social networks and social media as having legitimate contributions to medicine. A PatientsLikeMe study, titled "Perceived Benefits of Sharing Health Data Between People With Epilepsy on an Online Platform," was published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, and a 23andMe study, titled "Efficient Replication of Over 180 Genetic Associations With Self-Reported Medical Data," was published in PLoS One, as well as the Journal of Medical Internet Research.



Data-Mining in Doctor's Office Helps Solve Medical Mysteries

By Jordan Robertson on May 15, 2012

When hospitals turn to Microsoft Corp., it's no longer just for the latest office software. Some are asking the technology giant for help in diagnosing their patients.

In one instance, a hospital in Washington, D.C., asked Microsoft to examine its medical records to determine why certain patients were getting sick soon after being discharged. The company crunched the data from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and found something surprising: Patients who stayed in the same room had come down with the same infection.

"There was a bug in the room -- people were getting infected," Scott Charney, vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group, said recently at a security conference. Such infections are often caused by bacteria on medical instruments or furniture.



No 'bubble' for healthcare IT, analysts say

By Larry McClain, Contributing Writer

Created 05/16/2012

NASHVILLE, TN – Leading financial analysts scoffed at the notion of a healthcare IT “bubble” that could slow the pace of mergers and acquisitions this year. Speaking on a panel called “Financing The Deal” at the Nashville Health Care Council, they predicted that 2012 M&A activity would be brisk, though not superheated.

In the health IT sector, there’s currently a glut of buyers and not enough companies to acquire. There are many non-healthcare players like Lockheed-Martin wanting to buy healthcare IT companies – and many suitors for a limited number of clinical decision support companies. “There are still a lot of great opportunities for technology-enabled healthcare companies with a demonstrable ROI,” said David Jahns, managing partner at Galen Partners.



3M Health Data Dictionary Going Open Source

Joseph Goedert

MAY 16, 2012 12:31pm ET

3M Health Information Systems will release a public version of its Healthcare Data Dictionary as open source software, making it free and available worldwide.

Placing the dictionary, called HDD, in the open source market is part of a contract 3M has reached with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The departments will use HDD to enable semantic interoperability for its integrated electronic health record initiative.

Semantic interoperability enables the exchange of data with the meaning of data preserved, such as to normalize test results, which vary depending on the lab doing a particular test and the system it uses.



Barriers to mainstream genetic tests remain

By danb

Created May 16 2012 - 12:22pm

Although genome sequencing has shown promise as a tool for the type of preventive care that will be necessary for successful accountable care, several drawbacks--such as the potential for over-treatment--remain, according to a Wall Street Journal article [1].

In particular, over-treatment could result from unique genetic variations in each patient that could, at first, raise concerns, but ultimately might not cause any disease, Michael Watson, executive director of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, told WSJ.



Even opt-in doesn't protect data exchange privacy

By danb

Created May 16 2012 - 1:58pm

The healthcare industry still has room for improvement when it comes to health information exchange privacy, even in states that have an opt-in or opt-out option, according to a recent article [1] from Bloomberg News.

Although not all states are required to tell patients if their medical data is being used, even those that do so aren't necessarily doing a good job, according to the article. In New York, for example, a state with an opt-in option for patients, studies published in March by the state's civil liberties union and the Consumers Union [2] determined privacy "rules of the road" to be undefined, patient education efforts to be weak, and the opt-in effort to be too broad. As it stands, a one-time opt-in allows "blanket permission" by providers to release all medical information.



May 13, 2012

Exploring the Role of Mobile Technology as a Health Care Helper


Two decades ago, a woman having a difficult birth in a Ugandan village would have had few options to get life-saving treatment if there was not a nearby health clinic. But today, mobile technology can help her get advice from a doctor in Kampala over the telephone, alert a community health worker about her situation, or even get her to a hospital.

Mobile technology is changing the landscape of health care delivery across the developing world by giving people who live in rural villages the ability to connect with doctors, nurses and other health care workers in major cities.

“Now, a phone call can compress the time that it would have taken before to come to that decision point and get the woman care more often and quickly,” said Dr. Alain Labrique, a professor of International Health and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.



Dr. Farzad Mostashari: 5 things government can do to improve health technology

By Chelsea Conaboy

Globe Staff

May 15, 2012

What is the government’s role in developing new technology? Some would say to stay out of the way. Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for health information technology, said that’s overly cynical.

But, Mostashari said in an interview, government is no longer the major producer of innovative products and services that it once was, creating things for military purposes or space exploration that work their way into the consumer market.

“That’s not the model anymore,” he said. “The investments in research and development that are going on in the consumer technology space are now dwarfing the investment and innovation that are happening in, say, the military.”



ONC Announces Creation of CMO Role, Office of Consumer eHealth

May 16, 2012

In a blog post by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has announced the creation of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and an Office of Consumer eHealth. The primary function of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer will be to infuse a clinical perspective across ONC on all activities which have clinical implications. The Office of Consumer eHealth will work on consumer engagement.



Report: HIEs failing at true interoperability

By Mike Miliard, Contributing Editor

While some $560 million in federal health information exchange funding may soon run dry, changing reimbursement models mean market-driven growth will continue, says a new report on HIEs from Chilmark Research.

Profiling 22 HIE vendors, the study, "2012 HIE Market Report: Analysis and Trends," shows a market that's evolving, making the shift toward serving healthcare organizations of all sizes as they position themselves for payment reform, its authors say.

Increasing HIE technology adoption is spurred by two factors, say researchers. First is the need to meet proposed Stage 2 meaningful use requirements, which put a far greater emphasis on data exchange. More crucially, big changes on the horizon with regard to reimbursement means healthcare organizations are implementing HIE technology to support community-wide care coordination.



Top 9 fraud and abuse areas big data tools can target

By Roger Foster, Senior director, DRC’s high performance technologies group, and advisory board member of the technology management program at George Mason University

Fraud and the abuse of healthcare services in the U.S. cost an estimated $125-175 billion annually. This represents the second largest component of the $600-850 billion surplus in healthcare spending. Healthcare organizations and government agencies must leverage big-data collections of patient records and financial billing to identify and eliminate system abuses.



Web First: Q&A with Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman

By Bernie Monegain, Editor

Created 05/15/2012

CHICAGO – In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location, they say. In healthcare IT, you might say it’s about integration, integration, integration. Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman is keenly aware of how critical product integration is, he says, and he’s working on it. It’s the difficulties with integration that seem to have led to the EHR company’s recent troubles – at least it’s what Allscripts customers and analysts mention most often. Then came April 25 and the ousting of Allscripts’ board chairman, which triggered three board members to quit in protest, the departure of its CFO (for reasons unrelated, according to the company) and a dismal quarterly report, all of which led to stock price plunging 44 percent.



Living in a box

Health minister Earl Howe launched South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s MyHealthBox project on Tuesday. Reporter Rebecca Todd went along to hear more about the innovative online patient records scheme.

15 May 2012

“Exciting” was the word of the day for speakers at the launch of MyHealthBox. “Innovative” and “empowering” also popped up more than once as people spoke about why patient controlled records are a good idea.

MyHealthBox uses Microsoft’s HealthVault platform to create a patient record for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s service users.

The online portal can pull data from the trust’s Electronic Patient Journey System and from primary care - and patients can contribute to it themselves.



Maudsley launches HealthVault-based PHR

15 May 2012 Rebecca Todd

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is today launching personal online health records for its patients, using Microsoft’s HealthVault platform.

Director of information strategy, Mike Denis, presented on the MyHealthBox project at the Health+In4matics conference in Birmingham last week.

He told attendees the project was a partnership between the trust, the Institute of Psychiatry and service users. It aims to improve patients’ engagement in their care and the use of outcome measurements across the trust.



Debate: Can mobile apps achieve what pills can't?

By Susan D. Hall

Created May 15 2012 - 12:47pm

In a pair of point-counterpoint articles [1] at Forbes, contributors Dave Chase and David Shaywitz face off on the question of whether mobile apps could someday be more effective than prescription drugs--a response to health app company Happtique's plans to build a platform for physicians to "prescribe" apps to their patients [2].

Chase, the CEO of patient portal and relationship-management company Avado.com, sounds a dire warning [3] that apps pose a huge threat to a lethargic pharma industry. He likens pharma execs to those of the newspaper industry 15 years ago, who saw the landscape changing around them, but did too little to adapt.

Chase urges pharma execs to get out of the stands and put more skin in the game in terms of money and people.



New research disputes claims EHRs improve diabetes care

By Susan D. Hall

Created May 15 2012 - 1:24pm

Contrary to previous research, the use of electronic health records failed to improve care for diabetic patients in a study [1] published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey researchers compared data from 16 practices in the Northeast that used EHRs and 26 practices that did not, assessing the care for 798 patients.

They found, in fact, that patients at clinics using paper records were more likely to meet all of three targets for hemoglobin A1c levels, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and blood pressure after two years than those in practices that used EHRs.



Berwick on Analytics: Technology Is Ready, but Doctors Need Help

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 15, 2012

If Marcus Welby, MD, were practicing on TV today, would he be letting data drive his decision-making? I'm on a journey to find the answer to this and related questions. Last week this journey took me to Atlanta for a HealthLeaders Media Roundtable on business intelligence and predictive analytics, and then onward to North Carolina for a conference dedicated to healthcare analytics.

While in North Carolina, I got to sit down with Don Berwick, MD, former administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and prior to that, founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. We talked about data analytics, but our discussion ranged far and wide around healthcare IT. Here is a portion of our conversation.



7 common myths about data encryption

By Michelle McNickle, Web Content Producer

Created 05/14/2012

Although data encryption is becoming a valuable resource to protect against breached PHI, according to a new report by WinMagic Data Security, certain myths and misconceptions about it still exists.

"IT professionals, at the enterprise level, frequently turn to encryption for protecting data," read the report. "Although encryption is a proven technology that delivers strong, effective data security, common myths and misconceptions about it persist, even among some people who are generally knowledgeable about computers. All too often, the myths surrounding encryption are based on misunderstanding of the technology or outdated concepts."

The report outlines and debunks seven common myths about data encryption.



Defense Department outlines joint EHR plans

By Joseph Conn

Posted: May 14, 2012 - 4:00 pm ET

The Defense Department has released an outline of how the proposed joint electronic health-record system for use by the Military Health System and the Veterans Affairs Department's healthcare organization is to be developed.

The 55 page report (PDF), "Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture to Guide the Transition of the DoD Electronic Health Record, and Related Matters," was submitted to Congress by Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

The "envisioned target state" of the joint EHR is "a coordinated, 'best-of-breed' approach that includes a mix of existing SOA (service-oriented architecture)-compliant capabilities, commercial-off-the-shelf, open-source and custom systems." The Defense Department's Manpower Data Center will be the "single identity management source," the report said, while the department's Defense Information Systems Agency will run the EHR's data centers. The EHR will have a common user interface.



Emphasis on Support in Decision Support

Greg Freeman for HealthLeaders Media , May 14, 2012

This article appears in the May 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Computer-based clinical decision-support systems offer great opportunities to improve care and reduce costs, but healthcare leaders have to remember who's ultimately in charge: the human operating the computer. Implementing even the best technology for decision support can become a costly, frustrating failure that ultimately degrades patient care if you don't factor in the human element.

That was one of the lessons learned when Penn Medicine in Philadelphia adopted a computerized physician order entry system. Penn Medicine used the Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager to achieve 100% CPOE in the inpatient setting. In addition, 1,800 physicians actively use the Epic electronic medical record system in the ambulatory setting.

Physicians make about 15 million hits per year in Penn's internally developed physician portal to view patient information and results. All physicians have access to an internally developed data warehouse that maintains 2.4 billion rows of data to help ensure patient safety and quality care, as well as support clinical trials and research.



ONC taps public for help on nationwide exchange

By Mary Mosquera, Contributing Editor

Created 05/14/2012

WASHINGTON – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is calling for public comment on proposals for rules of the road to govern the nationwide health information network (NwHIN).

ONC will use the comments to help it develop a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), according to a May 11 announcement in the Federal Register preview section. Once it is officially published May 15, the public will have 30 days to offer its views.

ONC seeks help on a range of topics, including the creation of a voluntary program under which entities that enable electronic health information exchange could be validated based on meeting ONC-established “conditions for trusted exchange.” ONC also wants to hear views about the scope and requirements included in the initial conditions for trusted exchange and processes used to revise them over time.



SaaS EMRs gaining favor, says KLAS

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor

Created 05/14/2012

OREM, UT – More and more providers are taking software-as-a-service EMRs seriously, according to a new KLAS report. They're intrigued by the systems' lower price and easy maintenance, and reassured by advances in the security of cloud-based data storage.

The study, "SaaS EMR 2012: Is It For You?" assesses the performance of software-as-a-service EMR products from vendors including AdvancedMD, athenahealth, Bizmatics, CureMD, MedPlus/Quest Diagnostics, MIE, OptumInsight, Practice Fusion, Sevocity and Waiting RoomSolutions.



NHS Direct to pilot GP appointment app

11 May 2012 Chris Thorne

NHS Direct is considering a pilot that will allow patients in Lincolnshire to use a smartphone app to book appointments with their GP.

EHealth Insider understands that negotiations are taking place with some GPs in Lincolnshire to start allowing practice systems to directly interface with NHS Direct, for a trial to start this autumn.

The trial would involve patients using a GP appointment booking smartphone app or the NHS Direct website to book their own appointment, linking directly into the GP system.



Telemedicine, mHealth will connect with EHRs when providers are motivated

By kterry

Created May 14 2012 - 6:34am

In a discussion at the recent American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference, panelists bewailed the absence of electronic health record vendors from the meeting, according to a post [1] in NHIN Watch.

"Politically, commercially--it's an issue," said Hon Park, M.D., CEO of Diversinet, which provides secure two-way connectivity for mHealth applications. Pak said that mHealth apps, EHRs, and health information exchanges must be integrated for effective care coordination, according to the post.

Michael Lemnitzer, an executive with Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, said his company is "working aggressively" with EHR vendors to develop interfaces, because 90 percent of Philips' contracts with healthcare providers require connectivity with EHRs. Lemnitzer predicted that by 2015, the majority of EHR companies would have interfaces for telemedicine applications. For that to happen, he said, more interoperability standards would be necessary, according to the post.



Tablet Use Nearly Doubles Among Doctors Since 2011: Report

By: Brian T. Horowitz


With the Apple iPad the most popular mobile device, doctors have almost doubled their use of tablets in the last year, according to a new report by Manhattan Research.

Doctors have nearly doubled their use of tablets since 2011, a May 10 report by Manhattan Research revealed.

In its annual "Taking the Pulse" study, Manhattan Research found that tablet use by doctors reached 62 percent in 2012, compared with 35 percent of physician tablet adoption in 2011.



VA's 7 steps to protect VLER data

By Mary Mosquera

The Veterans Affairs Department has described how it will protect the information of veterans and military service members that it shares as part of the virtual lifetime electronic record (VLER) program.

The VLER program enables the electronic sharing of health, benefit, disability determination and administrative data with VA, Defense Department and participants in the nationwide health information network (NwHIN) Exchange.

VA published in the May 11 Federal Register a notice of a Privacy Act System of Records, in which federal agencies detail how they will manage personal information according to federal security requirements. Robust privacy and security safeguards can increase trust and confidence in health information exchange.



Press Release

May 14, 2012, 8:58 a.m. EDT


InterSystems Launches Next Generation of HealthShare

Strategic Informatics Platform Enables Breakthrough Solutions For Connected Care and Active Analytics

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 14, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- InterSystems Corporation, a global leader in software for connected care, today launched the next generation of its InterSystems HealthShare(TM) strategic informatics platform for interoperability and active analytics. Designed originally for public health information exchanges (HIEs) at regional, state and national levels, HealthShare has been extended and rearchitected to also deliver the advanced technologies needed by integrated delivery networks (IDNs).



InterSystems' Revamped HIE Platform Mines Patient Data for Patterns

By: Brian T. Horowitz


InterSystems has launched a new version of its HealthSense platform that features data-modeling and enhanced analytics to allow doctors to search through unstructured data.

InterSystems, an IT vendor that powers many state health information exchange (HIE) platforms, has introduced a new version of its HealthSense record-exchange software that adds new data modeling and analytics capabilities.

Announced May 14, the latest version features InterSystems' iKnow technology, which allows doctors to search through unstructured narratives of patient histories. Most clinical data, such as images and text, are unstructured and in multiple file formats.



Monday, May 14, 2012

Business Partners: A New Risk to Health Data Security?

by John Moore, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter

Third-party business partners represent a significant security risk to health care providers, who may need several layers of protection to ensure the security of patient data.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule refers to third parties as "business associates" and defines them as individuals or organizations that handle protected health information, or PHI, in the course of working with a covered entity. The category may cover a range of companies, including data processing firms, IT consultants and cloud computing providers.

HIPAA's Security Rule calls for covered entities to create contracts with business associates to ensure that the partner "will appropriately safeguard" PHI. The HITECH Act of 2009 further strengthened HIPAA's rules regarding business associates and security obligations.


Stage 2 EHRs Require Meaningful Patient Engagement

Many of the government’s proposed Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria for e- health records won't be easy to meet. Here's how providers are meeting the challenge.

By Paul Cerrato, InformationWeek


May 14, 2012


URL: http://www.informationweek.com/news/healthcare/EMR/240000310

For many healthcare organizations, Stage 2 Meaningful Use feels more like Stage 2 cancer: a threat to life and limb. AdTech Ad

As written, the proposed regulations will require providers to give more than half of patients e-access to their health information; make sure more than 10% view, download, or transmit their health information to a third party; and provide more than 10% with EHR-generated educational resources.

Those are high hurdles, especially for smaller hospitals and practices. Several health IT and clinical stakeholders have taken the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to task on these issues.



Health Min to scrap electronic health records


14 May 2012

Prague, May 11 (CTK) - The IZIP patients' e-health files project, subsidised by the state-controlled VZP insurer for ten years now and widely criticised as disadvantageous for the state, will be wound up, Prime Minister Petr Necas and Health Minister Leos Heger agreed on Thursday, Heger's spokesman told CTK.

The VZP, the country's biggest health insurer whose board of managers comprises 10 representatives of the government and 20 representatives of parties in parliament, invested 1.8 billion crowns in the IZIP project in the past decade.

Heger's spokesman Vlastimil Srsen said an assessment of the project's hitherto results has shown that the IZIP does not work effectively. That is why the ministry has decided "not to protract the agony," he said.




Return to home

Submitted by Jack on Fri, 28/02/2014 - 04:08.

Immune system disorders cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body's ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infection. Allergies result from the immune system's overreaction to a non-threatening foreign substance. Foods and inhaled particles like pollen and pet dander are the most common allergens (substances causing allergic reactions). When the immune system senses an allergen, it stimulates the release of chemicals such as histamine.
Symptoms of the resulting allergic reaction can include breathing problems, eye irritation, rash, nasal congestion, or nausea and vomiting. Antihistamine medications can reduce symptoms, but avoiding allergen exposure is the best preventive treatment for allergies.
Asthma is a condition in which the immune system becomes overactive in the airways (bronchi) in the lungs. People with asthma suffer periodic episodes of constriction of their airways (bronchospasm), making it harder to breathe. Most people with asthma also have ongoing inflammation in their airways. Asthma treatment sometimes includes a daily inhaled corticosteroid, which reduces immune system over activity and inflammation.
Please call us today to discuss what concerns you might have at 770-534-0534 or visit us online @ http://www.aacng.com.

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