s 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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Australian Health Information Technology Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 1st May, 2014.

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.

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.



Healthcare Role Eyed for Google Glass

Harry MacCormack, Contributing Editor

APR 24, 2014

Since the release of smartphones and the iPad, the healthcare industry has taken a keen interest in adopting portable computing for a clinical environment. And just as quickly as mobility has arrived, those form factors may have to make space for another new gadget, Google Glass.

Over the past two years, clinical staffs have been dipping their toes in the water with a handful of small experiments using Glass, and recent successes have led to a greater interest in the product as a viable medical tool.  Not only are doctors and hospitals intrigued by the prospect of Glass, a number of startups have emerged with the goal of building healthcare-specific software to make the most of Google’s hi-tech headgear. 

Google Glass—from search engine giant Google Inc.--comprises a pair of glasses equipped with a camera, microphone and small LCD display that connects to the user’s phone. Glass enables its users to record video and make gestural commands using the camera, as well as give voice commands over its built-in microphone, all while showing the user what they need through the display. 



73% of providers will continue on with ICD-10 despite delay

Author Name Jennifer Bresnick   |   Date April 24, 2014   |  

Nearly three-quarters of providers surveyed by Part B News aren’t letting the ICD-10 delay get them down.  The majority of respondents are more or less keeping to the plans they set in order to be ready for the new codes by 2014, even though they will have at least one extra year to prepare due to the recently mandated extension of the timeline.  While many of the 1100 providers cited financial outlay as one of their biggest concerns, average spending rates among the participants were far below the dire predictions made by the American Medical Association (AMA) earlier this year as they advocated for a pushback.

Among the most difficult obstacles encountered during the ICD-10 transition are documentation improvement (22%), staff reluctance to participate (19%), and a lack of testing opportunities (14%).  Scarce resources also made the list of serious concerns, and the delay is only compounding the worries over keeping the momentum going through another twelve months of preparation.



Survey: CIOs Committed To Their Vendor, But With Eyes Wide Open

04/23/2014 By Kate Gamble

CIOs Happy With Their Core Vendor, But Keeping Close Watch

Vendors, take note: If you don’t deliver, you’re out.

With CIOs facing mounting pressures, the relationship with their core vendor is becoming increasingly critical. And although most are generally satisfied, they’re willing to make some noise — or even walk — if things go south, according to the April healthsystemCIO.com Snap Survey, which found that 69 percent of CIOs have a “very good” relationship with their core vendor, and 63 percent find their vendor to be “very responsive.”

But while most CIOs are getting what they need, it doesn’t always happen right away — or without a little nudging. “Much of the time, our core vendor is very responsive,” noted one respondent. However, “in some instances, we have to push hard or wait longer than we’d like to get attention or to get in touch with the right people there who can make things happen.”



Physicians Find Security In The Cloud

4/24/2014 12:35 PM

Alison Diana

Healthcare practices are increasingly partnering with trusted cloud service providers to provide enhanced data security along with improved efficiency of IT operations.

A growing number of healthcare practices are finding that cloud services, once feared by security-conscious providers, are now proving to be a safer option than on-premises alternatives.

While only 4% of healthcare providers adopted the cloud in 2011, use of the vertical cloud is now growing by 20% annually, according to MarketandMarkets. By 2017, the researchers predict, healthcare organizations will spend $5.4 billion on cloud services.



Cyber Threats to Healthcare Systems, Medical Devices Rising

Greg Slabodkin

APR 23, 2014

Compared to other industries, healthcare is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks with the threats to health information continuing to mount as the industry moves to adopt electronic health records. Earlier this month, the FBI's Cyber Division issued a notice warning that healthcare systems and medical devices are at risk for increased cyber intrusions for financial gain.

"Cyber actors will likely increase cyber intrusions against healthcare systems--to include medical devices--due to mandatory transition from paper to electronic health records, lax cybersecurity standards, and a higher financial payout for medical records in the black market," according to the FBI. "The deadline to transition to EHR is January 2015, which will create an influx of new EHR coupled with more medical devices being connected to the Internet, generating a rich new environment for cyber criminals to exploit."



E-referrals to go live in November

24 April 2014   Lis Evenstad

The NHS e-referral service will go live in November this year, the Health and Social Care Information Centre has said.

At a recent supplier testing open day, the HSCIC gave a presentation on the service which will replace Choose and Book in order to make sure suppliers are prepared for the launch.

The system is based on open source technology and there will be a large focus on open standards, says the presentation.



DH rolls back GP records access promise

23 April 2014   Sam Sachdeva

The government’s pledge to give patients online access to their GP records by March 2015 has been scaled back again, with practices now only required to have a plan to provide access by the deadline.

The Department of Health’s 2012 NHS information strategy said that all GP practices would be expected to provide electronic booking, cancelling of appointments, online prescriptions, electronic  online access to their record to anyone who wants it by 2015.



500 GP practices to pilot care.data

23 April 2014   Lis Evenstad

Up to 500 GP practices will trial care.data in a phased roll out beginning this autumn, NHS England has announced.

In a letter to clinical commissioning groups and local area teams, NHS England’s director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, says that the delayed roll out of the controversial programme, which will extract data from GP practices, will begin with a pilot.

“This will involve a cohort of between 100 and 500 GP practices to trial, test, evaluate and refine the collection process ahead of a national roll out,” he says.



Tech could improve care for medically complex, low-income patients

April 24, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall

Focus groups concentrated on a key Medicaid population--medically and socially complex, low-income patients--revealed areas for which connected health initiatives could bring improvements, according to a blog post at Health Affairs.

The focus group participants were receiving services from case management/care coordination programs in New York state or Philadelphia.

These patients often have multiple conditions, including substance abuse and mental health issues, and have unstable living conditions. Many lack permanent housing, are homeless or live in shelters. 



FBI warns healthcare of vulnerability to cyberattacks

April 24, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall

The FBI has issued two warnings this month that healthcare organization systems, including medical devices, could be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

"The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely," it said in a "private industry notice," or PIN, issued April 8.



Medical Informatics: A Formal Subspecialty Whose Time Has Come

April 21, 2014 by Mark Hagland

Hospitals like Lucile Packard Children's Hospital are creating a professional pathway around clinical informatics

Things have been moving fast around the creation of a unique new subspecialty—clinical informatics. In 2011, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved clinical informatics as a clinical subspecialty, uniquely designed that physicians already boarded in virtually any specialty could sit for the clinical informatics examination.

The first examination was offered in the autumn of 2013, and also uniquely, the ABMS allowed for physicians to “grandfather” into the specialty via a practice pathway based on experience, or to qualify by earning a master’s degree program in the fi eld. That means that physicians already practicing as medical informaticists have until 2018 to grandfather in through experience and exam-taking.



Data Governance Required For Healthcare Data Warehouse

Before implementing its ambitious data warehouse, OhioHealth focused on data governance to ensure data is accurate, clean, and usable.

4/23/2014 09:06 AM

Alison Diana

For decades, the data OhioHealth staff collected resided in silos spread across its 10 hospitals and countless departments. Two years ago, the nonprofit healthcare organization began investing in data governance and an enterprise data warehouse to cleanse and safely store data so business users could access, analyze, and act on the critical information.

The advent of electronic health records (EHRs), e-prescriptions, accountable care organizations, and value-based payments that demand analysis of cost versus quality meant the family of eight hospitals and about 55 healthcare organizations could no longer continue treating data in this manner, said Dr. Mrunal Shah, a practicing physician and system VP for healthcare informatics at OhioHealth. It also meant the organization could not advance without a data warehouse -- a trusted, secure central repository for all information, he said in an interview.



FDA Proposes Expedited Access Program for High-Risk Medical Devices

Greg Slabodkin

APR 23, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comment on a proposal to create a new program to provide earlier access to certain high-risk medical devices.

These are devices that are intended to treat or diagnose patients with serious conditions whose medical needs are not being met by current technology. However, some stakeholders are critical of the approach, labeling it as not new and benefiting only a handful of medical device companies.



HIT leads list of top 10 safety concerns

Posted on Apr 23, 2014

By Erin McCann, Associate Editor

Health information technology systems have made their way to the No. 1 patient safety concern for healthcare organizations, according to the findings of a new ECRI industry report.

The report, which includes data on more than 300,000 safety event reports, underscores healthcare's top 10 patient safety concerns for 2014 and puts data integrity failures with HIT systems at the very top.

"Health IT systems are very complex," said James P. Keller, vice president of technology evaluation and safety at the ECRI Institute, in the report. "They are managing a lot of information, and it's easy to get something wrong."



Has the Meaningful Use program run its course?

April 23, 2014 | By Ashley Gold

Meaningful Use: It's just like high school, where you learned all the right facts for the test, but the knowledge didn't stick with you any longer than until the end of the semester. At least, that's the opinion of Dale Sanders, former CIO of Cayman Islands Health Services Administration and current senior vice president for strategy at Health Cataylst, writing in a post at healthsystemCIO.com.

"... [L]ike a teacher who 'teaches to the test,' the program created a very complicated system that might pass the test of MU, but is not producing meaningful results for patients and clinicians," Sanders writes. "It's time to put an end to the federal MU program, eliminate the costly administrative overhead of MU, remove the government subsidies that also create perverse incentives, and let 'survival of the fittest' play a bigger part in the process."



Rand: Stress value with new medical technology

April 23, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall

The federal government should provide incentives for pharmaceutical companies and device makers to produce products that help cut spending and ensure that the benefits of costlier advances justify their added expense, according to a new Rand Corp. report.

"We spend more than $2 trillion a year on healthcare in the U.S.--more per capita than any other nation--and the financial incentives for innovators, investors, physicians, hospitals and patients often lead to decisions that increase spending with little payback in terms of health improvement," Steven Garber, a Rand senior economist and principal investigator of the study, says in an announcement.



Supporting structure

The Royal College of Physicians would like structured letters to be created from structured records. That isn’t going to happen for a while yet, but digital dictation specialists are helping trusts and GPs to start moving in that direction. Fiona Barr reports.

Outpatient letters and discharge summaries created as structured documents from structured records are a tantalising prospect for the health service.

It is an idea that was set out by the Royal College of Physicians in its ‘Future Hospital’ report last year; and  one that is likely to be welcomed with open arms  by GPs.

It would mark a big change with the reality today; which is that outpatient letters are often unstructured, free text documents with large variations in content both between individual clinicians and within and between departments and hospitals.



BaseHealth launches a wellness platform that melds genomics and devices

By Derrick Harris

April 24, 2014

A startup called BaseHealth launched on Tuesday with a mission to deliver personalized wellness plans while keeping doctors very much in the picture. The company’s platform combines genetic data, lifestyle data and medical records to determine patients’ risks and how they can mitigate them.

Promising to reinvent preventative medicine by bringing genomic data, medical research and connected devices together in a single platform, a startup called BaseHealth launched on Tuesday. The company, which has raised $6.3 million from a group of investors led by RONA Holdings and Bobby Yazdani, hopes a personalized and predictive approach to will help patients identify their prospective problems and then take the right steps to prevent them.



Report: 40% of EHR Buyers Replacing Current System

Written by Helen Gregg (Twitter | Google+)  | April 22, 2014

About 40 percent of providers shopping for a new electronic health record system during the first quarter of 2014 were seeking a replacement for their current EHR, according to a survey from EHR reviewer Software Advice.

The percent of prospective buyers looking for a replacement EHR has grown 30 percent since the first quarter of 2013.



Health Systems First To Combine Radiology, EHR

The shared pediatric diagnostic imaging system that Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and New Jersey's Virtua have created goes beyond conventional health information exchange.

4/22/2014 10:05 AM

David F Carr

Going beyond health information exchange as a replacement for the fax machine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Virtua, a Southern New Jersey health system, have unified their radiology operations across electronic health records systems and state lines.

By deeply integrating imaging systems and EHRs, the two systems have made it possible to create an integrated health record that includes images captured at a Virtua facility and read by pediatric diagnostic imaging specialists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Even though CHOP, as it's known for short, is an Epic shop, and Virtua uses EHR software from Siemens, patient records are then synchronized across the two systems, with access to radiology reports and diagnostic images available from either one.



Physician Payment Data is Where the Action Is

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , April 22, 2014

Look beyond the EHR incentive program. A national effort to turn CMS's recent release of Medicare physician payment data into useful, actionable data visualizations is the hottest HIT challenge right now.

The days of building electronic medical record software are over.

Oh sure, EHRs will continue to get built, improved, "skinned," perhaps even reimagined.

But with the EHR incentive program beyond its peak, attention is shifting to other important aspects of the healthcare technology spectrum.

Last week in this space, I described how entire communities are engaging in friendly competition to leverage the many digital breadcrumbs that make up today's total population health picture.



Simulated cyber attack finds gaps in preparedness

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor

A group ranging from healthcare payers to medical centers participated in a series of exercises that simulated real cyber attacks on healthcare organizations, to see how well they could hold up under such an event.

The simulated attacks, called CyberRx, were conducted in partnership with HITRUST, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



HSCIC admits to four HES data breaches

9 April 2014   Jon Hoeksma

The Health and Social Care Information centre has admitted to repeated data breaches involving the Hospital Episode Statistics.

Documents obtained by MedConfidential in response to a Freedom of Information Act request say the HSCIC has records of one data breach for every year between 2009 and 2012.

The pressure group says it submitted the request after NHS England’s director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, told Radio 4’s Today programme that use of HES was covered by such strict rules that “in 25 years, there has never been a single episode in which the rules... have ever compromised a patient’s privacy.”



EHR tool reduces diagnostic tests

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

April 22, 2014 -- A health information exchange (HIE) tool in electronic health record (EHR) software can help avoid a significant number of diagnostic tests and procedures, according to researchers from Allina Health.

In a study published in the current issue of Applied Clinical Informatics (Vol. 5:2, pp. 388-401), a team led by Tamara Winden of Allina Health found that the Care Everywhere tool in their Excellian EHR software (Epic Systems) avoided 560 potentially duplicative diagnostic procedures, such as blood work and medical imaging exams, over a six-month period at four emergency departments (EDs).



Cloud choice no longer 'pie in the sky'

Posted on Apr 21, 2014

By John Andrews, Contributing Writer

Seems like the sky is the limit for cloud computing, whether it is to replace servers, manage mobile apps or handle system recovery. Cloud vendors are constantly coming up with new ways to utilize a platform that seemed like little more than vapor five years ago.

It was just that long ago that Alex Brown, CEO of Chicago-based 10th Magnitude, saw the cloud’s potential and became an evangelical about it. He concedes it was a tough sell at first.

“Initially people were skeptical and there were a lot of barriers,” he said. “It was hard getting traction with it – no one budged. But eventually small and mid-sized organizations realized they could reach their visions with the cloud because its affordability allowed them to finally compete with the big guys. Initially, they were our market.”



Privacy, security constant themes in DeSalvo's 2014 agenda

April 21, 2014 | By Ashley Gold

What's vital for 2014 on National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo's agenda?

Privacy and security, she told HealthcareInfoSecurity in a recent interview.

"We consider privacy and security an important part of the work that we do," DeSalvo said. "It's increasingly complex as we think through care models, mobile health, e-health, telehealth and the broader issues of big data and how we make certain that people's health information is first and foremost there to improve their care wherever they are ... but, as they desire, is also available [for research] to help advance the health system and population health overall."



Data-driven approach heads off alarms at Boston Children's

April 21, 2014 | By Ashley Gold

Seeking a way to confront a "quiet cacophony" of beeping, alarming bedside monitors, Boston Children's Hospital has tapped into predictive analytics to forecast changes in patients' conditions before alarms sound.

The Boston Globe reports that the hospital joined forces with a startup to analyze the data monitors put out, like vital signs or respiratory rates, and assess whether the patient's condition is at risk of getting worse.

"There are so many pieces of data coming at the physician. With almost 30 ICU patients, we're just inundated," Joshua Salvin, a pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children's, told the Boston Globe. "If we had something that could tell us where the hot spots are on the floor, we could direct resources to the most sick patients."



Managing Diabetes with Telemedicine

By Christine Vestal, Staff Writer

Diabetes afflicts more than 22 million Americans, or 7 percent of the total population, and the number of people diagnosed every year is skyrocketing.

At a cost of $245 billion in 2012, the disease’s toll on the economy has increased by more than 40 percent since 2007, according to a recent report from the American Diabetes Association.

Mississippi, which ranks second after West Virginia in the percentage of residents affected by the chronic disease, is taking steps to reduce devastating effects on the state economy and the overall health of Mississippians. Nearly 9 percent of Mississippians were diagnosed in 2012 with diabetes, and the $2.7 billion annual cost of diabetes represents nearly 3 percent of the state’s economy (gross state product).



Digital health startup pivots from wellness app to chronic condition care plans

April 18, 2014 6:00 am by Scott Wooldridge 

Everyone knows how to stay healthy – eat less, move more. It’s actually making those changes to daily life that is the hard part.
The same is not true for people living with diabetes or heart failure or kidney trouble. Treatment plans are complex and often hard to remember, particularly if you’re not feeling well.

Filament Labs is building a Patient IO to make it easier for sick people to take care of themselves.

Launched at the end of February, the app takes complex treatment plans and makes them digital. It offers patients and providers tools to ensure that care plans are followed, including medication reminders and vital sign tracking, such as blood pressure.



New Report Calls for MU3 to Foster Interoperability, National Health IT Architecture

Written by Helen Gregg (Twitter | Google+)  | April 18, 2014

A report recently released by JASON, an independent group of science and technology experts that often advises the federal government, calls on HHS to use meaningful use stage 3 to promote a standardized, national health IT architecture that would be a significant step toward interoperability.

"The criteria for stage 1 and stage 2 meaningful use, while surpassing the 2013 goals set forth by HHS for electronic health record adoption, fall short of achieving meaningful use in any practical sense," according to the report. HHS has the opportunity with meaningful use stage 3 to un-silo data with national standards that would foster data exchange for the national improvement of healthcare.



Review of Q1 2014 Federal Health IT Activity

by Helen R. Pfister, Susan R. Ingargiola and Dori Glanz, Manatt Health Solutions Monday, April 21, 2014

The federal government continued to implement the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, during the first quarter of 2014.


The first quarter of 2014 saw a number of important developments:

  • Final Rule Gives Patients Right to Access Laboratory Test Results. On Feb. 6, CMS, CDC and the Office for Civil Rights jointly issued a final rule that gives patients direct access to their laboratory test results. The final rule amends both the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 regulations.
  • HHS Strategic Plan Highlights Meaningful Use. On March 14, HHS released its five-year strategic plan for 2014 through 2018. The plan includes performance goals related to meaningful use, including increasing the number of primary care physicians that use electronic health records. The plan also identifies strategies to advance EHRs, such as using incentives, certification and grants to help increase EHR adoption.
  • ONC Releases Proposed Rule on 2015 EHR Certification Criteria. On Feb. 26, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, released a proposed rule that would specify the voluntary certification criteria that EHR developers and providers qualifying for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs may adopt starting in 2015. The 2015 criteria would clarify, update and add to the 2014 criteria and simplify the certification of certain EHR modules. The 2015 criteria proposed in the rule would be voluntary. No EHR technology developer that has certified its EHR technology to the 2014 Edition would need to recertify to the 2015 Edition in order for its customers to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs. Furthermore, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals would not need to upgrade to EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition in order to have EHR technology that meets the Certified EHR Technology definition. The proposed rule introduces the beginning of ONC's more frequent approach to health IT certification regulations. Under this approach, ONC intends to update certification criteria editions every 12 to 18 months in order to provide smaller, more incremental regulatory changes and policy proposals.



UK doctors launch new 'heart age' tool

Posted on Apr 11, 2014

By Dillan Yogendra, Managing Editor, HIMSS Europe

Risk calculators for cardiovascular disease (CVD; conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels) are nothing new – the Framingham risk calculator has been available for years. But the new JBS3 has many benefits:

  • Easily accessible online.
  • Provides what is considered an accurate risk estimation of experiencing a serious CVD event such as a heart attack or stroke.
  • Is of use to younger adults who could be on the route to a stroke or heart attack due to unhealthy lifestyle choices, even if short-term risk is low.

The calculator includes ‘heart age’ estimates and predicts the years they can be expected to enjoy without developing CVD. It also shows the benefits that people would experience if they made changes to their lifestyle such as stopping smoking or reducing blood pressure or cholesterol levels. The ultimate aim is to empower people to reduce their risk of CVD.



Facebook your doctor: the future NHS?

Posted on Mar 25, 2014

By Dillan Yogendra, Managing Editor, HIMSS Europe

ParkinsonNet is a dedicated website that links Dutch Parkinson’s disease sufferers with doctors and nurses who specialize in that disease area. It behaves like a Facebook for Parkinson’s patients. The professionals communicate and collaborate on the website, a place where patients can locate information about treatment, about the professionals themselves and what they do. If required, they can also request an at-home consultation via video link.

Since it was introduced in 2004, ParkinsonNet has expanded into 66 regional networks and links nearly 3000 professionals from 15 different disciplines to Parkinson’s patients all over The Netherlands.

Evidence presented by the researchers, from the Radboud University Medical Centre, suggests that the website ‘empowers patients, improves the quality of care, shifts care away from institutions and into the community and lowers healthcare costs’. The researchers concluded that the model could be successfully transferred to patients with other long-term conditions such as diabetes and breathing problems.



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