HealthLeaders Media IT - July 17, 2007 | Too Much of a Good Thing
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Too Much of a Good Thing
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

I've been reporting these past few weeks on a story slated to appear in our September print issue, "EMR Wars." Yes, we work that far ahead. My story will analyze the prospects of automating the physician office practice, which is the toughest nut to crack in the clinical IT world. Despite all the hoopla, despite all the potential clinical and financial benefits, fewer than one-fourth of physician practices use EMRs to document their care. But as my story will point out, you are now beginning to see EMR implementations in the small group practices that dominate the industry. [Read More]
Gary Baldwin
July 17, 2007
Editor's Picks
A technological finger on the pulse of a busy ER
Thanks to reader Alina Tuttle-Melgar for sending me this story, about how Pocono Medical Center has implemented a patient tracking system it its busy ED. As the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal points out, flaws in workflow need to be addressed before wrapping IT around the operation. [Read More]

CMS to doctors: Stop using computer-generated faxes to send prescriptions
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing to revoke a rule that has allowed doctors sending prescriptions from their computers under the Medicare prescription drug benefit to use computer-generated faxes rather than digital data, reports Government Health IT. Such a change could have enormous impact. I have spoken with many physicians who use their EMR systems to print to fax, rather than sending a digital file, because the local pharmacy prefers the fax. If this ruling takes place, the government may be penalizing the wrong party. [Read More]

Call him 'Dr. Scrounge'
A New Haven physician launches a Web site that encourages hospitals to share reusable medical equipment and supplies with hospitals around the world. This story from the New Haven Register describes the effort of William Rosenblatt, MD, who has spent 16 years salvaging disposable surgical materials and old hospital equipment in New Haven, CT, and shipping it to remote corners of the planet. [Read More]

Seniors flock to the Web
Who says "old people" aren't tech savvy? This San Francisco Chronicle article (which originated in the Baltimore Sun) describes how senior citizens are becoming quite adept at using the Web to research health-related conditions and products. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
IT company to manage two healthcare data banks for HHS
Washington Post - July 17, 2007

Hospitals' online prices make watchdogs wary
AP/Chicago Tribune - July 17, 2007

Tampa, FL, hospital tries new cancer therapy
St. Petersburg Times - July 17, 2007

New NHIN standards website for vendors
Health Imaging News - July 17, 2007
Events & Product News
American Academy of Family Physicians names Jason Mitchell, MD, to IT post

Veterans Health Administration purchases Picis anesthesia software

MEDecision picked by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Founder of 'healthy hospital' effort receives entrepreneur award
From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders July 2007Challenge in Carolina
Safety-net provider. Teaching institution. Testing ground for new technology. UNC Health Care is all of these things-welcome to life as an academic medical center.[Read More]
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