HealthLeaders Media IT - April 15, 2008 | Say What?
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HealthLeaders IT

Say What?
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

I participate in a public speaking group, and one of our goals is communicating without using clichés, jargon, and hyperbole. This is no easy goal for someone steeped in healthcare IT, as I am deluged with all three. By way of example, I offer the following excerpts from recent press releases. These appear in their raw, unedited form (with the exception of a hospital name I excised), bizarre capitalization and all. [Read More]
April 15, 2008  
Editor's Picks
Medicine mix-ups harm hospitalized kids
A new detection method finds that medicine mix-ups, accidental overdoses and bad drug reactions harm roughly one out of 15 hospitalized children, a number far higher than earlier estimates. The findings bolster concerns already heightened by well publicized cases like the accidental drug overdose of actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins. This article does not discuss any technological approach to solving this problem. However, it is the driver of computerized order entry systems in the inpatient setting. As Brian Jacobs explained to me in a feature article we ran, pediatric medication is very dose- and weight-sensitive. Clinicians need all the tools they can get to prevent errors. [Read More]

More UCLA records abuses
A UCLA Medical Center worker who sneaked into the confidential medical records of actress Farrah Fawcett also improperly viewed the electronic files of 32 other celebrities, politicians, and high-profile patients. The breaches expose UCLA to sanctions by the state of California, and are a major embarrassment for one of the nation's preeminent medical centers. The UCLA employee allegedly looked up information on noncelebrity patients as well. This story is a follow-up to a major news event at UCLA. It highlights the importance of patient privacy, and also underscores how electronic patient record systems can keep track of inappropriate access, something that is all but impossible with paper charts. [Read More]

In shift to digital, more repeat mammograms
In the United States, 32% of mammography clinics now have at least one digital machine, up from only 10% in 2006. Eventually, film will be phased out, but progress is causing some centers to repeat mammogram tests for some patients. During this transition period, doctors are learning to interpret digital mammograms and compare them to patients' previous x-ray films. The digital and film versions can sometimes be hard to reconcile, and radiologists may be more likely to play it safe by requesting additional x-rays and/or biopsies. What is astounding is the rapid growth of digital mammography, just within a couple of years. The technology is maturing, and apparently coming down in price as well. The transition away from film, however, will not be easy. [Read More]

Vermont mulls data exchange fees
In the absence of federal leadership, the states are trying to figure out how to make data exchanges happen. This article updates the political battle going on in Vermont over the appropriate use of a fee imposed on medical claims transactions to pay the way. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
Hopkins performs first U.S. ’six-way’ transplants
Baltimore Sun - April 9, 2008

Effectiveness of medical privacy law is questioned
Los Angeles Times - April 9, 2008

Regulators fine Digirad for nuclear medicine violations
Health Imaging News - April 15, 2008
Events & Product News
'Evacusled' devices help hospitals evacuate

Telemedicine award announced

Cerner adding blood management software
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders April 2008Faith in the Hospital
In a shifting healthcare world, faith-based systems face a new set of challenges in their quest to stay true to their mission. [Read More]
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