HealthLeaders Media IT - June 10, 2008 | Meeting of the Minds
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Meeting of the Minds
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

Earlier this year, some leading chief information officers gathered for an event that was touted by its sponsor, IT vendor Picis, as "Forward Thinking CIOs Debate Hot Issues Facing Hospitals in 2008." However, there was actually little debate—the panelists quickly reached consensus on any number of issues. They represented a diverse group of facilities, yet struck on multiple common themes. The event showed the modern hospital CIO role as one requiring equal planting in operations and strategy. [Read More]
June 10, 2008  
Editor's Picks
Rochester, NH, hospital to start online scheduling system
A new e-mail system will let patients at Rochester, NH-based Frisbie Memorial Hospital schedule appointments, renew prescriptions and communicate directly with doctors online. Called "MyHealth E-Team," the new Web portal could help alleviate the more than 1,500 calls that come in daily with questions on appointments, prescriptions, directions and other topics, officials said. I covered technology like this extensively here at HealthLeaders Media, including a cover story on the "connected patient." To me, this technology, which CIOs say is fairly straightforward to deploy, caters directly to consumers online. Look at the transactions that banks and airlines offer. I just know that an online appointment request application would beat phone tag with my physician's office every time. [Read More]

Researchers to examine video games and health
Meanwhile, on the topic of the "connected patient," this story caught my eye about a new effort to capitalize of the enormous popularity of video games. Health researchers are looking at ways that people's obsession with video games might be put to good use. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced it will give a dozen research teams up to $200,000 each for studies lasting one to two years. Of course, I wonder if those consumers who spend countless hours playing Grand Theft Auto would really be interested much in tips on improving their health. [Read More]

Task force to review UCSF data security
Here's an update on the ongoing controversies at UCSF and other California hospitals around release of private information. To me, the overriding issue is identity theft. Hackers who might stumble upon clinical records would probably be interested in gaining access to Social Security numbers and other identifying information than in purely clinical data. Although, who wants their lab results spread across the Internet? [Read More]

Carnegie Mellon University computer program reads human mind
A fascinating story here on how functional MRI has the potential to take healthcare to a place that still seems more like science fiction, than fact. "Imagine somebody who is completely immobilized, a quadriplegic, who can't talk," says Marcel Just, a neuroscientist and director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging. "They could think a thought and maybe the machine could figure out what it is." [Read More]

Taking the lead
My colleague Carrie Vaughan recently filed this dispatch about IT adoption in the community and rural setting. As Carrie documents, some hospitals are further ahead than you might imagine. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
Provider ID causes claims backlog
Health Imaging News - June 10, 2008

Kaiser backs Microsoft's patient-data plan
AP/Yahoo News - June 9, 2008

Highmark to give 'cyber' funds to doctors
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - June 9, 2008

RFID technology helps hospitals keep track of medical devices
Boston Globe - June 9, 2008

Web site will help the uninsured in North Carolina find resources
Raleigh News & Observer - June 6, 2008
Events & Product News
Arizona contracts for RHIO help

NHS ends $1.8B Fujitsu health IT contract

GE Healthcare IT announces ePrescribing for Centricity EMR
July 14, 2008: Service Line Strategies Workshop 2008: Neurosciences
June 17, 2008: Marketing Oncology: Strategies for Service Line Campaigns
On Demand: Service Line Strategies Workshop: Oncology
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Crafting a true partnership—often with a perceived competitor—is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
IT Leaders Forum

Driving Practices in the Right Direction: Contributor Howard Drenth describes how an integrated practice management system reduces billing costs at a multi-specialty group. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Using IT to Boost Profitability: James Saul, MD, describes how an EMR boosted profitability at his 3-member internal medicine practice in Parma, OH. Saul presented at the 2008 TEPR conference. [Listen Now]
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