HealthLeaders Media IT - April 14, 2009 | HIMSS09 Recap: Stimulus, Interoperability, and More
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HIMSS09 Recap: Stimulus, Interoperability, and More
Carrie Vaughan, Technology Editor

Attendance was "off" at the HIMSS09 conference, but the hospital, physician, and health plan executives who were in attendance were the "more serious buyers" and the "decision makers," according to the CIOs and vendors I spoke with. Providers scaled back their attendance and some vendors had less elaborate booths for obvious budgetary reasons. However, there were still billiard tricks, a green man group, and other gimmicks on the exhibition floor. Here's a quick glance at some of the key takeaways from the conference. [Read More]
April 14, 2009  
Editor's Picks
HITECH Gives HIPAA New Teeth
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or HITECH, Act includes stricter HIPAA requirements and stiffer penalties for violations. While these new privacy and security rules haven't been getting quite as much coverage as the $19 billion that is being invested in healthcare IT from the stimulus package, the changes to HIPAA will need to be factored in as more providers join health information exchanges and adopt EHRs. Here's a good summary of the new HIPAA requirements and how they will impact physicians by my colleague, Elyas Bakhtiari. [Read More]

PHRs now available at New York-Presbyterian Hospital
New York-Presbyterian Hospital moved beyond the pilot stage and began offering consumer-controlled health records for patients this past week. The hospital has been working with Microsoft for more than a year on the technical components of personal health records—like how to transfer patient data automatically—and how to ease patient concerns about having a digital health record online. New York-Presbyterian will introduce its PHRs gradually beginning with heart patients. Initially, patients will be informed about the potential benefits of PHRs when they visit the hospital or outpatient clinics, and they will receive on-site help signing on and setting up passwords to access the Web portal, [Read More]

Virtual clinic
Starting this fall, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota plans to offer its 10,000 employees and dependents the chance to use a "virtual clinic." The Internet site will connect employees with physicians for a live 10-minute consultation for a flat fee. Doctors will be able to use the technology to diagnose and treat anything from headaches to urinary infections—physical exams are not included. For many patients, the virtual clinic could save time, money, and be more convenient than traveling to the doctor's office. However, I wonder how patients will react to the virtual waiting room if a physician is not immediately available. Critics are concerned what physicians may miss if patients are not seen in person. [Read More]

Northern Idaho robot connects doctors and patients
A robot is helping Clearwater Valley Hospital in Idaho bring specialty care to its community. The 5-foot-2-inch robot connects primary care doctors with psychiatrists and other specialists at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. For example, Clearwater Valley physicians and nurses can discuss a patient's status and receive guidance from experts at the larger hospital. Having that support network could be a great recruiting tool for rural facilities. In addition, the robot has helped Clearwater Valley expand programs—the hospital now offers weekly child and adult psychiatric services. [Read More]

Are You Part of a Top Leadership Team?
HealthLeaders Media is gearing up for its fifth year of the Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare program that recognizes the best in senior leadership teamwork at hospitals, health plans, and medical group practices. This year's winners will be honored during HealthLeaders Media '09: The Hospital of the Future Now, an event planned for October 15-16 at The Palmer House in Chicago. If you and your organization have an outstanding teamwork story to share, go to the Top Leadership Teams site to learn more about the six categories, download an entry form, and submit your entry. The deadline to submit is April 30. [Learn More]
Tech Headlines
Electronic health records raise doubt
Boston Globe - April 13, 2009

As medical charts go electronic, rural doctor sees healthy change
New York Times - April 13, 2009

Obama pledges new data system for veterans
Washington Post - April 10, 2009

Push for digital health records sparks debate
USA Today - April 7, 2009

Dallas-Fort Worth hospital systems invest in infection prevention
Dallas Morning News - April 7, 2009
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