HealthLeaders Media IT - February 9, 2010 | Does Anybody Care About HIPAA Anymore?
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Does Anybody Care About HIPAA Anymore?
Gienna Shaw, Technology Editor

HIPAA got a big boost from the 2009 HITECH act, which extended privacy rules to business partners, threatened steeper penalties for violations, and promised periodic audits. But even with the beefed-up rules, these days HIPAA just doesn't seem to be that big a priority—to anyone. [Read More]
February 9, 2010
Editor's Picks
Time to Get Cracking on Your Own Text App
File this under "Why didn't I think of that?" The White House released a text application that sends up to three messages a day to expectant and new moms with information customized to their stage of pregnancy or the age of their infant. The messages address topics such as nutrition, immunization, and birth defect prevention. It's a cool idea—I'm only surprised that the government had to step up and do it rather than individual hospitals and health systems, which could use such an application to engender loyalty, engage current and prospective maternity patients, and promote their organizations. Kudos to researchers at George Washington University, who are studying the effectiveness of Text4baby by measuring health trends for mothers and newborns. Now it's time to get cracking on your own text application—the idea would work just as well for cardiology, oncology, or any other service line. [Read More]

Health IT leaders: Are you missing the big picture?
The shift in power in Washington after the election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the Senate will have "little direct consequence on health IT or funding," writes columnist Bruce Merlin Fried. But what the administration does with health IT policy and funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its HITECH provisions "can have enormous impacts on reforming healthcare, whether there is healthcare reform legislation or not." He calls on health IT leaders to shift their focus from the granular aspects of meaningful use, standards, and certification and instead explore how to take advantage of health IT policy and funding "to achieve broader healthcare reform objectives including organizing physicians and other providers into systems of care, having those systems of care be responsible for a patient's broad healthcare needs, and using reimbursement and other financial incentives to achieve high levels of administrative and clinical performance." [Read More]

Health IT'S impact on national safety goals and priorities
Emphasizing the link between improvements in healthcare quality and patient safety and health IT, HIMSS and the American Society for Quality will feature 16 peer-reviewed case studies as part of its "Stories of Success! Leveraging HIT, Improving Quality & Safety" program online at "Those who are using IT every day showed us and identified how technology helps support the six priorities of National Priorities Partnership and The Joint Commission's national patient safety goals and priorities," said Louis H. Diamond, chair of the work group that is leading the project. The organizations, which are all working to become meaningful users, include Bassett Health Network in Cooperstown, NY, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, ME, Mercy Des Moines (IA) Mercy Heart Hospital, Queens (NY) Long Island Medical Center, Greater Rochester (NY) Independent Practice Association, and the University of Rochester (NY) Medical Center. [Read More]

Blumenthal Criticizes Electronic Health System Progress
The proportion of U.S. healthcare professionals and hospitals that have begun the transition to electronic health information systems is remarkably small, writes David Blumenthal, MD, in the New England Journal of Medicine. "The government's program for creating a 21st-century health information system is complex, and it will continue to evolve as we learn more about the effects of the HITECH Act's implementation," writes the HSS' national coordinator for health information technology. "One thing is clear, however. It is impossible to imagine a high-performing U.S. health system that does not take full advantage of the computing technology that has transformed virtually every other aspect of human endeavor." [Read More]

Live ED Overhaul Webcast on February 23
Join HealthLeaders Media on February 23 for HealthLeaders Media Rounds: ED Overhaul: Reduce costs, improve quality, and increase satisfaction from 9 a.m.-noon, PST. This three-hour Webcast features discussion–including interactive Q&A–of the key issues impacting ED management. Hear top executives from Scripps Health, Tomball Regional Hospital, William Beaumont Hospital, and Methodist Healthcare share solutions to: crowding and wait times, streamlining the admission process, ED and hospital integration, staffing plans that reduce costs and increase coverage during peak hours, physician alignment, and quality and patient safety improvement. For more information and to register click here. To attend the program live on the Scripps La Jolla campus, click here.
Tech Headlines
Many Small Practice Physicians Putting off Meaningful Use Guidelines
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - February 4, 2010

IBM Continues Expansion into Health IT
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media - February 3, 2010

Five healthcare IT decisions to avoid
Healthcare IT News - February 9, 2009

In Haiti, practicing medicine from afar
New York Times - February 9, 2010

A Captive Audience?and Providers?Benefit from Telemedicine
Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media - February 3, 2010
February 23: ED Overhaul: Reduce costs, improve quality, and increase satisfaction
March 8: Physician Compensation Models in a Strained Economy
On Demand: Marketing Oncology: Service Line Strategies for Marketers

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
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Five Strategies that Prove Healthcare is Still a Growth Industry
Here is a review of growth opportunities that will increase revenue, decrease costs, or enhance services in the areas of leadership, finance, physicians, technology, health plans, quality, and outcomes. [Read More]
Service Line Management
The Sports Center
Famous athletes and big sports programs may be the public face of sports medicine, but at its core are local communities and, increasingly, the unconventional athlete. [Read More]
IT Forum

New HIPAA Provisions Place Requirements on Business Associates of Covered Entities: Contributor Melissa M. Zambri offers steps physicians can take to ensure that their business associates are compliant with new HIPAA regulations. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Telemedicine Improves Efficiency in Neuropathology Department: Stephen Coons, MD, chief of neuropathology at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, talks about how telemedicine improves efficiency in his department by enabling him to view images from the frozen section lab remotely in the hospital. Prior to the technology, he had to walk roughly an eighth of a mile to diagnose patients in surgery three to 10 times a day. [Listen Now]
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