HealthLeaders Media IT - August 31, 2010 | 5 Technologies to Make Surgery Safer
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5 Technologies to Make Surgery Safer
Gienna Shaw, Technology Editor

There are plenty of technologies that can help make the OR a safer place—from systems that keep track of sponges and to robots that may someday be able to deliver anesthesia remotely to systems that help counteract alert fatigue. [Read More]
August 31, 2010
Editor's Picks
Prostate Cancer Care Costs Vary by Treatment
This study analyzes the short- and long-term costs of prostate cancer care. The findings show how the cost varies considerably based on which treatment strategies men initially choose and receive. For most prostate cancer cases, costs were highest in the initial year of the diagnosis—then dropped sharply and remained steady over the next several years, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine say in the online journal, Cancer. Watchful waiting had the lowest initial costs ($4,270) and five-year total costs ($9,130). Initial treatment costs were highest for patients who received hormonal therapy plus radiation ($17,474), followed by those receiving surgery ($15,197). See also: The Complex Calculations of Cancer Care.
[Read More]

EHR, Coding Compliance Deadlines Loom
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid is reminding healthcare providers, health plans, clearinghouses, and vendors about looming compliance deadlines for new diagnosis and procedure codes, as well as updated standards for electronic healthcare transactions. The first compliance milestone for the Accredited Standards Committee electronic healthcare transaction standards begins on Jan. 1, 2011. By then, HIPAA-covered entities should be ready to test the functionality of practice management and related software featuring Version 5010 standards.[Read More]

Medical Isotope Shortage Sparks Reductions in Imaging Procedures
A worldwide shortage of medical isotopes for medical imaging is threatening to jeopardize patient care, scientists say. "Although the public may not be fully aware, we are in the midst of a global shortage of medical and other isotopes," said Robert Atcher, PhD, MBA, who directs the National Isotope Development Center, a Department of Energy unit responsible for production of isotopes nationwide. "Doctors may be forced to resort to tests that are less accurate, involve higher radiation doses, are more invasive, and more expensive," he added.[Read More]

With No Harm Threshold, Nearly All Breaches Substantiated in CA
California, the state that signed a precedent-setting privacy law, fields more than 220 notifications of potential breaches from licensed facilities per month, according to numbers released by the state's Department of Public Health. From January 1, 2009 through May 31, 2010, entities have reported a total of 3,766 breaches. The law calls for health providers to prevent unlawful access, use, or disclosure of patients' medical information and to report violations to DPH and the individuals affected. In the HITECH interim final rule on breach notification, providers through the "harm threshold" provision may conduct a risk assessment to see if the potential breach causes a significant risk of financial, reputational or other harm to the patient.[Read More]

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Tech Headlines
Physicians use photos from patients' cellphones to deliver mobile health
The Washington Post, August 31, 2010

iPhone set to replace the stethoscope
The Guardian, August 31, 2010

Only 2% of Hospitals Could Have Met Meaningful Use in 2009
The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2010

HIT Program Receives $2.7 Million in Federal Funding
The University of Texas at Austin, August 30, 2010

J&J recalls hip replacement implant
The New York Times/AP, August 27, 2010

FDA warns J&J on illegal marketing of medical devices
Daily Finance, August 25, 2010

Metro Health deploys 'The Germinator' to fight hospital-acquired infections
Michigan Live, August 27, 2010

Gadgets to keep new hospital free from infection
BBC News, August 26, 2010

July 15: A Better Way Than Pay For Call Coverage
July 22: Marketing to Physicians: Increase Sales Success Through Measurement and Tracking

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IT Forum

Medical Device Makers: Stop Griping and Embrace Healthcare Reform: During the national healthcare reform debate, many in the medical device industry strenuously objected to contributing their "fair share" to reform through a new tax on their devices. While other healthcare stakeholders accepted the notion of shared sacrifice and agreed to give up collective hundreds of billions of dollars, device companies warned that a new tax would force them to pass on the additional cost to hospitals and patients. And the protests haven't stopped. [Read More]
Audio Features

Tech to Boost Satisfaction and Patient Flow: Are long wait times in the ER hurting the patient experience at your organization? Denice Soyring Higman, RN, president and founder of Soyring Consulting in St. Petersburg, FL, discusses how hospitals can dramatically boost patient satisfaction scores with simple patient flow changes and by using clinical data to improve efficiency and productivity in the ER. [Listen Now]
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