HealthLeaders Media IT - April 8, 2008 | On Carts and Horses
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HealthLeaders IT

On Carts and Horses
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

A recent essay in Health Affairs suggests that many--perhaps even most--data exchanges, or RHIOs, are not going to survive. Despite federal support for the idea, data exchanges face plenty of hurdles. Well, for my money, many data exchanges are the cart before the horse. Local hospitals and medical groups need to get their own acts together first before they can even begin thinking about trading data with others. [Read More]
April 8, 2008
Editor's Picks
Outlay vs. benefit of expensive medical devices questioned
A particle accelerator, which employs protons to bombard cancerous tumors, has a total price tag well in excess of $100 million and is the latest example of technology's role in rising healthcare costs. To some, the particle accelerator is an example of the tendency by hospitals and doctors to adopt costly, and potentially profitable, technologies that may be no more effective than existing treatments. I covered this topic in an earlier column, suggesting that technology may certainly drive up costs as much as contain them. To me, it seems like our love affair with technology is on a long-run collision course with our ability to pay for it. This article lays out the issues as they are playing out in the Midwest. [Read More]

Robot now makes tracks through Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin now uses a robotic cart called TUG to move equipment and supplies throughout the hospital. Doing so allows staff to concentrate on transporting patients more quickly, say hospital officials. In all, there are about 100 TUG units at institutions throughout the nation, say representatives from Aethon Corp., which manufactures the machine. After reading this article, I'd say this technology is a real crowd pleaser among the youngsters being treated at Children's. It can also do double duty, as an asset tracking system, as we reported in our January edition of HealthLeaders magazine. [Read More]

Telemedicine links Africans to Indian expertise
Lest we forget, the push for clinical IT is international in scope. This story details how a $2.13 million telemedicine project links hospitals in Ethiopia with the Hyderabad-based Care Group of Hospitals, India's leading cardiac institute. The project is part of the joint initiative between the African Union and India which was launched in Ethiopia last year to improve Internet links and communication. There is just one doctor for every 37,000 people in Ethiopia, and the project aims to alleviate some of the country's healthcare burdens. [Read More]

Combining Internet with office visits cut heart attack risks
Good doctor-patient communication helps reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a Temple University School of Medicine study. The four-year study included patients who were at risk for cardiovascular disease but were otherwise healthy. The patients were divided into two groups, a control group and a telemedicine group. As the story notes, the telemedicine system results in fewer office visits, thus freeing up physician time. I'm sure that home-based clinical reporting devices will play an increasing role in the future. [Read More]

Automating the Revenue Cycle
My colleague Phil Betbeze filed this article, which highlights the integral role IT plays throughout the hospital. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
Sound monitors protect premature babies
AP/Yahoo News - March 31, 2008

Hybrid imaging and women's health
Molecular Imaging Insight - April 7, 2008

Insurers look at virtual visits to doctor
Philadelphia Inquirer - March 31, 2008
Events & Product News
Healthcare Web site contest opens

Book tackles identity theft
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders February 2008
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [Read More]
IT Leaders Forum

E-mail Access to my PCP: A Gen-Xer's Lament: Implementing information technology into an everyday medical practice obviously has its challenges, but connected physicians would only improve care--and service, says contributor Matt Henry. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Listen: Mississippi Data Exchange: Chuck Clark, chief information officer of the Coastal Family Health Center in Biloxi, MS, shares what he has learned from a statewide initiative to implement electronic health records across seven community health centers. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media IT

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