HealthLeaders Media IT - December 30, 2008 | National Health Information Network Set to Launch, Sort Of
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National Health Information Network Set to Launch, Sort Of
Kathryn Mackenzie, Technology Editor

The Nationwide Health Information Network will become reality very soon, when the Social Security Administration performs a preliminary test of the new system in February. The rollout—even in its limited form—is considered a major milestone because until now, the public-private "NHIN Cooperative" has only performed trial implementations based on fictitious patients. [Read More]
December 30, 2008
Editor's Picks
CBO: Health IT could save fed government $34 billion
The Congressional Budget Office outlined a pretty pathetic future for many of the healthcare proposals made by President-elect Barack Obama, saying they are expensive and would only offer moderate savings. One exception, however, is the potential savings from a requirement for doctors and hospitals to use health information technology as a condition of participating in Medicare. The CBO says that requirement could save the federal government $7 billion in the first five years and a total of $34 billion over 10 years. [Read More]

Medical devices are not good communicators
Interoperability is a word used a lot, maybe too much even, when it comes to electronic health records. We know EHRs need to be able to talk to each other to work. What about other components of the industry, such as medical devices? This cautionary tale on Boston.com highlights just how far medical devices have lagged behind other types of technology when it comes to the ability of the devices to "talk" to each other. [Read More]

Blue Cross teams up with restaurant raters to rank doctors
Blue Cross and Blue Shield is teaming up with Zagat dining guide to provide online doctor rankings for its members. According to BCBS, Zagat will compile survey information on physicians from Blue Cross members using a 30-point scale on four non-medical criteria: trust, communication, availability and office environment. This is not the restaurant and hotel guide's first foray into rating doctors. Zagat began performing the same service last fall for WellPoint, which runs Blue Cross plans in 14 states. [Read More]

Institute of Medicine wants smart systems for HHS
An independent study group is recommending that the Health and Human Services Department look to the private sector for effective information technology infrastructure models. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies says aggregating and analyzing data dispersed throughout HHS would provide a powerful tool for analyzing, aligning, modifying, developing and discontinuing programs. [Read More]

Tech Headlines
NYC pushes $60 million EMR database project
New York Times - December 30, 2008

'Personalized medicine' reads DNA for effective treatments
New York Times - December 30, 2008

Top hazards from medical devices in hospitals
Wall Street Journal (blog) - December 23, 2008

Video: Microsoft's venture into healthcare
Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - December 19, 2008
Events & Product News
TeraMedica connects departmental silos

HIMSS AsiaPac 2009 HealthCare IT Conference & Exhibition

Webcasts
On Demand: What Your Practice Is Worth: Calculating Fair Market Value
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HealthLeaders December 2008
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In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we offer profiles of individuals who are making a difference in today's complex healthcare world. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Here Come the Seniors
The influx of baby boomer patients promises to increase the already high demand for senior services. But the prospect of expanding a service line that relies so heavily on Medicare has some hospital leaders jittery. [Read More]
IT Forum

Web-based Patient Education Works: Contributor Charles E. Morton, III, MD, recounts his early success with switching from seminars to a web-based program for pre-, peri-, and postoperative patient education programs. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Device Dysfunctionality: John Bardis, chairman, president and CEO of MedAssets, one of the nation's largest healthcare supply chain and revenue cycle companies, about a variety of issues facing healthcare, not the least of which is the cost equation, which is unsustainable long term. Bardis talks about the dysfunctional economy, his challenges in running a now-public company, and the institutionalized lack of transparency in medical device pricing, which he believes leads to irrational high costs in healthcare. [Listen Now]
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