HealthLeaders Media IT - September 22, 2009 | The Technology to Order the Right Imaging Test the First Time
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HealthLeaders IT

The Technology to Order the
Right Imaging Test the First Time

Carrie Vaughan, Technology Editor

The Imaging e-Ordering Coalition is an alliance of healthcare providers, technology companies, and diagnostic imaging organizations that have joined forces to promote health information technology-enabled decision support as a means to ensure patients are receiving medically appropriate diagnostic imaging tests. Recently, I spoke with Scott Cowsill, chair of The Coalition and senior product manager of diagnostic imaging at Nuance Healthcare, and Liz Quam, director of the Center for Diagnostic Imaging Institute and founding member of the Imaging e-ordering Coalition to discuss the goals of group. [Read More]
September 22, 2009
Editor's Picks
Nine ways to run smarter IT projects
In this Harvard Business Review blog Susan Cramm uses a travel analogy to offer advice on keeping IT projects on time and on budget. She offers nine principles, including only choose projects that support the organization's business strategy, plan for delays, define clear business objectives, focus on the practical not the possible, break large projects up into smaller stages in order to deliver value along the way, and don't automate existing processes, but redesign them. [Read More]

Plug-and-play medicine
The healthcare industry is one step closer to a system where medical devices can communicate. A research group, brought together by the Boston-based Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, has developed a software platform enabling devices like blood-pressure cuffs and heart-lung machines to share information. The group says standards like requiring a "black box" that collects data similar to what's used on an airplane are a key element in the new Integrated Clinical Environment. The standards also require that only one algorithm can interpret data from the connected devices to avoid conflicting instructions. [Read More]

How to fix health IT
In this Washington Post editorial, Sammy Zakaria and David Meyerson, cardiologists at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, tout the Veteran Administration's VistA electronic health record system as the most cost effective solution to building a national electronic health record. "It will be difficult and costly to construct new systems ensuring interoperability of all current hospital software," say Zakaria and Meyerson. The "cheaper and more effective solution is to adopt a standard electronic record-keeping system," such as VistA, "and ask that all health information software interface with it." [Read More]

HIPAA's Harm Threshold is a Huge Weakness
The new "harm threshold" in HIPAA's interim final rule on breach notification worries some healthcare experts, according to this article by my colleague Dom Nicastro. The harm threshold says an unauthorized use or disclosure of personal health information is considered a breach only if the use or disclosure of that information poses some harm to the individual. According to the interim final rule, covered entities and their business associates will perform a risk assessment to determine if there is significant risk of harm to the individual. But Gerry Hinkley, Esq., partner and chair of HIT practice group for Davis Wright Tremaine in San Francisco, says he wants to be the one determining whether information that was disclosed inappropriately could cause significant harm—and not the covered entity. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
Policy Committee holds hearing on health IT privacy, security
iHealthBeat - September 22, 2009

Maryland takes lead in electronic medical records
Baltimore Sun - September 22, 2009

Kentucky selects ACS to develop health information exchange
Business First of Louisville - September 22, 2009

Microsoft urges Web learning in case of swine flu
AP/Yahoo News - September 22, 2009
Webcasts
October 29: Flexible Medical Staff Models of the Future
October 22: Marketing to Physicians: Build Relationships to Increase Referrals
On Demand: Service Lines Strategies Workshop 2009: Gastroenterology

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From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders September 2009
The Patient of the Future
Physicians suggest. Patients ignore. Technology alone won't bring them together. But a new relationship just might. [Read More]
Service Line Management
Certifiable Stroke Care
With a growing emphasis on stroke center certification, hospitals must demonstrate that they have the teams in place to treat stroke patients quickly and effectively, or risk losing patients to a competitor down the road. [Read More]
IT Forum

Getting Rid of "Friction" in Healthcare: Friction occurs when an object moving through space, encounters resistance, slows down, and has its forward energy diverted, says contributor Fletcher Lance. In the world of healthcare, friction is a term that has become synonymous with paperwork, he says. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Setting the Bar: Steve Arnold, MD, chair of the HIMSS Physician Community, talks about the progress being made toward a definition of "meaningful use." [Listen Now]
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