Health IT News

Behavioral healthcare groups have inched a little closer to their goal of ensuring that the country's mental-healthcare facilities are eligible for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's meaningful-use incentives.

Before leaving for this week's July 4 recess, Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2012, which would include behavioral...

Without "seamless interoperability," health information technology's potential will go unmet, a report on the healthcare digital infrastructure from the Institute of Medicine found.

That was the conclusion of health IT experts during a series of “expert meetings” organized by the Institute of Medicine in the summer and fall of 2010 at the request of the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information...

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Expanded use of electronic medical records would substantially reduce infant mortality in the U.S., according to a study forthcoming in the Journal of Political Economy.

A 10 percent increase in hospital use of basic electronic records would save 16 babies for every 100,000 live births, the study found. A complete national transition to electronic records would save an estimated 6,400 infants each...

Greater use of electronic health records would cut greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, waste and toxic chemical production, and water consumption, according to a study by Marianne C. Turley, Ph.D., and her associates at Kaiser Permanente.

Even after factoring in the additional energy consumption from the increased use of personal computers, the overall net effect on the environment would be favorable, the researchers...

Many adverse events can be prevented, providing what a patient safety expert calls "humongous opportunities for improvement."

One-third of hospital patients experience adverse events and about 7% are harmed permanently or die as a result, according to a study that detected patient safety problems at a far higher rate than other methods.

The study, in April's Health Affairs, echoes two reports issued in November 2010...

I wrote a story for this week's Modern Healthcare  magazine about the Alembic Foundation, which is assuming a caretaker role in the future development of the government-founded Connect Gateway project. The Federal Health Architecture program—overseen by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology—started the project in 2008.

I asked Dr. Robert Kolodner, former ONC head and Veterans...

Last week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 (S 539) to expand eligibility for meaningful use incentive payments to include behavioral health, mental health and substance misuse treatment professionals and facilities.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, hospitals and eligible professionals who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic...

The rate of medication errors dropped 87.7% in an 88-bed psychiatric unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after computerized provider order-entry and error-reporting systems were implemented, according to a report in the March issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.

Researchers randomly selected 42 medical charts from 2003 and 40 each from 2005 and 2007, and collected data on the number and types of...

Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to make available health IT to behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals and facilities.

“Mental healthcare is a critical component of our healthcare safety net, and allowing these providers access to cost-saving, quality-enhancing advances in health IT will improve the care that millions of American receive,”...

Hospitals and healthcare providers are in danger of missing out on meaningful use incentives if they don't make a stronger effort to encourage consumers to use electronic health records, finds PricewaterhouseCoopers research.

Healthcare providers and hospital staff should take a more active and defined role in helping patients understand and use electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records in order to achieve...

Despite privacy concerns, more than three quarters of Americans favor the use of electronic medical records, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Chicago who polled 1,000 people found that while nearly half said they had worries about the privacy of electronic medical records but 64 percent thought the benefits of being able to access their records online outweighed those concerns.

"Our core...

A recent post in the Wall Street Journal Health Blog noted that a study found electronic medical records don’t improve outpatient quality. The authors of the Archives of Internal Medicine article, Electronic Health Records and Clinical Decision Support Systems, correctly points out that we should be skeptical and “doubt [the] argument that the use of EHRs is a “magic bullet” for health care quality improvement, as some...

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments continue to pursue individual health information technology systems rather than determine a common best approach, says a new Government Accountability Office report.

The report, dated Feb. 2., recommends that the departments have a process for identifying joint system investments, given the high similarity of health IT needs at the two organizations.

The DoD is...

House Republicans' introduction of legislation (H.R. 408) outlining $2.5 trillion in federal spending cuts is important because the bill lays a line in the sand of what rank-and-file GOP members want to do with congressional funding, says Don Asmonga, director of government relations at the American Health Information Management Association.

Targeted programs for elimination under the legislation include the electronic...

Legislation from House Republicans to cut funding for numerous federal programs--including the electronic health records meaningful use incentive payments--is not going to become law, in the opinion of two health information technology policy professionals. But they have differing views on the long-term importance of the bill.

The legislation is H.R. 408, which seeks to cut $2.5 trillion in federal spending by 2011 (...

Legislation introduced in the U.S. House and initially sponsored by nearly three-quarters of the Republican caucus clearly appears to seek repeal of the Medicare/Medicaid electronic health record meaningful use incentive payment programs. But whether the bill also would repeal all of the HITECH Act within the economic stimulus law is unclear.

The bill...

Healthcare physician leaders and executives mostly support the national initiative to implement electronic health systems, and say they will improve efficiency and quality. But they're also uneasy about the cost, value, and functionality of their own systems, a new HealthLeaders Media Intelligence analysis has found.

A survey of 242 healthcare leaders from hospitals, physician groups, and health plans, detailed in the...

More than eight in 10 hospitals (81%) plan to achieve meaningful use of electronic health-record systems under the federal program that offers incentive payments to boost the use of health information technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a news release from HHS.

Also, 65% of hospitals will enroll during Stage 1 of the incentive program, which began Oct. 1, 2010, for hospitals,...

Physicians from group practices with extensive experience adopting and using electronic health-record systems testified before a federally chartered advisory group Tuesday.

The elite EHR users—who self-defined their groups in terms of EHR implementation to be in the upper 25% of all EHR users nationwide—said that meeting the Stage 1 meaningful-use criteria to receive federal EHR incentive payments presents multiple...

Current health-care information technology systems don’t work well with one another. And that’s a big obstacle to the creation of a truly universal electronic-medical record system, which proponents say could theoretically lead to more efficient care and allow for data mining to see trends, measure outcomes and show the comparative effectiveness of different treatments.

One solution to the problem may be to take the...

The U.S. market for inpatient and outpatient electronic health records software was nearly $1.98 billion in 2009 and will steadily increase to $3.8 billion in 2015, according to a new report from research firm IDC Health Insights, Framingham, Mass.

For purposes of the market survey, the figures cover only software license and maintenance costs for products that meet or exceed meaningful use certification criteria.

...

WASHINGTON – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule to establish the permanent certification program for health information technology on Monday.

According to the final rule (75 FR 36158), which will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 7, the National Coordinator will use the permanent certification program to authorize organizations to certify...

The current model of selling commercial enterprise software is broken, charged the CEO for Red Hat. It is too expensive, doesn't address user needs and, worst of all, it leaves chief information officers holding all the risk of implementing new systems.

"The business models between customer and vendors are fundamentally broken," said Jim Whitehurst, speaking Wednesday at the Interop conference in New York. "Vendors...

The Department of Veterans Affairs is prioritizing efforts to develop an open-source method to modernize its VistA electronic health record system, VA CIO Roger Baker said during a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Government Health IT reports (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 10/6).

In his testimony before the committee, Baker said he wanted to create an open-source model capable of "bringing back...

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