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Interconnected Medical Apps Of The Future

health 2.0 masthead.jpgAt this past October’s Health 2.0 meeting in San Francisco, many great new ideas about the future of healthcare were presented with a special emphasis on technology. For a great overview check out the keynotes by Jeff Goldsmith & Tim O’Reilly. The conference, organized by Matthew Holt & Indu Subaiya started in 2007 and bills itself as the “the leading showcase of cutting-edge technologies in healthcare.” Those not lucky enough to attend the conferences can follow along on the Health 2.0 blog.

Besides exploring the overarching themes of the future of healthcare in general and health IT in particular, many innovative companies, young and old, gave on-stage demos at the conference. One demonstration in particular stood out for me. This was the demo by the Accelerator Apps Network which showed the future of interconnected companies and applications seamlessly exchanging patient information. The Health 2.0 Accelerator Apps Network is a non-profit industry consortium launched by the Health 2.0 company. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

An Interview With An Informatics Nurse

Ever wonder how all those hospital systems are created and maintained? (Computer charting, systems to report data to national and state organizations, to name a couple.) Sure, they could hire some IT guy to run them, but everything seems to flow better with a nurse’s touch. After all, we’re the ones using them all the time, right?  Jen C, RN, BSN almost MSN gives us a look into the world of nursing informatics.

Jen has been doing this job for two years. She says she “stumbled into it” when she was interviewing for a new job and mentioned that she was starting her master’s in informatics. Although she was hired to be a staff nurse, within four months she was working in informatics.

What do you do all day?

Each day is different. I do a lot of troubleshooting. I go to a lot of meetings. I do system development and upkeep. I listen to the nurses and what their issues are with the various systems. I do education. And I still fill in at the bedside (I’m still a NICU nurse at heart.)

What frustrates you about your job?

Little definition and recognition as to what my job is. I often seem to be a catch-all. I also don’t have a mentor. I’m the only one in my hospital that has formal education in this area and only one or two in the whole hospital. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at code blog - tales of a nurse*

11 Healthcare Predictions For 2011

Here are 11 things that are absolutely going to happen* in 2011 (they’re in no particular order….or are they?):

1.  There will be no big compromise between President Obama and the Republicans on healthcare reform. Why? Because the law is such a massive collection of, well, stuff, that it is pretty much impossible to find pieces of it that you could cut a deal on, even if you wanted to. And no, the federal district court decision on the individual mandate doesn’t change my mind…and in fact may breathe new life into other parts of the law). State governments, insurance companies, and private businesses have made all kinds of important and hard to reverse choices based on the law as is. There’s not much of an appetite outside of people trying to score political points for making big changes.

2. No major employer will drop their health benefits. No major employer is going to outsource their healthcare benefits to the government any time soon. Employers — particularly the big self-insured employers that pay for healthcare costs as a bottom-line expense — see their benefits as an integral part of their business and competitive strategies. As Congress looks at this issue more closely, they will learn this.

3. Time that doctors spend with patients will be less in 2011 than earlier years. It’s a long-term trend, and the factors that create this problem aren’t getting better. The latest government data show that the average doctor visit features face to face time with the patient of 15 minutes or less. With an aging population, increasing numbers of people getting health insurance, and no influx of new doctors, this problem will keep getting worse. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

A Report From The BlackBerry Clinical Collaboration Summit

Last week, Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry smartphones, held a clinical collaboration summit in Boston to discuss their vision of the future of mobile device integration into healthcare IT. Several vendors and app makers attended and shared how they are implementing mobile devices into workflows with RIM claiming their superiority in security and data protection through data wiping, access control, and audit trail.

One claim that several speakers made was that hours per week could be saved by making clinical and logistical data available on smartphones and that studies have shown clinical information presented on a small screen can be used for mobile situation diagnostic ability, notably for ECG and OB data through companies like AirStrip. A few studies have backed parts of this claim, [including] a recent paper in the Journal of Hospital Medicine by Wu. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

A Truly Useful EMR

I love computers. Really, I do. Despite my oft-repeated claims about the shortcomings of electronic medical records in their current form, I do believe that information technology has the potential to be of great help to me and other physicians in providing quality care to Americans.

Stop laughing. I really mean it.

I do not believe, however, that IT best serves the medical needs of our patients when used to create non-interactive silos of information sequestered in the offices and clinics of individual doctors. Even hospitals and large integrated health systems information remains stuck within that system, providing limited utility when patients travel, or even go to a doctor not affiliated with the system.

Although some (especially in government) seem to feel that expanding those kinds of integrated systems is the way to go, the problem is that not all patients want to get their care from Mayo Clinic clones across the country. Still, I have an idea for using currently available technology to vastly improve the way medical care is delivered anywhere in this country. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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