The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: PHR

Trends Update — Electronic Medical Records: Importance of Telemedicine, Implementation and Data Security

Since the Canadian and U.S. stimuli directed fuding towards electronic medical records (EMR), we’ve been following developments in the area as part of our Biotech Trends series here on the blog and have noted successes and failures.  A few recent stories highlight risks and benefits:

A recent Scientific American story (H/T @mikesgene) turned an analytical eye on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center‘s implementation, the current iteration of which started in 2004.  Case studies have been an important part of the EMR narrative, and many so far have focused on Kaiser Permanente’s implementation, which is the world’s largest civilian system, so it’s nice to see an in-depth analysis of a different experience.  The article closes with a quote from  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Patrick Gallagher, who says the stimulus effort

“is about using technology to bring health care information together to reduce medical error, reduce the need for testing, put information in front of patients, and put information in front of researchers.”

A FierceHealthIT story reported on an initiative by the American Telemedicine Association, which is running a demonstration program with DocTalker Family Medicine.  DocTalker, founded by Dr. Alan Dappen (partnered with @drval) is providing remote health services to Association members and employees.  It’s being pitched as an employee benefit that can promote worker health and productivity by reducing the need for office visits and providing round-the-clock responsiveness. 

Telemedicine’s role in EMR also features in this story about a pacemaker developed by St. Jude Medical that allows patients and doctors at the Montreal Heart Institute to get data and alerts from the device, which also transmits cumulative data to the doctors in advance of patients’ follow-up visits.

With all of these electronic data floating around, security is key, but it remains an elusive target.  Dan Vorhaus tweeted about a ModernHealthCare.com article that highlights numerous security breaches this Fall.  Microsoft’s purchase this week of Sentillion, which focuses on EMR security, was for an undisclosed sum but you can bet it’s key to Microsoft’s EMR strategy.

Bookmark and Share

Trends Update — Electronic Medical Records: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Meeting on Health IT

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is meeting now.  The meeting is broadcast live online at  http://tr.im/vK3G.

They just finished introductions.  Eric Schimidt, Eric Lander and Harold Varmus are there, among other luminaries.  100% in-person attendance.

“21 members include 4 winners of MacArthur ‘genius’ awards, 3 Nobel laureates, 2 university presidents, as well as 16 members of one or more of the U.S. national academies of science, engineering, and medicine.”

Trends Update — Electronic Medical Records: Salesforce.com Clouds the EMR Field

floppy-disk1The WSJ Health Blog notes today that Salesforce.com’s investment in Practice Fusion, though not a large financial investment, follows an appealing trend in the EMR space.  Both Salesforce.com and Practice Fusion are cloud computing plays (aka hosted services / ASP) where software and data live on company servers rather than on local PCs in doctors’ offices. This will be particularly attractive for smaller practices without their own IT capabilities.

We’ve been following the world of electronic medical records, which has attracted billions of dollars in U.S. stimulus money and over $400 million in Canada, and have been keeping track of notable implementation successes and privacy challenges.

Share Button

Trends Update — Electronic Medical Records: Ottawa Telehealth Success, Privacy Fiasco in Alberta, Beta Test in Montreal

floppy-disk1New data yesterday from a home telehealth monitoring program developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute claims a whopping 54% cut in hospital readmission for heart failure patients.  Readmission rates dropped to under 15% for patients on the program, which includes daily vitals monitoring and immediate contact if anything seems amiss. UOHI says they realize up to $20,000 in savings for each patient safely diverted.

Of course, any time you create electronic medical records, you create privacy risks, as this week’s fiasco in Alberta shows.  Over 11,000 patients were notified of a privacy breach after a virus infected over 100 Alberta Health Service computers.  A follow-up CBC story quotes a computer security expert who is appalled (the virus is 7 years old).

If you still want to hop on the electronic medical record bandwagon, McGill University Health Centre is collaborating with Medical.MD to promote a 300-subscriber beta test (first-come, first served) for Medical.MD’s web-based personal health records management tool — MedforYou.  Medical.MD says the service will be very user-friendly and will include information on allergies, procedures, providers and medications as well as a journaling function.

Share Button

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 129 other followers