medical informatics

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A Doctor Leverages Open Source to Learn How to Code And Improve Medical Care in Africa

Judy Gichoya is a medical doctor from Kenya who became a software developer after joining the open source medical records project, OpenMRS. The open source project creates medical informatics software that helps health professionals collect and present data to improve patient care in developing countries. After seeing how effective the open medical records system was at increasing efficiency and lowering costs for clinics in impoverished areas of Africa, she began hacking on the software herself to help improve it. Then she set up her own implementation in the slums outside Nairobi, and has done the same for dozens of clinics since. This is a classic story of open source contributors, who join in order to scratch an itch. But Gichoya was a doctor, not a programmer. How did she make the leap?

Cerner Clients Test SMART on FHIR Apps Within EHR

Press Release | Cerner | October 8, 2015

Cerner...has unveiled a production version of HL7's FHIR® standard that is being tested in the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record (EHR). "This next-generation standards framework enables health care organizations to utilize Cerner's open platform, which is designed to enable third-party innovators to advance care delivery and improve interoperability capabilities with other FHIR-compliant EHR systems," said Dr. David McCallie, senior vice president, medical informatics at Cerner. "This integrated approach will provide clinicians access to 'pluggable apps' directly within their workflows that are designed to expand and transform the way care is delivered."

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EMR Goes Global: Bringing Technology To Developing Countries

Jennifer Thew | HL7 Standards | September 18, 2012

Lately, I’ve been hearing quite a bit about global cancer care. I shouldn’t be surprised. The International Agency for Research on Cancer projects that by 2030 the incidence of all cancer cases will be 22.2 million. To learn more about the trend, I visited the Partners in Health website because they recently helped open a  new oncology hospital in Rwanda. Read More »

Europeans Joining Forces to Promote Open Source Software in Healthcare

Belgian, British and German advocates of open source in healthcare want to join efforts, hoping to raise interest, and to strengthen the network of healthcare software specialists. A conference is tentatively being planned in London (UK) early next year. “Hospitals and other healthcare organizations, medical specialists and general practitioners are reluctant to adopt open source software”, says Etienne Saliez, a Belgian retired medical IT systems specialist. “What is needed is a strong network of professional support services providers of open source solutions” he adds.

Good Health IT vs. Bad Health IT

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | January 26, 2013

The title of Dr. Scot Silverstein's teaching website at Drexel University, “Contemporary Issues in Medical Informatics: Good Health IT, Bad Health IT, and Common Examples of Healthcare IT Difficulties,” summarizes the veteran physician informaticist's general outlook on the current state of affairs in health information technology. It tells you nothing, however, of the passion with which Silverstein speaks or writes about the subject. Read More »

IBM Expands U.S. Federal Healthcare Practice

Darryl K. Taft | eWeek | April 27, 2014

IBM announced it will be using its big data and Watson cognitive computing technology in its federal health care practice.

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Interoperability: Can It Really Happen In 10 Years?

Mike Miliard | Government Health IT | December 16, 2014

With electronic health records now in place among hospitals and medical practices, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT embraced its new mandate in 2014: getting them to talk to each other...

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JASON Task Force Says Stage 3 Must Be Less Stringent

Mike Miliard | Government Health IT | October 6, 2014

Meaningful use stages 1 and 2 have failed to foster interoperability "in any practical sense."  That's the contention of Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, and David McCallie, senior vice president of medical informatics at Cerner, co-chairs of ONC's joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee JASON task force...

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Make Data Liquid! McCollister-Slipp tells Health Informaticists a AMIA

Press Release | American Medical Informatics Association | November 16, 2014

Galileo Analytics Co-Founder Anna McCollister-Slipp today called on medical informaticists to prioritize “data liquidity” and the free flow of health data and to do so with a sense of urgency that the issue deserves. Her remarks were made during a panel discussion on the opening day of this year’s American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) meeting in Washington, DC...

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Obama and Biden Blast EHR Vendors for Data Blocking

As they are winding their terms in office, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden dropped a stink bomb on the health IT industry. Speaking at different events on Friday, January 9th, the President and Vice President both criticized proprietary electronic health record (EHR) vendors as the primary obstacle to the success of their administration’s health care strategy. This is the highest level acknowledgement so far of the serious impact that “lock-in” EHR software vendors are having on America’s medical infrastructure and the ability of physicians to provide medical care.

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Open Medical Records Community Supports New System In Mozambique

The southern African country of Mozambique suffers under the most extreme challenges for resource-poor countries: economic instability, political strife, civil unrest, corruption and crime, unreliable infrastructure (such as transportation and telecommunications), and a large-scale HIV epidemic that has yet to be declared under control...The nation has enormous need and opportunity for improving its healthcare system and the lives of its residents. In the face of their crisis, Mozambique is working to equip its medical clinics across the nation with an electronic medical records system (EMR). Mozambique believes an EMR can empower clinicians to give high-quality and consistent care to those most in need, while allowing the country to reap the insights of comprehensive reporting for responsive public health decision making...

The Value of EHR Interoperability that Money Can't Buy

There seems to be something missing in our national debate about health care and the use of health information technologies (IT) in this marketplace. Do we want a more 'open' healthy society, or a more closed system? What role should markets play in public health and medical sociology? How do we decide which EHR solutions to acquire? Should we be looking more closely at open source alternatives versus proprietary programs. Should money, quality of care, or some other non-market values determine what's best for the patient? This cuts to the heart of the debate. Consider the hospital that chooses to not pay an expensive proprietary EHR vendor for the enhanced code required by a doctor in order to get the latest real time knowledge for treating a patient's disease.

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Wall Street Journal: "ObamaCare’s Electronic-Records Debacle"

This Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Op-Ed could have been entitled "President Sucker: Led Down the Garden Path by The Healthcare IT Industry." It is entitled "ObamaCare’s Electronic-Records Debacle", as below.  First, though: On Feb. 18, 2009 the WSJ published the following Letter to the Editor authored by me...I have a different view on who is deceiving whom. In fact, it is the government that has been deceived by the HIT industry and its pundits. Stated directly, the administration is deluded about the true difficulty of making large-scale health IT work. The beneficiaries will largely be the IT industry and IT management consultants.

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