population health

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Ebola in the US: Short on Accountable 'Open' Information, Effective Systems Planning and Decision Making

Events in the present Ebola crisis prompt unease that the United States deployment of Web based, standardized population health and biosurveillance information services is fragmented, incomplete and insufficient, prompting me to write this blog. The United States has made significant progress in public health and medical preparedness since the 9/11 terrorist attacks; yet, poorly interconnected information systems add to our vulnerability to planning and response to viruses like Ebola or enviro virus EV-D68 that threaten the health of large populations. Today, a gap exists between information technology specialists and public health programmatic or scientific personnel. 

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EHR Usability, Functionality Top Concerns for Half of Hospitals

Jennifer Bresnick | Health IT Interoperability | August 3, 2016

Community hospitals continue to struggle to get their electronic health records to work and communicate the way they need them to, according to a new report from peer60, with EHR usability, limited functionality, and poor interoperability driving nearly 20 percent of survey respondents into a search for a replacement EHR...

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Electronic Health Records: a “Quadruple Win,” a “Quadruple Failure,” or Simply Time for a Reboot?

Michael Hochman | Journal of General Internal Medicine | February 5, 2018

Just a decade ago, when paper charts were commonplace in the USA, it seemed that electronic health records (EHRs) were destined to transform the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery, as well as the care experience for patients and clinicians...The reality over the ensuring years has, to put it mildly, not met expectations. According to a 2014 analysis led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information,2 over 80% of US doctors now use EHRs. Yet, many of the predictions about the benefits of EHRs have yet to materialize to the extent predicted. ..Noteworthy concerns include egregious medical errors resulting from design glitches3, charting templates filled extensively with meaningless boilerplate, the common practice of pasting old notes4 that makes it difficult to know which documentation is “real,” “alert fatigue”5 due to excessive EHR warnings, and even reduced communication among clinical team members.6

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Exclusive: Dr. Farzad Mostashari On His Career, His New Startup And Closing Gaps In The Healthcare System

Helen Gregg | Becker's Hospital Review | August 15, 2014

In June, Farzad Mostashari, MD, the former National Coordinator for Health IT, announced the launch a new company designed to partner with independent primary care physicians to form and join accountable care organizations...

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Grant Supports Development Of Software To Judge Quality Of Electronic Public Health Data

Press Release | Indiana University | September 10, 2015

With the growing need for early identification of emerging threats including those of bioterrorism, pandemic flu, Ebola and foodborne illnesses, public health departments nationwide are increasingly relying upon data captured from electronic sources. A $381,000, 2-year grant from the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health supports development by the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health of open source software tools to measure and monitor the quality of electronic data being transmitted to public health departments across the nation from health care systems, medical laboratories, physician offices and other sources.

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Greenway Shows The Value Of Patient Data Beyond The EHR At HIMSS14

Press Release | Greenway | February 23, 2014

Company accelerates interoperability of data across platforms for care coordination, clinically driven financials and optimized population health; to demonstrate in booth 2503 Read More »

Halamka Explains Background to athenahealth/BIDMC Collaboration

BIDMC and athenahealth announced a new and unique collaboration. The collaboration between the two organizations provides athenahealth the chance to take BIDMC’s experience to a much larger audience, hopefully making a difference to providers, patients, and payers across the country.   athenahealth will also accelerate its ability to develop expanded functionality more rapidly than doing it alone. Read More »

Halamka on China's Expanding Healthcare System

On Monday and Tuesday I met with government, industry, and academic stakeholders  in Qingdao and Shenzhen China to discuss healthcare technology,  patient empowerment, and process improvement in the rapidly expanding Chinese healthcare system. Over the past few years, I’ve watched the Chinese government gradually change policy - from promoting a fully public healthcare system, to limited pilots of private facilities, to embracing public/private partnerships... Read More »

Halamka Outlines the Pillars of Beth Israel's IT Strategic Plan

Communicating the IT strategic plan is one of the primary responsibilities of a CIO. Most importantly, the IT strategic plan should be seen as an enterprise wide activity and not just an IT centric exercise.  IT should be an enabler for the strategy of the business and every IT tactic should tie back to a high priority of the business. In 2016, the BIDMC IT strategic plan has five pillars that align with quality, safety and efficiency imperatives (instead of Meaningful Use, ICD10, and the Affordable Care Act as was the case 2013-2015). The pillars are:

Halamka's 2016 Predictions for Health IT

As the year ends and we archive the accomplishments and challenges of 2015, it’s time to think about the year ahead.  Will innovative products and services be social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC)?  Will wearables take off?  Will clinicians be replaced by Watson?   Here are my predictions...Apps will layer on top of transactional systems empowered by FHIR...a better approach is crowdsourcing among clinicians that will result in value-added apps that connect to underlying EHRs via the protocols suggested in the Argonaut Project (FHIR/OAuth/REST). One of our clinicians has already authored a vendor neutral DICOM viewer for images, a patient controlled telehealth app for connecting home devices, and a secure clinical photography upload that bypasses the iPhone camera roll. That’s the future.

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Halamka's Dispatch from HIMSS 2017

As I wrote last week, I expected 2017 HIMSS to be filled with Wearables, Big Data, Social Networking concepts from other industries, Telemedicine, and Artificial Intelligence. I was not disappointed. 42,000 of my closest friends each walked an average of 5 miles per day through the Orlando Convention Center. One journalist told me “It’s overwhelming. You do your best to look professional and wear comfy shoes!” After 50 meetings, and 12 meals in 3 days, here’s my impression of the experience...

Halamka's Recommendations for Effective Care Management

I recently joined the advisory board of Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, a leading provider of analytics, decision support, and workflow enhancement services. At my first advisory board meeting there was a rich debate about the marketplace for care management and population health tools. I’ve spent years studying such solutions at HIMSS and found most of the products are “compiled in Powerpoint”, which is a very agile programming language, since it’s so easy to change…

Halamka's Reflections on US Health IT Policy Trajectory

I’m in China this week, meeting with government, academia, and industry leaders in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai,  and Suzhou. The twelve hour time difference means that I can work a day in China, followed by a day in Boston. For the next 7 days, I’ll truly be living on both sides of the planet. I recently delivered this policy update about the key developments in healthcare IT policy and sentiment over the past 90 days. I’ve not written a specific summary of the recently released Quality Patient Program proposed rule which provides the detailed regulatory guidance for implementation of MACRA/MIPS, but here’s the excellent 26 page synopsis created by CMS which provides an overview of the 1058 page rule...

Health IT Banks Record VC Cash In 2013

Erin McCann | Healthcare IT News | January 14, 2014

Health IT is where the money's at -- at least in 2013, which saw venture capital funding nearly double from the previous year, according to a new industry report released Monday. Read More »

Health IT Execs Have a New Favorite Dirty Word

Tom Sullivan | Healthcare IT News | September 23, 2016

Cerner President Zane Burke, athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush and eClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani. When eClinicalWorks rechristened its flagship electronic health record software as the cloud-based 10e, CEO Girish Navani said something curious: “I don’t want to call it an electronic health record anymore.”...

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