Archive for May, 2007
May 31, 2007
The American Medical Association is teaming up with Sermo, a Web 2.0 social networking site for physicians only to provide a new service for their 250,000 members. This new partnership will allow participation in discussions on Sermo but also allow members to discuss content from the AMA website using Sermo tools. The AMA also plans to use the interactive tools to discuss health policy issues. Sermo also allows users to post cases securely discuss them. Sermo verifies credentials after a user creates an account using physician databases.Share this:
May 25, 2007
On the Official Google Blog, Adam Bosworth gives us a summary and the full text of his presentation to AMIA on “Putting Health Into Patient’s Hands – Consumerism in Health Care.” He structured the talk around discovery (search), action (personalize services – Health URL), and community (groups organized around conditions). He refers to PHW, Personal Health and Wellness Data, as something patients should own and share with providers selectively. He also refers to how “Consumers can organize into communities which are protected from inappropriate commercial exploitation” while rating their providers and retaining some anonymity.
He concludes with how to make this a reality – more on this later.
Does this mean that his vision is solidifying and will be released as a beta soon?Share this:
May 22, 2007
According to an article in Modern Healthcare, these concerns expressed at the IHE include “the accuracy, completeness, usefulness and volume of the records physicians receive from patients; the hours of uncompensated work it will take to slog through them; and the potential for a misdiagnosis if something important was overlooked.” The concern is data quality and organization coming from patients. Free text is difficult to interpret and analyze in a useful way. Electronic data from patients needs to fit into an organization within an EMR to be meaningful in a clinical setting.
Because of the early stage of PHR technology, this is rarely feasible. Going forward, the PHR products which will work for both physicians and patients need organizational tools which build on disease management.Share this:
May 17, 2007
This report by Technorati is a survey of social networking on the web in 2007. They are tracking 70 million blogs with 120,000 created every day. Some of the growth in the US is slowing down but elsewhere it is booming. Japan equals the US in the number of blogs. Volume – 1.4 million posts per day and traffic enough to challenge the main stream media.
How about health care? Not really mentioned. I would guess a slower growth rate in blogs and social networking. However, more health IT and physician blogs appear daily. Will try to feature some in the future.Share this:
May 16, 2007
The StudentBMJ has an interesting take on Web 2.0 in Healthcare titled, “Trust Me, Trust Me Not”. He cites some familiar blogs including Clinical Cases and Images and other resources like the visible human project and Elsevier’s
Student Consult (www.studentconsult.com). In addition, he discusses the pros and cons of blogs and medical wikis.
“Because of the scope for error offered by the wiki format, many people involved in medical education remain suspicious. However, room for compromise exists between different models of editorial authority.” In pointing out the need to have a critical eye toward any knowledge base, he concludes, “Perhaps it is comforting to reflect that when working in these exciting new fields of knowledge creation and synthesis, traditional skills of knowledge evaluation and appraisal will be as important as ever-if not more so.”Share this:
May 15, 2007
In an article in USA Today titled, “Paging Dr. Blog: Online Discourse Raises Questions,” notes that physician blogs include everything from venting about difficult patients to medical education to issues which border on violating privacy. How realistic is this concern – it is difficult to tell. There is also a concern if they are presenting medical information but in an anonymous fashion, can they be trusted? Is this a licensed physician or a pretender?
The article notes that only 1% of blogs relate to health topics. One potential benefit is noted – patients may better understand the way physicians think, although recent books may do a more thorough job on this.Share this:
May 12, 2007
The Healthcare IT Guy pointed to this very interesting article from Family Practice Management, EHRs Fix Everything and Nine Other Myths. Points like, software needs to work the way we work and software will eliminate errors question typical selling points for EHRs. It is well known that making absolute statements or even inflated statements about software is par for the course but rarely proven out. For instance, software can cause other unintended consequences and reduce efficiency. However, planning, training and implementation can make significant strides toward reducing these problems and more closely approach the hoped for outcomes of EHRs. Everyone in healthcare IT should read this article just to keep us humble about what we can accomplish.Share this:
May 11, 2007
Offered through WebMD, Verizon employees (not customers) will be offered a PHR called Verizon HealthZone PHR. With 900,000 employees, it creates a large user pool. However, it will be initially offered to only 40,000, still a sizable pilot group. It will be interesting to watch home many actually adopt it since it is employer-based. “Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg announced the Electronic Personal Health Records tool during a roundtable discussion on the
shift toward a value-driven care system.”
“The Electronic Personal Health Records program is voluntary and works this way: After an employee enrolls, health care information is imported and managed from various sources — physicians, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, as well as information entered by the employee, including family history.” Additional, it works independent of the employee health plan. One has to wonder if it will be tied to consumer-directed healthcare and to what extent it will be wireless-enabled.Share this:
May 10, 2007
In the Tennessean.com, more details are discussed about combining the banking industry to enable personal health records. The article notes that “Banks know security” but also “Some privacy advocates, however, are concerned that banks could share that information with affiliates and other third parties, creating a nightmare scenario.” Dr. Deborah Peel of Patient Privacy Rights is quoted along these lines, but also notes that her group supports a proposed bill which would allow medical banking but with two significant security features: the patient would decide who could see it and the information could not be sold without their permission.
If these controls are put in place and enforced, it could a viable solution.Share this:
May 9, 2007
Dr. Bill Crounse of Microsoft writes about If Wal-Mart did Healthcare to compliment his recent post on If Disney did. He draws a scenario of no insurance coverage for medical costs under $5000 – “healthcare would behave like other industries were it not for the perverse effects of traditional insurance programs on the supply side of the business.”
On the other side is e-Care Management quoting a study that shows that those with chronic conditions do worse on CDHP, not surprising, since skipping appointments or medication to save money could easily result in a hospitalization.
No simple answers here – healthcare may act like a business and may need to change incentives, but incentives should move toward the best outcomes, not just market forces.Share this: