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Archive for the 'Healthcare IT' Category

Health IT in Four Countries

How have different countries developed their health IT systems? A paper by Adler-Milstein et. al in Health Affairs provides some insight. I summarize their findings below. Australia. In the 1990s-early 2000s, the government supported the adoption of EHRs through federal incentives to general practitioners. These efforts focused primarily on EHRs with e-prescribing. In 2005 the […]

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The Apple Watch and Health

Apple recently unveiled its smart watch.  The watch not only is a mini-computer, but it can help improve your health. Pharmafile reports: The watch comes with an app that promises to calculate all kinds of data including heart rate, calories burned and other metrics in one place – and can also count how many stairs […]

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Do we need to go back to PHRs?

There has been lots of public outcry for integrated, interoperable electronic health records (EHR).  Having EHRs silos makes it difficult for physicians, hospitals and other providers to share information with one another and with patients.  However, there is one benefit of these silos; any data breach will be somewhat contained. Are data breaches of EMRs a problem. […]

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Do EHRs increase “upcoding”?

Upcoding occurs when physician or hospitals artificially increase the patient’s severity of illness. For instance, a hospital may record additional comorbidities. In Medicare’s inpatient prospective payment systems (IPPS), Medicare reimburses hospitals more for caring for patients who are sicker. Some health policy experts worry that electronic health records (EHRs) will decrease the cost of documenting […]

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New Apple iOS adds Health

Typically, when Apple unveils a new operating system much of the talk is about new features, faster processing speeds and new visualizations.  Apple’s unveiling of their most recent operating system is no different.  However, this release has a unique focus: health. Apple is getting into the quantified self health movement with their new Health app.  The app […]

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“The medical marketplace is broken”

This quote is from David Blumenthal, a physician and former Harvard Medical School professor, who was the national coordinator for health information technology between 2009-2011.  He describes in an interview for the Atlantic why adoption of electronic medical records has been so slow in the U.S. From the patient’s perspective, this is a no-brainer. The benefits […]

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Why a national EMR may never happen in the U.S.

Technophiles pine for the data when any hospital or clinic can access all your health information from a single source.  Due to competitive pressures, however, it is unlikely that a national EMR will emerge in the near future.  Miller and Tucker (JHE 2014) explain: We find empirically that larger hospital systems are more likely to […]

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Hospital Adoption of EHR

Rising, but penetration is still far below 100%. Courtesy of Health Affairs. Source: Catherine M. DesRoches, Dustin Charles, Michael F. Furukawa, Maulik S. Joshi, Peter Kralovec, Farzad Mostashari, Chantal Worzala and Ashish K. Jha. Adoption Of Electronic Health Records Grows Rapidly, But Fewer Than Half Of US Hospitals Had At Least A Basic System In […]

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Is the “Online Health Clinic” the Wave of the Future?

HealthPartners argues that the answer is yes. In a 2013 Health Affairs article, they argue the following: HealthPartners in Minnesota launched an online clinic called virtuwell in late 2010. After more than 40,000 cases, we report an average $88 lower cost per episode compared with care received in traditional settings, strong indicators of clinical effectiveness, […]

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Is EHR a Money Loser for Physicians?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Policymakers, however, have been very excited about EHR and for good reason.  For instance, the  Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the 2009 stimulus package, provided direct dollars to doctors and hospitals who adopt and “meaningfully use” an EHR system. A paper by Milstein, Green […]

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