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Health IT in the News

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • Last fall, Dell surveyed 150 hospital executives and 309 patients in hospitals about health IT.  Several useful findings are shared in this article from HealthcareIT News. Of all the questions, the greatest majority response was the 85% of hospital executives who are concerned about affording the investment that can be required for implementation and use of health IT, like EHR. From the patient perspective, concerns over information security persist and nearly one third of patients use online resources to educate themselves about health matters.
  • You may have heard of cloud computing by now and that athenahealth is in the cloud, so to speak. But unlike a technology company that enables businesses to run more efficiently in the cloud, we provide “cloud-based services” for practice management, EHR and patient communication to medical groups. It’s the right answer for solo doctors on up to hospitals, for too many reasons to describe here. Now with recent consumer-directed efforts like these Microsoft TV spots, the cloud is gaining a higher public profile. The competition among businesses in the cloud gained the attention of Bloomberg Businessweek, which dedicated its March 3 cover story to it. A standout line, “One other thing about the cloud: It's turbulent. It's getting to be war up there.” But perhaps closer to home, HealthcareIT News reports on the cloud from the hospital CIO perspective.
  • The Centers for Disease Control offered a preliminary estimate that more than half of office-based doctors in the U.S. were using an EHR either fully or partially in 2010. That is up from 18 percent on an EHR ten years ago.
  • Thanks to The New York Times for covering Patient Centered Medical Home, or PCMH, even if it reports that some practices get off to a roaring start only to get bogged down with “change fatigue.” The story, which is based on a study from Health Affairs, is worth a read. It points to the need for an evolution toward what are described as medical “neighborhoods” where providers can easily “collaborate and share information about their patients.”  Neighborhood, community, sounds familiar either way. There was also this: Taking on electronic prescribing, patient portals and other technological advancements “proved more difficult than originally envisioned because the health information technology currently marketed to primary care practices resembles a jumble of jigsaw pieces rather than components of an integrated and interoperable system.” Suffice to say we are all about making sure providers have an “integrated and interoperable system” at their fingertips. One of our clients in western Massachusetts had a much more positive experience with PCMH. Here’s a video about their success. Lastly on PCMH, several physician organizations recently put out some new PCMH guidelines.
  • If you don’t already, you might want to bookmark this health-related blog. Lately, it featured pieces on marijuana, sex and lefties. What more could you ask for?
  • Now for two videos featuring our CEO, Jonathan Bush. First, he joined a forum hosted by The Economist for a talk with Colin Harrison, director of corporate strategy at IBM and Amir Peleg, founder and CEO of TaKaDu, entitled “It’s a smart world: Are smart systems really worth the cost?” And second, yes it’s finally out—the much-anticipated performance on stage at the HISsies awards in Orlando at HIMSS! The good stuff kicks off after 11:20.
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