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Health IT in the News

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • Todd Park serves today as the chief technology officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. Before trying to fix American health care economics from Washington, he co-founded athenahealth with CEO Jonathan Bush. The Atlantic magazine has just published this profile of Park, describing him as the creative problem solver who just might figure out how to “revolutionize the health care industry.” Congrats, Todd!
  • A while back, our general counsel, Dan Orenstein, wrote about the need for information security around medical records and how the cloud-based solution like our EHR makes medical records both protected and accessible around the clock. He used the example of a Louisiana town that got clobbered by Hurricane Katrina, where in addition to losing so many structures and belongings, also lost the paper medical records of its citizens. It’s happened again, in Joplin, Missouri, following the May 22 tornado that left the town crippled and 134 people there dead. But while the existing paper records were scattered hither and yon, the hospital had converted to EHR just three weeks before the storm. Even though their medical records are safe, the tornado means residents face health and environmental hazards.
  • Ian Faith, cricket bat-wielding manager of the legendary rockers known as Spinal Tap, may have been a bit misinformed when he dismissed Boston as “not a big college town.” These past few weeks have seen a steady outpouring of eager young graduates from commencements all over the area. Dr. Atul Gawande, who has appeared in this blog several times, delivered the commencement address at Harvard Medical School this year and shared with graduates his view “that medicine’s complexity has exceeded our individual capabilities as doctors.” He posted his provocative remarks in The New Yorker.
  • In his speech to medical school graduates, Dr. Gawande compares doctors to cowboys and in this piece from Marketwatch, the EHR market is compared to the Wild West. CEO Jonathan Bush makes an appearance, arguing the point that our cloud-based model does not require sinking large amounts of cash upfront. But, he says, “Our biggest obstacle is awareness…I feel like I’m trying to explain freedom to people.”
  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting pushback from the medical community on ACOs. "It's pretty much a nonstarter as structured," says Anders M. Gilberg, of the Medical Group Management Association. Others in the article complain there’s too much risk and not enough incentive. We took on the task of explaining ACOs in this free on-demand webinar you can access at any time.
  • Finally, the new “czar” for health IT at the federal level, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, sat down for an interview with Kaiser Health News. Read his comments about progress in EHR adoption across the country.
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