The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

NHS computer system probed

BBC NEWS | UK | NHS computer system probed: "Government spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, is to investigate a �6.2bn programme to install a computer system at the NHS. "

Monday, August 30, 2004

NHS GPs 'to offer online booking'

BBC NEWS | Health | NHS GPs 'to offer online booking': "Many NHS patients could soon be able to make an appointment to see their GP over the internet.
Leeds-based firm EMIS provides computer software to 55% of GPs in England. It has developed a programme that allows patients to make appointments online. "

Thursday, August 26, 2004

UC Davis Medical Center Tests Robot That Brings Your Doctor To You After Surgery

UC Davis Medical Center Tests Robot That Brings Your Doctor To You After Surgery: " UC Davis Medical Center has begun testing a new, five-and-a-half-foot-tall robot that allows physicians to personally check in and interact with their hospital patients following surgery � without the doctor actually being there in person."

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

His goal: Computerized patient records

His goal: Computerized patient records: "A few years ago, Dr. John Halamka's grandmother died and his quest to computerize medical records became personal.

Halamka had pressed for electronic medical records years earlier and won awards for developing cutting-edge technology for CareGroup, which includes Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. But when his grandmother died, in part, he believed, from a medical error, he became even more driven to hasten the day when every patient's health records are available on a computer, able to be accessed by doctors anywhere."

Monday, August 23, 2004

After shakeout medical websites find new health

After shakeout medical websites find new health: "When a 32-year-old patient with rapid heart palpitations showed up in the emergency room at Massachusetts General Hospital saying she suffered from Holt-Oram Syndrome%2C Dr. Jonathan Adler had no idea what this syndrome was. But he knew he had to work quickly. Using his computer%2C he looked up a comprehensive description on a Nebraska-based Web database of various diseases and conditions. He got his answer in minutes -- an inherited disorder that causes abnormalities of the upper limbs and heart."

Friday, August 20, 2004

Virtual veins give nurses a hand

Virtual veins give nurses a hand: "A virtual reality handC complete with vital veins that feels could help trainee nurses practise their jabs. The tactile 3D virtual reality system uses force feedback technology that is usually found in video game controllers known as haptics. It could help in learning sensitive venopuncture skills on a variety of hand types instead of plastic models. "

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Communications to Community Hospital

Cisco Brings Big City Communications to Community Hospital: "Jefferson Memorial Hospital faces an all too common challenge for community health care providers these days. The 114-bed facility in Ranson%2C W. Vir.%2C has big city standards for its medical services but a small town budget. But by turning to Cisco Systems%2C Jefferson Memorial was able to create a communications system that is markedly boosting the quality of its care while saving the organization money."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Nurses get wireless access to patient cancer records

Nurses get wireless access to patient cancer records: "The Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology%2C Merseyside%2C has installed a wireless nursing information system that allows bedside access to patient records.%0D%0AThe system%2C from IMS MAXIS%2C makes a large amount of data available to nurses through computer terminals and a wireless connection. All clinicians using the system can access it through a security key and update and view details including all admission documents%2C medications%2C and also demographics and lifestyle habits.%0D%0AIt also interfaces with the hospital%27s patient administration system and radiotherapy scheduling system%2C so full details to the clinical record can be accessed.%0D%0AAnne Bedford%2C training manager at CCO%2C said that some nurses had initial teething troubles but are now extremely positive about the system%3A %22Moving some staff from a situation of being terrified of computers to becoming real advocates of %27their%27 system%2C even to the point of requesting modifications to get more out of it%2C has been enormously satisfying and shows a real buy-in to the system.%22"

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Eye a Robot: Robot That Brings Your Doctor to You After Surgery

Eye a Robot: Robot That Brings Your Doctor to You After Surgery: "UC Davis Medical Center has begun testing a new%2C five-and-a-half-foot-tall robot that allows physicians to personally check in and interact with their hospital patients following surgery %97 without the doctor actually being there in person. %0D%0AThe medical center is one of four sites in the nation participating in a scientific study to determine if a robot is a useful and safe complement to the standard care following surgery. UC Davis urologist Lars Ellison is studying whether a surgeon can adequately assess patients from a remote location using a machine that is know affectionately around the hospital as %93Rudy%94.%0D%0AFrom his office or home%2C Ellison can guide a surprisingly agile machine down the halls of the hospital and right into the rooms of his patients. Equipped with a camera%2C TV screen and microphone%2C %93Rudy%94 allows Ellison to have a conversation with his patient in much the same way traditional bedside rounds are conducted. Both the doctor and patient can see and hear each other%2C and the robot%92s camera can zoom in to provide a view of the patient%92s vital signs and surgical incision."

Some Online Health Information Can Be Misleading

Some Online Health Information Can Be Misleading: "Just hearing the word cancer can have a devastating effect on those diagnosed with the disease. Many people looking for more information turn to the Internet. But as patients surf the Web looking for hope many may find discouraging news. When Steve Shakal learned he had lung cancer he went online to learn more. What he found about his advanced-stage cancer did not cheer him up. Four years ago Steve Shakal learned he had lung cancer. He wanted to know more about the disease so he went online. "I searched for lung cancer and I got oodles and oodles and oodles of hits" he said. What Shakal found about his advanced-stage cancer did not cheer him up.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Software automates school health records

Software automates school health records - 08/15/04: "A small Michigan software company has quietly been marketing a program called HealthOffice to help schools across the country streamline health care procedures, and obtain much-needed Medicaid reimbursements.
School health care officials, including school nurses and special education professionals, are required by both professional and state authorities to keep detailed, confidential records about each child that receives their care.
These documents have traditionally been kept by hand, a time-consuming and inefficient method of tracking such things as treatments for minor illnesses, medication dosing schedules and other services.
To keep up with the paperwork, providers often save record-keeping for the end of the school day or take it home with them. But delaying documentation can compromise the accuracy of the records. "

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Health Records Go Digital

Health Records Go Digital : "Cooper Clinic's Dr. Todd Stewart likens President Bush�s call for electronic medical records for most Americans to former President Kennedy�s call for a Moon shot.

It looks simple but, in fact, is very complex, he said. �But the first step is for somebody to say �We�re going there,�� Stewart, an internist, said.

Even more than increasing administrative efficiencies, implementing EMR is about improving patient care and safety, Stewart and other area health care officials said.

In April, Bush called for nationwide health information technology within 10 years, created the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and asked for a plan. On July 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson released an outline of the subsequent report.

Its goals include: Bringing information tools to the point of care, particularly by investing in EMR systems; networking doctors to a health information infrastructure and allowing records to follow patients; allowing patients more access and involvement in decisions; and improving the health of the population via expanded public health monitoring capabilities, quality of care measurement and bringing research advances into practice faster."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Technology and caring for older adults

Centre Daily Times | 08/09/2004 | Penn State Perspectives | Technology and caring for older adults: "Statistics bear this out. About one in every four households is involved in some form of caregiving, with more than 22 million households with persons providing care to someone aged 50 years or older. With the majority of caregivers dedicating 20 hours or more a week to caregiving, many struggle to remain employed and meet other family obligations.
For many, technology holds the key to meeting such caregiving-related challenges. Advances in technology -- including telemedicine, expanded uses of the Internet, and robotics -- are beginning to transform the way we care for frail older adults. For frail older adults living at home alone, for example, there are now electronic daily reporting services that use simple wireless motion and light sensors to collect data on their daily living activities."

Patients Benefit From New Technology

Patients Benefit From New Technology: "Besides record keeping, there are other recent technologies that are also helping the medical field here in East Texas.
Telemedicine is a video conferencing system between doctors at various branches of UTMB. It allows doctors from different clinics from Galveston to Nacogdoches, to even Beaumont to confer face to face.
Doctors say patients benefit from this new technology because they can communicate patient information and speak with a specialist without having to drive to another city."

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Patient charts move toward digital age

Patient charts move toward digital age: "Once he was diagnosed with diabetes in October, John Pomponio relied on the latest in medical tests and the most advanced prescription drugs to bring his disease under control.
It was a different story, though, when it came to the medical records that tracked how the 45-year-old Yonkers man responded to treatment.
That was strictly low-tech.
'In most places, the records are done the same way it's been done for 100 years: pen and ink,' said Pomponio's physician, Dr. John E. Jacoby. 'Only the handwriting is worse.'
While information technology has become a pillar of the economy, dramatically improving productivity, patient records are stuck in an information-age backwater. As a result, medical charts get misplaced, lab results are lost and, yes, doctors' handwritten notes cannot be deciphered. "

Saturday, August 07, 2004

St. Luke's aiming to put all medical records on computer

St. Luke's aiming to put all medical records on computer: "Technological advances are nothing new for hospitals. But at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen, even record-keeping is getting sophisticated.
The hospital is in the midst of a years-long process to get rid of paper documents and replace them with computer files."

Friday, August 06, 2004

A good health story as renal treatment gets smart

inverell.yourguide: "RENAL patients requiring dialysis will get better treatment with the introduction of a sophisticated record keeping system.

'Smart Health� records patient information in an on-line database, which means it can be downloaded and upgraded at any site where the patients receive dialysis.

New England Area Health Service deputy administrator Fergus Fizsimons, who launched Smart Health

late last week, assured patients that the highest level of privacy would be maintained.

'This is a first in NSW where patient information is transferred in a sophisticated electronic manner and I congratulate our nephrologist, Dr Stephen May, who leads the NEAHS renal team, for his visionary approach to patient record keeping and retrieval.� Mr Fitzsimons said.

Dr May said demand for renal services was increasing."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

E-Charts: 'Paperless' hospital uses electronic files

Winston-Salem Journal | E-Charts: 'Paperless' hospital uses electronic files: "With no patient chart in sight, Dr. Sheila Gamache strides into Thom Kolby's hospital room to check on him a day after he arrived ashen-faced and perilously close to death with a clogged artery.
Rather than flipping through pages of notations and test results, Gamache checks Kolby's condition by logging onto a wireless notepad she carries on her daily rounds at the Indiana Heart Hospital."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Considered science fiction neural technology is opening doors

KRT Wire | 08/03/2004 | Considered science fiction neural technology is opening doors: "Jesse Sullivan doesn't know exactly how his brain liberated itself from his armless body and began doing things for him on its own. But he has become a pioneer in a new field of medicine called neural engineering, whose practitioners are proving that there is such a thing as mind over matter.
Sullivan, a Tennessee power company worker who lost both arms in a job-related accident, has been outfitted by Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago researchers with a kind of bionic arm, which is controlled directly by his thoughts. This extraordinary achievement - just one of several breakthroughs nationally in linking mental activity with machines-signifies an impending step of immense proportions: The human brain is poised to make its biggest evolutionary leap since the appearance of early man eons ago."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Southpinellas: Behind the Bay Pines debacle: innovations, accusations

Southpinellas: Behind the Bay Pines debacle: innovations, accusations: "A few years ago, a Kansas nurse returning a rental car saw the attendant swipe a bar code on the car window, producing an instant receipt.
The nurse persuaded her local Veterans Affairs hospital to strap bar code wristbands on all patients. Before medicine was doled out, portable computers could show the prescribed dosage, recent test results, even what the patient had for breakfast.
Medication errors dropped 70 percent."