The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

New Online Course Provides Resource for Caregivers

New Online Course Provides Resource for Caregivers: "Approximately 45
million people in the United States today devote a large portion of their
lives to caring for an aging or disabled relative. These millions of
Americans may be struggling alone with the pressures and difficult decisions
that come along with caregiving responsibilities.

But starting Oct. 4, 2004, these caregivers will have access to a free,
online resource designed to provide support, guidance, and education --
Caregiver University."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Telemedicine—the new link between India, Pakistan

Telemedicine—the new link between India, Pakistan: "A 32-year-old Pakistani woman diagnosed as suffering from the brain tumour has benefited from Apollo Hospital�s newly launched New Delhi-Lahore telemedicine link by getting expert advice from radiation oncologists.
The crucial link, a boon for patients and caregivers, looking for the best medical opinions, was inaugurated in Lahore today by Ms Anne Marie Moncure, Managing Director, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals."

NHS joint IT chief resigns after six months in the job

NHS joint IT chief resigns after six months in the job: "Aidan Halligan, the clinician appointed as joint senior responsible owner of the world's biggest civil IT project, has decided to quit after only six months.

He will be the second SRO to leave since the project was launched two years ago. He has also been the most senior figure in the Department of Health to be openly critical of aspects of the �2.3bn national programme for IT in the NHS, while remaining an enthusiastic supporter of its aims and plans.

Halligan, who is returning to his native Ireland to lead the health service there, has acknowledged that not enough had been done to win the support of clinicians. Their buy-in, he said, was critical to the success of the initiative."

Monday, September 27, 2004

Your patient wait may be at an end: telemedicine says the E-doctor is in

Your patient wait may be at an end: telemedicine says the E-doctor is in: "THE doctors' waiting room is stuffy, the receptionist frosty and the appointments are running unbelievably late.

You've already dragged yourself across town in lashing rain to get there for a simple, routine test. Flustered, annoyed, you're wishing there was a simpler way.

Yet already scores of patients are finding routine health checks don't have to mean raised stress levels, long journeys and endless waiting for the receptionist to announce: 'The doctor will see you now.'

Because for them - and their doctors - the age of telemedicine and e-health has already dawned.

Whether it's choosing our appointment times over the internet or carrying out our own routine tests at home and sending the results down the phone line or perhaps being diagnosed by a doctor in another city or even being treated by a consultant in a different country, advances in communication technology are gradually changing the way we are treated. "

Thursday, September 23, 2004

New Technology Facilitating Healthcare to the Elderly?

New Technology Facilitating Healthcare to the Elderly?: "Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of Wireless Healthcare 2004 to their offering.
(Logo: )
This report provides a comprehensive review of the market for wireless based ehealth.
While health providers are already geared up to dealing with an increasing number of elderly patients, and could probably cope with a rise in instances of obesity related diseases, they cannot do both without automating clinical processes and using technology to improve public health.
For the healthcare sector wireless and mobile technology have come along at an opportune time. For decades the healthcare sector has lagged behind the manufacturing and financial sectors in the adoption of automated processes. Now it can use mobile and wireless technology to realise the sort of efficiency gains achieved by banks and large businesses."

Digital records may improve health care

Digital records may improve health care: "Already some local doctors can can get laboratory results online, and they can read a summary of the records from a patient's hospital stay.
And by March, they will be able to order prescriptions for patients electronically.
The Taconic Health Information Network and Community held a conference Wednesday at the Culinary Institute of America to outline its efforts to allow local physicians and others in the health-care system to share information electronically. "

Pitt's medical record system on display for U.S. official

Pitt's medical record system on display for U.S. official: "The Bush administration wants doctors and hospitals to use more computer technology, and the physician responsible for making it happen is in town today to see whether the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's efforts could serve as a model.
Dr. David J. Brailer, information technology coordinator at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be examining UPMC's electronic health record project. Called the 'eRecord,' it is similar to what the federal government wants to see more health-care providers adopt."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Internet as medical adviser?

The Internet as medical adviser? : "While the future of health care is heatedly debated in this presidential election year, something less obvious, but possibly much more important, is occurring behind the scenes.
The energetic role of the Internet is beginning to supplant the priestly physician in the medical advisory role.
The hierarchic medical structure of the past � the doctors as high priests dispensing their knowledge in oracular fashion � is rapidly being replaced by the noisier, but vastly more knowledgeable Web. "

Seminar Combats ICD-9 Grace Period Elimination by Revealing Over 151 Coding Changes

Seminar Combats ICD-9 Grace Period Elimination by Revealing Over 151 Coding Changes: "This year, the grace period for
providers to implement the FY 2005 ICD-9 coding updates has been eliminated.
Effective October 1, 2004, claims using outdated codes 'will automatically be
returned to the provider for corrections, which could slow down cash flow and
result in extra time spent correcting documentation as well as claims,' says
M. Aaron Little, CPA, supervising consultant with BKD LLP in Springfield, Mo."

Eh, What's Up, Doc?

Eh, What's Up, Doc?: "If you thought manufacturing was slow to embrace information technology, check out the health-care industry. These people are finally starting to find their way after decades of wallowing around in a Sargasso Sea of paper. For a $1.5 trillion industry, you'd think they could afford a GPS or two. "

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Mechanicsburg, PA Hospital is First Rehab and First HealthSouth Facility to Purchase Vianeta Harmony

Mechanicsburg, PA Hospital is First Rehab and First HealthSouth Facility to Purchase Vianeta Harmony: "HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Mechanicsburg -- the largest freestanding rehabilitation facility in Central Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the state -- is the first physical medicine rehab hospital and the first HealthSouth facility to purchase Vianeta Harmony, said Vianeta Communications Chief Operating Officer Ralph Aceves.
Vianeta, a software developer headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., has pioneered the use of XML technology to create Vianeta Harmony, a unified Web-based e-HIM (Health Information Management) software platform. Hundreds of hospitals and clinics throughout North America use Vianeta Harmony -- the only native XML health IT solution on the market -- to reduce cost, improve revenue cycles, maximize efficiency, prevent errors, improve quality, ensure patient privacy and build a solid foundation for a true electronic medical record. "

Systems Xcellence announces US $1.2 Million RxEXPRESS(R) for Windows(R) contract

Systems Xcellence announces US $1.2 Million RxEXPRESS(R) for Windows(R) contract: "Systems Xcellence Inc.,
('SXC') (TSX: SXC) a leading provider of healthcare information technology
solutions throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain, today announced a
US$1.2 million agreement through its U.S. subsidiary, SXC Health Solutions,
Inc., with a national mail-order pharmacy based in the U.S. Under the terms of
the agreement, the mail-order pharmacy licensed SXC's RxEXPRESS(R) for
Windows(R) pharmacy management system ('RxEXPRESS') to manage its mail-order
pharmacy needs."

Siemens Soarian Continues to Gain Traction at Healthcare Facilities Across the Country

Siemens Soarian Continues to Gain Traction at Healthcare Facilities Across the Country: "Siemens Medical Solutions
announces that healthcare providers in several regions have recently gone live
on Soarian(R), Siemens new generation health information solution, with
modules including Soarian Clinical Team, Clinical Access and Scheduling"

The Korea Times : A Doctor Who Decided to Cure Computers

The Korea Times : A Doctor Who Decided to Cure Computers: "One on One with Ahn Chul-soo, CEO of Ahnlab

Ahn Chul-soo, CEO of Ahnlab Inc.
Dorothy: You were originally working in a medical field, what made you switch to the IT field all of a sudden?
Ahn: I am the eldest in a family of doctors. Being a doctor was naturally expected from my parents, and I also felt the obligation to be one. When I was young, I was interested in electronics, but to follow what was expected of me, I ended up going to medical school. I wanted to do something that could involve both electronics and medicine, so I chose to major in cardiac electro-physiology (CEP). CEP is the study of electricity within a human body. For example, when studying the heart, we would focus on the way it beats since it produces energy by itself. I was not a physician, but rather a medical scientist. "

Feds help fund high-tech hospital network

Feds help fund high-tech hospital network: "Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., announced Monday that the Central and Eastern Oregon Hospital Network has been awarded a one-time sum of $199,897 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

This investment will be used to identify the health information technology (HIT) infrastructure including computer hardware, software and systems integration � required to establish a regional approach to enhancing patient safety and quality care through the increased use of technology. "

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

AMIA Names Don Detmer President and CEO

AMIA Names Don Detmer President and CEO: "The Board of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) announce the appointment of Don E. Detmer, MD, MA as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the association. 'We are pleased that such a distinguished fellow of our college of informatics and a world renowned physician will be leading AMIA in these exciting times,' stated Charles Safran, MD, Chairman of the Board"

Dictaphone connects American hospital

Dictaphone connects American hospital: "The American Hospital Dubai's medical staff can now access patients� records from anywhere in the world using Dictaphone�s Enterprise Express.

The Enterprise Express, a medical records and transcription services system, was installed by Dictaphone's Middle East partner, systems integrator ViewNet Technologies.

Efforts to meet US standards for healthcare organisations has prompted the medical facility to upgrade its system, said Donna Cooper, Director, Medical Records, American Hospital Dubai."

Heart Hospital Embraces Digital Future

Heart Hospital Embraces Digital Future: "While many existing hospitals across the country are attempting to transform from paper-burdened environments by computerizing their patient clinical information and automating processes such as physician order entry, St. Francis Heart Hospital has been paperless -- as well as wireless and filmless -- since the Tulsa, Okla., cardiac center admitted its first patient in April. "

Patients get access to video conferencing

Patients get access to video conferencing: "Some people needing surgery and living in southern Queensland will not have to travel long distances for their pre-admission check up.
Toowoomba is the first place in the state to trial a new video conferencing service, linking patients with their doctors.
Telehealth Service's Anette Scott says the program is best suited to young people without a history of cardiac problems.
She says a nurse is present during the examination.
'We always have at the rural site a nurse accompanying the patient and that's usually to support the patient, help translate any requests to the patient, but also we have the nurse at the rural site to give us heights, weights, blood pressures and any other investigations that we might need carried out at that end,' she said."

Monday, September 13, 2004

WCCO: Mayo Clinic Seeking Patients

WCCO: Mayo Clinic Seeking Patients: "Usually, being a world-class medical institution speaks for itself. But Mayo Clinic has resorted to advertising and sending its doctors overseas to drum up business.

A combination of new facilities and technological advances, planned years ago and now coming online, and competition from Twin Cities hospitals means that the clinic now has more capacity in some areas than it can fill."

Digital Docs

Digital Docs: "Dr. Jim Little enters a patient's exam room at Family Physicians Group clinic in west Vancouver and instead of flipping open a paper chart, swings a computer screen and keyboard away from the wall.
With a few key strokes, Little pulls up the patient's electronic medical record, which gives him information from prior clinic visits, lab test results, notes on treatment and medications ---- everything organized for easy access.
Little and 16 other doctors, five physician assistants and staff at Family Physicians' two offices have been using the networked electronic system for three years. "

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Board OKs funds for telemedprogram

Board OKs funds for telemedprogram: "Eighty miles of mostly two-lane roads connect Callaway to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

For Callaway's 650 residents, driving to Kearney for a half hour of diabetes counseling can shoot a full day, said Marvin Neth, administrator of the 12-bed Callaway District Hospital, Nebraska's smallest.

Or they can get the same information in about an hour using the two-way interactive television that connects the hospitals, he said.

On Wednesday, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted to spend more than $800,000 annually to bring this and other telemedicine benefits to the roughly two-thirds of state hospitals still without dedicated high-speed data connections.
The money will help link rural hospitals to regional hubs and connect those larger hospitals to each other."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Telepsychiatry Technology helps doctors reach out to rural Maine

Telepsychiatry Technology helps doctors reach out to rural Maine: "Grab one of Maine's skinny, rural phonebooks, turn to the yellow pages and look up 'psychiatrists.' In many areas, there will be just one doctor listed -- or none at all. It's illustrative of a problem: Many Mainers lack access to psychiatric care.
But a ground-breaking, first-in-the-nation initiative launched this summer is attempting to link rural patients to doctors in more populous areas. Using high-capacity phone lines, cameras and television screens, doctors are now consulting with patients hundreds of miles away, while seeming like they're sitting just a few feet away"

EMMC tests new technology

EMMC tests new technology: "Terri-Lee Brown, a registered nurse in Eastern Maine Medical Center's rehabilitation unit, is looking up a critical piece of information about her patient.

Instead of leafing through the bulky loose-leaf chart most people are familiar with, Brown clicks to the data she needs on a backlit computer screen.

The small wireless computer is mounted on a wheeled pedestal. Brown affectionately calls the mobile rig a 'computer-on-a-stick' or 'my buddy' and trundles it with her as she moves from room to room taking vital signs, dispensing medications, assessing progress and managing the problems of her patients. "

Do more to prevent hospital errors

Wichita Eagle | 09/07/2004 | Do more to prevent hospital errors: "As many as 195,000 Americans may be dying needlessly in hospitals each year from preventable medical mistakes.
That's the shocking conclusion of a study released in July by HealthGrades, an independent health care research group.
Think about it: More people die from hospital errors every six months than died during the entire Vietnam War.
Besides the tragic human costs, the economic price tag is staggering: Medical errors cost the Medicare system nearly $3 billion annually in excess in-patient costs, according to the study.
The report doubles the estimate of an Institute of Medicine study five years ago that put the annual patient death toll from errors at 98,000.
Whatever the exact number, it's far too many.
Blame part of the problem on the outdated systems for patient records and drug ordering in most hospitals. Earlier this year, President Bush announced an initiative to have Americans' health records computerized in 10 years -- a good idea that could help standardize patient information across the nation and make records more accessible."

Friday, September 03, 2004

Electronic records for dental clinic

ic Wales - Electronic records for dental clinic: "THE world's first hospital-based electronic patient record for dentistry has been installed in Wales.
The Salud system, developed by Two-Ten Health, has been installed in the new paediatric dental clinic at the University Dental School in Cardiff.
The software, which creates a paperless work environment has also been installed at the Primary Dental Care Teaching Unit at in St David's Hospital, in Cardiff."

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Network allows transmission of X-rays

Winston-Salem Journal | Network allows transmission of X-rays: "A patient receives a magnetic-resonance-imaging scan in a Mount Airy clinic run by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Within seconds, the scans are beamed to the medical center in Winston-Salem for analysis.
Sounds far-fetched? It isn't.
The medical center has installed a new data-transmission network for the center and its clinics, allowing doctors to transmit large amounts of medical-imaging data and saving patients from traveling long hours for diagnostic services, hospital officials said yesterday."