Today’s EHR and HIT news includes news from Advanced Data Systems on their latest Black Book Rankings, customer news from CommVault and TriMed Technologies as well as ‘go live’ news from Advantas. [Read more…]
GNS Healthcare, Inc. (GNS) announced today a collaboration with David W. Bates, MD, M.Sc. and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Their collaboration will focus initially on predicting adverse drug events and on hospital readmissions for patients admitted for congestive heart failure.
“GNS is incredibly excited to announce this collaboration with Dr. Bates, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, which Dr. Bates directs. Dr. Bates is internationally renowned in using technology to improve patient safety, quality of care, and cost effectiveness. His work has demonstrated that the most effective way to prevent costly adverse events is to improve systems and the information they can make available,” said GNS Healthcare Founder and CEO, Colin Hill. “We feel strongly that GNS’ platform will provide new insights that will be pivotal to realizing major improvements and truly personalizing care.”
The collaboration will use GNS’s proprietary REFS™ platform and data from the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of patients treated by the Partners HealthCare system. Together, they aim to identify the hidden, underlying pathways and relationships that are driving such events. Once surfaced, these can be harnessed to reduce the adverse impact these issues have on people’s health. Preventable adverse events are estimated to cost the U.S. medical system as much as $50 billion a year.
“GNS Healthcare has developed supercomputer-driven, hypothesis-free technologies to extract actionable insights from large, complex healthcare datasets,” said Dr. David Bates, Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at BWH, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. “The hypothesis-free approach represents an exciting way to identify non-obvious combinations of conditions, drugs and other factors that lead to adverse events, and reveal what activities can mitigate them. This has the potential to dramatically increase the quality of patient care while reducing overall costs.”
Beyond predicting which patients are at high-risk of an ADE or readmission, the collaborators aim to identify interventions that help professionals prevent these events from occurring. The collaboration complements work GNS is doing with leading pharmacy benefit managers related to ADE predictions, their efforts with leading providers related to predicting ‘never events’, and several other analytic efforts in health care.
I came across a couple of thought provoking articles that I hope you didn’t miss last week. The first, by Anthony Guerra at HealthSystemCIO.com is titled An Influential Voice For Restraint. The second was an open letter to the ONC on it’s certification process by Jim Tate that was posted at govhealthit.com.
In An Influential Voice for Restraint Anthony Guerra makes the case that “the most effective advocate is not the individual who, from the beginning, has spoken out in favor of a cause, but one who previously occupied the opposing ground.” In the article, the Influential Voice is that of John Halamka, M.D., who is resigning from his position as CIO of Harvard Medical School.
The article makes the case that Dr. Halamka, who is also the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, appears to be changing his earlier positive opinion of all that can be accomplished under the HITECH Act, and appears to be taking “issue with the pace of change being forced upon the industry by government.”
It’s a great article and one well worth reading. The article also links to a recent post by Dr. Halamka where he makes a compelling case that Healthcare is Different and can’t be measured by the same guidelines applied to other industries.
Jim Tate, the author of the engaging and useful book The Incentive Roadmap (affiliate link), wrote an open letter to the ONC on it’s certification process. In the letter Jim expresses his concern “that the current process of ONC guidance to the ONC-ATCBs could possibly lead to inconsistent interpretations of testing requirements which could lead to vendors shopping for the “easiest” test environment. ”
To quote from the letter:
“The bottom line is that in some instances it is significantly easier to successfully test and become certified depending on which ONC-ATCB a vendor selects. The bottom line is that in some instances it is significantly easier to successfully test and become certified depending on which ONC-ATCB a vendor selects. Nobody is doing anything wrong here or trying to bend the rules. Every ONC-ATCB I have worked with has shown a high level of professionalism and integrity. However, the process by which ONC provides clarification to the ONC-ATCBs must be modified so all ONC-ATCBs know exactly what functional elements and specifications are required during testing.”
I’d encourage you to read Jim’s open letter at govhealthit.com.
Image Credit aafromaa
Rock Health, a new seed accelerator devoted exclusively to interactive health care applications, opened up their offices last week to eleven start-ups who are in the process of developing mobile and web based healthcare technology.
Rock Health is using the Y-Combinator model of making extremely early stage investments in a number of different startups in hopes of nurturing them to viability. They plan on doing this by providing access to office space in San Francisco, branding, communications and legal support as well as access to mentoring and Rock Health medical partners like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.
I had the opportunity to speak with Rock Health co-founder and Managing Director Halle Tecco who explained that while things were somewhat chaotic in the new office space people were settling in and great work was being done.
Rock Health’s initial group of startups will all be working from within the new offices and they’ll be joined by at least 20 other ‘member startups’. These companies will have access to Rock Health support and expertise as well as access to the office space for meetings but Rock Health is not, at present, funding them.
We started our conversation by discussing the expectations that Rock Health had for this initial group of startups. According to Halle “the 11 startups came to us at different stages of their development. Some came to us with just a great idea and a great team while others had teams that had already released a product to the market. So across that spectrum we have different expectations based upon where they started.”
She continued by saying “generally we hope they make significant progress in two places. One is the product, getting a really well designed meaningful product up and running and being testing with our hospital partners, patients and medical professionals. And second there is the business behind the product. Thinking through the financing model and how they’ll get access to capital to grow. Coming up with the business plan and the revenue model, coming up with a really solid story and then connecting them with the investors.”
As a seed accelerator Rock Health wants to be able to remove the hurdles that most startups face when trying to launch their businesses. By providing access and support to the founders while they focus on building their applications Rock Health will significantly smooth the pathway to building the type of sustainable company that venture investors are actively looking to invest in. Of course the relationships that Rock Health has with their medical partners should be invaluable to new healthcare technology companies as well. [Read more…]
Corporations, academics and private citizens responded to a national developer challenge issued this spring by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School designed to inspire innovation in health information technology (IT) and the way in which health IT supports health care. Fifteen applications were submitted to the “SMART” Platform Apps Challenge in the less than three months since its launch, and an expert judging panel of industry leaders has selected the Meducation SMART app as the winner of the $5,000 prize. Six teams received honorable mention.
Launched in March and posted to Challenge.gov, the SMART (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies) Platform Apps Challenge tasked developers with creating web applications that would interface with an electronic medical record (EMR) or personally controlled health record (PCHR) and demonstrate value to patients, physicians, or public health researchers. A SMART architecture and common programming interface were created and made publicly available to entrants.
The Meducation SMART app, designed by Polyglot Systems, Inc. – a health IT company with a focus on improving care and access for underserved patient populations – provides multilingual, patient-friendly instructions for medications listed in a physician’s electronic medical record or the personally controlled health record of a patient. The app uses the SMART programming interface to obtain the medication list and then links out to a drug information database, which facilitates the generation of simplified medication instructions for patients, available in a dozen languages.
“This is a production quality application that brings real value to the patient and has a clean presentation,” said Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and co-lead on the SMART project. [Read more…]
M*Modal announced today that it has been selected as a strategic partner by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston, MA, one of the nation’s premier healthcare organizations. M*Modal will integrate its Speech Understanding™ technology with BIDMC’s proprietary Radiology Information System (RIS) in order to provide voice-driven radiology reporting capabilities. The integrated system will support a department with over 600 full time employees (FTEs) that completes more than 300,000 exams annually across all modalities and generates approximately 800,000 minutes of dictation.
BIDMC selected M*Modal as part of a strategic initiative in which the medical center sought to provide a complete solution that would launch directly from BIDMC’s RIS and offer flexible workflow options for the radiologists. A major emphasis is on promoting self-completion of reports for optimal efficiency.
“M*Modal is best able to meet our requirements for a solution that tightly integrates with our RIS and that will produce higher quality and far more efficient reporting as a result,” said Allen Reedy, Radiology Business Director at Beth Israel Deaconess. “In addition, M*Modal’s ability to generate structured documentation automatically from narrative is a major plus and is consistent with BIDMC’s objectives.” [Read more…]
Through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have developed a first-of-its kind platform architecture to support a flexible health information technology (IT) environment and promote innovation. The SMArt (Substitutable Medical Applications, reusable technologies) platform and interface are being made publicly available today to kick off the start of a $5,000 competition challenging developers to create web applications that provide specific functionality for patients, physicians, or for public health.
First described in a March 2009 New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives article, the SMArt architecture is an “iPhone-like” health IT platform model that aims to transform the way health IT supports health care by facilitating the development of medical applications that are scalable and substitutable; that will drive competition, innovation, and increased efficiency in the functionality of technology for improved health care.
ONC awarded $15 million to the project in April 2010 through the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program. The SMArt project will enable the equivalent of an iTunes App Store for health and support an ecosystem of applications ranging from medication managers for patients at home to e-prescribing applications and decision support for physicians in the office.
“The goal of this model is to enable a substantial shift towards technologies that are flexible and able to quickly adapt to meet the various needs of their users on a variety of devices,” said Kenneth Mandl, M.D., MPH, of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program and Harvard Medical School, and co-lead on the SMArt project. “As developers begin to compete on quality, value and usability, we expect to see the introduction of an array of innovative functions and a drop in the cost of healthcare technology. Just as staple applications of the iPad, Android, and Blackberry platforms constantly evolve and compete to meet user demands, the SMArt platform will enable health IT to do the same.”
Developers interested in learning more about the SMArt project and/or participating in the SMArt health app challenge may visit www.smartplatforms.org/challenge for complete details and an environment for development. Entrants are eligible to receive an award – $5,000 and release in an “App Store” – for best application.
You can learn more at the ONC’s Health IT Buzz Blog.
Christiana Care Health System is taking a giant leap forward toward a comprehensive Electronic Health Record with the launch of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), technology that makes it easier, more efficient and safer for doctors to order tests and medications.
The system goes live on Jan. 28 at Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital and soon thereafter at its other hospital, Christiana Hospital. It will be the most extensive use of CPOE in Delaware and one of only a handful in the region.
“CPOE transforms the way we provide care to our patients because it emphasizes patient safety by dramatically reducing the risk of medication and order entry errors,” says Terri Steinberg, M.D., MBA, Christiana Care’s chief medical information officer. “It also helps doctors to be more efficient in patient care.” [Read more…]