A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality


HIT* Has Missed -- So Far (*Health Information Technology)

The New England Journal of Medicine article, Use of Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals, by Ashish Jha et al. (described here through WBUR's excellent story on the topic), reports on results of a survey of electronic health record (EHR) adoption in all acute care hospital members of the American Hospital Association. The authors' conclusion from analyzing the data is hardly surprising: U.S. acute care hospitals have very low levels of EHR adoption. The reasons -- the expense, lack of interoperability (so that records, even if electronic, can be difficult to share), lack of technical... Read more »

The Flipside: Privacy As A Promoter, NOT A Preventer of Health Information Exchange

In the thoughtful and informative article by Deven McGraw, James Dempsey, Leslie Harris, and Janlori Goldman, Privacy As An Enabler, Not An Impediment: Building Trust Into Health Information Exchange (abstract), in the most recent issue of Health Affairs, the authors present a clear and compelling argument that turns the privacy-as-a-barrier-to-HIE on its head. They contend that "enhanced privacy and security built into health IT systems will bolster the public trust and confidence that are critical to the rapid adoption of health IT and realization of its benefits." According to the... Read more »

Consumer Engagement 2.0: the Next Generation

The most recent edition of Health Affairs is chock full of articles about e-health, which is not surprising, given the amount of attention it is getting everywhere, thanks to the ARRA -- American Reinvestment and Recovery Act -- appropriation of $19 billion for health information technology. Read more »

Mass Health Information Technology Council - Mini Meeting, Maxi Agenda

Wednesday's meeting of the Mass Health Information Technology Council was brief and to the point -- the Council has to quickly integrate the e-health requirements in Chapter 305, the cost containment bill Massachusetts passed last year, with the e-health provisions in the federal stimulus bill -- ARRA, or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- to make sure that Massachusetts gets the biggest bang for its e-health buck. Over the next two months, the Council will hold a series of stakeholder meetings to elicit comments and feedback from various groups about electronic health records.... Read more »

Mass Health Information Technology Council, Meeting 1, the Sequel

An additional meeting of the Health Information Technology Council will be on Thursday, February 26, from 2 - 4, at 1 Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Matta Conference Room, was added to the schedule because the agenda for the first meeting last week could not be covered in the time allotted. So welcome to Part II! Please come to find out how the statewide rollout of health information technology is going to be implemented in Massachusetts. Lisa Fenichel Read more »

First Meeting of the Massachusetts Health Information Technology Council

The first meeting of the Massachusetts Health Information Technology Council, established in SECTION 4 of Chapter 305, the cost containment law, will take place tomorrow, February 19, from 10 - 11:30, in the Matta Conference Room, 11th floor, 1 Ashburton Place, Boston. (Swearing in of members will take place a little before the start of the meeting.) Read more »

E-Health On The Move

HCFA's Consumer Network for Healthcare e-Quality Luncheon Series Friday featured a presentation by Jerilyn Heinold and Diane Stone, Directors of two HISPC (Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative) projects, a joint effort of the federal government and state groups working to move health information technology forward in a thoughtful, consumer-centric way. The presentation for this meeting, "HISPC Multi-State Consumer Education & Engagement Collaborative" (click here for presentation summary), covered the many areas, including a self-directed tutorial, FAQs, legal inventory... Read more »

E-Health Privacy E-Vent Friday

The Consumer Network for Healthcare e-Quality's lunch series offers a presentation this Friday February 6, 11:45 - 1:00, at Health Care For All, 30 Winter Street, Boston. The lunch will look at the work of the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC) multistate Consumer Education and Engagement Collaborative. Details of the project, focusing on personal health records (PHRs), their strengths and weaknesses, particularly with regard to privacy and security of sensitive health information, as well as consumer guidelines for choosing and using PHRs will be discussed.... Read more »

E-Health Success Story in Wisconsin

With a national focus on e-health as a piece of the national health reform puzzle, and President-elect Obama looking to spend $50 billion on the adoption of e-health technology, the New York Times Business section featured an article this past Saturday about the use of e-health at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, a large doctors' group with 790 doctors seeing more than 365,000 patients per year at 43 locations. Read more »

Medical Identit-e-Crisis

If the idea of medical ID theft is keeping you up at night, I recommend Parade magazine's article on this topic by Jennifer Nelson, which appeared Sunday, December 7. The bad news is that the unforeseen consequences of such an event can "jeopardize not only your credit but also your health." The good news is that there are steps that an individual can take to resolve this pernicious problem. Health Privacy Expert Joy Pritts of Georgetown's Health Policy Institute, who has been instrumental in keeping privacy in the forefront of the national e-health conversation and has been enormously... Read more »


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