Learning Health Systems – MIE 2016

The first day of Medical Informatics Europe 2016 for me consisted of a tutorial led by Dr Niels Peek and Dr Evan Kontopantelis from the University of Manchester on the topic of Learning Health Systems followed by two very interesting Keynotes from Martin McKee and Andre Kushniruk.

First, Learning Health Systems.  The original concept was developed by the Institute of Medicine in the US in 2007:

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Since then, the concept has been adopted for several large research studies such as the PCORI network in the US and the Transform EU project. In Manchester Neils and Evan are using the concept in their research using CPRD and other large UK health databases through the Health e-Research Centre.

Our research group at Oxford has also been looking into Learning Health Systems, particularly for use in low-resource settings such as Kenya and we recently published a paper in PLOS Medicine about this opportunity.

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The MIE Learning Health Systems tutorial highlighted a number of great resources and concepts which I tweeted as the tutorial progressed. Niels was first presenting on the original concepts and research about learning health systems:

Niels was also kind enough to package up all the tutorial resources including the research papers mentioned and has shared them on Twitter:

Dr Kontopantelis’s presentation gave a great overview of the statistical issues relating to learning health systems:

After the tutorial, we had two great keynotes to kick off the conference proper. The first by Martin McKee was a very entertaining overview of the political economy of health:

Prof McKee’s speech generated lots of questions and discussion about how politics impacts on healthcare from the audience and also on twitter:

The second keynote was a very good overview of current usability methods by Prof Andre Kushnurik:

Andre is a guru of UX research in healthcare and it was great to hear that he has two (two!) new books coming out in early 2017:

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I’m looking forward to business meetings with IMIA colleagues today and another interesting keynote this afternoon. Stay tuned…

 

Biden Announces $1.2 Billion for EHRs

“Expanding the use of electronic health records is fundamental to reforming our healthcare system,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, unveiling the grants with Biden in Chicago.

“Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, make healthcare more efficient and improve the quality of medical care for all Americans.”

The grants will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and be made available in 2010, the statement said.

Source: Reuters

Reviews of the National Programme for IT (UK NHS)

Reviews of the National Programme for IT have been made available under the freedom of information act:

In response to a FOI request it has received, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has agreed to disclose its Gateway reviews of the National Programme for IT.

These relate to issues which were examined through the Gateway Process at key decision points in order to provide assurance that they should progress to the next stage.

The purpose of Gateway reviews is to challenge assumptions and explore any perceived weaknesses. They are expected to be critical of certain aspects.

This is part of best government practice and has meant that the NPfIT has been able to assess which activities needed to change and which issues should be addressed.

The reviews cover a period between 2002 and 2007. Given that the material is older than two years, it has been possible to make public almost all of the content, with the exception of certain personal information covered by the exemption at Section 40 of the Act. The Department of Health has agreed that the reviews should be made public via the NHS Connecting for Health website.

Read the reviews here.

Tom Bowden from HealthLINK Podcast

Tom Bowden, Chief Executive of HealthLINK talks to CanadianEMR about New Zealand’s EMR adoption in primary care.

Listen to the podcast here.

GE Stimulus Simplicity

GE are offering financing for doctors buying EMR systems:

GE Healthcare today launched Stimulus Simplicity, a new financing and product-certification program that will offer zero percent interest loans to physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and other organizations. The concept is to help them cover investments in electronic medical records (EMRs). It’s the first concrete offering in the GE’s much-publicized “healthyimagination” initative, a $6 billion investment the company is making into creating low-cost, easily accessible healthcare products and services. The company will offer $100 million in loans.

Link

Health IT Adoption in Small Doctors Offices

Lots of videos from the House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Regulations and Healthcare hearing on Health IT Adoption and the New Challenges Faced by Solo and Small Group Healthcare Practices: