Paper Kills

Newt Gingrich talks about the “Paper Kills” book edited by David Merritt:

NHS to tender for alternatives to iSoft and Cerner

e-Health Insider is reporting that the NHS is going to tender for alternatives to iSoft and Cerner for the National Programme for IT.

You can watch the full video of the Health Select Committee here:

They discuss the NPfIT at around 43 minutes in.

Scot Silverstein on the Health IT Stimulus

Scot Silverstein had his letter on the Health IT stimulus published on the Wall Street Journal website. This letter is in response to the recent WSJ article on the health IT stimulus package.

Dear Wall Street Journal:

You observe that the true political goal is socialized medicine facilitated by health care information technology. You note that the public is being deceived, as the rules behind this takeover were stealthily inserted in the stimulus bill.

I have a different view on who is deceiving whom. In fact, it is the government that has been deceived by the HIT industry and its pundits. Stated directly, the administration is deluded about the true difficulty of making large-scale health IT work. The beneficiaries will largely be the IT industry and IT management consultants.

For £12.7 billion the U.K., which already has socialized medicine, still does not have a working national HIT system, but instead has a major IT quagmire, some of it caused by U.S. HIT vendors.

HIT (with a few exceptions) is largely a disaster. I’m far more concerned about a mega-expensive IT misadventure than an IT-empowered takeover of medicine.

The stimulus bill, to its credit, recognizes the need for research on improving HIT. However this is a tool to facilitate clinical care, not a cybernetic miracle to revolutionize medicine. The government has bought the IT magic bullet exuberance hook, line and sinker.

I can only hope patients get something worthwhile for the $20 billion.

Scot Silverstein, M.D.
Biomedical Informatics
Drexel University Institute for Healthcare Informatics

For more on Scot, check out his website and his blog.

AMIA on the $20bn Health IT Stimulus

AMIA have published a summary for its members on the Health IT stimulus package:

Highlights of New Funds for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
• $2 billion to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC): of which $300 million is to support regional or sub-national efforts toward health information exchange; $20 million is for technical standards analysis and conformance testing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and $5 million may be used for the administration of funds
• $1.5 billion to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for construction, renovation and equipment, and the acquisition of HIT systems for PHS health centers
• $1.3 billion to the NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), of which $1 billion is intended for construction, renovation and repair of non-Federal facilities and $300 million to support shared instrumentation and other capital research equipment
• $8.2 billion to the Office of the Director of NIH, of which $7.4 billion is transferred to the Institutes and Centers of NIH to support research
• $1 billion to the Secretary of HHS for prevention and wellness programs, of which $300 million goes to the CDC for immunization programs, $650 million is to be used to carry out evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention and wellness strategies to address chronic diseases, and $50 million is to be provided to States to carry out activities to reduce healthcare-associated infections
• $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research [see the next heading]

Read the full PDF here.

There’s also a slideshow here.