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

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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

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:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3644

They discuss the NPfIT at around 43 minutes in.

Canadian Economic Stimulus Includes $500m for Health IT

The government of Canada is to spend an additional $500 million on Electronic Health Records to help stimulate the economy:

The federal government confirmed $500 million more in funding Wednesday to support electronic health records, a move announced last month in its budget.

An electronic health record system “will save time and lives by reducing duplication, improving the management of chronic disease, improving access to care and boosting productivity,” Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Wednesday.

The technology gives health-care providers a more complete picture of their patient’s health history to improve care, Health Canada said.

It’s hoped that electronic health records will:

  • Reduce wait times by speeding the flow of information through the system.
  • Eliminate duplicate or unnecessary tests.
  • Reduce medication errors and remind health-care providers of necessary tests or vaccinations through automated alerts and reminders.

Link

Clinical Information Technologies and Inpatient Outcomes: A Multiple Hospital Study

Interesting article in the Archives of Internal Medicine that concludes: “Hospitals with automated notes and records, order entry, and clinical decision support had fewer complications, lower mortality rates, and lower costs.”

Background  Despite speculation that clinical information technologies will improve clinical and financial outcomes, few studies have examined this relationship in a large number of hospitals.

Methods  We conducted a cross-sectional study of urban hospitals in Texas using the Clinical Information Technology Assessment Tool, which measures a hospital’s level of automation based on physician interactions with the information system. After adjustment for potential confounders, we examined whether greater automation of hospital information was associated with reduced rates of inpatient mortality, complications, costs, and length of stay for 167 233 patients older than 50 years admitted to responding hospitals between December 1, 2005, and May 30, 2006.

Results  We received a sufficient number of responses from 41 of 72 hospitals (58%). For all medical conditions studied, a 10-point increase in the automation of notes and records was associated with a 15% decrease in the adjusted odds of fatal hospitalizations (0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.74-0.97). Higher scores in order entry were associated with 9% and 55% decreases in the adjusted odds of death for myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass graft procedures, respectively. For all causes of hospitalization, higher scores in decision support were associated with a 16% decrease in the adjusted odds of complications (0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-0.90). Higher scores on test results, order entry, and decision support were associated with lower costs for all hospital admissions (–$110, –$132, and –$538, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusion  Hospitals with automated notes and records, order entry, and clinical decision support had fewer complications, lower mortality rates, and lower costs.

Read the article online

US Health and Human Services Secretary Recognises Health IT Standards

From http://hitsp.wikispaces.com/

On Wednesday, the HHS Secretary has recognized the second set of Interoperability Specifications developed by HITSP, specifically Emergency Responder Electronic Health Record, Consumer Empowerment and Quality. The federal register notice announcing this is located at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-1068.pdf