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Podcast: The biggest IT project you haven’t heard about

The folks at Trinity Health in Novi, Mich., are in the midst of a massive rollout of health information technology that eventually will cover 24 hospitals in seven states—and have the third-largest clinical data repository in the nation, behind only the Department of Veterans Affairs and Kaiser Permanente. Called Project Genesis, the effort has not been widely publicized (not for lack of trying—I pitched the story to a couple of editors last year and was turned down).

While meeting last week with Narendra Kini, M.D., Trinity Health’s executive vice president for clinical and physician services, I decided to turn the recorder on and let him explain Project Genesis for the masses (or at least the few hundred people who will find this page). This podcast is the result.

Podcast details:
Narendra Kini, M.D., Trinity Health. MP3, mono, 64 kbps, 5.7 MB, running time 12:30.

February 20, 2006 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: Meet the Bloggers event at HIMSS

We had a good turnout Sunday night for the “Meet the Bloggers” event before the start of the HIMSS conference in San Diego, perhaps about 30 people. Here’s a podcast I recorded and edited, with comments from Shahid Shah (aka The Healthcare IT Guy);John Sharp of the Cleveland Clinic, who aggregates health IT blogs at http://www.bloglines.com/blog/ehealth; Tom Spinelli of Pearson Government Solutions; and Dr. Enoch Choi of Palo Alto Medical Foundation, author of MedMusings. Dr. Choi blogged on his experience of treating Hurricane Katrina survivors in Louisiana.

Thanks to all who came out. I hope we can do this again next year.

Meanwhile, the grueling HIMSS conference continues. Read my reports at www.health-itworld.com, since free time is at a premium this week.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Podcast details: Meet the Bloggers event at HIMSS 2006, Feb. 12, 2006. MP3, mono, 64 kbps, 6.5 MB, running time 14:16.

February 14, 2006 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: Misys CEO Tom Skelton

This is my interview with Misys Healthcare Systems CEO Tom Skelton about consolidation among health IT vendors. We recorded it on Feb. 1, the day Misys announced its acquisition of Payerpath and the day after the president’s State of the Union address, and we refer to the events of “today” and “last night” in the podcast. I waited a week to post it because I used the interview for a story that ran in this week’s Health-IT World. Never bite the hand that feeds you!

The quality of recordings made from the telephone line varies quite a bit, and the sound has not been the best on my two most recent podcasts, including this one. I went shopping on eBay recently and I’m expecting to get better recordings in person at HIMSS next week with the audio equipment I picked up.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Podcast details:
Interview with Misys Healthcare Systems CEO Tom Skelton on HIT industry consolidation. MP3, mono, 64kbps, 5.9 MB, running time 12:53

0:00 Introduction
0:40 Misys acquisition of Payerpath
1:10 Payerpath’s fit within current Misys operations
3:20 Data capture and data mining for clinical improvement
4:55 Standards and certification for ambulatory EHRs
7:02 Consolidation in health IT industry
9:40 Impact of consolidation on customers
11:08 What potential customers should consider
12:08 Skelton’s “elevator speech” about Misys

February 8, 2006 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: Dr. Bill Yasnoff on regional connectivity

William Yasnoff, M.D., former National Health Information Infrastructure director in the Department of Health and Human Services, has created a new business model for community-wide health information exchange, which he calls the eHealthTrust. Now a private healthcare consultant in Arlington, Va., Yasnoff recently landed its first eHealthTrust customer, the Louisville Health Information Exchange. In this podcast, he explains the concept and discusses a current request for proposals for the Louisville project.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Yasnoff also has his own blog on e-health. The link is in my blogroll.

Podcast details:
Interview with William Yasnoff, M.D., on the “eHealthTrust” concept. MP3, mono, 64kbps, 21 MB, running time 45:59.

0:00 Introduction
0:50 Issues with building National Health Information Network
4:45 Winning stakeholder cooperation
6:20 HIPAA and patient ownership of medical records
7:20 Financial sustainability of regional health networks
9:48 Business case for the eHealthTrust
10:40 An untapped source of revenue
11:45 Consumer awareness of EHRs
13:10 Public trust and consumer access to their own health information
15:10 Why there should be centralized health databases
17:55 Usability of search functions in an eHealthTrust
19:30 Financial consequences of decentralization
22:25 Components of an eHealthTrust
23:30 Security and operational considerations
26:35 Explanation of eHealthTrust business model
31:25 Participation of Medicare/Medicaid/uninsured patients
34:50
Louisville Health Information Exchange
37:15 Services offered to patients
41:13 Louisville contract bidding process
45:18 For more information

February 6, 2006 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Asleep at the switch and other tales of an insomniac

Ever since I was a kid, I have had strange sleep patterns. I’ve always been kind of a night owl, but I still occasionally manage to get myself ready to work by 9 a.m.-ish. Given that my computer is three feet from my bed, maybe that’s not such a remarkable accomplishment. But I’m sharp. Usually.

In reading my voluminous e-mail—a load fortified by the upcoming HIMSS conference and by the fact that I was stricken by the flu a couple of weeks ago—I have discovered that I missed a whole bunch of good stories I could have written:

  • A study in this month’s Anesthesia & Analgesia suggests that the same cell phones that many hospitals ban the use of actually can reduce medical errors by ensuring timely communication, and the benefits far outweigh the risk of electronic interference with medical devices.

  • Connecticut announced a statewide healthcare connectivity effort called eHealth Connecticut, while Siemens Medical Solutions is getting behind the Northwest Health Information Network, an information exchange between Tacoma, Wash., and Boise, Idaho. Read what the Boston Globe reported on the Connecticut plan. Read the Northwest Health Information Network press release.

  • A Kentucky legislative committee is calling on Congress to pass a long-shot bill from U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) that would essentially create a single-payer national health system. See what the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Good luck with that, in light of the current political climate.

  • Speaking of politics, President Bush did indeed talk about electronic health records during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Here is what he said, according to the official White House transcript:

    “Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. (Applause.) Our government has a responsibility to provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. (Applause.) For all Americans—for all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. (Applause.)

    “We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors. We will strengthen health savings accounts—making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get. (Applause.) We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance. (Applause.) And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice—leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB/GYN—I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year. (Applause.)”

Notice that there was no applause after the line about health IT. I watched the live telecast of the speech and heard nothing from the likes of Kennedy, Murphy, Clinton, Frist, Leavitt or anyone else gathered in the House chamber. It was suggested to me earlier in the day on Tuesday that Dr. David Brailer might have a highly visible seat near the first lady. I didn’t see him. If I missed him, please do tell me, but for all the attention health IT seems to be getting at the federal level, the country still has a lot of work to do to bring medical records out of the 19th century.

And as far as the insomnia goes, check the time I posted this one. See you in the morning. Maybe.

February 1, 2006 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.