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New ‘CMIO’ stories

The long-awaited second issue of CMIO is out, and now it’s going to a regular, bimonthly publishing schedule. I tell you this because I have two feature stories in this issue, including the cover story on health information exchange.

I also wrote a feature on “meaningful use” of health IT. That, of course, is the standard for qualifying for federal EHR subsidies starting in 2011.

September 24, 2009 I Written By

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

Kolodner retires from federal government

Former national health IT coordinator and longtime Department of Veterans Affairs informatics leader Robert Kolodner, M.D., is retiring from the federal government today.

Here’s an excerpt of a note he sent out today:

I am writing to let you know that today is my last day as a federal employee, after 31 gratifying years in public service.

What started out for me as a one year transition from residency into private practice took an unexpected turned into the opportunity of a lifetime. Notwithstanding the occasional challenges along the way, there is no other career path I would rather have pursued.

I am humbled by the superb quality of the people with whom I have had the good fortune to know and work with in the federal government. And I have been very impressed that we have a “deep bench” in federal service, with excellent people stepping up again and again to carry on, and even surpass, the work and the vision of the previous wave of leaders and key staff.

I am delighted to not only to have had the honor to serve our nation’s veterans for almost three decades, and be able to help them in their time of need after so many of them put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf, but also to have had the privilege of participating in VA-wide and nationwide activities to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient-centered health care. Hopefully, this time we will finally succeed in achieving sufficient health reform to trigger the transformations in health and care that we so desperately need in the U.S.

Over the years, I’ve done my best to reinforce and contribute to the understanding that the advances we have been pursuing in health IT have not been about technology, nor even primarily about health care, but instead have been – and are still – about improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Thank you for your friendship and collegial contributions over these past years. It has been a pleasure to know and work with all of you over the years, and I hope that our paths cross again in the not too distant future. I wish all the best to you in your noble pursuits – especially those of you who are doing so as federal employees.

–Rob–

September 22, 2009 I Written By

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

MedInfo paper deadline extended

The deadline for submitting papers for the 13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics, also known as MedInfo 2010, has been extended to Oct. 15. MedInfo 2010, the triennial meeting of the International Medical Informatics Association, is scheduled for Sept. 12-15, 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa.

This will mark the first time a global health IT conference has been held in Africa, and it comes just a few months after South Africa also becomes the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup next June and July (you know, winter in the Southern Hemisphere).

I covered the last two MedInfos, in Brisbane, Australia, in 2007, and in San Francisco in 2004. I had stories to write for months after the fact. I also was the only professional journalist from either North America or Europe to make the long trip to Brisbane, and, if all goes as planned, I expect to be in Cape Town a year from now for all your coverage needs. (Subtle hint.)

September 20, 2009 I Written By

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

Apple to make a push into healthcare

It seems inevitable, given the success of the iPhone in healthcare, but I’m hearing that Apple is getting ready to make a full-scale push into healthcare. I understand that the company invited several vendors to a meeting at an Apple office in Chicago this week. I have no further details on what was said or who was present, but I know that there are a couple of EMR vendors out there who have tailored their products for Macintosh, even if it’s just optimizing the view over the Internet for the Safari browser.

There is this little matter of the billions of dollars in federal money being funneled into health IT over the next eight years, and Steve Jobs would be an idiot if he didn’t go after some of the cash. Steve Jobs is no idiot.

September 11, 2009 I Written By

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

Commentary on RFID

For those of you who subscribe to FierceMobileHealthcare, today’s e-mail newsletter subject line, “RFID comes of age.” That also was the title of my Editor’s Corner column. The only problem was, I forgot to include the actual column in the newsletter. It’s up on the site.

My bad.

September 1, 2009 I Written By

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