Free Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Get all the latest Health IT updates from Neil Versel for FREE!

My take on Berwick heading CMS

Here’s what I have to say, in FierceHealthIT, about Dr. Don Berwick being named CMS administrator: http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/cms-chief-berwick-will-embrace-it-long-it-improves-quality/2010-03-29

Your feedback is appreciated.

March 29, 2010 I Written By

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

On a totally unrelated note: Go see ‘City Island’

This post has zero to do with health IT. For that matter, it has nothing to do with any aspect of healthcare. I’m using this space to promote “City Island,” a movie that my aunt, Lauren Versel, produced.

But enough with people in my family. Try these names instead: Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies. That’s who’s in the movie.

Here’s a description:

“City Island,” written and directed by Raymond De Felitta, stars Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, Steven Strait and Alan Arkin. The film opened to rave reviews last weekend in Los Angeles and New York, and is coming to additional locations over the next few weeks.

Winner of the 2009 Heineken Audience Award at the Tribeca film Festival, “City Island” is a warm, smart and hilariously funny comedy about family, truth, lies and dreams. The film has been called a mixture between “Moonstruck” and “Little Miss Sunshine” and has touched, moved and tickled audiences in all of its pre-release screenings. We know that a large audience could enjoy the experience of seeing this movie in theaters.

But in these times of fierce competition for screen space and the country’s economic crunch, it is harder than ever for a truly independent movie like “City Island” to stay open long enough to reach the audience it so richly deserves. Attendance must be incredibly strong on our opening weekend in each of these cities for the film to gain the word-of-mouth momentum it needs to reach the widest audience.

More information, including movie clips and recent TV appearances by the stars, is at http://moviestildawn.blogspot.com/.

And here’s the trailer:

Here’s where “City Island” is or will be playing at:

California
West Los Angeles – The Landmark – (Opens – 3/19)
San Francisco – Embarcadero Cinemas – (Opens – 4/2)
Irvine – Westpark – (Opens – 4/2)
Encino – Town Center – (Opens – 4/2)
Pasadena – Playhouse – (Opens – 4/2)
Berkeley – Shattuck Cinemas – (Opens – 4/9)

Colorado
Denver – Chez Artiste – (Opens – 4/9)

Connecticut
Greenwich – Bow Plaza – (Opens – 4/2)

Florida
Miami Beach – South Beach – (Opens – 3/26)

Georgia
Atlanta – Tara Cinemas – (Opens – 4/9)

Illinois
Chicago – Century Centre – (Opens – 4/2)

Massachusetts
Cambridge – Kendall Square Cinema – (Opens – 4/2)

Minnesota
Edina – Edina 4 Theatres – (Opens – 4/2)

New Jersey
Montclair – Clairidge – (Opens – 4/2)
Tenafly – Tenafly – (Opens – 4/2)
Rocky Hill – Montgomery Center – (Opens – 4/2)
Westfield – Cranford Theatre – (Opens – 4/2)

New York
New York – Angelika Film Center – (Opens – 3/19)
New York – AMC Empire 25 IMAX – (Opens – 3/26)
Bronxville – Bronxville – (Opens – 4/2)
Roslyn – Roslyn – (Opens – 4/2)
Kew Gardens – Kew Gardens Cinemas – (Opens – 4/2)
Malverne – Malverne Twin Cinema – (Opens – 4/2)

Oregon
Portland – Fox Tower – (Opens – 4/9)

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia – Ritz At The Bourse – (Opens – 3/26)

Texas
Dallas – Angelika Mockingbird – (Opens – 3/26)
Plano – Angelika Film Center & Cafe – (Opens – 4/2)
Houston – Angelika Film Center – (Opens – 4/9)

Washington
Seattle – Seven Gables – (Opens – 4/9)

Washington, DC
Washington – E-Street Cinema – (Opens – 4/9)

Ontario
Toronto – Cumberland 4 – (Opens – 3/26)

If you’re in Chicago, I may be able to get a group rate of $8 (reg. $11) on tickets for Opening Weekend, April 2-4, so let me know if you’re interested.

Thanks for indulging me, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy the movie.

March 23, 2010 I Written By

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

EMR/EHR vs. PHR, ad nauseam

Mainstream media still don’t get it. Personal health records and electronic health records/electronic medical records are not the same thing. Yet, on the agenda for next month’s annual Association of Health Care Journalists conference is a panel entitled “Personal electronic medical records: What will consumers need to know?”

The meeting is here in Chicago next month, but I already have plans to be out of town. I’m debating whether to change those plans to attend this meeting, because there are some sessions that could be of value to me. I may want to go just to be a voice for reporting on health IT. The lack of focus on health IT was what made me quit AHCJ four years ago.

Every time I see the phrase, “electronic personal health records,” my blood boils. Last time was this Dec. 2, 2009, article in something called eSecurity Planet that erroneously said the federal stimulus was paying for “electronic personal health records.” I used this story as an example for a yet-to-be published piece I’ve written for Reporting on Health, a project of the USC Annenberg School and California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship.

For the record, I define an EHR as, at least in theory, a comprehensive digital collection of information about an individual’s health and medical status that encompasses multiple care settings. EMR means a record tied to a single facility or organization. The two phrases often are used interchangeably, and I think that’s OK for now.

A PHR, to me, is a record that patients can view, update and control access to. It is a subset of an EHR, not a synonym.

March 19, 2010 I Written By

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

Clinical decision support and meaningful use

Before I forget, here’s a link to a feature story I wrote for the March issue of CMIO. It’s about how to decide on which rules to build clinical decision support for when going for meaningful use.

March 12, 2010 I Written By

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

More forbidden words of health IT marketing

You’re probably wondering why this blog was dark during last week’s HIMSS conference. Because this blog is not, I repeat, is not, my primary responsibility, nor is it a source of income for me. A lot of people have the idea that I’m nothing more than a blogger. I’m a professional journalist, have been for nearly 18 years.

If you want to read my coverage from HIMSS, go to FierceHealthIT and related publications. In fact, there’s a dedicated page for coverage of HIMSS10. Most, but not all, of the stories are mine.

To clear up some further misconceptions, I’d also like to refer you to the commentary I wrote in FierceHealthIT this week. It didn’t make it in to the newsletter because there was a publisher’s note in that slot, but it’s up on the Web. In this commentary, I vent. A lot. About once a year, I find it necessary to rant about PR nightmares I’ve had to endure. Consider yourself warned.

Of the nine HIMSS conferences I’ve covered, this year’s was by far the most grueling. Much of the angst is due to the crushing volume of e-mail I received requesting meetings, informing me of new products and—gasp—touting the fact that a company participated in the IHE Interoperability Showcase. Seriously, do you think I’m going to write a story about each individual company that was involved in the showcase?

The column also lists four trite words and phrases I’d like to see permanently stricken from all further health IT marketing:

  • Solution
  • Robust
  • “Fully HIPAA-compliant.” Products can’t be HIPAA-compliant. They can only provide the protections that HIPAA requires so the user can comply with HIPAA.
  • “Guarantee of meaningful use.” Along the same lines, a vendor can’t guarantee meaningful use of an EMR. As the phrase implies, it’s up to the user to use the EMR in a meaningful way.

This, I hope, is more than venting. I’d like it to be constructive criticism. At least one marketing professional, Lisa Rom of Symantec, seemed to enjoy my column, and sent me her additions to the list of Forbidden Words:

  • Seamless interoperability (her personal favorite)
  • New paradigm
  • Vendor neutral archive
  • Real time anything
  • Completely automated anything
  • Unlimited scalability

I really think I may be on to something here.

March 10, 2010 I Written By

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