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Health Wonk Review, unadorned but chock full of health IT

In the latest edition of Health Wonk Review, hosted by Chris Fleming on the estimable Health Affairs blog, there’s not much in the way of a fun theme, but that’s OK. It’s still full of some good perspectives, including more than the usual share of health IT.

My post that aggregated a bunch of tweets from the Health 2.0 Conference made the biweekly blog carnival, as did a much longer-form way of covering the event, David Harlow’s series of video interviews. Harlow got 18 different people on camera, including HHS gurus Todd Park and Dr. Farzad Mostashari.

Elsewhere, patient advocate Jessie Gruman,  president and founder of the Center for Advancing Health, took on mobile apps as a means of changing patient behavior, Tom Lynch of the Workers’ Comp Insider blog discussed predictive modeling in healthcare claims administration and Healthcare Economist blog author Jason Shafrin wonders why patients don’t seem to care much about healthcare quality.

In particular, I invite you to share Shafrin’s short post, if for nothing more than a conversation starter.

October 13, 2011 I Written By

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

Health Wonk Review: Could meaningful use be outdated already?

There’s a fresh edition of Health Wonk Review up at the Health Business Blog, hosted by David E. Williams. My post on the new Care About Your Care campaign merits a mention, but I have to say it’s far from the most intriguing commentary in the blogosphere over the past two weeks. I direct you to another post that made Health Wonk Review, namely one from Dr. Jaan Sidorov, author of the Disease Management Care Blog.

Sidorov wonders if “meaningful use” of EHRs isn’t designed for a PC-centric world, even though tablets and cloud computing have started to assert themselves:

It’s too early to assess the implications of this generational shift away from the PC for the Feds’ efforts to digitalize the practice of medicine.  The provider community is still coming to grips with information technology and meaningful use” (MU). Hopefully EHRs won’t share the fate of “shovel ready” and clean energy loan guarantees.

Upon review, the MU criteria may still ultimately apply, but the shift away from PCs may require some changes in how they are implemented.

I’m sure policymakers who are writing future MU rules are aware of this sea change, but the federal government moves slowly, and one never knows what will happen when lobbyists get involved. HIPAA privacy and security rules, first drafted during the Clinton administration, were practically obsolete by the time they took effect halfway through Bush’s first term.

 

September 15, 2011 I Written By

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

Health Wonk Review gives props to health IT

Finally, health IT gets its due in Health Wonk Review.

Usually an afterthought to this biweekly blog carnival, health IT leads off the latest edition, hosted by Matthew Holt and John Irvine at The Health Care Blog. My post on pushback against IBM’s Watson makes the cut. Check it out.

June 9, 2011 I Written By

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

Check out the latest Health Wonk Review

The newest edition of the blog carnival Health Wonk Review is up, courtesy of David Williams and his Health Business Blog. My podcast with Peter Waegemann of the mHealth Initiative made this biweekly review of healthcare commentary from across the blogosphere. This Health Wonk Review seems to have more on health IT and healthcare quality than most editions, and that makes me happy. One post also rightly takes aim at some of the shortfalls in healthcare journalism.

April 14, 2011 I Written By

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

Opening Day for Health Wonk Review

It’s time for another baseball season, and Health Wonk Review is ready to go. as with the Spring Training Edition two weeks ago, optimism reigns. (Host Jason Shafrin of the Healthcare Economist blog proves it by calling for the Milwaukee Brewers to win the World Series this year. I guess cheeseheads are still giddy from the Green Bay Packers’ victory in the Super Bowl two months ago.)

I didn’t make the starting lineup, but am an early choice from the bullpen for my “Slams on Berwick are getting pathetic” post. Curiously, Shafrin wades away from the controversy a bit by highlighting something said by a person I’m critiquing, namely that comparative effectiveness research “doesn’t work in the real world.”

Not surprisingly, no post related to health IT cracks the starting nine at all. Even something from the Health Affairs blog by Vanderbilt medical informaticist Dr. Mark Frisse is relegated to the bullpen. Yeah, we know we’re underdogs, but take a look at the NCAA Final Four, which includes under-respected teams from Butler and Virginia Commonwealth. Actually, look at last year’s World Series, featuring the star-crossed San Francisco Giants and the unheralded Texas Rangers. Is this the year health IT surprises all the doubters by riding its strengths to a championship season?

Hope springs eternal, especially here on the North Side of Chicago. It’s time to play ball!

 

RIP, Steve Goodman (1948-1984). You’ll get your wish someday.

April 1, 2011 I Written By

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

Spring training for Health Wonk Review

 

The sun is shining here in Chicago and the mercury is supposed to hit 60 degrees today for the first time in months. That could mean only one thing: Spring is in the air, and hope springs eternal, even for the star-crossed Cubs. Though it’s still spring training, noted Yankees fan Glenn Laffel of the Pizaazz blog is in midseason form as he hosts this week’s Health Wonk Review, with an all-star lineup of contributors.

My impassioned defense of Don Berwick makes the big-league roster among the sluggers (health policy), while health IT gets its due respect as a disruptive force by being categorized as the base-stealers.

Of note, longtime HIT blogger Shahid Shah, known as the Healthcare IT Guy, talks security. “I hear a lot of naive talk about how systems are secure because ‘we use SSL encryption’ or ‘we’re secure because we have a firewall.’  Anybody who’s been security and privacy work for more than a few months would know how false those statements are,” he writes. To continue the baseball analogy, it’s like a pitcher making a couple of light tosses over to first to keep the base runner honest, then leaving the next pitch out over the middle of the plate.

And now back to an afternoon of watching basketball, er, I mean, answering e-mail or something. o:-)

 

March 17, 2011 I Written By

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

Post-HIMSS Health Wonk Review is heavy on health IT

The first Health Wonk Review since last week’s HIMSS conference is up, courtesy of Jared M. Rhoads of the Lucidicus Project. While I’m no fan of organization’s ideological bent (it seems to think CMS Administrator Don Berwick is more interested in socialism than in improving healthcare), I’m happy to say this roundup has more IT than normal.

For one thing, Rhoads mentions my post detailing my injury at HIMSS and the consumerism and EMR use that played into the care I received at a walk-in clinic in Orlando, Fla. I’m happy to report that I got the stitches out on Tuesday and the deep laceration is healing well. There’s a good chance that the resulting scar might kind of blend into my eyebrow, so I’m hoping it won’t be too conspicuous.

Four other IT-related items made it into this biweekly roundup of healthcare blogging and punditry, including Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s discussion of remote health monitoring, based on a just-published white paper she wrote for the California HealthCare Foundation. You’ll also find posts about health insurance exchanges, the Direct Project to foster health information exchange and the recent “Developer Challenge” that Microsoft sponsored in the Boston area.

March 3, 2011 I Written By

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

Lots of ♥ for Health Wonk Review

Valentine’s Day came and went, but the love lingers with Health Wonk Review. Louise and Jay Norris have the Valentine’s Week edition of HWR at the Colorado Long Term Care Insider blog. They’ve included my recent podcast with Evan Steele of SRSsoft, and there’s plenty of other news about health insurance reform, Accountable Care Organizations and shared decision-making between patients and providers. Check it out.

February 19, 2011 I Written By

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

Health Wonk Review, Veterans Day edition

I’ve submitted a post to Health Wonk Review for the first time in a while, and my submission on why healthcare should give patients financial incentives to provide data, did make the cut. It better have. It was one of my best posts in months, if not all year.

This edition of Health Wonk Review is hosted by Heather Kelley at the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) Blog. Enjoy.

And thanks to all the veterans of the U.S. military.

November 11, 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.

Health Wonk Review, summer research edition

I haven’t blogged a lot lately because the real work tends to get in the way. There’s only so long I can spend in front of the computer each day before I start to get a little antsy. OK, a lot antsy.

Fortunately, others are more focused on their blogs than I am, and that brings me to the latest iteration of Health Wonk Review, hosted by Brad Wright at the Health Policy Analysis blog. With summer here, this is the last edition of HWR until July 22, because, let’s face it, everybody needs a break from time to time.

Wright focuses quite a bit on research, but does link to one IT post and another about the patient-centered medical home. He also includes some editorial cartoons culled from around the Web, notably this one from Orlando Sentinel cartoonist Dana Summers. The elephant in the room re: health reform is tort reform, Summers suggests. Yeah, we haven’t addressed the liability problem yet, but the fee-for-service payment system is, in my humble opinion, the greatest culprit. There’s that little matter of poor quality, too.

June 28, 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.