Some real progress

A while back I wondered aloud if and when the Continuity of Care Record might start showing up in the real world.

It already has, in a few limited instances.

The Nebraska Medical Center, part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, recently started crowing about the fact that that its cardiology and internal medicine departments offer patients free copies of their own medical records on CD.

Let’s hope patients start taking advantage of the offer—and taking their records with them when they visit other care providers or travel out of town.

(Thanks to iHealthBeat and the Associated Press for tipping me off to that one.)

Meanwhile, Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, in Peoria, Ill., says that it has reduced medication administration errors by more than half since adopting barcode technology in the pharmacy and at the bedside three years ago, according to a Health-IT World News report this week.

In Tulsa, Okla., the five-month-old St. Francis Heart Hospital is wrapping up the installation of its wall-to-wall clinical IT systems for the “all digital” facility. The hospital will announce some early results and observations at a Sept. 13 press conference. St. Francis will be at least the second fully digital heart hospital wired by GE Healthcare, following last year’s opening of the Indiana Heart Hospital in Indianapolis.

Looking forward, next week is the MedInfo conference in San Francisco, the triennial meeting of the International Medical Informatics Association. This conference has not been in the United States since 1986.

I will be there to file reports for several news outlets and will post some observations here.

And speaking of conferences, HIMSS is planning a demonstration of online personal “virtual” health records and cross-enterprise interoperability at its 2005 show in Dallas next February. Read the press release for more details.

Vendors and other organizations wishing to participate have until Oct. 15 to register.