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‘This is not the iPhone’

There was a great line in a New York Times story over the weekend about electronic health records and the economic stimulus.

In talking about the difficulty of implementing EHRs in physician offices, the Times quoted Dr. Farzad Mostashari, assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and head of the city’s Primary Care Information Project: “There’s no way small practices can effectively implement electronic health records on their own. This is not the iPhone.”

Good point. Make something easy to use and with some cachet, and people will use it. So why exactly hasn’t Apple gotten into healthcare just yet?

(Props to Candid CIO Will Weider for showing me this story.)

March 2, 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.

Sebelius and … who?

While nominating Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of Health and Human Services, President Obama today also picked Nancy-Ann Min DeParle as “health czar,” officially known as the head of the new White House Office for Health Reform.

DeParle’s name is new to me, but I guess it shouldn’t be. She ran the Health Care Finance Administration—now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—during Bill Clinton’s second term as president and was director of the Office of Management and Budget during Clinton’s first term.

DeParle currently is a director of Cerner, Boston Scientific and Medco Health Solutions. She also is a trustee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Obviously, she’ll have to quit those boards.

She also is a former Medicare Payment Advisory Commission trustee.

Her husband, Jason DeParle, is a senior writer for the New York Times and an author.

As of this writing, her Wikipedia entry calls DeParle a “MILF.” How long until the White House gets wind of that and makes the change?

UPDATE, 12:40 p.m. CST: This change has been made. I knew it wouldn’t take long.

I Written By

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

This would be a good time to be in D.C.

With the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus plan, Washington is abuzz with ideas and strategies of how to implement the new law, including the $19.2 billion allocated for health IT.

Of note, Health Affairs is holding a half-day briefing next Tuesday on stimulating HIT. It’s from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Click here for RSVP information.

This week, as in tomorrow, the Cato Institute is holding a policy forum on the comparative-effectiveness research portion of ARRA. The event, set for noon at Cato’s headquarters, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., is titled, “Should Government Deliver Comparative-Effectiveness Research – or Can It?” There also will be a live Webcast from the same link.

Seriously, though, what’s the point? We certainly know Cato’s answer to the question it posed: always err on the side of less government. While it’s always good to have checks and balances on power, it does seem like the train has already left the station on this one. This would be a good time, however, to chime in on the Obama administration’s other proposals, including the proposed Health and Human Services budget for fiscal year 2010. I’m sure there is plenty to criticize in there.

I also just noticed that WhiteHouse.gov will have live streaming video of the Katherine Sebelius nomination for HHS secretary at 1 p.m. EST today. That’s about 15 minutes from right now, so I’m sorry for the short notice.

I Written By

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

Another take on clinical decision support

I’ve been on a mini kick for clinical decision support since last fall’s AMIA annual conference. If you recall, I said medical informatics needed a rock star to spread the word about the link between CDS and proper implementation of electronic health records.

Today, while attempting to catch up on a massive backlog of e-mail, I came across a Jan. 26 post from Steve Beller, Ph.D., on the Trusted.MD blog network. Beller writes about including consumer-centric cognitive support in the next generation of CDS systems, and he has started to put together a PowerPoint presentation on defining his goal and thoughts on how to achieve it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I Written By

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