Mainstream Media watch, part 200 and counting

Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune had a feature story in the main news section about health IT. With health IT drawing $19.2 billion from the federal stimulus legislation, stories are popping up all over the mainstream media of late.

What struck me, though, is that the reporter went to a medical practice in Vero Beach, Fla., and talked to consultants and experts all over the country, when there’s so much health IT activity and expertise right here in the Chicago area. Notably, NorthShore University Health System in suburban Evanston is the only organization not named Kaiser Permanente to reach Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model scale.

To his credit, though, reporter Noam Levey did quote New York City Assistant Health Commissioner Farzad Mostashari, M.D., a rising star in health IT circles.

Also, I recently read a March 3 New York Times story about pharmaceutical-related conflicts of interest among Harvard Medical School faculty. My immediate reaction was that this nothing unique to Harvard, and the story doesn’t even get into the growing controversy about another cash stream flowing from medical device makers.

It also got me thinking that we’ll start to see donations pick up from healthcare software companies once the economic stimulus kicks in. I wonder if the big academic health systems have ethics rules regarding gifts from IT vendors?