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News 11/12/09

November 11, 2009 News No Comments

From Jesse Spencer: “Re: EMR reviews. Guess I’m in the minority, but I enjoyed the athenaclinicals review and hope you will do more. I wonder if you mainly heard from vendors who were worried about their own products? As a physician in the trenches who has not selected an EMR yet, I like all the information I can get!” Readers don’t often reveal their true identities and backgrounds, so it’s hard to tell who sent what comments. Vendors are a good guess, as well as consultants who rely on us to remain unbiased (or who resent even vastly experienced amateurs rendering a public opinion based on a quick impression). Who knows, maybe we will sneak in a review from time to time.

Primary care doctors are spending more time with patients, though overall care has probably not improved, according to a new Archives of Internal Medicine paper. The average patient visit was almost three minutes longer in 2005 than 1997. During the same period, physician net incomes fell 10%. The abstract does not mention this theory, but I wonder if any of the extra time can be attributed to providers documenting EMRs at the point of care?


The American College of Surgeons names David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS its new executive director. Hoyt is chairman of the department of surgery and executive vice-dean at the UC Irvine Medical Center.

Walgreens reports big increases in e-prescribing, with about 22% of all eligible prescriptions arriving electronically. The pharmacies filled 4 million e-prescriptions in October, which is 185% more than October 2008.

In its first quarter as a public company, Emdeon announces that revenues grew 10.6% over last year. However, quarterly net loss jumped from last year’s $1.2 million to $7.2 million.


Allscripts contracts with DecisionOne to provide hardware infrastructure support to its clients. Allscripts internal hardware service personnel will integrate with DecisionOne’s field service organization. Sounds like a good move as it allows Allscripts to focus on the software side of the business. Having an internal field service team is less critical in today’s server/PC world than it was in the old days of proprietary hardware.

NIS-Systems (FL) signs on as the latest EHR/PM reseller for Aprima Medical Software.

The healthcare sector added 28,500 new jobs in October, including 4,800 in physician offices.

NextGen Healthcare just completed its user group meeting in Washington DC, reporting attendance of over 2,700 and featuring keynote speakers Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean. The hot topics: ARRA, healthcare reform, interoperability, and patient-centered medical homes.

Initiatives by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology will likely persuade more cardiologists to move to electronic medical records. They can now participate in a national registry that compiles outpatient clinical data.  Officials believe that data collection efforts will be easier for providers using an EMR. Proponents also support the theory that the patient-specific prompts found in EMRs help physicians provide better care.

google map flu

google map key

Google launches a new online map service to help consumers find the nearest locations to receive seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. I did a quick spot check and if you live in Baltimore, Jacksonville, or Los Angeles, you’ll likely find a source. You will see a lot of “temporarily out of stock” messages if you live in Denver, Wichita, Dallas, or San Francisco. Google developed the tool in collaboration with HHS and can be found here.

In a lawsuit involving non-compete provisions and trade secrets, the Georgia Supreme Court rules that a software engineer cannot use trade secrets of his former employer. In this case, the former employer was a medical practice that hired the engineer to customize its medical billing program. The engineer resigned in a dispute and then removed the software’s encryption keys and source and access codes. There’s more to the story, but it sort of makes you want to think twice about who you’re hiring to tweak your software.

Elsevier releases MD Consult Mobile, which provides an entire library of medical content on a mobile device.

I can’t decide if this is goofy or brilliant, but researchers say their cough-analyzing software can diagnose disease by measuring coughs. The application, based on research funded by the Gates Foundation, will run on cell phones or MP3 players.


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