Category Archives: health information technology

Global PHAT 2010 Videos Online!

All the videos and presentations from Global PHAT 2010 have now been posted in the online resources at http://www.globalphat.com. This includes presentations on ICT Failures, Effective EMR, and mHealth Solutions for Community Health Workers by:

  • Hamish Fraser, Director of Informatics & Telemedicine, Partners in Health
  • Mike McKay, Former Country Director, Baobab Health Malawi
  • Bobby Jefferson, Senior Health Informatics Advisor, Futures Group
  • Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder, President, CEO, Dimagi
  • Josh Nesbit, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Frontline SMS
  • Donald Yansen, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, ClickDiagnostics
  • Alvin Marcelo, Director, National Telehealth Center, University of the Philippines, Manila
  • Jessica Haberer, Harvard Initiative for Global Health

In addition, PHAT has partnered with GHDonline.org, an online platform of communities developed by the Global Health Delivery Project, to provide a forum for continuing the dialogue about the topics discussed at the event. I have just posted the content from the session titled Effective EMR: Moving Beyond the Technology, along with discussion questions in the GHDonline.org Health IT Community. You can access the discussion here: What non-technological factors make EMR effective?. If you are not already a member of GHDonline.org, I encourage you to join! It is a fantastic resource for engaging others with similar interests across the globe.

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A Fresh Idea from Baobab Health: The Proactive Help Desk

I had the opportunity to meet with Mike McKay, the former country director for Baobab Health (www.baobabhealth.org) in Malawi. Mike built a team of Malawian software developers from the ground up to design a touch-screen patient registration system used in HIV clinics. The system is so intuitive that a janitor, who overlooked as a team of nurses was being trained to use the system, took over during the nurses’ lunch break and has since become a full-time patient registration clerk. He has now personally registered several hundred thousand patient visits. Take a look at this 1-min video to see the system in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf49zRxhKhc.

One of the processes that Baobab uses to support sites after implementing the Baobab system is the “Proactive Help Desk,” in which the help desk calls each site at least once per week to ask if they have any questions, are any systems not functioning, or any problems. They do this in addition to being available for normal help desk requests.

This incredibly simple idea of the Proactive Help Desk is one of the most obvious ways I’ve heard of to create a useful feedback loop between system administrators and users, yet I’ve never heard of it before! By giving their users the opportunity to provide weekly feedback on the Baobab system, on the workflows, and on their particular context, they dramatically improve their ability to support users and to iterate the system and related processes to addresses immediate user needs.

HHS Just Announced Beacon Awards of $220 million

Surprised not to see Massachusetts on the list, but exciting nonetheless… Here they are:

Community Services Council of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla. – $12,043,948

Leverage broad community partnerships with hospitals, providers, payers, and government agencies  to expand a community-wide care coordination system, which will increase appropriate referrals for cancer screenings, decrease unnecessary specialist visits and (with telemedicine) increase access to care for patients with diabetes.

Delta Health Alliance, Inc., Stoneville, Miss. – $14,666,156

Focus on achieving improvements for diabetic patients by electronically linking isolated systems and practices for care management, medication therapy management and patient education.

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Brewer Maine – $12,749,740.

Expand community connectivity, including long-term care, primary care and specialist providers, to existing Health Information Exchange and promote the use of telemedicine and patient self-management in order to improve care for elderly patients and individuals needing long-term or home care.

Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pa. – $16,069,110

Enhance care for patients with pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure by creating a community-wide medical home, promoting Health Information Exchange and extending Geisinger’s proven model for practice redesign  to independent healthcare organizations throughout region.

HealthInsight, Salt Lake City, Utah – $15,790,181

Improve Diabetes management performance measures by increasing availability, accuracy and transparency of quality reporting, leverage Intermountain Healthcare’s strategies to reduce health systems costs throughout the region, and improve public health reporting.

Indiana Health Information Exchange, INC., Indianapolis, Ind. – $16,008,431

Expand the country’s largest Health Information Exchange to new community providers in order to improve cholesterol and blood sugar control for diabetic patients and reduce preventable re-admissions through telemonitoring of high risk chronic disease patients after hospital discharge.

Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash. – $15,702,479

Focus on increasing preventive services for diabetic patients in rural areas by extending Health Information Exchange and establishing anchor institutions in close proximity to remote clinics that will promulgate successes in health IT supported care coordination.

Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, La. – $13,525,434

Reduce racial health disparities and improve control of diabetes and smoking cessation rates by linking technically isolated health systems, providers, and hospitals; and empower patients by increasing their access to Personal Health Records.

Mayo Clinic Rochester, d/b/a Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn. – $12,284,770

Enhance patient management and, reduce costs associated with hospitalization and emergency services for patients with diabetes and childhood asthma and address reduce health disparities for underserved populations and rural communities.

Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Grand Junction, Colo. – $11, 878, 279

Enable robust collection of clinical data from health systems, providers, and hospitals in order to inform practice redesign to improve blood pressure control in patients with diabetes and hypertension, increase smoking cessation counseling, and reduce unnecessary emergency department utilization and hospital re-admissions.

Southern Piedmont Community Care Plan, Inc., Concord, N.C. – $15,907,622

Improve care coordination for patients with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma by engaging patients and providers in bidirectional data sharing through a Health Record Bank, empowering patients and family members to participate in self-management through patient portals, and expanding access to care managers to facilitate post-discharge planning.

The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, San Diego, Calif. – $15,275,115

Expand pre-hospital emergency field care and electronic information transmission to improve outcomes for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, empower patients to engage in their own health management through web portal and cellular telephone technology, and improve continuity of care for veterans and military personnel through the Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record initiative.

University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, Hawaii – $16,091, 390

Implement a region-wide Health Information Exchange and Patient Health Record solution and utilize secure, internet-based care coordination and tele-monitoring tools to increase access to specialty care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity in this rural, health-professional shortage area .

Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y. – $16,092,485

Utilize clinical decision support tools such as registries and point-of-care alerts and reminders and innovative telemedicine solutions to improve primary and specialty care for diabetic patients, decrease preventable emergency room visits, hospitalizations and re-admissions for patients with diabetes and congestive heart failure or pneumonia, and improve immunization rates among diabetic patients.

Summary of Massachusetts Health IT Plan

Overview

The Massachusetts Health IT Draft Plan was released for public comment in January 2010 and the commenting period is now closed. The plan outlines high-level statewide goals and strategies for achieving improved health outcomes and reduced costs through the use of interoperable EHR systems and health information exchange (HIE). The document sets up governance structures and policy priorities for the planning for use and implementation of federal HI-TECH funds. Currently MA has been awarded ~$25mil, $14mil to MeHI for regional extension centers (RECs) and $10mil to MeHI for HIE. After the MA HIT Plan is adopted, the HIT Council is responsible for the governance structure and MeHI is the Project Management Office (PMO).

The HIT Plan was created in response to a number of MA statutes, including Chapter 305, MA 201 CMR 17:00, and Executive Order 504. The original plan was publicly announced in Jan 2009, but withdrawn due to the announcement of the HITECH Act portion of ARRA. The HIT Council and MeHI contracted Deloitte to update the plan to correspond with the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use regulations.

The tentative milestones lay out an aggressive plan in line with federal meaningful use requirements.

Tentative Milestones

Target Year Key Milestone Examples
2010
  • Develop HIT Strategic Plan
  • Establish PMO
  • Develop Governance structure with decision-making processes
  • Convene Ad-Hoc Workgroups
  • Produce Program communication plan
  • Initiate Vendor Management and contractual agreements
  • Submit the HIE operational plan including sustainability, privacy and security, etc.
  • Develop Certification Program IOO
  • Provider funding alternatives
  • Oversee the REC Operational Plan
  • Establish Medicaid Partnership
  • Recruit approximately 25% Priority Providers for REC
  • Coordinate Workforce development activities
  • Select HIE Vendor(s)
2011
  • Recruit approximately75% priority providers for REC
  • Establish Patient Engagement baseline
  • Provide Certification Program statewide HIE
  • Pilot Operational HIE (clinical)
  • Ensure REC Priority Providers achieve stage 1 meaningful use
  • Provide Initial Population Health Reporting (local)
2012
  • Ensure Operational HIE comleted with governance structure in place
  • Provide Consumer Engagement survey
  • Ensure the Integration of EHRs to operational HIE
2013
  • Ensure REC Priority Providers achieve stage 2 meaningful use
  • Develop Expansive Population Health Reporting (local, state, national)
2014
  • Pilot Interstate HIE Interoperability
  • Re-Certify IOOs
  • Perform Privacy and Security Audit
2015
  • Meet Chapter 305 requirement of implementing EHR systems in all provider settings and integrating those systems through a robust HIE Interstate
  • Complete HIE Interoperability
  • REC Priority Providers achieve stage 3 meangingful use
  • Provide Consumer Engagement survey
  • NHIN pilot if available

Statutory Overview

  • Chapter 2008 passed in August 2008
  • MA Legislation Chapter 305 formed the HIT Council
  • The HIT Council was charged with creating a statewide HIT Plan and updating it annually. Plans must be approved by the council and the MA Technology Collaborative Board
  • HIT Council Members – (look this up), includes Karen Bell
  • Background – contracted BCG to create plan which was completed by Jan 2009, right when the Stimulus bill & HITECH Act were released, so plan was pulled back. Deloitte was contracted to create updated plan which was released Jan 2010
  • “Community-Based Approach” – inspired by Mass eHealth Collaborative’s 2004 EHR deployment in 3 communities with attempted interoperability, supported by $50mil MA BCBS grant
  • MA Plan adopts opt-in HIE and anytime opt-out (which is different than many other states which are opt-out)

MA HIT Plan – Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Establish Multi-stakeholder governance
  • Establish a Privacy Framework to Guide the Development of a secure HIT environment
  • Implement interoperable electronic health records in all clinical settings and assure they are used to optimize care
  • Create a local workforce to support HIT related initiatives
  • Monitoring success
  • Path forward

Discussion

  • ARRA
    • Regional Extension Centers (RECs): Provided ~$14mil to MeHI (the MA regional extension center) for implementation of regional extension centers in MA ($625mil total, and ~$100mil given out so far)
    • Health Information Exchange (HIE): Provided $10.6mil for HIE funds to MeHI (again, the state-selected entity), to create the plan (and no one knows where the plan will take us)
  • Carol Rodenstein, MeHI Program Director
  • HIT Council Members
    • JudyAnn Bigby, MD, Secretary of HHS Massachusetts
    • Deborah A. Adair, Director of Health Information Services and Privacy Officer, MGH
    • Meg Aranow, VP & CIO, Boston Medical Center
    • Karen Bell, MD, Sr. VP of HIT Services, Masspro
    • Lisa Fenichel, MPH, eHealth Consumer Advocate
    • Jay Gonzales, Secretary of Administration and Finance, Massachusetts
  • Median practice size in MA is 3 physicians
  • Masspro has a lot of experience with small practices and workflow issues associated with EHR implementation
  • End of April, governor is inviting governors from entire country, all 50 HIT coordinators, all 50 Medicare reps, all 50 Mecaid reps, and others to bang heads re: conference
  • Health care is the largest employer in Mass, employing ~450k workers with $29bil in revenue in 2005.
  • Small practices aren’t going away…will lead to the rise of the IPAs
  • Health delivery will look a lot different in 2015

High Level Policy Goals:

  • Goal 1: Improve access to comprehensive, coordinated, person-focused health care through widespread provider adoption and meaningful use of certified EHRs
  • Goal 2: Demonstrably improve the quality and safety of health care across all providers through HIT that enables better coordinated care, provides useful evidence-based decision support applications, and can report out data elements to support quality measurement.
  • Goal 3: Slow the growth of health care spending through efficiencies realized from the use of HIT.
  • Goal 4: Improve te health and wellness of the Commonwealth’s population through public health programs, research, and quality improvement efforts enabled through efficient, reliable and secure health information exchange processes.

Strategies to Accomplish these  Goals:

  1. Establish multi-stakeholder governance
    1. The components of the proposed governance structure are:
      1. These organizations: HIT Council, MTC, MeHI
      2. 6 Ad Hoc workgroups: Clinical Quality and Public health, consumer engagement, education, and outreach, Privacy and security, regional extension center, HIE, workforce development
    2. Estimated that this will be >= 90% private funded
    3. HIT Council oversees governance structure
    4. MeHI is acting Project Management Office
  2. Establish a privacy framework to guide the development of a secure HIT environment
    1. ONC’s 6 Privacy Principles: Individual Access, Correction, Openness and Transparency, Individual Choice, Collection, Use and Disclosure Limitation, Data Quality and Integrity
    2. Commonwealth’s privacy and security framework will focus on four key areas: Compliance with policies and standards, Secure HIE technology, Process for certification, Consent management
    3. Privacy/Security rules based on the following previous rulings:
      1. Federal: HIPAA, HITECH Act, FISMA, MITA, HITSP, NIST 800 Series, Privacy Act of 1974
      2. State: Chapter 305, MA 201 CMR 17:00, and Executive Order 504
  3. Implement interoperable health records in all clinical settings and assure they are used to optimize care
    1. MA  has officially adopted the goal of meaningfully used EHR in all physician practices by January 1, 2015
    2. MA will provide direct assistance to ~2500 providers to achieve Meaningful Use by contracting with Implementation Optimization Organizations (IOOs)
    3. To ensure adequate funding – 1) promote a loan program, 2) endorse use of state funds, 3) provide support to providers to receive Medicare incentives
    4. Build an effective REC program for the Commonwealth focusing on: individual & small group practices, public and critical access hospitals, community health centers and rural health clinics, other clinics serving the underserved
  4. Develop and implement a statewide HIE infrastructure to support care coordination, patient engagement, and population health
    1. HIE Priorities: administrative simplification, e-prescribing, electronic laboratory ordering, electronic public health reporting, quality reporting, prescription status, coordination of care/clinical summary exchange
    2. Will continue to support PHR’S currently supported by MA providers and payers
    3. This effort will be lead by MeHI
    4. Existing HIE Initiatives in MA: Northern Berkshire eHealth Collaborative, Newburyport, SAFEHealth, CHAPS, and NEHEN
    5. MeHI has selected a hybrid HIE model (as opposed to centralized or federated) which will use both centralized and distributed data repositories, allowing the majority of the data to stay at the site of collection
  5. Create a local workforce to support HIT related initiatives
    1. High demand and low supply right now for health IT employees
    2. Estimated through 2016 that 64k new health care jobs will be created in the Commonwealth
    3. Development of training programs using federal dollars focusing on implementation, project management, practice management, and data management. Programs will intentionally seek out unemployed persons.
  6. Monitor success
    1. Quality measurement program for REC, HIE, and Workforce Development programs
    2. Indicators selected for reporting will fit into the objectives of the high-level goals of the MA HIT Plan
    3. The HIT Council is responsible for selecting the indicators

Gates Foundation on Health Information Systems in the Developing World

The Gates Foundation funded a recently published study on Health Information Systems (HIS) in the Developing World. It includes overviews of HIS in 19 countries, including Uganda, Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Mexico, Kenya, and many more. Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts…

Health Information Systems in the Developing World

Health IT Ontology

2 weeks ago I solicited help to put together this Health IT Ontology (see Components of HIT…a start). This post is the result of 6 rounds of edits. The new name, I think, better represents the goal of defining all the entities and relationships within the domain of health IT. Click on the image below to see it full size.

Health IT Ontology

Following are the top-level categories:

  • Health Information Technology
    • Clinical Information System
    • Hospital/Clinic Management
    • Consumer-Oriented Technologies
    • Public Health & Biosurveillance
    • Reference
    • Research
    • Regional & System-Level HIS

The initial motivation behind this was to determine where ART-focused EMRs sat in the scope of HIT, but what I expected to be a trivial exercise quickly became a difficult task. Health IT is an extremely complex and expansive domain and every item in this heirarchy could be broken down into even smaller pieces (similar to EMR/EHR). My goal for this diagram was to cover the breadth of health IT more than the depth. It is certainly possible that there are some oversights, in which case I would love to hear from you.

I welcome your thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions on the HIT Onthology. Using social media (esp. Twitter and Aardvark) was so successful this time around that I plan to pursue more online collaborative projects in the future.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed, and a special shout out to Jacob Sattelmair, Janette Heung, blog commenters, Richard Thall and Eddie from Aardvark, and the score of Twitterers who provided very valuable feedback!

Components of HIT…a start

UPDATE: The final output of this project, HIT Ontology, can be found in this blog post: https://singularityblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/health-it-ontology/

Health information technology (HIT) is a broad and extremely complex field, and I want to visualize it. I’m going to need your help to do it. But first it needs defining…

HIT could simply be defined as any information technology utilized within the healthcare industry vertical, but that would be too inclusive, because that means a MySQL database is considered HIT because it is sometimes used in a hospital. Brailer & Thompson, former ONC Secretary and former HHS Secretary respectively, define it as “the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making” (Thompson & Braile, 2004). The line between HIT and health informatics is fuzzy and we’ll ignore it for now.

With this definition, I tried to create a hierarchical list of the types of health IT software. I want the list to be comprehensive in breadth and don’t care quite as much about depth (3 or 4 levels should be sufficient). There are dozens of ways to structure this list and probably hundreds of items I missed. This is a work in progress, so please leave a comment and let me know what you would change/add/remove. I’ll keep updating it until everyone feels good about it. After that comes the visualization…

HIT Categorization Hierarchy – Take 5

  • Clinical
    • EMR/EHR
      • Ambulatory
      • Specialty
      • Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) Focused (common in areas with high HIV/AIDS & TB prevalence)
    • eRx (CPOE)
    • Clinical Decision Support
    • Digital Imaging & Archiving Systems (e.g. PACS)
    • Medical Devices & Equipment
    • Clinical Document Management
    • “Personalized Medicine”
  • Hospital/Clinic Management
    • Physician Office Management Information System (POMIS)
    • Hospital Management Information System (HMIS)
    • Accounting
    • Patient Billing
    • Claims Processing
    • Human Resource Management
    • OR Scheduling
    • Appointment Scheduling
    • Lab/Pharmacy Management
  • Public Health & Biosurveillance
    • Public Health Reporting
    • Diesease Surveillance Networks (e.g. CDC Biomonitoring and Environmental Public Health Tracking Network)
    • Vital Registry (Birth, Death, & Marraige Records)
  • Consumer-Oriented Technologies
    • Personal Health Devices (e.g. WAN-enabled weight scale, phone-enabled glucose monitor, etc.)
    • Personal Health Applications (i.e. exercise & weight tracking)
    • Patient Portals
    • Personal Health Records (PHR)
    • Health-centered Social Networks (Patients Like Me, 23andme, etc.)
  • Medical References
    • Drug references (for docs and patients)
    • Medical references (like WebMD, also for docs and patients)
  • Research
    • Genomics
    • Medical data warehousing
    • Clinical Trial Recruitment, Management, etc.
  • Regional & Systems Level Health Information Systems
    • Vitals Registration
    • Health Information Exchange (HIE)
    • National Health Information Network (NHIN)

A special thanks to the Twitterers that have already helped me on this: @chadosgood, @oneofthefreds, @ChristineKraft, @ePatientDave, @MedC2, and my good friend Jake. And a shout out to Sam Adam’s HIT Primer on his blog, IT (R)EVOLUTION, that helped get me started.

A few other helpful sources: