Tag Archives: phat

Nov 16 Harvard Public Health & Technology Conference – Registration is open!

I am organizing the 2009 Public Health & Technology Conference hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health on Monday, November 16, 2009. See more details and register at our website: www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat. The full announcement is below…

Hope to see you there!


2009 Harvard Public Health & Technology Conference
Monday, November 16, 2009
Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School

Registration for the 2009 PHAT Conference is now open at www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat! This event will be held at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center on Monday, Nov 16 and focuses on adoption of electronic health records, meaningful use, and patient empowerment. John Halamka, CIO of Boston CareGroup and Chair of the national HITSP Committee, and Adam Bosworth, Founder and CEO of Keas and former VP of Engineering at Google, will be speaking, along with David Cutler (Harvard Professor of Economics), Esther Dyson (23andme), Steve Lohr (NYTimes reporter on health and technology), John Moore (founder and president of Chilmark Research), Ashish Jha (HSPH associate professor of health policy & management), and others. Complete details are available on our website: www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat.

Standard registration is $75. Harvard faculty and staff is $20, and registration for full-time students is only $10. Tickets are limited, so register soon!

Please refer to our website or contact jpayne@hsph.harvard.edu for more information.


May 1 Public Health & Technology Conference Postponed Due to Public Health Threat

Oh, the irony. The first PHAT Conference postponed due to the H1N1 virus.

At 10:58pm on Thursday, April 30, the Harvard School of Public Health sent the following notice:

Classes are cancelled Friday May 1 for HSPH and HMS students while public health authorities continue their investigation of student interactions on the Longwood Campus following the discovery of a possible case of H1N1 flu in a student at Harvard School of Dental Medicine where classes are also cancelled. Students are asked to minimize social contact on the campus until more is known.

The decision to postpone the conference did not come until 9am the morning of May 1. The delay was due to uncertainty as to whether events attended by non-HSPH people should also be cancelled. In the end, all events were also cancelled due to safety concerns.

We are grateful for the tremendous amount of interest in the conference and for the help of all our volunteers. We plan to reschedule the conference as soon as possible. I will post updates about the conference at www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat and on this blog.

Julio Frenk, former Mexican Minister of Health and HSPH Dean, submitted a NY Times op-ed on April 30 entitled Mexico’s Fast Diagnosis stating that approximately 10,000 Mexicans die each year due to the flu. There have now been 140 confirmed cases of swine flu in the US.

By the end of Friday, May 1, there were 2 confirmed cases among dental students and 7 probable cases. All are recovering well.

Ashish Jha on Digitization of Health Records in the US

Ashish Jha, Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and practicing physician at the VA, discussed the digitization of health records on NPR’s OnPoint on Wednesday, April 22. You can hear the entire episode here at OnPoint Radio’s site: http://www.onpointradio.org/2009/04/tracking-electronic-medical-records. My favorite quote, in response to why automate a broken system rather than fix the fundamental problem:

“We can’t fix the healthcare system without IT, but IT alone can’t fix it.”

Dr. Ashish Jha also recently published an excellent article entitled Use of Electronic Health Records in U.S. Hospitals in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Jha and colleagues found that only 1.5% of hospitals have comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR) systems and an additional 7.6% have basic EMR systems. Hospitals cited capital costs and high maintenance costs as primary obstacles to adoption. President Obama’s plan for every American to have an electronic health record by 2014 appears even more ambitious in light of these numbers.

Dr. Ashish Jha will be speaking at the Public Health & Technology Conference on Friday, May 1 at the Harvard School of Public Health. Details of the conference and free registration are available here: www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat.

Public Health & Technology Conference, May 1, Harvard School of Public Health


The HSPH Public Health & Technology Forum is hosting the 1st annual Public Health & Technology Conference on Friday, May 1 featuring keynote John Halamka, CIO of Boston Beth Israel Deaconness Hospital and Harvard Medical, and panelists Karen Bell (ONC), Blackford Middleton (Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners HealthCare), John Loonsk (ONC), John Moore (Chilmark Research), Ashish Jha (HSPH), Isaac Kohane (Boston Children’s Medical Informatics Program), Jonathan Bush (AthenaHealth), Sharona Hoffman (Case Western Law School).

Despite health IT’s promise of better, faster, and cheaper health care, adoption of electronic health records in the US remains low. This conference brings together many of the leaders in the field to explore the potential to use health IT to improve health delivery, the challenges of health information exchange and the impact of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on health IT.

Registration is free and all are welcome (www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat).