Day: August 31, 2005

EMR Vendor Launches EHR Blog

EHR and practice management system vendor Greenway Medical Technologies has launched its own blog (weblog) to provide a central location for news and updated information regarding EHR industry developments. From the press release: The blog is accessible through a link from Greenway's corporate web site, It features a compilation of breaking news stories, updates and analysis from various healthcare IT publications, news outlets and government insiders. The blog is updated regularly and reports EHR updates as the industry continues to work with federal and local governments in setting interoperability and certification standards throughout the industry. The blog also follows pending EHR bills as they make their way through Congress, such as the "Wired for Health Care Quality Act", senate bill 1418, which will award grants for IT to physicians, hospitals, other health care providers, regional health information exchanges, and to states establishing health IT loan programs. In addition to news from various national media outlets, the blog provides commentary from industry insiders as...

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FDA Takes Position on Auto Idenfication of Medical Devices: No

The FDA published a white paper written by ECRI on the automatic identification of medical devices. You may recall calls for the FDA to require barcoding of medical devices like was recently required for drugs (here, here and here). Congressmen, nonprofit associations and GPOs raised a clarion call to barcode medical devices to improve patient safety. Legislators even directed the FDA to provide a formal response. This white paper is the FDA's response to calls to extend automatic identification to medical devices. There are two key problems to calls to barcode medical devices. First, Mike Dempsey of Radianse pointed out that mandating a technology (barcodes) would work for some medical devices and not at all for others. Second, as ECRI points out in the white paper there is no research demonstrating that patient safety would benefit due to the auto identification (unlike the research that's been done with meds). So it seems there's some work yet to be done before the FDA feels mandatory auto identification of medical devices is justified. [Hat tip: Biomed Listserv and William...

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Hospitals Across Flooded New Orleans Face Deteriorating Conditions

MSNBC has a great story about the efforts hospitals are taking to care for patients in an adverse situation. Pervasive flooding in New Orleans has cut power to hospitals creating a need to transfer acute patients somewhere dry, while new patients continue to come in through Emergency Departments. Charity's backup generator was running out of diesel fuel. Nurses hand-pumped ventilators for patients who couldn't breathe. Doctors canoed supplies in from three nearby hospitals. "It's like being in a Third World country. We're trying to work without power. Everyone knows we're all in this together. We're just trying to stay alive," said Mitch Handrich, a registered nurse manager at the state's biggest public hospital. Here's a story on the hurricane Katrina's impact on area for-profit hospitals. This reminds me of past hospital flooding in Houston. [Hat tip: Biomed Listserv and Joe...

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