Information Technology

The Next Step In Transparency With Our Patients

HPI: The patient is a 54yo very obese depressed man with history of drug abuse, non-compliance with meds, and possibly undiagnosed OSA readmitted today for pain control after claiming to have “run out” of his opiates after discharge from the hospital AMA 2 days ago following knee surgery. Have you ever written like this in your patient notes? Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) was passed in 1996 - and even long before that - patients have had the ability to request to see and read their medical records. In the era of defensive medicine, we have been asked to imagine the plaintiff’s lawyer sitting on our shoulder and reading whatever we write in the medical record. It hasn’t been stressed nearly as much to imagine our patients sitting on that other shoulder, and with good reason. In actuality, it was a pretty rare event for patients…

Health Hack: Time for Your Clinical Expertise

by Mark Mallozzi
By Mark Mallozzi Hospital-based physicians are no strangers to teamwork. Almost every department is made up of diverse individuals with varying levels of training and specialties in collaboration with one another to deliver quality care to their patients. But this diversity extends only as far as the hospital walls, and includes only the healthcare workers who make up these teams. How often is an experience designer part of this groups? An engineer? A business professional? While they may not know the first thing about treating a sick patient, these types of professionals have skills that are applicable to the delivery of healthcare. Healthcare hackathons, based on the model proven successful through MIT’s Hacking Medicine, have shown the value of cooperation across these diverse fields. For hospital-based physicians, this type of collaboration is both enhanced by their expertise and invaluable to their continued practice. In a single weekend, the Independence/Jefferson Health…
Mark Mallozzi is a second year medical student attending Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He is a member of the College within the College in Design. This fall, he was a student co-director of the 2015 Independence/Jefferson Health Hack hosted on Jefferson's campus. Mark has his B.S. in Exercise Science from George Washington University. You can follow Mark on Twitter @markmallozzi.

Tips for Hospitalists Attending Health Hackathons

by Edward Ma, MD, SFHM
by Edward Ma, MD, SFHM Hospitalists play an important role in creating the healthcare systems of the future. That’s the lesson I took away from the Independence/Jefferson Health Hack last month at Jefferson Innovation in Philadelphia. Before I became a mentor at the Health Hack, I had no idea what a health hack or hackathon was. Now, I see great potential for hospitalists and their patients nationwide. Health hacks or hackathons are a relatively new phenomenon: events that give grassroots technology innovators the tools and guidance to tackle a specific challenge in healthcare (or other field). The Independence/Jefferson Health Hack combined technical expertise, support from major sponsors (like Comcast, Microsoft and IBM) and mentorship from healthcare providers like me. I have never participated in anything like this before. It’s interesting to see companies and physicians and innovators come together and support this at the grassroots level. Often, these innovations are…
Edward Ma, MD, SFHM obtained his undergraduate degree in biochemistry with honors at The University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. He completed his internal medicine training in 2003 at Thomas Jefferson University and is board certified in internal medicine. He has worked as a hospitalist in the Philadelphia region for the last 12 years and has led various initiatives at his hospitals to improve quality and processes to provide better outcomes for hospitalized patients. He served as the President of the Philadelphia/Tri-state chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine from 2011-2015 and is now currently one of their chapter board members. He has also served as an advisor to numerous hospitalist leaders, hospitalist practices and hospital administrations in the Philadelphia region.

You Can Learn A Lot From Billing Data.

Because hospitalists lack a specialty code for billing (probably forthcoming), and we do not have formal board certification (I would bet it's in our future), anyone interested in identifying hospitalists beyond their hospital walls has a tough slog.  You can call several thousand hospitals and speak with the appropriate department and question; you can call every internist, pediatrician or family practitioner in the AMA database and ask them, "Are you a hospitalist?"; or you can find an alternate method---because the latter two will keep you busy until the next solar eclipse. Knowing adult inpatient practitioners bill just a small cluster of codes--observation, critical care, or inpatient--having access to a national database with physician billing data (Part B submissions) would provide a route to determine which docs practice in acute care settings.   (more…)

Is NLP-Enabled Data Mining the Digital Breakthrough We’ve Been Waiting For?

Natural language processing might seem a bit arcane and technical – the type of thing that software engineers talk about deep into the night, but of limited usefulness for practicing docs and their patients. Yet software that can “read” physicians’ and nurses’ notes may prove to be one of the seminal breakthroughs in digital medicine. Exhibit A, from the world of medical research: a recent study linked the use of proton pump inhibitors to subsequent heart attacks. It did this by plowing through 16 million notes in electronic health records. While legitimate epidemiologic questions can be raised about the association (more on this later), the technique may well be a game-changer. Let’s start with a little background. One of the great tensions in health information technology centers on how to record data about patients. This used to be simple. At the time of Hippocrates, the doctor chronicled the patient’s symptoms…
12345...10...