Information Technology

Apple Health for Patient Engagement

Be on the lookout for Apple Health, a new app that will share multiple inputs of patient information in a cloud platform called “HealthKit.” This HealthKit will allow a user to view a personalized dashboard of health and fitness metrics, which conglomerates information from a myriad of different health and wellness apps, and helps them all “communicate” with one another. Apple may also be collaborating with a number of academic medical centers and electronic health record (EMR) companies (including Epic which controls 40% of the current EMR business), to determine how to innervate this new technology into healthcare systems. The primary purpose of this is to capture and maintain a patient’s engagement in their own health and wellness, a longstanding issue yet to be solved by the medical industry. But this also may be the next major healthcare breakthrough innovation to ease the burden of care continuity, which is the…

You think you know what predictive analytics means, huh?

  This month's Health Affairs dedicates itself to the subject of big data, a term in the news quite a bit these days.  If you think you know what big data implies, mainly dredging data sets to build the clinical decision support in your EMRs, you would be incorrect. We are talking much, much bigger. One article grabbed my attention, whose lead author practices both law and bioethics.  The piece delves into how information requires handling--legally, medically, entrepreneurially, and ethically.  I got way more out of reading the citation than I thought. To whet your appetite, think about the quote below: (more…)

Let the Countdown Begin: EMR Re-Launch

The current state of the electronic medical record (EMR) at my organization feels like being in an old hospital complex which has clearly been built up over the course of decades; room numbers are not necessarily logical or in sequence, buildings connect on different floors, and most elevators do not actually go all the way from the bottom to the top of each building. Our current EMR “system” has sprung up over the course of several decades, as each area serially sprung for the system that best met their needs. Interfaces were partial or non-existent, and most single users did not have access to over half of the systems on campus. The result was a dizzying complex of EMRs that few users knew how to fully navigate. So now my organization, like so many others, decided to raise the white flag, spend an enormous sum of cash, and buy a…

Crowdsourcing My New Book on How Computerization is Changing the Practice of Medicine in Surprising Ways

I have been in blog-silence mode of late, for which I am sorry. Rumors that I’ve taken my Elton John act on the road are, I’m pleased to assure you, incorrect. [caption id="attachment_2406" align="alignleft" width="240"] 7 yr old's depiction of MD visit (Toll, JAMA 2012)[/caption] Instead, I’ve been hard at work on my new book, tentatively titled “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age.” I’m about one-third finished, and am on my way to Boston for a six-month sabbatical at the Harvard School of Public Health to keep working on it. This is the most journalistic book I’ve ever attempted. I’ve already completed about 25 interviews for the book, and will do about 30 more by the time I’m done. And they have all been fascinating. It seems a shame to leave so much great stuff on the cutting room floor. So for…

Hospital Medicine: Driving the Future of Healthcare

by Dr. Suneel Dhand MD Hospital medicine has become rapidly one of the largest specialties in the United States. As the number of practicing hospital medicine doctors soars above the 44,000 mark and healthcare reform takes hold, the specialty finds itself at the forefront of American medicine. And for good reason. It is a young, dynamic, varied and flexible specialty that can be practiced in a number of different settings. Hospital medicine doctors are no longer just the “stand-in” for the patient’s primary care physician. Hospitals all over the country are increasingly looking to hospitalists to drive quality improvement forward. Having been in practice for over five years, I feel that the best and most committed hospital medicine doctors (that I myself have used as role models) have been the ones who enjoy patient care above all else, and then find a particular niche that they become expert in. I…
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