Monday, March 31, 2008

March 27, 2008

Is It Fair To Use EHRs and Other Information Tools To Measure and Compare Care Quality?

Fifty-eight percent of adults surveyed in 2008 said they believe it is fair for health plans to use electronic health records and other information tools to measure and compare the quality of care provided by medical groups, up from 47% in 2006, according to a survey by Interactive.

The survey also found that 87% of respondents are somewhat or very interested in rating their physicians on their health plan's Web site. Ratings would be based on areas such as trust, communications and availability.Similarly, 91% of respondents said that if their health plan posted those physician ratings online, they would be llikely or very likely to refer to them when choosing a new doctor.

Results are based on an online survey of 2,015 adults

between Feb. 6 and Feb. 8.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Telehealth Outcomes and lessons learned

From one our editors Guy Dewsbury and his work in the UK that deserves mention.

Just a reminder, Med-e-Tel is fast approaching

Med-e-Tel 2008, the International Educational and Networking Forum for eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT, is just around the corner. Scheduled for 16-18 April, the event will again feature speakers, participants and exhibitors from some 50 countries around the world, presenting on a wide variety of ehealth and telemedicine topics.

The Med-e-Tel 2008 opening session on April 16th includes welcome addresses and presentations by:

Mars Di Bartolomeo, Minister of Health and Social Security, Luxembourg

Dr. Yunkap Kwankam, eHealth Coordinator, World Health Organization

Prof. Dr. Michael Nerlich, President, International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth

Prof. Giuseppe Tritto, President, World Academy of Biomedical Technologies (ICET/UNESCO)

Michael Palmer, Project Officer, ICT for Health Unit, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission

Nick Fahy, Head of Unit, Health Information Unit, DG Health and Consumer Protection, European Commission

David Whitlinger, President and Chairman, Continua Health Alliance

Dr. Bill Crounse, Senior Director, Worldwide Health, Microsoft

Dr. Joseph Kvedar, Director, Center for Connected Health, Partners HealthCare

Dr. Loretta Sclachta-Fairchild, President & CEO, iTeleHealth

Prof. Dr. Harald Korb, Medical Director, Vitaphone

Additional program highlights include
A session on "Product Interoperability Architecture" presented by the Continua Health Alliance, focusing on the how and why of product interoperability in a telehealth ecosystem

A panel discussion on "Telehealth - From Promises to Sustainability" held by the i2010 eHealth Industry Stakeholders Group (with representatives of a.o. IHE-Europe, EHTEL and Continua), examining the challenges and opportunities encountered in deploying telehealth services, looking in particular at issues concerning the European market place and technology needs as well as the regulatory framework and governance of the whole ecosystem.

Extensive focus on "personal telehealth" applications, experiences and research in various sessions dealing with "Telehealth and Chronic Disease Management", "Telehealth, Telecare and Services for the Ageing", "Telehealth in Support of Self Care".

A workshop on the topic of "Living Labs" with presentation of some existing initiatives in various European countries, user feedback, transition from 'lab' to 'reality', and roadmaps ahead.
An overview of "International Telemedicine & eHealth Initiatives and Developments" by members of the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH), focusing on the current state of telemedicine and ehealth in a.o. Austria, Brazil, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and Ukraine.

A mini symposium on "Telenursing", a growing application, offering possibilities to reduce the use of expensive healthcare services, to reduce hospital admissions or length of stay, to perform regular check-ups on patients with chronic conditions, to spread limited resources over a large population, and to increase access to nurse education. The telenursing session will include an introduction to telenursing, results from a global telenursing survey, and some real life experiences from the United States.

Also a session on "Nursing Informatics: Past, Present and Future", looking at the support of nursing by information systems in delivery, documentation, administration and evaluation of patient care and prevention of diseases.

A session on "eHealth for Developing Countries and Low Resource Settings", presided by the World Health Organization's eHealth Coordinator and showing ICT's contributions to healthcare delivery and capacity building in the developing world.

On a related subject, there will also be a special training session on "How to Develop and Implement eHealth and Telemedicine Solutions" presented by the expert group on Question 14 "Telecommunications for eHealth" within the International Telecommunication Union. The training looks at strategic planning issues for the development and implementation of ehealth services in the various areas of health sectors and the required coordination between healthcare and telecommunications authorities in the implementation of national ehealth programs (which have been recommended to all countries by the World Health Organization in its Resolution WHA58.28).

A workshop on "Facilitating Collaboration to Facilitate Tele-Success", focusing on effective collaboration among 'projects' and existing technologies to create an accessible, cost-effective healthcare information system. The session will zoom in on topics such as "From the Bottom Up: Designing from the User Perspective", "What Else Is Going On? – Building a Project Database", "Practical Considerations: Infrastructure, Links, and Tools" and "Price-Performance via Open Source Tools".

A session on "Micro and Nano-Intelligent Technologies for Biomedical Applications. The Meta-Engineering Approach: ICT Implementing MIMETS Technologies in Medical and Surgical Care", presented by the World Academy of Biomedical Technologies, focusing on hybrid systems for interactive decision-making, information sensing technologies, remote healthcare monitoring, micro and nano technology, and innovative biomaterials.

Various sessions Telecardiology, Health Informatics, eLearning, eHealth in Support of Routine Medical Practice, Efficiency in eHealth, Telepsychiatry and Behavioural Telehealth, Teledermatology and Image Transfer, Mobile Health, New Trends in eHealth showing what works and what doesn't, as well as what exists or what is under development in telemedicine, ehealth and health ICT systems and solutions.

A regional (BeLux) seminar organized by the Luxembourg CRP-Santé (Public Institute for Research in Healthcare, Public Health and Biotechnology) about "Clinical Strategy and the Use of Balanced Scorecards", showing how to create and successfully use balanced scorecards to improve clinical outcomes and overall management. The seminar provides a look at experiences from some of the leading hospitals and organizations in Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg.

Meeting of the UNESCO Space for Science Project, coordinated by the World Academy of Biomedical Technologies, discussing the challenges and perspectives of the space for science project, the roadmap for life sciences and health sciences implementing ICT services and providers. The project aims to facilitate scientific and technical cooperation in South-East Europe by providing virtual, collaborative and education services to academic and higher education institutions through fast academic networks and two-way satellite channels. The project is supported by ESA and an industrial consortium specifically set-up by ESA for this purpose.

Meeting of the ISfTeH Board of Directors and an ISfTeH Member Breakfast Meeting.
Overall, Med-e-Tel offers great networking opportunities. It is the perfect forum to share experiences and knowledge and a chance to gain new insights and to establish new contacts and partnerships. Med-e-Tel also offers the opportunity to see and evaluate actual products, technologies and services and to find out how they can be beneficial for you, your organization, or your health system.

Med-e-Tel 2008 conference program details are available at You can also stay up-to-date with program and expo news via the Med-e-Tel newsletters.

Registration information and a registration form are available at

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Angie's List, a Web site that lets consumers rate their experience with home service companies, has expanded to include health care services. However,

Angie's List, a Web site that lets consumers rate their experience with home service companies, has expanded to include health care services. However, some caution that medical services cannot be rated in the same way as services provided in other industries. Indianapolis Star.

Btw, I disagree with the statement that medical services can not ne rated the same. They can!

Health Informatics Short Course: 5 days, 24/4 - 22/5, University of Dundee

The Dundee Short Course 'Health Informatics: An Introduction' will be
running every Thursday from 24 April to 22 May 2008 from 10am to 4pm, at
the Mackenzie Building, Ninewells Hospital Campus, Dundee. The course
includes lectures, interactive sessions and visits to the Ninewells
Clinical Technology Centre and other relevant sites.

Course Tutors include: Professor Jeremy Wyatt, Professor of Health
Informatics and Dr Joe Liu, Senior Research Fellow, both from the
University of Dundee.

Who is the course for?

The target participants include health care and public health
professionals, NHS Managers ad informatics staff and others with an
interest or role in the procurement of health information systems. Anyone
with a good understanding of health care and a role in selecting,
implementing or improving information and communication technologies
systems will benefit. The short course is designed as an optional MPH
module or a stand-alone course but is also ideal for anyone considering
undertaking a Masters or PhD in health informatics.

Course prerequisites

Tutors will assume that participants have excellent spoken English and the
ability to read technical English e.g. journal articles. Tutors will also
assume that participants have a basic understanding of how health care
organisations work. However, only basic knowledge of information and
communication technologies and its health applications will be assumed.

Accreditation of the course

The course is accredited for 5 ScotCat points and for 25 CPD points as a
CME-run course. SCQF accreditation applied for. All non-MPH students who
successfully complete the course will receive a certificate.

Course Fees and Payment

The course fee of Ј250 must be paid before a place can be confirmed. This
includes the course reader. Discounts are available for certain
categories of staff—please enquire for details.

Application process

Application is by completion of a form. No application will be accepted
without payment of the full fee, which may by cheque or credit card.
Please send all applications by Thursday 17 April 2008 to Yvonne Gormley—
details below. However, we advise you to apply early as places in the
course fill up quickly.

To request a brochure and application form please contact:

Yvonne Gormley, HIC External Relations Officer, The Mackenzie Building,
Kirsty Semple Way, Dundee DD2 4BF Tel: 01382 420029,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Telemedicine and Nepal

Because Pokhara is one of my favorite places on the earth....
Prem Bahadur Pun is a senior surgeon at the Om Hospital in Pokhara. But he is originally from Nangi, and is often on the internet with the health post in his home village advising the health workers there about how to treat patients.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On December 2003, the citizens of Denmark were offered a better overview of the health sector as well as information about health, medicine, illnesses

On December 2003, the citizens of Denmark were offered a better overview of the health sector as well as information about health, medicine, illnesses and their prevention. For the first time, the Portal brings together the entire Danish health service on the Internet, making this the electronic way for patients, their families and healthcare professionals to obtain information, communicate and maintain an overview. It has been designed to inform citizens of health-related issues and ensure the quality and efficiency of work processes within and between various parts of the healthcare sector.

Online banking has changed our approach to banks, and our vision is for the Portal,, to change our perception of the health service in the same way. As the health service becomes more and more reliant on electronic communication, more tools and services will become available on the Portal.

Healthcare, medicines and prevention are popular topics on the Internet, and via the Portal, you will be able to find information and communicate with the Danish health service. No advertising or sponsorship credits will appear on the Portal, as it is the public health authorities that are responsible for its creation and running.

A well-functioning eHealth system as complex as the Portal is developed in several stages, as the health service becomes more and more reliant on electronic communication. Thereby, more and more tools and services will become available on the Portal over time. Feedback from its users is considered to be of great importance, and more complex services, several pilot tests and data developments concerning security are to be developed on the basis of this feedback.
The initiative was launched by the Danish Regions, the Ministries of the Interior and Health, Greater Copenhagen Hospital Board, Copenhagen Municipal Authority, Frederiksberg Municipal Authority, and the Danish Pharmaceutical Association.
A non-commercial site, the Portal is the result of collaborations between the various health authorities, as well as part of the Danish government’s IT strategy. No advertising or sponsorship credits will appear on the Portal, and the portal is 100% free of commercial interest.

For further information, please visit:

Thanks to Ruslan David for the link,,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Saturday, March 15, 2008

CHIME Open Evening - Invitation

Interested in Obtaining a Graduate Qualification in Health Informatics?You are invited to come along to CHIME OPEN EVENING – 24th April 2008, ThursdayCHIME (part of University College London – Royal Free & UC Medical School) will be hosting its sixth Open Evening on Thursday April 28th. The purpose of this event is to publicise our recently revised graduate programme in Health Informatics.CHIME has been successfully providing a graduate programme since 1999 and we are now inviting applications for the 2008 intake.

At the Open Evening would-be students will have the opportunity to find out how the programme is organised and taught.The Health Informatics graduate programme is modular and designed to meet the needs of those who are working full-time. Each module is taught by blended learning, with both an online element and 3 days of campus-based learning. The programme attracts clinicians and information professions from the UK, other European countries and elsewhere. There are scholarships available (which pay 50% of the fees).

This will be an informal event with food, drink, poster displays and computer demonstrations. Past and current students, as well as CHIME staff and tutors, will be on hand to talk to visitors about the programme.As well as a taught graduate programme, CHIME also offers opportunities for research degrees (MPhil and PhD) and continuing education (short course).

If you are interested in attending, please the CHIME Courses Administrator email: 020 7288 3487Venue: Holborn Union Building (the Social Space in the Basement)Archway Campus, Highgate Hill, London N19 5LWTime: 5.30-8:00 pmFor more information about CHIME and our graduate programmes please visit our website:

Jeannette MurphySenior Research Fellow in Health Informatics

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New ePractice Community - The eHealth Procurers Forum

The portal hosts an array of exciting communities which gather members with common interests, offering messaging, blogging, calendar and document sharing tools as well as networking opportunities. Communities are open and help users to connect even better with other peers to share knowledge and news. Any registered member can start a community or voluntarily join one.

The eHealth procurers Forum at is an initiative sponsored by the European Commission to help practitioners in eHealth procurement in Europe to meet and share their experiences and knowledge, to ask for advice and provide support.

The community is open to practitioners from European national and regional administrations, from public and private organisations, from academia and research centres. Hopefully such a variety of stakeholders will provide different contributions, approaches and points of view.
The eHealth Procurers Forum is an open space to express opinions and exchange knowledge and where members are encouraged to provide contributions and participate in the discussions and events. It is not an official Commission site. The community is mainly focused on technical and organisational aspects of eHealth Procurement.

According to The eHealth procurers Forum the main proposed topics are: Computer assisted surgery, Decision support systems, Electronic health records, Health portals, Homecare & Telecare Services, Hospital information systems, Medical Imaging, Patient summary, Personal Health Systems, Regional/national Health Information Networks, Telemedicine services, Wearable/Portable Systems for Health monitoring, etc.

For further information and registration, please visit: