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#WWBR Week of October 20, 2014

by John Moore lll | October 24, 2014

Ebola in the United States: EHRs as a Public Health Tool at the Point of Care
Ken Mandl for JAMA
“Ken Mandl’s layout of EHR shortcomings is written with public health in mind – but just as readily applies to many other facets of healthcare that go beyond the point of clinical care (pt eng., pop health, analytics). While technologically, his SMART platforms might be the answer (as he claims it can be), Ken also knows that it’s ‘not technical barriers but a pervasive socioadministrative-regulatory inertia [that] slows progress in health IT.'” – Naveen

Healthcare Factoids to Power Your Thinking
Paul Horstmeier for Health Catalyst
“Just a good reference point sharing some useful stats, ‘factoids,’ and slides.” – Chilmark Staff

Quality of Care at Retail Clinics for 3 Common Conditions
William Shrank, et al., for AJMC
“Despite fears that retail clinics would not provide the same level of quality care as traditional practices, a recent report finds otherwise. Could retail clinics be the savior to the oft-stated PCP shortage? Or just a convenience, stop-gap measure for those harried parents with a family CDHP and associated high deductible?” – John

Association Between Hospital Conversions to For-Profit Status and Clinical and Economic Outcomes
Karen E. Joynt, MD, MPH, E. John Orav, PhD, Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH for JAMA
“Retrospective study of 183 NFP and 54 publicly-operated hospitals that converted to FP status from 2003 to 2010 in JAMA found that they showed fiscal improvement without any apparent detrimental effects on quality. Cost-cutting measures and an improvement in the payer mix appeared to lead to the improvement in fiscal improvement. What is uncertain is what affect these changes had on patients outside of a few select quality measures. This is certain to be an area that continues to drew a lot of scrutiny as more and more NFP/public hospitals are either acquired by FP operators or change their tax status to FP over the coming years.” – Matt

New 3-minute test accurately detects delirium, study finds
Deborah Kotz for The Boston Globe
“Sundowners, their caregivers, and post-acute providers everywhere have reason to celebrate a fast, accurate delirium assessment developed at Beth Israel here in Boston. This condition often goes undiagnosed because of the length of the standard assessment and the number of other health issues being managed. This tool could help make post-acute inpatient care just a little easier on patient, family, staff.” – Brian

Medical Devices: Equipped for the Future?
David Powell, Oliver Scheel, and Bill Tribe for AT Kearney
“Study by AT Kearney on the future of the medical device industry through 2020 that highlights some strong headwinds the industry faces including increased pricing scrutiny, heightened regulatory scrutiny, evolving healthcare business models, and uncertain sources of true innovation vs. minor incremental improvements. Industry faces large revenue shortfalls by 2020 unless it is able to create new business models, lower price points, and create more value-based product offerings than those of today.” – Matt

Building Bridges: Health Care, Meet Population Health
Mark B. McClellan for Brookings Institute
“Community-based health care rarely gets the attention it deserves from health care thought leaders. Mark McClellan addresses some of the challenges and opportunities in this brief overview. While many pay attention to the high profile ACO programs, it’s the quieter, community-based initiatives like the ones recently announced by RWJF that are really exploring advanced care delivery for urban populations.” – Naveen

The Comparative Value of 3 Electronic Sources of Medication Data
Elizabeth R. Pfoh, et al., for AJMC
“Medication reconciliation is a tough nut to crack. This study, however, found that when an organization combined EHR data with that from a RHIO and a national eRx database, accuracy improved from 80% (just EHR) to 91%. Not perfect but a significant improvement.” – John

GlobalFoundries: Essex fab open for ‘foreseeable future’
Dan D. Ambrosio for Burlington Free Press
“While not strictly HIT related, this piece of IT history represents a passing of sorts. The first and oldest chip fab in the world will remain open as IBM shed its chip business. IBM’s decades-long retreat from the hardware business is nearing completion as it finds someone to unload it microelectronics business on. The Burlington, VT plant used to make chips for mainframes and servers but has long since become an ASIC manufacturer for telecom and device manufacturers (including some medical device manufacturers). On a side note, this plant site was chosen because IBM’s then-CEO/son of its founder used to ski at nearby Smuggler’s Notch.” – Brian

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