Spring Issue April 2008
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Better Living Through Technology

Bill Gates loves nothing more than speaking in front of a large group of high tech executives and predicting how technology will change lives in the future. He did just that recently, describing how “hybrid” environments consisting of part “in the cloud” of Internet connectivity and part local will evolve over the next 10 years during a “second digital decade.”

Microsoft Surface is a new product being tested. It does not require expensive new hardware to run. It only requires a clean, flat surface, software and a camera, and is operated via a holographic type of user interface. The controls which resemble a keyboard, are projections of light which react on touch when contacted by the fingers the same way a physical keyboard does. The results of the input commands or keystrokes are projected on a holographic screen projected on another adjacent flat surface and can also be projected simultaneously to a receiver far away.

Gates sees implications new technology will have not only on the workplace, but also on issues facing U.S. education. He sees tablet PCs replacing text books within the next three years as the cost-effectiveness ratio justifies them. He also stressed that an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is more important than ever for the United States to grow a skilled workforce in today’s global knowledge economy.

Another article in the Spring 2008 TMIS eNewsletter tells the latest change of direction for OpenText, one of the oldest content search tools on the Internet. You could call it a full circle with a twist. Many Internet search companies had their humble beginnings at universities before evolving into mega corporations. OpenText is now partnering with the University of Waterloo in Ontario, providing its thought leaders as contributing faculty with the intent of combining the experience and knowledge of academic and business leaders with the energy and creativity of a new generation. As part of its plan, OpenText is extending its collaboration and Web solution offerings to deliver 2.0 capabilities, including Wikis, forums, blogs, tagging, moderation, communities and real-time collaboration similar to Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia. They believe we are undergoing a revolution in the way consumers socialize, share knowledge and harness collective intelligence and they have only just begun to build on what has been created so far. They want to begin by planting seeds of innovation in their own home soil.

Several of our articles reveal some innovative ways government and health care businesses and organizations are collaborating to achieve the President’s goal of most Americans having access to a secure, interoperable electronic health record (EHR) by 2014. In Hawaii, the state’s largest health insurer has announced that it will provide $20 million in grants for physicians to acquire health records. Over 7000 Hawaii physicians who have already been using electronic prescribing are now well positioned to migrate to the full electronic health record, and some physicians have already been fully on EHR for several years. One family physician says his EHR has brought a full paradigm shift in the way he practices medicine, and that nothing in his career has had such a profoundly positive influence on the way he cares for his patients.

The electronic health record replaces paper record keeping by automating everyday clinical tasks such as prescribing medications, ordering and viewing laboratory tests, and documenting patient care. The solution also connects physicians and caregivers to laboratories, pharmacies, insurers and other key healthcare stakeholders, while delivering secure, immediate access to patient information at the point of care, whether in the office, at the hospital or remotely.

Health and Human Services (HHS) has just announced a new Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments for physicians’ use of certified electronic health records to improve patient care. They plan to implement this demonstration project in a dozen health markets across the country. The application period is open now through early May for communities interested in becoming one of the demonstration program’s 12 sites.

I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary M. McLaughlin


From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Click on links below to view Full Stories.

Next 10 Years Will Be the 'Second Digital Decade' with Pragmatic Advances in Technology Innovation
Herndon, Virginia

"second digital decade" involving pragmatic advances in technology innovation. The incredible advances of the past decade, in terms of software development and the growth of the Internet laid the foundation for these profound changes that will dramatically impact the way individuals work, live and learn and will empower the end user like never before, Gates said.

"hybrid" technology environment- some operations will remain local while others will transition to the Internet or "be in the cloud," through a combination of software plus services, according to Gates. Moving data operations to an Internet-based architecture will decrease IT costs as less onsite expertise will be required. The way businesses will view data will change as "software will do 90 percent of what we do manually today," he said. Important to this evolution, Gates noted, is that organizations will likely require a mixed environment that offers the best blend of local computing power while also taking advantage of the flexibility offered by Internet-based architectures.

Some of the revolutionary workforce technologies-for instance intelligent surfaces-also will have applicability in home and business environments, Gates said. Microsoft is currently testing a new product, Microsoft Surface, that once launched will not require expensive new hardware-only "software and a camera," and, one day, "will be a standard in the home and in businesses." Gates said Microsoft looks forward to its business partners taking this idea and "running with it" to create new and bigger applications than currently envisioned, including, to just begin with, those in the retail and hospitality industries.
Full Story

Open Text Centre for Digital Media Will Bridge the Worlds of Business, Art and the Internet
Waterloo, Ontario

The Centre will be part of graduate and undergraduate programs offered at the University's Stratford Institute, a proposed new centre for education and research to be located in Stratford, Ontario, a well-known art, music and theatre community. The location provides a unique setting that will bring the worlds of business, art and the Internet together in an environment focused on creating innovative new software applications.

"From Facebook to YouTube to Wikipedia, we are witnessing a revolution in the way consumers socialize, share knowledge and harness collective intelligence," said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer for Open Text. "But we've only just begun. There's enormous potential to build on what's been created so far, and apply these new technologies to business, government and culture in new and exciting ways. Through our partnership with the University of Waterloo, we're planting the seeds of that innovation right here in the Waterloo Region."
Full Story

Hawaii's Premier Physician Management Company Selects Electronic Health Record for Statewide Deployment
Honolulu, Hawaii

Allscripts, the leading provider of clinical software, connectivity and information solutions that physicians use to improve healthcare has announced that TeamPraxis, a physician management services organization that provides technology and support services to more than 1,000 physicians in Hawaii, has purchased a statewide license for the Allscripts Electronic Health Record (EHR). The agreement enables TeamPraxis to provide the Allscripts solution to physicians across Hawaii.

"Most of us can't imagine going to the bank or having our financial records kept on paper, so why should we accept having our medical records on paper?" asked Creighton Arita, President and Chief Executive Officer of TeamPraxis. "Our partnership with Allscripts helps us fulfill our vision of serving and empowering Hawaii's physicians with real-time information at the point of care, helping to curb rising costs and to improve the quality of patient care."

Over the last few years, Allscripts and TeamPraxis have worked together with the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), the state's largest health insurer, to provide electronic prescribing to more than 700 Hawaii physicians who are now well positioned to migrate to the full electronic health record. HMSA recently announced that it would provide $20 million in grants for physicians to acquire electronic health records. Under the initiative, 1,000 Hawaii physicians will each be eligible to receive up to $20,000 towards a new EHR.
Full Story

HHS Deputy Secretary Invites Toledo Community to Apply for an Innovative Electronic Health Record Demonstration Project
Tolendo, Ohio


At a meeting today, HHS Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy encouraged community leaders to join together and apply for a new Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments for physicians' use of certified electronic health records to improve patient care. The project, which will be open to small- and medium-sized primary care physician practices, is expected to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for an estimated 3.6 million Americans. "Communities like Toledo have a tremendous opportunity to help transform health care delivery starting at the local level," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Broad adoption of interoperable electronic health records has the potential not only to improve the quality of care provided, but also to change the way medicine is practiced and delivered. By implementing this demonstration project in a dozen health markets across the country, we'll help move this nation toward a system that delivers better quality health care at lower cost for more Americans."

"Communities like Toledo have a tremendous opportunity to help transform health care delivery starting at the local level," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Broad adoption of interoperable electronic health records has the potential not only to improve the quality of care provided, but also to change the way medicine is practiced and delivered. By implementing this demonstration project in a dozen health markets across the country, we'll help move this nation toward a system that delivers better quality health care at lower cost for more Americans."

Over a five-year period, financial incentives will be provided to as many as 1,200 primary care physician practices that use certified electronic health records (EHR) to improve quality as measured by their performance on specific clinical quality measures. In addition to the incentive payments, bonus payments may be awarded based on a standardized survey measuring the number of EHR functionalities a physician practice has incorporated. Total payments under the demonstration may be up to $58,000 per physician or $290,000 per practice.
Full Story

Radiologists Self-Edit Reports, Reduce Turnaround Time
Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Provena Mercy Medical Center, a 356-bed community-based hospital in Aurora, Illinois, has achieved new levels of efficiency and physician satisfaction using SpeechQ for Radiology, the award-winning front-end interactive speech recognition solution from MedQuist. Radiologists in Provena Mercy's Imaging department are self-editing 90 percent of their reports, and report turnaround time (TAT) has been reduced by more than half since the implementation of SpeechQ.

The Imaging department at Provena Mercy performed more than 80,000 exams in 2007. In the past, all reports were dictated and then outsourced to a transcription company. Once transcribed, these reports were then returned to the appropriate radiologist for review and signature. With SpeechQ, average report turnaround time has been reduced from 61/2 hours to 3 hours, and TAT for STAT and ED reports is now five minutes.

Dr. James Studlo, medical director of Imaging Services and chief of the medical staff at Provena Mercy, comments, "When using a traditional dictation system, I often had to rewind and listen to what I had said to confirm that my conclusion was complete. With SpeechQ, it is much easier and faster for me to read what I have dictated and to sign off on a report while the images are displayed." The ED physicians and medical staff at Provena Mercy also appreciate receiving a typed, legible final report within minutes after their patients have had an imaging procedure.

David Angel, administrative director of Medical Imaging and Laboratory Services, adds, "Our success is measured by providing high-quality diagnostic reports to our referring physicians and their patients in a cost-effective and timely manner. Many of the hospital's medical staff have commented on the improved reporting from the Radiology department, and both the imaging staff and the radiologists have noticed a decrease in the amount of phone calls from physicians' offices requesting reports."
Full Story


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TMIS Partners

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