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Beyond Meaningful Use… I Have a New Meaningful Use EMR, Now What?

After implementing electronic health records and operating on meaningful use, you may ask yourself – ‘now what’?

Now that your hospital or medical practice has an EMR, you are in a unique situation to utilize this resource for several other research capabilities beyond quality reporting. EMRs provide an outlet to access rich clinical data for research use, along with several other secondary uses. They can provide a platform for clinical recruitment, along with recently being recommended to use to document extreme situations, evaluating devices and drugs to provide early information helping to identify side effects that may have been missed during clinical trials.

What are additional secondary uses for EMRs that you have seen in your medical practice places and hospitals? Please share below and feel free to read more on this topic.

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Future of the Emergency Department: Views from Australia & New Zealand – Part I

Welcome to the first in a series of posts from the Cisco Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) healthcare team.

We’ll be providing regular news and insights from the region covering healthcare issues as well as the role of technology in supporting them.

This is the first of a two part video series on the future of the emergency department.

At a Digital Hospital Design conference hosted by Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and chaired by Brendan Lovelock, head of the healthcare practice for Cisco ANZ,  industry spokespeople and medical specialists shared their views on how they envisaged the emergency department in the future.  Watch our video summary on what they said.

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Medical Devices – It’s just a matter of time, literally!

I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Engineers at CIMIT (Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology) in Cambridge this week.  Lot’s to tell you (more to come), but perhaps nothing more timely then “time” itself.  With the eventual “Meaningful Use” requirement to include the integration of Medical Devices to your EHR as a means to correlate patient vitals over time – we have big problems looming as an industry.

Under the direction of Dr. Julian Goldman at CIMIT, researcher Pratyusha Mattegunta, MS, BME and team examined 100’s of medical devices across a particular healthcare system – most of which were network attached.  What the team found was an overwhelming number of medical devices with incorrect time and date.  Some devices in fact were running some “very advanced firmware” that was able to predict the patient’s condition — Sometimes as much as 6+ months into the future! Read More »

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Are your Wireless Medical Devices up to the Coexistence challenge?

An interesting article titled “Wireless Medical Device Coexistence” (found here) was passed my way recently.  The article made a case that by creating a formalized testing strategy the risks associated with the coexistence of wireless technologies could be reduced resulting in a safe and effective wireless medical device. After reading it – I began to consider the problems we all face with wireless device coexistence and began to ask myself if such testing would improve the coexistence challenge.

Many medical devices today include wireless interfaces that utilize 802.11, Bluetooth or even ZigBee all within the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band.  The criticality of such connectivity varies widely across the various medical device types that exist.  The most critical of these devices require continuous wireless connectivity with a “zero or near zero” packet loss factor.

The paper points out that the IEC-60601-1-2 is the standard used for EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) testing of medical devices, but the standard does not include testing recommendations to determine the conditions necessary to maintain a wireless connection when subject to interference.  Now some of you Biomedical and Clinical Engineers might point to the ISO-14971:2007 standard, but this is focused on identifying the risks during the product lifecycle and does not specifically address the RF aspects.

So I wonder, if the industry created a testing standard for medical device coexistence (in the ISM band), would this advance our cause and allow more of us to get a better night sleep?  The article provides some examples of a suggested testing strategy (you can read it here), and I won’t debate the finer points but have to ask if this would result in a safer and more effective medical device. Read More »

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Leveraging technology to support an Accountable Care Organization initiative

It is of particular interest to me to see how technology can be leveraged to help care providers meet legislation requirements and improve care delivery and outcomes at the same time!   One of our most recent examples of how this alignment occurred was through collaboration with Saint Thomas Health as part of the MissionPoint Health Partners pilot. We have been working on this project since 2010 to bring our Cisco HealthPresence Solution to underserved communities in Tennessee.

Cisco HealthPresence is one of the solutions designed to facilitate better and more regular care.

The objective is to help extend the reach of healthcare delivery, simplify healthcare communications, and connect patients with medical providers and specialists to enable examinations in a convenient and efficient manner.

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