EHR Matters

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Todays Topics

  1. Senator John Kerry pushes to accelerate adoption of electronic health records
  2. VeriChip acquires Steel Vault, combined company will be PostiveID.

Category: EHR Matters
Date: November 16, 2009
Views:4,535 views

Hello, I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Monday, November 16th.

In recent news, Senator John Kerry is his pushing to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records in Massachusetts. Kerry's bill, the Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act, would offer grant funding to encourage small-scale medical practices to adopt EHRs. "This legislation helps small practices acquire the technology that will allow them to be more efficient and to focus on patient care," Kerry said. Kerry has a history of supporting EHR technology. In 2007, he introduced legislation to push e-prescribing. E-prescribing is now supported in the 2008 Medicare bill that passed that offers bonus payments to early adopters of e-prescribing, and eventually imposes penalties on medical providers still issuing paper prescriptions.

Kerry continued…"Electronic medical records and prescriptions are the common sense solution to restricting costs, reducing errors and reforming a broken system.”

In other news, the company VeriChip has acquired Steel Vault, and the combined company will operate under the new name: PositiveID. VeriChip markets a microchip implant that links to online health records. This microchip will now incorporate Steel Vault’s credit monitoring and anti-identity theft utilities.

PositiveID CEO Scott Silverman said: “PositiveID will be the first company of its kind to combine a successful identity security business with one of the world’s first personal health records through our Health Link business. PositiveID will address some of the most important issues affecting our society today with our identification tools and technologies for consumers and businesses.”

This merger is not met without criticism: This combined technology potentially allows PositiveID to link or cross-check patient health records from the HealthLink chip to people’s credit scores. PositiveID will have to ensure secure firewalls to prevent breaches in sensitive health and financial data.

And finally…A startup company, Explorys Inc., is partnering with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to develop a Google-like ”Population Explorer” search engine. This technology would allow quick analysis of massive databases of patient records. Uses could include tracking the effectiveness of treatments, following the results of new drug therapies, and finding potential participants in clinical studies.

This technology is HIPAA compliant. It strips patient identities from the data as it is collected in compliance with federal privacy laws covering health records.

Cleveland Clinic has a pilot of the technology operating in-house under Dr. Anil Jain. The Clinic believes Explorys Inc. has a chance to crack the massive market for health care information technology. The company hopes to launch by next summer. Their strategy to secure business with health-care institutions that would value a high-speed search of patient records. From new policies, to business mergers and new companies emerging into Health IT arena, Health IT is certainly a hot topic.

I’m Lindsay Pine and this has been EHR Matters-Thanks for watching.

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