RSSAll Entries in the "Technology" Category

Clinical informatics on its way to becoming a board-certified subspecialty

Physicians who are elbow deep in their hospitals’ electronic clinical data systems may finally be recognized for their efforts to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) is advocating for the creation of a board-certified subspecialty in clinical informatics, and the first exams may be available as early as 2012, according to “Clinical Informatics Board Certification: History, Current Status, and Predicted Impact on the Clinical Informatics Workforce” in the February 10 Applied Clinical Informatics.

“There is a big push for more adoption of electronic health records among physicians and hospitals. It’s a larger initiative around health IT, which has received a lot of attention in no small part [due] to the $40 billion in the federal stimulus package dedicated to the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records,” says William Hersh, MD, chair of the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. 

Even if your medical staff is not engaged in the development of electronic health records now, chances are it will be in the near future. The goal, established by former President George W. Bush and carried forth by President Barack Obama, is to implement and achieve meaningful use of electronic health records nationwide by 2014. 

To read more of the clinical informatics movement, check out the July issue of Medical Staff Briefing.

AHRQ creates software that can cut time and cost of reporting information

The Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS’s) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) yesterday released MONAHRQ, a free software application that may help states, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations more readily report their quality data, according to an AHRQ press release.

MONAHRQ, which stands for My Own Network Powered by AHRQ, is a Microsoft Windows-based platform that reduces the cost and the amount of time required for organizations to analyze and post their quality data on the Internet. Hospitals can plug in their administrative data, such as patient characteristics, diagnoses, procedures, and health insurance type and charges, and the software analyzes that data and creates a Web site that the hospitals can use for performance improvement and public reporting.  Users can customize the Web sites to reflect their organizations’ logos and color schemes.

AHRQ’s press release states that the Web sites generated from MONAHRQ provide information that goes above and beyond the information that is available on HHS’s Hospital Compare Web site. To download MONAHRQ, visit