Practical information about sustainability in the healthcare industry

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HOUSTON, May 28, 2009 - More than one million American families cope with congenital heart defects, but the enormous obstacles they face remain out of the public spotlight. The non-profit organization, It's My Heart, is working to change that, organizing a conference devoted especially to the challenges these families face and the opportunities offered by medical advances. It's My Heart's First Annual National Family Conference Weekend is scheduled June 26-28. The event's centerpiece is a day-long educational conference on Saturday, June 27th that coincides with a unique conference especially for children. The country duo O'Shea, featuring singer, song-writer and congenital heart defect survivor Mark O'Shea, will also perform at the conference Saturday. Other weekend events include a Friday night Meet & Greet for families and a day of fun at the Houston Zoo on Sunda... (more)

Did Bill O'Reilly and Fox News Contribute to Dr. Tiller's Murder?

While trying to understand what happened to the murdered doctor in Kansas today I found this Bill O'Reilly report about Dr. Tiller. I wonder if this and similar media reports such as this one contributed to the murder of the doctor. ... (more)

Linda Fischetti on VHA Healthcare

This week pre-recording of Federal News Radio Federal Executive Forum featured Linda Fischetti , Health Informatics Architect at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). During a panel discussion, her comments on VHA accomplishments and plans included: Every Veteran's Administration facility uses electronic health records today. The New England Journal of Medicine recently complimented the VA on their use of electronic health records (EHR). VHA currently has over 1400 points of care and has been using EHR for over 10 years with dramatic associated improvement in clinical health care quality. Until now, electronic health records have been provider records. The current goal is to transform that perspective into a veteran centered record. A majority of health care information is currently recorded on paper. Changing from paper to EHR represents a major challenge and ex... (more)

Dr. Leslie Lenert of CDC Speaks on Healthcare IT

During this week's Federal News Radio Federal Executive Forum pre-recording, Dr. Leslie Lenert, Director, National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shared some of his thoughts on the future of health care information technology. His comments included the following: The NCPHI is focused on (1) improving the link between public health and our national clinical care systems and (2) automating public health practice. The biggest change in health care information technology is the establishment of two-way communications between public health and the health care system. Health situational awareness is crucial to our ability to monitor public health problems. We must target situational awareness so that it makes a difference in individual patient care. One key to addressing privacy and confidentiality c... (more)

Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Healthcare Justice

Been thinking about justice lately. Left sees injustice in the fact that some people are wealthy and others are not. Right sees injustice in the government taking away their property and giving it to others. Healthcare Reformers see injustice in wealth determining access to medical services. Kanye West sees injustice in Taylor Swift winning an award instead of Beyonce. When we sense the order of things is out of whack, we get a visceral mental reaction. We hate injustice! We are even willing to fight wars to right injustices if they are menacing enough. But what is injustice, exactly? And why do we so violently disagree on what is just or isn’t? Justice is all about the proper ordering of things in a society – the distribution of stuff. We sense injustice has occurred when we encounter what we believe is the wrong distribution of stuff – primarily wealth, power, and r... (more)

Pharmaceutical Industry Set to Emerge as winners in the Healthcare Reform

Pharmaceutical News on Ulitzer Once a powerful profit-machine, big pharma is stumbling, the threat of further government intervention, drying product pipelines, fierce competition from generic manufacturers, consumer concerns about safety, and false marketing claims is forcing leaders to revisit operations to secure top line Growth. So leaders such as Judith Marquis, Group VP Genzyme, Jeffrey Nye, Chief Medical Officer J&J Pharmaceuticals and James Kirwin VP Global Clinical Operation Wyeth Pharmaceuticals are uniting with over 50 other figureheads at the renowned NGP US Summit next week in Florida to discuss future technology investments to strengthen the industry and improve efficiency to "weather the Healthcare Reform". Thomas Haverty - Global VP, Global Clinical Research, Schering-Plough is set to start proceedings and our sources tell us he will be talking abou... (more)

Mobile Healthcare in Developing Countries

Healthcare Innovation Journal on Ulitzer I attended the mHealth Summit organized by the NIH in DC on October 29-30 to get a sense of the progress in the use of mobile technologies to improve health care. It is a fascinating area where mobile technology can make a real difference in the lives of many people, especially in developing countries (see a paper I wrote recently on behalf of Cisco and Intel here). It was an interesting meeting for someone like me working on the m side of the mHealth, as most of the attendees were from the health care community. This allowed me to get a better understanding of the perspective and requirements of the health care providers. It turns out that for most of the applications presented the requirements are very easy to meet. Most of the applications are still based on SMS, the only mobile data service that is truly ubiquitous. For SMS... (more)

Copenhagen Climate Summit Ends – What Did They Accomplish?

"The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,… Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately." And so ends the Copenhagen Climate Summit. But what did the participants agree to? Was it substantial enough to make a difference? Did they silence the skeptics? Will Sarah Palin finally believe Alaska is melting into the North Pacific? German Chancellor Angela Merkel defends the Copenhagen climate summit. In an interview with the German news source Bild am Sonntag Merkel stated "Copenhagen is a first step toward a new world climate order - no more, but also no less. Anyone who just badmouths Copenhagen now is engaging in the business of those who are applying the brakes rather than moving forward." The climate conference ended Saturday w... (more)

The Cloud Its Benefits and Its Threats

I am very intrigued by the following quote from Dave Powers at Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant and makers of Prozac®, Cymbalta®, Cialis® and dozens of other medicines. Their IT challenge was daunting - purchase 64 compute nodes and storage, assemble, and perform their critical testing. The choices were a large capital expense layout with high-cost management or look to a new method to conquer the task. Lilly turned to Cloud Computing and specifically Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). Their  comment below is the epitome of Cloud Computing. Lilly's project is fairly typical of geo-science and manufacturing companies that use a sort of ‘modeling' or simulation approach to discovery, forecasting, and product improvement/ testing. "Lilly has demonstrated the viability of cloud computing in pharmaceutical R&D, according to Dave Powers, the firm's associate inform... (more)

A Cold, Wet Blanket of Politics Covers the Copenhagen Climate Summit

The headlines say it all… "Further commitment needed to break negotiation deadlock." The rich nations vs. the poor nations. Industrialists vs. environmentalists. And at the end of the day, looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island from Long Beach, the dense brown sludge of polluted air is a constant reminder we are dumping horrifying amounts of human waste into the oceans and air. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says "world policymakers do not have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth." Schwarzenegger believes people worried about climate change should pay more attention to companies, universities and "ordinary folks" and not put so much emphasis on a multinational consensus. (AP) If you listen to the entrepreneurs and innovators in Silicon Valley, they would tend to agree with Governor Schwarzenegger. Green tech is be... (more)

An Introduction to My Health 2.0 Blog

As I am new to "Ulitzer" I thought perhaps before I began with writing & posting articles, I would take this opportunity to better introduce myself.  On November 6, 2007  I suffered a workplace injury that resulted in permanent disability and chronic pain 24/7. I have also been forced to fight every step of the way with WSIB, aka the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board-(the worker's comp. board) in Ontario, Canada. I was recently asked to describe what I thought of them in one sentence and this was my reply: "Straight from the depths of hell with virulent cruelty, WSIB's primary goal is to dissolve the injured worker into wretched fragments." As I am sure you can ascertain from this statement, my experience with them has not been a positive one. This injury also meant that I will never return to my most beloved job as a nurse after 20 years in the field. I loved my... (more)