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Industry Insight

Study Says Stimulus Bill Will Boost E-Prescribing

Financial incentives for physicians to adopt HIT included in the recent economic stimulus bill will increase the number of prescribers using e-prescribing to more than 75% over the next five years—nearly double the rate of use anticipated after the passage of last year’s e-prescribing legislation—according to a new study from Visante. 

The study also found that e-prescribing will help prevent 3.5 million harmful medication errors and save the federal government $22 billion in drug and medical costs over the next 10 years, which more than offsets the projected $19 billion in federal outlays to modernize the nation’s HIT infrastructure under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Visante modeled the impact on the adoption of e-prescribing of approximately $19 billion in HIT investments by the federal government, including incentives being paid to physicians and other providers by Medicare and Medicaid, with penalties for nonadopters starting in 2015.

— Source: Pharmaceutical Care Management Association


Washington State Launches Health Record Bank Pilots

The Washington State Health Care Authority has announced the launch of three Consumer Managed Health Record Bank pilot projects in three regions of the state: 

• Bellingham-based St. Joseph Hospital Foundation and The Critical Junctures Institute;

• Cashmere-based Community Choice Healthcare Network; and

• Spokane-based Inland Northwest Health Services.

Health record banks provide patients with an opportunity to securely store personal health information in one location using Web-based tools available from both Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health. These online portals link patients to their health record bank account, where they can create, view, verify, and share a copy of their health information. These pilots will be one of the first health record banks in the United States that allow patient control.

The pilots received $1.7 million in state grants to test the viability, value, and use of personalized online health records. The state funds were made available through legislation and the recommendations of the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Cost and Access, which advocates the use of technology for sharing information among patients and providers, so they can better manage their healthcare and reduce the cost of redundant procedures.

Thousands of Washington residents are expected to enroll in one of the three pilots in the first three months. The pilots will survey participants and provide survey data to the healthcare authority for analysis, with a preliminary pilot evaluation summary to be available in July.

— Source: Washington State Health Care Authority


Dell, Perot Systems Form Partnership

Dell and Perot Systems recently announced a strategic alliance in which their combined delivery teams will provide fully integrated global IT solutions that unite their technology and service solutions to provide virtualized desktop, storage, and server solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physician practices—virtualized on premises or hosted either off site or in secure, private clouds. These solutions are designed to help improve patient care and help healthcare organizations achieve the standard of “meaningful use” for electronic health records established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

— Source: Perot Systems


Colorado Foundation Awards HIT Grants

Nonprofit healthcare organizations across Colorado are getting a jump-start on the use of HIT through $2 million in grants from The Colorado Health Foundation. By adopting electronic health records and related technologies, these organizations will be able to provide more effective and efficient patient care. 

The grants were awarded to a diverse range of nonprofit healthcare organizations, including federally qualified health centers, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, community-based health information exchanges, an independent clinic, a community mental health center, and a statewide association of school-based health centers.

— Source: Colorado Health Foundation