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Industry Insight

Hawaii to Receive EHR Funding Boost

Hawaii Gov Neil Abercrombie recently announced the release of more than $21.7 million for capital improvement projects that will upgrade and improve state hospital facilities and services.

“The majority of these ... funds will go toward modernizing medical record information systems at Hawaii Health Systems Corporation facilities,” Abercrombie says. “Funds will also facilitate other improvements and replace outdated equipment statewide, improving access to quality health care for the people of Hawaii.”

The governor approved fund allotments for the projects, including $14,321,000 for a statewide information/EMR system. The funds are for system equipment that will support acute care, long term care, ambulatory, and critical access hospitals and will automate clinical and financial processes; allow for a substantial degree of standardization across regions; and be compliant with the HITECH Act and privacy and confidentiality mandates.

— Source: Hawaii.gov


New York Receives $7 Million for Data Sharing Project

A $7 million contract will bring together seven New York City health systems to encourage data sharing and more effective recruitment of patients for clinical trials. The funding was awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which was authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund research to provide information about the best available evidence for patients and their health care providers to make more-informed decisions.

The award will create a clinical data research network in New York City, one of 29 such health data networks nationwide. Together, these networks will form PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

The network is a consortium comprised of 22 regional organizations that will share capabilities and develop systems to support data-networking efforts and advance patient-centered research. It initially will demonstrate its capabilities by identifying individuals with diabetes, obesity, and cystic fibrosis and will partner with patients and clinicians through disease-specific community workgroups.

The network builds on six existing National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award centers that already work on collaborative research, data sharing, and patient engagement. The centers are at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University/Montefiore Medical Center, the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the NYU School of Medicine, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medical College. The project also has strong support from the New York State Department of Health and builds on infrastructure established by two New York state-supported health information exchanges, Healthix and the Bronx Regional Health Information Organization.

The network will link medical records for 6 million city residents; all records will be anonymized to protect patient privacy. The scale of the data sharing between institutions will make it easier and faster to enroll patients in clinical trials and conduct comparative effectiveness and clinical outcomes research. The goal is to allow patients and providers to have access to evidence-based information that they can use to make clinical choices and ultimately to improve health care.

Additional institutions involved in the new project include the four principal medical center participants (Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Health System, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and NYU Langone Medical Center); five organizations for patient engagement (the Center for Medical Consumers, Consumer Reports, the American Diabetes Association, the New York Academy of Medicine’s DASH initiative for obesity, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation); a practice-based research network of federally qualified health centers (Clinical Directors Network); a genome center (the New York Genome Center); a research-support organization (the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York); and the new Cornell Tech Campus, which includes a focus on developing new technologies to capture patient health information.

— Source: Montefiore Medical Center


MaHIMA Honors Five Members at Winter Meeting

The Massachusetts Health Information Management Association (MaHIMA) presented five members with awards recognizing their individual achievement and contribution to the association.

The MaHIMA Outstanding New Professional Award recognizes the best of new talent in HIM. The recipient demonstrates significant potential for future leadership, innovation, creativity, and administrative capacity. This year’s award was given to two members: Laura Caravetta, information security and privacy coordinator for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and Christopher Rushbrooke, technical coding advisor for Partners HealthCare.

The MaHIMA Champion Award, which recognizes a MaHIMA member’s volunteer service to the association, was given to Jeanne Fernandes, corporate manager of health information services for Partners HealthCare.

The MaHIMA Professional Achievement Award, which honors a MaHIMA member for numerous and long-term contributions to the HIM profession, was given to Joy Rose, CEO of Beacon Coding and Consulting and former program director and faculty member of the HIM program at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts.

The MaHIMA Distinguished Member Award, MaHIMA’s highest honor, recognizes a member for his or her exceptional history of contribution to MaHIMA through dedicated volunteer service and association leadership. It was given to Sue Marre, director of coding for Steward Medical Group.

— Source: Massachusetts Health Information Management Association


Farzad Mostashari Joins Get Real Health Board of Directors

Farzad Mostashari, MD, the former national coordinator for health information technology and current Brookings Institution visiting fellow, has been appointed to the Get Real Health board of directors. He joined the board in part to amplify his message about the central importance of patient engagement and its transformational power in health care. Get Real Health provides the patient engagement solution InstantPHR.

Mostashari cites the following key reasons for joining the board:

“As we look to the future, the ability of patients to get and share their own data and the ability of providers to engage patients will be true game changers,” he says.

— Source: Get Real Health