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Industry Insight

Siemens Appoints Overhage as New Chief Medical Informatics Officer

Siemens Healthcare has announced the appointment of J. Marc Overhage, MD, PhD, as chief medical informatics officer of the Health Services Business Unit. One architect of the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), he recently served as the nonprofit organization’s president and CEO. In his role at Siemens, Overhage will be responsible for clinical informatics activities and guiding long-term product strategies.

“We are proud to welcome Marc to Siemens and look forward to tapping his expertise in mobilizing, standardizing, and making healthcare information accessible in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to care givers,” says John Glaser, PhD, CEO of the Health Services Business Unit. “The Indiana Health Information Exchange is one of many well-established implementations across the country that are proving, on a daily basis, the value of health IT in providing patient-centered care. These solutions are enabling clinicians to use health IT to make more timely, effective, and efficient treatment decisions.”

Overhage’s work on clinical systems development, including clinical decision support and electronic medical records, has been recognized with a Davies Award of Excellence. Most recently, he served as the director of medical informatics at Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis and is the Sam Regenstrief Professor of Medicine and Medical Informatics at the Indiana School of Medicine. He also is an active member of National Quality Forum, the HIT Standards Committee at Health and Human Services, and a board member of the Indiana Health Informatics Corporation.

— Source: Siemens Healthcare


Coding Strategies, MedSym Announce Partnership

Coding Strategies, an auditing, education, and reference consulting firm, and MedSym Inc, a national healthcare revenue service and software technology company, have announced a strategic partnership to pool their collective resources to offer educational coding opportunities and increased organizational efficiencies for the healthcare industry.

The creation of the informal referral partnership grew out of the organizations’ shared mission to provide their clients with resources to assist them as they consistently transition in the changing healthcare industry. Coding Strategies and MedSym’s partnership will provide solutions to their respective clients for both compliant coding education and service and practice and revenue cycle management.

— Source: Coding Strategies


Intermountain Healthcare Opens New Informatics Research Center

Intermountain Healthcare has opened a new center to support its clinical information systems. The Intermountain Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research officially opened on February 16 on the campus of Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

Named after Homer R. Warner, MD, PhD, the center honors one of the industry’s recognized fathers of clinical computer systems.

“With the growing emphasis in and the importance of medical informatics, we will continue to grow in this area with employees and their research,” says Marc Probst, Intermountain’s chief information officer. “The collaborative work that will happen in this center will accelerate the rate of change in developing information system tools to help doctors and nurses better care for patients.”

The informatics research center will centralize 60 full-time HIT positions, many of which are new positions created with the center. Within the next 10 years, Intermountain expects to need an additional 100 informatics specialists.

— Source: Intermountain Healthcare


Drug-Naming Standard for EHRs Enhanced

The RxNorm standard clinical drug vocabulary produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) now contains more accurate and complete connections between National Drug Codes (NDCs) and standard nonproprietary names of medications recommended for use in EHRs.

It also includes, for the first time, First DataBank’s set of NDCs. First DataBank is a provider of drug databases that are widely used in the health care industry.

NDCs are product identifiers assigned by manufacturers and packagers of drugs in the United States. They are published on medication labels and packages and are often used in pharmacy inventory control and in dispensing and billing for drugs. If a single manufacturer issues the same medication in packages of different sizes (25 tablets, 50 tablets, etc.), each size has a different NDC. If more than one manufacturer produces the same medication, each assigns different NDCs.

In contrast, the RxNorm vocabulary creates standard names and identifiers for the combinations of ingredients, strengths, and dose forms (such as Aspirin 325 MG Oral Tablet) that exist in drugs marketed in the United States. This is the information doctors typically include when they write a prescription because they often can’t know the specific product that will be used to fill it. All medication products that contain the same active ingredients, the same strengths, and the same dose forms have the same RxNorm standard name. This standard name is connected to other information in RxNorm that can be used within EHR systems to improve patient safety.

— Source: National Institutes of Health