Month: July 2010

HIMSS Webinars on Meaningful Use

HIMSS provides six part webinar on Meaningful Use and implications.

1. Overview of Meaningful use final rule

2. Implications of Meaningful Use on Hospitals:

Key highlights from #2 above,

  • CCHIT not grand‐fathered as an ATCB, previously certified products must be re-certified – work on the vendor side and I cant gauge the impact
  • Key Applications Needed to Meet Stage 1 Meaningful Use Requirements
    •  Core HIS System with Clinical Data Repository
    •  Clinical Documentation
    •  Clinical Decision Support
    •  Computerized Physician Order Entry
    •  Medication Management
    •  ED System or module

Source: HIMSS

Apple as a religious experience

As I am starting to embrace Apple’s products and a technology marketing observer I find this very interesting.

  1. a creation myth highlighting the counter-cultural origin and emergence of the Apple Mac as a transformative moment;
  2. a hero myth presenting the Mac and its founder Jobs as saving its users from the corporate domination of the PC world;
  3. a satanic myth that presents Bill Gates as the enemy of Mac loyalists;
  4. and, finally, a resurrection myth of Jobs returning to save the failing company…

The last one is not a myth and is actually a fact and is helping the users to experience computing at a level far above the other equivalent products.

The Varieties of Religious Experience: How Apple Stays Divine
Alexis Madrigal
The Atlantic, JUL 23 2010

Upcoming important Healcare IT Events in Canada

September 8, 2010

1. ITAC Health / MEDEC Patient Management Software Conference

Given the recent Health Canada’s rules on medical device classification rules  and the requirement for all patient management to be certified as class II has an impact on vendors/distributors selling products in Canada.

This is quite an important event for both the customers and vendors to understand the new requirements and network with others who are undergoing the process.

October 4-6, 2010

IT Healthcare Canada conference and exhibition

This event is organized by Ontario HIMSS chapter and the first time the chapter is organizing an event of this size, which is quite an amazing feet.  Kudos to the organizers and I wish them all the success.

Plus: Low registration fee and you can network with regional health leaders to understand where eHealth is marching towards in Canada.

Saravana Rajan

Microsoft quits EMR/HIS market in US

Here is the latest from Microsoft, the horizontal heavyweight, who entered the healthcare vertical with the acquisition of Global2000’s HIS product.

Microsoft is to stop selling its Amalga HIS and John’s @ Chilmark analysis and why its the right move for Microsoft.   I agree that EMR / HIS  is a mature market with healthcare vertical heavyweights like Cerner, McKesson , Meditech and industry darling Epic.

EMR / HIS market entry through acquisition from a foreign player looked never feasible given how healthcare delivery is unique to each country with the regulations,  structure ( public versus private), clinical workflows and business processes associated with it.  Even between US and Canada there is quite a difference though Meditech has significant presence in both countries due to various reasons.

Saravana Rajan

Meaningful Use – Stage 1 final rule

Healthcare IT is quite brimming with lots of activities with the healthcare stimulus package in the US through ARRA and HITECT act and deadline looming (effective from October 2010) for healthcare providers(hospitals, group practitioners, imaging centers) and eligible professionals (physicians) to get their slice of the pie.

We saw a piece of action today from  US Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services with their release of final rule for Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements and a coordinated release of final rule of Standards/Implementation Spec and Criteria for certification for EHR and  from US Dept of HHS.

Here are some updates on final ruling of “Meaningful Use”,

  1. US dept of HHS and ONC have released their final rule for meaningful use.  Check this link and this.
  2. Dr. John Halamka’s impression on the final Meaningful Use rules.  overall he is impressed with the final rulings and the scope.
  3. New England Journal of medicine’s summary of the final rule – Here is the table of rule from NEJM
  4. Healthcare IT vendors welcome the final rule – of course – industry is going to get even busier with the set targets for the years 2010 and 2010

    Summary overview of Meaningful Use Objectives

My brief and quick analysis:

1. Coordinated release of Meaningful Use and Standards requirements final rule

While the meaningful use represents the functional requirements ( the WHAT piece)  that has to be met by the providers, the coordinated release of HHS final rule on standards, implementation specification and certification criteria ( the HOW piece) is a commendable job by the people at CMS and HHS.

For example there are requirements in final meaningful use on submitting immunization and laboratory data to public health agencies and providing patients with timely access to their electronic health data

HHS final rule on standards requires using existing penetrated (both from providers, vendors and available resources in the market perspective) standards like HL7 version 2.3.1, 2.5, HL7 CDA to accomplish exchange of information between providers and public health agencies and transferring data to patients.

This enables the providers, vendors to use existing standards to reach compliance on various functional requirements in meaningful use from a technical perspective.

I will follow up with frequent updates as I consume the bulk documents on meaningful use and HHS standards requirements and the nuances of implementation requirements.

Exciting times ahead in the Healthcare IT industry indeed and also I am starting to lead a delivery work on an eReferral project in the province of Ontario to enable physicians to refer patients to their specialist electronically rather than current way of phone calls, faxes and hodgepodge of activities.


Saravana Rajan

eHealth Innovation in Telecare!

Here is an good piece of story on eHealth innovation ocurring south of the border in US.

eHealth and Web 2.0: The doctor will tweet you now

Here is the simple concept, you as a patient can connect with a doctor(supposedly in the same group practice or hospital) via video conferencing, VOIP and who has access to your health records.  It sounds pretty convenient isn’t it ?

The service is provided by American Well and the company is targeting health plans who can offer this as a differentiator compared to other health plans.  Canadian Extended Health Plan ( To my US friends, YES it does exist in Canada and there is extended private health insurance in Canada for services not covered by public health plans)  providers please take note.

So what’s happening in Canada on the Public Health Plans?

If  you live in Ontario, check out Ontario Telemedicine Network, a not-for profit organization funded by Govt. of Ontario seems to provide similar services.   I have never had a chance as a healthcare consumer to experience the service at a primary care level with my family doctor.

I will find out and report where and how they use it and how do the providers have access to clinical records in such a centrally managed solution.