Stories by Brian Reid

Group advises holding off on HIPAA enforcement

FRAMINGHAM (03/16/2004) - A group charged with advising the government on issues related to HIPAA law has suggested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continue its flexible approach to enforcement of the law's transactions and code set (TCS) provisions.

Voting on simpler electronic records standard begins

FRAMINGHAM (03/16/2004) - Health Level Seven Inc. members will begin voting on a revised electronic medical record standard beginning Tuesday, an effort designed to establish a draft set of standards to guide development of records technology.

Leapfrog's impact slight in enhancing patient safety

FRAMINGHAM (03/02/2004) - The Leapfrog Group, a business-backed organization set up to reward hospitals that implement quality improvement measures, has had little impact over the past two years in prompting change, according to a new report that nonetheless lauded the group's effort.

Orion upgrades medical app portal

FRAMINGHAM (02/19/2004) - Orion Systems International, a maker of informatics integration tools, released the latest version of its Concerto Medical Applications Portal. Version 6 is designed to streamline workflow for physicians while ensuring that data remain both private and easy to access. Included in the software are secure instant messaging functionality and patient work lists, as well as support for Health Level Seven's CCOW standard. In addition, Concerto can offer patients access to their electronic records through an Internet connection.

IDX Systems announces GroupCast deals

FRAMINGHAM (02/19/2004) - IDX Systems Corp. announced a number of deals that will bring its GroupCast, FlowCast, ImageCast, and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions' TouchWorks system to a range of providers. Arizona's Sun Health, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, and Florida's Radiology and Imaging Specialists have all signed on for IDX's ImageCast radiology system. Vermont-based Primary Care Health Partners will install the company's GroupCast for financial operations, as will Regional Diagnostic of Cleveland. Finally, IDX said that Sansum-Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic would use its FlowCast financial product and Allscripts' TouchWork medical record.

Siemens Medical upgrades Invision system

FRAMINGHAM (02/19/2004) - Siemens Medical Solutions said that it has upgraded its Invision healthcare information system. The upgrade allows for easier computerized order entry, with functions designed to promote acceptance of the technology, as well as provide alerts for new results and orders. The upgraded system also allows physicians to capture vital signs via a PDA at the site of care.

McKesson, Intel team up on wireless

FRAMINGHAM (02/19/2004) - McKesson Corp. has teamed up with chip-building heavyweight Intel Corp. to design wireless systems to make the delivery of care safer and more efficient. The companies, which will be sponsoring Wi-Fi access at the HIMSS show, are working to build systems in which physicians won't need to go to a wired terminal to pull up vital signs or medication information.

Eclipsys says strategy to fix SunriseXA is working

FRAMINGHAM (12/04/2003) - Eclipsys Technologies Corp. said Wednesday that new testing had shown that its strategy to address a flaw in the workflow engine for its flagship SunriseXA clinical information system would improve the performance of the system, a move that helped the company boost its share price by 27 percent.

E-prescribing optional in latest Medicare bill

FRAMINGHAM (11/18/2003) - The Medicare prescription drug bill -- largely complete and now the subject of a sales effort to gain congressional support -- doesn't mandate electronic prescribing. Instead, officials at physician groups said, it offers a set of incentives designed to help spur the uptake of the technology. House and Senate negotiators earlier this fall agreed the bill needed language supporting e-prescribing, but they left open the question of whether to require the practice by later this decade. The version originally passed by the House included a mandate for e-prescribing; the Senate bill didn't.

Report concludes that IT saves money

FRAMINGHAM (11/18/2003) - Information technology can save money and lives, according to government investigators who analyzed data from 10 different provider groups, three payers, and one community data network. The findings, which came at the behest of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and are included in a report from the General Accounting Office, followed a year-long examination into some of the nation's most wired healthcare facilities, including the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente's Northwest unit, and Partners HealthCare in Boston.

Next HIPAA deadline rests on 'good faith' all around

FRAMINGHAM (09/25/2003) - With fewer than one in five providers submitting electronic claims to the government in the HIPAA-compliant form that is slated to become the legal standard next month, the government announced Tuesday it would continue to accept older claim formats even after the Oct. 16 deadline passes.