Saturday, March 29, 2008

Telemedicine in Action

Interesting article on a Telemedicine Pilot by Dr Siddiqui, who is using it for infectious disease and wound care remote consultations. Its becoming clear that we will be experiencing a severe doctor shortage in the next few years. In my own community, I do not see any new physicians starting their practices. Our local hospitals have become frustrated in their attempts to recruit new primary care physicians and specialists. Over the next 5 years, I see a significant number of physicians retiring or winding down. In order to efficiently use our limited physician resources, telemedicine will need to be more main stream. Dr Siddiqui has presented an excellent case study and I look forward to reading his findings when they are published.

...Partnering with Dr. Javeed Siddiqui of UC Davis Medical Center, the staff at
Sonoma Valley Hospital is routinely able to get expert opinion on infection
cases using the state of the art technology."Programs like this are great
because they allow us to offer high quality medical care in this small community
that we would never have been able to offer otherwise," said Carl Gerlach, chief
executive officer at Sonoma Valley Hospital. "When we don't have that particular
specialist on board, telemedicine allows us to reach out to the best medical
centers for their expertise." partnered up with Siddiqui, an
infectious disease specialist, who agreed to help guide the hospital's response
to infection.
To date, Siddiqui has consulted on dozens of infection cases
ranging from diabetic foot ulcers and wound checks to pneumonia and
osteomyelitis. McMahon said the technology is almost as good as having the
doctor in the room, because he can use the camera to zoom in to get an up close
look and talk to the patients in real time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Misys Healthcare and Allscripts to Merge

I heard this rumor while at HIMSS, but both parties denied it. Well it happened. Supposedly, with this merger, 1 in 3 physicians will be working with an Allscripts-Misys system in some capacity. See Misys Healthcare and Allscripts to Merge.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

ROI of EMRs not worth the cost ?

Interesting piece in the AMA news. Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) has determined that the ROI of an EMR is not worth the investment to doctors, and as a result, will not require physicians to purchase an EMR in order to participate in their P4P programs. This news is especially significant since it was BCBSMA that funded the very high profile $50M community based EMR project, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. One objective of this project was to understand the cost and quality implications of implementing EMRs, so BCBS's conclusion is based on solid data. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in justifying future EMR roll outs.