Thursday, May 29, 2008

Microsoft Healthvault Be Well Fund Increased

The Microsoft's HealthVault Be Well Fund has decided to increase the aware funding from $3M to $4.5M after receiving almost 200 proposals from academic and research health organizations from across the United States.

I'm interested to see the variety/type of proposals submitted and selected. What type of creative approaches and disruptive improvements might come out of the process and built on the HealthVault backbone. right now it is difficult to conceptualize some of the uses of HealthVault and I hope that this effort to jumpstart solutions will help us all see how HealthVault might be used on a day to day basis.

For more about HealthVault, check out the HealthVault Developer Center and HealthVault.

According the press release the:
Proposals represent a wide range of innovative online solutions designed to address significant health issues including childhood obesity, medication reconciliation, mobile health information gathering and dissemination, and diabetes management, as well as to help people manage their health more effectively. Strong interest and participation in the request for proposals (RFP) has made it one of the most successful Microsoft Research RFPs in the company’s history.

Award recipients will be announced at the second annual Microsoft HealthVault Solutions Conference set for June 9-10. The judges for the awards a cross section oof health leaders, including:
  • Adam Bosworth, CEO, Keas Inc.
  • Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives; founder, Center for Health Transformation
  • Mark Liponis, M.D., corporate medical director, Canyon Ranch
  • Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., senior vice president for Health Affairs and dean, School of Medicine; professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical College
  • Leslie Norwalk, former acting administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; strategic advisor, Epstein Becker & Green P.C.
  • Marc Pierson, M.D., regional vice president, Clinical Information and Special Projects, and regional vice president of Medical Affairs, PeaceHealth
  • Brent Ridge, M.D., vice president, Healthy Living, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Better Understanding of Key Health Information Technology Terms

On April 28, 2008, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology released its Report, "Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms," to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

The report is an effort to get everyone working in health information technology to have a common understanding of and differences between EMRs, EHRs, PHRs, HIEs, HIOs and RHIOs. If you don't know what each of these are or are interested in better understanding these key health tech terms check out the report.

An article by Health Data Management indicates that the Report will be "presented on June 3 to the American Health Information Community, a Department of Health and Human Services advisory body, for final approval."

Monday, May 19, 2008

West Virginia Hospitals Required to Report Health Care Associated Infections

West Virginia House Bill 4418 establishes West Virginia Code 16-5B-17 requiring West Virginia hospitals to report information on health care associated infections in the manner prescribed by the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

The bill establishes a new advisory panel called the Infection Control Advisory Panel responsible for guidance and oversight in implementing the reporting process. The West Virginia Health Care Authority is directed to create the panel and the code spells out the required panel members.

The advisory panel is required to:
(1) Provide guidance to hospitals in their collection of health care associated infections;
(2) Provide evidence-based practices in the control and prevention of health care associated infections;
(3) Establish reasonable goals to reduce the number of health care associated infections;
(4) Develop plans for analyzing infection-related data from hospitals;
(5) Develop healthcare-associated advisories for hospital distribution;
(6) Review and recommend to the West Virginia Health Care Authority the manner in which the reporting is made available to the public to assure that the public understands the meaning of the report; and
(7) Other duties as identified by the West Virginia Health Care Authority .

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Charleston FestivALL 2008: A City Becomes A Work Of Art

FestivALL 2008 is coming soon and the sights and sounds are set to hit the streets of Charleston on June 20-29.

This week's theme over at Picture West Virginia (a project by Brian Stealey to get people thinking creatively about West Virginia) is sounds - so it prompted me to write my first post promoting this year's FestivALL. A great place to catch a variety of artistic sounds. Check out any of the links in the summary of events for a taste of the "sounds."

What is FestivALL? FestivALL has become the Charleston's centerpiece arts and summertime entertainment event with a wide array of theater, dance, music and visual arts.

Check out photos from last years event and these video cuts (Part 1 and Part 2) from YouTube by Rudy Panucci's PopCult. Also check out my past posts from 2006 and 2007 here, here, here and here.

If you've never attended look over the schedule of events and pick at least a few to attend. Show your support for FestivALL!

Below is a summary of the major events for the weeklong event (check out the full schedule of events for more):

June 20- WV Day Live on the Levee, music, food, by the river
June 21- 10th Anniversary of Smoke on the Water- Charleston Chili Cook-Off

June 21- Charleston- The Opera (It’s not an Opera, but it will have great music)

June 22- The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and more)

June 25- Savion Glover in his new show, Bare Soundz

June 26- Mayor's Concert: Gladys Knight

June 27- Blues, Brews & BBQ featuring Shemekia Copeland and Sonny Landreth

June 28-29- The Capitol Street Art Fair

June 28- Whad'Ya Know with Michael Feldman

June 28- Wine & All That Jazz featuring The Ellis Marsalis Quartet

June 29- Mountain Stage, WV Public Radio’s internationally distributed live radio show featuring: Hayes Carll, Jakob Dylan & the Gold Mountain Rebels, Krista Detor, Andy Davis and Priscilla Ahn.
(catch out more Mountain Stage at this recent post at Picture West Virginia)

At a special edition of Live on the Levee, we will celebrate West Virginia Day with West Virginia music, food and drink at Haddad Riverfront Park. (Free)

Smoke on the Water, Charleston’s Chili Cook Off on June 21 invites chili cooks from around the nation for hospitality and competition they will get no where else on earth. It’s the 10th Anniversary of this fundraiser for HospiceCare.

Charleston-The Opera, presented by Dixon Hughes at the Cultural Center Theater, Saturday June 21, is a multi-media production of Pittsburgh’s Squonk Opera. They will visit our city twice to gather information, interview residents and recruit local talent to join them in the production they will create. It weaves hometown documentation with Squonk’s aural and visual trickery and will be a “heartfelt toast and a punk-vaudevillian roast” of our fair city. (Matinee and evening performances, all tickets $25)

On Sunday, June 22, The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform a chamber concert at The Clay Center featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other mid-summer delights. (Ticket prices TBA)

On Wednesday, June 25, at the Clay Center, FestivALL and The Clay Center will present Savion Glover in Bare Soundzs, a tour de force dance performance by the “greatest tap dancer in the world”. A child star of Sesame Street and co-star with Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines in the 1989 movie, Tap, Mr. Glover came into his own in 1996 in the Broadway smash hit production Bring in ‘da Noise/Bring in ‘da Funk. He has gone on to create his own dance projects and to star as the motion-capture dancer of Mumble the Penguin in the animated movie Happy Feet. Last fall he appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars performing excerpts from this production. (Tickets $35/25/15)

The Mayor’s Concert on Thursday, June 26, at the Clay Center, will feature the dynamic voice of Gladys Knight. Ms. Knight’s stellar career started with Motown records in the late sixties. She has continued to delight millions of fans around the world with her unique Soul, R&B, Pop and Gospel music sounds. She won her first two (of seven) Grammy Awards in 1973 (R&B, Pop) and her latest in 2005 (Gospel). This concert is made possible by the generous support if Mayor Danny Jones and Pritchard Mining. (Tickets $55/45/30)

Fund for the Arts has announced the talent for it’s annual events, Blues, Brews & BBQ and Wine & All That Jazz, both of which take place by the river on the lawn of The University of Charleston. (Ticket prices TBA)

On Friday, June 27, Blues, Brews & BBQ will feature Shemekia Copeland and Sonny Landreth. Daughter of blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, Ms. Copeland has won a mantel full of blues awards and is one of the hottest young blues talents in the country. Cajun slide guitar wizard Landreth began his career with Zydeco king Cifton Chenier and has electrified audiences for over two decades. Local and regional talent will also be featured.

On Saturday, June 28, the patriarch of New Orlean’s first family of jazz, pianist Ellis Marsalis, performs at Wine & All That Jazz with The Ellis Marsalis Quartet. The father of Wynton and Branford, Mr. Marsalis plays regularly in the Crescent City, tours occasionally and continues to be a major force in the world of jazz. Local and regional talent will also be featured.

On Saturday, June 28, West Virginia Public Broadcasting will host the very popular live radio show, Whad’Ya Know with Michael Feldman. Mr. Feldman’s wit and humor attract millions of listeners each week on public radio stations nationwide. (Ticket prices TBA)

The Capitol Street Arts Fair will expand its hours and number of artisans represented on Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29. Partnering with Tamarack and Allied Artists, the Fair will bring in over one hundred high quality artisans showing, selling and, in some cases, demonstrating their work. (Free)

We will conclude with Mountain Stage, the internationally distributed WV Public Radio live music performance show on Sunday, June 29. (Ticket prices and talent TBA)

Among the artisans’ tents of the expanded Capitol Street Art Fair, June 29 –29, will be small “street stages” that will feature many different flavors of music and dance. There will also be a variety of street performers: magicians, stilt walkers, strolling musicians, mime/clowns, etc.

The Kanawha County Library Street Fair, focusing on kids and families, will run for two days this year (June 28 and 29). The West Side Ice Cream Social and Wiener Dog Races (June 21 and 22) will move to our first weekend and also expand. (as a bonus you also get Phil Phister, friend and World's Strongest Man). Both events feature stages with family friendly entertainment. At the Library Fair there will be a tent with local dulcimer players who will invite kids to join in and watch for an announcement about an incredible “balloon artist”. Both are free events.

The Commercial Insurance Stage at Davis Park will have free music both weekends. On the first weekend (June 21) will be a memorial to the late Winston Walls, a great Charleston Jazz/Blues B-3 organ player. The music will be blues, jazz and related music styles. The next week (28 and 29) it will be a memorial to the late Derek Kirk, a young Charleston musician who died last year and played in several jazz and fusion bands, and the featured music will be those flavors. Free country and bluegrass music will return to the Capitol Market on both weekends.

There will once again be free site-specific dance and theater. “A Streetcar Named Despair”, performed on a trolley bus, will return and there will be a new “Location, Location, Location” play with an Elvis theme (the King once stayed in Charleston’s old Daniel Boone Hotel). The One Act Play Festival will be back featuring theater companies from around the state (ticket prices TBA) as will a Charleston Light Opera Guild production (show and ticket prices TBA).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alltop Law: We've got Law covered.

Health Care Law Blog has been added to Law section of Alltop, the digital magazine rack of the Internet. Check out all the Alltop categories on the main page.

Alltops, along with its sister site, Truemors (covering breaking news, stories and rumors and referred to as "NPR for your eyes"), are the creation of Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens and Guy Kawasaki.

The "about us" section of Alltop states:

We help you explore your passions by collecting stories from “all the top” sites on the web. We’ve grouped these collections — “aggregations” — into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, Muslim, celebrity gossip, military, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, we display the headlines of the latest stories from dozens of sites and blogs.

You can think of an Alltop site as a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points—they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In other words, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation” by providing “aggregation without aggravation.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Health of Google and Google Health

Very interesting post over at ZDNet by Tom Foremski on an upcoming meeting of Google hacks at the Googleplex set for May 19.

Fascinating description of Google's use of machines and software to produce results rather than humans and how this might exist in the health care environment. I have not heard of this description of what Google does and why it does it better and cheaper.

Also, he offers compelling thoughts on the pharma advertising market target that Google may be looking for as it goes about developing Google Health.

Tip to the NewsGang Twitter feed.

Get Well Rick Lee!

Not the type of health care blogging that I like to see. Get well Rick!

Rick Lee, my favorite photo blogger is in the hospital. If you follow his photography leave him some virtual Flickr flowers in the post comments like some of his other regular readers. Here you go Rick - doing my best Rick Lee.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New HHS HIPAA Privacy Compliance and Enforcement Data

DHHS and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have added new enforcement statistics and data to the OCR HIPAA Privacy and Compliance and Enforcement site. Previously, I've posted about the statistics.

OCR added new information broken down by the following topics:
The statistics show that the number of complaints made to OCR continue to increase -- from 6,534 complaints in 2004 to 8,132 complaints in 2007.

Also, the statistics show that the top 5 types of complaints requiring corrective action have remained fairly consistent - except in 2007 "notice" jumps into the top 5.

I would be interested to hear others thoughts on the compliance statistics.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The momScore: How West Virginia Ranks For Maternal Health

While reading this week's Grand Rounds hosted this week at Suture for a Living, I jumped over to an interesting post by Dr. Val on an effort by her and Revolution Health to team up with medical experts and mommy bloggers to create a new health index for Mother's Day.

West Virginia ranks 38 out of 51 states on the momScore. As we head into this weekend's Mother's Day, Anna Marie Jarvis would want us to try to raise our ranking. I'm issuing a challenge to all West Virginia health care providers to think about and work on improving these statistics and metrics.

West Virginia received a a score of 69 out of a possible 100. The areas used for the ranking include: access to prenatal care, air quality, availability of childcare services, family paid leave policy, health care coverage rate, infant mortality, maternal mortality, risk of pregnancy complications, affordability of children's health insurance and violent crime rate.

If you want to discuss or debate West Virginia's rankings you can post your comments on the interactive momScore community.

Friday, May 02, 2008

WVHCA: Proposed Amendments to Cardiac Catheterization Standards

The West Virginia Health Care Authority approved for public comment proposed revisions to the Certificate of Need Cardiac Catheterization Standards (current 3/19/2007 standards).

These revisions were made by the Authority after Governor Manchin rejected the previously proposed standards. The proposed standards continue to modify the requirements for the participants in the demo pilot project involving offering therapeutic cardiac catheterization.

The standards distinguish between Primary (Emergency) Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (Primary PCI) which involves providing cardiac catheterization services within 120 minutes of an emergency myocardial infarction and Elective Therapeutic Catheterizations. The proposed standards also set new need threshold levels for elective therapeutic catheterization.

Written comments on the proposed standards may be submitted to Dayle D. Stepp, Director of Certificate of Need, no later than May 23, 2008.

I previously reported on the modifications to the standards here, here and here.