Archive for March, 2011

NIBIB Releases Report from January 2011 Workshop on Imaging, EHRs, and Meaningful Use

March 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Summary of the January 2011 NIBIB public workshop on images, EHRs, and MU

NIBIB workshop summary

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) released its summary of the January 10-11, 2011 public workshop titled, “Images, EHRs, and Meaningful Use: A Vision for the Future.”  The summary contains an overview of the deliberations, including the views of the various speakers and several recommendations for Stages 2 and 3 of the EHR Incentive Program (or “meaningful use”) based on the comments of individuals in attendance.

During the workshop, Dr. Keith Dreyer (Chair, ACR IT and Informatics Committee/Government Relations Subcommittee) presented on behalf of Massachusetts General Hospital and ACR.  The slides from his presentation are available here.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, research

HIT Standards Committee-Clinical Operations Workgroup Discusses Certain Types of Medical Devices

March 28, 2011 1 comment

The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) HIT Standards Committee-Clinical Operations Workgroup met today to discuss barriers and enablers for interoperability with respect to home health and telemonitoring devices.  The intent was to focus on issues such as communications between implants or home monitoring devices and EHRs/PHRs.

Although advanced diagnostic imaging issues were not under consideration, representatives of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), a trade association for medical imaging device manufacturers under the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), participated on the “Device Security and Data Security” panel.  The MITA speakers discussed security lessons learned by imaging device manufacturers that could be applied to other medical device industries. Other participants on the panel included representatives of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 215 and Kaiser Permanente, Healthcare Security Alliance.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use

ONC Releases Draft Update to the Federal HIT Strategic Plan

March 25, 2011 2 comments
ONC Federal HIT Strategic Plan

ONC's Federal HIT Strategic Plan - draft update

Earlier today, the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) released an update to the Federal HIT Strategic Plan (2011-2015) for informal comment via the Health IT Buzz blog. Comments will be reviewed until April 22, after which the ONC will modify and finalize the document.

The update was required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, or “economic stimulus”), which called for the inclusion of milestones and metrics with respect to health information exchange, EHR adoption advocacy, privacy/security, encryption/authentication, governance, stakeholder education, implementation strategies, and technology design for populations with unique needs.  The 2008 version of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan is available here.

The draft is essentially a high-level overview of various ONC programs, as well as select programs from other federal agencies that have relevance to the HIT domain.  RadLex is listed under the National Institutes of Health category of Appendix B: Programs, Initiatives, and Federal Engagement.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, research

Recap of Recent Federal HIT Policy Developments

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

There have been several miscellaneous federal HIT policy developments over the past few days.

On March 22, the U.S. Department of Commerce-National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a Federal Register notice of an April 26 National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) workshop for prospective HIT testing laboratories interested in seeking NVLAP accreditation under the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s (ONC) permanent certification program.   The permanent certification program is intended to replace the temporary certification program by the beginning of 2012.  The permanent/temporary certification program regulations dictate the responsibilities of HIT product testing and certification (and accreditation) bodies.

On March 21, Dr. Doug Fridsma (ONC Director Office of Standards and Interoperability) provided an extensive Direct Project update via the Health IT Buzz blog, including providing the names of the latest health information exchange networks, vendors, health systems, and others who are planning to participate.  The ONC’s Direct Project is essentially a set of technical services and transport standards that facilitate pushing patient data from a sender to a receiver, but it does not deal with the content or vocabulary standards of the pushed message.

Also on March 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its report to Congress on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or “healthcare reform”).  The report includes high-level discussions of HHS’ efforts with the EHR Incentive Program and some other HIT initiatives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, or “economic stimulus”).

On March 23, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a revamp of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation website.  The Center (also a PPACA creation) is intended to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures under Medicare/Medicaid while preserving or enhancing the quality of care.  One of the examples of potential innovative delivery model tests (among about 15 other examples) is varying payment to physicians who order advanced diagnostic imaging services according to adherence to appropriateness criteria guidelines.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare

ACR Participates in Meaningful Use Workgroup Teleconference

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

During the open microphone portion of an HIT Policy Committee/Meaningful Use (MU) Workgroup teleconference on March 22, Dr. Keith Dreyer (Chair, ACR IT and Informatics Committee/Government Relations Subcommittee) reiterated ACR’s comments addressing the workgroup’s  draft advice on potential Stage 2 MU objectives/measures.  The audio from the teleconference is available here.

The MU Workgroup is planning to hold its next business meeting on April 5, with a public hearing focused on MU for specialists on May 13.  The May 13 hearing will apparently feature panels on care coordination, clinical decision support for specialists, population health considerations (data registries), and EHR support of specialty care, among other topics.  Hopefully ACR and our allies in pathology and anesthesiology will be invited by the MU Workgroup to suggest participants.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use

NIH-NLM Institutional Training Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics

March 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently issued a Request for Applications (RFA) titled, NLM Institutional Training Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics (T-15).  The funding opportunity number is RFA-LM-11-001.  The purpose of these grants is to support the establishment, expansion, or improvement of training programs focused on research careers in biomedical informatics, including imaging informatics.  NIH intends to spend approximately $14 million on 10 to 15 awards in FY 2012.

On March 22, NLM will hold a webinar to provide prospective applicants with information about the funding opportunity.  The webinar will be accessible by interested parties until April 29, 2011 via the NLM’s website.

Categories: research

Meaningful Use Webcast with AAARAD Members

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Abbreviated MU slide deck - March 16, 2011

Abbreviated MU slides - March 16, 2011 (Updated: October 2011)

On March 16, I had the opportunity to present via webcast to the Association of Administrators in Academic Radiology Departments (AAARAD) on “Meaningful Use of Certified EHR Technology” with a focus on the Medicare version of the program for eligible professionals.  Due to the manner in which “hospital-based” is defined in regulation using Medicare Place of Service (POS) codes on claims, many diagnostic radiologists in academic medical centers will find they are eligible professionals for the Medicare version of the EHR Incentive Program.

Many thanks to the AAARAD leaders and members for their interest and insightful questions.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
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