Skip to content Skip to navigation

Best of the Blogs

December 1, 2007
by root
| Reprints

The following commentaries are the most read postings from HCI's Blogosphere. To read other postings and leave your comments and questions, visit, register with a username and password, and blog away.

CCHIT Gives First Chits for Acute-care EMRsPosted on: 11.5.2007 2:23:22 PM Posted by Vince Ciotti

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (say that 3 times fast!) or CCHIT just certified 4 acute-care EMRs, versus the 90-some ambulatory EMRs they've certified over the past few years. The 4 acute care winners are:

  • 2 small-hospital systems: CPSI and HMS (out of Nashville, not the NYC managed care vendor of the same acronym)

  • large hospital systems: Eclipsys and EpicThey also gave “conditional” certification to 2 others who need to yet verify they are operational in a live site:

  • Siemens, whose Soarian has been on the market for 5 or more years (hard to believe they don't have a live site somewhere!?)

  • Prognosis Health Information Systems, ChartAccess 1.0 (anyone ever hear of them?)

So now what? Will that make Meditech, McKesson, Cerner, et al, start flying their demo teams into Chicago daily to play catch-up? Especially McKesson, who is one of the funding sources for CCHIT… Does CCHIT certification really mean a hill of beans to CIOs? I'd be more impressed if they published a list of those vendors who applied and failed…. would tell you who to avoid!

What George Clooney Can Teach Us About Medical PrivacyPosted on: 11.5.2007 6:00:59 PM Posted by Reece Hirsch

A hospital's compliance program is never tested more than when a hospital employee, public figure or celebrity is a patient. In a struggle between human curiosity and HIPAA policies and procedures, curiosity often wins. Case in point — the disclosure last month of George Clooney's medical records when he was admitted as a patient to Palisades Medical Center Hospital in New Jersey after a motorcycle accident. The press later reported that dozens of employees, including doctors and nurses, were suspended for unauthorized access to Clooney's medical records.At a recent healthcare compliance conference, I asked an audience of privacy officers and compliance professionals whether they would fire an employee for unauthorized access to the health information of a public figure. A show of hands indicated that the audience was evenly split on that question. While there is room for debate as to what constitutes a firing offense, there is no question that privacy policies must be rigorously and consistently enforced. One of the best ways to do that is through the use of audit logs.

What if the employee says someone else used their user name and password? Ideally, access logs should identify the workstation name and/or IP address. Also consider whether building access logs or security cameras can establish the employee's location at the time of the incident.

A Rose by any other NamePosted on: 11.5.2007 3:41:20 PM Posted by Jim Feldbaum

Since the very first day of my healthcare IT consulting I was struck by the lack of consistency among the definitions we employ for even the most basic components of electronic healthcare. At first, I referenced the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Definitional Model, but with each subsequent consultation I found myself inexorably slipping into definitions of my own making. Now, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology is leading an effort for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to develop consensus-based definitions for key health information technology terms. Soon, they will be conducting forums and comment periods where our thoughts and recommendations can be aired.

Here is how to participate: To receive news and update:

To volunteer for workgroups:

“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird … . So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing — that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” Richard Feynman (1918-1988)