Great Prezi on Evidence Based Health Informatics

Thanks to Tim Cook over at Google+ for the lead on this one.

I’m familiar with Prezi’s, but have never created one. I played around with the technology once, quickly became frustrated, and gave up. Anyway, the Prezi below from Dr. Robert Hoyt - Evidence Based Health Informatics » Replacing Hype with Science – has a lot of great information in it.

Update 3/13/2013: Looks like the presentation was pulled down. Not sure why, but the link is dead. Unfortunate as it was a great presentation.

Update 8/21/2013: The presentation is back! Dr Hoyt left a comment on this post letting me know that the presentation is up with new and improved content.

You can see the full presentation here or view it below.

What we need is a system-neutral data structure for healthcare

During a web browsing session the other day I came across a very interesting blog post by Louis Gray titled “The Future: Operating System And Application-Neutral Data”. I enjoy reading Louis’ posts because I think he has a great vision for the future of personal computing, data, and “the cloud”

The blog speaks specifically to the ownership of personal data versus allowing companies to sit on it and possibly hold it hostage secondary to a lack of compatibility with other systems. The information you throw onto the internet defines who and what you are, more now than ever before, and you need to be able to move it around anytime from anywhere.
Continue reading What we need is a system-neutral data structure for healthcare

Librarians and patient safety

PSQH: “In order to learn whether librarians and information professionals have expanded their involvement in patient safety, the 2007 survey again asked respondents to choose from a list all of the activities in which they participate. In the 2003 survey, only four persons (of 174 total respondents) indicated they had no role in patient safety activities. In 2007, four persons (of 318 total respondents) indicated they had no role in patient safety activities. In 2007, 82.4% of the survey population responds to ad hoc inquiries on patient safety. As in the 2003 survey, this activity ranked first of all the options offered. More than half of persons who responded are also involved in documenting best practices for patient safety from the literature (68.55%), providing targeted alerts on patient safety issues to staff (57.23%), and creating resource guides for patients and practitioners (52.52%).” – During my time as a critical care pharmacist at Community Regional Medical Centers from 2001 – 2006 I spent a fair amount of time in the library researching this and that. Frequently I had to enlist the help of the medical librarian and we soon became friends. Besides being an excellent resource for information, he and I spent quite a bit of time discussing ways to better access and present pharmacy related information. He was a big believer in centralized storage and retrieval of reference material. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were discussing a cloud model. His insight into situations pertaining not only to medical literature, but to patient care was invaluable. He and I have moved on with our careers, he to the VA and me to my current position at KDDH, but I will always remember the value he added to the overall patient care model. I therefore find it all too easy to believe that medical librarians have become an integral part of patient safety initiatives.

Thoughts on the “cloud”” ‘Most IT executives are sold on the benefits of cloud computing, but many of their colleagues who are business decision makers still need convincing on the value of the technology, according to a survey released Monday [August 3, 2009]. A total of 28% of IT execs are planning to deploy private computing clouds by the end of 2009, according to the survey results. The most-cited benefit (41%) of private cloud computing is its perceived ability to improve efficiency. Other benefits mentioned were: “resource scalability,” cited by 18%; “cutting costs,” 17%; “experimenting with cloud computing,” 15%; and “improving IT responsiveness,” 9%. The survey, conducted by grid and cloud provider Platform Computing, detected a major stumbling block for deployment: 76% of the IT executives believe that business decision makers don’t understand the potential value of private clouds.” – One of the most difficult things to do in healthcare is to change the culture of the practitioners around you. I’ve died on many hills when “we’ve always done it that way” was the only argument against planning and implementing a new strategy. Based on current trends in interoperability, storage requirements, and limited IT labor pools, “the cloud” model will become more prevalent in healthcare. Even now, companies like Rackspace (the rackspace cloud) and Amazon (Amazon S3) are leveraging themselves against a future that includes cloud services. In addition, a recent article in InformationWeek regarding the storage of medical images makes an indirect case for cloud computing in healthcare. As storage space for medical images increases and providers demand easy access to images from any location, the idea of storing the information in the cloud becomes an attractive solution. Advantages include on demand storage, built in backup plans, outsourced support services, and decreased hardware costs; making it an ideal solution for storage hogs like CT scans, MRIs, etc.

Medical Informatics Training

Non-Clinical Jobs:If you’re a physician [or pharmacist], at what point do you need “formal training” in medical informatics if you wish to pursue a career in health IT? It’s hard to answer, because it largely depends on how motivated you are to self-learn. Have you been keeping up with all the recent changes in health IT? Are you familiar with health IT language? Are you a member of HIMSS? Are you tech-savvy? Have you been actively involved in your hospital’s health IT committee? Do you hold any certifications in health IT? You’re probably not going to find a “crash course” on health IT that will teach you everything you need to know in a very short amount of time. However, if you’re willing to invest some time and energy into formal education , then you may want to take a look at some programs that leverage distance-learning and online classrooms.” – If you’re interested in formalized informatics education in California, check out Stanford or the University of California, San Francisco. You can get a list of available programs in North America here.