Where am I? Why am I having trouble focusing? Oh, wait a minute … that’s my hand … at least, I think that’s my hand. Why does it appear to be moving in slow motion and leaving a blurry trail in its wake? Oh, hang on, there’s my foot. It’s in a cast! Oh, now I remember … it’s all coming back to me now.
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As I take my weekly train trek home to Ottawa, I can’t help but notice that early everyone in my car is using a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone (and, in some cases, several of these devices at the same time.) While their activities vary, many are unwinding after a long day by watching a movie or a TV show (the lady next to me is catching up on past episodes of Grey’s Anatomy), reading a book, or listening to music. Each of these industries has been transformed, in some cases quite radically, by Apple. Can Apple do the same for healthcare?
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Several people have recently asked my opinion about the value of hackathons targeted at the healthcare market. In each case I hesitated to answer, heeding my mother’s advice “to say nothing at all if you have nothing nice to say.” Making negative comments about an event at which people donate their time just didn’t feel right. Yet, for all the good intentions of those involved, I am not yet sold on the value of hackathons for the Canadian healthcare system, at least as they are currently constituted.
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I love fall! Not only for the changing colours and cool, crisp days but also for the many conferences and trade shows that take place this time of year. At the recent HealthAchieve conference, organized by the Ontario Hospital Association, for example, I learned that there is a growing trend in Canadian hospitals towards a single, enterprise-wide electronic medical record system. Experience elsewhere in the world suggests that this preference for single vendor systems over best of breed environments is fraught with challenges and runs counter to the trend in other industries.
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Earlier this year Greg Reed, eHealth Ontario’s CEO, announced that he was resigning his position effective October 2013. Although there was a flurry of media attention when the resignation was announced, mainly focused on Mr. Reed’s severance package, there has been little speculation since then regarding Mr. Reed’s possible successor. Who are the possible candidates for this role?
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In an October 2010 Healthcare Technology Online editorial, Evan Steele, CEO of SRSsoft, is quoted as saying “Any business that is run on paper is highly inefficient.” He further notes that “decisions based on accurate and complete information … improves the level of patient care while increasing productivity.” Does health IT improve productivity? Recent studies suggest that while health IT tools such as EMR systems do indeed enhance productivity they also highlight that there is still considerable untapped potential for further productivity improvements.
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Recently posted to Technology for Doctors:
In the previous edition of Technology for Doctors Online, Dr. Brendan Byrne, VP of Physician Solutions at TELUS Health Solutions, described a “new approach to EMR” that he calls “EMR 3.0.” A pioneer in the Canadian EMR market, Dr. Byrne has literally lived the evolution of EMRs in Canada and, as a physician and entrepreneur, he possesses unique perspectives on the EMR market and what might lie ahead.
I was intrigued by his arguments for a next generation EMR and began musing about what the next generation EMR (also referred as an EHR in the U.S.) might look like.
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