HMT: CDI adds Merge, HIMSS 2013 nursing award, health IT safety plan, and more
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Health Management Technology News
January 16, 2014
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In this issue:

Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) adds Merge healthcare's advanced interoperability platform for clinical and operational workflow efficiency

HIMSS announces 2013 Nursing Informatics Leadership Award winner

HHS makes progress on health IT safety plan with release of the SAFER guides

FDA recommendation to discontinue prescribing and dispensing acetaminophen prescription combination drug products with more than 325 mg

Do you have what it takes to be considered “tech savvy?”

Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) adds Merge healthcare's advanced interoperability platform for clinical and operational workflow efficiency

Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI), a national network of high-quality, cost-effective, outpatient medical imaging and related service providers, has extended their Merge partnership to include iConnect Network. Once live, this web-based, advanced interoperability platform will enable clinical providers to securely share radiology reports with links to relevant medical images and other patient information.

"Our strategy is simple. We want to focus on quality patient care by ensuring ease of access to imaging information for treating clinicians," said Linda Bagley, Senior Vice President of Business Process and Technology at CDI. "We're collaborating with Merge to ultimately leverage iConnect Network's single connection so our clinical customers will be able to easily exchange critical patient data and results electronically."

"In the future, we hope to provide services for online ordering and automated insurance pre-certifications using Clinical Decision Support (CDS)," continued Bagley. "We're pleased to work with Merge on such a powerful technology service that will ultimately enable CDI-affiliated centers to provide customers with a complete package when it comes to integrating imaging services into patient care."

"We value our longstanding partnership with CDI and are thrilled to support their goals for continuity of care," said Justin Dearborn, CEO of Merge. "CDI's deep focus on their referring clinician base enables our partnership to drive electronic standardization of image ordering. The advanced imaging and interoperability network Merge is creating will benefit clinicians and the communities they serve. Through our iConnect Network, we'll support care models and regulatory initiatives, such as value-based care and Meaningful Use Stage 2, as well as provide image-enabled reporting, allowing for better communication and performance amongst clinicians and hospitals to enhance the patient care experience."

Read the full Globe Newswire news release here

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HIMSS announces 2013 Nursing Informatics Leadership Award winner

Former Chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors Willa Fields, DNSc, RN, FHIMSS is the recipient of the 2013 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award. This award is presented to one individual who, in the judgment of the HIMSS Board of Directors, has demonstrated significant leadership in the area of nursing informatics within the Society and the industry.

Fields has been on the faculty at San Diego State University since 2006 and is a professor in the school of nursing. She teaches graduate courses in informatics, performance improvement, and healthcare policy. She also consults at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego County, where she helps nursing staff with their projects and publications.

Before taking her faculty position, she was the vice president of patient care systems in the information systems department at Sharp HealthCare, an integrated delivery system in San Diego, Calif.

She has a diverse background in informatics, clinical nursing, education, research, performance improvement, and management. Her research area of interest is exploration of practices and tools that improve patient safety and the provision of patient care. Specific investigations include the effects of electronic health records and computerized provider order entry on medication safety events and nurses’ work. She has conducted groundbreaking research, which has been presented most recently at the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Symposium.

Fields has been an active HIMSS member since 2002, serving as HIMSS Board member from 2009 to 2013, as chair-elect from 2011-2012, and chair from 2012-2013. She is also serving a term on the HIMSS WorldWide Board from July 2012-June 2014.

Read the full HIMSS news release here

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HHS makes progress on health IT safety plan with release of the SAFER guides

A new set of guides and interactive tools to help health care providers more safely use electronic health information technology products, such as electronic health records (EHRs), are now available at

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) at HHS today released the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides. These guides are a suite of tools that include checklists and recommended practices designed to help health care providers and the organizations that support them assess and optimize the safety and safe use of EHRs.

The release of the SAFER Guides marks an important milestone in the implementation of the HHS Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan, which was issued in July 2013. “A basic premise of the Health IT Safety Plan is that all stakeholders have a shared responsibility to make sure that health IT is safely implemented and that it is used to improve patient safety and care,” said Jacob Reider, M.D., chief medical officer at ONC. “The SAFER Guides combine the latest applied knowledge of health IT safety with practical tools that will help providers—working closely with EHR developers, diagnostic service providers, and others—effectively assess and optimize the safety and safe use of EHR technology within their organizations.”

Read the full news release here

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FDA recommendation to discontinue prescribing and dispensing acetaminophen prescription combination drug products with more than 325 mg

FDA is recommending healthcare professionals discontinue prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products that contain more than 325 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule or other dosage unit.

There are no available data to show that taking more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit provides additional benefit that outweighs the added risks for liver injury. Further, limiting the amount of acetaminophen per dosage unit will reduce the risk of severe liver injury from inadvertent acetaminophen overdose, which can lead to liver failure, liver transplant, and death.

Cases of severe liver injury with acetaminophen have occurred in patients who:

  • took more than the prescribed dose of an acetaminophen-containing product in a 24-hour period;
  • took more than one acetaminophen-containing product at the same time; or
  • drank alcohol while taking acetaminophen products.

In January 2011 FDA asked manufacturers of prescription combination drug products containing acetaminophen to limit the amount of acetaminophen to no more than 325 mg in each tablet or capsule by January 14, 2014. FDA requested this action to protect consumers from the risk of severe liver damage which can result from taking too much acetaminophen. This category of prescription drugs combines acetaminophen with another ingredient intended to treat pain (most often an opioid), and these products are commonly prescribed to consumers for pain, such as pain from acute injuries, post-operative pain, or pain following dental procedures.

Acetaminophen is also widely used as an over-the-counter (OTC) pain and fever medication, and is often combined with other ingredients, such as cough and cold ingredients. FDA will address OTC acetaminophen products in another regulatory action. Many consumers are often unaware that many products (both prescription and OTC) contain acetaminophen, making it easy to accidentally take too much.

More than half of manufacturers have voluntarily complied with the FDA request. However, some prescription combination drug products containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit remain available. In the near future FDA intends to institute proceedings to withdraw approval of prescription combination drug products containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit that remain on the market.

FDA recommends that healthcare providers consider prescribing combination drug products that contain 325 mg or less of acetaminophen. FDA also recommends that when a pharmacist receives a prescription for a combination product with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit that they contact the prescriber to discuss a product with a lower dose of acetaminophen.

A two tablet or two capsule dose may still be prescribed, if appropriate. In that case, the total dose of acetaminophen would be 650 mg (the amount in two 325 mg dosage units). When making individual dosing determinations, health care providers should always consider the amounts of both the acetaminophen and the opioid components in the prescription combination drug product.

Healthcare providers and pharmacists who have further questions are encouraged to contact the Division of Drug Information at 888.INFO.FDA (888-463-6332) or

Read the MedWatch Safety Alert, including links to the FDA Statement

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Do you have what it takes to be considered “tech savvy?”

For the last 34 years Health Management Technology has been exploring and chronicling the growth and development of computers and other technologies used in healthcare organizations to provide high-quality patient care.

This year we’d like to shine a klieg light on those hospitals, hospital systems and integrated delivery networks (IDNs) that make optimal decisions about the tech they need and want (in that order) and use it effectively and efficiently. We’re not just looking to recognize those organizations with deep pockets and a fiscal war chest that allows them to stock up on all the latest tools and toys. Instead, we’re looking to recognize those facilities that make optimal use of the tech they have – leaving few capabilities ever untouched – whether large or small, cash-full or cash-strapped.

What makes a provider organization “tech savvy?” What they’re doing and why they matter in the areas of cost-conscious, efficiency-driven, clinically motivated and patient-centric concepts, ideas and activities that can generate quality outcomes.

Here’s where we need your help. Within your organization or within your customer base, who’s using technology and how are they using it to do top-notch, innovative work? We plan to publish mini-profiles of these organizations in HMT’s March 2014 edition, relying on your nominations.

1. If you were to look at your current customer/membership roster, what are the top five hospital, hospital system and/or IDN organizations you’d recommend we consider for this list? (Please provide the organization name, city, state and proper contact information, including name, title, email and telephone number, for each of the five organizations you nominate.)

2. For each of your recommendations, please highlight a few bullet points and/or sentences why you believe this organization’s operation measures up to being “tech savvy.”

We’re going to collect the recommendations and evaluate them based on their “nominations.” Please note that you or your organization will not be identified as nominating the organization, but if a number of your organizations make the list you’ll certainly earn some bragging rights. At the end of the “official” list we will ask readers to submit organization names that should have been on the list and that we should consider for the 2015 compilation.

Please submit your recommendations to HMT via email no later than Monday, January 20.

Feel free to pool as many folks within your organization for recommendations as you’d like. As always, we appreciate your help and insights and look forward to sharing them with our valued readers.

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