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Health Management Technology News
  March 17, 2014
In this issue:

Say cheese: Patient photos being added to medical record

Obama says enough people signed up to make U.S. healthcare law work

Plymouth researchers contribute to study on healthcare workers

Moms of celebs help Michelle Obama push healthcare

Lungs on a chip, 3-D printed hearts

Say cheese: Patient photos being added to medical record

When a pediatric hospital in Colorado began adding photos of patients to its electronic medical records, patient identification errors dropped significantly. Stanford Hospital & Clinics hopes to achieve similar results for its patient photo project, which launched March 3 in the Emergency Department.

Registration personnel are now taking photos of every individual admitted to the ED. The photo is then uploaded to the patient's electronic medical record and visible to all practitioners at the hospital and clinics.

"Patient identification is a main cause of medical errors," said Ian Brown, MD, clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine and an attending physician in the ED. "Putting patient photos in the medical chart is one way to reduce this."

After the initial pilot phase in the ED, the patient photo project will be rolled out to the Cancer Center, and then subsequently throughout the hospital and clinics.

"The benefits of doing this are significant," said Monica Gupta, vice president of IT applications and business operations at the hospital, whose team is deploying this new capability. "It's really about driving the quality of patient care and the quality of patient interactions. This goes a long way in our ability to know who our patients are, and guide them through their interactions with Stanford."

Read the full Stanford School of Medicine article here

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Obama says enough people signed up to make U.S. healthcare law work

President Barack Obama, aiming to allay concerns about the viability of his signature healthcare law, said on Friday enough people have enrolled to make its insurance marketplaces stable.

"Well, at this point, enough people are signing up that the Affordable Care Act is going to work," Obama said in an interview with the medical website WebMD. "The insurance companies will continue to offer these plans."

The Obama administration is mounting an enrollment drive aimed at adults aged 18 to 34, whose participation in the marketplaces is vital to the success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In his latest bid to persuade people to enroll before a March 31 deadline for 2014 coverage, Obama found himself on the defensive, noting for example that some enrollees might have to change doctors.

"For the average person, many folks who don't have health insurance initially, they're going to have to make some choices. And they might end up having to switch doctors, in part because they're saving money," said Obama. That was a change from his assurance to Americans in 2009, when he was trying to get the law passed, that "if you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor."

Read the full Chicago Tribune article here

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Plymouth researchers contribute to study on healthcare workers

Researchers from the Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education Research and Assessment (CAMERA) based at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, have contributed to The Costs, Benefits and Impacts of Medical Revalidation: Year One and Way Forward, a report published today by the NHS Revalidation Support Team.

The Plymouth team carried out an analysis of the public and patient involvement (PPI) aspect of medical revalidation.

Revalidation for doctors was introduced in the UK in December 2012 and requires all doctors demonstrate that they are ‘up to date and fit to practice’.

It consists of a five-year cycle based on annual appraisals.

The process includes feedback from colleagues and from patients.

The report summarizes research carried out and commissioned in 2013-14 on the current and expected costs, benefits and impact of medical revalidation in England.

The findings are based on an analysis of 3,500 responses to surveys on the impact of revalidation from doctors, appraisers, responsible officers and designated bodies.

Read the full The Plymouth Herald article here

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Moms of celebs help Michelle Obama push healthcare

Sick of your mom urging you to register for Obamacare before the March 31 deadline? Well, Michelle Obama has enlisted other people's moms to nag you instead!

The first lady called upon the mothers of Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Jonah Hill and Adam Levine to help push universal healthcare and remind young people of the upcoming registration deadline.

Fun trivia from Lopez's mom, Guadalupe: "Jennifer walked at eight months. She was climbing out of her crib when she was a year old. At one point, I thought, 'Maybe she should be a gymnast.'"

And from Hill's mother, Sharon Feldstein: "Jonah was a prankster. ... Jonah flooded the elementary school."

Read the full USA Today article here

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Lungs on a chip, 3-D printed hearts

3-D printers are currently being used or explored by a multitude of industries — from printing toys and automotive parts to meat and even houses. In medicine, they are already used to print prosthetic limbs and make patient-specific models of body parts that surgeons can use as guides during reconstructive surgery. It’s no surprise, then, that scientists around the world are investigating whether living cells can be used to print replacement organs and tissues.

3-D printing is an exciting technology that I except to play a significant role as scientists expand their ability to engineer tissues and organs in the lab. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the printer itself is not the “magic” ingredient for making lab-built organs a reality. Instead, printers are a vehicle for scaling up and automating a process that must begin at the laboratory bench.

Before any organ can be engineered — whether it’s printed or built by hand — there is much groundwork that must be accomplished. Vital to the process is a thorough understanding of cell biology. Scientists must determine not only what types of cells to use, but how to expand them in the lab and how to keep them alive and viable throughout the engineering process. Do they need to be imbedded in biocompatible material? If so, which biomaterial is most suitable? The bar for success is high — the structures we engineer must function like native tissue.

Read the full WTKR article here

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