Monday, October 22, 2012

OHSU to put $1M to work on 'smarter' EHR | Healthcare IT News

File this under solutions create the next set of problems: data dazzle via EHRs.

For example, Hersh explained that while it is difficult to cause direct harm with a stethoscope, improper use of a stethoscope could lead to inaccurate results, tests or treatments. Similarly, improper use of EHRs could lead a clinician astray, especially in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where an average of 1,300 data points per patient are logged every 24 hours.

The grant, championed by Jeffrey Gold, MD, will put OHSU at the forefront of this work. Through his past role as ICU director and current role as professor of medicine and program director for Pulmonary Critical Care and Critical Care Fellowships, Gold became interested in this work when he noticed that EHRs weren’t consistently providing clinicians with a clear picture of a patient’s health over time.

“In the past, all patient data was hand written, making it easier to remember and learn,” said Gold. “Electronic records are no doubt a useful tool in many ways, but now there are so much data in front of you that often you can’t see the forest for the trees.”

OHSU to put $1M to work on 'smarter' EHR | Healthcare IT News

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Statistical method will analyze important, poorly studied areas of human genome

Just as God doesn’t play dice with the Universe, I suspect what seems junk, serves some purpose.  Scientists at U of W will tell. 

The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, produced the identity of the entire human genetic code at the most fundamental level - the base. Three billion chemical bases from each parent pair together in a sequence along a twisting DNA ladder.

Only five percent of the material is actual genes; those 23,000 genes are the work horses that make molecules, usually proteins. The rest was initially thought to be useless "junk."

Wanting to understand how such waste could occur in nature, the NHGRI nearly a decade ago launched the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, or ENCODE, to learn what that 95 percent was all about - particularly, where biological activity might be taking place in it. Last month, in a flurry of papers published in high-profile journals, ENCODE researchers concluded that, in fact, at least 80 percent of the human genome serves some biochemical purpose.

Now, building on the momentum, ENCODE has awarded another round of major grants to examine the data in new and even more rigorous ways to gain a deeper understanding of how the 80 percent affects genes. Keles' group will concentrate on areas of the genome that contain nearly identical repeating segments of base pairs. ENCODE did not include these repetitive areas in its earlier analysis.

Statistical method will analyze important, poorly studied areas of human genome

It’s Not About the $100 Million: What UPMC’s Senior Leaders Understand about Healthcare’s Future

I have a liberal friend fond of quoting Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex Speech.  I’d wager we have a Government Medical-Industry Complex now, investing big bucks, in big systems, and probably on a scale far larger than the Military ever envisioned for the Defense Industry.  Certainly an investment that will touch far more Americans very personally.  Hope we manage it as well as the Military did their, and avoid their mistakes too.

The announcement on Monday of this week that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) health system was investing $100 million over the next five years on a comprehensive enterprise analytics initiative was a big one, to say the least. Try to name another, similar initiative on this scale, and one would be very hard-pressed to do so, with the notable exception of the years-long Kaiser Permanente KP HealthConnect/general IT initiative.

It’s Not About the $100 Million: What UPMC’s Senior Leaders Understand about Healthcare’s Future