Friday, March 27, 2009

Health Care reform status:

The for runners of the Health industry have been developing RHIO’s (Regional Health information organizations composed of hospitals health maintenance organizations looking to share information among themselves.

Covinsint and e-market developer help health organizations communicate while keeping all of the information private. There roles is authenticate system users, ensure compliance with regulations, and has created application programming interfaces so practices and HMO’s can connect to various management systems.

There is a growing number of service providers entering health care information exchange market. The development revolves around personal health care records developed by each provider. The health record would theoretically be available from one site. Many question still remaining concerning this approach; can such a company be trusted to handle such personal information? This approach would require each individual to keep their medical records up to date.

People in the industry believe a system is available which can be used to create a national electronic health records system. The bottom line is, the system has to improve services and treatment by effective sharing critical information. Implementation and integration remains a complex and difficult process. To make the system work, there has to be great cooperation, innovation, and investment in health orientated IT. Here in Boston, we have began the ground work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Health Care reform and records standards

One of the huge problems with government implementing reform is conflicting interest. In most cases private industry can do a much better job than the government especially when it comes to innovation. These conflicting interests usually slow down development until these differences can be hashed out.

The Veterans administration has developed a Electronic Health Records system using Vista, but private medical software providers claim they can develop a better system. This debate has been going on for better than the last decade.

Cooperation between the government and private industry should create interoperability standards using SOA, middleware, and standard file formats, similar to open document format (ODF) and resource description format (rdf) standards for information medication base structured meaning.

There is a process to create Continuity of care, an XML base standard file format standard for Electronic Health Records (EHR) vendors can write in the same file format. To facilitate this conversion, the Commission of the certification of Health IT does certification and creates interoperability and definition guidelines in three key areas: Privacy, format, and content.

The Health care industry use glossary of terms to describe procedure and diagnosis of patients which revolves around International Classification of disease IDC-9 which must convert to IDC-10, IDC-10 holds 155,000 codes allowing the tracking of disease, diagnosis, and treatment procedures. Deploying or upgrading from IDC-9 to IDC-10 is another challenge for Health care professionals and IT staff.

There is an overwhelming amount of information that must be tracked especially related to molecular understanding of disease. The information system needs to help make better decisions while being comprehensive, flexible, and manageable way to handle data.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cyber and Network Security Talent

In a slow economy where jobs and incomes are adversely affected, crime increases do to many factors. Computer hacking and identity theft are a huge problem. To combat domestic and foreign threats to government and business networks, we must produce more security technicians and engineers.

Many companies have out sourced network security due to lack of skilled professionals in the USA. The government has put a limit on visas for foreign students and USA students are not going in to science and engineering, especially related to computer systems. We have to do a better job or attracting top students and emphasizing the exciting and challenging field which is computer science.

US government and private computer networks were hacked 37,000 times in 2007. These attacks are only escalating in frequency and complexity.

Typically, 50 -60 computer security doctorates produced in the USA, only 15 - 20 teach in the USA. The net result of this, terrorist, criminals, are gaining trade and national security secrets as we fall behind in counter terrorism.

We need skilled professionals who truly know and under stand control systems cyber security. Senators Rockefeller and snow will introduce legislation to create scholarships to encourage more students to enter computer science.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Information Technology solution for Health Care Reform

  1. Information Technology solution for EHR

    Some of the large Health Care organizations and hospital networks have implemented independent Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems to manage records electronically. One approach would be to get all of the EHR systems to communicate and share records. In order for this approach to work, the following important points would have to be established:

    A standard EHR format must be established for all records and conformity requirements developed.
  2. The EHR system must be developed and written so small medical practices (that make up 75% of all practice in the USA) are simple enough to use and implement. The system should simple enough where any long term information technology support is not needed.

The new buzz in computing is cloud computing were a group of small practices band together for a EHR cooperative or use a managed EHR services delivered over the Internet. Sharing and cloud base computing requires that records be stored on a remote server or off site. This brings up patient privacy issues related to the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act law. These record would have the potential, (if system is comprised) to be viewed by unauthorized parties.

The opportunity for IT companies falls into solving problems such as:
Managing large enterprise systems, establishing protocols and procedures, simplification of process, system integration, securing and authenticating readers of health records, coordinating information sharing laws across states, creating a dictionary of of procedural terminology used by vast health care providers. On the network side, communication and network protocol must be established and agreed upon to exchange data among systems with USA.

I am gearing JBrock Consulting to help implement some of these systems and help reform health care.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Health Care Reform and Information Technology

Health Care Reform and Information Technology

One of the key initiatives in the stimulus plan is Health care reform. This revolves around establishing electronic health records, which potentially can reduce medical errors, and improve care by making vital information more accessible to care providers.

One of the large hurdles of adopting this plan is the cost to implement. The stimulus plan at least provides the funding to begin the process of designing a solution.

Problems with Doctors and cost vs. profit ratio:
The electronic records imitative will benefit patients, employers, and government agency, but not the actual health care provider. The electronic health records system (EHR / EMR) will decrease revenues for providers by cutting down on unnecessary procedures and test. In theory, any test results would be shared among all provides, thus eliminating duplicate services. In the eyes of many, this will decrease revenue and profits, which eliminate any incentive to implement program.

The small medical practices, which make up a large percentage of doctors, see few benefits for them. Better health care could mean less patients and revenue. The cost to adopting (EHR) could run from 20,000 to 50,000 and the practice would see very little in return for this investment.

In addition to the investment, there also is a large learning curve to use (ERH) system. Most established practices would rather use a chart and prescription pad and stay as status quo.

The stimulus package provides incentive to implement (EHR). Hospital and practices submitting via (EHR) to Medicare Medicaid will receive an additional 6 million / year in additional payments to send data electronically.

There should be many opportunities for work related to designing, rolling out initiative, and providing training and support for the program. I will review details in next post....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Local N.E Engineering students starts snow board business in their garage

It may be hard to believe, but small businesses create the most jobs and will fuel the economic turn around. Two North Eastern University engineering majors, Mike McGraw and Brian Callan (twenty something) decide they wanted to build snow boards.

They consulted with a former Ski Market Underground manager Patrick Leary (current Blue Hills Terrain park manager) and created snowboards that can shred up the mountain and tear up terrain parks. Paying homage to their home grown roots, they named their company Bean snowboards.

Bean has created two boards: The Violator which is designed for Terrain parks and tricks, has three beat up traffic cones (smashing the grid) designed by Scott Petrichko designer from Art Institute of Boston. The other board they build, is the Commonwealth; which is all mountain board with urban chicken graphics. All of the work is done in a garage they rent in Brighton Ma.

Using their engineering back grounds and the Internet, they learned that building snow boards was not too complicated. They design and make all of the pieces them selves except for the maple wooden cores that are milled by a local Chicopee carpenter. This feeds money into the local economy.

Bean Boards host demo days and rail jams at Blue Hills ski area in Canton. Their marketing plan seems to be, build a local riding community that take price in a home grown product.

I am hoping to go over to Blue Hills Spring fling event on March 14 2009 (Pig Roast, Pond skimming, demo day) to check out these boards in person. I think it is great when people start their own business. If the business,hopefully turns out to be successful, it helps our local economy. If you are local, try to be over at Blue Hills to check out the scene, demo the boards, and have a super time!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Economic turn around and prosperity

The current economic climate has slowed to recession level and unemployment has risen to 8%. Unemployment rates very from city to city. Certain cities and regions are prepared to ride out the recession better than others:

Boston Ma:

42% of the jobs here are in what are considered strong industries. The current metro unemployment rate is 5.4%.

  • The segmented job market is:
  • professional (white collar), scientific, technical jobs 10.4 %
  • Education jobs 11.11%
  • Health Care 15.7%
  • Government 5.3%

Boston's economic strength resolves around our world class Universities with massive endowments, including Harvard and MIT. The is very strong funding for bio medical research which ties into our world class hospitals and health care system.

Consumer spending has tailed off as lay offs mount, stock market and 401k values tank, and credit becomes more difficult to obtain. As lay offs and the stock market decline hits bottoms, people again will look forward to buying homes, cars, electronics, etc. Will we purchase USA products if they are equal in quality and prices to the foreign competition?

Many USA companies are betting yes on this question and must prepare and build the best products possible. This will lead me back to the auto industry in my next post! Will GM survive?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

USA Engineering and Marketing

A superior product with great engineering needs a good marketing program. A huge problem with the US automakers is marketing. The US auto industry has always been behind the competition due to poor marketing, shoddy design, and making appropriate adjustment to the market.

I do believe that if the USA auto industries comes out with a hybrid that is better or as good as the competition, we should support and buy USA. I am hoping the Chevy Volt or the Malubi hybrid turns out to be great products.

I can see myself driving the Volt in the next decade, I hope.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stimulus what in it for me "Technology Infrastructure"

Stimulus what in it for me "Technology Infrastructure"
When the home land defense department was created, the big buzz was, how do we protect the USA for domestic and international terrorism? The best way to accomplish this mission is up for debate, but basically revolves around sharing information. (911 report -- CIA &FBI)

President Obama technology agenda: The goal of technology innovation is to improve the lives of all American. There should be a free and open exchange of information which will "create a more transparent and connected democracy".A percentage of the Stimulus funding (20% - 40%) is to employ technology to solve our most pressing problems: "clean energy, health care, and public safety".

Some Key area that can improve America's Competitiveness
Invest in the Sciences -- the stimulus package doubles funding for basic research over the next decade.

Invest in University reach -- fund exceptional researchers at this level.
R&D Tax credit -- promote skilled research to improve technology infrastructure

Improve USA education in Math and Science Education --Math and Science as a Priority: Recruit highly qualified math and science teachers

Improve Scientific logic -- evaluate skill such as inference, logic, data analysis, as opposed to memorization of facts

Turn around HS drop out rates

Foster Math and Science students-- database for future scientists relating financial aid from government and or private resources.

Increase science and math graduates -- improve studies in K - 12 and prepare students to enter field.Encourage post-graduate work while including more minorities and women.

Science and Technology investments:

Over haul Health care by investing 10 billion / year for the next 5 years to move toward standardized electronic health records system.

Invest 150 billion in green technology over the next 10 years fostering engineers and scientists to develop bio fuels, hybrids, solar renewable energy and new updated electric grid. This investment will create 5 million new jobs.

Improve public networks especially broadband access and first responders.

Advance Biomedical research.

Advance stem cell research.

There is plenty of opportunity for skill professionals with in these expansive programs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stimulus Package -- what is in it for me "DOT"

Snowy day on the East Coast

Department of Transportation;
A center price of the DOT budget is developing a high speed rail network across the country. For many of us who have driven all are lives, I can not really see how most people would benefit from the system. Reviewing additional details may shed some light on this issue for many of us.

The second components of the DOT mission is to support air transportation system while modernizing the current traffic control systems.

The FAA Data Comm modernization plan will will allow for advanced network operations of air traffic control clearance and related advisory concerning weather and emergency situation awareness. The next step in the process is requirement generation and design which provide opportunity to some high tech firms.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What in it for Me -- Stimulus Package break down

Stimulus package break down:

Families will receive $1200 tax rebate check in the mail. (Base on adjusted income calculations)

Package break down by percentage 35% tax cuts 65% spending (790 billion)

Transportation, Housing, Urban Development:

Energy and the environment 57.17 billion Green energy -- (Solar, Wind, Aut0/electric)
Agricultural and rural development 34.24 billion -- High speed Internet rural areas
Commerce, Justice, and Science 14.17 billion -- research funding
Labor, health, education -- 90.59 billion -- benefits (unemployment), update and modernize health computer system, educational loans

Federal and State Government 45 billion -- Infrastructure funding at the state level.

Note propose number and calculations

The stimulus package will save some jobs, help certain industries, and create new jobs. As citizens and tax payers, we need to hold state and federal government accountable for the good and bad decisions made. People need to get behind the good programs by promoting while limited the bad that hurts every one in general.

Follow me for more detail to come.............

Science and Engineering

Science fair returns to Randolph High school. Our local students will be competing in regional science fairs at Bridgewater State and M.I.T. as we as a country look to strength our science and engineering programs.

A Randolph High graduate "class of 1994" Barnas Monteith was recognized as the most successful science fair participant in state history. He has started several software companies and co-founded Diamonds Solution Inc.

We as a county need to promote and develop more scientist and engineers, so we can once again lead in technological innovation.

Source Boston Globe Wendy Chow

Science fair open to public 5 -6 @ Randolph High School rm 122, 124, 126 3/2/09