A twice-monthly compendium of key health IT news for physicians.
December 21, 2015 - Vol. 6, No. 24

Electronic record
Nightingale and First Nations launch major project
Nightingale Informatix Corporation and the Giiwednong Health Link (GHL) have announced that they are launching a digital health project for 14 First Nations in Ontario along the north shore of Lake Huron and throughout Manitoulin Island. The electronic medical record (EMR) project will use Nightingale Enterprise Software for the EMR and practice management and will be launched using the One Patient One Record cloud-based deployment model. More 

Rehab tech event showcases promising new ideas
From an easy toilet reno to a prosthetic arm, new ideas abounded at the recent event held at the Toronto Rehab Institute’s (TRI) 11th annual Research Day. Similar to contestants on Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank, university student research teams pitched their next big biomedical idea. “The older, more senior generations may, quite frankly, consider some of these innovative and high-tech ideas to be crazy while younger minds see them as possible,” said Dr. Mark Bayley, medical director of Toronto Rehab’s brain and spinal cord rehab program. More 

Continuing care
Database preventing overdose deaths underused
Overdose deaths could be reduced in British Columbia if more doctors used a provincial database to track prescriptions for painkillers, a new report says. The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS said in its report that opioids such as oxycodone are increasingly being overprescribed to patients who become addicted to the medication. But only 30 percent of B.C. doctors are enrolled in the PharmaNet program, which allows physicians to see if patients are abusing opioids by getting prescriptions elsewhere. More 

Mount Sinai’s senior strategy saves millions
Older adults currently account for almost 60 percent of hospital days, even though they only represent about 15 percent of the population. But most hospitals were designed in previous eras to care for younger populations. To revamp its approach, Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital created a new strategy in 2010 to make improvements in senior care a priority. More 

Administrative solutions
Digital supply chain gives big purchasing power
There are some big savings hiding in the nooks and crannies of supply chain processing in healthcare. Many wasteful inefficiencies can be eliminated if standardization is introduced and manual steps are replaced with end-to-end digital processing from procurement to payment. One organization that is doing this successfully is TransForm Shared Services Organizations, which handles IT and supply chain management for five hospital systems in the Erie St. Clair LHIN of southwestern Ontario. More 

Prescription opioid epidemic must be stopped
Dear Minister Jane Philpott: Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Health. As an experienced physician, you bring valuable perspective to the post. While there are many contentious matters before you, including a new health accord, physician-assisted dying and marijuana legalization, few could be more pressing than the prescription opioid epidemic. It is an issue all but ignored by your predecessors but it is the greatest drug safety crisis Canada has ever faced. More 

Portable blood pressure meter via smartphone
iHealth , makers of popular smartphone-connected wireless scales, glucometers, and blood pressure cuffs are releasing a new blood pressure monitor that uses your iPhone or iPad to control the device and display readings. Designed to be more affordable while offering similar features compared with iHealth’s previous models, the iHealth Ease is very portable and costs only $40. More 

Portable ultrasound with sliding keyboard cover
Alpinion Medical Systems has expanded its ultrasound portfolio with its new portable ultrasound system, E-CUBE i7. The new system integrates high-performance hardware and software and offers a variety of transducers for high clinical versatility across an extensive range of applications including point of care applications; anesthesiology, pain management, orthopedic/MSK and emergency medicine. More 

Beth Israel launches app to engage patients
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston has launched the MyICU app in its intensive care units to enhance communication with their sickest patients and those patients’ families. When a patient is admitted to an intensive care unit, it carries with it some pretty scary connotations for patients and their families. More 

Free app forecasts famine areas via satellite data
A new mobile phone app designed to help aid workers predict where hunger may strike and provide help in good time was launched by Austrian scientists in November. The app, which is free to use, combines and analyses satellite data and information collected through crowdsourcing using mobile phones, and creates a map highlighting areas at risk of food shortages and malnutrition. More 


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