Health Care Quality/ HIT News

  • AHRQ reported this week that “Between 1994 and 2004, risk-adjusted [U.S. hospital] inpatient mortality rates for six selected diagnoses and six surgical procedures steadily decreased by 18 to 46 percent.”
  • The eHealth Initiative released a Blueprint: Building Consensus for Common Action, a “multi-stakeholder consensus [involving over 200 organizations] on a shared vision and a set of principles, strategies and actions for improving health and healthcare through information and information technology.” Healthcare IT News reports that according to eHI “the release of the Blueprint is Phase I of a two-phase process. Phase II of the process, occurring over the next 12 months, will involve eHI in the ‘wide dissemination’ of the Blueprint, support for its implementation, facilitation of the sharing of related best practices, and a search for input from additional stakeholders at the national and local levels.”
  • On a more arcane level, Ingenix released its fourth annual report naming the top 200 coding hospital in our country. Healthcare IT News explains that “The report ranks hospitals by the completeness and accuracy of their medical coding practices used to bill Medicare for inpatient medical services.”
  • A Chicago Tribune article threw cold water on Microsoft’s new Healthvault product. Although the headline spoke of privacy concerns, here’s what caught my attention:

    In an interview, Sean Nolan, chief architect of [Microsoft]’s 2-year-old Health Solutions group, characterized this “beta” launch of HealthVault as an early step into a difficult industry.

    For one thing, 80 percent to 85 percent of doctors in private practice don’t keep electronic records, and hospitals aren’t much better, according to Lynne Dunbrack, program director of the market research group Health Industry Insights.

    And where electronic records do exist, there’s no guarantee that any two health-care providers will call the same treatment or lab work by the same name.

Unless of course they were both working at the top coding hospitals.