ACOs Begin to Generate Savings – Health Data Management – In advance of the Affordable Care Act kicking in, the Accountable Care program is beginning to generate savings in hospitals. For example, Mt. Sinai in New York has reduced emergency room visits by 54 percent among high-risk patients. Other examples abound and the savings are beginning to add up. However, the combination of savings with a measurable commitment to maintain quality creates a complex balance if is not to be all about financial savings (at the expense of patient care). According the the author, Mt. Sinai is using a supercomputer called Minerva to mine claims data and identify patients at highest risk of admission to hospital. This is supported by a dozen care coordinators who maintain personal contact with patients to ensure they take their medications and attend medical appointments.
Apple Bans Medical Drug Guides from App Store – iMedicalApps (Husain, June 5) – Apple is tightening restrictions on medical app developers and has been rejecting certain apps if the drug information in the apps is not provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Epocrates, a popular drug reference app, remains listed in the app store indicating that there may be some exceptions to the policy; however, newly-submitted apps appear to be under the greatest scrutiny. Even though IOS devices are extremely popular among physicians, this type of policy could encourage more care providers to move to the Android platform where similar restrictions are not applied.
Nuance Launches New Version of Dragon Medical – Nuance – Claiming up to 99 percent accuracy and, with the ability to dictate clinical notes as well as navigate through the EHR using speech recognition, Nuance has announced a new version of Dragon Medical Practice Edition that has been designed for smaller practices to accelerate adoption of EHRs. Practice Edition supports over 90 specialized medical vocabularies and includes a variety of voice shortcuts to aid with navigation and searching for information.