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15 Soundbites from the Canada-US eHealth Summit

By stephane.vigot@caristix.com | Published: November 19th, 2010

I was in Philadelphia this week for the 2nd Annual Canada-US eHealth Summit (PDF). Now, this wasn’t a big conference like HIMSS. But it was a great opportunity to break open our silos and share knowledge and stories across the border. Plus, we got to hear from a handful of respected HIT leaders, including John Glaser, CEO of Siemens HIT, and David Levine, head of a major Canadian regional health agency.

Here are 15 highlights from the presentations.

  1. Ripped from the headlines: 1 out of 7 Medicare patients who are hospitalized face a major adverse event(involving risk of death). Another 1 out of 7 face a moderate adverse drug event (NY Times, 11-16-2010).
  2. Government is going for the “triple aim”: better health for the population, lower costs through improvement and better use of technologies, and better care for individuals.
  3. Contemporary quality improvement = rapid development cycle and rapid implementation.
  4. There is a tremendous need for data collection (PPACA: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
  5. Hospital-acquired infections are still a major concern.
  6. Canadian healthcare market = $200 billion. About 2% goes to IT investments, stakeholders are looking to get it up to 4%.
  7. IT benefits in terms of savings and quality are now a given (little skepticism left among stakeholders). We’re now in implementation mode.
  8. For a status update of where HIT stands in Canada, check out the Canadian Medical Association website.
  9. The major driver for transforming healthcare is the payment model.
  10. “Quality will now determine your payment.” For this to happen, we need analytics capabilities.
  11. Prediction: decision support tools will grow significantly.
  12. Mobility could be helpful (iPhones, iPads, the new Blackberry Playbook…) but does not really work for clinicians: care happens in a physical space.
  13. Telemedecine in Ontario is advanced (the network they have is pretty impressive).
  14. Savings are extremely significant (travel and hospital visits).
  15. Wireless solutions bring lots of challenges: connections not reliable enough, most hospitals are going back to wired solutions in Pennsylvania.

The organizers mentioned that the presentations will be posted on the Pennsylvania eHealth Initiative website.

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