Thursday, August 23, 2007

Medinfo Day 4

Thursday was another wet and windy day in Brisbane, but at least the rain held off for a few minutes while I walked to the convention centre for the opening plenrry sessions.
Richard Murray
The first was by Richard Murray (James Cook University) who described his history of working with Aboriginal Primary Health Care Services. He talked about the needs of the population being influenced by the widely disparate population with a major burden of disease and environment which leads to high death rates in childhood and middle age. He described the need for improved preventative health with the integration of clinic and outreach work.

He described the Healthspace technological solution which has been supporting this work for the last 20 years and the newer Project Ferret. The emphasis is on building and people actually meeting patients needs rather than It to collect data for funders.

Robert KolodnerThe second keynote speaker was Robert Kolodner (CIO of National Health Information Technology Co and now Director of the US governments National Coordinator for Health Information Technology). He talked about the US healthcare expenditure as a share of GDP, the ageing population, the insurance based system and the number of medical errors being drivers for the improvement of health IT. The importance of standards and the role of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) were emphasised.

He then went on to describe the role of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the American Health Information Community.

Ritamarie JohnAfter a coffe break (spent speculating about the presence of Richard Granger in Australia, and whether he would be trying to get a job here after his role in the UK NHS's Connecting for Health) I attended a session about Professional Education - Nursing Informatics. The first speaker was Ritamarie John from Columbia University who described a project to evaluate the use of a PDA based screening tool for paediatric depression and the results of a small pilot study with APN students.

She was followed by Tricia Trangenstein from Vanderbilt University who described with with an online clinical log and how the data extracted from a large number of encounter records enabled faculty staff to identify students who may not be achieving well in their clinical practice.

Carole Gassert then described her experience implementing the Cerner Academic Educational Solution (AES) at the University of Utah and shared some of the lessons she had learned.

The final presentation before lunch was from Laura Hofte from Twente in the Netherlands who talked about an innovative module for nursing sudents working with ICT students to develop the functional specifications of an EPR.

After lunch I attended a panel session entitled "Patient portals to support communication and information sharing between patients and care providers". Several speakers including Jonathan S Wald, Camelia Ruland, Justin Starren and Edward Cohen described the different approaches they had taken to using systems linked to the patients electronic health record to enahnce and empower patients to self manage at organisations such as Partners Healthcare, Oslo oncology clinic, Columbia university and Kaiser Permanente.

The final session of the day included my presentation on the Information Technology Attitude Scales for Health (ITASH) and therefore I was not focused on the other speakers who were presenting in the same session, but they included; Bernd Blobel describing the architecture to support a personal health paradigm, Mohyuddin from Cardiff describing a study to develop Patient Centric Virtual Organisations or healthcare providers using wirless technology, and Sarneer Antoni whose work at the NIH is about Content Based Image Retrieval and called SPIRS (Spine Pathology and Image Retrieval System) but is now also working with cervical cancer images.

The day finished with "The Great Australian BBQ" at The Hundred Acres Bar, St Lucia Golf Links - which had been moved indoors because of the weather. The meat was excellent and the evening was made better by meeting up with Jacob Weiss from Vanderbilt University and juggling together - although he is far better than I am, as you can see in his "Juggling round Australia" video. The evening was however spoit by the confusion and anxiety over the bus transport back to eople hotels in the rain.



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