Social Media to Impact Community Health Surveillance?

A recent article on Nextgov states that The Department of Homeland Security has hired Accenture to “test technology that mines open social networks for indications of pandemics.”

The biosurveillance program, slated to last one year, will attempt to identify public health trends by examining information that people share online. The total price tag is $3 million. It’s a product of the national strategy for biosurveillance, created by the Obama Administration. According to Nextgov, the guidelines request that federal agencies try new techniques to mine data that could impact public health.

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Just Say No to Meaningful Use Fraud

It’s been nearly 40 years since Nancy Reagan encouraged Americans to “just say no” to misuse of drugs. But the Obama administration has recently issued a new “just say no” statement—stating it will not tolerate cheating when it comes to Medicaid Meaningful Use reimbursements.

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The Election and IT Funding

The next month could be the start of some big changes in healthcare IT. As public health professionals know, politics plays a major role in healthcare IT funding—and depending on which candidate is elected, things could continue down the same path or move in a new direction.

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EHR Software Standardization Can Lead to Greater Innovation

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) held its annual conference at the beginning of October, and the topic of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) was high on the discussion list.

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Meaningful Use: Perspectives from A Health System’s CIO

EHR Intelligence recently published an interview with Lee Roath, System CIO of Benefis Health Systems. The interview provides insight into the struggles that health systems face when implementing Meaningful Use requirements.

While Roath believes that meaningful use has “ensured greater safety” for the population his hospital represents, implementation costs have limited his organization’s ability to make other upgrades in the facility.

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CMS Releases Stage 2 Meaningful Use Requirements

Recently, CMS released the requirements for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. These requirements amended the compliance dates set forth in Stage 1, allowing providers more time to meet Stage 2 criteria. Now, a provider that attested to Stage 1 in 2001 will attest to Stage 2 in 2014—not 2013.

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Tracking the H3N2v Virus

In the past few weeks, the H3N2v virus has been in the news—a new swine flu that has already resulted in one death in Ohio.

The virus, which is transmitted from pigs to people, caused the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to warn people with serious health problems to avoid contact with pigs.  This includes people with heart disease, asthma, chronic lung disease, or those with a weakened immune system.

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Health Surveillance: Putting the Focus Back on Community

Topics for our newsletter are often born around the watercooler—derived from informal conversations about timely issues that have a significant impact on Public Health Professionals. Recently, a watercooler topic in the HMS office was “Community Health Surveillance.” So much time is spent discussing syndromic surveillance that the community element of it seems to have been lost—or forgotten.

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HMS Blog Talk: HIEs

HIEs have been getting some big press coverage recently. Tennessee recently decided to abandon its plans for a statewide HIE, while Nevada just went live with a service that enables HIE participants to share diagnostic quality images.

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HMS Software Provides Insight into Solving NJ Foodborne Outbreak

EpiCenter™ Syndromic Surveillance System Monitors ER Admissions and Notifies Public Health Departments of Outbreaks

(Pittsburgh, PA) — When a foodborne outbreak was suspected in New Jersey last week, Pittsburgh-based Health Monitoring Systems’ EpiCenter Syndromic Surveillance system helped public health officials in the state to further investigate the outbreak’s cause and point of origin.

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