News&Views

December 14, 2006

Not Xpensive

Filed under: — mlazoff

Thomson Clinical Xpert is available for free download to physicans, house staff, and medical students, among other healthcare practitioners. This is their new evidence-based, point-of-care PDA reference. (If you don’t see where to click on this page, try turning off your firewall or ad-blocking software.) 



August 3, 2006

Top Bedside Software?

Filed under: — mlazoff

Fifteen of the usual suspects make up the arguably best listing of The Top PDA Resources For Family Physicians, from the July/August issue of AAFP’s Family Practice Management. See if you agree. We like that the drug program from our former publisher, The Medical Letter, is included.

(While there, take a look at What Family Physicians Need to Know About Pay For Performance for a quick catch-up on the basics, appropriate for all specialties. The closing section, A Look Ahead, paints quite a rosy picture.)



July 4, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin’…A Little

A June 2006 report by The Center for Studying Health System Change, Growing Availability of Clinical Information Technology (IT) in Physician Practice, compared its 2004-05 data with that collected in a similar manner four years earlier. The 2004-05 telephone survey involved 6,600 full time office- and hospital-based physicians identified through AMA and AOA master files, on the availability of computers in their practice for five clinical activites: accessing guidelines and treatment alternatives; sharing patient data electronically with other physicians; electronic medical records; automated reminders and prompting systems; and e-prescribing. 

Based on these results, the availability of computers in patient care is catching on. From the report: “The proportion of physicians reporting their practice has IT access for four or five of the clinical activities nearly doubled over the period, growing from 11.1 percent to 20.9 percent. And significantly fewer physicians reported being in practices with limited clinical IT, with the percentage of physicians in practices with IT for no more than one clinical activity dropping from 50.6 percent to 37.0 percent.” The report notes, however, that ”…despite substantial growth rates for clinical IT across the five clinical activities—between 23 percent and 97 percent over the four-year period—many physicians still lack access to practice-based clinical information technology. For example…nearly 80 percent of physicians lacked IT to write prescriptions in 2004-05. And more than a third of physicians didn’t have IT for the easiest-to-implement activity—accessing guidelines and treatment alternatives.” 

Note that the physicians were not asked if they use computers in their practice, only the first step in that process: whether computers with these specific programs are available. If we assume the majority of physicians are satisfied using what’s available to them in their practice–alas, a very big assumption–then, according to the S curve of technology adoption, some of these practice-base clinical computer programs that were leading edge four years ago are now approaching state of the art. The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization located in Washington, D.C. 



July 3, 2006

Welcome to News&Views

These concise (ideally) summaries and occasional irreverencies on medical computing and assorted topics will be written by Marjorie Lazoff, MD with Lee Ann Riesenberg, PhD, RN, riding shotgun as editor. Kudos to Rhizoid Design for adapting the News&Views interface to meet our picky needs. Drs. Lazoff and Riesenberg both work on the open-access publication Medical Computing Review, freely available elsewhere on this site, which we hope you will visit and enjoy. 

Happy Independence Day! 



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