Friday, May 28, 2010

VA Announces Winners of Health Information Technology Initiative

PRESS RELEASE - Department of Veterans Affairs

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today the selection of 26 winning ideas in the Veterans Health Administration / Office of Information and Technology (VHA/OIT) Innovation Competition.

“At VA, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the care we deliver,” said Secretary Shinseki, “The employees who participated in this competition exhibited tremendous creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Their ideas will help the department improve health care quality, access, and transparency in service to our nation’s Veterans.”

This is the most recent effort under the VA Innovation Initiative, a department-wide program that brings the most promising innovations to VA’s most important challenges by involving employees and the private sector in the creation of visionary solutions in service to Veterans.

An employee competition launched in February 2010, the VHA/OIT Innovation Competition solicited health care IT solutions that move VA forward in its transformation to a provider of 21st-century services for our nation’s Veterans.
The 26 VHA/OIT Innovation Competition winners represent 23 different VA medical centers, program offices, or regional health care entities from 17 states. The chosen innovations will receive funding and support for prototype development and implementation.

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition attracted broad participation, yielding over 6,500 ideas from department employees. After a Web-based community voting method narrowed the submissions to a smaller group of finalists, a panel of federal and private sector health care and IT leaders reviewed the top proposals and selected the winners.

The panel consisted of 24 department employee and other distinguished participants, including Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine; Dr. Robert Kolodner, health IT consultant; Dr. Mehret Mandefro, White House fellow; Dr. Stephen Ondra, VA’s senior policy advisor for health affairs; Peter Levin, VA’s chief technology officer; Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist; and, Todd Park, chief technology officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition follows the department’s Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Innovation Competition, which was launched in August 2009 by President Obama in support of his mission to make government more effective, innovative, and open. Both VA innovation competitions are part of the VA Innovation Initiative.

VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) is a department-wide program that brings the most promising innovations to VA’s most important challenges by involving employees and the private sector in the creation of visionary solutions in service to Veterans. VAi2 identifies, funds, tests and deploys new efforts that significantly improve the access, quality, performance and cost of VA services.
See attached listing of winning ideas.

The VHA/OIT Innovation Competition Winning Innovations:

• Reducing health care associated infections using informatics
• CPRS-based automated queries & reports
• Robust VA forms search engine
• Augment CPRS with standards-based decision support engine
• Enhanced care management to facilitate case management and chronic disease care
• Integration of behavioral health lab & CPRS for mental health primary care
• Edischarge pilot program
• Show patient picture in CPRS
• CPRS enhancement for veteran-centered care
• "Parking" outpatient prescriptions to prevent waste
• Suicide hotline: be a hero, save a hero
• Touch screen device support for nursing triage of patients
• Tools for front line veteran eligibility staffing
• VA-wide core collection of knowledge based information resources
• Integrate VistA surgery package with CPRS
• Illustrated medication instructions for veterans
• Share verified insurance info via use of the master patient index
• Veteran online tracking of mail prescription delivery
• Search function in CPRS
• Accessible contact information for all assigned care providers
• Online radiology protocoling tool integrated within CPRS/VistA
• Wireless voice communications with hands free options
• Improved access to military personnel records
• Brief resident supervision index
• Emergency medical response team communication
• Reduce unnecessary/duplicate lab tests by rules-based algorithms

This press release can be located here:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Healthcare Bill Surprise: 1099 Nightmare

A clause buried in the bill requires more tax forms—and small business will bear the brunt

By John Tozzi - Focus On Entrepreneurs, Bloomberg Businessweek

Anyone who makes it to page 737 of the massive health-care bill approved by Congress in March will find a three-paragraph section that has nothing to do with hospitals, doctors, or drugs. The provision, inserted by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to help offset the cost of the bill, requires companies to report to the IRS payments of more than $600 a year to any vendor. The intent is noble: to capture $2 billion or more a year in taxes on income that currently goes unreported by contractors and small businesses.

Business advocates fear it could generate a flood of paperwork. While the provision affects all companies, small businesses will be slammed the hardest because they often lack the compliance departments and legions of accountants that corporations retain on staff. CONTINUE HERE [Full Article]

©2010 Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Client News: Florida Hospital Receives Prestigious Governor's Sterling Award for 2010

The Florida Sterling Council today announced the three organizations that will receive the prestigious Governor's Sterling Award for 2010. Florida Hospital (Orlando), James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics (Tampa), and South Miami Hospital will be honored at the Governor's Sterling Award Banquet at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes on Friday, June 4, 2010. This year is unprecedented in that all the recipients are in the healthcare sector.

"I am honored to recognize this year's Sterling Award recipients," said Governor Crist. "This year's winners have demonstrated their commitment to improving healthcare in Florida. The process of competing for the award alone encourages organizations to pursue excellence and improve service.

For 18 years, the Governor's Sterling Award has recognized organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations. This year's recipients of this coveted award are:

  • Florida Hospital (Orlando) is a faith-based health system committed to providing whole person care through an integrated delivery network in partnership with physicians and caregivers. The 2,188 acute care beds are located on seven campuses throughout the Greater Orlando tri-county area with services delivered in the inpatient, outpatient and emergency care settings. Comprised of a caring team of 16,150 health professionals, Florida Hospital is the second largest, non-governmental, private employer in Central Florida. Alongside the Florida Hospital staff members are 2,913 volunteers who gave 283,500 hours of service, or the equivalent of $4.6 million, to Florida Hospital in 2008. Florida Hospital has become the preferred hospital in Central Florida and the busiest (based on admissions) privately owned hospital in the nation according to a 2007 American Hospital Association Survey. Florida Hospital's "5 Year Overall Survival Rate for Cancer" (Breast, Prostate, Tongue, Ovary, Lung-Non Small) has outperformed the National Cancer Programs comparison from 2003 through 2008 in each area. Florida Hospital's competency for innovation has been a catalyst for several industry advances such as the Global Robotic Institute, Nicholson Surgical Institute, the Healthy 100 Campaign, and a GetWell network that facilitates direct patient interaction with hospital departments through the television in the patient's room. In addition, Florida Hospital is the first pediatric emergency department in the nation to be lit totally by ambient lighting. In 2009, Florida Hospital received the Joint Commission's "Gold Seal of Approval." Florida Hospital is a two-time recipient of the Governor's Sterling Award (1994) and the largest organization to ever receive the award.
  • James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics (Tampa) is a Clinical Referral Level 1 facility and one of the most complex healthcare facilities in the Department of Veterans Affairs. The hospital has a dedicated staff of 4,783 employees. There are more than 1,500 volunteers who contribute 123,016 hours of service annually, at a monetary value of $2.4 million. In addition to the 569-bed tertiary care hospital, and the on-site Haley's Cove, long-term care facility, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics has an Outpatient Clinic in New Port Richey and three Community-Based Outpatient Clinics located in Zephyrhills, Lakeland, and Brooksville. Approximately 112,500 veterans and active-duty service members receive comprehensive health care through primary, tertiary, and long-term care in numerous disciplines. In 2001, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics became the first Veteran Affairs Hospital to receive the prestigious Magnet Hospital designation, the American Nurses Credentialing Center benchmark for excellence in nursing care. The Acute Rehabilitation average length of stay is 17.1 days as compared to other Polytrauma sites of over 30 days. This performance demonstrates leadership in rehabilitation services. In addition, the hospital has been recognized for role-model performance for their SMART Home for Traumatic Brain Injury to Rehabilitate Patients. They have received visits from numerous national and international organizations such as the University of Scotland, National Football League, and United States Marines to benchmark processes. In 2009, the hospital was recognized by the US News and World Report as one of the top 100 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital and Clinics is only the second Veteran's Affairs Hospital to receive the Governor's Sterling Award.
  • South Miami Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital located approximately 10 miles southwest of downtown Miami in Miami-Dade County. With a caring staff of 2,582 employees and 120 volunteers, South Miami Hospital is the second largest hospital within Baptist Health South Florida. South Miami Hospital is a 467-bed tertiary and acute care suburban hospital whose six pillars of excellence include people, service, quality, financial, growth, and community; these pillars are a driving force for their success. In 2006, South Miami Hospital become the first hospital in South Florida to provide new technology that allows board-certified physicians and experienced critical care nurses based off-site to monitor all of their critically ill patients 24/7 and intervene to prevent an adverse outcome by implementing their eICU program. In 2008, the hospital became "Best in Class" for having the most National Quality Indicators in the top 10% in the nation. As defined by Press Ganey, South Miami Hospital has achieved role model status with an overall patient satisfaction score of 89 in 2009 as compared to the national benchmark at 86. HealthStream, Inc. has identified South Miami Hospital as ranking in the top three in the nation in physician satisfaction. Response time to hospital code blue is at 1.23 minutes, which is well-above the American Hospital Association's benchmark of 2.5 minutes. South Miami Hospital is only the fourth healthcare organization in Miami-Dade County to receive the Governor's Sterling Award.

About the Governor's Sterling Award

Established in 1992, the Florida Sterling Council is a public/private not-for-profit corporation supported by the Executive Office of the Governor. Sterling's Annual Conference is exclusively designed to teach participants how to elevate performance and increase productivity. Nearly 1,000 executives and professionals gather at this event for a one-stop source for education, information and inspiration. The conference concludes with the recognition of best practices, the Team Showcase Champion and the presentation of the Governor's Sterling Awards.

The Governor's Sterling Award process is comprehensive and rigorous, and is the highest award an organization can receive for performance excellence in Florida. Organizations submit a 50-page application that is scored against the seven categories of the Sterling Criteria: Leadership; Strategic Planning; Customer and Market Focus; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Workforce Focus; Process Management; and Results.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Department of Health and Human Services to study patient perceptions of health IT

May 17, 2010 | Mary Mosquera, Government Health IT
Healthcare IT News – The Department of Health and Human Services will conduct two surveys to find out more about patient perceptions and preferences for the use of healthcare information technology.

View article here.

Healthcare IT News is a publication of MedTech Publishing Company LLC. For more information about MedTech Publishing Company and its publications, please visit

© 2010 MedTech Publishing

Client News: Public Invited to Grand Opening at Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro, Sunday, May 23

The public is invited to attend a grand opening event at Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro on Sunday, May 23, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The afternoon will include tours of the new medical center and opportunities to meet the facility’s doctors, nurses and other staff. There will be plenty of family fun, including Radio Disney, games for the kids, refreshments and more.

Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro, the only pediatric outpatient center of its type in Kentucky, will open May 26. The medical center will feature 365-days-a-year pediatric emergency services; a full complement of pediatric diagnostic imaging services, including MRI, CT, X-ray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound and cardiology services, along with a full-service laboratory; and a wide range of pediatric outpatient surgery services, including ENT, orthopaedics, eye, urinary, dental and general surgeries. The medical center’s layout, processes and amenities were designed to ease children’s and families’ anxiety about medical experiences and to make the facility a friendly and inviting place for children, teens, young adults and their families.

The medical center is located at 4910 Chamberlain Lane, just southeast of Norton Brownsboro Hospital and next to Costco, in Louisville’s northeastern Jefferson County. Medical care at the facility will be provided by physicians, nurses and staff specially trained in treating pediatric patients, using equipment specially designed for pediatric patients. The medical center, part of Kosair Children’s Hospital, will serve children and families in Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. More information is available here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament will benefit Driscoll Children’s Medical Plaza – McAllen

Driscoll Children's Hospital 12th Annual Children’s Miracle Network Golf Tournament - benefiting Driscoll Children’s Medical Plaza McAllen featuring cash and door prizes.

WHEN: May 29, 2010
Registration is at 7:30 a.m., Tee time is 8 a.m.
Applications must be submitted by May 21, 2010.

WHERE: Shary Municipal Golf Course, 2201 Mayberry, Mission, TX 78572

COST: $225 per team.

FOR INFORMATION: Call Nancy Vasquez or Hector Bosquez, 956-580-3393.

Client News: Rockford Health System Signs Letter of Intent to Join OSF HealthCare

A non-binding Letter of Intent has been signed that could result in Rockford Health System joining the OSF Healthcare System. Over the next several months, the two organizations will complete due diligence and decide if OSF Healthcare System will acquire Rockford Health System. The move could result in Rockford’s two oldest hospitals, Rockford Memorial Hospital and OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, becoming OSF Healthcare System’s Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin Region. A decision on whether to move forward with the acquisition is expected this fall.

"We believe that by combining the talents, technology and facilities of our two exceptional health care delivery systems, we would be positioning Rockford as a regional destination for outstanding medical care and ultimately boost the local economy," says Gary Kaatz, President and CEO of Rockford Health System. "Our goal is to determine if working together will bring significant benefits to our patients, our organizations, and our community."

"By joining together, we could create centers of excellence in many clinical areas that would be among the best in the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin Region," says Dave Schertz, President and CEO of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. “That would help us recruit the most highly-skilled physicians across all specialties, broaden the continuum of services and improve patient access to the highest level of care.”

Economies of scale would also promote efficiencies and reduce costs at a time when health care reform and the economy are pressuring health care bottom lines across the country. "This is about providing our region with the highest quality, yet most cost effective, efficient health care," adds Kaatz. “We believe it would be very positive for local employers, as well.”

Proposed in the Letter of Intent is a new model for OSF Healthcare System, which currently consists of seven acute care facilities across the states of Illinois and Michigan, as well as a long-term care facility and two colleges of nursing. A local community board of directors would be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day, Rockford-based operations of the new Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin Region. The board would also be responsible for recruiting, credentialing and privileging the medical staff.

The combined system, owned by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, would continue to operate both licensed hospitals consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The acquisition would include Rockford Health System entities, including Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford Health Physicians and Visiting Nurses Association. Only the Rockford Memorial Development Foundation would remain independent and support health care initiatives throughout northern Illinois. During this due diligence process, daily operations will remain as normal at all OSF and RHS facilities. If a definitive agreement is reached and the transaction is completed, the combined organizations will then move forward, under the guidance of the local governing board, to develop a health care model that best suits the needs of the region.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Client News: Volunteers are needed May 18-23, to help WellSpan Health build barrier-free playground

Volunteers are needed May 18-23, to help WellSpan Health build the only barrier-free playground in York County at Cousler Park in Manchester Township, PA. The community-built playground will allow children who can not walk, see or hear to have a place to play alongside children who can. Nearly 5,000 local elementary an...d middle school-aged children have sensory, physical or mental disabilities. They need a place to play safely with equipment designed for their abilities. WellSpan has provided a $25,000 Community Partnership Grant to support the project.

Click here for more information.

If you are interested in volunteering, download the form here, complete and send to Laura Place in Public Relations and Communications at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amerinet Receives Champion for Change Award for Environmental Achievement

St. Louis, Mo. (May 12, 2010) - Amerinet, a leading national group purchasing organization, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Champion for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth for outstanding contributions to environmentally responsible healthcare.

Practice Greenhealth is honoring its top performers at the Environmental Excellence Awards today, held in Baltimore, Md., in conjunction with CleanMed, the premier global conference on environmentally sustainable healthcare.

“As a multi-year recipient of the Champion for Change Award, we continually strive to build upon our efforts in regard to environmental stewardship and work internally, as well as with our members and suppliers to establish waste reduction and pollution prevention initiatives,” said Todd Ebert, Amerinet president and CEO.

The Champion for Change Award is an award reserved for organizational partners supplying healthcare products and services that are considerate of the earth and its resources. The winners of this award have achieved success in greening their own organization and have also assisted others who are committed to improving their environmental performance. Recognizing the importance of greening the healthcare supply chain, Amerinet currently offers more than 66,000 green purchasing options, which are available in virtually all product and service areas, with environmentally friendly advantages including energy efficiency, waste reduction, mercury alternative and recycling, package efficiency, greener cleaners and recyclable or compostable products. Amerinet also offers continued support of organizations, such as Practice Greenhealth, who provide education and consulting services on environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) topics and work in conjunction with Amerinet on strategies to expand green products/services within the portfolio.

Among Amerinet’s environmental successes for 2009:
• The recycling of more than 3.16 tons of waste
• A reduction of 6.3 percent in paper used by the Distribution/Printing Team
• Addition of a Community Impact and/or Innovation (green initiatives) category for the Amerinet Healthcare Achievement Awards
• Merger of two major member conferences into one, eliminating all related waste, travel, etc. by nearly $200,000 and significantly decreasing the organization’s carbon footprint

“The award is a reflection of Amerinet’s commitment to its customers to protect health and preserve the environment,” said Bob Jarboe, executive director, Practice Greenhealth. “It is exciting to know that Amerinet is leading this effort and setting an example for other institutions.”

During the CleanMed conference, Mike Reid, senior director of construction, capital and facility services for Amerinet, is participating in an environmental purchasing roundtable with other major group purchasing organizations (GPOs), discussing environmental priorities for 2010 and how GPOs are addressing their members’ needs for environmentally preferable products.

Practice Greenhealth provides practical guidance, training, consultation and business solutions to help its members in their efforts to implement environmentally responsible practices. More than 1,000 healthcare institutions have joined Practice Greenhealth, demonstrating the growing commitment among the health community to reduce its environmental impact. Practice Greenhealth offers a variety of programs to its members, including the Healthcare Clean Energy Exchange, environmental purchasing, sustainable operations, continuing education, webinars, networking opportunities, communications and annual awards recognizing the achievements of member institutions.

About Amerinet
As a leading national healthcare group purchasing organization, Amerinet strategically partners with acute and alternate care providers to reduce costs and improve quality through its performance solutions. Built on a foundation of data, savings and trust, and supported by a team of clinical and supply chain experts, Amerinet enriches healthcare delivery for its members and the communities they serve. To learn more about the Amerinet difference, visit

Amerinet Media Contact:
Evan Danis Manager, Public Relations and Internal Communications

[Unibased Systems Architecture is a contracted supplier of Amerinet.]

Friday, May 7, 2010

Amerinet 2010 Member Conference Rescheduled for September

The 2010 Amerinet 2010 Member Conference, originally scheduled for May 17-20 in Nashville, Tennessee, has been rescheduled for September 14-17, 2010, at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (The meeting had been postponed due to the recent flood emergency in the Nashville area.)

"We are pleased that with the support of our members, suppliers and conference partners at the Rio, we were able to quickly reschedule," said Todd Ebert, Amerinet president and CEO. "This is an important meeting for our customers in terms of helping guide decision-making for 2010 and beyond, with presentations and discussions designed to provide participants with a fresh perspective on political, financial, and economic trends and their impact on the healthcare industry."

More than 1,200 industry professionals are expected to attend Amerinet's second national conference. Education sessions will include CE training in professional development, quality and patient safety and clinical issues, supply chain, alternate care, finance and IT, foodservice, executive leadership and others.

For more information, go to the Amerinet Inc. website at

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amerinet Member Conference Postponed Due to Flood Emergency in Nashville

The 2010 Amerinet Member Conference, scheduled for May 17-20 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville Tennessee, has been postponed due to severe flooding at the hotel and throughout the area.

"Because this is an important meeting for Amerinet and our customers, we are working to secure a new date and location for later in 2010," said Todd Ebert, Amerinet president and CEO. "We are in constant communication with the property and our members, suppliers and employees to assist in addressing questions and concerns."

For more information, click here.

Reminder, National Nurses Day is tomorrow, May 6th!

Be sure to show your appreciation for the dedication and effort of those who nurse!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Barnes Jewish Hospital executives take a pie to the face for American Heart Association

KSDK - There are lots of ways to raise money... but you'll be hard pressed to find one that's as fun as pie throwing.

Tuesday afternoon, executives at Barnes Jewish Hospital took one to the face for a good cause! The pie throwing event raised money for the American Heart Association's Annual St. Louis Heart Walk. The hospital's goal is one-hundred thousand dollars. The 2010 St. Louis Heart Walk is May 15th.

Click here to see more hilarious pictures of the event

For more information on the 2010 Metro St. Louis Start! Heart Walk for the American Heart Association, go to:

Monday, May 3, 2010

And the winner is...Cyndi Nelson!

Congratulations to Cyndi Nelson, Operations Manager at The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE! She won the HD TV in our giveaway at the 2010 National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) 36th Annual Educational Conference & Exposition.