Are Facebook rankings of hospitals accurate? Two studies say yes

From Health Leaders Media:

childrens-facebookIn the era of the engaged patient, consumers shop around for healthcare services. When it comes to hospitals, they could consult several ratings programs for information on readmissions and hospital-acquired infection rates.

But data shows they don’t do so in big numbers.

One reason may be that quality measures familiar to providers may mean little to patients. Now, a study suggests that healthcare consumers may be able to find reliable data on hospitals quality in a familiar place – Facebook.

A Massachusetts General Hospital study has found that hospitals with lower 30-day readmissions rates have higher ratings on Facebook than hospitals with high readmission rates.

“The potential impact of social media ratings on healthcare consumer decision-making must not be underestimated in this changing healthcare environment,” say the authors of a study published online by the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

#Google #Glasses in the hospital: A “mixture of intrigue and skepticism. #HIT #EMR

google glasses

Giuseppe Costantino photo

When it comes to health information technology — a term that encompasses everything from medical records to monitors — John Halamka — the chief information officer at  of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — is the man. Here he reports on wearable computing in the hospital.

Here’s what we’ve learned thus far:
halamkaPatients have been intrigued by Google Glass, but no one has expressed a concern about them. Boston is home to many techies and a few patients asked detailed questions about the technology. The bright orange pair of Glass we have been testing is as subtle as a neon hunter’s vest, so it was hard to miss.
Staff members have definitely noticed them and responded with a mixture of intrigue and skepticism. Those who tried them on briefly did seem impressed. More from Halamka on his own blog Life as a Healthcare CIO.
Photo permissions:

Data, health, news contest draws applications from Bostonians

How to get most of the city’s health writers in the same room as a bunch of app developers? A health-themed meet-up of the local Hacks and Hackers group might do it. But last week, a good number of us gathered a WBUR for a presentation on the Knight News Challenge. (WBUR has won in the past for a court-related project.)  The media innovation project has drawn 650 entries,  including one based on  BHN’s ongoing HealthDecider project.  The handful of winners gets money and support for a project designed to answer the following question: How can we harness data and information for the health of communities?

May the best projects win.  Here’s mine.

Here are some others from Boston or with a big local footprint.  Great ideas and stiff competition. (WBUR has its own list with lots of overlap.)

Unlocking the Potential of Patient Blogs To create the first searchable repository of health blogs, giving patients a chance to connect to others with similar medical problems and better understand what it’s like to live with their health issues.

Big Data to Big Story leverages academic medicine’s foremost health-record data-mining tool to allow the public to gain critical, previously unavailable answers about medical treatments and their outcomes.

Gimme My DAM Data This crowdsourced web site will assign a letter grade to each hospital or app privacy policy, thereby encouraging data holders to participate in the health data commons. (This on links to one of Ross Martin’s health policy music videos from The American College of Medical Informatimusicology

Increasing Patient Buy-In to a Statewide Health Data Sharing Effort We will educate consumers about the benefits of sharing their personal medical information in the statewide data-sharing network while also informing them of their rights and gathering input about their concerns, which we will share with decisionmakers at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services to lead to an improved data-sharing system.

Data to Table: A Healthy Recipe for Urban Agriculture The Data to Table website will visualize the details of Boston’s new rezoning ordinance for urban farming, making the information transparent and accessible for those interested in fostering healthy communities through local agriculture.

 Nothing to Hide: Tracking patient harm and hospital efforts to prevent errors We aim to help consumers wisely choose the safest hospitals by building a website that tracks incidents of patient harm at Massachusetts hospitals & Crowdsourcing: We will improve the public dialogue about health care by providing patients and health care consumers a proven platform for telling media messengers what they’re doing well, and where they’re missing the mark with the health care news and information they deliver. 


What is the # for that? See the Healthcare Hashtag Project #health #boston

hashtags 2More wisdom from #ahcj13.

Check out the “Healthcare Hashtag Project.” 

Web 2.0 and health 2.0 are converging to become one of the most powerful shifts in health and human behavior in the last generation.  At its heart is the fact that patients are people, and that people are social.  They want to know their healthcare professional, and want to both seek the opinions of others and share their own opinion, actively seeking information and optioions.  In this context patients are rightfully taking ownership of their healthcare decisions via act

ns on the web. As we looked at this rapidly evolving new landscape we found a fractured market in terms of being able to meet the varied needs of healthcare professionals and broader healthcare community who are wishing to actively enter the online sphere.  With such a dynamic and digital environment, the need for technology solutions, strategic solutions, and solutions for content creation abound.  However, with such a diverse set of issues that each require specialized talent and technical know-how, we saw a profound need to simplify the process, to decrease the barriers to entry, and to enhance the ability of healthcare entities to effectively engage and spread their message


The high ways of medical #marijuana: Not to be confused with the Massachusetts medical information highway #HIT #EMR

This funny post from BIDMC health info chief John Halamka:

The Massachusetts Health Information Highway is abbreviated the MassHIway. Its phone number is 1-800-MassHIway.
Unrelated to IT (or so we thought), Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana. This is an actual transcript of a call we received today

Sean – “Hello, Mass HIway – how may I help you?”

Caller – “Yes, can you tell me how I become a marijuana grower/dispenser?”medical pot portrait

But, seriously folks, HIT is in the news. Dr. Halamka is testifying in DC before the HIT advisory panel. If you don’t know what the term “meaningful use” is, it might be a bit too wonky for you.

And, the Globe reports, behind its paywall, that Westboro-based eClinical Works is expanding into the “patient engagement” business. Here’s the press release.  The high-way caller needs to check out this Globe story, also behind the paywall: New Mexico marijuana program a guide for Mass. Strict model may help Bay State shape its rules

For some reporting on the downside of HIT, check out the Center for Public Integrity investigation. They suggest the rise of electronic medical records has led to a jump in upcoding — threatening any savings that promise to come with HIT.

The series documented that thousands of medical professionals steadily billed Medicare for more complex and costly health care over the past decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees — despite little evidence that elderly patients required more treatment.

The series also exposed a wide range of costly billing errors and abuses that have plagued Medicare for years — from confusion over how to pick proper payment codes to apparent overcharges in medical offices and hospital emergency rooms — and strongly suggested these problems have worsened with the rapid growth in the use of electronic medical records and billing software.

Here in Massachusetts, the effort is well underway. Here at the expected connections. Again, an HIT jargon alert.

ACO to ACO transmission – two large healthcare systems breaking down silos and exchanging lifetime summary records for care coordination

Provider to Registry transmission  – EHR data sent to a third party for computation of quality and performance metrics

Provider to Plan transmission – EHR encounter data sent from a provider organizations to a payer for care management

Pediatric Care Coordination – EHR transmission between a community provider and a tertiary referral hospital

Suburban to Urban Specialist referral – A PCP at a community site sends referral data to an urban specialist, electronically closing the loop between the two

Rounding up the year’s health news

Theirs and ours:

You can read Commonhealth’s list or listen to it on Radio Boston:

Or listen to Carey Goldberg on WBUR

MassDevice offers : The top medical device stories of the year, Part I

From sweeping regulatory changes promised, but never delivered, by the FDA, to the industry and regulatory backlash against the impending 2.3% excise tax, the industry didn’t move the chains too far in the past twelve months.

The Globe offers Top Ten Health Apps and health advice from “prominant Bostonians.” The list includes dog walking, hoops to stave off Alzheimer’s,  meditation, all things in moderation, no desserts  –this did not come from the restaurateur –and volunteerism –this did come from a museum director.

Boston hospital CIO Halamka on his wife’s diagnosis: “We have cancer”

Beth Israel CIO John Halamka usually blogs about health information with posts like “The EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup,” and very occasionally, his life as a vegan or his plan to  retire to a small family farm to raise organic vegetables.

Today he reports the disturbing news of his wife’s breast cancer. They’ve decided to document her treatment in real time.

The headline “We have cancer.”

Last Thursday, my wife Kathy was diagnosed with poorly differentiated breast cancer. She is not facing this alone. We’re approaching this as a team, as if together we have cancer. She has been my best friend for 30 years. I will do whatever it takes to ensure we have another 30 years together.

She’s has agreed that I can chronicle the process, the diagnostic tests, the therapeutic decisions, the life events, and the emotions we experience with the hope it will help other patients and families on their cancer treatment journey.

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