AHIMA urges its members to adopt BlueButton; Clemson, Dartmouth pair up for mobile health;

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> The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), at its annual conference in Atlanta, urged its 67,000 members to adopt the download-your-own-data BlueButton initiative pioneered by the Veteran's Administration, according to HealthDataManagement. "The Blue Button campaign aligns perfectly with AHIMA's mission of making health information available where and when it's needed," said Lynne Thomas Gordon, CEO of the association, at the event. The organization also is asking state chapters to pledge support for the initiative, according to the article. Article

> With a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Computer Systems Research program, researchers from Clemson University and Dartmouth College have launched a project to support mobile-health applications. "The advent of mobile health (mHealth) technology brings great opportunity to improve quality of life, individual and public health and reduce health-care costs," said Kelly Caine, assistant professor in the Human-Centered Computing Division in Clemson University's School of Computing, in the announcement. "Although mHealth devices and applications are proliferating, many challenges remain to provide the necessary usability, manageability, interoperability, availability, security and privacy." Announcement

Health Finance News

> The Healthcare Financial Management Association has issued new guidelines for hospitals to better communicate with patients regarding their financial obligations. The guidelines offer recommendations for providers both during patient admission and discharge, and seek to clarify the best times to talk to patients regarding any sums owed. HFMA officials said a combination of healthcare finance experts and patient advocates developed the guidelines. Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt oversaw the year-long process. Article

Mobile Healthcare News

> Partners HealthCare's Center for Connected Health in Boston has announced the launch of Wellocracy, aiming to guide consumers in their use of health apps. Wellocracy is described as a "clinically-based source of impartial, easy-to-understand information on new personal 'self-health' technologies such as health and fitness trackers and mobile apps." Article

> There is emerging evidence that healthcare professionals are effectively using handheld computers across a variety of functions that support clinical practice, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Providing a "snapshot" of current research evidence, the study identifies five systematic reviews that provide evidence of the effective use of handheld computers by healthcare professionals, with a specific focus on evaluating the effectiveness of PDAs. The review documents the effectiveness of handheld computers in four functional areas: patient documentation, patient care, information seeking, and professional work patterns. Article

And Finally... The cutest animals do the ugliest things. Article

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