Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Single-insertion, multi-sample biopsy needle

When I was at MIT, I was involved in some mechanical engineering research modifying biopsy needles. Hence, I am naturally intrigued when new biopsy needles are engineered.

A company in California called Rubicor has developed a new type of biopsy needled called FLASH. This single-insertion, multi-sample biopsy needle can take up to 15 core samples with one incision. Certainly beats those spring-loaded biopsy needles that make a horrible clicking sound when they 'fire' to cut a core of tissue.

Friday, July 25, 2008

MIT-developed software helps protect patient privacy

An MIT team has developed a free and open-source software package to allow researchers to accurately de-identify text in medical records in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Gari D. Clifford, a principal research scientist in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) led the work with Principal Investigator Roger G. Mark, a professor in HST and MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

CCHIT Certified Ambulatory EHR 2007

company (product version) date certified
ABELSoft Corporation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(ABELMed PM – EMR, Version v8)
(Healthmatics EHR Version 2007.1)

(TouchWorks, V11.1)

CareData Solutions Corporation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(The CareData Solution, Version 2.7)
Cerner Corporation
(Cerner Millennium PowerChart/PowerWorks EMR, Version 2007)
Community Computer Service
Conceptual MindWorks, Inc.
(Sevocity, Version 5.0)
Dairyland Healthcare Solutions
(Physician Practice Documentation (PPD), Version 9.0.0)
digiChart, Inc.
(digiChart OB-GYN Version 7.0)
Doctations, Inc.
(Doctations, Version v1.0106062008)
Doctor Oates Computer Systems (DOCS) dba SOAPware, Inc.,
Pre-market, conditional certification
(SOAPware 2008)
eCast Corporation
(eCast EMR 7.0)
eClinicalWorks, LLC
(eClinicalWorks 7.6.15)
e-MDs, Inc.
(e-MDs Solution Series 6.1.2)
Eclipsys Corporation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Sunrise Ambulatory, Version 4.5C SP5)
Eclipsys Corporation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Sunrise Ambulatory Care™ 5.0 SP1 with Eclipsys Auditing Services 1.0 XA™ and Eclipsys Security Services 1.0 XA™)
(CareRevolution, Version 5.2)
Epic Systems Corporation
(EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2007)
GE Healthcare
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Centricity EMR, Version 9.0)
GE Healthcare
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Centricity Enterprise, Version 6.7)
(gloEMR, Version 4.0)
gMed, Inc.
Pre-market, conditional certification
(gCare, Version 4.0 Release 6.2)
Greenway Medical Technologies
Certification Extension granted 6/20/2008
(Extension valid through 9/20/2008)

(PrimeSuite 2007 R2)
(HealthPort EMR V9.0)
HIT Services Group
(Acumen EHR 5)
iMedica Corporation
(iMedica PRM2008 Build 8.1)
(Ingenix CareTracker, Version 6.2)
Integritas, Inc.
(STIX EHR, Release 9.0)
Integrity On Site LLC, dba DocuTAP
(DocuTAP EMR and Practice Management Solution 2.8.2)
(NeoSys, Version 4.1)
LSS Data Systems
(Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite, Version: Client Server 5.54)
McKesson Provider Technologies
(Practice Partner 9.2.1)
McKesson Provider Technologies
(Practice Partner 9.2.2)
(iSuite version 3.5)
MedcomSoft, Inc
(MedcomSoft Record, Version UE (V 4.5))
MediNotes Corporation
(MediNotes e Version 5.2)
Misys Healthcare Systems
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Misys EMR, Version 9.10)
Misys Healthcare Systems
(Misys MyWay, Version 2008)
NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc.
Certification Extension granted 6/23/2008
(Extension valid through 9/23/2008)

(NextGen EMR 5.4.29)
NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc.
Certification Extension granted 6/23/2008
(Extension valid through 9/23/2008)

(NextGen EMR 5.5)
Nightingale Informatix Corporation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Nightingale On-Demand, Version 8.2)
Noteworthy Medical Systems
(NetPractice EHR 6.0)
Ochsner Clinic Foundation
Pre-market, conditional certification
(Ochsner Clinical Workstation, Version 1.9.8**)
(e-Medsys Electronic Health Record)
(CareSeries EHR 2.0)
(Intergy EHR by Sage, Version V4)
Pre-market, conditional certification
(EMRge, Version 7.0 Release 1.0)
STI Computer Services
(ChartMaker, Version 3.0.5)
TransMed Network
(TransMed CS, Version 3.0)
Wellogic and GBA Health Network Systems
(Wellogic Consult Version 3.10 Release 10 and GBA MEDfx Version 2.8)

Practice Fusion: Free EMR

There are more and more free EMR/EHR (Electronic Medical or Health Record) systems that are appearing all the time. This one is called Practice Fusion and was recently featured in MDNG, ZDNet, and CNET. Impressive!

It is a web-based EMR system that is free as long as you don't mind seeing some advertisements. If you want the ad-free version, then it costs $100 per month.

Is the free EMR/EHR movement going to dominate this industry? Open source? Freeware? Ad-ware?

Maybe I missed it, but is Practice Fusion a CCHIT certified ambulatory EHR?
Update: I was told by Ryan Howard, the CEO of Practice Fusion, that they will be CCHIT certified at the end of the year. Great news!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Non-Clinical Career Path

I often get asked about how to transition to a non-clinical career. If you're thinking about it but you don't know where to start, I would suggest that you start with this:

Then, outline your interests and try to identify your ideal career. Then, map out a plan to get there. It will be essential to build your network and meet people who are working in the area you're interested in. Re-connect with old classmates, friends, etc. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, etc.

You may also want to check out:

Research, build your network, and meet people who are working in non-clinical settings.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Doctor Kim: Nephrologist to Mac Blogger

Doctor Arnold Kim is a nephrologist who loves to write about Mac Rumors. In fact, he is quitting his day job as a physician to devote his time fully to blogging on his site:

The NY Times did a great article about him here.

What would your friends and family think if you left your clinical job to be a full-time techno-blogger? I'm not a full-time blogger yet, but I could think of lots of things to write about.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



Our client has been a major influence in the Pharmaceutical Medical Communications arena for over a decade. Their capabilities span the spectrum from accredited educational programs (and enduring materials) to innovative electronic & web-based media.

Due to their sustained growth, they are seeking an experienced Medical Director with knowledge of oncology.

If you’re looking for an opportunity where your experience can have an impact (and be appreciated!) this may be the place for you.


The Medical Director reports directly to the President, and is responsible for overseeing the development of scientific and medical content for accredited and non-accredited activities developed by the company. Duties include the creation, development and review of content for educational initiatives, proposals and needs assessments, coordination with company executives in the development of educational strategies, coordination with clinical experts and internal staff to ensure timely delivery of accurate and relevant content, interaction with commercial supporters to provide logistical and strategic development updates, as appropriate and according to ACCME, OIG and AMA Guidelines, and recruitment and supervisions of freelance writers, as needed.


  • Assist in the development of, oversee, and coordinate the development of evidence-based medical and scientific content for use in accredited and non-accredited educational activities, presented in multiple formats including print, audio, video, and Web
  • Actively assess clinical and educational needs and developments in specific therapeutic areas to ensure timely delivery of cutting edge content, tools, and initiatives
  • Work with, recruit, and be the primary contact for, clinical experts in the development of educational material
  • Oversee the editing and incorporation or revision, as appropriate, of content submitted by clinical experts for use in educational programs
  • Liaise with clinical experts in the review of program content and revise content as necessary, per the direction of the reviewers and internal staff
  • Work with internal teams to ensure that project deadlines are met, by providing content development support and strategic input
  • Mentor and/or manage internal medical and scientific writers
  • Oversee freelance medical writers, as needed
  • Lead teams in liaising with medical education departments of commercial supporters, as appropriate, and in accordance with ACCME, OIG and AMA Guidelines and commercial supporters’ policies
  • Work with President and other Company Executives to develop educational opportunities and long-range educational strategies by reviewing industry drug development and disease management and healthcare delivery trends
  • Provide new business development leads, participate in development of capabilities materials and attend capabilities presentations as appropriate
  • Develop ongoing relationships with organizations, foundations, academic institutions, and commercial supporters
  • Develop or oversee the development of needs assessments for new educational programs through literature review, assimilation of physician and patient survey data, clinical expert interview, and review of public policy and patients outcome and quality of life data

Position Requirements

Position requirements include the following:

  • An advanced degree (MD, DO, PhD, PharmD, RPh, PA, RN, APN) in oncology; a sound knowledge of hematologic malignancies preferred
  • A minimum of five years of relevant work experience in the clinical, medical and/or pharmaceutical field
  • A minimum of four years experience in content development and medical/scientific writing, with at least three years experience in Oncology
  • Experience in other therapeutic areas: CNS, Pain desirable
  • A solid understanding of recent trends in medical education and new requirements for medical education providers
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, ACCME, OIG, and AMA Guidelines
  • Previous experience in working with clients in the pharmaceutical industry and with clinical experts
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability and desire to work closely in a team environment
  • Experience with web technologies desirable
Marilyn Sundburg, New Horizons Recruiting, LLC

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Job Post: Senior Medical Writer

Senior Medical Writer at Covance

* Job Role: Writer
* Job Hours: Full-Time
* Sector: Industry
* Location: Leeds
* Company: Covance
* Salary:
* Posted Date: Monday, July 14, 2008 4:25:31 PM

AMWA 2008: Setting the Pace

The 2008 AMWA conference is titled: Setting the Pace. The meeting in Kentucky this year. It occurs immediately after the AMA 19th Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, “Certified CME for Better Patient Care: Navigating the Regulatory Environment.”

For those who are interested in learning more about medical writing opportunities, this meeting is a great place to network and discover how others have gotten started.

Advances in Capsule Endoscopy

Swallow a pill and let it take pictures of your gut. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, the PillCam has been a leader in this medical device industry. However, it's not the only company making endoscopic capsules. RF System has the Sayaka and Olympus has the EndoCapsule. I think it would be so much fun to engineer these tiny devices that can take pictures inside your body. The next generation of these tiny probes may even take biopsies!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Healthcare IT

So much is happening in the world of healthcare IT. Companies are developing algorithms that employ predictive modeling concepts. The health risk assessment (HRA) is incorporating information from labs, health claims, and other objective data. Personal health records (PHRs) are becoming more elaborate and available through popular portals like Google. And electronic medical record (EMR or EHR) systems are adopting standards so they can communicate with payors and consumers electronically. Wow! What an exciting time to jump into the industry of healthcare IT and public health IT. From a population health perspective, the future of healthcare is fully dependent on advances in healthcare IT.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pfizer Changes Its Funding of Continuing Medical Education in the U.S.

A very interesting press release:

Pfizer Changes Its Funding of Continuing Medical Education in the U.S.
Support to Focus on Academic Medical Centers, Hospitals, Associations and Medical Societies

Move Eliminates Direct Support for Commercial CME Providers

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July! It's great to live in a free country. Thanks to all those who contribute to our freedom.
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