Weekly Nephrology/Health IT News Roundup: June 17, 2011

Federal Health Tools, Data Help Docs Achieve Meaningful Use
Innovative tools and data that federal health agencies have released to the public can help healthcare providers meet meaningful use of electronic health records.


Don’t Get Too Hung Up on ‘Meaningful Use’ in an EHR
There’s been so much attention and focus lately on meaningful use that some physicians are overlooking a vital fact: Meaningful use is only a starting point in healthcare reform—not the endgame. The electronic health record system that you select must be able to meet broader goals as well.


What’s the Next Step for CMS and the ACO Model?
The comment period for health care providers on CMS’ proposed rule for accountable care organizations ended June 6. With criticism from the American Medical Association, and several dialysis groups, to make major revisions, and pressure from some Senate Republicans to scrap the proposal altogether, the health care agency has some work to do.


Experts Warn of Longterm Kidney Problems in E. Coli Victims as Crisis Wanes
Many of the roughly 3,200 E. coli patients in Europe are recovering and returning home, and only a handful of new cases are being reported. However, some experts are now warning of a looming threat: possible long-term kidney complications for many of the victims.


Gwynedd Dialysis Patients Use Skype to Cut Travel Time
Patients in Wales are using Skype to connect by computer to the local renal unit while having dialysis treatments at home, cutting travel time and associated costs.


China Considers a Market-Based Approach to Solve Its Kidney Shortage, Maybe the U.S. Can Follow?
By relying exclusively on altruistic kidney donation in the U.S., the kidney shortage will surely continue to worsen. In an uncharacteristic move, China is proposing a market-based way to expand the pool of organs available for transplant surgeries. Will the U.S. follow suit?


Hormone Linked to Death Risk in Those With Early Kidney Disease
In a new study, researchers are surprised to find that patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease are more likely to die if they have elevated levels of a specific hormone.


Patient Overload, Death Doomed UMC Kidney Transplant Program
A donor’s death was the final blow for a struggling kidney transplant program. High demand overwhelmed the small program and, the records show, consequences were deadly.

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