Wisconsin launches Web site to ensure safe drinking water

Wisconsin planners can now use a new Web site, called “Protecting Wisconsin's Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning,” to ensure residents have access to safe drinking water, Government Computer News reports. Developed jointly by the Center for Land Use Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the Interior Department's U.S. Geological Survey’s Wisconsin Water Science Center, the site aims to help local governments protect their water supplies and assist owners of private wells evaluate groundwater potability. According to officials, the online service serves as a clearinghouse for groundwater data, shows planners the types of data available, offers a data repository separate from government agency databases and links to additional resources. Specifically, the site includes select groundwater data and policy information from 16 federal, state and local agencies. In addition, maps and other resources provide data for each of Wisconsin's 72 counties on sources of drinking water, groundwater-protection policies, money spent on cleanup, groundwater use, susceptibility of groundwater to pollutants and groundwater quality (Hickey, GCN, 3/6/08).

Pharma RFID market to reach $600M by 2012, report finds

A new report suggests that the pharmaceutical radio frequency identification (RFID) market will reach $600 million by 2012, with a compound annual growth rate of 60 percent, Healthcare IT News reports. Conducted by market research firm Kalorama Information, the "RFID in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing" study found that roughly 25 percent of the major pharmaceutical companies will likely launch large-scale RFID projects to reduce costs, improve inventory control, track clinical trials and manage samples. The study's authors note that the total pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020. According to Healthcare IT News, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state governments are beginning to require additional tracking to reduce the number of counterfeit drugs and improve patient safety, and RFID will help pharmaceutical companies meet these new requirements. The publisher of Kalorama Information, meanwhile, said that RFID adoption is being driven by a drop in hardware prices, which have fallen 80 percent since 2000, and the promise of major cost savings. According to the report, RFID implementation could save large drug manufacturers between $17 million and $55 million annually and large pharmaceutical distributors about $10 million annually. The report also found that as much as 40 percent of inventory can be managed more efficiently through the use of RFID (Pizzi, Healthcare IT News, 3/5/08).

DHS establishes centers of excellence

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently named five centers of excellence in counterterrorism research, Washington Technology reports. Each will receive a grant of as much as $2 million a year for four to six years, the department said. The designated centers conduct scientific research that eventually is used to develop counterrorism products and services. The centers include Border Security and Immigration: The University of Arizona-Tucson and University of Texas-El Paso; Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response: Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Rhode Island; Maritime, Island and Port Security: The University of Hawaii- Honolulu and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.; Natural Disasters, Coast Infrastructure and Emergency Management: The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Jackson State University in Mississippi; and Transportation Security: Texas Southern University, Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and the University of Connecticut (Lipowicz, Washington Technology, 3/5/08).

Online health market grows, privacy concerns remain

Representatives from roughly 350 companies including Google and Microsoft on Tuesday convened for Health 2.0, a conference in San Diego designed to showcase interactive Web-based health care offerings, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. In many cases, companies showcased Web sites that were only weeks or months old, with some still in developmental stages. Featured initiatives included vitals.com, designed to help users find and compare doctors, and healthcentral.com, which provides expert advice and draws 6 million visitors a month. Though privacy and security were not listed as topics in the conference's program, concerns have been raised in recent weeks that online personal health information could be compromised (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/5/08).

Denver airport blocks access to some Internet sites

Denver International Airport has restricted access to what it deems provocative Web sites through its free Wi-Fi service, the Associated Press reports. As reported in The Denver Post, the airport is blocking sites including Vanity Fair magazine's Web site and boingboing.net, among others. when the airport made its wireless internet service free in November, officials decided to block access to potentially inappropriate sites, according to one airport spokesperson. He adds that officials say they would rather deal with infrequent complaints about access than manage complaints from patrons angry that, for instance, their children might see pornography.Critics, meanwhile, suggest the airport has tapped the same technology used by repressive regimes in Sudan and Kuwait (AP/Yahoo! News, 3/5/08).

Massachusetts bill would mandate statewide EHR adoption

Massachusetts lawmakers on Monday proposed legislation that would require health care providers statewide to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) by 2015, Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology reports. The bill would provide $25 million each year to deploy a statewide EHR system. In addition, the bill would require physicians to show competency in EHR technology to gain licensure, while hospitals would need to implement computerized physician order entry systems by 2012. Under the plan, funding for the health information technology efforts would come from a proposed $1 increase in the state cigarette tax, which would generate roughly $175 million for the project by 2015 if implemented this year. The measure, which potentially would save $1 billion across the next 10 years, will likely be fast-tracked through the state Senate, according to officials (Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology, 3/4/08; Sutner, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 3/4/08; Woolhouse, Boston Globe, 3/4/08 [registration required]).

Physician groups launch campaign to boost e-prescribing

Five physician groups on Tuesday launched a Web site and campaign designed to encourage physicians to transition to electronic prescriptions, IDG News Service reports. The Get Connected Web site provides technology guidance, physician perspectives on e-prescribing, a list of connected pharmacies and free personalized reports to help physicians connect to pharmacies through their e-prescribing vendor. In addition, the site helps physicians and their staff determine whether their existing e-prescribing software complies with provisions of a Medicare law, which beginning in 2009 will require computer-generated prescriptions for Medicare Part D participants to be sent electronically. Campaign organizers include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Medical Group Management Association (Gross, IDG News Service/PC World, 3/4/08; Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 3/4/08; Health Data Management, 3/4/08). 

Restricting screen time can help children lose weight, study finds

Researchers from the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system, have found that limiting children’s screen time can help them lose weight, HealthDay reports. Published in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the study included 70 overweight children ages 4 to 7 who watched television or played computer games for at least 14 hours a week. Researchers installed a monitoring device on intervention group participants’ televisions that reduced children’s weekly screen time by 50 percent. In addition, the intervention group received incentives such as money and stickers to encourage participation in other activities. Children in the control group, meanwhile, did not receive specific screen time limits, though their parents learned tips for reducing their television viewing and computer use. After two years, the researchers found that intervention group participants cut their screen time by nearly 17.5 hours weekly, compared to a weekly reduction of just 5.2 hours among control group participants. Although the researchers found no difference in physical activity levels between the two groups, children in the intervention group lost more weight than those in the control group: 30 percent of the intervention group achieved a normal body mass index by the end of the study, compared to just 18 percent of the control group. Noting the results, researchers speculate that cutting screen time reduces mindless eating and eating prompted by television ads. Commenting on the study, David Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine Prevention Research Center, notes that the findings underscore the importance of the strategy in the battle against childhood obesity (Reinberg, HealthDay/Yahoo! News, 3/3/08; Steenhuysen, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 3/3/08; Epstein et al., Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, March 2008 [subscription required]).

EU backs climate change measures

The European Union recently voted in favor of climate change proposals that outline plans to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency, United Press International. According to Tuesday’s EU Observer, environment officials from the EU's 27 member sates supported major issues, but Eastern European ministers expressed concern about the carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme designed to curb industrial pollution. The Observer reported that the emissions trading scheme aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels as measured in 1990 by 20 percent across the next 12 years. Specifically, critics note the plan needs to account for variations in local economies, as central Europe has a higher concentration of energy-intensive industries (UPI, 3/4/08).

Annual survey awards Massachusetts top slot for e-prescribing

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and SureScripts on Tuesday named Massachusetts the top state in transmitting electronic prescriptions, Healthcare IT News reports. The rankings are based on a 2007 nationwide analysis of data on new prescriptions and refill responses transmitted over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, which is operated by SureScripts. All 50 states and Washington, D.C., are ranked according to the number of e-prescriptions sent out of the total number of prescriptions eligible for electronic routing. This year, the survey found that Massachusetts sent roughly 4 million e-prescriptions in 2007, accounting for nearly 13 percent of all of its eligible prescriptions. According to Healthcare IT News, that figure is more than six times the national average. The remaining top 10 states this year included Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Washington. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Nevada, meanwhile, have placed in the top 10 for the past three years (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 3/4/08).

Showing 4,211 - 4,220 of 4,530 results.
Items per Page 10
of 453