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The potential advantages offered by health information exchanges (HIEs) are well-known. Theyll be vital spokes of the proposed Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) architecture initiative, streamlining patient care and records and providing accurate, nearly immediate test results to practitioners anywhere. The potential is promising, but the reality is no Field of Dreams scenario: If you build an HIE, subscribers will not necessarily come.

Patient monitoring technology is evolving to deliver far more than digital vital signs. Todays physiological monitoring systems provide immediacy, accuracy and ease of access with an added dimension of both intelligenceto predict, monitor and analyze patient events over timeand flexibility to monitor patients from other areas in the unit and even the patients home.

Electronic health information exchanges will do far more than just streamline patient care, increase medical record accuracy and availability and expedite billing.

The roots of the issues with health information exchanges namely, trust and expectations are important to highlight now.

Our 2010 Compensation Survey offers interesting insight. CMIOs are generally satisfied with their compensation and happy with their career choice, according to those who completed our CMIO 2010 Compensation Survey. Does this sound like you?

As hospitals start looking at how to break down the walls between acute and post-acute care, CMIOs would do well to consider the experience of Cleveland Clinic, a pioneer in building health IT bridges across the continuum of care.

Speech recognition technology is well on its way to becoming one of the most widely adopted technologies in healthcare settings because it can save documentation time and can boost both the availability and accuracy of patient records.

In early 1992, the first edition of the book, The Physician-Computer Connection: A Practical Guide to Physician Involvement in Hospital Information Systems was published, and a few months later, the first Physician-Computer Connection Symposium attracted a few dozen IT-focused physicians to a conference center in Coeur dAlene, Idaho.

When asked why it is important for a hospital to have a chief medical information officer (CMIO), Pam Brier, president and CEO of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., prefers to have the question phrased in a different way: Why is it important to have a physician serve as a CMIO?

At this time of the year, reflection on times gone by is a natural pastime. Although the pace of change in our world seems to have accelerated to a frantic pace, the end of the year, with its time-honored holidays, allows some of us the reassurance of continuity of traditions, family and peace.

I first grew interested in the possibilities and potential of integrated healthcare information systems when I heard a proposal for a Community Health Information Network (CHIN) in the late 1990s. Weve come a long way since those early efforts at interoperable health ITthere are currently approximately 190 regional health information organization (RHIO)/health information exchange (HIE) initiatives in various forms of development in the United States.

Theyre here, theyre there, theyre everywhere. Mobile workstations, or computers on wheels (COWs), provide access to data all over the hospital, including the ED, ICU and OR, and can be used to move, store and place items, and chart patient information more accurately.