Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Essex Happenings…..June 1, 2012 Historic Derby Summer House Needs Repairs by Danvers Historical Society The famous Derby summerhouse on the grounds of Glen Magna Farm owned and operated by Danvers Historical Society is in need of repairs. This home now serves as the iconic logo of the group dedicated to the preservation of valuable Danvers assets has definite repairs that need to be undertaken. The leadership of that organization has obtained an evaluation of the work that needs to be accomplished to restore the building to the condition that needs to be maintained. The particular evaluation was compiled by Finch&Rose Preservation & Design Consultants The proposal they provided is under consideration by the Board of Directors of the Society. It is clear that this work to preserve a valuable asset is critical and must be considered. News from North Shore Elder Services The Director of NSES has provided the following information on a proposed new health record overhaul that could produce a major breakthrough in this region. I felt that the report recorded in a local paper was worthy of reprinting for you in case it was missed. Partners Health Care considers unified medical records Health provider has patchwork of data systems By Chelsea Conaboy Globe Staff May 18, 2012 Partners HealthCare is in negotiations to replace its patchwork of electronic health records systems, built in-house by pioneers in the industry, with a single commercial system created by Wisconsin developer Epic Systems Corp. Expected to cost at least $600 million over 10 years, the Epic system would give each patient a single up-to-date record accessible by all Partners providers, at a time when doctors and hospitals are under pressure to keep closer tabs on the sickest people they care for and to better track their own performance over time. Partners is the state’s largest health care provider, with nine hospitals and 6,000 physicians, and its executives said the decision is an important step toward a more integrated, statewide system for sharing medical records. Much of Partners’ current systems was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital starting in the 1980s, before the two institutions formed Partners and when there were no products on the market that could meet the hospitals’ needs. The hospitals have separate but related inpatient systems, distinct from those used by many of their affiliates. A separate system, called the Longitudinal Medical Record, manages outpatient records. “The result is, when patients move from one place to another, their information often does not follow them in a complete form or as promptly as we’d like,’’ said Dr. David Blumenthal, Partners chief health information and innovation officer. Under the new system, data for a patient who is referred from a primary care office to an orthopedist, has surgery, and later is discharged with home care would be contained “all in the same record and all available in real time,’’ he said. The change would make it easier to update the system as the technology evolves and to apply quality control tools - such as prompts about appropriate tests, or warnings of possible drug interactions - uniformly across all Partners practices, Blumenthal said. But it is not likely to be an easy adjustment as the system is rolled out in the coming years, said Dr. Thomas Lee, a primary care physician and president of the Partners physician network. “No one is happy about changing the electronic medical record system that they learned,’’ Lee said. “The question is, is there something better on the other side of this transition?’’ Judy Klickstein, chief information officer at Cambridge Health Alliance, which uses Epic, said the change probably would make the Partners system more streamlined, though doctors would lose some of the control they have with the home-grown operation. “If the clinicians had a brilliant idea, they could execute it,’’ she said. “With that comes many, many, many versions that you have to maintain.’’ She called the decision a “game-changer’’ for health information technology in the state. Partners is the dominant health care system in Massachusetts, which means Epic would become the dominant records system. “This is going to make my ability to integrate with them much easier,’’ she said. “The question I have is, what will this mean for people who aren’t on Epic?’’ As President Obama’s national coordinator for health information technology, Blumenthal launched efforts aimed at creating a national “interoperable’’ health records system, in which doctors who see the same patient would share data even if they are at competing institutions. The Epic system would make Partners better prepared to share data because it has a uniform interface for outside systems, rather than different “docking stations’’ for data, Blumenthal said. “There is absolute commitment at the most senior levels of Partners to full information exchange,’’ he said. “That’s not simply altruistic. It’s also critical to being in business in this new environment.’’ Commercial and federal health insurers are beginning to pay doctors at least in part on how well they manage patients’ overall care, rather than paying for each test or treatment. “Health care providers, not health plans but hospitals and doctors, are saying, ‘We need to coordinate care better,’ ’’ said Dr. Farzad Mostashari, who replaced Blumenthal as the national coordinator, when asked about the change at Partners during a visit to Boston this week. “There’s going to be a business case for that.’’ Danvers Swamp Walk Update Our May 2nd weekend the building project we undertook was fun and successful. We reached the big island on the opposite side of the swamp & celebrated with ice cream on a picnic table last seen by the Danvers Conservation Commission over 8 years ago. Danvers Rail Trail Opening Event We can only hope that the recent weekend weather we have experienced will be replicated duding next weekend and the next one. There will be traditional Memorial Day celebrations, parades and dedications to veterans from a number of conflicts remembered in communities all over the region. On the next weekend, the bike path will be officially dedicated. Put Saturday, June 2nd on your calendar and watch the local papers for an ambitious schedule of events that day that will provide activities for every member of the community families. The trail and its signage program will be highlighted. The trail has been most active over the last several months, but next weekend will mark the official opening of the recreational asset that, in time, may become one of the most used venues in the community. The Town committee that is helping manage this track is waiting for word on a grant application that would provide funding to pave the trail and make the track even more popular and used. Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebration On June 2, 2012 my wife and I will celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. Our two sons are preparing a celebratory event to commemorate that event. They are inviting family and close friends to attend. When the event arrives, I will comment on that later. Barbara Rosen Lecture At the end of May, my wife and I were fortunate to be invited to attend what has become a traditional lecture for the therapists and staff at Spaulding Hospital. We were encouraged to attend by our therapy team. This event has been presented to hospital staff for about a decade, this year focused on the Art, Science and Life Impact of Bilateral Hand Transplants. The presenters were a former Salem patient, Richard Mangino, who had undergone the amputation of all his limbs at Mass General after an infection that overtook his body from a kidney stone infection. After his limbs were removed in Boston. Richard rehabilitated for several months at Spaulding-Salem. The other Presenter was a transplanted New Zealander, Dr. Simon Talbot who presided over the hand transplant a year or so ago at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston. The transplant of the two hands was a most unique event, and the Doctor, patient and the hospital received much acclaim for those efforts. The presentation was most inspiring and both presenters were open and answered numerous questions about the procedure. We were most pleased that we were able to attend the lecture and even though the procedure was most technical, we were able to follow the process. Spaulding-Salem was most involved with the rehabilitation of Richard Mangino and should be highly complimented on offering this lecture subject to the therapeutic staff at the hospital. We are indebted to Maureen Banks the CEO of the local institution for allowing us to be in attendance. We both learned a great deal from the presenters and were inspired by the presenters’ knowledge and courage. COPAA Meeting I have attended meetings of the Cornell Orthotics and Prosthetics Amputee Association of Beverly where the director and manager of that operation, Posie Mansfield has provided information and presenters from regional organizations that provide updates and background on issues valuable to the members of the group. Many are dealing with artificial limbs and that they are clients of Cornell Orthotics and Prosthetics Company of Beverly, and connections to other regional organizations that provide information to local amputees is much appreciated. Both the company and COPAA are providing much needed and valuable connections to participants as data and connections to area resources are provided. Boston Sports The local baseball team has won enough times to get their record to even, now if they can find a way to win more than they have lost, that will be a start. It does appear that the Celtics season might be fast coming to an end. I hope they can find way to get revitalized and give the Heat a battle for the rest of the series.