NEWS | Technology
Technology grants to target
» The Centers for Medicare & Medic-
aid Services recently issued a draft defini-
tion for the “meaningful use” of electronic
health records. The agency recommends
that a “meaningful EHR user” be an orga- By John O’Connor professionals in five rural
nization that uses EHR technology “in a The Center for Technology and medically underserved
manner that improves quality, safety, and and Aging has awarded grants counties will expand the use
efficiency of healthcare delivery, reduces totaling $477,000 to five orga- of the Health Buddy system
healthcare disparities, engages patients nizations. Each recipient plans and other tools for medica-
and families, improves care coordination, to use the funding to improve tion adherence management
improves population and public health, medication-related services. of heart failure patients.
and ensures adequate privacy and security “These projects will help Additional recipients were
protections for personal health informa- broaden the adoption of the Visiting Nurse Service of
tion.” Final rules are expected to be pub- important technologies that Medication-related technology New York, and the Connecti-
lished in March. make a huge difference in the grants will help improve services cut Pharmacists Foundation.
for seniors, backers claim.
quality of life for older adults Each organization plans to
» David Blumenthal, M.D., the who rely on medications to reach between 100 and 200
national coordinator for Health IT at the manage chronic conditions,” medication assessment tool, individuals and has set mea-
Department of Health and Human Ser- said David Lindeman, Ph.D., to optimize the medication surable improvement goals.
vices, recently announced plans to make the center’s director. regimens of older adults. “One of the center’s goals is
available $60 million to support the devel- He noted that more than • Caring Choices. The to assure that funded projects
opment of Strategic Health IT Advanced 90% of older adults use one or Philips Medication Dispens- aren’t ‘one and done,’ but are
Research Projects. “Addressing these more medications each week; ing Service technology for designed to be replicated,”
breakthrough areas will require the most more than 40% take five or medication adherence man- Lindeman said. “Each grantee
advanced thinking the nation can bring to more medications; and 12% agement will be introduced to has identified ways to make
bear,” he said. use 10 or more. four senior living organizations sure their project can con-
Grant recipients include: in California. tinue beyond the one-year
» The Department of Health and • The American Society • Veterans Administration grant period, can be broadly
Human Services will hire a contractor to of Consultant Pharmacists of Central California Health adopted by others, and is inte-
study whether patient data that have been Foundation. Pharmacists will Care System. Remotely located