John Pulley

John Pulley has written the Health IT Update blog since May 2011. Prior to becoming a regular contributor to Nextgov, he covered technology for Federal Computer Week and Government Health IT magazines. He has written about government for Federal Times and Air Force Times, as well. Pulley has worked in journalism for more than 20 years. He began his career covering local government for regional newspapers. In addition, he served as a writer and senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education for seven years. In 2006, he founded The Pulley Group, an editorial services agency.
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Malware threatens medical machines and systems

October 22, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hospitals are reporting a new threat of infection -- from computer malware. Computer viruses are worming their way into everything from fetal monitors to radiology departments’ picture archiving and communication systems, which store and share images from X-rays and other diagnostic equipment, reports Technology Review, a publication of the Massachusetts...

Health IT folks can be heroes, too

October 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The national coordinator for health IT told an audience of health IT executives that they will be wasting their time if they achieve meaningful use of electronic health records without using the tool to achieve “population health management, information exchange and patient engagement," according to a report by FierceHealthIT. Speaking...

Big data's big potential in health care

October 17, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Using “big data” to analyze information gathered by health IT is the key to improving medical outcomes, as well as making health care more efficient and cost-effective, say the authors of an article published online recently by the American Health Information Management Association. “Today’s episode-oriented discrete data does not allow...

Electronic checklists reduce hospital medication errors

October 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Using an electronic medication checklist to gain patient medication histories significantly reduces errors compared with a paper-based checklist, a recent study found. The study, conducted last year at a 400-bed hospital in central Texas, focused on older patients, who tend to take more medications than younger people and may have...

Mobile health IT proponents must address security issues

October 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Technology developers will learn in the next three to four years how to better secure sensitive health data sent to and from mobile devices, reports the market research firm Frost & Sullivan. Those breakthroughs are needed to allay concerns about data security. Cellphones and mobile monitoring technologies offer significant opportunity...

Study links electronic health records to improved care

October 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new study directly links use of electronic health records to improved quality of care, at least when it comes to ordering four common screening tests. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found the use of EHRs improved the rate of screening...

Trade group opposes Republican move to suspend EHR incentives

October 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A major health IT trade group issued a statement Monday opposing calls by House Republicans to suspend payment of incentives to providers for achieving “meaningful use” of electronic health records until the Department of Health and Human Services puts interoperability standards in place. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society...

Study shows health IT benefits diabetic patients

October 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The use of electronic health records directly improves treatment and outcomes for patients with diabetes, according to a recent study involving tens of thousands of patients. The greatest improvement was among patients with the most severe diseases. Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California studied nearly 170,000 diabetics who were being...

Launch your movie career with a health IT short film and win $3,000

October 3, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is inviting the public to hit the “record” button and film a video to promote the federal Blue Button program for electronic access to personal health information. Blue Button started as a Department of Veterans Affairs program giving veterans electronic access...

Shortage of Health IT Workers Worsens

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The health IT staffing shortage is getting worse, most acutely for technicians qualified to implement and maintain clinical software, a new survey shows. The survey, conducted in July by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, found that 67 percent of health IT executives reported staffing shortages, compared with 59...

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