Instant Access

Julie KirstDuring and after the recent Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, held February 12-16 in San Diego, I received numerous press releases from companies attending HIMSS who were introducing new or upgraded products. The majority of the releases discussed products that focused on instant access to patient information and records, which can significantly improve patient care.

HIMSS vendors also displayed products that may not directly affect biomed departments at the moment, but once refined and accepted, the devices may become an integral part of all departments. One such product involved biometric facial recognition that would automatically recognize and authenticate computer users, rendering passwords and special codes obsolete. Designed to improve workflow by minimizing the time spent proving identity, the tool also offers enhanced security by locking the computer once the user steps away. This could aid biomeds and clinical engineers by giving them their own personal log-on for the systems they use, such as the radio frequency identification equipment- tracking packages.

The American College of Clinical Engineering collaborated with HIMSS to present the “Clinical Engineering and IT Leadership Forum,” to encourage these departments to work with one another. The two organizations partnered a second time to feature the latest in medical technology interoperability and medical device security endeavors, again emphasizing the need for communication between the two worlds.

In keeping with the above trends and indicators of the industry, 24×7 introduces a new monthly department, “Tech Talk,” written by Dennis Minsent, MSBE, CCE. Facing head-on the continued joining of the biomed and IT worlds, Minsent will present strategies to help biomed departments overcome the obstacles they encounter as equipment becomes more computerized and biomeds face the changes in their responsibilities.

24×7 also introduces Weekly Jolt, its online weekly newsletter, which will be e-mailed directly to subscribers and is also available at www.24x7mag.com. Joining the instant access world, the newsletter will provide our readers with more current updates on the companies relevant to their work; new products; regulatory updates, from JCAHO, the FDA, and other regulatory committees; as well as career information.

The newsletter and our magazine are for you, our readers, and our goal is to continue providing timely information that will enhance your profession. We’d like to hear from you, so please send us your association news, suggestions and comments. If you haven’t received the newsletter yet, go to our Web site to view Weekly Jolt and to subscribe. Be sure to pass this on to your colleagues, both within the United States and abroad.

With the instant access the Internet provides, 24×7’s content is now available to the world.

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jkirst@ascendmedia.com