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With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act now signed into law, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has called on the Obama administration, Congress, technology manufacturers, and purchasers to work with nurses and other healthcare providers to ensure that the technologies are developed and deployed in a way that allows healthcare providers more time with their patients, which will result in increased safety, improved clinical outcomes, and decreased costs.


In 2005, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the AAN Workforce Commission began their Technology Targets Project. A major component of the project is a process called Technology Drill Down, which provides medical-surgical units the opportunity to develop and improve their process and workflow inefficiencies by identifying technological solutions.


The results of the Workforce Commission's project, "Technology Solutions to Make Patient Care Safer and More Efficient," suggest that, through the proper type and use of technology, there is a potential to increase the amount of time that nurses spend providing direct care, which increases patient safety, improves clinical outcomes, and decreases costs.


According to the report on the project, published in the Journal of Healthcare Information Management in autumn 2008,


The study demonstrated the greatest impact of technology is on written communication and data, followed by improvement in safe delivery of care, system integration, supply chain, and oral communications. Technology can also eliminate waste, alleviate some staffing and workload issues, assist in tracking staff, physicians, and patients, facilitate the medication cycle, and improve the efficiency of the physical environment. Additionally technology can reduce some of the stressors that result in an emotional reaction to inefficient workflows or poor work environments.1(p28)


A PDF version of the article by Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN; Carole A. Gassert, PhD, RN, FACMI, FAAN; and Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN, is available at


The AAN anticipates and tracks national and international trends in healthcare while addressing resulting issues of healthcare knowledge and policy. The Academy's mission is to serve the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge.




Bolton LB, Gassert CA, Cipriano PF. Technology solutions can make nursing care safer and more efficient. J Healthc Inf Manag. 2008;22(4):24-30. [Context Link]



Unbound Medicine has announced the release of its Diagnosaurus DDx for download to iPhone and iPod touch. Now, subscribers can experience the speed and reliability of a native application and access essential diagnostic information without the need for a wireless connection. Unbound's award-winning platform allows users to enjoy convenient over-the-air installation, wireless automatic updates, and superior navigation.


Diagnosaurus DDx is a quick reference tool that helps healthcare professionals perform differential diagnosis with speed and confidence at the point of care. With Diagnosaurus DDx, clinicians can quickly search more than 1000 diagnoses, navigating by organ system, symptom, or disease, or view all entries. The "see related DDx" feature within each selection offers alternative diagnoses and the ability to quickly link to those entries. A convenient "Favorites" feature allows specific searches to be saved and bookmarked into a personal archive.


Diagnosaurus DDx joins the growing list of downloadable iPhone applications available now from Unbound Medicine. A listing of currently available applications and upcoming releases is available at the company's Web site.


Features of Diagnosaurus DDx on the iPhone include the following:


* Interface optimized for iPhone and iPod touch


* Personalized favorites


* More than 1000 differential diagnoses


* Disease, symptom, or organ system searching


* Extensive links to related entries



To view or download a demonstration of Diagnosaurus DDx on the iPhone/iPod touch, please visit



Electronic Data Systems, a Hewlett Packard company, has been awarded a task order by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consolidate and host the data center operations of all nine common working file (CWF) host sites for the agency.


This consolidation effort will enable the CMS to streamline its data center hosting operations, improve hosting reliability, and reduce costs. The task order was awarded under the CMS Enterprise Data Center Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract and is worth up to $19.8 million through 2014, if all options are exercised.


The nine regional CWF host sites of the CMS store Medicare Part A and Part B eligibility information for about 45 million beneficiaries within the United States. The CWF application allows Medicare administrative contractors, fiscal intermediaries, and carriers to verify beneficiary eligibility, receive prepayment reviews, and obtain approval of Medicare insurance claims.


Under the task order, EDS will operate and host all CWF host site applications from its data center, which is capable of processing eligibility inquiries for all 45 million beneficiaries.


To support the consolidation, EDS also will provide data center host implementations and corrections, Web hosting, data storage, mainframe services, transition services, shared infrastructure services, enterprise data center program management, and general support.


EDS, an HP company, is a technology services provider worldwide; EDS founded the information technology outsourcing industry nearly 50 years ago. EDS performs information technology, applications, and business process outsourcing services in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, communications, energy, transportation, consumer and retail industries, and governments around the world.



As of December 2008, 11% of online American adults said that they used a service like Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others.


Just a few weeks earlier, in November 2008, 9% of Internet users used Twitter or updated their status online, and in May of 2008, 6% of Internet users responded yes to a slightly different question, where users were asked if they used "Twitter or another 'microblogging' service to share updates about themselves or to see updates about others."


For the full report, please visit


The Pew Internet Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. Pew Internet explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, healthcare, and civic/political life. Support for the project is provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts.