Monthly Archives: September 2014

Webinar Tomorrow: Joint PH Forum & CDC Nationwide Webinar on September 18th

Please see the meeting invitation below for this exciting webinar!

Meeting Invitation for:

Date:    Thursday, September 18, 2014 

Time:    3:00 pm Eastern Time / 2:00 pm Central Time / 1:00 pm Mountain Time / 12:00 pm Pacific Time


Dear Public Health Forum Members & Colleagues:

The meeting agenda and the webinar registration information are provided below.

Important Notes:

  • GoToWebinar is used for these webinars and pre-registration is required.
  • If you haven’t already registered for these monthly webinars, please follow the registration information listed below to receive an email with instructions on how to join these webinars.
    • You will receive a unique participant link to join these recurring meetings. This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you.
    • The email you receive will include a link to add these recurring meetings to your calendar.
    • If you have not used GoToWebinar before, you are advised to test your connectivity prior to the meeting. A link to connectivity test information is provided below.
  • If you previously registered for these monthly webinars and cannot locate your unique participant link, please use the registration link provided below and your unique participant link will be resent.



  • Announcements (CDC and ONC) – [5 minutes]
  • Presentation:  Formalizing Community-Clinical Linkages: Massachusetts Department of Public Health e-Referral Project – [40 minutes]


Thomas Land, PhD, Director of the Office of Data Management and Outcomes Assessment, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Laura Nasuti, MPH, PhD, Director of the Office of Statistics and Evaluation, Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Michael Stelmach, MBA, Senior Health Information Technology Consultant and Principal, Bowlink Technologies, Inc.


Massachusetts was awarded a State Innovation Model Testing Award in the first round of SIM Testing Awards. As part of this award, the MA Department of Public Health has developed an open-source, bi-directional electronic referral system (e-Referral) that links referrals from clinical settings to community-based organizations. Since Spring 2013, the e-Referral team has linked two different EHRs to the e-Referral software (NextGen and athenahealth) and initiated pilots in 3 different community health centers, and supported linkages to 3 different community-based organizations for six different referral types. The project currently links community health centers to VNAs, elder services organizations, and YMCAs. To date, the number of referrals has been relatively small. Technical assistance is being offered to clinical site to improve work flow that leads to referrals. The next steps for the project include expanding the capabilities of the e-Referral system, onboarding clinical sites with additional EMRs, finalizing an e-Referral connection on our state Health Information Exchange, and adding additional clinical and community sites (including the state tobacco quitline).

Question and Answer Session – [15 minutes]

Panel Member:

Thomas Land

Laura Nasuti

Michael Stelmach

Akaki Lekiachvili, MD, MBA, Office of the Medical Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Webinar Registration Instructions

Pre-register for this online event at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The invitation will include a link to add these recurring meetings to your calendar.

GoToWebinar System Requirements and Connectivity Test Information

View GoToWebinar System Requirements:

Connectivity Test Information:


Upcoming Webinar: Health IT and Disaster Preparedness

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health invites you to join us for our September webinar:

  • Topic: “Health IT & Disaster Preparedness”
  • Presenter: Dr. Jin Ping Ying, CEO of Addabbo Community Health Center & Jason Pomaski, Assistant Vice President of Technology, Community Health Network
  • Day: September 30, 2014
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Link:

This event coincides with the conclusion of National Preparedness Month and is held on National PrepareAthon! Day. Celebrate the National PrepareAthon! Day by joining us in this interesting and interactive discussion.

PDF Version of the Invitation: Hand Out for Health IT

Virtual Course Offering: Introduction to Health Informatics from AMIA and the Univeristy of Kansas

AMIA 10×10 with University of Kansas

The University of Kansas School of Nursing and the Center for Health Informatics is offering the course, Introduction to Health Informatics, as part of the AMIA 10×10 program. This completely virtual course provides an introduction to the field of health informatics. The course focuses on five themes: health informatics foundations; clinical decision support; human/organizational factors/public health/consumer health informatics and current issues in health informatics including best practices.  The KU 10×10 course is targeted at individuals who are clinicians, physicians, public health practitioners, pharmacists, and researchers, IT professionals, nurses, systems analysts, Fellows, epidemiologists, and others interested in the field of health informatics.  Dr. Helen Connors is the Executive Director of the KU Center for Health Informatics and she serves as Director of the Kansas 10×10 offering.

Register Now!  Course begins September 15, 2014!

Kansas 10×10 Goal

The goal of the Kansas 10×10 course is to provide students with an introductory survey of the field of health informatics. This course will educate the student with regards to foundational informatics, semantic interoperability, decision support, safety initiatives, and the emerging fields of consumer, biomedical and public health informatics.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Overview, History & Milestones in Clinical Informatics & Nursing Informatics
  • Population Health Informatics
  • Translational Bioinformatics
  • Consumer Health Informatics
  • Medical Devices
  • Overview of Health Information Technology & HIE
  • Federal, State and Private Sector Initiatives
  • Privacy and Security
  • Human Factors
  • Training, Implementation, Organizational Change & Unintended Consequences
  • Using Health Data
  • Guideline Development, Assessment and Deployment
  • Clinical Rules and Decision Support

Registered students will receive a complimentary AMIA Affiliate membership for the 2015 calendar year (those who are not already AMIA members) which includes access to all 23 working groups, will be eligible for a certificate of completion and may claim up to 45 CME credits.  Please pass this email on to anyone you think may be interested in virtual health and biomedical informatics courses.

View the detailed course description and register for this offering at:×10-courses

Save the Date for AMIA’s PHI Workgroup Group PreSymposia

Please join AMIA’s Public Health Informatics (PHI) Working Group for an all-day event focused on “Current and Emerging Issues for Population Health Informatics in Healthcare and Public Health” on November 15, 2014, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Washington Hilton, Washington D.C.

Last year’s PHI PreSymposia had record-setting interest and attendance, with professionals from healthcare, public health, academia and government sharing ideas and addressing challenges. The 2014 workshop will take the discussion to the next level with a roster of experts from around the nation.

For more information about AMIA PreSymposia and how to register please visit (see WG06):

Details about speakers and the program agenda will be coming soon. Please forward this announcement to any colleagues who also may be interested in attending. We look forward to you joining us in Washington on November 15!

John Loonsk MD FACMI, Chair of the AMIA PHI-WG
Barbara Massoudi MPH PhD, Chair-Elect of the AMIA PHI-WG

Please direct your questions about the presymposia to

Hadi Kharrazi MHI MD PhD (session chair)
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Center for Population Health IT
443.287.8264 /

PDF Version of the invitation: PHI AMIA Presymposium – Save the Date

Great blog post from the Health Affairs Blog! “Big Data and the Public’s Health: Building Resilience for the 21st Century” by Charlotte Parent

Please check out this great blog post from the Health Affairs Blog on how the New Orleans Health Department dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac by incorporating big data methods to locate the city’s most vulnerable citizens. A blurb with a link to the blog post is included below.

Health Affairs Blog has posted a new item, ‘Big Data And The Public’s Health: Building Resilience For The 21st Century’ by Charlotte Parent

Editor’s note: For more on big data, check out the July issue of Health Affairs.

In late August 2012, Hurricane Isaac was bearing down on New Orleans. Staff at the City’s Health Department were busy fielding calls from concerned citizens and reaching out to individuals on the City’s Special Needs Registry, a list of residents who have medical or mobility needs and who require extra assistance during an emergency. These individuals are at the highest health risk and are the first to face adverse health consequences during an emergency.

When Isaac made landfall as a slow-moving storm, it dumped approximately 20 inches of rain onto the streets of New Orleans, causing major power outages that lasted for eight days. Immediately following the storm, shelters were opened and many services were available; however, without power to use TV, radios, internet, or cell phones it was difficult for City officials to communicate this information to the public.

The Health Department went door to door to find at-risk residents, but we had no organized method of locating them or answering countless other urgent questions: Who needs power to run their medical equipment? Who needs transportation to dialysis? Who is trapped in a wheelchair on the fifth floor of a building where the elevators are not working?

You may view the latest post at


New CMS Rule Extends Meaningful Use Stage 2, Offers Flexibility in CEHRT Reporting

On Friday, August 29th, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) issued its final rule to change the meaningful use stage 2 and stage 3 timelines, as well as the definition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). This new rule allows eligible providers to use the 2011 Edition CEHRT, or a combination of the 2011 and 2014 CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014. It also extends Meaningful Use Stage 2 through 2016, and announced that Meaningful Use Stage 3 would begin in 2017. According to CMS, these changes were implemented to encourage more providers and hospitals to adopt certified EHR technology and participate in the meaningful use incentive program.

NACCHO submitted a public comment to CMS in support of this rule. Many eligible providers and hospitals either do not possess, or are unable to adopt 2014 certified EHR technology due to product and service availability issues. Granting eligible providers and hospitals more time to implement 2014 technology will help support the foundational work needed to develop public health data partnerships. NACCHO believes that this final rule creates the flexibility critical to support eligible providers, hospitals, and public health agencies in strengthening data sharing partnerships, as providers and hospitals will not be penalized for product and service shortages. The rule’s timeline now allows these providers and hospitals to adopt the latest certified EHR technologies. This rule will positively impact public health, and further encourage the adoption of health information technology.

Numerous resources have been made to help public health agencies understand the changes brought about by the new rule:

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on September 4th, 2014. To view the final rule: