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Kaiser receives $54 million in EMR research grants

Having what it calls the nation's largest civilian health record database has earned Kaiser Permanente $54 million in public grants. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Kaiser Permanente 22 grants worth more than $54 million that will paid out over two years. The money was made available as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The largest grant, worth $25 million, will be used to conduct genotype testing on 100,000 Kaiser members participating in the Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health, which Kaiser says is the largest population-based bio-bank in the United States. The grant will be shared with the University of California, San Francisco's Institute for Human Genetics, which will perform the actual genotyping. Genetic information will be linked to the RPGEH health surveys, disease registries and Kaiser's electronic medical record system, so researchers can look at ways environmental influences, such as air and water quality and access to ...

Social media behavior could threaten your reputation, job prospects

The social networking tools that help keep medical students in touch with friends and family could end up being the reason they someday have a hard time finding the job they want. A study in the Sept. 23/30 Journal of the American Medical Association found that 60% of U.S. medical schools surveyed reported incidents of students posting unprofessional content online. Meanwhile, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming the newest tools used by recruiters to identify and screen potential job candidates, including those well out of medical school. Because of the interest in social media, the National Assn. of Physician Recruiters has added a special session on the subject to its annual meeting next April. Susan Masterson, a recruiter with TeamHealth in Knoxville, Tenn., said using social networking sites is a "strategy that anyone in recruiting, whether it be physicians or otherwise, needs to incorporate in their plan. It's here. It's here to stay. "My con ...

Medical supply costs stabilize

The prices of most medical and surgical supplies have not grown a lot over the past year and are not expected to do so over the next. That is according to a report issued Sept. 17 by Premier, a hospital- and health system-owned data research and analysis center, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "There's some inflation, but it is the lowest I have seen in the last five or six years," said Mike Alkire, president of Premier Purchasing Partners, the supply-chain service division of the Charlotte, N.C.-based organization. Premier's health care alliance is a coalition of 2,200 hospitals and 63,000 other health care sites such as physician offices. Premier collects and analyzes numbers supplied by the coalition. Premier's analysis suggests that inflation through 2010 for medical and surgical supplies will average between 1.6% for those used in imaging and as high as 4% for those consumed by laboratories. Supplies used in cardiovascular and surgical services will incre ...