To bring you up to date if you are not familiar with Amalga, it is currently one of the Healthcare Solutions from Microsoft, the brains. Below is an imageexcerpt from an archive in the Washington Post about the beginnings before Microsoft, when the project was called Azyxxi.  Dr. Freied thinks hospitals should be designed more like airports and in the video he explains why.   Some of his statistics were interesting, like female doctors have overall better results on keeping patients alive over male counterparts. 
What I like is the description of the doctor:  “Data Junkie” being a bit of one myself in having written an EMR, but this man knows 25 computer languages, genius in my eyes just speaking for that one item alone.   He and his partner knew how algorithms would work to give information and save lives, well enough that Microsoft bought it and and has continued to develop the system that took 8 years to build for Dr. Feied and his partner.  You can read more of the history of Amalga here at Wikipedia.  In the early days, before being acquired by Microsoft, the software was named Azyxxi.
“Mark Smith and Craig Feied quickly discovered that the main reason for the frustration and wait times was the delay in getting test results and other information to ER doctors and nurses. For Smith, who came to medicine from a PhD program in computer science at Stanford, and Feied, who started his career as a biophysicist and knows 25 computer languages, the obvious answer was to write a computer program that could eliminate the bottlenecks.
Sixteen months later, they installed the first terminal in the middle of the ER with a handwritten sign taped on it: "Beta Test. Do Not Use." But as they had hoped, people began using it anyway -- and were astounded by what they could do. And before long, doctors were coming from other departments to retrieve information on patients who had come to them through the emergency room. 
Over the next eight years, Azyxxi spread through the hospital as more people used and demanded it, and more information was fed into its database. By 2002, the IT department threw in the towel and canceled a contract with an outside vendor to develop a hospital-wide electronics record system, having already spent $8 million. By the end of last year, with the help of a handful of in-house programmers, Azyxxi had been rolled out in all six sister hospitals in the MedStar system, at maybe a third of the cost of what an outside supplier would have charged, according to hospital officials.”image
Earlier this year I had the chance to speak with Steve Shihadeh and Mike Naimoli from Microsoft and you can read the interviews below where he discussed where Amalga and Life Sciences are today and the future growth.  You can also do a search on the blog under Amalga and find a number of additional posts as well. 

Steve Shihadeh, VP Microsoft Health Solutions Group – The Amalga Software Solution for Aggregating Hospital Information (Interview)

A Deep Dive into Microsoft Life Sciences Today and in the Future – Interview with Michael Naimoli
Amalga has grown and is being used as a solution all over the world and in the US, El Camino hospital, New York Presbyterian, St. Josephs to name a few and Amalga also played a part in the Microsoft H1N1 tool that was announced a couple weeks ago. 
Dr. Oz speaks about the importance of electronic medical records at New York Presbyterian too. 

Link to the ABC Video
Other areas of the report discussed keeping things clean and safe around the hospital.  Actually when you watch the ABC Video, these items were featured first. 
They discuss the “killer tie”, describing it as a big “germ slob” that goes around collecting bacteria all day long.  We want to go to the hospital to NOT die, in other words we don’t want to die of something else you catch at the hospital, we want to get well.
image image 
Hand washing is discussed at great length.  At Cedar Sinai they put a screensaver on all the computers in the hospital as a constant reminder for doctors to wash their hands.  Repetition works everywhere.  They did a culture of the bacterial and their hands.
In addition to a screensaver, I like this technology solution I wrote about a while back, as it is simple to use and appears to be non intrusive or disruptive.

Real Time Monitoring of When you Washed your Hands – Don’t Touch that Patient Until You Have Washed Your Hands

This is the result of a culture, big mass there is bacteria and certainly looks pretty ugly.  Cedars also posted pictures like this all around the hospital too as a reminder. 
image image
They followed a nurse for 10 minutes and in that amount of time she had to wash her hands 20 times, something you wouldn’t think about I guess until you see the person working in action.  Cedars has even added disposable stethoscopes to work on cleanliness. 
It’s a good watch and worth the 20 minutes and will bring you up to date on how many thinking outside or not even near a box, are creating solutions.  BD 
Watch '20/20' Friday Nights at 10 p.m. - ABC News
Related Reading:
Microsoft Research: Research & Programs for Healthcare
Genomics and Silverlight from Microsoft working together for Great Visual Enhancement– BioMashUps
Scripps, Navigenics, Affymetrix and Microsoft team on groundbreaking health study – Personalized Medicine
Two More Hospitals Sign for Amalga from Microsoft
Wisconsin Health Information Exchange RHIO connected with Amalga from Microsoft
Microsoft Introduces Groundbreaking Technology – Amalga Life Sciences Software


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