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Daily News Archive

Monday, January 15th

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.”


The Picks of the Day

Diagnosis: Identity Theft

“For $60, a thief can buy your health records—and use them to get costly care. Guess who gets the bill.”

[Just imagine the brand damage when patients find out who their data leaked from.]


Scientist: Global warming could melt ice caps, eliminate half of Earth's species

“The effects of global warming are being felt around the world and unless international efforts are launched within the next 10 years, species will disappear and the Earth will be a vastly less habitable planet by the end of the century, according to NASA scientist James E. Hansen.”


Evangelicals, scientists join forces to combat global warming

“Leading scientists and evangelical Christian leaders have agreed to put aside passionate differences over the origin of life and work together to curb alarming levels of global warming that threaten the survival of life on Earth.”


Outsourcing Exec to U.S.: Do the Math

“’You need more emphasis on mathematics in school.’ the 61-year-old billionaire said during a recent visit to Silicon Valley.  ‘It's a building block.’  In fact, there is a shortage of information technology engineers in the United States, said Premji, who in four decades has led Wipro from a $2 million cooking-oil processing company to a $2.4 billion global technology player. In its most recent quarter, the Bangalore-based company reported $765 million in revenue, a 41 percent increase from a year earlier, with profits of $152 million, a 48 percent jump.”


IT Process Improvement / Quality Management

Goals and Objectives

“When discussing the role of IT in any organization, it is important to take a step back and look at the organization itself. When we hear of alignment problems between IT and the rest of the enterprise, this invariably betrays fundamental flaws in the thought processes surrounding what an organization is and how it is structured and managed.  Viewed this way, alignment is not an IT problem: It is, rather, a management problem, for it is management that is responsible for meeting goals and objectives.”


Legal and Regulatory Compliance

5 Years After Enron, Technologists May Be Better Off

“Five years after the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating Enron, the changed legal environment of which SarbOx is the most visible part has given chief information officers a key compliance role. Computers and software run many of the systems that have helped companies tighten their financial processes and adhere to the Section 404 rule for internal controls.”,1540,2080446,00.asp


Daylight Sought For Data Mining

“Key senators introduced legislation yesterday that would require the government to disclose data-mining programs to Congress in an effort to protect Americans' privacy and prevent misuse of personal information.”


Security and Risk Management

House Seat Hangs by a Byte

“The case brings to a head a long-running tug of war over how to handle the software code that increasingly runs U.S. elections. Advocates for transparent elections, including voting activists and some candidates, have sought to examine the source code for election software to ensure that machines are accurately presenting the ballots, recording and counting every vote.”,72452-0.html?


Mobile malware: is it for real?

“Everybody and his granny’s using a mobile phone nowadays. Does that mean that we’re all at risk from the same threats that plague our PCs? Not quite. First off, unless you’re using a smartphone, you’re mostly safe even though most mid-range phones nowadays come with Bluetooth and that’s another problem altogether.”


The most common hacker is probably sitting in the cubicle next to you

“In other words, curiosity is one scenario motivating the most common hacker. Another is revenge. These situations take place when a web-savvy employee gets ticked off.”


Healthcare / Bio-Informatics / Care Delivery Organizations (CDOs)

Case study: One medical center's experience with IT thresholds

“Another area of society seeing a surge in technological advancement is the healthcare sector. From applying transactional data management for disaster recovery to implementing real-time analysis software to improving systems management, hospitals are adopting technology to ensure that their most important information-patient data is accessible and secure.”


Google Co-op for Health Gets Boost from PHR Expert Kibbe

“A leading advocate of electronic medical records, personal health records, and other health-IT measures in ambulatory care has joined a small number of contributors to the experimental Google Co-op for Health online community who are working to refine the quality of Web searches for healthcare information.”


Sun Microsystems' Healthcare Mantra: Reduce Cost and Complexity

“Sun Microsystems director of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Joerg Schwarz, talks about the need to change financial incentives to spur Health IT adoption, describes mistakes made by the giant U.K. health-IT initiative, outlines Sun's healthcare strategy, and provides an assessment of Sun's performance in the race by global IT giants to help improve healthcare and create new markets for themselves.”


Patient ID data stolen

Emory University officials said Tuesday they have sent letters to more than 38,000 patients who have been treated for cancer at Emory Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital, warning them that a computer containing their personal information was stolen from a business contractor in Ohio.  Emory officials said they believe it is unlikely patients will be affected, but they are advising patients to put a fraud alert on their credit reports to prevent identity theft.”!225550318&UrAuth=`N`NUOcNWUbTTUWUXUVUZTYU_UWU_U`UZUUUcTYWVVZV&urcm=y

[Contractors/vendors must follow the same information security controls as the organization.  Care delivery organizations (CDOs) must recognize the need for risk based security efforts to protect their patients, their goals and their bottom line.]


ID theft reaches medical realm

“You may not find out about it until you get a bill for a surgery you never had, or your insurance company sends an "explanation of benefits" listing doctor's visits you never made.  More ominously, any procedures, tests or medications administered to the thief may become part of your permanent medical record. Next time you're admitted to a hospital, you may find that your chart lists the wrong blood type or says you are on medications that you've never taken. This can lead to medical errors, with potentially tragic consequences.”


Hawaii Blues to Docs: We'll Help with EMRs

“A $50 million program from the Hawaii Medical Service Association, under which the Blues plan would give providers substantial financial help to purchase electronic medical records systems, could wire up most physicians in the state.”


New Congress, Same I.T. Issues

“With the 110th Congress starting work this month will come a renewed push to get health care information technology legislation through the House and Senate.  Many of the existing I.T. advocates in the two chambers remain, but the power centers have switched with Democrats now in charge.”


EHRs: A tale of progress and frustration

“2006 was a frustrating, perplexing, and promising year for EHR proponents and for physicians who considered making the leap into health information technology. The government continued its EHR push, and some employers and health plans began to incentivize doctors to adopt digital records. But the results of all these efforts were underwhelming.”


Human Error / Safety / Environment

Deaths as bird flu flares in Asia

“Bird flu has infected a farmer in China's first human case in months, killed an Indonesian teenager and spread deeper in Vietnam in a flare-up of infections mirroring past winters.  A second Indonesian bird flu victim, a 37-year-old woman from Banten Province on Java island, was in hospital on Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.”


Bird flu spreading again in Asia

“An Indonesian hospital was on Monday overwhelmed with patients suffering bird flu symptoms as the disease spread further in Vietnam and Thailand reported its first case in poultry in six months.”


UN Official Says Leadership On Global Warming Lacking

“The chief of the United Nations' effort against climate change said Monday there is widespread recognition of the seriousness of global warming but a lack of leadership has created a sense of helplessness.  Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said he will ask the new U.N. secretary-general to coordinate a worldwide response and organize a conference of world leaders.”


Tiny Satellites Watch Earth Warm

“A constellation of microsatellites launched into low Earth orbit earlier this year is proving to be a worthwhile investment, providing more accurate weather forecasting and climatic data than ever gathered before.”,72457-0.html?


California Governor Announces World’s First Global Warming Pollution Standard for Motor Fuels

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the first big step to implement California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Through an executive order that will direct the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to begin the process of adopting the world’s first global warming pollution standard for motor vehicle fuels, the governor is accelerating action to reduce one of the leading sources of heat-trapping pollution, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).”


Global warming concerns about to force North American governments to declare war on carbon emissions, according to CIBC World Markets report

“The report predicts that every province and state in North America will follow the lead of California and implement not only a CO(2) emissions cap but also an emissions trading system that will allow larger polluters to buy emissions credits from other firms whose emissions are less than what is allowed under the cap.”


How global warming will change the face of Europe

“EU chiefs are so concerned about the threat to Europe's ecosystems that they are calling for developed countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.  If other wealthy nations such as America and Canada refuse to sign up to this goal, EU chiefs are proposing a 20 per cent unilateral reduction for member states to protect their economies.”


Chrysler Reeling From Global-Warming Comment Fallout

“Chrysler's chief economist, Van Jolissaint, called European global warming policies ‘quasi-hysterical’ and compared European attitudes toward global warming to children's-book character Chicken Little, according to a BBC News story published today [1/10/07].”


Outsourcing / Globalization / International

eBay and the Flattening of the World

“eBay overcomes the age old barrier to the information. Before eBay and the Internet, buyers could only find products by knowing where to look. In other words, they had to have some vendor related knowledge to begin with. With eBay, however, the world of sellers comes to the buyer.  When purchasing via eBay there are still basic procurement practices that need to be followed.”


Cultural Revolution

“At the beginning of this year it made its biggest move yet when the Ministry of Finance required the 1,200 companies listed on the Shenzhen and Shanghai stockmarkets to adopt, with important exceptions, norms similar to International Financial Reporting Standards. These standards may sound like instruments of accounting torture, but countries all over the world are embracing them.”


China's foreign currency reserves top $1 trillion

“The central bank said its reserves stood at US$1.0663 trillion at the end of December, up more than 30 percent from one year earlier, making this the first country officially to top the US$1 trillion mark.  China passed Japan in early 2006 as the nation with the biggest foreign reserves as Beijing drained money from its economy, stockpiling much of it in U.S. Treasuries in an effort to prevent a spike in inflation as export revenues surged in.”


Economics / Business / Misc.

Tech firms testing the IPO waters

“A spate of technology firms notified federal regulators of their intentions to go public late last year, sparking some industry insiders to speculate that 2007 could bring the biggest rush of companies adding their names to the ticker list since Nasdaq's meltdown in 2000.”


In a Changing World, GE Spreads Globally

“General Electric Co., which rode a wave of American prosperity in the last century to become one of the world's largest companies, expects its overseas sales to roughly match its domestic business this year for the first time due to rapid global growth.”



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