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CMS Releases Proposed Updates to Medicare MIPS Promoting Interoperability Program for Physicians

On July 29, 2022 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) related to changes in the Medicare Program Physician Fee Schedule for 2013. Among the proposals in this lengthy document are those related to the Promoting Interoperability Program for physician practices, the successor to the Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology that was originally rooted in the 2009 HITECH Act. This program has been evolving over the years and this NPRM proposes some meaningful changes to the public health reporting component which would first be used for calendar year 2023.

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Public Health Information Systems Are Not Just About Technology

Public health information systems have always been a key component of the healthcare ecosystem. Links between clinical care and public health have only been increasing, propelled by the pandemic. As defined by the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) in its 2021 Immunization Information System (IIS) Core Competency Model, information systems management is the “application and administration of technologies to securely and effectively meet IIS program and user needs”. The pandemic highlighted the need for public health information systems to collect, track, and monitor vaccine administration for ages newborn through adulthood, and mandated data to be reported or accessible to a broad range of recipients at the local, state and federal level.

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The Changing Face of Public Health System Procurement

The development and acquisition of public health systems is poised to change. Historically, public health agencies had the classic choice when it came to acquiring a new data system. Either they developed the system themselves – usually based on a belief that their requirements were “unique” – or they licensed a COTS/GOTS product from the limited choices available in a small market. Typically, agencies that chose to develop solutions were forced to use a waterfall approach as government procurement is not well suited to the flexibility of Agile systems development. Some agencies have been able to leverage open source offerings. While most do not have the wherewithal to support open source products themselves, many have formed strong partnerships with other organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, to take advantage of these systems.

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A Guide To Productivity Management In Open Source Projects

Open source is one of the most important technology trends of our time. It’s the lifeblood of the digital economy and the preeminent way that software-based innovation happens today. In fact, it’s estimated that over 90% of software released today contains open source libraries. There's no doubt the open source model is effective and impactful. But is there still room for improvement? When comparing the broader software industry’s processes to that of open source communities, one big gap stands out: productivity management. By and large, open source project leads and maintainers have been slow to adopt modern productivity and project management practices and tools commonly embraced by startups and enterprises to drive the efficiency and predictability of software development processes. It’s time we examine how the application of these approaches and capabilities can improve the management of open source projects for the better.

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Interview With Free Software Foundation Executive Director Zoë Kooyman

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) started promoting the idea of sharing code way back in 1985, and since then it's defended the rights of computer users and developers. The FSF says that the terms "open" and "closed" are not effective words when classifying software, and instead considers programs either freedom-respecting ("free" or "libre") or freedom-trampling ("non-free" or "proprietary"). Whatever terminology you use, the imperative is that computers must belong, part and parcel, to the users, and not to the corporations that owns the software the computers run. This is why the GNU Project, and the Linux kernel, Freedesktop.org, and so many other open source projects are so important.

On the Critical Role of Site Reliability Engineering

Understanding the basics and best practices for establishing and maintaining a Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) program in an organization...SREs are responsible for maximizing reliability, performance availability, latency, efficiency, monitoring, emergency response, change management, release planning, and capacity planning for both infrastructure and software. As applications and infrastructure grow more complex, SRE teams help ensure that these systems can evolve.

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Top 8 open source project management tools for agile teams

Opensource.com has surveyed the landscape of popular open source project management tools. We've done this before—but this time we've added a twist. This time, we're looking specifically at tools that support agile methodology, including related practices such as Scrum, Lean, and Kanban. The growth of interest in and use of agile is why we've decided to focus on these types of tools this year. A majority of organizations say they are using agile approaches at least sometimes. In addition, agile projects are 28% more successful than projects managed with traditional approaches. For this roundup, we looked at the project management tools we covered in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and plucked the ones that support agile, then did research to uncover any additions or changes. Whether your organization is already using agile or is one of the many planning to adopt agile approaches, one of these seven open source project management tools, in no particular order, may be exactly what you're looking for.

Attract Contributors To Your Open Source Project With Authenticity

It's not a secret that maintaining an open source project is often thankless and time-consuming work. However, I've learned that there's one shared joy among open source maintainers: They love building with a group of technologists who passionately believe in their vision...Check out these methods that open source maintainers can use to attract contributors in a genuine manner.

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Tech Glitches at One VA Site Raise Concerns About a Nationwide Rollout

Spokane, Washington, was supposed to be the center of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ tech reinvention, the first site in the agency’s decade-long project to change its medical records software. But one morning in early March, the latest system malfunction made some clinicians snap. At Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, the records system — developed by Cerner Corp., based in North Kansas City, Missouri — went down. Staffers, inside the hospital and its outpatient facilities, were back to relying on pen and paper. Computerized schedules were inaccessible. Physicians couldn’t enter new orders or change patients’ medications.

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The Sequoia Project Releases a Useful Workgroup Report on Information and Pandemic Response

In February 2022 the Sequoia Project released its Emergency Preparedness Information Workgroup’s Pandemic Response Insights and Recommendations. This workgroup was convened in the fall of 2020 at the height of the pandemic with a diverse set of stakeholders from all areas of the healthcare system. The resulting short report is worth a read as it offers concise analysis and recommendations. The first task the workgroup undertook was to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis focused on pandemic response. There was a strong public health focus that resulted from this activity: “During a declared emergency, and during non-emergency times as well, public health should be viewed as a collaborator and partner with equal access to shared data” (p. 6).