Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday at Hillwood

I spent the morning visiting Hillwood, the estate of the late Majorie Meriwether Post. I've wanted to go for sometime as I am fascinated by all things Russian and Hillwood has a marvelous Russian collection. The museum is really a tribute to a great lady more than it is an art museum. They don't do a very good job of telling you who the artists were or the subject of the portrait. But I enjoy looking at art the way private collectors see it, as part of their home, rather than the way I usually see it, in a museum. I hope to go back soon and check out the elaborate gardens that she created.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Center for Advanced Defense Studies Call for Submissions

The following just arrived in my in box:

Defense Concepts is a quarterly publication by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Defense Concepts publishes informative, provocative and comprehensive essays and reports on all aspects of contemporary security issues. While some articles address traditional topics, such as war and peace and diplomatic and military history; others address issues of growing importance, such as environmental and demographic challenges and the rise of global terrorist networks, that have not been as salient in the media. Because it includes diverse perspectives from globally recognized executives, leading academics, and political leaders, Defense Concepts serves as a forum for leading thinkers and strategists to discuss the critical issues of global security.

The Center for Advanced Defense Studies has an open call for submissions in the following styles:

News pieces may include articles on a project, program, or service dealing with a topic relevant to information policy, information sharing and international law; intention awareness and cognitive science; mathematics; military information science and strategy; emerging technology; political psychology; political science and social sciences. Reviews of recent literature and information on newly offered instrumentation, apparatus, and laboratory materials of potential interest to researchers will also be accepted. A news piece should be no more than 600 words.

Editorial submissions include guest commentary -- timely opinion pieces that are thought-provoking and elegantly written. We publish commentaries from a diverse range of perspectives, but all successful submissions are fact-based, persuasively argued and constructive in tone. An editorial piece should also be no more than 600 words.


* Traditional academic manuscripts that share empirical, methodological, and/or applied findings;
* Research-based academic essays with proper citations;
* Research- and/or interview-based articles; and Interactive and non-interactive projects, accompanied by project documentation.

Title Page, Abstract, and Biography: The title page for papers should include the title of the work, the names of all authors, the affiliations of all authors (university or institution, position), and an email address at which the author or authors may be readily contacted.
Please include an abstract of no more than 100 words, as well as a brief biography of no more than 50 words. The abstract should include as many keywords from your essay as possible. The biography should include a current academic or professional affiliation and any recent publications or activities.

Formatting: Manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced, and should not exceed 10,000 words including references. CADS adheres to The Chicago Manual of Style for formatting of all headings, tables, figure, and references. For more information on The Chicago Manual of Style please visit the following URL: All references must be in the form of numbered endnotes and should be strictly limited in number. Images, illustrations, and graphics may accompany Abstracts and Full Submissions as appropriate. CADS accepts JPG/JPEG or PNG file formats up to 300dpi resolution (or highest available). However, all images, illustrations, or graphics must be extracted from Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format documents and sent separately.

Submissions: Manuscripts may be submitted to the editors electronically to the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Manuscripts submitted via e-mail should take the form of attachments formatted in Microsoft Word. Submissions should be sent to sarah.catanzaro[@] and include all aforementioned information

Deadlines: All submissions are due November 10, 2009. Submission deadlines are usually not extended. However, the Editorial Board will accept submissions received after the deadline on a case by case basis and requests that authors contact CADS if circumstances prevent submission of the paper or commentary on time.

Editing: If the submission is accepted for publication, the Editorial Staff may contact the author(s) of the submission regarding potential changes or issues in the submission that may need to be addressed prior to publication. The Editorial Board requests that authors respond in a timely manner to such inquiries to facilitate the publication process.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Editorial misogyny

Check out this headline at ZDNet: Final thoughts on supermodel-blogger catfight. Would a case involving men be referred to as a “cat fight?” I should remind readers that headlines are not written by columnists and the column itself seems perfectly thoughtful. I don’t agree with it, but its tone is entirely respectful.

The headline writer at Info World catches the essence of the case: A skank discussion: Privacy, anonymity, and misogyny

Skank specifically refers to a disreputable woman, there are very serious consequences for a woman who is successfully labeled as a skank. For a professional model those consequences might very well include the loss of opportunities to represent certain brands. From little lies big lies grow. She was justified in her suit and the courts acted appropriately in my judgment.

Edit -
From the comments at Boing Boing
Technically, the model has a case because calling someone a skank or ho is a statement and truth can be measured (is she having sex for money or is she excessively promiscuous?) while if she'd flat-out just called her a bitch it would have been an opinion. It is also a statement that can easily be shown to affect the model financially - if she wasn't being hired for jobs where the employers objected to that kind of behavior, or if a morals clause in a contract kicked in. Reputation can be very important in those situations. It is also clear that the intent was malicious.

But let me also point something out: this is cyberbullying on behalf of the fashion student, and it's not cool, and I would 100 times prefer than no one get to be anonymous on the internet than we choose to do nothing about cyberbullying - even between adults, where we otherwise expect them to "just get over it."

Edit ii -
Dan Gillmor has some thoughts on the matter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

VP Biden to announce 1.2 billion in grants for EHR

Biden to announce Thursday nearly $1.2 billion to promote electronic medical records system
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden plans to announce Thursday nearly $1.2 billion in grants to help hospitals transition to electronic medical records.

HHS expected to announce state health IT funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Office of the National Coordinator $2 billion to promote the meaningful use of health IT. Up to $300 million was intended to help establish state HIEs; another share would fund regional training centers to help physicians and hospitals incorporate health IT into their practices.

There will be a conference next month
on how to get the benefit of the stimulus to pay for your EHR program.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FTC Issues Final Breach Notification Rule and the day's EHR news

FTC Issues Final Breach Notification Rule for Electronic Health Information
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a final rule requiring certain Web-based businesses to notify consumers when the security of their electronic health information is breached.

Kentucky Creates Electronic Health Information Office

On Friday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) announced the creation of a new office designed to serve as a single point of contact for state and federal agencies working on health IT initiatives, the AP/Lexington Herald-Leader reports (AP/Lexington Herald-Leader, 8/17).

Health care industry could learn from VA, says CBO

Rural hospital hinging future on federal incentive

OSCEOLA, Mo. — Electronic medical records are a life-or-death issue at Sac-Osage Hospital — not necessarily just for the patients, but for the hospital itself.

Facing a budget shortfall, the 47-bed hospital in rural western Missouri is borrowing nearly $1 million to pitch its paper medical charts and purchase a state-of-the-art electronic health records system. The hospital is hinging its survival on what it hopes will be a $3 million windfall of federal incentives for hospitals that go digital.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Multiple groups proposed for EHR certification

E-health committee calls for multiple groups to certify records systems
The top federal panel that sets policies for electronic health records so that a national system can be adopted made recommendations on Friday that would allow multiple organizations to certify electronic record products instead of the one certifying body that exists today.

Wouldn't multiple groups defeat the purpose of having a standard? I can see that if some feel that the exiting certification body has become the captive of a small group of vendors changes need to be made, but multiple groups?

#FAIL! Proprietary EHR LockIn through CCHIT Certification

In other EHR news:
How RxNorm fits into clinical interoperability

Merge Healthcare opens its code

First Wi-Fi pacemaker in U.S. gives patient freedom

How Medical Device Connectivity Can Improve Outcomes in the SICU

Exceeding Expectations: Microsoft Health Users Group Conference Event

Social Media Policy and Employee Guidance

Do Hospital Executives Use Their IT Vendors as Scapegoats?

New to me local tech blog, JQuery and related technology

Crashing the congressional server

Constituent e-mails to House clog system
Overwhelming interest in the debate over healthcare legislation has clogged the House system that allows constituents to send e-mails to their members directly through the House website and lawmaker Web pages.

Congressional staff can easily discern the difference between individual citizens using the web contact form and advocacy groups using bulk email. The weekly mail reports indicate not just the number of contacts on a given issue pro and con, but also the number of individual citizens versus bulk email. If you want your communication to make a difference, use the member's web contact form. Advocacy groups use bulk delivery systems to monitor how many contacts they mobilized, but it is not useful from the point of view of influencing a member.

Just one more way that selling to the gov't is different

Government wants contractors to register soon at stimulus-tracking site

Contractors, state agencies and other recipients of $25,000 or more in federal funds under the economic stimulus law are being urged to register on the new Web site beginning Aug. 17.

The government created to collect and channel information about disbursement of the $787 billion in economic stimulus law funding. It links to, which posts data and maps about the stimulus spending for the public. recently added new interactive mapping features.

From the point of view of voters and taxpayer this is a great idea; but for contractors it is just one more thing.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Asymmetrical web contact forms

It used to be that a prospect’s first impression of your company would be your phone system. Nowadays it is more likely to be your web site, so it is critical to make a good impression. Your home page should download swiftly, have an intuitive navigation interface, contain large font with good print contrast ratio, and have plenty of white space. It other words, it should be easy on the eyes.

Even if you have addressed all the basics, an easy to understand web site with all the relevant information organized in a intuitive fashion, the effect of all this can be spoiled by a poorly designed web contact form.

One of the problems with online communications is the delayed feedback. When you are talking face to face you have all sorts of visual cues that tell you how the other person is reacting. Even on the phone you have tone of voice that communicates so much. Online you only have text, which loses so much context. Online forms are a critical part of the sales process, and so it is crucial to put yourself in your prospect’s place and see things from their point of view.

An online form that demands detailed information while providing none in return is very irritating. It is so much easier to contact John Smith in sales as opposed to merely SALES, a name is a great confidence builder. Of course it is easier to route a lead if you know the person’s name, title, company, address, phone, fax, and email. On the other hand it is slightly invasive to be asked to provide all that by a company that will not so much as provide the name of the recipient of the form. You can’t see all the prospects who glance at the form and decide it isn’t worth filling it out without knowing who they are sending it to. It is so much more friendly, more low key, more trust inspiring, to give the names of the contacts and ask only for names and email addresses in return. Don’t expect prospects to give you more information than you give to them.