爱上海,上海龙凤419,上海419论坛 – Powered by Coral Miller!

Category Archives: keubivoj

Oklahoma sees rise in COVID cases following reopening

Posted on by

first_imgKOCO/ABC News(TULSA, Oklahoma) — BY: IVAN PEREIRAAs President Trump prepares to hold his first major election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend, health experts have issued strong warnings about the coronavirus risks posed to attendees as all of Oklahoma sees a rise in cases.Gov. Kevin Stitt rolled back the state’s coronavirus precautions for businesses on May 1, when the state’s health department said there were 3,748 total cases. As of June 18, there were 8,908 confirmed cases throughout Oklahoma, according to the health department. Over the last seven weeks, the number of new cases reported daily has been on the rise, according to state health data. During the first week of May, the seven-day average of new daily cases was around 96.6 but by June 17, that average jumped to 203.4, according to the health department.The state did increase its testing capability and those results show some progress concerning Oklahoma’s positivity rate, the health department data showed. By the end of the first week of May, the state tested 89,857 people and had a positivity rate of about 5.3%, according to the health department. Last week, the state tested 248,091 people and had a positivity rate of approximately 3.7%, the health department said.The biggest number of cases are in the state’s two largest cities: Oklahoma City and Tulsa, according to health data. Oklahoma City had 1,391 cases while Tulsa had 1,288 cases as of June 18, according to the state’s health department.On Wednesday, Tulsa Health Department director Dr. Bruce Dart reported that 96 Tulsa County residents tested positive for the coronavirus, which set a new daily record for the city. He warned that large gatherings, like the one scheduled for Saturday by the president, could make the outbreak worse for residents.“So many people are over COVID, but COVID is not over,” he said at a news conference.Dart urged the president to reconsider his rally.“So if we could push it back to when the data tells us it’s safer, that is my recommendation. That is what I personally would like to see happen,” he said.Tulsa Mayor G. T. Bynum also expressed concern about the rally and said he was not attending. However, he said he would not block it.Bynum stressed that the increase in cases was likely due to people relaxing their precautions. He urged residents to wear face coverings to prevent the spread.“Don’t be surprised when you see your numbers increase,” he said at a news conference. “This is about what we do in our daily lives every day.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Do employment tribunal fees lead to more contentious claims?

Posted on by

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. One Response to Do employment tribunal fees lead to more contentious claims? Do employment tribunal fees lead to more contentious claims?By Orla Bingham on 14 Nov 2014 in Vexatious claims, Employment law, Personnel Today, Employment tribunals This article is such rubbish that I really don’t know where to start. In fact, I can’t be bothered. Utter garbage. Previous Article Next Article View all posts by Orla Bingham → Tribunal fees were meant to spell the death knell for vexatious employment claims by ensuring that only claims with serious merit would go before tribunal. But evidence is mounting that fees may, in fact, be encouraging more contentious employment disputes, argues Orla Bingham, a solicitor at law firm Nockolds.It is often the case that when the state intervenes in a specific market a distortion can arise. We are now seeing evidence that the introduction of fees for employment claims is having the unintended consequence of leading to more contentious disputes.XpertHR resourcesWebinar: early conciliation and tribunal feesQuick reference: employment tribunal feesHow to get the most out of early conciliationHow to use a settlement agreement to resolve an employment issueIt has been widely publicised that the number of claims received by the tribunals is falling. This decline precedes the introduction of fees, and has been the pattern for a large number of years. It has been argued that, given the long term downward trajectory in the number of claims, the system was functioning reasonably well and that government intervention – at least in the form of fees – was not needed. Whatever the truth of that statement, claims have been falling, and have halved again over the past year following the introduction of fees in July 2013.Data shows that tribunal fees led to more contentious claimsData obtained from Acas paints a different picture. Over the past year – neatly coinciding with the introduction of fees – there has been a sharp rise in the proportion of employment claims referred to Acas that are progressing to a full hearing – 25.7% of cases in 2013/14 (14,930) referred by the tribunals to Acas were ultimately heard, a significant increase on the 20.4% heard in 2012/13 (13677). So, despite the falling absolute number of claims, the number progressing to a hearing has risen from 13,677 to 14,930, a significant jump of 9.2% over the past year.If we agree that hearings are more burdensome than claims per se, then in many cases it is clear that the “burden” of the tribunal system has increased. Further, there is every reason to believe that the fees themselves may be to blame for this trend.Why is the burden of tribunals increasing?The reason for this is that once claimants have paid their fees (the point at which a claim is submitted, and again when the hearing date is confirmed) they are non-refundable, which gives claimants little incentive not to pursue the dispute to a hearing. This is particularly true if the settlement being offered is of low value and they feel that they might win more in tribunal. Once a claimant has handed over what, to many, will be a considerable sum of money (up to £1,200 for most claims), many settlements in the low few thousands will appear only marginally tempting.It could also be argued that the introduction of fees has weeded out a certain proportion of vexatious claims and that those being brought are much higher quality. There may be some truth in this, but we cannot escape the fact that the absolute number of hearings is up by more than 9%. Even if claims were of a better quality, surely employers would be more likely to settle early, thereby avoiding a costly hearing?There is an argument to be made that fees should be refunded if a claim is settled and does not progress to a hearing. This would dissuade claimants from pursuing claims all the way to a hearing in the hope of securing a better outcome. It would be interesting to know what the justification is – if any – for the tribunal retaining fees when a hearing has not taken place, particularly when the avowed reason for introducing fees was that claimants should meet the costs of the tribunal system.How HR can avoid problems caused by tribunal fees?For HR professionals, the increased likelihood of a hearing has several practical implications. Consideration needs to be given as to whether any low settlement (ie under a few thousand pounds) will be sufficient to dissuade a claimant from taking the claim to a full hearing. Certainly, fees should be factored in and separated out in any settlement award, so that claimants can see that they are getting a settlement plus fees on top. This may mean that at the lower end the median cost of a settlement rises as fees are factored in.HR professionals may need to give greater consideration to offering settlement agreements at the point the employment relationship ends, to avoid heftier pay-outs at a later stage and the administrative and financial burden of defending a tribunal claim to a final hearing.Employers may also need to engage sensibly in the Acas early conciliation process, a compulsory mediation hurdle employees have to clear before a claim can even be submitted. Introduced in May 2014, its design was to facilitate more early settlements between parties, although employees and employers are not obliged to negotiate in a reasonable fashion.If a sensible offer is put forward at this early stage, however, a potential claimant is more likely to accept a smaller settlement sum before having to pay tribunal fees, and to avoid having to do so in the future. Richard Dunstan 14 Nov 2014 at 4:07 pm # About Orla Bingham Orla Bingham is an Employment Solicitor at Payne Hicks Beach last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire play to 1-1 tie

Posted on by

first_img Tags: Chicago Fire/MLS/Real Salt Lake FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailBRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Albert Rusnak scored on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute to help Real Salt Lake tie the Chicago Fire 1-1 on Saturday night.The free kick was set up when Mohammed Adams was called for a hand ball in the penalty area. Rusnak has six goals this season.Chicago struck early when Aleksandar Katai scored in the fifth minute on a free kick. Katai came up empty at the 82nd when he fired a solid shot from the right that was just wide.Chicago (4-6-7) extended its home unbeaten streak to seven. Real Salt Lake (6-8-2) has been outscored 8-1 in its last three games. June 22, 2019 /Sports News – Local Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire play to 1-1 tie Written by Associated Presslast_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

South Korea cleared to buy six P-8As under $2.1b contract

Posted on by

first_img View post tag: MPA The US State Department has approved the potential sale of six P-8A patrol aircraft to the Republic of Korea under an estimated $2.1 billion contract.South Korea’s decision to pick Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon as its new maritime patrol aircraft was made known in June this year. The P-8A would replace the fleet of P-3C Orion MPAs which entered service in the 1990s.In addition to the six aircraft, the $2.1b figure includes multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio systems for each aircraft and tactical operations centers (TOC).Also included are GPS/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs), AN/AAR-54 missile warning sensors, commercial engines, tactical open mission software (TOMS), electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IO) MX-20HD, the AN/AAQ-2(V)1 acoustic system, AN/APY-10 radar, ALQ-240 electronic support measures, AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing system, in addition to support equipment and training and operations assistance.Should the deal be finalized, the Republic of Korea will become the seventh nation to operate the Boeing-built P-8A Poseidon, joining the US, Australia, the UK, Norway and India. New Zealand is the most recent P-8A customer, having announced a NZD2.346 billion contract for the acquisition of four aircraft in July this year.Boeing’s aircraft was selected over those proposed by Airbus and Saab who had also shown interest in the South Korean MPA contract.The P-8A is a derivative of a modified Boeing 737-800ERX airliner, featuring a high-bypass turbo fan jet engine with a fully connected, open architecture mission system. The armament of the Poseidon consists of five internal and six external stations for AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER, AGM-84 Harpoon, Mark 54 torpedo, and a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon system among others.Development of the P-8A program was started in June 2004 when the US Navy selected the Boeing multimission maritime aircraft, 737 MMA, as the best successor to the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft View post tag: ROK Navy View post tag: Poseidon P-8Acenter_img Photo: US Navy file photo of a P-8A Poseidon MPA Share this articlelast_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Protests and arrests over climate change

Posted on by

first_imgMae Penner, Chair of OUSU Environment & Ethics Campaign commented on the benefits of the protest. “I think the protest reveals a genuine concern for the environment and the direction of current government policy. Holding energy-users hostage by attempting to cut off their power supply raises questions of fairness, but it could also be argued that npower are holding people hostage by continuing a programme of heavily emitting coal-fired power stations.”Thames Valley Police had already arrested 11 protestors who chained themselves to coal conveyors on Tuesday evening. Based on suspicion of aggravated trespass, the eleven arrests, of six men and five women, took place in the coal conveyor building.Another Oxford student said, “The protest was organised by a group of ordinary people who happened to meet at the summer’s ‘Camp for Climate Action’ and upon hearing about the horrific effects of climate change, particularly that of burning coal decided to take action. So they got on their bikes and shut down a power station.”He added, “I absolutely support this protest, Didcot emits 20,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is the same amount as the 34 least emitting countries in the world.”Students and residents alike were also given a taste of climate change activism in central Oxford last weekend as environmental campaigners converged on Bonn Square on Saturday 24th October to mark 350.org’s International Day of Climate Action.Around 170 people participated in the 350.org demonstration in Bonn Square. OUSU President Stefan Baskerville and representatives from OUSU’s Environment & Ethics campaign, were also in attendance.Mae Penner was one of the key figures in the demonstration and she highlighted its importance, “As the climate talks in Copenhagen draw near, it is more vital than ever that we, as citizens, go out and show our political leaders that we support an ambitious, fair and binding international deal to combat climate change.”“It is estimated that climate change currently causes 300,000 deaths a year (99% of which are in developing countries), with this number set to rise rapidly. It was therefore very heartening to see so many people come together on Saturday, crossing the town-gown divide in a demonstration of international solidarity to demand positive political progress.”350.org, founded in 2007, is an international organisation that aims to cut global Carbon Dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. The name derives from research that shows that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have exceeded a critical level of 350 parts per million. Saturday’s demonstration was part of a worldwide day of climate actions in support of the organisation.Daniel Lowe, OUSU Environment and Ethics Officer said, “It was great to see Oxford residents and Oxford students coming together to respond as a community to the great threat of our time.”Saturday saw an estimated 5200 events in 181 countries where people came together to raise awareness of the organisation and promote environmental causes. Climate change has been top of the agenda in Oxford this week, with two students arrested following a protest at an Oxfordshire power station, and town and gown joining together in a demonstration to raise the awareness of climate change.The Thames Valley Police Press Office has revealed that nine people, including two Oxford students, were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass at Didcot Power Station, Oxfordshire, on Wednesday morning at 4.30am.The protesters, four women and five men, spent 3 nights in tents they pitched on top of an emissions chimney on Monday. They had planned to stay up the chimney for a week leaving the power station operators unable to restart the boilers, but came down when they realised they would be unable to shut down the facility as planned.One of the students, Lucie Minchin, of Pembroke College, said, “On Monday at about 4 in the morning over twenty of us cycled to Didcot Power Station.”She explained “We were prepared to be there for as long as it took, but our plans to go inside the flues were not going to work.” Minchin added that while her fellow protesters have been bailed away from Oxfordshire, she has been allowed to stay “because they can’t bail me away from my own house.”Another protester commented, “I never thought in my life I would do anything like this. It’s amazing how working with committed people can empower you to confront these massive companies and help force real change in the world.”The spokesperson for RWE npower said, “We are relieved that they have come down safely. We are grateful for the support of the police in ensuring that this incident came to a peaceful and safe conclusion and will cooperate with and support the police in any actions that they feel appropriate. The station continues to operate normally.”The spokesperson added that three of the power station’s four units had been converted to burn natural gas as an alternative to coal, “These 3 units were already using gas before protesters arrived on site. Didcot is unique in its ability to burn both coal and gas, to reflect market needs.”“We recognise the challenge of climate change and operate a diverse mix of power stations. That mix will change going forward as we move towards a low carbon economy.”last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Chch censors veto naked calendar pictures

Posted on by

first_imgChrist Church’s naked charity calendar had to be hastily re-shot this week after the college censors deemed some photographs inappropriate.The verdict on the calendar was delivered a few days before it was due to go to print, meaning three photos had to be retaken.The calendar had been sent to the censors for approval a week before it was due to go to print and at an arranged meeting it was decided that certain photographs were inappropriate.Organisers were told squashed bottoms were too erotic and the cover photo featuring a couple in Tom Quad had to be retaken with the pair standing up. The censors also told organisers that nudity should be a secondary feature in the photographs.One student involved in the project pointed out that not everybody in the original photographs was able to make the retakes, meaning the calendar now has “a lot fewer people.” The student also commented that it was a shame as “people gave up their personal time” to the project and perhaps as a result of “bad experiences wouldn’t want to buy it.”The student maintained this year’s photos were not “more explicit” than last year’s and that the censors had been “interfering”, especially considering organisers had “put thought into making it tasteful.”The censors are expected to protect the image of the college. One fourth year Christ Church student thought that they had gone too far this year commenting, “I am outraged by the college’s act of pure despotic censorship of what can only perceived to be a work of art.”Christ Church JCR President Evelyn Ashton-Griffiths remarked, “It was a shame that a couple of the photos were not approved, but the decision was taken to re-shoot these. All of the photos have been well received by the students at Christ Church, including the new ones. The outcome has been, I think, really positive despite the problems we faced.”The censors were invited to comment, but have yet to respond.Ashton-Griffiths added, “The naked calendar is supposed to be fun, and the decision to retake the photos as opposed to cause further tension seemed to be the best option therefore.”Another student involved in the project said the calendar is “still very good” and in fact “better than last year” despite these setbacks.This year’s naked calendar for RAG follows Christ Church’s successful calendar last year. Ashton-Griffiths says she hopes the calendar will be “just as successful this year” and that all the photographs are “witty, artistic and creative”.The calendar will go on sale in seventh week and proceeds will go towards charities GUA Africa and Breast Cancer Research.last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Ocean City Wakes Up to Erosion, Flooding and a Big Cleanup

Posted on by

first_imgOcean City awoke Sunday to icy rivers running down the bayside avenues as a third high tide flooded streets.A snowman stands guard over the flooded public pier at Second Street and the bay on Sunday.But with the sun out, the tide falling and a massive coastal storm long gone, owners began a cleanup and an assessment of flood damage on ground-level property.A winter storm that arrived late Friday night caused the worst flooding Ocean City has seen since Superstorm Sandy, and the surge continued through three tide cycles. But the worst turned out to be the first._________Sign up for free news updates from OCNJ Daily._________The tide gauge at the Bayside Center reached 8.04 feet at 7:20 a.m. Saturday, 7.7 feet at 8:18 p.m. Saturday and 7.34 feet at 8:18 a.m. Sunday. The three tides were the worst since Superstorm Sandy registered a record 10.02 feet in Ocean City.Flood waters still cover most bayside streets on Sunday morning.While a blizzard dumped deep snow on many inland areas, Ocean City dealt with flooding that covered most streets on the bay side of town throughout Saturday.Even on Sunday morning, long stretches of Haven and Simpson avenues remained underwater, along with parts of Bay and West avenues.Few people took advantage of a voluntary shelter set up at Ocean City High School as most rode out the storm at home. But as the flood waters recede, owners will begin to see what kind of damage is left behind.One of the city’s military surplus vehicles capable of driving through flood waters drives past the flooded intersection of 11th Street and Bay Avenue on Sunday morning.In a scene reminiscent of the October northeast gale that eroded dunes at Fifth and Sixth streets, the ocean on Sunday morning ate into the dunes again. A massive Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project to restore dunes and beaches along that stretch was just completed in December.But that stretch appeared to be the only place on the island where the ocean reached the dunes. Recent beach projects at the north and south ends will have lost sand, but they achieved their objective in protecting property.The Army Corps is scheduled to return to the south end for a touch-up project later this winter.Surfers check out the fortunes of a few brave souls who were the first to venture out into double-overhead surf on Sunday morning.The 59th Street jetty makes a reappearance after the weekend storm. It had been mostly buried by a recent beach replenishment project. The storm knocked down sand fence and ate into the dunes at Fifth Street.last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Press release: Minister Field to visit Paris for talks with the OECD

Posted on by

first_img Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn I look forward to productive meetings in Paris, including with Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, to explore how their work can support UK priorities in the Asia region. The UK is already a strong supporters of the OECD’s South East Asia Regional Programme and my visit will be an opportunity to strengthen our work further. I am also looking forward to discussing important issues across the Asia region with my French counterparts. There is increasing convergence with our French colleagues on many of these issues and we deeply value the work we do together. FCO Minister Mark Field will meet Angel Gurria, Secretary General of OECD on Monday (5 March) for discussions on their work on the Asia region.Mr Field will also meet representatives today (2 March) from the French Government for talks on UK-French cooperation on the current challenges in the Asia region, including Burma and North Korea, and will attend a meeting at the British Embassy with Ambassadors and representatives from ASEAN countries. Minister Field will also discuss international energy priorities with International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol.Speaking ahead of the visit to Paris, Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said; Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook For journalists Follow Foreign Office Minister Mark Field @MarkFieldUK Media enquiries Further information Email [email protected]last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

News story: Defence Minister sees Stockport firm finishing multi-million-pound military bridge order for Australian Army

Posted on by

first_img As the leading tactical military bridge maker globally, WFEL continues to work to provide solutions for customers like the Australian Defence Force. Our long-standing relationship with the ADF first began over 30 years ago, when they chose our Medium Girder Bridges. We have been delighted to continue to support them again today, not only with the supply of further MGBs but also with a significant capability enhancement with the latest mechanised Dry Support Bridges. The adoption of the DSB not only provides the ADF’s Manoeuvre Commanders with the ability to cross significant wet or dry gaps quickly and efficiently, it allows a level of inter-operability with an ever-growing user base. We have worked collaboratively with the Commonwealth’s Managing Contractor to reduce risk for this contract and are pleased to be providing an off-the-shelf solution to the ADF’s wide-gap tactical bridging requirements. The Australian deal was made up of two contracts, following an internationally competed tender. As a result, WFEL supplied its leading Medium Girder Bridges (MGBs) and Dry Support Bridges (DSBs) to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This has resulted in a huge boost for the 132 organisations who have benefited from contributing the WFEL supply chain.The UK enjoys a very close bilateral relationship with Australia, which has strengthened over recent years, with the introduction of annual conferences and close co-operation on many international issues – including a shared commitment to fighting extremism on coalition operations, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq.Australia also recently decided to choose BAE Systems to build nine British-designed Type 26 warships. The deal, which could be worth up to £20 billion, has been hailed as the biggest Naval ship deal for a decade. It is not only another clear example of Britain’s world-leading defence industry, but has been described by the Defence Secretary as ‘the dawn of a new era in the relationship between Australia and Great Britain, forging new ties in defence and industry in a major boost as we leave the European Union’. Defence Minister sees Stockport firm finishing multi-million-pound military bridge order for Australian Army. Crown copyright.Work continues at WFEL following the completion of this Australian order as the company has now turned its focus to new orders for the US Army, building upon the 116 military bridges that the company has already built for US forces.Whilst 90% of its Stockport production is exported overseas, WFEL’s contribution to UK defence can be traced back as far as 1915. The company has been designing and producing bridges for the UK military since the 1970s, and the relationship remains to this day – the British Army has over 50 sets in service. They have been proven in the field in the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan.There are also potential UK opportunities in the pipeline for WFEL, with the company currently bidding to update and replace some of the MOD’s military bridging systems. It could become part of the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme’s supply chain, which would support the current 227-strong local workforce.The opportunities could mean a further boost to investment in the North-West, which already benefits from £2 billion of defence spending – supporting over 12,000 industry jobs in the region.Ian Anderton, Chief Executive of WFEL, said: Through WFEL, Stockport is leading the world in military bridges which help troops defeat our enemies and provide essential aid to people in disaster zones. Not only does WFEL bring hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds of investment to the UK, but it enables relations with some of our closest allies to flourish. As they finish an order for Australia, kick one off for America and look towards more opportunities to build British bridges, they are a model for how companies across the country can thrive on the global stage and play a key role in the defence of our nation. Defence Minister sees Stockport firm finishing multi-million-pound military bridge order for Australian Army. Crown copyright.The Minister was also accompanied by the Head of Australian Defence Staff London, Air Commodore Brian Edwards.Head of Australian Defence Staff London, Air Commodore Brian Edwards said: The Australian-UK bilateral defence relationship has been forged over many years and is incredibly strong and enduring. In recent times, we have seen an increased emphasis in opportunities for collaboration from a defence industry standpoint. This project introduces into service the latest addition to the Australian Army’s suite of combat bridging. It will ensure that the Australian Defence Force has an enhanced gap crossing capability which will enable land forces, both mounted and dismounted, to cross wet and dry gaps in support of operations. Defence Minister Stuart Andrew’s visit to WFEL in Stockport signified the completion of the final Dry Support Bridge which is part of a £53-million contract with the Australian Army.The Defence Minister described the firm, which has benefited from £600-million worth of export orders, as ‘a model for how companies across the country can thrive on the global stage’. He witnessed a 90-minute demo build of a 46-metre bridge from the firm, who are renowned world leaders in the field. He visited with the Head of Australian Defence Staff London, Air Commodore Brian Edwards.Defence Minister Stuart Andrew today visited a Stockport company which is world-renowned in building tactical military bridges. While there, he marked the completion of a multi-million-pound deal to supply the Australian Army with the vital logistics equipment.The £53-million deal with Australia is part of £600-million worth of export orders that WFEL has amassed over the past decade. The Defence Minister described the firm as ‘a model for how companies across the country can thrive on the global stage’ at a time when defence exports have surged by over 50% to £9-billion.The workers also demonstrated their world-class reputation by constructing a 46-metre Dry Support Combat Bridge in just 90 minutes whilst the Minister toured the factory.The bridges will be used in combat situations providing rapidly-deployable temporary infrastructure ensuring vital equipment and soldiers can navigate their way through the most challenging terrain. The military bridges can also be used in times of crisis during natural disasters maintaining essential lifelines to those who need it the most.Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Using medical technology wisely

Posted on by

first_imgThe infrastructure is now in place to use new informational technologies in the American health care system effectively. But a former White House official tasked with improving health care technologies said the challenge is to ensure that innovations do not deepen existing disparities in health care, and instead provide care more effectively across communities.David Blumenthal, who until last month was national coordinator for health information technology, outlined the potential and the pitfalls of additions such as electronic health records as part of the Reede Scholars’ Second Annual Health Equity Symposium on May 12.His was “not a program about technology, although health technology is in the title; this is a program about health care,” said Blumenthal, the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, during the program on “eEquity: Leveraging Technology to Achieve Health Equity.”“It operates under the assumption that information is the lifeblood of medicine and that we are only as powerful as the information we have, whether we are a nurse practitioner, a physician, or a respiratory therapist.”Still, “there is the enduring observation that new technologies do not disseminate evenly in our society,” Blumenthal said. From imaging devices to new asthma treatment, such innovations reach some vulnerable populations later than others. Yet Blumenthal emphasized the progress made. A significant market in producing health information technology programs has emerged, sparked by a new incentive program, he said.This has “created a market where there hadn’t been a market before for the use of health information technology,” Blumenthal said.In early spring, 260 providers, mostly under Medicaid provisions, have received $84 million in “meaningful use payments,” Blumenthal said. About 67,000 registered providers, mostly primary care doctors in small practices, will receive help from 62 new technical centers. “That’s a substantial penetration,” he said.About 7,000 students have been enrolled in 84 community college programs to receive training that will support new medical information technology, he added, saying, “There is increasing coordination between this high tech agenda and the health reform agenda.”Even with the explosion of new products, Blumenthal warned that minority groups may be slower in reaping the benefits of such innovations as electronic medical records.“We can make these efforts through central governmental intervention, but the best long-range solution … is to level the playing field in the health care system as a whole,” he said. “What we need is more of the kind of leadership that brought us health reform.”During a question-and-answer period, Blumenthal made a key observation: “What you have to realize is that everyone you run into who has been paying taxes, has put $100 toward the adoption of electronic health records. Every man, woman, and child in the U.S. is paying $100 for this to happen.“I think that’s a pretty good deal for providers. I think this is a unique investment and an amazing commitment that is really up now to providers to deliver.”The symposium, which was moderated by Lenny Lopez, an internist trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, featured remarks by Joseph R. Betancourt, director of the Disparities Solutions Center. There were presentations by Quyen Ngo-Metzger, data branch chief in the Bureau of Primary Health Care at Health Resources and Services Administration; by oral surgeon Elsbeth Kalenderian on improving links between medical and dental practices; and by John Moore, a Ph.D. candidate in the New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Lab, on possible new devices.Moore wowed the audience with a peek at emerging technology aimed at educating and empowering patients by, for example, letting them see and manipulate visual data on the effect of medication in their bloodstream, or by a stethoscope that would let doctors and patients hear heartbeats. The goal — something underscored by questions from the audience — was to replace the scenario of a doctor staring at a computer screen to one in which physician and patient look at data together to develop medical regimens.last_img read more

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , .