Saturday, February 7, 2009

News Digest Feb. 7

CHI 2009 Will Showcase Technologies That Bring Digital Life to Reality

ACM (02/06/09)

CHI 2009, sponsored by ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, will showcase technologies, designs, and ideas that bring digital life to reality.  The conference will offer a diverse program that includes a video showcase, job fair, and design vignette demos, as well as world-renowned experts on innovation in computer user design.  Research highlights to be presented at the conference include designing digital games for rural children in India; effects of personal photos and presentation intervals on perceptions of recommender systems; a tool that increases Wikipedia credibility; home computer power management strategies; privacy concerns in everyday Wi-Fi use; and improving users gaming experience.  University of California, Irvine professor Judith Olsen, a pioneer in human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work, will open the conference, and Kees Overbeeke of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, a psychologist who works with designers, will close the event with a presentation on "Dreaming of the Impossible."  February 15 is the early registration deadline for CHI 2009, which takes place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, on April 4-9.   For more information and to register, click on


Hospitals With Better IT Have Fewer Deaths, Study Shows

Computerworld (01/30/09) Mearian, Lucas

Patients have better outcomes in hospitals that make greater use of technology, concludes a collaborative study involving multiple universities and healthcare systems.  The study, which involved more than 167,000 patients in 41 hospitals, measured the amount of medical care automation with a Clinical Information Technology Assessment Tool, a survey-based metric that analyzes automation and the ease of use of a hospital's information system.  Study author Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, associate chief of medicine at Parkland Health & Hospital System and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, says "hospitals with automated notes and records, order entry, and clinical decision support had fewer complications, lower mortality rates, and lower costs."  By comparing in-patient death rates, medical complications, length of stay, and costs, the study found that hospitals with the most automation saved up to $1,729 per patient for various procedures.  The study explored four common medical conditions--heart attacks, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass grafting, and pneumonia--and how technology could be used to automate part of the treatment process.  The survey measured the automation of four procedures and asked doctors to describe the systems' effectiveness and ease-of-use on a 100-point scale.  A 10-point increase in the automation of medical notes and patient records was associated with a 15 percent decrease in patient deaths, and better automation order-entry systems were associated with a 9 percent decrease in the risk of heart attack and a 55 percent decrease in the need for coronary artery bypass grafts.

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