Monthly Archives: January 2013

Archived Posts

January 29, 2013 by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices IBM Brain Chip: Computers Think; Act like Humans

IBM Brain chip Computers Think like humans

Systems built with these chips won’t be programmed the same way traditional computers are today, a IBM rep said in a press statement. Rather, cognitive computers are expected to learn through experiences, find correlations, create hypotheses, and remember – and learn from – the outcomes, mimicking the brains structural and synaptic plasticity.
IBM has been awarded $21 million dollars from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to fund the second phase of the initiative, the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) project.
If successful, SyNAPSE will develop computing systems that are able to make decisions based on collected data, something that is far out of reach for today’s computers. For example, the statement said, a cognitive computer could record and report metrics based on global water levels and issue a Tsunami warning based on its decision making.

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January 28, 2013 by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices Advances in Terrorism Analysis by Michael R Greenberg & L Anthony Cox Jr.

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Defending a country against terrorist threats raises new challenges and opportunities for
risk analysis, different from those that are familiar from risk analysis of natural disasters
and complex technological systems. Terrorists can be informed, deceived, deterred, or
distracted – options that are not available for managing the risks from hurricanes or
unreliable systems and workers.

This special issue of Risk Analysis: An International Journal examines recent progress in understanding, modeling, and managing the threats from terrorism, emphasizing some of the most useful and important papers on this subject published in the journal over the past five years. We hope to prepare similar special issues on other timely and important subjects, so please tell us of your ideas about how to use this special “virtual” issue format to maximize reader benefits.

January 26, 2013 by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices Provider Directory Solutions: Market Assessment and Opportunities Analysis

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free_186042 images for thegrcbluebook handshakeDeveloping, populating, and maintaining the “ideal” provider directory solution is a complex proposition, with many details to consider; however, it is important to take a step back and consider the business drivers and customer needs first. In doing so, let’s imagine we are a business conducting a careful market analysis—ultimately, we need to answer the following question. Is there is a real demand for a new kind of provider directory solution, such that we are willing to put capital at risk to develop it?
In HIE there has been a constant tension between the worthy goal of total data liquidity (making the right health data available to treating clinicians and public health experts, at the right place and time) and viable, long-term business models (coming up with services that deliver enough business value that customers are willing to pay for them). Policymakers need to be cautious of creating artificial demand in the near- to mid-term for services that may not be viable in the long-term. At the same time, a short-term financial “spark” may be just what certain technologies need to achieve scale and prove the value that will lead to sustainability.

by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices Master Data Management withing HIE Infrastructures: A Focus on Master Patient Indexing Approaches

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free_59647 images for thegrcbluebook working on laptopHaving the right patient data, at the right place, at the right time is the goal of health information exchange (HIE). This starts with accurately capturing and coordinating a patient’s identity across multiple disparate organizations. If the information presented at the point of care is matched with the wrong patient, it is not only unusable, it is also dangerous for the patient. Delivering the right patient information is crucial to realizing the benefits of HIE. In the absence of a unique national identification number or some other unified way of identifying people and organizations, master data management (MDM), much science, and a bit of art, makes this important work possible.


MDM and master patient indexing (MPI) have developed over the last twenty years to offer organizations from banks to large retailers to health organizations a more consistent understanding of their customers’ identities and activities across diffuse networks and disparate systems. MDM solutions, which are integrated with other mission-critical systems, typically utilize two approaches to link peoples’ identities across multiple silos of data. Deterministic matching approaches attempt to line up different pieces of demographic information, such as last names or Social Security numbers, across source systems to look for exact matches. Probabilistic matching approaches, which are more sophisticated, attempt to deal in a more nuanced way with the inevitably error-filled, unstable nature of identifying information in source systems. Hybrid approaches may also be used.

by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices HIE Driven Subscription and Notification Services: Market Assessment and Policy Considerations

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free_204285 images for thegrcbluebook woman poses with hands crossedAs infrastructures to enable varying types of health information exchange activity are increasingly deployed by hospitals, health systems, and regional/statewide exchange organizations, new opportunities to support powerful notification solutions become possible. Within this briefing, notifications (or alerts) will be defined loosely as messages that are pushed to interested parties within the confines of existing laws and regulations.

The technical methods and standards to push those messages, the processes to define who should receive them or who can “subscribe” to them, the content of the messages, and the rights of the patient who is the subject of the message will be discussed below. Each of these issues adds independent layers of technical, legal, policy, and workflow complexity; however, as with many topics related to health information exchange, there are solutions available. While these solutions may not be perfect, they are progressive and should be embraced. Many of them are deployed today in various HIE domains at varying levels of maturity and adoption.


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free_100241 iamges for thegrcbluebook business man on phoneThe ultimate goal of health information exchange (HIE) is to have the right patient information, in the right place, at the right time. There are a number of ways this can and is being accomplished today. An important but as yet not fully developed avenue of exchange is consumer mediated exchange. In a fragmented information environment, where silos of electronic data and paper records are the norm instead of an exception, many consumers have mediated the exchange of their or a loved one’s health information among providers out of necessity.

Traditionally, this has meant numerous, tedious phone calls to ensure that records are sent where they need to go or even shuttling paper records from one medical office to another. Even as electronic HIE becomes more prevalent, consumers will undoubtedly play an important role in managing their own and their family members’ health information. Some of this engagement will occur by choice—as technology empowers patients to access and better control how information is exchanged—and some out of necessity, as health information organizations (HIOs) will not always be able to supply the right data at the point of care in every situation.

January 24, 2013 by: James Bone Categories: Risk Events Risk & Regulation USA Events – North America’s Premier Risk and Regulation Summit

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January 22, 2013 by: James Bone Categories: Risk Events Society for Risk Analysis Events

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by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices Science, Values, and Risk by Howard Kunreuther and Paul Slovic

Howard Kunreuther

ABSTRACT: In the context of health, safety, and environmental decisions, the concept of risk involves value judgments that reflect much more than just the probability and consequences of the occurrence of an event. This article conceptualizes risk as a game, in which the rules must be socially negotiated within the context of a specific problem. This contextualist view of risk provides insight into why technical approaches to risk management often fail with problems such as those involving radiation and chemicals, where scientific experts and the public disagree on the nature of the risks. It also highlights the need for the interested parties to define and play the game, thus emphasizing the importance of institutional, procedural, and societal processes in risk management decisions. This contextualist approach is illustrated using the problem of siting hazardous waste facilities.

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by: James Bone Categories: Risk Practices Engineering Ethics Case Study: The Challenger Disaster by Mark Rossow, PhD retired

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crew of space shuttle challenger5

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger burst into flame shortly after liftoff. All passengers aboard the vehicle were killed. A presidential commission was formed to investigate the cause of the accident and found that the O-ring seals had failed, and, furthermore, that the seals had been recognized as a potential hazard for several years prior to the disaster. The commission’s report, Report to the President by the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, stated that because managers and engineers had known in advance of the O-ring danger, the accident was principally caused by a lack of communication between engineers and management and by poor management practices. This became the standard interpretation of the cause of the Challenger disaster and routinely appears in popular articles and books about engineering, management, and ethical issues.