Saturday, October 24, 2015
Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -24th October, 2015.
Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.
OCT 16, 2015 7:53am ET
The crush of Big Data in healthcare is creating information overload challenges that can only be solved by the cognitive computing capabilities of IBM’s Watson supercomputer, one of the company's executives contends.
By quickly identifying patterns and insights from the tsunami of data, Watson is designed to find the proverbial needle in a haystack that will lead to medical breakthroughs and better patient care.
So says Mike Svinte, vice president of global client engagement for IBM Watson Health, a business unit launched in April to help physicians, researchers, insurers and patients leverage big data, analytics and mobile technology to achieve better outcomes.
“Each one of us in this room will generate the equivalent of 300 million books of data—the challenge is how do we take advantage of that data,” said Svinte on Thursday during a keynote session at the MedTech 2015 conference in Buffalo, N.Y. “A vast amount of untapped data could have a great impact on our health yet it exists outside medical systems.”
Posted on Oct 16, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
To say the final rule on Stage 2 of meaningful use and, the accompanying Stage 3 requirements work for CIOs who have to help implement them at their hospitals and health systems, would be a stretch.
Two separate sessions at the CHIME15 Annual Forum on Thursday indicated there remained ambiguity, anticipated difficulties and a short window for attesting to having met the measures.
Liz Johnson, RN, CIO of acute care hospitals and applied clinical informatics at Tenet Healthcare, and Pam McNutt, senior vice president and CIO at Methodist Health System teamed up Thursday morning to highlight some of the potential pitfalls to avoid.
"You guys really care about meaningful use to be here at 7 a.m.," Johnson remarked. "We feel your pain, and we'll try to share with you our insights."
October 15, 2015
The global healthcare IT market is set for rapid growth in the near future, according to a new report by Grand View Research.
Here are seven key trends:
1. The market is expected to reach value of $104.5 billion by 2020.
2. Increasing demand for enhanced healthcare facilities and introduction of technologically advanced systems are expected to boost market growth.
3. Electronic health records are expected to reach up to $26.72 billion in 2020.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Big Data has been defined as the oil of the 21st century. Just as crude oil must be refined into gasoline to power our cars, the large, complex data sets big data comprise aren't much use until they're honed into actionable insights. Data science deploys a range of tools --- from crowdsourcing to visualization -- to capitalize on the promise of big data.
Until recently, the U.S. health care system has been less than immersed in the big data revolution. What drives most providers are issues of compliance or the avoidance of financial penalties, such as those associated with readmission.
But the landscape is changing. Instead of looking at a population of diabetics and asking retrospective questions, such as "What percentage required hospitalization? For how long?," big data can help answer specific questions around a given population, diagnosis or risk factor. This intelligence is the fuel that providers need to produce the most effective, personalized intervention.
OCT 15, 2015 7:55am ET
With much fanfare, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in April sent a report to Congress on the problem of electronic health information blocking.
Now, the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association is taking ONC to task for its definition of information blocking.
“We believe that information blocking definitely needs to be addressed where it occurs if it’s intentional and unreasonable, based on the current ONC definition,” says Sarah Corley, M.D., EHRA vice chair and chief medical officer for NextGen Healthcare. “Where we need clarity is more examples of what is information blocking, because the devil is in the details.”
Posted on Oct 15, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
We've heard often lately that for population health to truly live up to its promise, behavioral health data will need to be much better integrated into the care process. But in their current state, at least, EHRs still might not be the best tools to help.
A recent study led by University of Colorado researchers and published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine suggests that integration of behavioral health and primary care is still somewhat problematic thanks to EHR limitations.
"Almost half the U.S. population will meet the criteria for a mental health disorder during their lifetime," researchers write in the report, Electronic Health Record Challenges, Workarounds, and Solutions Observed in Practices Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care. "However, less than two thirds of these individuals will receive treatment. The prevalence and need for treatment of behavioral health disorders, which affect a broad percentage of the population, makes the case for integrated care."
12 October 2015
The NHS e-Referral Service is not producing any reports for users nearly four months after go-live.
Users of the electronic booking service were told that reports would not initially be available for the go-live of the new service in June of this year, but that they would be up and running in August.
However, the Health and Social Care Information Centre says it has been focusing on ensuring the service is running effectively and is, “now progressing towards making reports and extracts available”.
The information centre could not provide a date for the reporting function to start working again, but said it will, “provide an update on timings in the near future”.
14 October 2015
GPs could be investigated for failing to share patient data when there is a duty to do so, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Speaking at the recent Healthcare Efficiency Through Technology event in London, Dawn Monaghan, group manager for public services at the ICO, said that any GP who steadfastly refuses to share data with other health and care professionals at the point of care could be in breach of the Data Protection Act.
“What we would do actually is hold GPs to account if they were absolutely, categorically not sharing any data whatsoever when there should be times they are sharing,” she said.
“If that is the case, that might be considered unfair and a breach of principle one [of the Data Protection Act] depending on the circumstance. If that was brought to us as a complaint we would look at it.”
14 October 2015
A project to implement a new IT system at Scotland’s NHS 24 is now £41.6 million over budget and more than two years behind schedule, according to a report by the Auditor General for Scotland.
The cost of upgrading NHS 24’s core telephone and online technology as part of a 'Future Programme' is now estimated at £117.4 million, more than 55% higher than the original estimate of £75.8 million.
The inflated cost is primarily due to delays in implementing the new system at NHS 24, which provides online and telephone-based health information and advice to the public in Scotland.
The new technologies were meant to be rolled out in June 2013, but a series of failures has meant implementation has been pushed back until the end of this month.
October 15, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Health startup Theranos Inc. has made a name for itself in the industry by offering lab tests that require just a few drops of blood, but four former employees have claimed that this highly touted technology is used for just a small portion of the company's tests, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the former employees of the California-based company, who remain unnamed, the technology was used for only 15 out of more than 240 types of tests in 2014.
Further, the four were unsure of the accuracy of the Edison machine, which is used to test the blood samples, they told WSJ. In particular, one employee complaint to regulators alleged that Theranos failed to disclose the results of a report that cast doubt on the accuracy of its system.
Posted on Oct 14, 2015
By Erin McCann, Managing Editor
When it comes to identity access management, most hospitals and healthcare providers are doing it all wrong.
At least that's according to a new report, conducted by security software provider IS Decisions, which found that despite HIPAA security rule which requires covered entities to implement technical policies around access management the lion's share of staff are struggling big time.
In fact, some 63 percent of them say they are able to log on to different devices and workstations at the same time. About half of them are required to log off manually, and about 30 percent do not have unique login credentials.
What's perhaps even more concerning is that a staggering 82 percent of healthcare staff say they have access to patient data, but just under a third of them actually don't have unique logins for the access.
OCT 14, 2015 7:49am ET
More than half of patients report that their medical history is missing or incomplete when they visit their doctor, and nearly half say their physician is not aware of what prescriptions they are taking.
Those are some of the results of a recent survey from health information network vendor Surescripts, which links providers to pharmacies. Other findings: 61 percent of those surveyed indicate their doctor does not know their allergies, 44 percent of physicians are unaware of hospitalizations or visits with other doctors, and 40 percent do not know about recent surgeries.
“This is a particular problem for patients with multiple illnesses and multiple physicians,” says Paul Uhrig, chief privacy officer for Surescripts. “What we’re talking about are fundamental gaps in doctors’ knowledge of people’s medical histories.”
October 14, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, in unveiling his plan to reform the current healthcare system, said the electronic health record incentive program needs a "reboot," during a speech delivered Tuesday in New Hampshire.
President Barack Obama, through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Meaningful Use program, had a "golden opportunity" to make medical recordkeeping more efficient, shareable and secure, according to the former Florida governor. Instead, he said, more complexity has been created.
"The simple fact is that the information technology funding through the stimulus was not focused on creating a shared platform from all of us to benefit," Bush said.
Oct 13, 2015
Less than optimal design of EHRs doesn’t just make them harder to use. It can make them dangerous.
So argues a recent paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which was developed in order to provide an "empirical rationale" for standardized patient safety-focused usability guidelines. In order to capture a broad range of user expectations, knowledge and outcomes concerning EHRs, researchers used five different methods of empirical human performance data collection, including online surveys, on-site observations, follow-up interviews with users, usability testing of five different EHRs and expert reviews of those same EHRs.
According to the paper, “human factors guidelines for standardization . . . are provided to improve the safety-related usability of EHRs” in three different risk areas:
1) Consistently displaying information critical to patient identification in a reserved area to avoid “wrong patient” errors;
2) Providing cues to reduce the risk of entering information and writing orders in the wrong patient’s chart; and
3) Supporting efficient and easy identification of inaccurate, outdated or inappropriate items in lists of grouped information by having information presented clearly and in a well-organized manner.
Posted on Oct 13, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Americans are increasing their use of technology to improve their health, navigate the health system and flex their shopping muscles, according to a new report from The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
The report, "Health Care Consumer Engagement: No One-Size-Fits-All Approach," found that 22 percent of respondents used technology to access, store and transmit health records in the last year, up from 13 percent in 2013. Use was higher for those with major chronic conditions: 32 percent compared to 19 percent in 2013.
The study also shows that 16 percent of respondents who needed care went online for cost information, up from 11 percent in 2013. Millennials in this group increased the most, 27 versus 17 percent. Further, 71 percent of all those surveyed said they have not gone online for cost information but are "very" or "somewhat" likely to use a pricing tool in the future.
October 13, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Health information exchanges hold the potential to improve clinical data sharing, yet many overlook an essential early step--understanding how clinicians use the information they're requesting.
A study published at BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making highlights how a user needs assessment can help doctors make better use of information from outside sources.
The researchers found that 13.7 percent of hospitalizations generate at least one request for outside information, which takes, on average, 18 hours to receive. This information was coming by fax, which then was scanned into the electronic medical record, but also could be available on paper.
October 9, 2015 | By David Ferguson
Hospitals can take five actions to fight the higher rate of complications, mortalities and readmissions for surgical patients who undergo emergency procedures on the weekend, also known as the "weekend effect," according to a Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago study.
A July report found that patients admitted on Saturday and Sundays throughout the developed world are more likely to die within 30 days than patients admitted on a weekday.
That study found that "(t)he chance of death was 8 percent higher in 11 hospitals in England, 13 percent greater in five hospitals in the United States and 20 percent more likely in six Dutch hospitals."
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
What are the most difficult health problems facing communities today? Many speakers at the 9th annual Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara last week pointed to the basics: safe streets, clean air and water, secure housing, nutritious food, companionship and access to primary care.
All affect health outcomes. And as providers increasingly are held accountable for the total health of their patients, new approaches, including "population heath management" technology, are playing a bigger role.
While many said technology can be helpful to improve lives, some remain skeptical that digital innovators are aligned with patient and provider needs.
In a keynote address at the conference, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that in his travels around the country he hears "a sense of disempowerment that is deeply disturbing to me." Technology has the potential to help create a culture of prevention by giving people the tools to help them regain that lost power over their lives, he said.
Posted on Oct 12, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
Bad EHR design can lead to data entry errors and risky workarounds that could jeopardize patient safety, according to a new document from NIST, which outlines ways to spot critical areas of risk and methods for improving user-centered design.
Aiming to provide an "empirical rationale" to drive standardized patient safety-focused usability guidelines, the NIST report takes aim at so-called "never events," working proactively to mitigate root causes of electronic health record use errors caused by suboptimal design and implementation.
"The ultimate goal is to drive and empower effective and safe human performance in the use of EHRs," officials write.
Researchers looked at five methods of human performance data collection, drawn from "different disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives." Multiple forms of data were gathered from these varying user types, enabing a more comprehensive look at the many ways EHRs are used.
October 12, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
In a call to action on the Institute of Medicine report "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care," authors of a new Health Affairs Blog post outline how its recommendations could have changed things when a patient with Ebola came into a Texas emergency department.
The authors--Dean Sittig, a professor in the School of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Texas, Health Sciences Center at Houston, and Hardeep Singh, chief of the health policy, quality and informatics program at the VA Health Services Research Center for Innovations--say that EHR design and competing demands, such as meeting quality measures, can make nurses more focused on flu shot status than on travel history. And vital information captured in nurses' templates often never makes it onto doctors' radar.
When Thomas Eric Duncan initially came into the Dallas ED, a triage nurse recorded his vital signs and travel history to West Africa using standard EHR-based nursing documentation templates. However, the ED physician did not see these notes. Duncan was prescribed antibiotics, told to take Tylenol and sent home. He later returned to the hospital and died of Ebola last October.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Saturday, October 24, 2015