Saturday, June 11, 2016

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 11th June, 2016.

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.

Finalists selected in CHIME patient ID challenge

Published June 02 2016, 3:51pm EDT
Two winning submissions have been selected from a “concept blitz round” as part of the effort to identify an approach that could serve as a national patient identification solution.
The two were among 113 submissions for the blitz round for the Healthcare Innovation Trust National Patient ID Challenge. A panel of five independent judges narrowed that field down to 23 semi-finalists, and from those, eight finalists were selected.
The challenge is being sponsored by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, a professional organization for healthcare IT executives based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

MD Anderson turns to analytics, big data to fight cancer, boost efficiencies

Published June 03 2016, 6:42am EDT
MD Anderson Cancer Center is sitting on 23 petabytes of data, including more than 2 billion diagnostic radiology images, generated by its massive IT infrastructure. But Chris Belmont, vice president and CIO, isn’t intimidated by the amount of data—he’s just scared of staring at it too long.
“Our biggest fear when we decided to move into Big Data was that, like many healthcare organizations, we’d have a two-year data ‘ingestion’ process where we’d keep thinking about that massive set of data, and connect all our systems big and small together, go get even more data from external sources, and then eventually offer our users an add-on tool and tell them to go at it,” Belmont says. “By the time we’d be done ingesting all that data, the time to change the game in terms of costs or population health would have already passed.”
MD Anderson, the Houston-based health system devoted to cancer care, isn’t the type of organization to let time slip by.

NIH's Kathy Hudson: Engaging patients in Precision Medicine Initiative will be 'super challenging'

June 3, 2016 | By Katie Dvorak
WASHINGTON--Engaging patients is a key opportunity for clinical research--especially for programs like the Precision Medicine Initiative--but it's also one of the biggest challenges, Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., deputy director for science, outreach and policy at the National Institutes of Health, said during the Office of the National Coordinator's annual meeting.
Hudson noted that in the United Kingdom, the country's biobank has data on half a million patients and asks a lot of participants in terms of the time required and their permission to transfer their health record--without providing any incentive.
"A deep spirit of altruism certainly exists, and I think exists [in the U.S.] as well, but what our key challenge is is making sure the people have the opportunity to participate in research," she said during a panel discussion at the event in the District of Columbia.

Download With Care: Fitness Apps May Not Be Science-based

June 02, 2016 6:01 PM
You might want to do a little research on that fitness app you just downloaded.
It might look snappy and authoritative, but it's possible there isn't a bit of science to back up any of the claims it makes about getting you slim and fit, and that could be dangerous.  Out of thousands of apps that promise to help you lose weight, only 17 were actually certified or developed by a health organization or university.
Clearly the world has a weight problem. The World Health Organization says 39 percent of us are overweight, and 13 percent are obese.

‘Patient Engagement Playbook,’ videos try to get out message of HIPAA rights

Jun 2, 2016 at 7:12 PM
At the beginning of the year, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a public guidance reminding the healthcare industry that HIPAA gives patients the right to access their own health records. Now, HHS, via the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is trying to make the guidance easier to implement.
Thursday, ONC and the HHS Office for Civil Rights — which enforces HIPAA — released three videos (below) and an infographic (above) informing consumers of their rights.
“The videos we released today highlight the basics for individuals to get access to their electronic health information and direct it where they wish, including to third-party applications,” ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage said in a statement.

Certified EHR technology now widely used at U.S. hospitals

Published June 01 2016, 6:44am EDT
Nearly all of the country’s hospitals have adopted certified electronic health records, according to new survey data released May 31 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
At least one IT professional organization commended the results of the survey, but noted that other data results suggest that the industry has a ways to go in improving its ability to share patient data among providers involved in the care process.
In fact, results of the survey show the industry has a long way to go in sharing and then using from other healthcare organizations in treating patients—only a minority say they use patient information from outside their organization in treating patients.

Precision Medicine: What is Precision Medicine?

By Dell
June 02, 2016
11:05 AM
While precision medicine – the medical model that focuses on the customization of healthcare and tailors decision-making, practices and treatments to the individual – has been evolving in the last 20 years, but recent advancements are enabling it to be applied for treating diseases. To aid in the progress of precision medicine, the federal government launched the Precision Health Initiative with $215M in funding, which includes $130M for the National Institutes of Health to conduct voluntary national research via secure and responsible data sharing. Research is already underway for applying precision medicine to cancer cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease, with promise in other areas such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and mental illnesses. Ultimately, precision medicine, while focusing on the individual, will provide preventative treatment for the general population, and bring tremendous benefit to population health.

CSUS: big differences in usability of clinical software

Jon Hoeksma
2 June 2016
The Clinical Software Usability Survey has found big differences in the reported usability of the software used by NHS staff.
Digital Health Intelligence launched the survey as a pilot project in November 2015, and closed it in March after more than 1,300 clinicians had provided detailed usability ratings for the clinical systems they use most often.
NHS users gave their software an overall average rating equivalent to ‘OK’, slightly lower than many other industries.

Coordinate My Care integrates care plans into Emis Web

Ben Heather
1 June 2016
Urgent care plans for thousands of London’s most vulnerable patients care are now just a click away for almost 1,000 of their GPs.
Plan sharing scheme Coordinate My Care will now be available to 962 of the city’s GPs from within their Emis Web systems.
This will allow GPs, along with other emergency services, to easily access, create, update and share the urgent care plans of nearly 30,000 palliative and highly vulnerable patients.

PHRs struggling to gain traction and show benefits - review

Ben Heather
2 June 2016
Attempts to create a personal health records suffer from a “lack of quantifiable benefits” and some schemes face an uncertain future if new funding is not found.
A wide ranging review of PHRs, carried out by the Royal College of Physicians’ Health Informatics Unit and funded by NHS England, found that attempts to put more health information in the hands of patients remain at a “relatively low level of maturity.”
It also found that while organisations that had set up PHR projects claimed they had led to meaningful improvements - from fewer hospitalisations to cost savings – these were mostly “assumptions or anecdotal.”

Intermountain's Marc Probst: Interoperability is 'taking too long'

June 2, 2016 | By Katie Dvorak
WASHINGTON--While Intermountain Healthcare is "very bullish" about the work going on around interoperability, "if public-private partnerships mean 'let's do it slower,' then they're bad," Chief Information Officer Marc Probst said during a panel on such partnerships.
Probst's comments came during the "Public-private partnership: Advances in Interoperability" panel at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's annual meeting in the District of Columbia this week.
While the start of the discussion focused on the Defense Department's installment of a new electronic health record system and Cerner's involvement in the project, it later turned into a debate between Probst (pictured) and David McCallie, M.D., director of the Cerner Medical Informatics Institute, on the topic of interoperability.

HHS and ONC post transparency data to make buying EHRs easier

The new tool includes pricing and product limitation data to help make the process of selecting an electronic health record system less complex, according to National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD. 
June 01, 2016 09:19 AM
ONC's new tool includes pricing and product limitation data to help providers comparison shop for EHRs.
National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, announced late Tuesday afternoon that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would post information for making certified electronic health record software less confusing.
"This is to put plain language out there for providers wanting to purchase health IT," DeSalvo said. "This is a way to let folks know what they are purchasing and allow for a more transparent marketplace."
DeSalvo added that many EHR vendors agreed to support the initiative and are moving to be more transparent via the site, which is at
June 01, 2016

Audit: DOD e-health timeline 'not realistic'

The Pentagon inspector general doesn't think the DOD can reach initial operational capability of its new $9 billion, "state-of-the-art" electronic health records system by December.
By Billy Mitchell
June 1, 2016 4:26 PM
The Defense Department's goal of having a pilot of its modernized electronic health record platform running by the year's end "may not be realistic," its inspector general said Wednesday. 
DOD is in the process of migrating to a new $9 billion, "state-of-the-art" EHR system — called the DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization, or DHMSM — to replace its legacy Military Health System and keep up with advances in the health IT arena. The Pentagon awarded the system's development contract to Leidos and health IT provider Cerner Corporation in July 2015. 
The IG found in its audit that "the DHMSM program mandated execution schedule may not be realistic for meeting the required initial operational capability date of December 2016." That deadline was set in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. 

ONC and CMS: We're at a critical inflection point for EHRs, interoperability

Now that almost all U.S. hospital are using electronic health records, the industry is ready for the next phase of information sharing, improved outcomes and collecting the digital dividend.
May 31, 2016 02:40 PM
Deputy Principal National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD, said now that the electronic health record system infrastructure is in place, the nation can collect on that digital dividend. 
Touting survey data that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT posted Tuesday morning, Deputy Principal National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD, said that almost every U.S. hospital is using a certified Electronic Health Record to manage care at the point of delivery.
“We're at a critical inflection point, one where technology, policy and demand are poised to change the way we think about access and use of health information to improve care and advance science and public health,” Washington said in kicking off ONC’s Annual Meeting for 2016. “A point where we, as a nation, move beyond adoption and transition to a place where health information is available when and where it matters most to patients who are receiving care. And, when it matters most to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of our country.”

CHIME chair pitches national patient identifier to Congress

Jeff Rowe
May 31, 2016
The idea of a national patient identifier has been on-again/off-again in policy circles for a number of years, and it recently appeared in written testimony presented to the House Subcommittee on Health by Intermountain Healthcare vice president and CIO Marc Probst.
"Reducing the reliance on Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and other identifiable information that help bad actors execute fraud will immediately devalue health records on the black market," argued Probst, who is also chairman of the Board of Trustees for the College for the Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). "We need a healthcare identification solution that, if stolen, does not have the same potential for fraud and abuse."
That solution, Probst said, is a national patient identifier, and he urged Congress to eliminate language in an appropriations bills that limits the Department of Health & Human Services from using federal funds toward that end.

Can artificial intelligence help medical care become more compassionate?

Jeff Rowe
Jun 01, 2016
Can a machine make medicine more "human?"
At first glance, the question seems pretty nonsensical, but in a recent blog post at Deloitte Consulting, Dan Housman, a Deloitte director and lead for the company's ConvergeHEALTH product innovation efforts, argues that the rise of new cognitive computing, if managed properly, does indeed have the potential to make medicine more "human" by relieving providers of several traditional responsibilities.
For example, he notes that "human physicians can't possibly read and process the exponentially growing volumes of clinical trials, medical journals, and individual cases available in the digital domain. A computer that digests them can transform them into useful support options for care of a patient. Furthermore humans can't be a part of every case and learn from every physician. But by combining a human with the capacity of a computer as a physician's assistant, physicians can focus on the many things that they are uniquely able to do in the complex domain of medicine. This includes the critical conversations with patients and their families."

Kathleen Sebelius: Patient engagement may be biggest element to change healthcare delivery systems

June 1, 2016 | By Katie Dvorak
WASHINGTON--It's finally the time of the consumer in healthcare, and the industry must listen to patients' voices, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a fireside chat with HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo.
The two took the stage at the end of Day 1 of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's annual meeting, offering insight into the healthcare industry's past, present and future.
Sebelius, HHS head from 2009-2014, told the crowd the industry is finally listening to the consumer voice and it will be a real breakthrough for healthcare.

Montefiore tests semantic data lake's predictive capabilities

June 1, 2016 | By Susan D. Hall
Montefiore Medical Center in New York plans to go live in July with a program that incorporates its semantic data lake to predict when patients are likely to have a major event within 48 hours, according to HealthITAnalytics.
Montefiore built the data lake and partnered with Mayo Clinic on a pilot of a predictive algorithm based on data from 68,000 patients from the two institutions.
Data lakes are based on graph database technology, which allow users to explore relationships between various data elements. The data elements are standardized in the semantic data lake, allowing them to be queried and matched in unique ways to answer questions on the fly.

DirectTrust’s Patient-Centered HIE to Boost Patient Engagement

By Sara Heath on May 31, 2016

Through the Partnership for Patients Program, DirectTrust hopes to expand patient engagement through health information exchange.

DirectTrust has launched the Partnership for Patients Program (P4PP) to better support health information exchange (HIE) between patients and their providers, says a recent press release.
The program will alleviate cost and technology barriers that keep patients from securely transmitting their health information between themselves and their providers by implementing a system that works similarly to email.
Through a secure, encrypted message that utilizes identity assurance, patients can send or receive their health data from their healthcare provider. This will help boost care quality and patient engagement by better informing patients of their own health.

Hospital EHR Adoption of Basic Systems Tops 83%, CEHRT 96%

By Kyle Murphy, PhD on May 31, 2016

Most hospitals are using certified EHR technology, but certain kinds of hospitals still lag behind in EHR adoption and use.

Certified EHR technology is in place at most hospitals with basic EHR technology adoption also reaching an all-time high, according to new data published by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
The latest data brief made available on the Dashboard puts the percentage of hospitals with CEHRT at 96 percent in 2015, down nearly a full percentage point from 2014's figure of 96.9 percent. Hospital adoption of basic EHR technology, meanwhile, rose from 75.5 percent in 2014 to 83.8 percent in 2015. All told, since 2008 hospital adoption of the latter rose by nearly nine times, from 9.4 percent to the current figure.
Leading the way in adoption were Maryland (95%), Nevada (94%), Washington (94%), Wyoming (94%), Massachusetts (93%), Virginia (93%), Utah (93%), Arkansas (90%), and New Mexico (90%).

ONC: 96 percent of acute care hospitals have adopted certified EHRs

May 31, 2016 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
The rates of electronic health record adoption and data sharing among U.S. hospitals have increased significantly, according to a pair of new data briefs unveiled Tuesday by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT at its annual conference.
The information is based on the American Hospital Association's Information Technology supplement to the AHA annual survey. One brief shows that 96 percent of nonfederal acute care hospitals are using a certified EHR in 2015, up from 71.9 percent in 2011, the year that the Meaningful Use program was first implemented. Adoption of a basic EHR jumped from 9.4 percent in 2008 to 83.8 percent, a nine-fold increase. 
Small, rural and critical access hospitals also increased their adoption of basic EHRs, with small and rural hospitals boosting adoption by at least 14 percent, and CAHs by 18 percent. However, their adoption still lagged behind those of other hospitals. Basic EHR adoption was even lower among children's hospitals, with only a 55 percent adoption rate, and among psychiatric hospitals, where only 15 percent had done so.

Reviewing the Progress of Health Data Access, Interoperability

By Sheri Stoltenberg on May 27, 2016

Interoperability is key to broadening patient health data access, but the industry still faces significant obstacles that prevent the free flow of information.

Vice President Joe Biden may not be the most likely champion for improving healthcare data interoperability, but that was exactly the topic of his speech at this May’s seventh annual Health Datapalooza, a public-private conference focusing on health data management.
Biden’s speech was not just about policy, but rather, it was a personal story explaining why he is involved with the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative which focuses on improving cancer prevention, early treatment and patient therapies. Biden lost his son, Beau, to cancer last year. Throughout the ordeal, the family found it very difficult to access and share Beau’s health information with different hospitals.
In his speech, Biden challenged health IT leaders to enable technologies that allow for the safe and effective sharing of patient health information, but his story also highlighted an ongoing challenge facing the industry.

Why EHR Clinical Decision Support Tools Need More Research

By Sara Heath on May 27, 2016

Research shows that effective, complex clinical decision support tools have lower EHR integration rates because of serious barriers in research.

Real-time, patient-specific clinical decision support tools should be integrated into physician workflow, especially given the near-ubiquitous adoption of EHRs. Despite this, physicians seen many barriers to integrating CDS tools into their EHRs, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
According to a research team led by Thomas McGinn, MD, MPH, CDS that is most successful in improving patient care are those that provide real-time prompts to providers and that are hyper-specific to an individual patient’s medical history.
However, the most commonly used CDS are one-dimensional, the team says, and only provide physicians with general prompts.

5 Ways Providers Can Prevent Patient Data Breaches

2015 was unsurprisingly the year with the highest-profile healthcare data breaches to-date. With more and more patient information being transferred and stored digitally it’s a trend likely to continue for many years to come. Clinics, doctors offices, insurers and hospitals, however, are equally increasing their measures in fighting back.
Similar to money and jewels, no data is completely immune from unauthorized access so long as legitimate access is granted to specific people. That doesn’t mean systems can’t attain near 99.9% success. To achieve it, healthcare providers are adhering to the following measures:
1. Keep business associates in line: Medical providers depend on a large network of companies and services to have the tools and means to deliver successful treatments and cures. Many of the immediate business associates of clinics, doctors, and hospitals must be held accountable for the safety and security of data. This is achieved through relevant business associate agreements.

Telemedicine Pocked with Low-quality Dermatological Care

Scott Mace, May 31, 2016

The growth of teledermatology services is causing concerns about quality of service and clinician qualifications among some researchers. One says direct-to-patient models are "proliferating with international and unlicensed doctors."

The growing industry for direct-to-consumer telemedicine services came under fire earlier this month with the release of a JAMA Dermatology study documenting concerns with the quality of service and qualifications of clinicians.
One of the study's senior authors, Carrie Kovarik MD, spoke with HealthLeaders Media about the study. She is an associate professor of dermatology, dermatopathology, and infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

Doctors Test Tools to Predict Your Odds of a Disease

Program aims to calculate the likelihood that a patient has an illness, enabling doctors to order fewer tests and prescribe fewer antibiotics

By Lucette Lagnado
May 30, 2016 2:46 p.m. ET
Thomas McGinn, chairman of medicine at a major New York hospital system, is betting he can predict if a patient has strep, pneumonia or other ailments not by ordering traditional lab tests or imaging scans, but by calculating probabilities with a software program.
Dr. McGinn believes using technology to help diagnose and treat patients can reduce the large number of unnecessary tests doctors order and antibiotics they prescribe by ruling out certain diseases. It also could expedite the appropriate care for patients by giving doctors grounds to treat them before lab tests can confirm a diagnosis.
The predictive tool, which pops up on the screen of electronic medical records, prompts the doctor to answer a short series of questions about the patient’s condition. Based on that information, a calculator predicts the probability that the person has the suspected ailment. It may also recommend a course of action.

Is electronic prescribing the next step towards paperless hospitals?

Electronic prescribing is common in Irish hospitals within intensive care units but rare elsewhere

Electronic prescribing has been identified as a key priority for the State in the National eHealth Strategy published in 2013. Last year, standards that will enable doctors to prescribe medication electronically to help reduce errors were published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).
Within hospitals, advocates argue that electronic systems can help reduce the errors that inevitably arise with handwritten prescriptions by making the name of medications more legible, setting limits for dosage, and flagging potential negative interactions.
Peter Kidd, pharmacist of clinical services in Galway University Hospital who also has a background in IT, believes electronic prescribing offers a much safer form of prescribing than those written by hand.

Spending on big data, analytics to soar over 5 years

Published May 27 2016, 1:39pm EDT
Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, according to a new report from International Data. Corp. (IDC). That represents an increase of more than 50 percent over the five-year forecast period.
The industries that will spend the most on big data and analytics technologies include discrete manufacturing ($22.8 billion in 2019), banking ($22.1 billion) and process manufacturing ($16.4 billion). Four other sectors, federal/central government, professional services, telecommunications and retail, will spend more than $10 billion in 2019.
The industries experiencing the fastest growth in spending include utilities, healthcare and banking, although nearly all of the industries profiled in the report will see gains of more than 50 percent over the five-year forecast period.


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