Saturday, April 06, 2013

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 06th April, 2013.

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.

Q&A: The imPatient Movement

By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
Created 03/29/2013
A new advocacy group launched at HIMSS13 in New Orleans earlier this month. The imPatient Movement wants to change the conversation about patient engagement – giving voice to healthcare consumers and pushing for more fruitful data exchange between patients and their physicians.
With Stage 2 meaningful use set to make patient empowerment a centerpiece, the new organization, founded by NoMoreClipboard, Microsoft HealthVault and Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc. – and actively seeking new members – seeks to "empower patients, healthcare providers and health IT organizations to collaborate and advocate for swift and meaningful action in making electronic health information accessible, interoperable and actionable."
So far, the initiative has found friends in high places.
"The imPatient campaign recognizes what we firmly believe – that both patient and provider attitudes must change in order to achieve the full potential of eHealth, and that both parties will benefit from having greater access to and use of electronic health data," Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said about the group in a press statement.

VA, U.K. health service team up on IT

Posted: March 22, 2013 - 12:45 pm ET
The healthcare arm of the Veterans Affairs Department and the United Kingdom's National Health Service are teaming up under a three-year agreement to swap leaders, staff and ideas about the use of healthcare information technology by the two huge government-financed systems, according to a new joint report
The 90-page document, “Making Connections (PDF),” explores what its authors call a “transatlantic exchange to support the adoption of digital health” between the U.S.' Veterans Health Administration and the NHS. The report, produced by 2020 Health, a U.K. think tank with public and private support, was jointly funded by grants from the NHS and the Robert Bosch Corp., and starts with a side-by-side comparison of the two taxpayer-funded healthcare systems.

Why leveraging big data represents a paradigm shift in healthcare

March 28, 2013 | By Kent Bottles
The term "paradigm shift" is bandied about far too often in books and articles about healthcare.Thomas Kuhn in his classic book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" coined the term to describe a change in the basic assumptions within the rules of science.
Kuhn and his paradigm shift came to mind recently after I finished two books that truly stunned me: "Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World" by Christopher Steiner (2012) and "Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think" by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier (2013).

Docs limit patient EMR access

By Bernie Monegain, Editor
Created 03/28/2013
Even as policmakers are pushing patient engagement, a new survey signals doctors may not be ready to relinquish control of their patients' medical record.
Eighty-two percent of U.S. physicians responding to a recent survey indicated they want patients to actively participate in their own healthcare by updating their electronic health records. However, only 31 percent said they believed a patient should have full access to his or her own record, with 65 percent indicating patients should have limited access and 4 percent saying they should have no access.

EHR data still 'too fragmented' for secondary uses

March 27, 2013 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
While electronic health record data has the potential to be reused to identify which patients may be eligible to participate in clinical trials, the data capture is too incomplete and "fragmented" to be relied on for such a secondary use, according to new research published in BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making.
Typically, eligibility criteria defined in study protocols is in free text, while the data in EHRs is collected as single elements, such as current disease or patient age.

5 Underrated Healthcare Trends From A Top CIO

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center CIO Dan Drawbaugh shares his thoughts about what the next health IT opportunities will be.
There is a small group of healthcare providers that have big brands and big ambitions when it comes to pushing healthcare and health technology forward. Think of places such as the Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Johns Hopkins. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is right in that mix.
So I sat down with UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh recently to discuss what looks exciting on the technology horizon and where his organization is investing. UPMC is a $10 billion nonprofit company that crosses many lines in healthcare -- it's a huge care provider, a 2-million-member insurance company, a research institution, employer of 55,000 people and even an investor in technology companies. AdTech Ad

Server failure forces hospital off of EHR for 10 days

March 27, 2013 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Executives at Boulder (Colo.) Community Hospital are probably breathing easier now that the facility's electronic health record system is up and running after a malfunction kept it offline for more than a week.
The outage, which took place on March 12, was the result of a malfunction in one of the hospital's main computer servers, and impacted both its primary server and its offsite backup system, according to a hospital statement. The outage rendered patient data inaccessible, and affected the hospital, its Foothills campus, eight laboratories and six imaging centers.

Electronic interventions offer short-lived impact on diabetics

By Editorial staff
Mar 26, 2013
Self-management interventions delivered by computer and mobile phone currently provide limited benefits for people with diabetes, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Although computer and mobile phone-based self-management programs had small positive effects on blood sugar levels, these effects seemed to be short-lived.
The researchers reviewed data from 16 trials involving a total of 3,578 people with type 2 diabetes, who used computers or mobile phones as part of diabetes self-management interventions for between 1 and 12 months. Overall, these interventions appeared to be safe but had limited positive effects. There were small benefits for controlling blood sugar levels, with slightly greater benefits for those whose self-care programs were delivered by mobile phones. However, the benefits waned after six months and there was no evidence that these interventions helped to improve depression, quality of life or weight in people with type 2 diabetes.

New ONC Site Aids Public Comment on Updating Federal HIT Plan

MAR 27, 2013 12:03pm ET
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has launched PlanningRoom, a new Web site to foster public comment as the agency updates the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.
ONC developed the site with Cornell University. The first topic of discussion on the site, through May 9, is consumer ehealth and how best to empower individuals through health I.T. Patients, consumers, providers, insurers, vendors and all other stakeholders are encouraged to participate.

World’s Health Data Patiently Awaits Inevitable Hack

Eugene Vasserman is uneasy about his digital pedometer. The company that makes the thing doesn’t know his name, age, or gender, but it does track his every step and his location. “They know where I sleep. They know my address,” says the Kansas State University cybersecurity and privacy researcher.
Some might think he’s paranoid. But he hasn’t stopped using the device. It’s just that he sees the worst-case scenario — and he’s adamant that the rest of us should see it too. Once health data leaves your immediate possession, he explains, it’s out of your control.
“I’m aware of the tradeoff I’m making … [but] I don’t think people understand what they’re giving up by putting this data out there,” he says. “The direct repercussions are not quite clear because the definition of cloud — excuse the pun — is very nebulous.”

Get set: New HIPAA has teeth

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor
Created 03/27/2013
The HIPAA Privacy and Security final rule -- also known as the HIPAA Omnibus Rule -- became effective March 26. One expert predicts enforcers will have a heyday with expanded ability to crack down on providers and their business associates.
According to Jorge Rey, an associate principal and the director of information security and compliance for Kaufman, Rossin, the biggest difference in the new rule is a change in breach notification. Under the old rule, providers were presumed innocent of harming patients when a breach occurred – until they proved otherwise. Under the new rule, providers are presumed guilty of harming patients when data is breached. They will have to prove their innocence.
Providers and their vendors and subcontractors have “in theory,” 180 days to comply before the Office for Civil Rights begins enforcement of the Omnibus Rule, beginning Sept. 23, 2013, Rey warns. But this doesn’t mean providers shouldn’t beware. They still will be held accountable under the old HIPAA rules until then, he says.

IOM: Integrated records, evidence-based treatment vital to veteran care

March 27, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
The U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have done too little to smooth the way for the 2.2 million U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have returned with multiple health conditions, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.
"[T]he potential long-term consequences of their service heighten the urgency of putting the appropriate knowledge and resources in place to make re-entry into post-deployment life as easy as possible," report co-author George Rutherford, head of preventive medicine and public health at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, told NBC News.

E-prescribing alerts often 'too much, too late' for docs

March 27, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
Computerized prescribing alerts were 'too much, too late' in a study that found only 2 percent prompted any action from physicians during patient visits.
In the study, published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, University of Edinburgh researchers videotaped eight physicians as they electronically wrote 132 prescriptions. They found that during most doctor-patient interactions, more than half the discussion of a medical problem had already taken place before the doc turned to the computer. What's more, alerts appeared after the physician had explained the options, selected a treatment with the patient, and at times after instructing the patient on how to take the medication and printing out instructions.
"An alert in the final seconds of the task of generating the paper prescription is likely to be regarded as intrusive and unwelcome, and increases the probability of it being ignored," the authors said.

Healthcare Workarounds Expose EHR Flaws

Doctors and staff often fall back on paper documents to compensate for poorly designed electronic health record systems, says study.
Physicians and medical practice staff members are using both paper-based and computer-based workarounds to overcome real and perceived deficiencies in their electronic health records (EHRs), according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). These workarounds, which are consistent across institutions, "suggest common challenges in outpatient clinical settings and failures to accommodate these challenges in EHR design," the study said.
The researchers directly observed clinical workflows at 11 primary care clinics in different healthcare organizations: two VA medical centers, Partners Healthcare in Boston and the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis. In total, 120 clinic staff and providers were observed caring for 118 patients. AdTech Ad
The study, "Paper- and computer-based workarounds to electronic health record use at three benchmark institutions," classified workarounds in several different categories, including one that the researchers termed "no correct path." In this category, computer-based workarounds were created because a desired option did not exist in the EHR workflow. For example, doctors might tell patients to split blood pressure pills, but there was no way to record that in the EHR, leading to incorrect timings for prescription renewals. The study also cited EHR reminders that kept popping up after a colonoscopy had been scheduled but not completed. A nurse clicked on the box saying the test had been declined to turn off the alert.

'Big Data' for Cancer Care

Vast Storehouse of Patient Records Will Let Doctors Search for Effective Treatment


Cancer doctor Sandra Swain, shown in her Washington, D.C., office, is part of an effort to pool patient records in an electronic database.
A major oncology group is launching an ambitious project to collect data on the care of hundreds of thousands of cancer patients and use it to help guide treatment of other patients across the health-care system.
Doctors are launching a project to bring big data and comparative patient information into caring for cancer patients. Ron Winslow and Dr. Charles Penley explain. Photo: Getty Images.
Cancer doctors would be able to consult the database, much like doing a Google search. They would get advice on treatment strategies that might work for their patients based on how similar patients fared in practices around the U.S.
Details of the plan are being unveiled Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a nonprofit professional association.
It is the latest example of emerging efforts in medicine to harness the power of "Big Data" to improve care. It reflects growing expectations that information gleaned from huge clinical databases can speed learning about benefits and harms of treatments, support efforts to improve quality of care and hasten development of new medicines.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Delving Deeper Into Data From CHIME's CIO Compensation Survey

Salaries, for the most part, reflect an organization's perception of job responsibilities, the ability of an employee to meet those requirements and the value of those accomplishments to the employer.
It's no surprise, then, that health care CIOs are well compensated for what they do. Many hospital CIOs face significant demands to achieve ambitious goals for implementing clinical systems and ensure that they work as advertised. The stakes are high, as information is the lifeblood of health care.
A recent survey by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives found that health care CIOs earned an average base salary of $208,417 in 2012. The survey, released last month, primarily focused on CIOs' base salaries and did not conduct a thorough analysis of bonus payments or other additions to compensation, which often augment a CIO's total package.

Why Hospitals, Doctors Trail the HIT Revolution

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , March 26, 2013

A lot of very bright people are convinced that the current healthcare IT revolution will happen last at hospitals and in doctors' offices.
Some of them are in significant positions of influence. One such influencer is Chris Wasden, a managing director and innovation practice leader at PwC. I caught up with Wasden at the recent HIMSS conference, and what follows are some excerpts of our conversation.
HLM: Do we have enough technology but not the logistics to deploy it in healthcare?
Wasden: I don't believe that we are ambitious enough with regards to what we want to accomplish, and so we are applying too much technology to do nothing more than create digital versions of the current world, and we're not trying to create a new world.

When Email Is Part of the Doctor's Treatment

Patients love it. Physicians find it often saves them time and money. So why aren't more doctors burning up the email lines with their patients?

·         By SUMATHI REDDY

The questions come at all hours, popping up on Dr. Mark Seigel's personal email account: Can I dye my hair? Is it safe to drink red raspberry leaf tea? When will the nausea stop?
Dr. Seigel, an OB-GYN with offices in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., answers them all.
"There are some patients, who are kind of like frequent fliers," he said. "I might get 20 emails from the same person. I know…they have fears and I'm mindful of that."
Most doctors don't agree with Dr. Seigel's approach. As the rest of the world has raced ahead with instant communication, medicine still lags far behind. Just under one-third of doctors reported emailing with patients in 2012, up from 27% five years earlier, according to annual studies of more than 3,000 doctors conducted by Manhattan Research, a health-care market-research firm. Those texting rose from 12% in 2010 to 18% in 2012.

Data-sharing initiative reduces deaths

By Bernie Monegain, Editor
Created 03/19/2013
Sharing data has saved 92,000 lives and $9.1 billion over four and a half years, according to Premier healthcare alliance, which today released results of its QUEST collaborative, made up of 333 hospitals that are members of the alliance. Hospitals nationwide could save 950,000 lives and approximately $93 billion over five years by replicating performance boosting practices employed by QUEST.
Members of the QUEST initiative shared outcomes data and expertise, such as best practices in order to improve their performance across the board.
Among some of the results: Central-line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) reduced by 59 percent, falls and pressure ulcers by 64 percent. Supply costs cut by 29 percent, labor costs by 26 percent.

Stolen health data increasingly sought after for commercial ventures

March 25, 2013 | By Susan D. Hall
Though hackers generally go after healthcare information they can use in identity theft and other fraud schemes, that data increasingly is prized for numerous commercial ventures--even marketing, according to an article published by The Information Daily.
"Data attacks are increasingly being carried out to gain access to information, which can then be used--and re-used again and again--sometimes even for marketing purposes," David Gibson, vice president of data governance specialist Varonis Systems, tells Information Daily. His company calls healthcare data the "new oil"


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