Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 17th May, 2014.

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.

Do patients with chronic diseases want telehealth solutions?

May 9, 2014 | By Alok Saboo
By Mark Terry
Several recent studies addressed the link between mobile health and individuals with chronic conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, clinically diagnosed obesity, osteoporosis and stroke.
As these conditions represent long-term care challenges, telehealth and its convenience would seem to make it a desirable approach. But is it?
Researchers in the UK recently published a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research that surveyed 1,478 patients with either depression or cardiovascular disease. The surveys, which were mailed to individuals in 34 medical practices from two different regions of England, looked at sociodemographics, health needs, difficulties accessing healthcare, technology-related factors such as availability and confidence using technology, and the perceived benefits and drawbacks of telehealth. It also evaluted the patients' satisfaction with previous uses of telehealth.

FTC Concerned with Health Data Sharing Apps

Greg Slabodkin
MAY 8, 2014 8:14am ET
Some of the most popular mobile health and fitness apps are sharing consumer data with third-party companies and putting potentially sensitive information at risk, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC tested 12 apps and found that this kind of information was sent to 76 third-party companies.
"Consumers reveal significant amounts of information about themselves when they use health and fitness apps. This includes everything from basic information about the devices and smartphones they are using to the precise metrics and characteristics of their bodies," said Jared Ho, an attorney in the FTC's Mobile Technology Unit, during a May 7 FTC seminar on the privacy ramifications of consumer generated and controlled health data. 

Tech helps hospital contain MERS virus

May 9, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
An Indiana hospital relied on best practices and technology to avoid spreading the deadly MERS virus while treating the first reported case in the United States.
When a man who had traveled to Saudi Arabia arrived at the 427-bed Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana with symptoms of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)--severe fever, cough and shortness of breath--three technologies helped the hospital identify everyone who came in contact with him, reports InformationWeek.
  • Badges that have real-time location technology (RTLS) identified 50 staff, patients and visitors who had contact with the MERS patient.
  • Staff logged in every patient interaction, including housekeeping, into the hospital's EHR system.
  • The hospital also checked its video surveillance system to make sure it didn't overlook anyone.

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Wins FDA Nod

Published: May 9, 2014
By John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- The FDA Friday approved marketing of the first powered prosthetic arm that the user can control with his or her thoughts.
Made by New Hampshire-based DEKA Integrated Solutions, the device detects and translates electromyographic activity in nearby muscles -- which the user can consciously control -- into signals that direct specific movements and actions in the prosthetic arm.

HR Swaps Coming For Many Healthcare Organizations

5/8/2014 12:50 PM
Healthcare organizations look to replace early electronic health records packages with new systems that perform better, integrate across departments, and tap cloud computing.
The honeymoon period didn't last long for some healthcare providers and their electronic health records (EHRs). As providers become more sophisticated and informed, and IT departments grow more comfortable recommending alternatives to long-established vendors, demand for replacement electronic health record (EHR) systems continues to expand.
By 2016, almost 50% of large hospitals will replace their current EHR, health IT research firm KLAS reported. In the first quarter of this year, 40% of buyers said they want to swap out their EHRs, according to a survey by Software Advice. Twelve months prior, 30% sought alternate EHRs, the review and consulting site found. Most providers wanted better performance and integration, the study showed.

Where Does It Hurt? Log On. The Doctor Is In

Telemedicine Sector Attracts Funding, But Some Physician Groups Worry About Quality of Care

Melinda Beck
Updated May 8, 2014 8:20 p.m. ET
Telemedicine services are increasingly embraced by Americans as a convenient alternative to a trip to the doctor's office. WSJ's Melinda Beck examines several services and the concerns that exist among medical professionals. Photo: American Well
Can downloading an app, and describing your symptoms to a doctor you'll never meet, take the place of an office visit? Can sending a "selfie" of your sore throat help diagnose strep?
Those are some of the issues state and federal regulators—and the medical profession itself—are wrestling with as telemedicine spreads rapidly.

EHRs help California hospitals reduce medical errors

May 6, 2014 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
An electronic health record is one of the primary tools that can decrease the number of medical errors in hospitals, according to a new report published by the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California, pictured).
The staff report surveyed 283 California hospitals to determine what they were doing to reduce common medical errors, such as surgical site infections and pressure ulcers, receiving responses from more than half (53 percent). While hospitals are taking many approaches to reduce medical errors--such as minimizing blood transfusion--EHRs figured prominently in the hospitals' efforts to reduce errors.

Physicians rethinking the progress note

Posted on May 08, 2014
By Neil Versel, Contributing Writer
The "SOAP" -- subjective, objective, assessment, plan -- format has been in common use for decades as a way of organizing physician progress notes in medical records, but it was created during a different era, when most everything was written on paper. In the age of electronic health records, some are rethinking the order of presenting information, electing to go with the latter two elements first in what's being called an "APSO note."
An early adopter of the APSO format, C.T. Lin, MD, CMIO of Aurora, Colo.-based University of Colorado Health, explains that physicians often flip right to the assessment page of paper charts to see what previous visits or referring doctors may have found. By this reasoning, it makes more sense to put the assessment and plan first in an electronic note, according to Lin.
Lin was lead author of a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2013 that found that SOAP "translates poorly from paper medical charts to the EHR" because it takes a lot of clicking and scrolling to find the assessment and plan. The article detailed a 2010 study at 13 University of Colorado Health ambulatory clinics that produced mostly positive results from an APSO trial.

Mobile app puts 'doctor in your pocket'

6 May 2014   Sam Sachdeva
A mobile app lets users see their GP through video consultations and order prescriptions on their smartphone or tablet.
Speaking at Wired Health, part of EHI’s Digital Health Festival, Ali Parsa, the creator of the ‘Babylon’ app, said he wants to provide people with a “doctor in your pocket”, and give patients access to GPs and specialist nurses six days a week.
Parsa, the former chief executive of hospital group Circle, said the inspiration for the app comes from the difficulty that most people have in accessing healthcare, compared to how easy it is to obtain music and other products using mobile phones.

PAC doubts e-referrals success

7 May 2014   Lis Evenstad
The PAC doubts NHS England's ability to make the e-referrals service a success
The Commons’ public accounts committee is “sceptical” about NHS England’s ability to fully utilise the e-referrals service.
In a report on 'NHS waiting times for elective care in England', the  PAC  says that following the introduction of Choose and Book, which has had a poor uptake among GPs and secondary care providers, it is doubtful of the success of the new e-referrals service.
It says that the Choose and Book service, which was intended as one of a number of new, digital services to make the NHS more convenient, “has been a missed opportunity to improve patient care and data quality”.

Ex-HHS head Donna Shalala: Data sharing with payers requires trust

May 8, 2014 | By Alok Saboo
By Mark Terry
One of the underpinnings of healthcare reform is the idea that by releasing and analyzing healthcare data--population data, test volume, readmission rates, etc.--changes can be made that will lead to lower costs, greater efficiency and higher quality patient care. After all, as most lean and quality improvement methods preach, "If you can't measure it, you can't evaluate it."
At a recent eMerge Americas digital business conference held in Miami Beach, Donna Shalala, former Clinton Administration secretary for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, spoke out on why healthcare providers are reluctant to share data with payers, InformationWeek reported. 
"We know if we turn over every piece of data to you, you do your analysis--and we get paid less," Shalala, who currently serves as president of the University of Miami, said, according to InformationWeek.

Mobile health monitoring to be $8B market in 2019

By: Jonah Comstock | May 7, 2014
The market for mobile health monitoring and diagnostics was worth $650 million in 2012, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research. The firm projects that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 43.3 percent from 2013 to 2019. That will put the market at $8 billion in 2019.
Transparency defines the mobile health monitoring and diagnostic space as smartphone-connected cardiac monitors, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, multi-parameter monitors and sleep apnea monitors. They reported that cardiac monitors have held the majority of the market share so far, followed by glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors.

Karen DeSalvo: Health IT needs to ‘get real for people’

By KYLE CHENEY | 5/6/14 9:23 AM EDT Updated: 5/6/14 3:14 PM EDT
It took the disaster of Hurricane Katrina to get Louisiana’s doctors to open their minds to new medical technologies, and if health IT is going to win support nationwide, it’ll have to “get real for people,” the Obama administration’s top health IT official argued Tuesday.
“It has to become tangible and real for the person, the family member, the doctor, the nurse,” said Karen DeSalvo, the national coordinator for health information technology, who was a physician in New Orleans when Katrina hit in 2005 and later became the city’s health commissioner. But the technologies also have “to demonstrate benefit,” she added.
Speaking at a POLITICO breakfast panel on connected health, DeSalvo said that without a national embrace of electronic health records and related systems and devices, the United States misses the chance to vastly improve care and prevent disasters like a hurricane from disrupting care.

When EHR design is a 'what not to do'

Posted on May 07, 2014
By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
Among the healthcare developers workshopping better approaches to technology design at HxRefactored in Brooklyn next week will be Stephen Buck, who'll offer some "lessons learned" from looking closely at leading EHRs – specifically, how not to design a user interface.
HxRefactored, which represents a coming-together of Health 2.0’s Health:Refactored and Mad*Pow’s Healthcare Experience Design conferences, will take place May 13-14 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. There, 500 or so designers and developers will gather to explore new and innovative ways to improve healthcare experience for patients and physicians alike.
Buck leads the mobile health product management team for Danbury, Conn.-based health IT firm IMS Health. This past December, IMS launched a SaaS-based app prescribing platform called AppScript, which corrals more than 40,000 downloadable iOS and Android apps, categorizing them and evaluating them -- based on functionality, peer and patient reviews, certifications and more -- to help physicians know which ones would do best for their patients.

Healthcare data analytics landscape changing rapidly

May 7, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
Nearly half of healthcare organizations responding to a new survey say they are experiencing a positive return on investment in data analytics and reporting technology.
The survey, by TCS Healthcare Technologies in conjunction with the Case Management Society of America and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, found the landscape changing quickly from similar measures taken in 2008 and 2010.
Forty-six percent reported positive ROI, compared with 14 percent who reported a negative return, according to an announcement.

Dermatologist’s virtual visit startup secures $2.9M to expand into more states this year

May 6, 2014 4:39 pm by Deanna Pogorelc | 0 Comments
A Pennsylvania dermatologist has rounded up some new capital to grow his mobile telehealth startup.
Iagnosis, co-founded and led by Dr. Mark Seraly, has closed $2.85 million in angel funding. It’s part of a larger $7.25 million Series A round that included conversion of all existing convertible debt, Iagnosis said in a statement.
The Pittsburgh-based company is working on rolling out its DermatologistOnCall service across the country and will use the capital to continue doing so.

Medication Error Rates Falls 58% With Electronic Reconciliation Tool

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi (Twitter | Google+)  | May 06, 2014
Implementing an electronic tool for medical reconciliation at hospital admission reduced the error rate from 5.9 errors per 1,000 admissions to 2.5 errors per 1,000 admissions, a decrease of 58 percent, according to an abstract of a study presented at the 2014 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital introduced the tool into the electronic health record from November 2011 to June 2012. The tool presents a split-screen display, with pre-admission medications appearing on the left side of the screen and a modifiable list of post-admission medication orders on the right side of the screen.

Hospitals making headway in HIE

By Diana Manos, Senior Editor
Despite the often-heard doom and gloom about interoperability, the reality of hospitals engaging in health information exchange appears to be brighter. 
HIE among U.S. non-federal acute care hospitals has been trending upward since 2008, in fact, and it took some major leaps forward in 2013. 
More than six in ten hospitals (62 percent) electronically exchanged health information with providers outside of their system during 2013, according to a new Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology data brief based on a  survey conducted by the American Hospital Association. What's more, the practice of HIE increased 51 percent from from 2008 to 2013. 

Health IT not a cure-all for improving patient engagement

May 6, 2014 | By Dan Bowman
By Mark Terry
As the expression goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. To that end, although you can get patients to sample an eHealth solution, getting them to continue its use and to use it in a meaningful way is a more significant challenge, according to one practitioner.
Amy Bucher, a psychologist who regularly contributes to Wired's InnovationInsights blog, recently wrote about the psychological principles that apply to getting patients to utilize mobile health apps. They include:
  • Autonomy or free choice
  • Competence, or mastery and growth
  • Relatedness, or social connection
Bucher pointed out, however, that despite these all being embedded in most eHealth applications, users often don't engage. Too much variety and lack of professional guidance likely were among two of the more likely reasons, she said.

Big data may require more privacy protections

May 6, 2014 | By Susan D. Hall
Existing efforts to ensure the privacy of patient health information may be inadequate in the era of big data, according to a newly published White House report.
The 85-page report "Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values" is the result of a 90-day review of big data and privacy ordered by President Obama in January. It includes public input, as well as that from academic researchers, privacy advocates, regulators, the technology industry and others, a fact sheet explains.
It calls predictive medicine the ultimate application of big data in health, noting its potential to prevent disease or tackle it early based on a person's health status and genetic information. The report also says that big data has the potential to affect future generations and to extrapolate risk to others, singly or as groups.
"Using big data to improve health requires advanced analytical models to ingest multiple kinds of lifestyle, genomic, medical, and financial data," the report says. "The complexity of complying with numerous laws when data is combined from various sources raises the potential need to carve out special data-use authorities for the healthcare industry if it is to realize the potential health gains and cost reductions that could come from big data analytics."

Many Communities Do Not Have Broadband Capabilities to Support Telemedicine, Survey Finds

Written by Ayla Ellison (Twitter | Google+)  | May 05, 2014
Many economic development professionals and consultants are not satisfied with their communities' broadband capabilities and believe their current internet speeds could not support video-based telemedicine, according to a recent study based on the results of a U.S. survey from the International Economic Development Council.

ONC reports on hospital EHR adoption in 2013

May 5, 2014
Fifty-nine percent of non-federal acute-care hospitals had at least a basic electronic health record system in 2013, up from 44% in 2012, according to a report released today by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Retire ICD-9 Before it Turns 40

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 6, 2014

ICD-9, envisioned in 1975 and oblivious to all that has occurred in the ensuing 39 years of medicine, needs to go. Everyone in healthcare knows it.

This weekend, in a park in Palo Alto, California, TCP/IP will have its 40th birthday party. The communications protocol that undergirds the Internet is just a few years younger than ICD-9, the ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
ICD-9, envisioned in 1975 and oblivious to all that has occurred in the ensuing 39 years of medicine, needs to go. Everyone in healthcare knows it. Last week, CMS once again tried to put a stake in the ground, announcing its intent to publish a rule that implements ICD-10 for billing codes on October 1, 2015.

Disaster recovery demands smart planning

Posted on May 05, 2014
By Rick Cook, Contributing Writer
Disaster recovery traditionally hasn't had a very high priority in healthcare IT. Everyone knew it was important, but it came far down the list of spending priorities. That's changed significantly in the past five years.
One of the things that has highlighted disaster recovery's importance is the growing use of electronic health records and the concomitant growth of networking and interconnection. If a facility loses access to its computers it loses access to EHRs, treatment plans and other vital information that directly affects patient care.
Part of the challenge is the sheer size of electronic health records. These aren't just electronic versions of scanned paper documents, but photographs, X-rays, videos and all sorts of associated data. The volume for even a small medical practice is measured in gigabytes, and much of that has to be immediately available for patient care.

Patients want online access to records

Posted on May 05, 2014
By Mike Miliard, Managing Editor
More than half of people with chronic conditions say the ability to get their electronic medical records online outweighs the potential privacy risks, according to a new survey by Accenture.
Two-thirds, meanwhile, believe patients should have the right to access all of their healthcare information.
The results of the poll suggest a public increasingly frustrated by lack of sovereignty over their own health data.
The vast majority people surveyed by Accenture – 87 percent – say they want to control their health data. But 55 percent report they don't have very much or any control over their medical information.

U.S. home health tech market to hit $5.8 billion by 2018

May 5, 2014 | By Alok Saboo
By Mark Terry
Driven by federal mandates and financial stimulus built into the HITECH Act, the U.S. home health technology market will double to reach $5.8 billion by 2018, according to a new report published by IHS.
Both devices and services are starting to converge giving consumers more comprehensive solutions, according to report author Roeen Roashan, an IHS analyst for consumer medical devices and digital health. 
"As they become more comprehensive, the gap between clinical care and home health becomes more narrow, which is necessary to provide patient centered care," Roashan recently told Forbes.

Twitter Has 3 Times More Adverse Drug Event Data Than FDA, Study Finds

Written by Ayla Ellison (Twitter | Google+)  | May 02, 2014
A new study has found Twitter contains more than three times as many reports of adverse reactions for 23 commonly used medications than the Food and Drug Administration.
For the study, researchers analyzed 61,000 tweets they found scanning Twitter using keywords related to the commonly used prescription drugs.

Are the Prescriptive Measures, Timeline Making Meaningful Use Less Meaningful?

by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Editor in Chief Monday, May 5, 2014
WASHINGTON -- Some hospital executives are questioning whether health care organizations are really meeting the spirit and intent of the HITECH Act as they race to check off the boxes necessary to comply with Stage 2 of the meaningful use incentive program. 
Last week, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives hosted a Capitol Hill Public Policy Forum where hospital CIOs and information management executives reflected on the health IT progress their organizations have made since the passage of HITECH Act more than five years ago, as well as the challenges they face going forward.
Many of the executives said the meaningful use incentive program aligns with and complements their own organization's health IT strategy. However, they said that the program's prescriptive nature and the rigorous timeline has led to challenges that could be detracting from its real goals.


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