Quote Of The Year

Quotes Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 16th May, 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.

Cerner Q1 Results Fall Short of Analyst Expectations

MAY 8, 2015 7:44am ET
Cerner Corp., which is battling privately-held Epic Systems for supremacy in the electronic health records market, had good revenue numbers in the first quarter of 2015 yet still did not match investment analysts’ expectations.
Quarterly revenue of $996.1 million increased 27 percent over the first quarter in 2014, but was short of the $1.09 billion consensus figure of analysts. “Revenue was below guidance provided by the company due to a combination of lower than expected revenue from our recently closed acquisition of Siemens Health Services, and lower revenue in our existing business,” according to a Cerner statement.

Surgical robot hacks: Exploring the vulnerabilities

May 8, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
An engineering team at the University of Washington has been exploring the security vulnerabilities of a surgical robot to determine whether a malicious attack could hijack remotely-controlled operations in the future.
Their research, described in a recently published ArXiv paper, comes at a time when medical robot sales are increasing by 20 percent per year, according to an announcement.
The research was done using the Raven II, a next-generation teleoperated robotic system that is used solely for research and is not FDA approved--not the Da Vinci surgical system in wide use in the U.S. And during the experiments, the robot was merely moving blocks, not actually performing surgery.

5 ways to close common medical device vulnerabilities

May 8, 2015 | By Brian Eastwood
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is no stranger to cyberattacks. In March, roughly 1.2 billion cyberattacks targeted the VA network, CIO Stephen Warren said at the Medical Informatics World conference in Boston. That's a sharp increase from 330 million attacks in November.
Amid all that activity, the VA saw a sharp drop in protected health information breaches in March, with 383 veterans the victim of a PHI breach in March compared to 891 in February, FierceHealthIT previously reported.
Admittedly, the VA benefits from a level of security that not all healthcare organizations have--namely, the Department of Homeland Security's control points, known as Trusted Internet Connections, as well as advanced security measures that even Warren doesn't know about.

Fitness and Health Market Opportunities for Wearables

by Harry Wang Thursday, May 7, 2015
Today, roughly 30% of U.S. broadband households own a connected health device, which includes approximately 15 million households that have a connected fitness or wellness device, such as a fitness tracker, a weight scale, or a sports watch with heart-rate/GPS functions. Adoption rates are increasing, particularly among high-income households, where more than one-third own a connected health device, and by 2016, more than 32 million U.S. consumers will actively track their personal health and fitness online or via a mobile device.
The entry of notable consumer-friendly brands such as Apple and Google will spur this growth in particular by driving consumer awareness and the emergence of new products and applications. Apple's new watch -- which the company unveiled in September 2014 and started to take pre-orders on April 10 -- will crush the smart watch sales of its competitors in 2015; however, the entire smart watch industry will benefit from Apple's entry. A complete ecosystem will form around these devices, including support, value-added services and apps, which will create new opportunities for device makers, service providers, and health and technology companies.

Survey Finds Mixed Nurse Perceptions about EHRs

MAY 7, 2015 7:17am ET
A new survey of more than 600 U.S. nurses finds that a large majority of respondents believe electronic health records can help providers improve patient safety (73 percent) and reduce medication errors (72 percent). And, acute care nurses were even more convinced that EHRs support improved patient safety (82 percent).
However, the survey—conducted by HIMSS Analytics on behalf of EHR vendor Allscripts—also showed
that fewer than half of the nurses surveyed (43 percent) agreed that EHRs eliminate duplicate work, while an even smaller percentage of floor/acute nurses (26 percent) indicated that EHRs reduce duplicate work. Though about a third of nurses (31 percent) agreed that EHRs help them to spend more time with patients, even more (38 percent) said that EHRs in fact reduce the time they can spend with patients.

IBM's Watson to guide cancer therapies at 14 centers

May 5 (Reuters) - Fourteen U.S. and Canadian cancer institutes will use International Business Machines Corp's Watson computer system to choose therapies based on a tumor's genetic fingerprints, the company said on Tuesday, the latest step toward bringing personalized cancer treatments to more patients.
Oncology is the first specialty where matching therapy to DNA has improved outcomes for some patients, inspiring the "precision medicine initiative" President Barack Obama announced in January.
But it can take weeks to identify drugs targeting cancer-causing mutations. Watson can do it in minutes and has in its database the findings of scientific papers and clinical trials on particular cancers and potential therapies.

Most health data breaches caused by criminal attacks

May 7, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Criminal attacks on healthcare organizations have increased 125 percent in the past five years and now are the leading cause of data breaches, according to a new study from the Ponemon Institute.
At the same time, most healthcare organizations are not prepared for the rapidly changing world of cyberthreats, lacking resources and process to protect patient data, according to an announcement.
Small to mid-size organizations especially are vulnerable because they have limited security and privacy processes, personnel, technology, and budgets compared with their larger counterparts, the report notes.

Rising Cyber Attacks Costing Health System $6 Billion Annually

8:00 PM AEST  May 7, 2015


A rise in cyber attacks against doctors and hospitals is costing the U.S. health-care system $6 billion a year as organized criminals who once targeted retailers and financial firms increasingly go after medical records, security researchers say.
Criminal attacks against health-care providers have more than doubled in the past five years, with the average data breach costing a hospital $2.1 million, according to a study today from the Ponemon Institute, a security research and consulting firm. Nearly 90 percent of health-care providers were hit by breaches in the past two years, half of them criminal in nature, the report found.
While intrusions like ones exposing millions of consumers at health insurer Anthem Inc. and hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc. have increased risk awareness, most of their peers are still unprepared for sophisticated data attacks, security experts have said.

As Data Breaches Spread, Providers and Payers Must Prepare

Lena J. Weiner, for HealthLeaders Media , May 6, 2015

The actions taken by an organization in the days, weeks, and months after a security breach can mean the difference between recovery and organizational failure—whether the breach is a result of criminal activity or "good people doing stupid things."

Three words healthcare executives dread hearing—"we've been hacked"—are reverberating in hospitals, health systems and physicians groups with growing frequency.
Just last week, Boston-based Partners Healthcare notified 3,300 patients that some information including names, addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers and clinical information had been leaked to hackers. In February, the country's largest insurance company, Anthem, announced that 80 million member and employee records had been breached.

EHI News becomes Digital Health News

4 May 2015   Digital Health News staff
EHI News has changed and become Digital Health News; a new name to reflect the changing face of healthcare IT and digital health and social care.
With the new name comes a new domain, digitalhealth.net. Digital Health brings together EHI News, EHI Intelligence, the CCIO Network and Health CIO Network - to create a new home for UK health IT.
For the next six months, anyone visiting the old ehi.co.uk domain will be taken to a landing page that asks whether they want to proceed to digitalhealth.net. 

Cancer Centers, Epic to Tap Power of IBM Watson Supercomputer

MAY 6, 2015 7:15am ET
Fourteen major cancer centers will use the cognitive abilities of the IBM Watson Health supercomputer to quickly analyze patients’ DNA, identify cancer-causing mutations and speed identification of personalized treatment options.
Further, Epic Systems Corp. is working with Watson and Mayo Clinic on a proof-of-concept program to match patients to the most appropriate clinical trials.

3 tips for getting along with Dr. Google

May 4, 2015 | By Debra Beaulieu-Volk
Though they need to better engage patients in their health, physicians often struggle to help patients use medical information they may obtain online in a productive way. Difficulties with patients consulting "Dr. Google" may include misinformation, biased medical suggestions and patients' preconceived ideas about their diagnosis or treatment, Laura Cooley, Ph.D., director of education and outreach at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare in Lexington, Kentucky, told Medical Economics.

Legislators grill Karen DeSalvo on interoperability

May 6, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
The issue of poor interoperability between electronic health record systems took center stage at a Senate hearing Tuesday focusing on the promise of precision medicine.
National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo was peppered with questions and comments from legislators about the current state of interoperability as it pertains to healthcare in general, President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative and with regard to the Department of Defense's pending EHR contract.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, pointed out that despite $28 billion spent on EHR adoption so far, physicians aren't keen on such systems due to, among other issues, disrupted workflow.

Karen DeSalvo to step down as ONC head if confirmed for HHS role

May 6, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
President Barack Obama late Wednesday announced his intent to nominate current National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo for Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.
As DeSalvo's confirmation is pending, she will continue to serve both as head of ONC and as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, according to an email sent to staffers by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell that was shared with FierceHealthIT. Once confirmed by the Senate, however, DeSalvo will step down as National Coordinator, HHS confirmed.

HDM May Feature: The Portal Outlook is Cloudy

MAY 5, 2015 7:32am ET
Engaging patients through the use of health information technology has been a growing challenge for healthcare organizations, and it's one that's expected to loom even larger in years to come.
Patient portals, as the acknowledged leading patient engagement tool, so far have been disappointing in satisfying the needs of both patients and providers. While portals typically enable patients and families to view health and billing information and perform simple requests, such as schedule appointments, consumer uptake has been minimal.
That's a worry for providers, which are on the hook for consumer use of engagement technology. Objectives for Stage 2 of the federal meaningful use program were the first to set out a requirement for consumer connection to clinical information. While that level of engagement was set low, many healthcare organizations reported problems in getting consumers to participate.

Telemedicine Reimbursement and Licensure Expands in State Regulations

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 5, 2015

At its annual meeting, the American Telemedicine Association reports that 24 states now require that healthcare received via telemedicine be paid the same as in-person services.

Over just six months, state regulating bodies show moderate improvement in telemedicine policies and laws, the American Telemedicine Association reports this week.
At its annual meeting in Los Angeles this week, the ATA reported that 24 states and Washington, D.C., now have enacted parity laws requiring comparable coverage of and reimbursement for services delivered via telemedicine as is available for in-person services, by state-approved private insurance plans, state employee medical plans, and Medicaid. Three more states than had such laws in effect last September.

Telemedicine Reimbursement and Licensure Expands in State Regulations

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 5, 2015

At its annual meeting, the American Telemedicine Association reports that 24 states now require that healthcare received via telemedicine be paid the same as in-person services.

Over just six months, state regulating bodies show moderate improvement in telemedicine policies and laws, the American Telemedicine Association reports this week.
At its annual meeting in Los Angeles this week, the ATA reported that 24 states and Washington, D.C., now have enacted parity laws requiring comparable coverage of and reimbursement for services delivered via telemedicine as is available for in-person services, by state-approved private insurance plans, state employee medical plans, and Medicaid. Three more states than had such laws in effect last September.

Technology and the Patient Experience

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 5, 2015

In addition to cutting-edge tools and devices, some healthcare leaders are finding that even putting consumer feedback on a website can play a role.

This article appears in the April 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
All too often, technology manages to get in the way of superior patient experiences in healthcare. Despite the benefits technology brings to healthcare, it also can intrude on doctor-patient communications. Too much gathered information remains locked up, unavailable to the public. But at more and more healthcare organizations, attention is shifting to leveraging technology to make the healthcare experience better and more transparent.

Interoperable Medical Device Safety Standards Making Headway

MAY 4, 2015 7:15am ET
It may be a stretch to compare the medical device market of the early 21st century to the market for electrical wiring and appliances in the early 20th century, but the goal of Underwriters Laboratories is essentially the same in both instances.
"Our goal is public safety. People recognize our brand because of our focus on that," said Anura Fernando, principal engineer for eHealth Medical Systems Interoperability and mHealth at UL. "In some cases, like electrical safety, people often don't even notice the UL mark on the back of products. In some respects it becomes very much taken for granted. But regardless of public perception and branding and so forth, we try to find areas where we can continue to grow and evolve the mission."

Healthcare security: Adapt or die

Posted on May 04, 2015
By Erin McCann, Managing Editor
This is Part III of our April Cover Story on healthcare IT's tall to-do list. Part I focused on interoperability. Part II focused on analytics
"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change" – a quote, often attributed to Charles Darwin, (turns out it was actually a paraphrase by some accounts), but that aside, a lesson in evolutionary biology turns out to be incredibly useful in the realm of healthcare security.
When examining the rapid speed at which the threat landscape for healthcare is changing and combining it with the traditionally slow-to-adapt nature of the healthcare industry in general, the problem's pretty clear.  

Increasing frequency of cyberattacks

It's a different threat world nowadays. Think about it. Every 60 seconds, 232 computers are infected with malware; 12 websites are successfully hacked, with 416 attempts; more than 571 new websites are created; 204 million emails are sent, and 278,000 tweets are sent out into the twittosphere – all in a single minute. Combine this with the fact that on the black market, medical records are worth $60, compared to credit card data, which typically sells for $20. So, what are the implications for a healthcare security professional?

Regenstrief gives clinicians CDS control

Posted on May 04, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
When in comes to clinical decision support, clinicians often have to go through a lengthy process to get specific warnings or reminders added to the electronic medical record system.
But, Regenstrief Institute aims to change all that by making it possible for the clinicians to write decision support rules based on personal experience with their patients.
RAVE, a new distributed approach to clinician decision support rule authoring  developed by Regenstrief, is "personalized" to patient population, location and time, developed. RAVE, ann acronym for Rule Authoring and Validation Environment, was tested at Eskenazi Health, one of the nation's largest safety net hospital systems.

Big data's biggest healthcare challenge: Making sense of it all

May 4, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Collecting healthcare data on patients and populations will soon be easier than ever for the industry, it's making sense of all the information that will be the biggest challenge, Drew Harris, M.D., director of health policy at Thomas Jefferson University's School of Population Health in Philadelphia, writes at the Wall Street Journal.
The most significant change will come when data systems are merged; when electronic health records can link people who live, work and commute together, according to Harris.
"This information can be used to inform your care from knowing which bacterial strains are circulating in your network to what ideas about health and health behavior are influencing you," he writes.

Nurses Develop RNSafe to Verify Bedside Dosing

May 4, 2015
Several nurses at Boston Children’s Hospital have banded together to develop RNSafe, a prototype mobile system designed to help verify bedside medication and doses, taking advantage of an Innovation Acceleration Program grant.
Hospital rules stipulate that when a nurse delivers a complex medication, another nurse must be present to observe and verify the dose. However, retrieving a second nurse on a hectic hospital floor can pose a challenge, which can be further compounded when the nurse has to wear protective gear because the patient’s room contains infection control precautions.

Researchers Take Most Clinical Data Registries to Task

May 1, 2015
Most clinical data registries on patient outcomes are substandard and lack critical features to make them useful, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
The researchers looked at 153 U.S. clinical registries containing health service and disease outcomes data to determine how effective they were at tracking outcomes. They created a registry of registries to study how healthcare measures its performance. What they found was that poor data monitoring and reporting were ensuring these registries were not aiding the patients, providers, policymakers, and researchers that needed them for guidance. 
A strong majority of registries (more than 75 percent) did not adjust results for differences in disease complexity, which researchers say leads to misinterpretation. An even greater number did not include independently entered data, which is supposed to mitigate the bias of self-reported data. Also, they found that most registries did not share their data publicly and a majority of U.S. recognized medical specialties had no national clinical registries.

Teleburn Aids in Burn Diagnosis, Treatment

by Rebecca Vesely, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Monday, May 4, 2015
Teleburn, an emerging telemedicine specialty that links hospitals and clinics to specialty burn centers, is filling a gap in diagnosis and treatment of burns as burn centers have become more consolidated into regional centers of excellence over the past 15 years.
"There are fewer and fewer burn centers, and the expertise is hard to duplicate," Daniel Caruso, chief of burn services at the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Integrated Health Center in Phoenix, said. "Burn care is really amenable to telehealth."
Advances in digital and smartphone cameras today are making teleburn possible because of the low cost and the high quality of images outlying centers can send to specialists to accurately diagnose burns and recommend treatment, Caruso said.

The Reality of Virtual Care

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 4, 2015

Telemedicine is removing geographical boundaries and bringing patients and providers together.

This article appears in the April 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Virtual care is not a new idea. Videoconferencing dates back several decades. Remote monitoring in ICUs began more than a decade ago. Telestroke and remote behavioral health programs have been on the radar in many settings for years.
But two major factors have given virtual care a big boost in the past year. Healthcare's notorious inefficiency is pushing health systems to balance workloads and workflows, erasing distance and time as limiting factors on the provision of care—using virtual care to do much of the balancing. Second, telemonitoring technology is providing improved ease of use and simplicity, while more attractive price points and performance capabilities are driving virtual care innovation into all of healthcare's costly nooks and crannies.

Use of mHealth can reduce the impact of demographic change

Written by Anne-Sophie Parent on 4 May 2015 in Opinion
Tackling privacy and security issues is key to empowering old people to part manage their own health and wellbeing, says Anne-Sophie Parent.
A question certain to be raised at this year's eHealth week is whether mobile health can provide an answer to the increasing needs of Europe's ageing population.
The event, held in Riga, is set to focus on the main conclusions from the European commission's public consultation on mobile health, or mHealth as some call it. 
eHealth is a generic term covering all ICT-enabled health services and devices that are used by health professionals, carers, funders and patients. 

Patent Trolls Are Everywhere

Consumer personal health record vendor LMG 3 Marketing and Development Corp. sues Apple, claiming that its Health and HealthKit apps violate its patents for technologies that it claims to have licensed to retailers such as Target. I found the original 2012 patent, which is a vague and seemingly unrelated description of a personal health record on a thumb drive. The primary inventor is Mike Lubell of Raleigh, NC, who developed MyPMR in 2000 while creating an EMR/PM business unit  for Canon Business Solutions. LMG 3 apparently offers sells MyPMR for $34.95.


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