Saturday, August 08, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -8th August, 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 wins Pentagon EHR contract

July 29, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
A team led by Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner Corp. has won the highly coveted contract to implement the electronic health record system for the Department of Defense.
The Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract is worth $4.3 billion for its first phase of two years. There are two additional three-year option periods as well as a potential two-year award term. The system will be installed at 55 hospitals nationwide. Estimates for the contract ran as high as $11 billion, but the overall estimated value of the contract is roughly $9 billion. 
Cerner, which teamed with Leidos and Accenture Federal, beat out two other finalists: Epic, with IBM and Impact Advisors, and Allscripts, which teamed with Computer Sciences Corp. and Hewlett Packard (HP).

Cerner Surprises in Beating Epic for DoD EHR

JUL 30, 2015 7:15am ET
 “I’m stunned,” says longtime vendor selection consultant Vince Ciotti of the Defense Department’s pick of Cerner Corp. to be the new electronic health records vendor for the Military Health System.
Ciotti had pegged a 90 percent probability of Epic Systems getting the deal, as the company has consistently beaten Cerner for large delivery system contracts in recent years. Further, a young Epic, through the huge contract it got with Kaiser Permanente more than a decade ago, has shown the ability to significantly ramp up and do a massive job. “Frankly, I think Epic would have been a wiser choice for us taxpayers.”
But it is the Cerner team led by government contractor and IT implementer Leidos as well as consultancy Accenture and dental software vendor Henry Schein that took the prize over the teams of IBM, Epic and Impact Advisors; and Hewlett-Packard, Computer Sciences Corp. and Allscripts.

Will Cerner Sink or Swim Under Weight of DoD EHR Contract?

JUL 30, 2015 2:57pm ET
Now that Cerner’s suite of electronic health records will over the next decade power the Military Health System, the question arises on whether the vendor is up to the mammoth task.
The new EHR system—which is global in scope—will replace up to 50 legacy systems and cover more than 9.5 million Defense Department beneficiaries and the more than 200,000 providers that support them. The initial contract for work is valued at about $4.3 billion, with initial rollout of the system to eight test sites in the Pacific Northwest expected to start in late 2016, and the value of the entire contract could near $9 billion.

Telemedicine useful for treating depression in older patients

July 31, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Telemedicine can be a useful tool for older patients who suffer from depression, according to a recent study.  
The technology is helpful, especially to veterans, who may not be able to receive in-person psychotherapy due to geographic isolation, stigma and mobility, according to the research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
The study examines the impact telemedicine consultations had on 204 veterans over the age of 58 who met criteria for "major depressive disorder."
The use of telemedicine to deliver psychotherapy sessions to older adults was found to be just as effective to in-person treatment, according to the report's authors, who work at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Security needs to be a top priority for healthcare leaders

Posted on Jul 31, 2015
By Scott Rea, DigiCert
Back in the old days – say, a whole 10 years ago – thieves had to be physically inside a healthcare facility to steal patient information. How times have changed.
Now, with the Internet and the seeming lack of consistent implementation of online security best practices when it comes to patient information, we’re making things much easier for attackers. The proof is in the data. Gartner research conservatively estimates close to 40 million health care records have been breached to date. That’s likely a conservative figure, given that breaches of fewer than 500 records are not required to be reported.

Survey: Nearly 20 percent of community hospitals want to change EHR vendors

July 28, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Now that the electronic health record market has matured, nearly 20 percent of community hospitals are actively looking to replace their EHR vendors, according to the latest report from peer60.
The report, Community Hospital Quick EHR Report 2015, found that of the 277 providers in community hospitals, 53 percent have attested for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, and 36 percent were currently attesting. Of the 11 percent that have not yet started, some were still in Stage 1, others were either not ready to attest or their vendor was not ready to attest.
The report also found that 54 percent of respondents were unhappy with the usability of their system; 53 percent said their system lacked functionality.  

CVS, Watson confront chronic disease

Posted on Jul 30, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
CVS Health, with 7,800 pharmacies and more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics across the country, and Watson, IBM's cognitive computing platform, are joining forces to take on chronic diseases. The plan? Eradicate conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity before they even take hold.
The partnership joins Watson's cognitive computing capability with CVS' vast trove of healthcare data that includes medical health records, pharmacy and medical claims information. Of course, CVS customers and their care providers are part of the equation.
The CVS-Watson partnership will enable healthcare practitioners, including those across the CVS Health enterprise, to use Watson to advance care management beyond programs and services typically available today, according to IBM executives. Much of the power has to do with Watson’s ability to read and understand vast amounts of information, and to continuously learn.

EHR Interoperability With Long-Term Care Providers Wanted, but Who Will Pay?

by Ken Terry, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Thursday, July 30, 2015
CMS has urged skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home care agencies to acquire electronic health record systems that are capable of exchanging data with hospitals and other health care providers, but it hasn't explained where these long-term and post-acute-care (LTPAC) providers will get the money to implement these health IT systems. LTPAC providers are ineligible to participate in the federal EHR incentive program.
CMS has proposed raising payments to SNFs by 1.4% in fiscal year 2016, but that is barely enough to cover inflation. Beginning in FY 2018, CMS plans to apply the same value-based payment system to SNFs that it already is using with hospitals and physicians. Many of those providers, however, have more advanced health IT systems to help them make that transition.
It's unlikely that the government will provide additional incentives to LTPAC providers or that it will launch a new program to bring SNFs into the EHR world, according to Catherine DesRoches, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research. Yet bringing these providers in, she said, "is going to be very important in realizing this idea of the interoperable [electronic health information] system."

4 takeaways from Ponemon's 2015 healthcare security report

Posted on Jul 29, 2015
By Nathan Wenzler, Thycotic
Ponemon’s recently published 2015 Study on Privacy & Data Security of Healthcare Data makes one point crystal clear: healthcare organizations must do more to protect sensitive patient information from the wide variety of data breach threats.
A shockingly high 91 percent of respondents reported falling victim to at least one data breach in the last two years. The majority of respondents had suffered 11 or more incidents. Healthcare IT teams understand that these percentages are unacceptable, but until now have largely failed to effectively mitigate data breach threats.
Healthcare organizations could view Ponemon’s report as a document that paints IT security in their industry as a failure. I have a slightly different view. This report is one of the most useful resources for helping healthcare organizations start taking the necessary steps to defend themselves more capably against data breaches. With this in mind, here are four takeaways from this report that each and every healthcare organization should consider:

What hospitals need to know about Windows 10

Posted on Jul 29, 2015
By Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News
The arrival of a new Microsoft operating system does not exactly bring the same excitement that it once did.
Indeed, since about the time Windows Vista launched, subsequent operating systems have come – and in the odd case of Windows 9 essentially vanished – without the fanfare of Windows 95, XP or 2000.
The company has at least managed to create enough wattage around Windows 10, however, that some 5 million so-called Windows Insiders installed early versions to test the software in development – and word slipped out this week that the planned flagship Microsoft store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will open in the fall.

Windows 10 Launch for Business: 4 Things to Know

JUL 31, 2015 7:41am ET
As Microsoft Corp. launches Windows 10 today, the operating system arrives in a remarkably different world than earlier launches like Windows 8, Windows XP and Windows 95. Indeed, the cloud computing, mobile, social and big data waves have dramatically altered the IT landscape. Here's where Windows 10 potentially fits into the corporate IT conversation.
1. Windows 10 and the Internet of Things: Instead of trying to compete head-on against Google Android and Apple iOS, Microsoft has scaled back its own smartphone efforts (going cross-platform instead) and is now pushing hard toward the Internet of Things. Several Windows 10 builds will specifically target a new generation of devices and intelligent endpoints. Deeper Dive: Ovum's Richard Edwards describes the Windows 10-IoT opportunity here.

Docs in Europe have mixed reactions to mHealth, digital tools

July 29, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Doctors throughout the United Kingdom, France and Germany have mixed feelings about digital health technologies, with one in five saying that lifestyle apps are a fad, according to a recent report.
Ipsos Healthcare interviewed primary care physicians in those three nations to get their insights on digital health technology.

Psychotherapy via telemedicine yields similar results to in-office therapy for veterans with MDD

Egede LE, et al. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015; doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00122-4.
July 27, 2015
Results from a randomized, controlled, open-label non-inferiority trial indicate psychotherapy administered via telemedicine had similar results to therapy via same-room treatment for older veterans with major depressive disorder.
 “Many older adults with major depression, particularly veterans, do not have access to evidence-based psychotherapy. Telemedicine could increase access to best-practice care for older adults facing barriers of mobility, stigma, and geographical isolation,” study researcher Leonard E. Egede, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues wrote.

EHRs far from interoperable -- still

Posted on Jul 28, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
The most valued patient data resides in the EHR, yet EHRs are architected to perpetuate data silos. Because of the lack of interoperability, healthcare providers can't achieve true care coordination.
To date, EHR vendors have turned a blind eye to this critical flaw, and according to a new report from Boston-based Chilmark Research, there is no sign they will change anytime soon.
The rapid expansion of value-based reimbursement is exposing unmet needs for active coordination – care, financial and administrative – within and between healthcare organizations, say Chilmark executives in a news release announcing the findings.

Can the Health IT Safety Center succeed?

Posted on Jul 28, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
When ONC released its Health IT Safety Center Roadmap earlier this month, it touted the envisioned center as way to create a "culture of safety."
Writing in Health Affairs, two experts offer some tips to help it meet that "monumental, sociotechnical challenge."
ONC wants to use the safety center as a convener for stakeholders from across healthcare to accomplish two interrelated goals: "using health IT to make care safer, and continuously improving the safety of health IT."
That will take work, and lasting commitment from a broad array of different players, according to Dean Sittig, professor of biomedical informatics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Hardeep Singh, research scientist at Baylor College of Medicine.

Is DoD's EHR modernization bound to fail?

Posted on Jul 28, 2015
By Jack McCarthy, Contributing Writer
The Department of Defense's plans to spend $11 billion on a new EHR system are coming under fire.
The Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization, aka DHMSM, is intended to facilitate interoperable information sharing among the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and private-sector healthcare providers.
Yet some are saying the system, the most expensive EHR investment of its kind, is bound for failure, while others suggest the contract itself should be delayed pending further review.

Privacy advocate Deborah Peel: Government HIT initiatives strip patients of data control

July 28, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Government initiatives to achieve interoperability, improve data-sharing and promote the 21st Century Cures bill are "more of the same old, same old measures to increase the spread and use" of personal data while taking control out of patients' hands, according to privacy advocate Deborah Peel, M.D.
"The problems of interoperability of data, the 21st Century Cures bill and the calls to create a national patient identifier are all proposals to solve today's problems with yesterday's technology--pressure to open up commercial use of health information. This doesn't have anything to do with research and cures," she tells HealthcareInfoSecurity in a recent interview.
Peel says the IT infrastructure in healthcare is "designed to produce problems forever"--it doesn't scale to handle massive amounts of data and puts the data of millions of patients at risk from breaches and cyberattacks. 

ePrescribing Complaints Point to Bigger Problems

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , July 28, 2015

The widespread inability of electronic prescription services to handle order cancellations is just a point of pain for physicians. Other vexations can affect patient safety.

I recently reported on widespread grumbling at AMDIS about the fact that it is still a rare thing for physicians to be able to cancel an e-prescription order made through the nation's de facto e-prescribing service, Surescripts.
I was only able to get a brief statement from Surescripts at the conclusion of AMDIS, which mentioned "all stakeholder groups" as holding the key to solving this problem, which in the meantime, may be causing who knows how much inefficiency and waste in healthcare – and perhaps, even some harm.

John Halamka’s Case to Delay Stage 3

JUL 27, 2015 7:26am ET
Health Data Management recently asked John Halamka, M.D., CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and co-chair of the HIT Standards Committee that advises federal agencies, if the healthcare industry needs Stage 3 of the electronic health records meaningful use program. Here is his answer:
Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2 created an important foundation. However, only now is the private sector catching up from the backlog of deferred work. The private sector Argonaut Project is accelerating interoperability, but is not yet mature. A delay in MU Stage 3 would actually improve adoption of EHRs and innovation in data exchange.
Since I have been a CIO, over 300,000 pages of new healthcare regulations have been published. Although each of these may be well meaning and reasonable on its own, the combined effect of ACA, ICD-10, Meaningful Use, and the HIPAA Omnibus rule has been to co-opt the IT agenda from the stakeholders.

Why the EHR market continues to grow

Posted on Jul 27, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Paper-based records are being phased out at a rapid pace in healthcare, and digitization and virtualization are creating a whole market within the global healthcare industry, according to Transparency Market Research, or TMR, whose researchers say the trend will continue until 2020.
The ball has been set rolling with more than 54 percent physicians in the U.S. adopting electronic health record systems, as of 2011, researchers point out the estimates reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In the same year, 50 percent of physicians who were not already using an EHR system said they planned to invest in one within the next 12 months.
A similar change is taking place in the U.K., where the National Health Service is slated to go entirely paperless by 2018.

Online education to help meet need for sophisticated health IT workforce

July 27, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
There is increasing need for sophisticated technology workers in the industry, and education is one way to meet that need, according to Health and Human Services Department employees Michelle Washko and Jon White.
To construct a strong IT-focused workforce in a rapidly evolving industry, planning, building and time will be needed, Washko, deputy director of the National Center on Healthcare Workforce Analysis at HHS, said during a keynote address at the forum "Moving at the Speed of Healthcare" on Thursday in in the District of Columbia.
"But, how can we do this if the landscape is constantly shifting?" she asked.

At iHT2-Denver, a Broad Look at an Inflection Point in Telehealth Expansion Nationwide

July 23, 2015
In a wide-ranging discussion on Wednesday as part of the Health IT Summit in Denver, experts parsed the challenges and opportunities facing telehealth expansion nationwide
Are we at an inflection point in terms of telehealth in U.S. healthcare? The policy, business, operational, clinical, technological, and IT aspects of telehealth’s moment were discussed broadly in a panel discussion on July 22 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver, during a session at the Health IT Summit in Denver, sponsored by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2—a sister organization to Healthcare Informatics under the Vendome Group LLC corporate umbrella.
The session entitled “Telehealth: Colorado and Beyond,” was moderated by Heather Haugen, PhD., Instructor and Co-Director of Health Information Technology, University of Colorado, and its additional participants were Peter Kung, system vice president, virtual Health, SCL Health (Broomfield, Colo.); Samantha Lippolis, telehealth manager, Centura Health (Denver); Kate Kiefert, state HIT coordinator for the State of Colorado; and Debbie Voyles, director of clinical operations, telehealth, at Colorado Access (a Denver-based health plan serving the Medicaid and underserved populations).

Cerner launches fall risk detection tool

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi (Twitter | Google+)  | July 24, 2015
Cerner has introduced a new tool to help detect the risk of patient falls.
The tool is affixed around a patient's waist, and the patient then walks around a clinic for 10 minutes. Using mathematical models and time series analysis, the tool calculates the patient's movement, speed and activity to deliver a personalized assessment of the patient and the risk of falling.
The EHR-agnostic tool can help identify fall-risk patients with 90 percent accuracy, according to Cerner.
7/23/2015 10:40 am

Drug monitoring programs offer step toward limiting opioid abuse

At least 10 states require health care providers to access a prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing opioids, but workers compensation payers in all states should request providers do so to curb overprescribing, drug monitoring advocates say.
Connecticut is the latest state to require that health care providers check a patient's history in the state's prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing controlled substances. The requirements, which include checking the database before prescribing more than a 72-hour supply of any controlled substance and at least every 90 days for “continuous or prolonged treatment,” will take effect in October.
Prescription drug monitoring programs “give a holistic picture of the drug regimen for patients,” said Mark Pew, senior vice president of product development at Prium, a Duluth, Georgia-based medical management company. “A pharmacy benefit manager in workers compensation only has access to the drugs that are prescribed and dispensed for workers compensation … (The database) has every single drug that's prescribed regardless of the payer.”

US govt guide aims to bolster security of mobile devices used in health care

IDG News Service | July 24, 2015
Health care providers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets for tasks such as accessing and transferring medical records, and submitting prescriptions, but these devices may not be secure enough to protect sensitive medical information from hackers.
That’s the conclusion of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, whose cybersecurity center released a draft guide Thursday to help health IT professionals shore up the mobile devices.
“Mobile devices are being used by many providers for health care delivery before they have implemented safeguards for privacy and security,” the agency said.

Data Key to a Precision Medicine Future

by Leonard Kish Monday, July 27, 2015
There's been uproar about ProPublica's recent release of the Surgeon Scorecard. Many from the medical establishment have taken the position that "if data aren't perfect, they shouldn't be released."
This must change for a precision medicine future. A future that we're closer than ever to, thanks to President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative and the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by the House and is currently under debate in the Senate. Further, a Senate committee last week heard testimony on interoperability, which can be read as health data transparency. What's clear is that all health data are on the table for a precision medicine future.
The Surgeon Scorecard debate, to me, is part of a broader conversation about the future of medicine and our path toward precision medicine through more open data. According to NIH, "Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person."


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