Saturday, September 05, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -5th September, 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.

Sensor-based remote monitoring system keeps elderly out of hospital

August 28, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
A wireless sensor system used to monitor elderly people at assisted living facilities and at home is helping to detect illness and keep them out of the hospital.
The technology, developed by employees at University of Missouri and the Sinclair School of Nursing, helps to provide caregivers with detailed vital signs every day, instead of once a year when the patient goes to the doctor for a checkup, according to a Columbia Daily Tribune article.
Sensors include one placed under a patient's mattress to detect restlessness when sleeping, and another can help monitor the patient's gait to help predict falls, the article says.

Investments in digital health sector soar

August 28, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Investors are seeing the potential of digital health, with funding for startups in the area reaching billions of dollars.
Digital health deals grew from 118 in 2010 to 396 in 2014, and last year alone funding in the area hit $3.5 billion, four times what was seen in 2010, according to a new CB Insights report.
There were 105 deals in the second quarter of this year, raking in about $1 billion in investments, the report adds.

Intermountain opens high-tech simulation center

Posted on Aug 28, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Intermountain Healthcare opened a state-of-the-art simulation center at its LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City this week. It's a place where doctors, nurses and healthcare staff can practice and perfect their skills while employing technology they will put to work for their patients in real medical situations.
The center is equipped with the most advanced simulation technology and allows staff the opportunity to develop and practice physical skills, critical thinking, decision-making, collaboration, and communication in a safe, realistic environment, Intermountain executives say.
The goal is to train and better prepare clinical care teams to deliver expert care when it's most needed. As Intermountain clinicians see it, practice makes perfect.

API-driven Akana Healthcare Solution unlocks EHR data: 6 key points

Written by Megan Wood | August 26, 2015
Akana, a Los Angeles-based provider of API Management, API security and cloud integration solutions, released the Akana Healthcare Solution.
Here are six key points:
1. The Akana Healthcare Solution is API-driven and helps healthcare companies transition to secure, digital interoperable systems.
2. Using the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, Akana's solution provides for a broad use of medical data.

Demand for wearable devices slowed substantially in first half of 2015

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 27, 2015
which include fitness bands, smartwatches, smart glasses, and other sensor-enabled devices, has decreased after reaching a high point in January, according to an Argus Insights report compiled from approximately 328,000 consumer reviews since January 2014.
Argus explained that over the last 18 months, the wearable market has grown significantly. Demand was slow at the beginning of this period, the end of the 2013 holiday season. But then demand picked up and reached a peak in January — it was four times as high as the year prior. 
“Our analysis of review volume for the wearables market correlates directly with unit sales volume, and we have seen a significant slowing in consumer demand for both wearables in general and fitness bands in particular,” Argus Insights CEO John Feland said in a statement.

More than 80% of healthcare IT leaders say their systems have been compromised

Only half of IT managers feel they are adequately prepared to prevent future attacks

Computerworld | Aug 27, 2015 3:13 AM PT
Eighty-one percent of healthcare executives say their organizations have been compromised by at least one malware, botnet or other kind of cyberattack during the past two years, according to a survey by KPMG.
The KPMG report also states that only half of those executives feel that they are adequately prepared to prevent future attacks. The attacks place sensitive patient data at risk of exposure, KPMG said.
The 2015 KPMG Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey polled 223 CIOs, CTOs, chief security officers and chief compliance officers at healthcare providers and health plans.

Primary Care Providers See Health IT in Mostly Positive Light

AUG 27, 2015 7:24am ET
While many primary care providers dislike the challenges associated with moving to electronic health records, they generally accept the “promise of health IT” to improve the quality of care for their patients.
That’s among key findings of a new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and The Kaiser Family Foundation.
In the survey of 1,624 primary care phy­sicians and 525 midlevel clinicians (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) working in primary care practices, health IT generally garnered mostly positive opinions with half (50 percent) of physicians and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of nurse practi­tioners and physician assistants saying it has made a positive impact.

Task force summarizes barriers, mulls recommendations to improve EHR data sharing

August 25, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Patient care coordination is the "key driver" to data sharing, but there are challenges to accomplishing that goal, according to the Health IT Policy Committee's task force on clinical, technical, organizational and financial barriers to interoperability.
In its Aug. 25 meeting, the task force summarized information from hearings held earlier in the month regarding obstacles to electronic health record interoperability. Some of the major barriers to interoperability include the cost to interface, the lack of standards, the lack of infrastructure and platforms for interoperability, and the lack of a forum to pull together stakeholders.
While the motivation for providers to share data to coordinate care and participate in new payment models is pretty clear, providers are still stuck in "silos." The incentives also need to be aligned for both providers and vendors, since vendors will follow their customers.

Electronic 'trigger' can identify cancer red flags, reduce diagnostic delays

August 25, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Electronic "triggers" searching for data within an electronic health record can identify patients at risk of delayed cancer diagnosis and speed up the diagnostic evaluation, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Workplace pressures, information overload and other factors can contribute to delays in clinician follow up of abnormal findings that could be indicative of cancer.
For the study, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial of 72 primary care physicians at two sites over a 15 month period in 2011 and 2012.

Electronic mental health, substance abuse records need special care

August 26, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
I have little sympathy for the millions of people who joined the Ashley Madison website that facilitates extramarital affairs and now are dealing with the exposure of their involvement due to hackers. It is naive in these electronic times to think that there's anything private. 
The National Security Agency monitors our email. Healthcare entities, banking institutions, large retailers and even the federal government all have been victims of cyberattacks. Cellphones have become witnesses to bad public behavior.
But it is disconcerting to think that electronic substance abuse and mental health records are more vulnerable to exposure, as a recent article in The Intercept reports. The article details how the move from paper records to electronic health records caused at least one bipolar patient's data to be readily available to a multitude of physicians in the practice, which the patient did not expect, to her dismay. The article also highlights how easily electronic patient records of Canadians who were treated for attempted suicide ended up in the hands of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which used the data against the patients even though they were no threat to anyone.

IT belongs to Glasgow

Last updated: 27 August 2015 13:04
Glasgow’s new ‘super hospital’ is an impressive building with impressive IT. Reporter Thomas Meek went to take a look; and, of course, he started with the robot porters.
When NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde decided to close down several of the city’s ageing hospitals to create a new ‘super hospital’ on the old site of the Southern General, it wanted to create a modern facility that was truly fit for the 21st century.
Step through the door of the newly-named Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, which opened in May this year, and it certainly seems like they have done the job.
The sun streams into the huge glass-ceilinged atrium that contains numerous open span waiting areas, a host of shops and a giant wall out of which protrude several rectangular pods, each a different bright pink, orange or purple. It all feels a bit more like a tourist resort rather than the place to go to see a doctor or nurse.
The use of technology is apparent, too. There are computer screens with bus times by the entrance, numerous self check-in kiosks dotted around the waiting areas, and a ‘Find Your Way’ screen, which patients and visitors can use to direct them around the 14-floor building, which contains 1,109 beds, each in its own room.

Another view: of the future of primary care IT

Last updated: 25 August 2015 14:00
Why do so many incumbent IT suppliers get overtaken in their markets? GP Neil Paul's been reading up on the subject, and reckons that some primary care suppliers should do the same.
I read several books over my summer holiday. Several touched on the history of the personal computing industry.
A couple commented that even huge, entrenched monopolies can make mistakes and end up losing their status. IBM made the decision to use MS-DOS and let Microsoft licence it to others; so IBM seeded control of the desktop to Microsoft.
Then, Microsoft arguably lost the personal computer battle to smartphone operating systems, such as Android. In another field, Disney lost out to Pixar (and had to buy it).
Dinosaur, meet extinction event
The books didn’t have one theory as to why this happened.  Most discussed the idea that large organisations are unable to change quickly and adapt to new technologies and customer needs: the dinosaur meets evolutionary event theory.

Unlocking the Value of Unstructured Patient Data

AUG 26, 2015 7:27am ET
Getting patients diagnosed correctly and treated appropriately depends on providers gathering both quantitative data, which is typically structured, and qualitative data, which is typically unstructured. When comparing both types of data, it’s more challenging to manage and derive value from unstructured data.
Quantifiable, measureable data such as lab results, blood sugar levels and cholesterol are considered structured data. This type of data is objective and can be entered discretely into EHRs via predefined fields. Since the data is structured, software systems are able to understand the meaning of the data, interpret the data and report on it. Structured data can be put to use by clinicians at the point of care to aid their decision making.

Unlocking the Value of Unstructured Patient Data

AUG 26, 2015 7:27am ET
Getting patients diagnosed correctly and treated appropriately depends on providers gathering both quantitative data, which is typically structured, and qualitative data, which is typically unstructured. When comparing both types of data, it’s more challenging to manage and derive value from unstructured data.
Quantifiable, measureable data such as lab results, blood sugar levels and cholesterol are considered structured data. This type of data is objective and can be entered discretely into EHRs via predefined fields. Since the data is structured, software systems are able to understand the meaning of the data, interpret the data and report on it. Structured data can be put to use by clinicians at the point of care to aid their decision making.

Palm reading the answer for patient ID?

Posted on Aug 26, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
Offering a novel answer to a complex security challenge, Imprivata has introduced  PatientSecure, a patient identification tool that uses palm vein biometrics to link patients with their EHRs.
Imprivata officials make the point that 7 to 10 percent of patients, on average, are misidentified when their medical records are accessed. By scanning a patient's hand to capture its unique palm vein pattern, PatientSecure can match an individual with his or her digital record, preventing such errors – and helping improve patient safety, safeguarding against identity theft and insurance fraud and driving revenue cycle efficiency.
"As our healthcare system continues to digitize, enabling care delivery organizations to leverage a simple and secure identification platform is critical to enhancing the patient experience and addressing the growing medical identity theft and insurance fraud nationally," said David Wiener, general manager, Imprivata PatientSecure Products Group, in a press statement.

Survey: 81 percent of C-suite execs have seen cyberattacks at their facilities

August 26, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Eighty-one percent of healthcare executives say that their organizations have been the target of cyberattacks during the past two years, and only about half feel that they are adequately prepared to thwart them, according to the 2015 KPMG Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey.
The number of attacks also is increasing, with 13 percent saying they are targeted about once a day and another 12 percent detecting two or more attacks per week. At the same time, 16 percent said they cannot detect in real time whether their systems are compromised, according to an announcement on the survey.
In the survey, 223 U.S.-based chief information officers, chief technology officers, chief security officers and chief compliance officers at healthcare providers and health plans were polled.

New report finds no vendor dominates EMR market

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi (Twitter | Google+)  | August 25, 2015
While discussions of the EMR market bring several big name vendors to the surface, a new report finds no single company is a dominant competitor in the market.
The EMR market is worth nearly $25 billion, yet no vendor exclusively holds even 20 percent of that market, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information.
The vendor with the largest market share is Cerner, holding slightly less than 14 percent of the market share in 2014, according to the report. Other big name competitors, including Allscripts, Epic, GE Healthcare, McKesson and Siemens, make up a combined 49 percent of the market, which means more than half — 51 percent — of the market is comprised of medium and small-sized vendors.

Health System, Apps Must Evolve for Mobile Health Adoption To Take Off

by Lisa Zamosky, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Technology tools continue to play an important role for patients, particularly those with chronic and life threatening illnesses. Seven in 10 people with a chronic condition went online to find information about it, according to research by the Pew Research Center. And, as the number of medical issues a person has increases, so too does their use of the Internet to gain information about their conditions.
In another survey, the Pew Research Center reports that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Ownership is highest among younger adults, the affluent and educated individuals. Slightly more than six in 10 smartphone owners have used their phone to get information about a health condition in the past year, according to the survey.
As a society, our reliance on mobile technology and content-specific applications is clear. Yet, when it comes to gaining information about how to manage chronic illnesses, condition-focused websites and blogs remain the top technology tools patients turn to. That was the finding of a recent survey of nearly 14,000 members of the medical social networking site

4 people you need for an easy EHR transition

Posted on Aug 25, 2015
By Tim Cannon,
Facing a new electronic health record implementation is like facing the bogeyman of the health IT world. Transition to a new system can be a nightmare. There's staff resistance, technical difficulties, disrupted workflow and a steep learning curve. But as technology advances, transition from one EHR system to the next is often becoming a necessity.
A 2014 survey showed 67 percent of physicians do not like the functionality of their current EHR systems. But an effective EHR is key to increasing efficiency  and reducing costs. For many hospitals, health systems and practices, it may be time to switch to a better system.
Despite the fears of adopting a new EHR system, the transition will be successful with the right IT team. Here are the people you need for a smooth implementation:

18 health technologies poised for big growth

Posted on Aug 25, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
By now, everyone's got an EMR. And most providers are also making use of ancillary technologies to help harness patient data toward more efficient care and better outcomes. But many species of health IT are still surprisingly underused in the U.S. hospital market.
"While the EMR market itself is pretty saturated, and usage has really improved since the HITECH Act, the challenge for hospitals and health systems is, now that you have all this data, what do you do with it?" says Matt Schuchardt, director of market intelligence solutions sales at HIMSS Analytics.
There's no shortage of technologies out there to help hospitals improve operations. But it may surprise you to realize how relatively untapped they often still are.
HIMSS Analytics' hospital database keeps tabs on all manner of IT products, and its list of the tools with biggest positive growth potential points to where the market will be heading in the coming years.

How providers can make the most of ICD-10's specificity

August 25, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Any codes that will be expanded in ICD-10 hold promise to enhance research and process improvements, and health information management specialists can help make the most all the new code set has to offer, according to American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)-approved ICD-10 trainer Cathie Wilde.
These specialists can pursue clinical documentation improvement (CDI), and work with physicians, and hospital leaders to make the transition go smoothly and truly harness your organization's data to improve care, writes Wilde, who serves as director of coding services for MRA, in an article at ICD-10 Monitor.

Sports teams experiment with HIT to keep athletes healthy

August 25, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Whether athletes are on the court, field or pitch, many now are sporting fitness devices to help track their every move--creating a treasure trove of data sets that can be used to help predict and prevent injuries.
Much like Billy Beane's foray into the world of analytics to help bring the Oakland A's success in the early 2000s, sports organizations are looking to innovation not just to bring their teams to victory--but also to keep players healthy and safe, according to a Washington Post article
Information gleaned from use and experimentation of such tools in sports can carry over to the healthcare industry as a whole, which is constantly working to use data and analytics to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.

Top Trends Revolutionizing the Market for Wearable Devices

By Vera Gruessner on August 24, 2015
Whether it’s smart glasses, the smart watch, fitness trackers, or wrist bands, wearable devices are making an impact on the healthcare industry across the board. From checking heart rate and respiration to tracking physical activity and accessing patient records, wearable devices could lead to improving the management of a variety of different medical conditions and patient engagement with their health and wellness.
A market research report from Tractica details the most relevant trends that are affecting the development and growth of wearable devices. The report goes into how wearables are moving ahead of smart watches and fitness trackers toward the development of new tools for the market. Wearable operating systems are also advancing among different companies at the same rate as Google and Apple.
 “The common thread across wearables is that the device is attached or worn on the body,” Tractica reports. “Wearables can be sensor-infused devices, clothing that is reading vital biometric data off the body, or simply a body-mounted camera or a pair of smart glasses that allows for hands-free operation. More importantly, wearables in their various shapes and forms are reinventing the way humans interact with computers, in the process getting a better understanding of their bodies and their immediate environment.”

Why the healthcare industry badly needs a cyber security health check

The healthcare industry had the highest number of breaches in 2014
Posted by Chloe Green
on 25 August 2015
After a slew of data breaches in 2014, the FBI warned the healthcare industry that cyber-criminals would be directing more attention their way in 2015. The healthcare industry, valued at $3 trillion, has become an increasingly valuable target for cyber thieves and, in some cases, a much easier target to attack due to their often less than adequate investment in cyber security. What is it about the healthcare industry that has captured the cyber criminals’ interest in the last few years?
Overview of data breaches in 2014
At the end of each year, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) produces a data breach report showing the total number of data breaches and records stolen for each industry.
The data is taken from credible sources, including the Attorney General’s website, and includes data breaches that occurred in the year of the report or breaches that were made public in the year of the report.

Medical Residency Interview Scheduling, Automated

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , August 25, 2015

The cumbersome process of scheduling interviews between medical residency programs and candidates usually involves a torrent of emails and phone calls between exasperated candidates and equally exasperated residency program directors. That may be about to change.

Scheduling interviews between residency applicants and medical education residency program coordinators is about to get easier, if one startup's promise to automate the process holds true.
Each summer, a bit of computer science commences which optimizes U.S. healthcare behind the scenes. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), operated by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), starts accepting fourth-year medical student applications for residency programs starting the following July. Candidates submit their transcripts, grades, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and an application fee, and hope for some good responses.

How HIMSS is working to improve patient matching

August 24, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has long been involved in efforts to improve patient matching, according to Lisa Gallagher, the organization's vice president of technology solutions.
One of its most recent efforts was an event with members of the healthcare IT sector and the Department of Health and Human Services to test matching through use of an emerging standard, Health Level Seven International's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources framework (FHIR). Through two use cases, the testing showed that matching software using the FHIR framework can simplify the process of patient matching, she said in a recent interview at HealthcareInfoSecurity.

PCAST: How the government can advance R&D in health technology

August 24, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
In an assessment of the state of research and development in IT in the United States, a new report gives recommendations for refreshed R&D investment and coordination--including in the healthcare technology realm.
In its third review of the government's coordinated program of Networking and Information Technology R&D, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) brought in experts from academia and various industries to give recommendations on how IT R&D can be enhanced in industries like healthcare.
The authors note that programs like President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, the National Institutes of Health's appointment of a Director of Data Science and the NIH's "Big Data to Knowledge" program all show the continued investment into health IT, but add that there is more that needs to be done.

Telemedicine: A solution to the ICU's woes?

August 20, 2015Eric Wicklund - Editor, mHealthNews
Intensive care units across the country have seen a dramatic increase in business – but not the same increase in intensivist staffing or support. That makes the ICU an ideal target for telemedicine, if health system executives can figure out the right business plan. This infographic, from Eagle Telemedicine, takes a look at ICU issues and the potential for telemedicine to help them.

What are some of the health IT issues that will shape strategic planning for 2016?

Aug 23, 2015 at 9:21 AM
As we gather together stakeholders for strategic planning of next year’s priorities, what are we hearing and what we have learned?
1.  Clinicians are overwhelmed by the current demands of Meaningful Use, hundreds of quality measures, population health, care management, and patient/family engagement. All of these are good ideas individually but the sum of their requirements overwhelms providers. In an era when we’re trying to control costs, adding more clinical FTEs to spread the work over a large team is not possible. The end result is that providers spend hours each night catching up on the day’s documentation and are demanding better tools/automation to reduce their strain. However, current EHRs are in an early stage of development and are data capture tools rather than customer relationship management systems.   As we gather requirements for FY16, we’re thinking about the projects that could be innovative breakthroughs, replacing human work with a next generation of technology and workflow.

Hospitals: Electronic CQM Reporting Has Arrived -- Are You Ready?

by Anantachai (Tony) Panjamapirom Monday, August 24, 2015
For many years, acute care hospitals participating in CMS' Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR) have been using manual chart abstraction to generate required quality data. But CMS' 2016 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule has added a new mandate to require hospitals to report some electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) via an electronic submission method in 2016.
While CMS has provided an option for eCQM reporting for four years, the majority of hospitals have not chosen to use the option because it poses many challenges, such as technical complexities and significant resource needs. Now the eCQM reporting mandate is here, and IQR participants will have to overcome these challenges and be ready to submit CQM data electronically.


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