Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late 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, December 12, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -12th December, 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.

CDS tools must mitigate 'fog of war,' prevent info overload

December 4, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Better clinical decision support tools embedded in electronic health records can help clinicians manage complex healthcare issues in patients, according to a recent study.
How clinical experts use cognitive thinking to deal with complicated situations can help inform future design of information technology systems, say the authors of the study, published at BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.
The researchers, from the University of Utah and the VA Salt Lake City Health System, interviewed 10 infectious disease experts at their institutions. Those 10 experts were asked to describe a complex diagnosis or treatment action and the thinking behind the decision.

Healthcare pros enthusiastic about IBM Watson, despite hurdles

December 4, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Hospitals and health systems across the country are using IBM's Watson--and so far healthcare leaders are enthusiastic about the system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Thomas H. Davenport, a professor at Babson College in Massachusetts and research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, spoke with people who have worked with the cognitive computing system, including leaders at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and more.

Interest Grows in Standards for Sharing Genomic Data

DEC 3, 2015 7:41am ET
Standards for sharing genomic data hold great promise for getting the information into electronic health records, but challenges still must be overcome to achieve benefits as precision medicine gains momentum.
The federal Precision Medicine Initiative is just one of the factors raising the importance of standards and interoperability, according to a panel of experts who presented progress on standards at the 2015 Policy Conference sponsored by HL7 Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
But efforts are underway in several areas to advance the work on standards, says Grant Wood, senior information technology strategist for the Clinical Genetics Institute of Intermountain HealthCare.  “There are different drivers going on today, such as consumer empowerment, self-reported data and the precision medicine initiative, as well as genetic care coordination initiatives,” Wood said.

Interest Grows in Standards for Sharing Genomic Data

DEC 3, 2015 7:41am ET
Standards for sharing genomic data hold great promise for getting the information into electronic health records, but challenges still must be overcome to achieve benefits as precision medicine gains momentum.
The federal Precision Medicine Initiative is just one of the factors raising the importance of standards and interoperability, according to a panel of experts who presented progress on standards at the 2015 Policy Conference sponsored by HL7 Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
But efforts are underway in several areas to advance the work on standards, says Grant Wood, senior information technology strategist for the Clinical Genetics Institute of Intermountain HealthCare.  “There are different drivers going on today, such as consumer empowerment, self-reported data and the precision medicine initiative, as well as genetic care coordination initiatives,” Wood said.

Healthcare Analytics Market to Triple By 2020

DEC 3, 2015 7:29am ET
The global market for healthcare analytics is projected to nearly triple in value over the next five years, growing from $5.7 billion in 2015 to $16.9 billion in 2020.
That’s a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent, according to BCC Research. The Wellesley, Mass.-based publisher of technology market research sees healthcare organizations rapidly adopting analytics systems during the forecast period to improve both business operations and clinical care. Business analytics—the largest segment with 70 percent of the overall market—is estimated to almost triple in value from $4 billion in 2015 to $11.7 billion in 2020.
At the same time, with the growing use of predictive analytics, BCC Research analyst Neha Maliwal believes the clinical analytics segment—projected to demonstrate the highest compound annual growth rate at 24.8 percent—should be a key market driver.

Docs must follow 'POISED' best practices when using EHRs in the exam room

December 1, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
Physicians need to adopt better ways of incorporating electronic health records when examining patients, according to new commentary published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine by Regenstreif Institute investigator and Indiana University School of Medicine professor Richard Frankel.
EHRs are a helpful tool, but physician habits when using them in the examination room can adversely affect patient safety and relationships, Frankel says. For instance, physician time on the computer differs significantly, with some physicians spending more than 80 percent of visits interacting with patients, and others spending more than 80 percent of visits interacting with computers. Moreover, while most female physicians looked up from the computer about every 30 seconds and made eye contact with their patients, male physicians rarely looked up from the computer.

Judy Faulkner: Cambridge a success

Jon Hoeksma
30 November 2015
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be recognised as the UK reference site for the benefits of hospital digitisation within a year, Epic Systems founder Judy Faulkner has said.
In an exclusive interview with Digital Health News, Faulkner argues that her company’s first UK customer will prove the model for the UK in a similar way to Kaiser Permenante, which is a key reference customer in the US.
“Cambridge will prove itself the UK reference site for the benefits of hospital digitisation within a year,” said Faulkner, adding that her company’s ethic is based on “keeping our promises” and making sure “none of our customers fail”.

Summary Care Records: GPs add info

Thomas Meek
2 December 2015
Nearly all of England's GPs are able to write additional information into a patient's Summary Care Record from within their clinical system and more than 80% of SystmOne practices have added codes already.
A spokesperson for TPP said that all GP practices that use its clinical IT system have the functionality to create more detailed SCRs and that 80% of practices put at least one of the new codes onto a patient’s record in September 2015.
The SCR was launched in 2010 as a shared record with essential patient details that could be accessed by clinicians across the NHS. There are now nearly 55 million people with an SCR, accounting for around 96% of the population of England.

Simplicity key to patient portal acceptance

December 3, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Orderliness and clarity when designing patient portals are crucial to adoption and acceptance of the tools, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
The researchers, from the University of Texas, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Austin (Texas) Regional Clinic, examined aesthetics of portals, such as simplicity, diversity, colorfulness and craftsmanship. They then correlated those with perceived ease of use (PEU), perceived usefulness (PU) and behavioral intentions (BI).
The biggest aesthetic that lead to acceptance of the tools was simplicity of use, according to the study.

AHRQ: Role of EHRs among keys to reduction of hospital-acquired conditions

December 3, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
Patients in 2014 experienced 2.1 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) than in 2010, but new data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows the rate of change has leveled off from 2013.
The national rate of HACs stood at 121 per 1,000 discharges in 2014, compared with the baseline of 145 per 1,000 discharges when the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. The rate is unchanged from 2013.
During the four-year period tracked, 86,669 lives were saved and $19.8 billion in costs averted, according to the AHRQ. Though it did not study electronic health record use, the report points to research indicating that increased adoption and improved use of EHRs has played a role in reducing HACs.

7 cyber threats worse than PHI breaches

Posted on Dec 01, 2015
By Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News
This year was among the worst in cybersecurity across the healthcare sector.
On average, companies that got breached did not know it for 270 days and some had even been breached for seven years without knowing it, according to Richard Clarke, the former White House cybersecurity czar who served three presidents.
In his opening keynote at the Healthcare IT News Privacy and Security Forum on Tuesday in Boston, Clarke explained that two-thirds of those entities did not even discover the breach internally; it was pointed out to them, either by someone outside the organization or by the federal government.

Report: Digital Health Market Poised for Continued Growth

December 2, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
After being valued at more than $55 million in 2014, the global digital health market is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21 percent between 2015-2020, according to a report from P&S Market Research. 
The global digital health market is surging at a significant rate due to increasing demands for an advanced healthcare information system and growing investments by health IT players, the report found. The technologies, such as electronic health records (EHR), telemedicine, and mobile health (mHealth) devices and apps, help in compiling services related to diagnosis, treatment, care, and rehabilitation. They also improve communication between patients and healthcare providers in order to reduce medication errors and provide better coordinated care. Additionally, the growing need for remote patient monitoring services increases the demand for mHealth technologies. Increasing support from government organizations is also supporting the growth of this market, the report found. 

EHRs Credited for Increase in Hospital Patient Safety

DEC 2, 2015 7:49am ET
Thanks in part to widespread adoption of electronic health records, an estimated 87,000 fewer hospital patients died and nearly $20 billion in costs were saved because of reduced hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2014.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, hospital patients experienced 2.1 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 to 2014—a 17 percent decline over that period.
“This progress toward a safer healthcare system occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events as part of the ACA, including Medicare payment incentives to improve the quality of care and the HHS Partnership for Patients initiative,” said the agency.

HHS: Dramatic Downturn in Hospital-Acquired Conditions

Big reductions in adverse drug events, pressure ulcers

by Joyce Frieden News Editor, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON -- The rate of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) has dropped by 17% over a 4-year period, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Tuesday.
The rate of HACs dropped from 145 per 1,000 discharges in 2010 to 121 per 1,000 discharges in 2014, according to the report, which was issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Over a 4-year period starting in 2011, "a cumulative total of 2.1 million fewer HACs were experienced by hospital patients ... relative to the number of HACs that would have occurred if rates had remained steady at the 2010 level," the report noted. "Approximately 87,000 fewer patients died in the hospital as a result of the reduction in HACs, and approximately $19.8 billion in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2014."

Medication Adherence: Technology Helps, but Multifaceted Approach Needed

by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Thursday, December 3, 2015
Health IT and technology-boosted devices are playing an increasing role in efforts to address one of the health care industry's most daunting problems: ensuring patients take prescribed medications when and how their physician's treatment plan indicates.  
In the past five years, companies -- both longstanding firms and startups -- have begun approaching the medication adherence issue from new angles. These range from developing more sophisticated reminder messaging systems, applications and mobile health-enabled monitoring platforms to producing "smart" pill dispensers and containers that communicate when patients access their medications to even launching "smart pills" that link with sensors to record when medications actually get ingested.
The smart pill technology, developed by California-based Proteus Digital Health, is being eyed as a potential approach to improving adherence to so-called "high-value" medications, those that are important because of patient safety considerations, high cost and/or their crucial role in treating life-threatening diseases or serious mental illnesses. Examples include six-figure-a-dose hepatitis C drugs and certain new oral cancer drugs.

Seeking Interoperability in a Sea of Data

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , December 3, 2015

While it has been an elusive goal for years, the costs associated with not having standardization are mounting and "interoperability is becoming the main act" for healthcare leaders, says an HIT expert.

This article appears in the November 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Interoperability of electronic health records and other healthcare IT systems remains elusive. Healthcare organizations clamor for it and the federal government voices support, but until very recently providers and vendors have lacked incentive to do more than create isolated networks. Yet many providers around the country are creating their own workarounds to achieve at least partial interoperability. These efforts take a lot of work, but technology leaders undertake them in pursuit of cost savings and patient safety.

Held by ransomware: Should you really pay criminals to get your data back?

Posted on Dec 02, 2015
By Tom Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare IT News
Ransomware attacks and tools are on the rise and perhaps more so than has been widely understood thus far.
The gist: Hackers crack into a network via malicious URLs or malware, find data they can encrypt with relatively low-cost tools, and then demand either money or Bitcoins to return it.
"I see ransomware a lot," explained Johns Hopkins Chief Information Security Officer Darren Lacey. "A few times a month." 
Penn Medicine associate CIO John Donohue has also been seeing an uptick in ransomware attacks, he said Monday at the Healthcare IT News Privacy and Security Forum in Boston.

Healthcare breaches by the numbers

Posted on Dec 02, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Stephen Nardone had just 15 minutes to deliver an impactful presentation Tuesday at the Privacy and Security Forum in Boston.
Nardone, director, security and mobility solutions at PC Connection, a business IT company besed in Merrimack, N.H., is steeped in the ins and outs of health system vulnerabilities, and he used numbers to drive the risk factors home:
  • $6 billion: The cost associated with cyber attacks, attributed specifically to healthcare.
  • 94 percent of healthcare organizations have indicated they've had some type of a breach.
  • Healthcare sustains about two and half times the cost for each record that is lost.
  • Healthcare information is about 10 times more valuable than any other data on the black market: "There's tremendous incentive for breaches to take place."

Ross Koppel: To improve patient safety, first fix EHR software

December 1, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
To reduce health IT-related patient errors, the industry must start by correcting persisting software design problems, according to an editorial published recently in BMJ Quality and Safety.
Ross Koppel, M.D. (pictured), from the University of Pennsylvania, writes about a recent HIT Safety Framework recommended earlier this year by two of his colleagues: Dean Sittig, professor in the School of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Texas; and Hardeep Singh, chief of the health policy, quality and informatics program at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.
Koppel says their framework is "misdirected" in certain ways and contains errors in the assumptions they made. The proposed Safety Framework calls for better measurement of HIT safety issues, housing on continuous quality improvement and sociotechnical approaches.

ONC: Two-factor authentication capabilities on the rise for hospitals

December 2, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Two-factor authentication is on the rise at hospitals and health systems, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which points out in a recently published data brief that the number of organizations able to support such security processes grew by 53 percent from 2010 to 2014.
The brief marks the first time the agency has released such data on the trend.
However, while overall two-factor authentication--which requires employees to have more than just a password and username to access systems--is on the rise, the types of hospitals that support it vary greatly, ONC found.

Computer algorithm can generate a personalised HbA1c target for people with type 2 diabetes

Mon, 30 Nov 2015
A newly-developed computer-based algorithm could help healthcare professionals determine the appropriate HbA1c target for individual type 2 diabetes patients, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at Diabetes Research Centre, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel, allows for the "patient-centred" approach to type 2 diabetes management called for in 2012 by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
The position statement released in 2012 argues that the diverse range of factors affecting type 2 diabetes patients - including age and complications - make a "one-size-fits-all" attempt to HbA1c management unworkable.

ICD-10 Transition Successful So Far, but Patient Care Takes Hit

DEC 1, 2015 7:55am ET
Two new polls show mixed results since the Oct. 1 ICD-10 compliance date went into effect. While a survey by consulting firm KPMG found 79 percent of responding healthcare organizations believe the code transition has been successful to date, a separate survey of doctors by physician social media network SERMO indicates the new billing codes are taking time away from patient care.
In the KPMG survey of 298 attendees conducted during a Nov. 9 webcast, 28 percent of participants responded that the transition has been “smooth” and another 51 percent found “a few technical issues, but overall successful.”  At the same time, 11 percent described their experience with the code set as a “failure to operate in an ICD-10 environment.”
KPMG survey respondents said the biggest challenges they perceive with ICD-10 include rejected medical claims, clinical documentation and physician education, reduced revenue from coding delays, and information technology fixes. The survey found that 42 percent of participants indicated that all of these challenges are part and parcel of ICD-10., while just 11 percent of respondents said they did not expect those challenges to arise.

2015: Year of the healthcare security breach

December 1, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
IBM is calling 2015 the year of the healthcare security breach, noting in a report that five of the eight largest security breaches in the sector occurred in the first half of the year.
Nearly 100 million healthcare records were compromised in those five incidents, according to an article at Security Intelligence.
Of all industries, according to IBM, healthcare ranks as the leading sector for security incidents in the first 10 month of this year, with 34 percent of records compromised. That's compared to the 0.63 percent of healthcare records compromised between January 2011 and December 2014, according to the report.

Easy on those apps: Mobile medical apps gain support, but many lack clinical evidence

By Joseph Conn  | November 28, 2015
Mobile medical applications increasingly are being used by patients and consumers. Now healthcare providers are evaluating whether and how to work with their patients in tapping these apps. But they're proceeding cautiously because of the dearth of clinical evidence for many consumer apps, and because some developers may be misleading consumers by overstating their products' capabilities.
In September, developers of a consumer-marketed mobile app, UltimEyes, agreed to pay $150,000 to settle an enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission based on the claim that the app was “scientifically shown to improve vision.” The promoters “did not have the scientific evidence to support their claims,” the FTC said.
Earlier this year, the federal agency went after marketers of two mobile apps, Mole Detective and MelApp, “for deceptively claiming their mobile apps could detect symptoms of melanoma even in its early stages.” The apps' marketers reached settlements that bar them from continuing to make such unsupported claims, the FTC said.

Getting mental health care — virtually — at your regular doctor’s office

Telemental health from the doctor’s office

At this call center in suburban Charlotte, licensed social workers can talk virtually to patients at a dozen primary care practices owned by Carolinas Healthcare System. This video shows Crystal Centeno speaking with a patient who has been referred by his primary care doctor. (Lena Sun, Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
Lena H. Sun November 30
Lincolnton, N.C. — Panic attacks had begun to overwhelm Matty Pitts, and he’d shown up at his doctor’s office for help. The physician quickly connected the 22-year-old to a therapist — via computer.
For the next 25 minutes, Pitts, sitting in a quiet exam room at Lincoln Family Practice in a rural county northwest of Charlotte, talked face to face with Julia Sherrill, who was on duty 40 miles away in Davidson. He told her about “the rough spot” he’d been having. A breakup with his longtime girlfriend. His father’s death two years ago.
Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:33pm EST
Related: Health

Doctors' use of computers during appointments leaves patients less satisfied

By Kathryn Doyle
(Reuters Health) - Doctors who entered data into computerized health records during patients' appointments did less positive communicating, and patients rated their care excellent less often, in a recent study.
“Many clinicians worry that electronic health records keep them from connecting with their patients,” said Dr. Neda Ratanawongsa of the University of California, San Francisco, who co-authored the research letter.
“So it's not surprising that we found differences in the way clinicians and patients talk to each other,” she said.
But doctors who used the computer more also spent more time correcting or disagreeing with patients, she told Reuters Health by email.

Anti-info Blocking Crusade in Congress Must be Curbed

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , December 1, 2015

It's clear that there's no easy way to share patient health data, but to turn to the last resort of heavy government regulation seems an ill-considered remedy.

Even though there is ample evidence that hospital providers themselves are the biggest source of information blocking, the inability for patients' electronic health records to follow them wherever they receive care, allegation persists that EHR vendors, Epic in particular, are a major part of the problem.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology brought fresh credence to this allegation in its April 2015 report to Congress. "As more fully defined in this report, information blocking occurs when persons or entities knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information," the report states.
December 1, 2015

Clinician Computer Use in Safety-Net Clinics Might Disrupt Communication with Patients

By Jenni Whalen
Frequent computer use by clinicians during patient visits in safety-net clinics might negatively affect communication and patient satisfaction, according to a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.
In an observational study, U.S. researchers videotaped 71 encounters between 47 patients and 39 clinicians over 2 years. The encounters took place at safety-net clinics that used basic electronic health records to review test results, refer patients, and prescribe medications.

Technology’s Role in Population Health

NOV 30, 2015 8:42am ET
As population health initiatives grow, technology is looming as an enabler of far-ranging efforts to achieve results.
For example, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance, an accountable care organization serving 275,000 patients in north Texas, recently received a grant to hire 30 community health workers to reach out to some of the 63,000 patients in its Medicare Shared Savings Program. The targeted patients are those the organization has identified, via their medical records and claims data, as being at the highest risk of needing inpatient care or other costly interventions.
The workers, members of the same communities as the patients, and closer to them in age than most of BSWQA's clinical employees, will connect them with social services that can help improve their health and reduce their risk. They'll also gather information on the patients' living situations, access to transportation, level of literacy, and other details that will help the ACO in its efforts to keep them as healthy as possible.

5 Cyber Security Predictions for 2016

NOV 30, 2015 5:02am ET
Information security and risk management professionals will rebel against cookie-cutter approaches to cyber security in 2016 – that’s just one of many ways that prevention, detection and response to cyber threats will change in the next year, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
“Security investments based on a checklist of technology required to meet compliance fails to address underlying or existing vulnerabilities,” Forrester authors Rick Holland and Heidi Shey contend. “Assess the maturity of your security program to build a strategic road map to reach higher levels of maturity, and identify existing gaps and centers of excellence.”

Healthcare breaches surpass all others

Posted on Nov 30, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
The healthcare breach numbers are sobering, jolting even, as healthcare and government sectors move to the top of the list of sectors sustaining the most data breached.
This is according to a new report from global digital security giant Gemalto.
In its 2015 First Half Review, Gemalto shows that "healthcare and government overtook retail as the major sectors under siege with the number of compromised data records."

Health systems lack proper Web security solutions, survey finds

November 30, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Hospitals today better understand the Web security risks they face, but how to tackle those issues is less clear, according to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics in partnership with Akamai.
Many organizations are underprotecting their systems, according to the survey's authors. For example, one traditional line of defense is ensuring that a firewall is in place to protect an organization's data center; however, 39 percent of respondents said they don't have one installed. In addition, 23 percent said they have no Web security systems in place at all.
Respondents to the survey included 94 healthcare IT executives, including CIOs, CISOs, IT directors and more.

Army applies data to improve suicide prevention

November 30, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
The U.S. Army is taking a more data-driven approach to predicting suicide risk, according to Federal News Radio, working on determining when and how to best intervene with patients.
In June, it completed a roughly five-year project, the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). The project was conducted with help from the National Institutes of Health and major universities, and studied characteristics of suicide and other mental and behavioral health issues. It examined factors such as demographic information, medical and law enforcement history, as well as military factors such as a soldier's rank, deployment location and number of tours.
At the project's onset, the military suicide rate had surpassed that of the civilian population. The project identified 3,000 people out of an Army population of 500,000 at possible risk of suicide.

Janssen Biotech app links patients and physicians in managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Iltifat Husain, MD, Brian Wu PhD | November 27, 2015
With thousands of mobile health apps now readily available, the pharmaceutical industry is just one of many who are using mobile technology to do their bidding. Janssen Biotech recently released the app Gut Check for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This free app, that can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store, was designed to improve the communication between patients who suffer from IBD and health professionals. Users must signup to begin putting their information into the app and health professionals must signup to view the information their patients have inputted.
Users can use the app to track a variety of different information including bathroom trips, bleeding medications, diet, exercise, sleep and pain just to name a few. All of the information is entered on the Tracker Entry page and allows users to rate their symptoms and activities on a 5 level scale.

4 key trends in medical imaging technology

Written by Carrie Pallardy | November 25, 2015
Peer60 has released a new report on trends in medical imaging technology. Here are four key trends to follow in this field.
1. Medical imaging technology is a rapidly changing field, and healthcare organizations have multiple options for new acquisitions. Here are the technologies customers plan to purchase in 2015:
•    Radiation dose monitoring: 49 percent
•    Speech recognition: 28 percent
•    Image sharing: 18 percent
•    VNA: 16 percent
•    PACS: 15 percent
•    Enterprise imaging platform: 7 percent
•    Other modalities: 5 percent
•    Advanced visualization: 3 percent
•    Digital X-ray: 2 percent

Report: Ransomware on the horizon for medical devices

Life-saving medical devices could be held hostage by ‘ransomware’ as early as next year, according to a report from Forrester Research, Inc.
Ransomware is effectively digital extortion – malicious programs that control user devices and files until the user ponies up, usually in the digital currency Bitcoin.
This year has seen significant growth in ransomware cases, and the malicious programs are expected to expand into other fields as more and more devices pick up connectivity to enable an ‘Internet of Things.’

The Rising Star in the Value-Based Community: Pharmacists

by Kristina Crockett Monday, November 30, 2015
The transition to value-based care (VBC) requires an established, well-connected team to address the needs of each patient. While a pharmacist is an important part of that team for many reasons, perhaps the most important is consumer trust, which is critical to the delivery of care. Pharmacists are ranked as one of the most trustworthy and ethical professions in the U.S. Further, the American Pharmacists Association recently reported that 94% of all Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy.
A large percentage of the population trusts and relies upon their pharmacist for meaningful, face-to-face interactions and care. Despite this, the pharmacist role has not been integrated with most health plan providers at an optimal level. In order to make VBC a reality, pharmacists need to be better incorporated into the health care ecosystem. Below are some suggestions on how to achieve this.

1. Build Upon Current Technology To Help Improve Workflow Between Stakeholders

Leveraging the claims billing processes to create workflow alerts can inform pharmacists in real time when there is an intervention opportunity that can help optimize a pharmacist's face-to-face interaction with patients.

GE Health Cloud connects 500,000 machine

Ian Murphy
The announcement comes just days after Dell and Telstra have announced their own solutions for healthcare cloud aimed at improving access to image data. The increased use of imaging for a wide range of medical investigations has increased over recent years and this has meant in some countries there is a significant shortage of skilled radiologists.

UK has a severe shortage of radiologists while US has a glut

In 2013 the UK NHS said it had around 8% of all radiologist posts unfilled. By 2015, BMJ Careers reported that Radiology was one of three posts that was put on the national shortage lists. This shortage of clinical radiology consultants has led to some recruitment from within the EU and the General Medical Council (GMC) providing evidence of a viable source of consultants from wider afield.


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