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, April 22, 2017

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 22nd April, 2017.

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.

Medical mistakes still kill 1,000 patients a day, Leapfrog says

Though new safety grades show problems persist, hundreds of hospitals are excelling at prevention based on the latest Hospital Safety Grade
April 12, 2017 02:21 PM
The Leapfrog Group on Wednesday released its Spring 2017 Hospital Safety Grade, highlighting hundreds of hospitals that are leading in preventing deadly medical errors at their facilities.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, the first and only national healthcare rating focused on errors, accidents and infections, assigns A through F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals.
Leapfrog rated 2,639 hospitals, and 823 hospitals earned an A, 706 earned a B, 933 earned a C, and 167 earned a D.

Apple has a secret team working on the holy grail for treating diabetes

  • Apple has a secret group of biomedical engineers developing sensors to monitor blood sugar levels, sources tell CNBC
  • The initiative was initially envisioned by Steve Jobs before his death
  • If successful, the advance could help millions of diabetes patients and turn devices like the Apple Watch into a must-have
Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 | 7:10 PM ET
Apple has hired a small team of biomedical engineers to work at a nondescript office in Palo Alto, California, miles from corporate headquarters.

They are part of a super secret initiative, initially envisioned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to develop sensors that can noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes, according to three people familiar with the matter.

HIMSS echoes calls for HHS to delay updated EHR certification requirements

Apr 14, 2017 12:47pm
HIMSS joined calls to delay the deadline for 2015 EHR certification standards.
HIMSS is the latest organization to call on the feds to delay updated EHR certification requirements, adding to a growing list of health IT associations and provider organizations that say vendors are not ready to meet the new certification standards.
In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, HIMSS President and CEO Stephen Lieber and Chair of the HIMSS North America Board of Directors Michael H. Zaroukian, M.D., urged the agency to delay the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria six months to July 1, 2018.
“As of early April 2017, very few vendor products are certified to the revised 2015 Certification Criteria; this jeopardizes the requirement that health IT must be certified to the 2015 Edition for the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs and the Quality Payment Program (QPP),” the letter stated.

What’s on your Facebook page? Study says many new doctors post unprofessional content

Apr 13, 2017 11:04am
What’s posted on your Facebook page? It might be time for some self-editing, as a new study found that many new doctors are posting unprofessional content on the social media site.
In fact, researchers found that 40% of 201 public profiles of young urologists had posts that they described as unprofessional or had potentially objectionable content, including 13% that reflected “explicitly unprofessional behavior.” In those cases, posts included depictions of intoxication, uncensored profanity, unlawful behavior and confidential patient information, according to the study published in BJU International. What’s more, the content was self-authored in 82% of those categories.

Amazon Alexa Challenge Envisions an mHealth Care Management Tool

Amazon and Merck are challenging digital health innovators to design an mHealth care management platform that turns Amazon Alexa into a personal coach for those with type 2 diabetes.

Eric Wicklund

April 11, 2017 - Amazon and Merck are joining forces in a challenge designed to turn Alexa into an mHealth care management tool for people with type 2 diabetes.
The Alexa Diabetes Challenge offers a $125,000 prize to the mHealth innovator who can best develop a digital health platform integrated with Amazon’s digital assistant for people newly diagnosed with the chronic condition, which affects some 27.5 million people in the U.S. alone.
Digital assistants like Alexa, Google Home and Microsoft Cortana are slowly creeping up on the mHealth horizon, aided in part by a strong public relations campaign and a Tractica report that places one in more than 40 million homes by 2021. They’ve made splashy headlines this year at both the CES 2017 show in Las Vegas and the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) conference and exhibition in Orlando.

HL7 moves FHIR closer to interoperability for precision medicine

Health Level 7 genomics co-chair points to use cases in place today that other hospitals can adopt to advance precision medicine.
April 12, 2017 08:28 AM
Health Level 7 took another step forward with its FHIR specification this week by publishing the first HL7 Domain Analysis Model: Clinical Sequencing.
In addition to precision medicine, the developing FHIR specification is widely viewed as a boon to population health and data interoperability, albeit one that will have to live alongside other standards for some time.
The new Domain Analysis model, or DAM as HL7 abbreviates it, comes on the heels of Release 3 of FHIR, which included FHIR Genomics

Trump effect on health IT? New vendors, EHR consolidation, big data explosion

Venrock 2017 Healthcare Prognosis finds industry is rankled by policy uncertainty, but that won’t stop companies from forming.
April 12, 2017 10:29 AM
President Donald Trump’s administration is causing a lot of angst over healthcare policy but healthcare technology isn’t exactly lying in wait. In fact, most healthcare pros expect the pace of new vendor creation to pick up over the next two years.
The 2017 Healthcare Prognosis survey by capital venture firm Venrock found 60 percent of respondents expect the rate that new companies emerge to increase despite 35 percent saying regulatory changes could present challenges to innovation.
When it comes to electronic health records companies, 78 percent of respondents expect merger and acquisition activity to pick up as well, especially as giants like Epic and Cerner look for new revenue streams.

HHS data shows 1,800 large data breaches since 2009

Published April 11 2017, 7:23am EDT
Nearly 1,800 large data breaches involving patient information have occurred since 2009, according to an analysis of publicly available data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Researchers examined HHS data for the period from Oct. 21, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2016. What they found is that providers reported more than 1,200 of the reported breaches, while business associates, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses reported the remaining breaches.
In addition, 257 breaches during that time period were reported by 216 hospitals, with 33 suffering more than one breach—many of which were large, major teaching hospitals.

Half of hospitals to adopt artificial intelligence within 5 years

A new Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics survey found population health and precision medicine among the initiatives where health IT professionals expect AI to have the greatest impact.
April 11, 2017 10:39 AM
About 35 percent of healthcare organizations plan to leverage artificial intelligence within two years — and more than half intend to do so within five.
That’s according to the Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics HIT Market Indicator: Artificial Intelligence.
 “If you look at those with plans to leverage AI in some way, shape or form, we’re going to see significant growth,” said Brendan FitzGerald, director of research at HIMSS Analytics.

See the technology that is making care transitions better

Several technology vendors tout solutions that better link provider and patient while lowering dreaded readmissions.
April 10, 2017 10:37 AM
Technology has created a new era of care transition that is empowering the post-acute sector while creating a shared sense of responsibility when it comes to the ultimate care of the patient.
But although care transition has been a focus for years, it has gained greater prominence due to recent pressures of readmission penalties and prospective payment models that require providers to assume more risk, said Tom Sullivan, MD, chief strategic officer for Rockville, Maryland-based DrFirst.
"The big risk for errors is from acute care to where the patient goes next – rehab, home or nursing home," Sullivan said. "Discharge plans are so complex now, but if they aren't followed closely, the patient will get readmitted, and now there are penalties. If you don't get the transition right and the readmission could have been avoided, it will cost the system more money."

Medical devices are the next big target for hackers

Apr 12, 2017 9:53am
As more medical devices are wireless, manufacturers can expect more cyberattacks.
Just as the transition from paper to electronic health records left hospitals vulnerable to cyberattacks, medical devices with wireless capabilities are expected to become a prime target for hackers.
Hospitals are coming off a record-setting year of EHR breaches and continue to face an ongoing barrage of threats. Although hackers have not launched a successful attack on healthcare devices yet, the patient safety implications of an attack have made cybersecurity a priority among device manufacturers, hospital CISOs and the FDA.
 “The medical device industry, I would say in the last two-and-a-half years or so, has gone from general understanding of the issue, general participation to extreme awareness and participation in cybersecurity efforts," Zach Rothstein, associate vice president at the Advanced Medical Technology Association, told The Hill.

Buffalo hospital returns to pen and paper after a virus shuts down IT systems

Apr 12, 2017 12:04pm
Erie County Medical Center is back to using paper records following a virus that shut down its IT systems.
Physicians are quick to lament the time-suck of EHRs, but most also acknowledge that they wouldn’t go back to paper records. This week, a Buffalo hospital was forced to put that theory to the test.
Erie County Medical Center in New York has been using paper records this week after a virus shut down IT systems early Sunday morning, according to The Buffalo News. Officials say the hospital is following its power outage emergency preparedness plans and the disruption has not impacted care delivery, with staff continuing to admit patients, fill prescriptions and perform scheduled surgeries.

ONC Reiterates Healthcare Data Privacy, Security Need in PMI

ONC is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health to fuel the Precision Medicine Initiative, which has a key focus in healthcare data privacy.

Elizabeth Snell

April 11, 2017 - The Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) is a federal research program that hopes to improve how disease is treated, but there are still healthcare data privacy and security concerns. However, ONC explained in a recent blog post that keeping data secure through PMI remains a top priority.
ONC partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch three separate but related activities to advance PMI. One of those activities is Sync for Science (S4S) API Privacy and Security, which assesses whether S4S API pilots implement appropriate privacy and security principles.
“In this new era, securing the electronic platforms that support sharing data with PMI is paramount,” Chief Scientist Teresa Zayas Caban and ONC Health Scientist Administrator Kevin Chaney wrote. “Data is a foundational underpinning of PMI, and participants should have confidence that data about them are securely shared according to their preferences.”

How patient-centered medical homes can help trim hospitals' ER costs

Published April 10 2017, 4:40pm EDT
The challenge of emergency care in America is this—it’s the most expensive care money can buy—and it’s a primary reason for Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).
The PCMH concept was established as a care delivery model in which the primary care physician acts as the central coordinator for all aspects of a patient’s care. With the help of a PCMH, patients learn to contact the doctor first for care unless there is an obvious medical emergency. After initial contact, the doctor evaluates and recommends the optimal approach with an eye toward both efficacy and resource use.
From the primary care doctor, patients branch out to see specialists and mental health professionals, go to the hospital for more involved health requirements, visit satellite clinics for lab tests and other procedures. All this potential movement and coordination is made possible by very modern tools like health registries, health information exchanges and electronic health records (EHRs).

Digital health companies are targeting obesity and diabetes, but will it work?

Apr 11, 2017 11:24am
Digital health companies are finding success with tech-based interventions for obesity and diabetes, but many mHealth solutions lack clinical evidence.
Digital health startups that target chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes have been bolstered by new evidence that suggests those tech-driven interventions can have a substantial impact. But questions still surround an industry that is rife with apps that aren’t clinically effective.
According to a literature review in Perspectives in Health Information Management, a journal published by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), mHealth interventions were generally more effective than conventional approaches to helping users lose weight, increase physical activity and make dietary changes. Researchers noted that those interventions have the potential to reduce the high healthcare costs associated with obesity.

Industry groups press Congress to back private-sector patient matching solutions

HIMSS and 24 other organizations want the feds to support creating unique patient identifiers to improve care delivery.
April 10, 2017 01:14 PM
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives that promote patient safety by accurately identifying patients and matching them to their health information, 25 industry groups have informed members of Congress.
Allowing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer this type of technical assistance will help scale safe and effective patient matching solutions, the industry groups, including HIMSS, said in their April 5 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of several House and Senate committees.
“For nearly two decades, innovation and industry progress has been stifled due to a narrow interpretation of the language included in Labor-H bills since FY1999, prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services from adopting or implementing a unique patient identifier,” the organizations wrote in the letter.

Project collects data to save babies' lives

By Jill Daly / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A new collaboration of healthcare providers, researchers, public agencies and nonprofit foundations is aimed at preventing infant deaths and promoting good health among Allegheny County residents.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation made several grants in June to the Magee-Womens Research Institute, the University of Pittsburgh and Rand Corporation to collaborate with experts and the community to propose solutions using data and models to uncover factors that might predict the risk of a baby dying before its first birthday.
“If we’re successful in this, we could not only predict and take precautions,” said institute director Yoel Sadovsky, who is lead investigator on the project. “In addition, we want to have a partnership with communities, share with people a program in the community. If this works, we could reach out with education and learn from them and have a partnership in health and wellness.”

Doctors demand extreme EHR makeover ... right now

Electronic health record vendors are making the software more user-friendly, but not nearly fast enough.
April 10, 2017 01:45 PM
Just about every week or so there’s a new report chronicling doctors’ frustrations with electronic health records. Drill down a bit and the source of discontent becomes clear: poor usability, clunky interfaces, ineffective search and too many clicks. 
So what would actually make doctors like their EHR?
“They need a tremendous makeover with lots of clinical input to make it easy to do not only the right thing, but the things you do all the time,” said Robert Wachter, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. 

Hackers will target hospitals like never before in 2017

With Bitcoin allowing attackers to stay anonymous, and a bulls-eye painted over the industry, time to get prepared is running out, group says.
April 06, 2017 03:16 PM
Global spending on cybersecurity in healthcare is set to surpass $65 billion by 2021 but the real problem isn’t how much healthcare organizations spend — it’s how much they don’t, according to new research from Cybersecurity Ventures published Thursday.
That’s because ransomware and other cybercriminal attacks are going to get a lot worse before they get any better, said Matt Anthony, vice president of incident response at the Herjavec Group, which sponsored the report. 
“In 2017 healthcare providers are the bull’s-eye for hackers,” the report noted.
Bitcoin, in fact, has enabled and encouraged criminals to pursue ransomware attacks, Anthony said. 

AI, machine learning will shatter Moore's Law in rapid-fire pace of innovation

The technologies are enabling early-adopter hospitals to transition from the art of medicine to the science of medicine.
April 07, 201706:42 AM
Health Catalyst EVP Dale Sanders said the rate of machine learning advancement is faster than anything he's ever seen. 
Artificial intelligence: Savvy hospitals are deploying AI and its technological brethren cognitive computing and machine learning in specific use cases at this point – while industry luminaries are predicting that their advancement will soon start happening more quickly than previously anticipated.
"I've never in my career seen the acceleration of technology as fast as what we've witnessed in machine learning during the last two years," said Dale Sanders, executive vice president at Health Catalyst.
Sanders, it's worth noting, has a U.S. Air Force background working on stacked neural networks and fuzzy logic, which used to be called deep learning, as well as serving as the CIO of both Northwestern University and national health system of the Cayman Islands.

AI on the go: WellCare builds artificial intelligence into its mobile app

Apr 10, 2017 12:17pm
WellCare is developing two artificial intelligence-powered systems that patients and caregivers can access through a mobile app.
To improve patient care out in the field, WellCare is turning to a combination of artificial intelligence and mobile technology.
The insurer, which serves Medicare and Medicaid patients, is creating one version of a new AI-powered system for patients and another for caregivers, Chief Information Officer Darren Ghanayem told The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal.

Shadow IT systems leave healthcare vulnerable to attacks

Apr 10, 2017 11:48am
Unsecured shadow systems, like email and texting, have generated additional risks for healthcare providers.
Born out of provider frustration with existing health IT tools, “shadow” systems are creating additional cybersecurity risks for providers.
In an effort to work around inefficient systems, clinicians occasionally resort to unsecured communication tools like personally email or texting, Mick Coady, a partner at PwC’s Health Information Privacy and Security practice, told Crain’s Chicago Business. Those workarounds create additional vulnerabilities within the system that might not be easily identified by security professionals.

ECRI Introduces HIT-based Patient Identification Tools

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, April 10, 2017

The toolkit aims to prevent patient misidentification through the use of health information technology.

Patient misidentification is a big and likely underreported problem for hospitals and health systems, as well as for patients.
The consequences can be significant. ECRI Institute research shows that 9% of patient misidentification events lead to temporary or permanent harm or death.
That's why the ECRI Institute and a stakeholder collaborative it convened, the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, has launched a new patient identification resource to help prevent patient misidentification through the use of health information technology.


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