Quote Of The Year

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 25th November, 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.

The European eHealth patchwork

Healthcare IT continues to be insufficiently funded and supported in many parts of Europe. As a result, a lot of healthcare facilities are not as digitally mature as they could be. This is a key result of the Annual European eHealth Survey, conducted by HIMSS Analytics. The results also show that priorities in healthcare IT vary considerably across the continent. What does not vary is the eagerness of eHealth professionals to improve their leadership skills.
By Philipp Grätzel von Grätz
For this year’s Annual European eHealth Survey, 559 healthcare or healthcare IT professionals from all over Europe were interviewed via an Internet tool. The survey traditionally aims to represent the broad healthcare IT market in Europe: 4 out of 10 participants came from health facilities, 2 out of 10 from software vendors, 1 out of 10 from governmental health authorities, and 3 out of 10 from other organisations including research and academia, consultancies, and hardware vendors.

Mental health chatbots - The future of therapy?

Mental care is among the medical disciplines that are most actively embracing artificial intelligence solutions. Chatbots are said to be the state-of-the-art work tool dedicated to our emotional wellness. Where and how can they support traditional psychotherapy?
By Anna Engberg
Tell me what happened," Wysa asks the anonymous user with whom she is corresponding. Wysa is a so-called chatbot, a digital artificial intelligence (AI) solution, ready to chat with anyone who is in need of mental advice on a smartphone. Appearing in the form of a cute penguin, the technology of the ‘happiness buddy’ set up by US-startup Touchkin is based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) guidelines. Any advice the AI friend can give has initially been approved by practising counsellors. Once installed, the chatbot works by itself following certain emotion-recognition algorithms and conversational flows scripted by psychologists.

10 Health IT predictions for 2018: Al, blockchain, robotics and a $100 million class-action suit

Emerging technologies will start to gain some firmer footing in the year ahead, moving out of pilot testing and into production environments.
November 16, 2017 05:26 PM
By the end of 2020, 25 percent of data used in medical care will be collected and shared with health systems by the patients themselves. In the same timeframe, adoption rates of IoT-enabled asset tracking and inventory management systems in hospitals will have doubled worldwide, improving patient safety, staff satisfaction and operational efficiency.
These are just two predictions from the new report “Worldwide Health Industry 2018 Predictions” from research and consulting firm IDC Health Insights.

The next step in shared decision-making: Let patients contribute to medical notes

Nov 17, 2017 11:40am
You’ve no doubt heard of OpenNotes, but is the next step OurNotes, where patients actually contribute to their doctors’ notes?
Studies have shown the value of OpenNotes to patients, including the ability to help them confirm and remember the next steps in their care and allowing the sharing of information with care partners. But in a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers explored the idea of allowing patients and families to co-produce medical notes with clinicians.
Clinicians are increasingly inviting patients to read office visit notes on secure electronic portals, a practice intended to improve communication, patient engagement and patient safety, said the researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. While reading notes is valuable, it’s a passive activity, they said, raising the question of whether the next step is to have clinicians invite patients and families to contribute to their notes to further patient engagement and take work off of busy doctors.

The Apple Watch can accurately detect hypertension and sleep apnea, a new study suggests

Posted Nov 13, 2017 by Sarah Buhr @sarahbuhr
A new study out from health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) suggests wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit and others are able to accurately detect common but serious conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea.
Cardiogram and UCSF previously demonstrated the ability for the Apple Watch to detect abnormal heart rhythm with a 97 percent accuracy. This new study shows the Watch can detect sleep apnea with a 90 percent accuracy and hypertension with an 82 percent accuracy.
Sleep apnea affects an estimated 22 million adults in the U.S., with another 80 percent of cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. This is a serious condition where the person affected stops breathing in their sleep and can lead to death.

Survey shows growing number of organizations in expanding telemedicine

November 15, 2017
The Foley Telemedicine and Digital Health Survey revealed more interest and use of telemedicine amongst health organizations. The survey was conducted by Foley & Lardner LLP, a law firm with a telemedicine team. 
In 2014, 87 percent of survey respondents reported that they did not expect most of their patients to be using telemedicine by 2017. However, this year three-quarters of respondents reported that their organization either offers telemedicine options now or plan to offer telemedicine services. Of those, 53 percent said they were looking to expand. 
The survey went out to more than 100 senior hospital executives, speciality clinics, ancillary services, and related organizations. 

Class-action lawsuit claims eClinicalWorks deficiencies led to inaccurate medical records for millions of patients

Nov 16, 2017 12:10pm
A class-action lawsuit claims eClinicalWorks deficiencies compromised records for millions of patients.
Less than 6 months after paying $155 million to settle claims it falsely obtained certification for its EHR software, eClinicalWorks has been hit with a class-action lawsuit that claims deficiencies in the company’s software meant patients could not rely on the accuracy of their medical records.
The complaint (PDF), filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, was brought by Kristina Tot who oversees the estate of Stjepan Tot. The suit claims Tot, who died of cancer, was “unable to determine reliably when his first symptoms of cancer appeared” because his EHR “failed to accurately display his medical history on progress notes.”

CHIME discontinues its National Patient ID Challenge, citing unmet expectations

Nov 16, 2017 12:12pm
One vendor CTO says CHIME "failed to accurately assess the complexities involved in managing patient identification."
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has abandoned its National Patient ID Challenge and plans to redirect its efforts into leading a patient identification task force.
Launched two years ago, the global competition sought to identify a solution to ensure the healthcare industry could identify patients in the U.S. with 100% accuracy. In May, CHIME announced four finalists that would compete for a $1 million grand prize. The winner was scheduled to be announced on Nov. 3.

Smartphone Pics Aid in Diagnosing Kids' Skin Conditions

Majority of study parents willing to use teledermatology

  • by Alexandria Bachert MPH, Staff Writer, MedPage Today November 15, 2017
Parent-provided smartphone photos may be used for the accurate diagnosis of skin conditions in children, researchers reported.
Results from a randomized clinical trial of 40 patient-parent dyads found that overall concordance between photograph-based diagnosis and in-person diagnosis was 83% (95% CI 71-94%, κ=0.81), according to Daniel M. O'Connor, MD, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and colleagues.
"Parents can reliably take high-quality photographs of their child's skin condition using smartphone cameras," the authors wrote in JAMA Dermatology. "This finding suggests that direct-to-patient pediatric teledermatology should not be limited by image quality, especially when appropriate photography instructions are provided."

Americans are beginning to call on "Dr. Siri" (and "colleagues") when health needs arise

Nov. 16, 2017, 02:33 PM
BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AI-powered technologies such as voice search, voice assistants and chatbots are beginning to impact how patients and caregivers find info about diseases and treatments and manage their care, according to a new study of healthcare consumers' digital behavior. DRG Digital - Manhattan Research's Cybercitizen Health® U.S. 2017 study of 6,001 U.S. adults found that:
  • Voice search is changing how patients find information. Already, 1 in 4 smartphone owners use voice search to access information on their smartphones. Given the long tail of voice search, healthcare brands will need to adapt to this fast-moving shift and optimize their digital properties to remain findable in an increasingly voice-driven world.
  • Strong market potential for voice-activated health management, with half of those surveyed (51%) expressing interest in doing so, and 45% of those interested in using voice assistants for health saying that these technologies will change how they manage their health. Interest in using voice assistants for health needs is even higher in some key condition groups, with 69% of Crohn's disease patients and 61% of patients who suffer from depression expressing interest. As adoption of these devices continues to increase, healthcare brands will need to understand how they can use them to address patient needs and what tech partners can help them do so.

HIT Think How quantum computing could threaten IT security

Published November 16 2017, 4:57pm EST
 “What could cause a digital Armageddon?” That is a popular question to pose to information and cyber security professionals, and when asked, I don’t hesitate: Quantum computing.
While the principles of quantum computing are certainly complex, at a high level, the risk from quantum computing can be understood fairly quickly. Unlike a digital computer bit, which can only be a zero or one, a quantum bit, or qubit, can be a zero, one, and everything in between—all at the same time.
For those who are not quantum physicists, this can be mind-blowing, but the result is that a quantum computer can offer such a huge speed upgrade to solving certain problems, that some problems previously thought to be nearly impossible to solve may soon be solved.

FDA approves first digital pill, a drug that comes with ingestible sensor

Abilify MyCite can alert physicians when patients have – or haven't – taken their medicine, giving physicians hope for greater medication adherence.
November 14, 2017 10:49 AM
The first drug in the U.S. with a digital ingestion tracking system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The pill, Abilify MyCite, is prescribed for treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.
An ingestible sensor embedded in the pill is able to record that the medication was taken – sending signals to a wearable patch that then transmits the data to a mobile app.

More than half of executives plan to grow their telehealth program, creating an ‘Amazon effect’ in healthcare

Nov 15, 2017 4:52pm
Expectations for telehealth have changed dramatically in just three short years.
In 2014, a survey of healthcare executives by the law firm Foley & Lardner showed that 87% of respondents did not expect patients to be using telemedicine within three years. A new survey released by the firm on Wednesday indicates the technology has become an integral offering.
More than half of the senior healthcare executives that responded to this year’s survey said they were currently growing or expanding their telehealth program, compared to just 34% of respondents who said a telehealth program was under consideration or in development in 2014. That's on top of more than three-quarters that said they already offer or plan to offer telemedicine services.

26% of Orgs Would Pay Ransomware After Healthcare Cyberattack

A recent survey found that nearly one-quarter of UK and US healthcare organizations would pay a ransomware demand following a healthcare cyberattack.

November 14, 2017 - While the majority of healthcare IT and security professionals in the UK and US are confident in their organization’s ability to respond to a healthcare cyberattack, there are still some that are not sure their entity can properly respond, according to a recent survey.
Twenty-three percent of UK healthcare IT professionals said they are not confident in their organization’s ability to respond to a cyberattack, reported Infoblox's Cybersecurity in Healthcare: The Diagnosis
Furthermore, 26 percent of UK and US respondents said that their organization would pay a ransom demand. Of those, 85 percent of those surveyed in the UK said there was a plan in place for this situation and 68 percent of US respondents said the same.
November 14, 2017 / 9:10 AM

New tool could let patients contribute to doctors' notes

 (Reuters Health) - In theory, patients might be more engaged with their care and better able to inform doctors about any health issues if they could directly contribute to their own electronic medical records, a small U.S. study suggests.
For the study, researchers interviewed 29 physicians, nurses, patient advocates and computer experts about the potential benefits and pitfalls of letting patients directly contribute to doctors’ notes. The interviews focused on OurNotes, a platform that lets patients co-produce medical notes with clinicians.
Overall, people expressed mixed feelings. These contributions could improve care, make checkups more efficient and save physicians time, participants said. But it’s also possible that reviewing what patients add to the notes could encroach on doctors’ already scarce time without making care any better.

FDA approves cloud-based aneurysm planning technology

Published November 13 2017, 4:51pm EST
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a cloud-based medical simulation technology that enables pre-operative planning for treating cerebral aneurysms by endovascular means.
EndoVantage, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its SurgicalPreview application, which enables clinicians to plan procedures to resolve aneurysms in the brain.
Clinicians can use any computer with Internet to access SurgicalPreview and upload a patient’s CT imaging data. The system then converts that two-dimensional data to a functional three-dimensional model, enabling the clinician to manipulate the model as well as take anatomical measurements.

AMA launches efforts to help physicians harness health data

Published November 14 2017, 7:26am EST
Physicians are overwhelmed by a tsunami of health data that has little clinical meaning. However, the American Medical Association wants to help doctors harness that information to improve patient outcomes.
Speaking at this past weekend’s opening session of the 2017 AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu, CEO James Madara, MD, said that clinical data sets need to be better organized for physicians and that electronic health records are to blame for the lack of valuable information.
“Currently, we confront oceans and oceans of data, but only puddles of clinical meaning,” lamented Madara. “And the data that’s ultimately entered into the record tends to not be organized in any useful way. Instead, you’re in that ocean of disconnected data points that seem to lack context or organization—that is, to lack true meaning. And your EHR isn’t going to help you much—you’re on your own; go in there and find those puddles.”

CliniComp offers to drop its lawsuit against the VA pending an interoperability benchmark test

Nov 14, 2017 1:03pm
CliniComp says it will drop its lawsuit if the VA tests its EHR system.
The San Diego-based EHR vendor challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs’ decision to award a no-bid contract to Cerner says it will drop the lawsuit if the VA agrees to evaluate the merits of its commercial EHR offering.
The proposed settlement agreement (PDF) provided to FierceHealthcare calls on the VA to run CliniComp’s EHR software through a benchmark test conducted by the General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center to determine whether CliniComp’s platform meets or exceeds baseline interoperability standards outlined by the VA and the Department of Defense.

AMA’s long-term goal: Helping physicians navigate an ocean of clinical data

Nov 14, 2017 9:21am
AMA CEO James Madara, M.D., said physicians are getting "puddles of clinical meaning" from an ocean of health data.
The American Medical Association has been busy putting out urgent legislative and regulatory fires, but according to CEO James Madara, M.D., the organization hasn’t lost sight of its long-term challenges that revolve primarily around data.
AMA has been consumed by a “waterfall of disturbing legislative healthcare proposals,” Madara said in a speech during the association’s 2017 Interim Meeting. But much of his speech focused on healthcare’s future, which he said relies primarily on the ability of physicians to squeeze meaning from rapidly growing data sets.

Doctors spend too much time on EHRs? Most patients don't think so

But only half of consumers think EHRs make healthcare safer, according to a new survey by HealtheLink.
November 13, 2017 01:29 PM
Given all the hue and cry about electronic health records distracting clinicians and inhibiting their ability to make eye contact with patients during office visits, the consensus has been that doctors waste precious time on EHRs. But new research suggests fewer patients feel that way than one might expect.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean they believe EHRs make care safer.
Sixty percent of respondents answered “no” when asked if clinicians spend too much time on a computer during the typical appointment, according to HealtheLink, a health information exchange in Buffalo, NY.

ONC seeks comments on Interoperability Standards Advisory

By Rachel Z. Arndt  | November 11, 2017
The 21st Century Cures Act tasked the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology with a herculean task: solve the interoperability puzzle.
One tool the agency is using to achieve that goal is the Interoperability Standards Advisory, a collection of standards and specifications. The ONC is accepting comments on the online edition until Nov. 20. The 2018 reference edition is expected to be released later this year.
Recently, the ONC made several changes to the ISA. In response to suggestions from the 2017 ISA Task Force and the Health IT Standards Committee, for instance, it added a section on how consumers can access and exchange health information. For all four related categories of consumer-oriented interoperability—including the ability to view, download and transmit electronic health record data and to exchange secure messages with providers—there is a single emerging implementation specification: HL7 Fast healthcare Interoperability Resources, otherwise known as FHIR (and pronounced as "fire").

Asthma Management App First of Many for Nemours

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, November 14, 2017

Other chronic conditions and well-child tools are next in the development process.

The Nemours app for asthma from Nemours Children’s Health System is part of a new digital health strategy at the organization that provides its e-health tools for patients on a single platform.
This article is part two of the conversation with Gina Altieri, CPA, senior vice president and chief of strategy integration at Nemours Children’s Health System, and PJ Gorenc, operating officer of the Nemours Center for Health Delivery Innovation.
Part one of the conversation covered topics such as the impetus for creating the asthma app, including considerations about value-based payments.

8 reasons why telehealth is gaining momentum right now

Thanks to some new bills in Congress, and more in the works, the implementation of telehealth programs in an array of clinical settings has taken off recently.
November 10, 2017 03:12 PM
Telehealth has seen a surge of systems implementing programs in a variety of clinical settings recently. The KLAS and CHIME’s report in October indicated the momentum is building (and HIMSS put in an official ask to Congress for support as well). With the clearing of some regulation hurdles for reimbursement and crossing state lines, the financial savings and patient interest, is only going to grow. (But there is a recent study discounting its benefits).
Recent happenings have been shining a brighter light on telehealth programs. Here are a few:

1. Veteran’s breaking state barriers

The House passed a bill to let VA providers cross state lines for telemedicine and that bipartisan legislation -- which received broad support from Congress and trade groups -- will let VA providers — in good standing — practice telehealth regardless of the patient’s location. 

Trump makes it official, nominates Alex Azar to head HHS

Nov 13, 2017 10:43am
Alex Azar served as the head of Eli Lilly until he stepped down from the position in January. He had been rumored to be the front-runner for the HHS top post for weeks. 
The ex-president of Eli Lilly and Company is President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Tom Price as Health and Human Services secretary.
Trump announced the nomination via Twitter this morning, stating that former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar will be “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”

HIT Think How a six-step process can improve data quality

Published November 13 2017, 4:50pm EST
With an avalanche of patient data from external sources and the demand for real-time operational insight, effective data governance has become mission critical.
What follows are six critical steps that data stewards should be able to undertake with a quality Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) in order to create and maintain the highest-quality view of the patient—leading to high-quality, comprehensive care for patients and cost-savings for hospitals.
1. Assess the quality
It’s crucial to gain a good understanding of the quality of the data that is available and to understand the source of any limitations. Organizations may, for example, have systems where the data is gathered via forms that are transcribed. Transcription means errors may creep in. If, for example, information is being gathered via phone, a name may be heard and entered incorrectly, or “15 Main Street” may sound like “50 Main Street.” It’s important to assess front-end systems and understand the quality of the data being generated.

Companies Team to Provide Rx Pricing Info at the Point of Care

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, November 13, 2017

Once integrated with the EHR, the solution will also display therapeutic alternatives. 

In an effort to prevent prescription sticker shock and abandonment, Surescripts is teaming with major EHR companies, CVS Health, and Express Scripts to provide patient-specific benefit and price information to providers in real time at the point of care.
Practice Fusion, Allscripts, Aprima Medical Software, Cerner, Epic, and GE Healthcare will offer the tools to their users, who represent more than half of US physicians. Surescripts will use information from PBMs CVS Health and Express, which represent nearly two-thirds of U.S. patients.


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