Saturday, December 23, 2017

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 23rd December, 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.
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Here are the 12 healthcare issues that will define 2018, according to PwC

Artificial intelligence, IoT, cybersecurity, disaster preparedness and the patient experience are some of the prime concerns, according to the PwC Health Research Institute.
December 14, 2017 01:18 PM
The continued uncertainty and risk the healthcare industry will face in 2018 will motivate healthcare organizations to boost their efficiency across functions, according to the PwC Health Research Institute’s new report, “Top health industry issues of 2018: A year for resilience amid uncertainty.”
The report highlights 12 trends that will impact the healthcare industry in 2018, including the rise of artificial intelligence, a move to secure the Internet of Things, disaster preparation and the increasing complexity of health reform.
PwC’s Health Research Institute provides new intelligence and analysis on trends affecting health-related industries. The Health Research Institute research is independent and not sponsored by businesses, government or other institutions.
Following are 12 issues the PwC Health Research Institute has identified will come to the fore in 2018, demanding the attention and innovation of healthcare C-suite executives, clinicians and other healthcare professionals.
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Workshop E: Primer on Artificial Intelligence for the Clinician

Describes the basic principles of artificial intelligence such as data mining, cognitive computing, and deep learning.
Dec 11 2017
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Another view: of artificial intelligence

Neil Paul

15 December 2017
I’ve seen a lot about artificial intelligence in the news recently. Stories about the ethics of self-driving cars; whether they would allow you to die rather than allowing others to come to harm, and whether a passenger would be happy at such a prospect.
Now people are starting to say that AI will replace doctors. I’m not convinced it’s quite as imminent a prospect as some people think, but it’s worth exploring a few issues.
OK, perhaps as a doctor I might have a vested interest in saying not everything I do can be done by a computer, but I do think they have a role. And perhaps I have a vested interest in them working. I might retire in 10-15 years and there don’t seem to be any doctors coming after me to look after me in my old age. I’d rather have a good AI than nothing.
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University of Pittsburgh researchers co-develop video game to help physicians recognize signs of trauma

Dec 15, 2017 12:54pm
A new game co-developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh seeks to help doctors recognize the signs of trauma. (Getty/bernardbodo)
Physicians who don't regularly treat trauma patients may not be trained to recognize some of the signs, so researchers at the University of Pittsburgh developed a new educational method: video games. 
In a trial, researchers at the university had 149 doctors play the game "Night Shift," an adventure game in which doctors play as a young physician who treats patients with severe trauma. Another 148 doctors used written materials to study the signs of trauma, according to a study published in the BMJ. 
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Use email-based care coordination to improve outcomes, provider satisfaction, study suggests

Dec 15, 2017 9:54am
An email-based approach to care coordination can improve patient outcomes and lead to better provider satisfaction, according to a new study. 
San Francisco Health Network piloted the secure email system at its Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California San Francisco Family Medicine Inpatient Service, and found greater use of postdischarge primary care and fewer readmissions, according to the study published in the American Journal of Accountable Care. 
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December 15, 2017 / 9:27 AM

Families of dementia patients see positive effect of social robot seal

 (Reuters Health) - Paro, a robotic baby harp seal, seems to improve dementia patients’ mood and increase opportunities for communication with family members, according to a small study.
In a head to head comparison, family members of dementia patients said the robotic plush toy sparked more social interaction and engagement than a nonrobotic look-alike stuffed animal, the study authors report in The Gerontologist.
“On the whole, families loved the Paro and saw the positive way their family members interacted with it,” said lead author Wendy Moyle of Griffith University in Nathan, Australia.
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HIT Think How 3 major challenges will shape healthcare IT in 2018

Published December 15 2017, 4:32pm EST
Healthcare experienced a large degree of uncertainty and fluctuation in 2017, and those challenges will continue to unsettle care delivery into the New Year.
All three areas of uncertainty have either direct or indirect implications for the information systems that healthcare organizations are using. As a result, providers will need to step up efforts to build systems that are mission-critical and yet flexible to react to shifting realities in the marketplace.
Data breaches remain a top issue for which healthcare does not have an answer. Both the number of breaches that occurred and the number of records impacted climbed for another year. The past year also saw two causes of the data breaches separate from the pack—cyberattacks through vehicles such as ransomware, malware or phishing and insider threats.
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Healthcare organizations voice worry over end of net neutrality

Published December 15 2017, 7:51am EST
The Federal Communications Commission vote on Thursday to roll back regulations that uphold net neutrality has some healthcare organizations concerned that the move could have downstream implications for providers, particularly those located in and serving rural areas.
The five-member FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to eliminate its 2015 Title II Order that requires net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers must allow equal access to web content, regardless of the source. Proponents of removing the rules contend that the move will unfetter competition and thus boost economic growth.
However, critics—among them hospital organizations—contend that the move will set the stage for cable TV-like tiers of services that would force consumers to pay more for services. This may particularly be true in rural areas, where there is often little or no competition among Internet service providers.
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Now that net neutrality is dead, the question is: Will it help healthcare?

While FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai claims overturning rules regulating the Internet could be a boon to telemedicine and add bandwidth to underserved areas, many people working in the industry say that’s a stretch.
December 14, 2017 01:24 PM
The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality on Thursday, a move, its Chairman Ajit Pai said, that will allow internet providers to speed up services for some websites and apps -- and block or slow down others.
Net neutrality has been one of the biggest topics of conversation since Pai announced his plan to rollback the Obama-era regulation. The repeal has been Pai's goal throughout his 11-month tenure, despite the overwhelming majority of the population who believes net neutrality is good for the country. 
If you lean only on Pai’s comments, it would appear that “Restoring Internet Freedom” is a relatively helpful move to fuel competition and spur infrastructure development. In recent comments, Pai even claimed a repeal of net neutrality -- and the current ban on paid fast lanes -- will boost telehealth.
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HIT Think Early blockchain efforts look for best fits within healthcare

Published December 14 2017, 5:24pm EST
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s about time for articles making technology predictions for 2018 and proclaiming which trends were important in 2017.
So far, it’s difficult to nominate blockchain technology as a key driver this past year, based on measurable recent impact.
“Blockchain technology is a game-changer with the potential to impact not one or two industries, but the complete landscape of how business is done,” said IBM’s Blockchain Blog from October. “Better data sharing between healthcare providers means a higher probability of accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, and the overall increased ability of healthcare organizations to deliver cost-effective care.”
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Health IT tool at Mass General aids care for patients with chronic disease

Published December 14 2017, 7:44am EST
Population health coordinators in Massachusetts General Hospital’s primary care network, who received special training in the use of electronic health records and clinical registries, were able to achieve significant care improvements for patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
MGH developed and implemented the population health management program for chronic conditions by leveraging an established health IT clinical registry in its primary care network.
According to Jeffrey Ashburner, an epidemiologist and staff researcher in the MGH Division of General Internal Medicine, the registry was originally focused on comprehensive cancer screening. However, the PHM health IT tool—called TopCare—was augmented to include registries for patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
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Hospital Impact—A healthcare provider's guide to promoting telehealth for seniors

Dec 13, 2017 4:20pm
The 21st century is all about convenience, and physician practices and specialty health organizations are responding by providing great telehealth options for seniors.
If you’re one of these organizations, rest easy knowing the hard part is done: developing a tool or appointment system for seniors to access remotely. If you haven’t, it’s time you join the online health revolution, which is expected to reach 7 million users by 2018, per a report by IHS Technology.
The question is: How do you promote this new offering effectively? We know seniors are online, with 34% of people ages 65 and up saying they use social media, according to the Pew Research Center. The focus should be less on where you promote, however, and more about which message will resonate with your audience. Seniors have different concerns and online habits than younger generations.
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Study: Online portals fall short on offering context, explanations for test results

Dec 13, 2017 11:20am
Patients often do online searches to understand test results posted in portals, according to a new study.
Patients can, and often do, access test results and other healthcare information through online portals, but more work could be done to help them understand what the results mean, according to a new study. 
Researchers interviewed 95 patients who had accessed test results through a patient portal between April 2015 and September 2016, according to data published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Close to two-thirds (63%) of those interviewed did not receive any additional explanation on the results through the portal. 
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Experts tell Senate panel of AI’s growing potential

Published December 13 2017, 7:20am EST
Artificial intelligence has tremendous potential for making sense of the big data that is inundating healthcare, creating actionable insights for clinicians. However, the breakthrough technology also brings with it challenges and risks for the industry.
That’s the consensus of AI experts who testified on Tuesday before the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet.
Edward Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, told lawmakers that AI is already creating huge benefits in healthcare and that its potential will only grow as the technology advances.
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Secure messaging vendors to support interoperability

Published December 13 2017, 7:12am EST
The 21st Century Cures Act seeks to develop new policies and standards to support an interoperable health IT technology infrastructure that enhances the use and exchange of data while enabling research into new medical breakthroughs.
Recently, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced it soon will release proposed rules for public comment on developing a trusted exchange framework for the Cures Act.
Other industry initiatives are gearing up to support the Cures Act, including DirectTrust, which offers secure electronic messaging between providers, patients and other healthcare consumers via the Direct Project protocols for secure communications.
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KLAS Report Names Top 3 Best Practices for EHR Optimization

Education, personalization, and hospital culture are the keys to successful EHR optimization.

December 11, 2017 - KLAS recently published a list of best practices for EHR optimization to reduce provider burden as part of a study conducted through its Arch Collaborative initiative.
“The Arch Collaborative, in an effort to stem the tide of EMR-related clinician burnout, brings together organizations from community facilities to large IDNs under a standardized user-satisfaction survey,” stated KLAS on its website.
Launched in late 2016, the Arch Collaborative was an attempt by KLAS researchers to team up with provider organizations to create a common end-user satisfaction survey. One year later, the collaborative now includes insights from 15,535 physicians and 55 healthcare organizations.
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Congressional action could harm growth of medical informatics

Published December 13 2017, 4:59pm EST
With House and Senate members working to reconcile competing positions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the American Medical Informatics Association is telling lawmakers that a specific provision could significantly reduce the future availability of medical informaticists.
The association is asking that provisions that would count graduate medical tuition waivers as taxable income be eliminated from the forthcoming law. The worry is that graduate fellowships in medical informatics often offer stipends of less than $30,000 a year, AMIA is telling Congress in a recent letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees.
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Providers’ vulnerability to email-borne malware is still high

Published December 12 2017, 7:26am EST
Despite widespread understanding that emails are at risk of containing malware payloads that can subvert information security systems, that message is not getting through to staff at healthcare organizations.
A new survey demonstrates just how often providers continue to be fooled, underscoring the likelihood that a surprising number of staff and clinicians are at high risk of unknowingly clicking on suspect email attachments.
“We’re just coming out of what was a very bad year, and we still have an industry where it will only get worse,” concludes David Hood, resilience strategist at Mimecast, a cloud-hosted platform vendor, which sponsored a study by HIMSS Analytics on security issues, based on research involving 76 information technology professionals responsible for data security at a variety of provider organizations.
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2018 trends to watch include ACA uncertainty, cyberthreats, patient experience: PwC

Dec 12, 2017 11:07am
To face challenges that lie ahead in 2018, healthcare organizations must rely on the resiliency they've built up amid the upheavals of 2017, including the ups and downs of Congress' attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Those issues include even more uncertainty over healthcare reform, new threats to data security, the need to tackle the social determinants of patients’ health and a greater focus on the patient experience, Benjamin Isgur, leader of PwC's Health Research Institute, said in an interview. 
FierceHealthcare caught up with Isgur to talk about the management consulting firm's annual trends report.
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83 percent of physicians have been hit by cybersecurity incidents

Published December 12 2017, 10:30am EST
The vast majority of U.S. physicians say their practices have experienced a cybersecurity incident, as the nation’s leading physician organization said the healthcare sector needs to increase cybersecurity support for medical practices.
A survey of 1,300 physicians found that 83 percent of respondents have experienced a cyberattack, and 74 percent of respondents say they were most concerned that future attacks could interrupt their ability to deliver care in their practices, while a similar percent say it could compromise the security of patient records. Some 53 percent say future attacks could jeopardize patient safety.
The research was released Tuesday by the American Medical Association and Accenture.
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Firms Go Phishing to Bolster Company Cybersecurity

By Ben DiPietro
Dec 11, 2017 6:07 am ET
When the Texas Hospital Association—a group advocating for the state’s acute-care hospitals and health systems—wanted to test its employees about their cybersecurity awareness, it decided to send a phishing email to the association’s employees.
Fernando Martinez, the association’s president and chief executive, realized in 2016, as the number of ransomware attacks rose and gained media attention, that he had an issue in his group—something reaffirmed when he began hearing of similar worries among the association’s members.
Seeing a chance to bolster his organization’s training, he turned to Florida-based professional services firm Kaufman Rossin, which developed a program called PhishNet that lets organizations send phishing emails without advance notice to staff that such emails are coming.
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Counting Patient Steps Predicts Readmissions Risk

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, December 12, 2017

In a recent study, commercial activity monitors showed a correlation between the number of inpatient steps and the likelihood of readmission.

Research has linked physical activity with a lower risk of readmissions in medical conditions from COPD to heart failure.
Although every effort is made to get people moving while they're hospitalized, the intentions don't always match the outcomes. In a busy hospital, there are lots of other things competing for clinicians' attention and time.
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Geisinger slashes prescriptions for opioids in half using provider dashboard

Published December 11 2017, 7:12am EST
Integrated healthcare services organization Geisinger has nearly cut in half the number of opioid prescriptions written in its emergency departments, physician offices and community practice clinics by using a provider dashboard linked to their Epic electronic health record.
Over the past three years, Geisinger Health System—based in Danville, Penn.—has gone from an average of 60,000 opioid prescriptions per month to 31,000.
An innovator in the use of EHRs and care delivery models, Geisinger has used the dashboard to target specific healthcare sites that were writing disproportionately high numbers of opioid prescriptions, according to Michael Evans, associate vice president of strategy and innovation and co-director of the Center for Pharmacy Innovation and Outcomes.
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Allscripts CEO Paul Black talks AI, machine learning and precision medicine

Chief executive shares his vision for the future of genomics and offers a glimpse of the AI-based EHR the company is exploring.
December 08, 2017 09:56 AM
In part one of our two-part Q&A with Allscripts CEO Paul Black on Thursday, he explained how the acquisition this year of McKesson’s health IT business has vastly increased the company's scale nationwide, and how he plans to capitalize on that to position the company for a new era in healthcare – focusing on innovation on an array of fronts and having some "fun" helping its clients solve an array of challenges.
In part two, Black looks toward 2018 and beyond, discussing how Allscripts aims to continue making inroads with precision medicine, artificial intelligence and more.
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Health System Executives Are Optimistic About Telehealth, mHealth

Executives from the nation's largest health systems see a bright future for telehealth and mHealth, according to a UPMC survey. But reimbursement issues and reliability concerns will slow progress for now.

December 07, 2017 - Less than half of the health systems surveyed in a new report are getting reimbursed for remote patient monitoring or virtual care – but that isn’t stopping them from launching new telehealth and telemedicine programs.
“The lack of reimbursement has not affected our strategy,” one health system CIO points out. “We have moved forward because it’s the right thing to do. [Telehealth] gives a better consumer experience.”
The survey of 35 of the nation’s largest health systems, conducted by UPMC’s Center for Connected Medicine in a partnership with the Health Management Academy, finds that healthcare providers are betting big on RPM and virtual care in 2018. More than 70 percent of those not being reimbursed now expect that to change in the coming year.
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Resist Phishing Attacks with Three Golden Rules

That sense of urgency, or that threat from an authority figure, or that random ask for help, all conspire to force you to click.
Aaron Fernandez
Like any classic hustle, phishing has staying power. The fake emails and texts that lure you into a digital con—Free cruise! Act now!—may not comprise a very technical hack, but the attackers behind them still put a lot of resources and expertise into giving their cons as much authenticity as possible.
That’s what makes it so difficult to protect yourself against phishing. You know not to click links in shady emails. You know to think twice before clicking any link in any email. (Right?) The same goes for downloading attachments and putting your personal information or login credentials into any form that you have any reason not to trust. And yet! Phishers can just needle you forever, waiting for that one moment when you finally slip up. If you do, you instantly subject yourself to any number of unfortunate consequences, whether it's identity theft, fraud, or malware that runs rampant on your device.
Follow these three rules to keep from getting hooked.
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Mind The Trust Gap: How Companies Can Retain Customers After A Security Breach

Post written by Matthew Lieberman
Advisory Marketing Leader at PwC and an innovative executive at the crossroads of marketing, media and technology.
Now more than ever, consumers demand companies protect their personal information -- or they’ll take their business elsewhere. And there are a number of new proposed regulations that may have significant impacts to companies for non-compliance. Companies must understand and respond quickly to both consumers’ and regulators’ cybersecurity and privacy issues. They must demonstrate that they are both protecting consumer data while validating privacy concerns. This is increasingly difficult at a time when cyberattacks are on the rise while companies are trying to monetize the huge volumes of data that are being collected.
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HIT Think How precision oncology will use data to advance cancer treatment

Published December 11 2017, 5:02pm EST
Physicians and oncologists who treat cancer today are often forced to rely on limited trial results from very selective populations, traditional treatment modalities and mostly on their own intuition and experience.
Biological and clinical evidence have shown that cancer becomes more complex over the time and that no two cancer patients are alike. Therefore, concepts that reflect the cancer biology in each patient based on therapeutic targets are crucial to match the right treatment and improve outcomes.
Treatment centers around the world are undergoing a digital transformation towards greater access to health information and resources. They are implementing technology that gives them the capability to share data, both structured and unstructured, on a global scale, enabling them to offer the highest quality treatments.
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Enjoy!
David.

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