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, May 19, 2018

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 19th May, 2018

Here are a few I came across last week.
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.

Apple Health Records: Where early adopters see the biggest impact so far

With 39 hospitals using the health record in an iPhone and many changes predicted for the future of EHRs, here’s a look at what first movers have found.
May 11, 2018 03:59 PM
Many players in the healthcare industry are closely watching how Apple Health Records are performing in this rapidly changing market. 
A major shift in what makes up a record of patient care is already underway. EHR vendors are working to transform EHRs into CHRs – Comprehensive Health Records. Couple that with their plans to integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence into their offerings, and you have the stuff of market disruption.
So where exactly will Apple fit in? An early look at the 39 hospitals already using Apple Health Record offers a glimpse of what’s to come. 

Almost 14,000 women contact breast cancer helpline after IT error revealed

Almost 14,000 women have contacted a helpline which offers advice to those who believe an IT error may have caused them to miss their final breast cancer screening.
Hanna Crouch - 10 May, 2018
Jeremy Hunt told MPs last week that a “computer algorithm failure”, which dated back to 2009, meant a group of women were not sent routine screening invitations before the cut off point of their 71st birthday.
Speaking in the House of Commons on 8 May, the health and social care secretary gave an update, confirming he had met Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England – which runs the breast screening programme – to review the situation.

Government tightens grip on NHS Digital’s sharing of non-clinical patient data

The government has significantly revised an agreement which allows NHS Digital to share non-clinical patient information with the Home Office.
Hanna Crouch – 10 May 2018
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on the data protection bill on May 9, Margot James – a minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – confirmed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been amended “with immediate effect”.
The memoradum, which came into effect in January 2017, allows the Home Office to gain access to patient data – including non-clinical information – for the purpose of tracing immigration offenders and vulnerable people.

When medical devices get hacked, hospitals often don't know it

The threat to medical devices is real and happening now – and it’s a patient safety issue, much more than one of HIPAA compliance.
May 11, 2018 09:54 AM
The past three months have seen a record high in medical device recalls, increasing 126 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from last year, according to the Stericycle Recall Index. The biggest culprit was software, which is unsurprising given the increase in high-tech devices that often run on legacy systems.
While many healthcare systems have legacy platforms running on some aspect of its network -- think MRIs and X-Ray machines -- medical devices are one tool that can directly put patients at risk if a breach or software failure were to occur.
“Security on devices doesn’t just impact HIPAA, it affects patient safety,” said Christian Dameff, MD, an emergency room doctor at the University of California San Diego.

How Front-End Speech Recognition Adoption Impacts EHR Usability

While front-end speech recognition tool adoption ideally would have aided EHR usability, research shows that a lack of widespread adoption hinders a full impact.

May 08, 2018 - It was previously thought that widespread adoption of cloud-based front-end speech recognition systems would have helped solve certain EHR usability issues, according to KLAS research. However, more recent data shows that if an adopted tool does not bring improved efficiency, cost reductions, or physician satisfaction, there will be little motivation for clinicians to adopt it and integrate it into their workflows.
Physician fulfillment is nearly equal between organizations with high adoption and those who do not use front-end speech tools, KLAS found in its Front-End Speech 2018 report. Additionally, a significant increase in physician job fulfillment does not appear to be a primary benefit of speech recognition tools.

White House holds summit on artificial intelligence with industry

Published May 11 2018, 7:15am EDT
The White House on Thursday hosted a summit on artificial intelligence, bringing together more than 100 business leaders, government officials and technical experts to discuss AI’s potential for making sense of the data that is inundating healthcare and other industries.
Representatives from agriculture, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation attendaed the summit to discuss a number of topics, including research and development, workforce development, regulatory barriers to AI innovation and sector-specific applications of the technology. Tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft also participated.
“Artificial intelligence holds tremendous potential as a tool to empower the American worker, drive growth in American industry and improve the lives of the American people,” said Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the President for technology policy. “Our free market approach to scientific discovery harnesses the combined strengths of government, industry and academia, and uniquely positions us to leverage this technology for the betterment of our great nation.”

HIT Think How telehealth can improve medication management and patient safety

Published May 11 2018, 5:47pm EDT
Medication errors account for at least one death each day and injuries to an estimated 1.3 million people annually. But while implementing new workflows can put a dent in this problem, making a significant impact requires a huge dedication of resources.
What’s not typically part of the discussion? How telehealth can improve medication safety.
While telehealth’s power to enhance acute-care programs is undisputed, its ability to improve the less-prominent (but equally important) medication reconciliation and safety processes is largely untested, and potentially eyebrow raising.

HIT Think How e-prescribing could help lower patients’ drug prices

Published May 10 2018, 4:49pm EDT
Prescription drug prices are higher than they should be for many patients because of certain practices of pharmacy benefit managers.
For example, PBMs make money by charging health plans considerably more for a drug than they pay pharmacies for the same medication. As a result of this “ingredient spread,” the drug goes into a higher price tier, obligating plan members to pay their respective copayment and, in some instances, the result is a higher copayment for that medication. In many cases, the copayment is more than the cash price at the pharmacy—but most patients don’t know that.
In addition, PBMs and health plans “claw back” the difference between the patient copayment and the amount they pay the pharmacy for the medication. Claw-backs have even been attributed to PBMs like OptumRx, which is owned by United Healthcare, one of the largest health insurers. Some payer-owned PBMs also profit from the ingredient spread, which adds to the insurer’s bottom line.

AI could help make physician work 'more interesting,' cardiologist says

The math is simple, says Anthony Chang, MD: machine intelligence + human intelligence = medical intelligence.
May 09, 2018 11:46 AM
As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to evolve, they're starting to have real-world impacts on how physicians do their jobs. But some docs are also skeptical if not outright scared that AI might be coming for their jobs.
That's the wrong way to look at it, said cardiologist Anthony Chang, MD, chief intelligence and innovation officer at Children's Hospital of Orange County, who's excited about what he says is an "amazing paradigm shift in medicine."
It can perhaps be equally exciting and disconcerting seeing IBM's Watson winning on Jeopardy! and AI technology from Google's DeepMind subsidiary edging out Ke Jie, the world's best (human) player of the ancient Chinese strategy game Go.

AHRQ Finds Few Reliable mHealth Apps for Diabetes Care Management

A new report commissioned by the AHRQ finds that very few of the hundreds of mHealth apps on the market for diabetes care management have been researched.

May 09, 2018 - A new report says most mHealth apps for diabetes care management haven’t been proven clinically effective – and that consumers are “experimenting on themselves” when they use these digital health tools.
Funded by the Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the study analyzed hundreds of commercially available mHealth apps for diabetes care and found only 11 that were supported by research. And of those 11 apps, only five had been proven to help people lower their HbA1c levels.
“Although consumers have access to dozens of apps for diabetes management, only a handful of these technologies have been evaluated,” AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna, MBA, said in a press release accompanying the study, published this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “AHRQ’s report helps identify an important area where more research will help us understand how these apps can improve the health of people with diabetes.”

Apple Health Records EHR Data Viewer Will Have Immediate Impact

Early adopters of Apple Health Records say the EHR data viewer will have significant short- and long-term benefits.

May 09, 2018 - Health system executives at each of the 12 organizations that were early adopters of Apple Health Records predict that the EHR data viewer will have an immediate positive impact on patient engagement, interoperability, and health IT innovation, according to a new KLAS report.
The first wave of Apple Health Records participants included Cedars Sinai, Cerner Healthe Clinic, Dignity Health, Geisinger Health System, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, and six other health systems.
Executives from all first wave health systems agreed “Apple’s case has not been overstated,” KLAS researchers wrote.

SAP, Cerner team up to develop next-gen EHR for European hospitals

Regulations are different internationally and electronic health record systems made in America are too pricey for the rest of the world.
May 09, 2018 09:40 AM
SAP and Cerner have joined forces to create a new electronic health record platform for hospitals outside the U.S.
“We decided to create next-gen clinical EHR systems jointly for the rest of the world,” said Werner Eberhardt, MD, Global Head of SAP Health during an interview ahead of the announcement at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas.
Wait. With arguably too many EHRs already on the market, why build a new one for the rest of the world instead of just selling Cerner’s existing tools in Europe?

Mayo Clinic Uses An mHealth App to Identify Epileptic Seizures

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has found that an mHealth app can be used to diagnose epilepsy. It's one of several mobile health tools being used to manage care for people with chronic conditions.

May 08, 2018 - Researchers at the Mayor Clinic are reporting success with an mHealth app that can diagnose epilepsy.
The EpiFinder app reportedly correctly identified epilepsy or offered an accurate alternative diagnosis in almost 87 percent of the cases during a recent study at the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Neurology.
The app analyzes data entered into the platform by either the patient or a care provider. Its creator, Neel Mehta, says the tool can be used by either a doctor or a consumer.

Regulatory Requirements Drive Dissatisfaction With EHRs

Other countries using EHR software report satisfaction, cite it as tool improving efficacy
TUESDAY, May 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Regulatory requirements are likely to be an important aspect of physician dissatisfaction with electronic health records (EHRs) that is driving burnout, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online May 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Noting that there is a growing sense within the medical community that the EHR is driving professional dissatisfaction and burnout, N. Lance Downing, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues discuss problems with EHR systems.
May 8, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

Crypto-Miners Supplant Ransomware as the Top Healthcare Cybersecurity Threat

Malicious crypto-miners have supplanted ransomware as the top healthcare cybersecurity threat, a cross-sector report revealed.
The April 2018 edition of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)’s “Healthcare and Cross-Sector Cybersecurity Report,” which referenced the recent “Comodo Cybersecurity Q1 2018 Report,” found that crypto-miner attacks increased over the course of the quarter while ransomware attacks decreased.
Comodo’s researchers also noted that attackers are debuting innovations for embedding malware within crypto-miners, a trend that could indicate a preference among bad actors for cryptojacking over more traditional threats.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar confirms Trump will unveil drug pricing polices on Friday

May 9, 2018 10:29am
HHS Secretary Alex Azar confirmed President Donald Trump's long-awaited speech on the administration's plan to lower drug prices is slated for Friday afternoon. 
The Department of Health and Human Services head said that the delayed policy proposals would build on the president's 2019 budget proposal and plans unveiled by the administration earlier this year. He made the announcement as part of his speech at the American Hospital Association's annual meeting on Wednesday morning. 
Trump wants to go "much, much further" than what has already been outlined, Azar said. 

Medical device recalls reach historic levels in 2018 with software as leading cause

May 9, 2018 2:44pm
Medical device recalls reached record highs in the first three months of 2018 thanks to software complications that are likely to continue with the proliferation of high-tech devices.
Device recalls increased 126% in the first quarter of 2018. At 343 recalls, it was the highest number in a single quarter since 2005, according to a report by Stericycle’s Recall Index (PDF), which tracks recall data across several industries.
Software was the biggest driver of medical device recalls in the first quarter, accounting for 23% of all recalls. Software issues have been the leading factor in device recalls each quarter since the beginning of 2016.

HIT Think Why a hospital shouldn’t put baby photos online

Published May 09 2018, 5:41pm EDT
Privacy and security of personal information are topics of constant discussion inside and outside of healthcare. Current events keep the heat on, as one or the other never strays very far from headlines.
The Facebook breach—or perhaps it could be considered the expected use of data, with the angle depending on one’s views and understanding—underscored that data are valuable and frequent targets. Additionally, reports of identity theft and other forms of fraud resulting from stolen data are also the subjects of frequent stories. The underlying issue always comes down to being able to obtain an individual’s personal information and then put that information to bad use.
When it comes to desired personal information, it would seem that information about a newborn or another individual who does not have any history could present a blank slate for individuals with bad intent. Additionally, a newborn will not monitor fraudulent accounts or other activity occurring in their name. For example, children may not discover that their identities had been stolen until applying for a driver’s license or credit card, which are activities that will not occur for a significant period of time.

Surescripts sees big gains in interoperability, with 13.7 billion secure transactions

The network also noted a big uptick in e-prescribing, with 77 percent of all prescriptions now delivered electronically, including a substantial increase in EPCS.
May 07, 2018 12:55 PM
Interoperability is on the upswing nationwide, says Surescripts, which saw 13.7 billion secure health data transactions take place across its network in 2017 – a 26 percent increase from the previous year, officials said.
Surescripts' 2017 National Progress Report shows how the network has grown its capabilities beyond electronic prescribing. Its exchange network now include 1.47 million healthcare professionals who can access health data for 233 million patients – 71 percent of the U.S. population. The nationwide network also offers a portfolio of tools that work together to increase prescribing, and help inform care decisions.
Surescripts Network Alliance includes virtually all major electronic health record vendors, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies and clinicians and an increasing number of health plans, long-term care and specialty pharmacy organizations.

mHealth Scores High With Consumers in Boosting Medication Adherence

A recent survey conducted for Express Scripts finds that those using prescribed medications would like mHealth tools, such as apps and wearables, to help them improve adherence.

May 07, 2018 - Consumers are looking to mobile health tools, such as mHealth apps and wearables, to improve their medication adherence.
A recent study of some 800 prescription medication users, conducted by Russell Research for Express Scripts, finds that roughly half believe mHealth technology would help them become more adherent – and one-third of those would be more likely to use them if the tools were set up for them.
With experts suggesting at least half of the nation’s medication users aren’t taking their drugs as prescribed – costing some $300 billion a year in avoidable healthcare expenses, or $1,000 per person – medication adherence is a significant issue, and one that healthcare experts have vowed to tackle more aggressively.

AHIMA Fuels Clinical Documentation Improvement with New Toolkits

Clinical documentation improvement toolkits on outpatient documentation and denials management can aid providers in strengthening patient care.

May 07, 2018 - Clinical documentation improvement (CDI) helps healthcare organizations capture meaningful data for improved quality reporting and clinician productivity. In an effort to ensure that the entire patient record is documented properly, AHIMA released two new CDI toolkits earlier this month to ensure data exchange is accurate and complete.
The two new toolkits focus on CDI on outpatient documentation and denials management to support the exchange of complete and accurate data across the care continuum.

HIT Think How artificial intelligence may replace today's IT service desk

Published May 08 2018, 2:30pm EDT
Artificial intelligence is talked about constantly, and voice technology is nothing new. Both have changed the way people live.
AI and machine learning (ML) have become the talk of the IT service management (ITSM) industry as well. Vendors have started implementing ML algorithms in their ITSM tools for functions like automatically categorizing tickets, predicting anomalies or suggesting solutions for user issues.
But given the advances made in technology each day, AI and ML could do a lot more than just these functions. As time goes by, AI could potentially replace the conventional IT service desk — the single physical point of contact between IT staff and end users. This doesn’t mean that IT staffs will disappear, but it could enable them to shift their attention to other roles.

Geisinger to make DNA sequencing a part of routine clinical care

Published May 07 2018, 6:40am EDT
Geisinger is expanding its population health genomics program beyond research and into routine clinical practice, effectively enabling the healthcare organization’s patients to be the first in the nation to have the sequencing of their DNA as part of standard care.
David Feinberg, MD, president and CEO of Geisinger, made the announcement on Sunday at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas.
“Understanding the genome warning signals of every patient will be an essential part of wellness planning and health management,” Feinberg told the audience at the conference. “Geisinger patients will be able to work with their family physician to modify their lifestyle and minimize risks that may be revealed. This forecasting will allow us to provide truly anticipatory healthcare instead of the responsive sick care that has long been the industry default across the nation.”

Statistical analysis can help reduce needless breast biopsies

Published May 07 2018, 6:49am EDT
Imaging studies that identify suspicious lesions in women’s breasts often lead to biopsies, even in cases that are only minimally suspicious. These tests to rule out false positives can cause needless anxiety and risks to their health.
But combining the use of statistical methods with image analysis may have the potential to downgrade the risk classification of breast masses, thus reducing the need for unnecessary breast biopsies, according to clinicians from Seno Medical and collaborators from The University of Texas.
Results of the study were recently published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Veteran IT exec envisions the future of EHRs - and it's not even in the EHR

Voice recognition and natural language processing will enable doctors and nurses to interact with electronic health record platforms in more comfortable ways.
May 07, 2018 09:11 AM
Along with a fistful of cutting-edge technologies, an interesting trend has begun to emerge that may help predict a direction forward for the way users interface with electronic health records.
Hint: It’s not in the EHR. Instead, emerging technologies such as ambient listening, voice assistants and natural language processing will provide a subtle buffer between EHR data and users. Clinicians will be able to access and contribute to data within electronic health records software or cloud services, in fact, without having to touch the EHR itself.
Let’s take a look at how this could play out.

ED communications badges reduce security response times, foster sense of safety

SUNY Upstate Medical emergency department staff dealing with violent patients say the badges allow them to summon hospital public safety staff in just over a minute.
May 04, 2018 02:35 PM
When there's an emergency situation in a hospital that threatens the physical safety of staff and patients, time is of the essence for hospital security staff to get to the scene of the crisis.
SUNY Upstate Medical in New York knew this fact very well, and wanted to improve on the response time of hospital security. So it invested in a communications technology system that works via badges worn by its staff members.
"When our hospital implemented these badges, clinical staff in the emergency department used them first, for at least a year," said Jeremy Joslin, MD, medical director of the adult emergency department and medical director of the transfer center at Upstate University Hospital. "The clinical staff was very comfortable using them on a day-to-day basis for clinical needs."

Hospital culture is shifting toward telehealth, experts say at ATA

While reimbursement is largely seen as a roadblock, a number of bold companies are forging ahead now rather than waiting for payment issues to be settled.
May 03, 2018 03:27 PM
As hospitals struggle to keep up with growing needs of an aging population, many are at least looking at how virtual healthcare can save time, cut costs, and lead to patient-driven outcomes.
At the American Telemedicine Association Conference in Chicago earlier this week, industry players sat down to talk emerging trends in virtual care and where they see it in the future.
“Telemedicine is the wrong name. It's an antiquated name. It describes what we do as the same thing we do today, but at a distance; a one-on-one interaction at a distance,” Kaveh Safavi, MD, senior managing director and head of Global Health Practice Accenture, said at the conference. “I have stopped using telemedicine as terminology. I think about a concept of virtual healthcare as one that encompasses a variety of digital technologies, some that allow a consultation at a distance, some that allow self-service, smart self-service, patients providing for each other in a community to find a social platform — basically any form of technology that allows care to be delivered without requiring the physical proximity between a doctor and a caregiver.”

Allscripts EHR Receives Top Rankings in Interoperability, RCM

Single-source EHRs received higher user utilization and product satisfaction rates, with Allscripts EHR taking the top spot in a Black Book poll.

May 04, 2018 - Healthcare systems utilizing EHR-centric vendors and single-source solutions reported higher satisfaction ratings, with Allscripts EHR coming home with the highest ranking in Black Book Research’s Q1 2018 poll.
The majority of hospital network users – 86 percent – with a single-source vendor EHR, revenue cycle management (RCM), and population health products said they were confident with being prepared for value-based care. Eighteen percent of IDNs and hospitals utilizing a siloed EHR, RCM, population tools, or health information exchanges (HIEs) reported the same.
Black Book polled 490 US corporate, chain and IDN hospitals for the rankings, gathering feedback on client experience and customer satisfaction on 18 key performance indicators. Researchers wanted to find how the integration of documentation, population health operations, and RCM impacted organizations.
May 4, 2018 @ 09:00 AM 710 2 Free Issues of Forbes

Seven Strategies To Keep Your Company Data Safe When An Employee Leaves

Post written by
Forbes Human Resources Council
Successful HR executives from Forbes Human Resources Council offer leadership and management insights.
In the modern world of near-constant high-profile cyberattacks, most companies are worried about external hackers breaking into their systems and stealing their data. While these hackers do certainly present a threat, an even bigger one is lurking right under your nose: Your own employees.
One study found that one-third of U.S. and U.K. office workers still have access to their former company's data and systems after leaving their jobs. While much of this data exposure is innocuous and accidental, some malicious individuals may use their access to wreak havoc upon their ex-employer. As an HR professional, you can keep your company protected from departing employees with these seven tips from Forbes Human Resources Council.

Health e-Cards.

GOVERNMENT has finished implementing the electronic card system at four hospitals in the country under the Smart Zambia pilot project. Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Martin Mtonga said Smart Zambia and the Ministry of Health are working on an electronic health system to improve service delivery.
“We have just finished a pilot project at four health institutions where e-cards are being issued to access medical services on time,” he said.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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