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, November 03, 2018

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links – 3rd November, 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.

Facebook’s health research head says doctors should have more patient data

Facebook’s head of health research has reportedly said he believes doctors should have access to even more data about patients, including information about their social lives.
Hanna Crouch – 24 October 2018
Freddy Abnousi called for more access to data on patients’ social and behavioural characteristics, though he did not specifically mention Facebook data, CNBC has reported.
Abnousi told delegates at a US conference that researchers have evidence suggesting a person’s social life impacts their health more than almost any other major risk factor.
But Abnousi argued that such data is not easily available.

Meet the newest HIMSS Analytics adoption model: INFRAM

October 25, 2018 11:41 AM

HIMSS Analytics has launched a new maturity model to help healthcare organizations measure how their technology deployments compare with their peers. The new Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, aims to assess health systems' IT network across five subdomains.
INFRAM is meant to help provider organizations ensure they have optimal tech in place to help improve care delivery, mitigate risks to cyber security and network infrastructure and ensure their IT is deployed to maximize good business and clinical outcomes, officials said.
Specifically, INFRAM focuses on five technical areas: mobility, security, collaboration, transport and data center.

How to Bounce Back from a Data Breach and Regain Public Trust

Business.com / Computers / Last Modified: October 24, 2018
In the wake of a major Facebook data breach, it is important for companies, regardless of the industry your business is based in, to understand best practices for handling a data breach. The actions that occur directly following a breach will impact the brand, reliability and customer trust.
For a company whose brand and reliability among customers depends on the security of private data, it's hard to imagine a nightmare worse than a major data breach. Facebook is the latest to deal with such a crisis in an especially public way: The social media company recently confirmed that 30 million user accounts were hit by a data breach in September. Even worse, the company also announced that hackers pulled personal information on almost half of those breached.
It's hardly a problem limited to companies centrally in the public eye like Facebook. According to the Data Breach Index managed by Gemalto, over 14.5 billion data records have been lost or stolen since 2013. Today, nearly 7 million records are compromised daily, Gemalto adds.

Backup data aids Jones Eye Clinic in rebound from ransomware

Published October 26 2018, 5:03pm EDT
Jones Eye Clinic and its affiliated surgery center was victimized by a ransomware attack, but was able to recover with timely use of backup information.
The clinic, and its CJ Elmwood Partners surgery center—together operating three sites serving parts of Iowa and South Dakota—is recovering from the attack, which affected as many as 40,000 individuals.
On August 23, the practices discovered that the computer network was locked with ransomware, and it received a payment demand to unlock the network.

ONC finds most hospitals plan to use upgraded EHR tech in 2019

Published October 26 2018, 7:36am EDT
The vast majority of acute care hospitals has upgraded or plan to upgrade to the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria.
The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT has released results of an analysis of 2017 data from the American Hospital Association’s IT Supplement Survey showing that 93 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals have already upgraded to the 2015 Edition or plan to do so.
The hospital data is encouraging, because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working to finalize its proposed Quality Payment Program rule that would require the use of 2015 edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) beginning in 2019.

HIT Think How machine learning can help improve treatment

Published October 26 2018, 5:36pm EDT
As the cost of healthcare has risen, health plans have seen a growing need to proactively manage members’ health. The proactive part of that is the rub; it’s far easier to react to an event than to anticipate the likelihood of an event and act to prevent it.
That’s where analytics becomes valuable. Most health plans have much of the data they need to predict health events, particularly those related to chronic disease. But getting accurate insights from that data, particularly predictive insights, has, until recently, been expensive, complex and time-consuming.
Hence, the wish list is topped by more useful analytics. It’s the one capability that can truly transform a health plan’s business model, if it could only be adopted in a way that is fast, agile and affordable.

HIMSS announces global launch of Healthcare IT News

October 25, 2018 02:56 PM
The publication now serves international readers with news, features, analysis and insights about the many innovative ways health IT is being put to use improving healthcare.
Healthcare IT News, in fact, has reporters in those areas and elsewhere to bring our voice to today's most important information and technology trends.
A 2018 Jesse Neal Awards finalist, widely considered the most prestigious business-to-business journalism award, Healthcare IT News has been reporting on the evolution of health IT since 2003 – years before the widespread implementation of electronic health records that established the digital foundation underpinning so many of today's exciting healthcare developments.
From artificial intelligence and big data analytics to patient experience and population health – and just about everything else in between – our writers and editors are continuously producing breaking news, timely features, deep-dive insights and analyses that help executives and IT pros both thrive in their careers and equip clinicians and administrators with tools to improve patient care.

Carequality, DirectTrust Continue Growing Health Data Exchange

Carequality exchanged more than 14 million clinical documents in August, while DirectTrust took on two new member organizations.

October 24, 2018 - Carequality and DirectTrust have each achieved significant growth in recent months as health data exchange continues to grow steadily nationwide.
Users of the Carequality Interoperability Framework exchanged more than 14 million clinical documents in August, representing accelerated month-over-month growth in health data sharing. Since Carequality’s inception in December 2016, implementers of the framework have exchanged more than 59 million documents.
Currently, more than 50 percent of all healthcare providers across the country utilize the Carequality framework to share data, including more than 1,400 hospitals, 40,000 clinics, and 600,000 healthcare providers.

Royal Philips launches IntelliVue GuardianSoftware app for patient monitoring

The new app will give clinicians updates about patients' vitals and predictions about patient deterioration.
October 24, 2018 Share
Royal Philips has designed a new FDA-cleared and CE mark approved mobile app, called IntelliVue GuardianSoftware, that gives clinicians updates on a patient’s condition and deterioration. The latest app is now available worldwide. The latest platform will integrate other Philips technologies, notably the Early Warning Scoring, which helps predict when patient deterioration might occur and then intervenes. It can also integrate with Philips wearables. 
The program was designed so that doctors and other clinicians could see patient vital signs and get early warnings about patient deterioration through their phone. The company bills this as an alternative to writing down patient information on a central white board.
Why it matters
The company said this technology is a way to prevent patients from deteriorating in medical condition— and enabling clinicians to be proactive rather than reactive. 

EHR Tools May Help to Increase Behavioral Health Screening Rates

A suite of EHR tools designed to address behavioral health needs successfully increased behavioral health screening when fully implemented.

October 24, 2018 - EHR tools designed to address behavioral health needs may help to boost behavioral health screening rates in community health centers, according to new research from the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM).
Jetelina et al. from the University Of Texas Health (UTHealth) School of Public Health and the Oregon Health & Science University Department of Family Medicine developed a suite of behavioral health EHR tools called BH e-suite and requested that six Oregon-based federally qualified community health centers implement the tools. The federally qualified community health centers were intervention clinics part of OCHIN.
Community health centers participating in the study were asked to integrate the behavioral health EHR tools directly into their Epic EHR systems.

Most US Consumers Worry about Electronic Health Records Breach

A full 80 percent of 1,000 US consumer surveyed by Unisys are concerned that hackers could access their electronic health records.

October 24, 2018 - A full 80 percent of 1,000 US consumer surveyed by Unisys are concerned that hackers could access their electronic health records (EHRs) at their healthcare provider.
Breaking that down, 14 percent are very concerned about an EHR breach, 25 percent are very concerned, and 40 percent are somewhat concerned, according to the 2018 Unisys Security Index.
This compares with 90 percent of respondents expressing concern about hackers getting into financial systems at their bank, 81 percent expressing worry about attackers hacking into US border security systems, 87 percent worried about a breach of the US electric grid, and 84 percent worried about hackers compromising US election systems.

Trump signs tech-boosting opioid legislation into law

Published October 25 2018, 6:46am EDT
President Trump on Wednesday signed into law opioid legislation that expands use of telehealth and aims to improve prescription drug monitoring programs.
The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act boosts several information technology-enabled tools to help combat the opioid epidemic, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention kills 130 Americans each day.
“This historic package makes meaningful reforms to keep illicit drugs out of our communities, better monitor prescribing, prevent addiction and help those suffering with a substance use disorder get the treatment and recovery support they need,” said James Carroll, deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in a written statement. “It also reauthorizes ONDCP so that we can continue our mission and coordinate across the federal government.”

Work beginning on blockchain, needs good healthcare use case

Published October 25 2018, 7:04am EDT
On the infamous curve of the Gartner Hype Cycle, blockchain has crested the first hill.
That’s not always good—it means the technology has been overhyped, and the rush of euphoria is diminishing. The Trough of Disillusionment awaits.
But that’s not all bad, contends key movers at the Convege2Xcelerate healthcare modernization conference, held Wednesday at Columbia University in New York. Now, the hard work begins, primarily to find use cases that will demonstrate the value of distributed ledger technology.
It’s those use cases that show how the technology can solve a vexing problem in healthcare that will validate the technology, which is being tested in other industries but only in the early stages of research in healthcare, says Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, an umbrella project of open source blockchains and related tools.

HIT Think Strategies to protect data—and your staff—from phishing attacks

Published October 25 2018, 4:58pm EDT
In response to numerous high-profile breaches and brand-name vulnerabilities, many hardware and software providers have opted to implement stringent protections and secure defaults. As a direct result of their actions, finding typical “low-hanging fruit” vulnerabilities to breach organizations is becoming much more difficult.
Today, the weakest link in an organization’s security has moved away from its infrastructure and on to its people. Knowing this, let’s consider how an organization can implement security controls around its people, without violating their privacy and productivity.
Defense through knowledge
Because both attackers and security penetration testers often take the path of least resistance to exploit their targets, this shifts the focus of attacks to employees—and all it takes is one vulnerable user for a breach to occur. An unaware user is an easy target, and easy targets are ripe for being swept up in a wide dragnet phishing attack (that is, a phishing attack that covers a large portion of the organization, often with the simple goal of harvesting credentials and valid identities, or compromising users’ laptops with malware).

A CIO guide to building a dashboard for cybersecurity

October 23, 2018 12:41 PM
KPIs, metrics and other must-haves hospitals should track continuously to protect medical and patient data.
In this day and age when healthcare provider organizations are constantly getting slammed by black hat hackers, CIOs and CISOs need to keep a sharp eye on all the cybersecurity efforts underway and on all kinds of metrics and performance indicators that show where they are safely protecting data and where there may be holes in defenses.
This is where a security dashboard comes in. Security dashboards are the keys to the security kingdom; they showcase everything a CIO or CISO needs to know about their security posture. And more CIOs and CISOs are coming to depend on their security dashboards to plan strategies and tactics.

What the dashboard tracks

A good security dashboard needs to include the following for a specified/measured time period: An indication of current threat level to the organization; an indication of events and incidents that have occurred; a record of authentication errors; an indication of scans, probes and unauthorized access, and an indicator if those key measures are up, down or unchanged; brute force attacks against the system and non-compliant devices; policy violations; malware events; and phishing events, said Karl West, chief information security officer at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Machine learning, AI disrupting medical education and adaptive learning models

To Wolters Kluwer executive Cathy Wolfe, the shift into value-based care requires lifelong learning bolstered by new technologies that will prepare them for the evolving tech landscape.
Jessica Davis October 23, 2018
As the industry continues to shift into value-based care, many organizations are leveraging new technology to support care delivery. But new technology requires a change in how care is provided, which should begin in medical school and continue throughout a clinician’s career.
“Outcomes and staff retention are driven, in part, by providing access to lifelong learning to advance skills and knowledge,” said Cathy Wolfe, Wolters Kluwer health learning, research and practice CEO and president.
“Advanced technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and virtual simulation are transforming adaptive learning models in ways that optimize learning and improve knowledge retention,” she added.

eClinicalWorks Launches New EHR-Integrated Opioid Risk Tool

eClinicalWorks recently released a new EHR-integrated health IT tool designed to assess a patient’s risk for opioid misuse.

October 23, 2018 - eClinicalWorks recently launched a new EHR-integrated Opioid Risk Tool (ORT) designed to assess a patient’s risk for opioid misuse and enable providers to address potential cases of substance use disorder in accordance with treatment protocols.
In 2016, more than 11.5 million Americans aged 12 and older reported misusing prescription opioids in some capacity. eClinicalWork’s newest EHR integrated health IT tool may help to combat the growing opioid crisis and promote safer prescribing practices among users.
“The opioid epidemic is a problem of significant proportions that is only getting worse,” said eClinicalWorks CEO and cofounder Girish Navani. “At eClinicalWorks, we have a joint responsibility with healthcare providers towards developing solutions to improve patient care.”

AI delivering returns for enterprise early adopters, but not industries created equal

Deloitte's annual AI survey reveals a bit of realism, cybersecurity worries and a 17 percent median return on investment.
By Larry Dignan for Between the Lines | October 22, 2018 -- 04:01 GMT (15:01 AEDT) | Topic: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence spending is ramping as 82 percent of early adopters say they have seen positive returns on investment, according to Deloitte. But there are issues that are emerging as AI goes more mainstream.
According to Deloitte's State of AI in the Enterprise report, the median ROI on an AI project is 17 percent. Deloitte surveyed 1,100 U.S. executives with early AI projects under way.

Blockchain Key to Enhancing Clinical Research, Patient Data Sharing

Blockchain could potentially improve clinical research by facilitating patient data sharing and improving interoperability.

October 23, 2018 - Blockchain may be the key to accelerating clinical research, according to a new report by Deloitte, due to the technology’s potential to streamline data sharing and enhance interoperability.
Large volumes of high-quality patient data are essential for healthcare researchers to make new discoveries. However, the industry is currently experiencing significant challenges when attempting to collect and leverage big data.  A lack of incentives to share data, security concerns, and insufficient infrastructure to support interoperability can all contribute to data siloes.
Blockchain could provide a solution to these issues, Deloitte stated.

Carequality reports a spike in records exchanged, but CommonWell connection still limited

Oct 24, 2018 2:58pm
Carequality and DirectTrust both saw a double-digit increase in records exchanges. (Getty/jacoblund)
Two prominent trusted exchange frameworks—DirectTrust and Carequality—have seen a spike in healthcare organizations exchanging data over the last three months.
Notably absent from those numbers is a much-anticipated partnership between Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance that is still in "limited rollout mode," according to Carequality spokesperson Jim Lubinskas.
Carequality Vice President Dave Cassel said the volume of documents exchanged over the framework has spiked recently, and more than half of the documents exchanged in the last two years have occurred in the last three months.

Industry Voices—Sizing up 4 opportunities for digital transformation in healthcare

Oct 24, 2018 3:06pm
Organ transplants are one of the most daunting medical procedures. Thousands of people wait for the right size, shape and donor. Many die without the right organ match.
But imagine the possibilities when doctors can create an organ to match the recipient so closely that many of today’s transplant risks become obsolete. We’re fast approaching this moment as technology continues to push up toward what was unimaginable in the past.
One of the prominent questions in healthcare IT these days is how technology can be used to improve patient outcomes and drive better business results. There are some technologies on the horizon that promise to do just that – but what’s hype and what’s likely in the next few years?

Top 5 reasons online cognitive behavioral therapies are the future of mental health

Written by Derek Richards, PhD, SilverCloud Health | October 22, 2018 | Print  | Email
While telehealth isn’t a new concept, it’s increasingly becoming a more popular option for delivering behavioral healthcare services.
The advancement of this accessible technology could not have come at a better time. People with behavioral health problems face a growing number of daunting obstacles that prevent them from receiving the effective care they need – from finances to clinician shortages to the mere unwillingness to seek treatment due to stigma. With telehealth, primary care physicians – nearly half of which treat mental health conditions – now have another viable option: online cognitive behavioral therapy, or iCBT.
iCBT is the use of cognitive and behavioral techniques that are typically used in face-to-face therapy for treating mental health issues. The online version is composed of education, skills training, activities and exercises to promote the application of new knowledge and coping skills. It does this through structured modules of content that are delivered using text, pictures, animations, audio files and videos – all of which can be done anytime, from the comfort and privacy of the patient’s own home.

Early data show few unplanned pregnancies among cycle tracker app user

Fifteen of 419 Dot app users experienced an unplanned pregnancies over six menstrual cycles, all from incorrect use.
October 22, 2018 Share
Preliminary results from a recent academic study suggest that use of a period and fertility tracking app effectively reduced the incidence of unplanned pregnancies.
Of note, among 419 enrolled women between the ages of 18 and 35 years, all 15 of the pregnancies that occurred over the course of six menstrual cycles were the result of incorrect use, according to the researchers, indicating a 3.5 percent failure rate during typical use.
Published in Contraception and conducted through Georgetown University Medical Center’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) and the University of Utah’s OB&GYN department, the study focused on use of the Dynamic Optimal Timing (Dot) app. The tool uses period start dates inputted by the user to to develop a personalized algorithm to predict cycles and communicate whether a user is at high or low risk of conception during a given day.
The final version of the study is looking to include 13 cycles worth of data 718 enrolled participants aged 18 to 39 years, and is expected to be available in the earlier part of 2019, according to a statement.

Using EHR Voice Recognition to Improve Clinical Documentation, Usability

EHR voice recognition tools at Concord Hospital advance clinical efficiency and boost the quality of clinical documentation.

October 22, 2018 - EHR tools with voice recognition capabilities can help to reduce data entry duties for healthcare providers and free up time for face-to-face interaction with patients.
Hospitals and health systems are increasingly integrating voice recognition tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) into EHR technology to improve EHR usability, boost clinical efficiency, and reduce administrative burden on providers.
However, questions surround the accuracy of EHR clinical documentation generated through voice recognition software. Some clinicians hesitate to utilize the technology in day-to-day operations. A July 2018 JAMA study found a 7.4 percent error rate for clinical documentation generated through voice recognition tools. Maintaining a high level of accuracy in clinical documentation when using voice recognition EHR tools is imperative for promoting clinician buy-in during health IT adoption.

EHR tool to assess patient risks for opioid abuse

Published October 23 2018, 4:25pm EDT
Electronic health record vendor eClinicalWorks has built a new software module, embedded in the EHR system, to help clinicians assess a patient’s risk for opioid misuse.
The Opioid Risk Tool module will be included in the vendor’s next upgrade in January 2019. The software includes clinical decision support that estimates a patient’s risk and provides suggestions for prescribing alternatives to opioids or opioid antagonists, which block the effects of opioids.
The decision support also calculates the morphine milliequivalents for patients and alerts the clinician when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended opioid dose has been exceeded.

HIT Think Avoiding the ‘Big Bang’ in digital transformation

Published October 23 2018, 3:55pm EDT
 (Editor’s note: Peter Weill, senior research scientist and chair of the Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at the MIT Sloan School of Management, is an award-winning author who focuses on the role, value and governance of digitization in enterprises. Weill, who co-authored What’s Your Digital Business Model? with Stephanie L. Woerner, recently discussed enterprise digital transformation themes with ISACA Now after addressing chapter leaders at ISACA’s Global Leadership Summit in Chicago. The following is a transcript of the interview, edited for length and clarity).
What are the most important building blocks for organizations in terms of creating a winning digital strategy?
Having a compelling vision to excite customers is the most important factor. There are a whole lot of digital and cultural change capabilities that you need, but you can’t do it without the vision, and then there are a series of building blocks, like Lego blocks, that are your data, your customer experience components, new ways of working, your people innovating, that make it work.
You emphasize the importance of the customer voice being a driving force in making decisions. What guidance might you have for organizations to ensure that is the case in their decision-making process?
The customer voice is all about how you listen to the customer and then amplify their voice in every decision, in every activity you make. And so, data analytics, real-time connections, mobile connections, sentiment analysis, social media—these are all ways you can amplify the customer’s voice, but then you have to change the culture in an organization to hear it and use it, and that is probably the hardest part.
Commentary (TechCrunch)
October 4, 2018

How Smartphone Apps Could Help Keep Health Records Accurate

Suppose the next time you go to a new doctor's office, you wouldn't have to balance a clipboard on your knee, write down your whole medical history, remember the five-syllable name of every medication you're taking and list all your allergies. Suppose that your smartphone could simply tap into the office's computer system, where you could upload your entire medical history safely, securely and accurately.
Such an app could ease the frustration patients feel when they fill out the forms for a new doctor. More importantly, it could help solve a serious but lesser-known problem that plagues hospitals and clinics: While the increased use of electronic health records has helped streamline record-keeping, providers aren't always able to reliably pull together records for the same patient that are held in different hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices.
That was the scene in Boston in 2015, when emergency room doctors were struggling to treat a patient named Maureen Kelly — only to discover five different electronic records for Maureen Kelly, each with the same birthday and ZIP code. They had no way of knowing which record matched the patient in front of them. Was she the Maureen Kelly with diabetes? The Maureen Kelly who had only one kidney? And if they were to decide to send her record to a specialist outside the hospital, how could they know which of the five to send?

IBM Watson head leaves role amid struggles, declining revenue

As Watson has undergone close scrutiny over the past year, leader Deborah DiSanzo is moving to IBM Cognitive Solutions’ strategy team.
October 22, 2018 03:29 PM
IBM Watson Health division head Deborah DiSanzo is stepping down and will move into a role on IBM Cognitive Solutions’ strategy team, an IBM spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare IT News in an emailed statement.
IBM Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research Senior Vice President John Kelly will lead the department moving forward. Kelly currently oversees Watson Health and its work in the healthcare sector and other efforts. Kelly has been with IBM for 20 years.
DiSanzo, a former Philips Healthcare CEO, joined IBM Watson in September 2015. At the time, many were investing in the tech and Watson was seen as a potential savior to unlocking big data.

A futurist predicts what healthcare will look like in the late 2020s

Picture diagnostic booths with large screen 8K resolution, telemedicine tools, sensors tracking just about everything, and more.
October 22, 2018 12:12 PM
BOSTON — Picking a point out on the horizon, the late 2020s, Michael Rogers gave a glimpse of the changes coming to healthcare by that time.
“The American process is a pretty messy one sometimes,” Michael Rogers said. “That is where the healthcare revolution is today, but we’re going to come up with something better.”
Rogers, a veteran journalist who recently concluded a two-year post as futurist-in-residence at the New York Times, delivered the opening keynoteat the HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum on Monday.
“I suspect by then there will be some kind of massive vertical consolidation,” Rogers added, speculating that it could be along the lines of Amazon Health or CVS Wellness.

Deep Learning Algorithm Efficiently Detects Vision-Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy

Researchers developed an algorithm in an effort to better detect forms of vision-threatening referable diabetic retinopathy.
According to study results published in Diabetes Care, an artificial intelligence-based deep learning algorithm can accurately provide automated detection of vision-threatening referable diabetic retinopathy in retinal images.
Researchers developed an algorithm in an effort to better detect forms of vision-threatening referable diabetic retinopathy (preproliferative, diabetic macular edema, or both). They tested the deep learning algorithm on 71,043 retinal images and a panel of 21 ophthalmologists graded each image for diabetic retinopathy severity.

Scribes Lessen FPs' Administrative Burden, Researchers Find

October 18, 2018 02:39 pm Scott Wilson – Practices tangled in the tight knot of a primary care physician shortage, administrative burden and physician burnout expect no magic scissors. But a recent study suggests that medical scribes can loosen the ropes.
The use of scribes -- "paraprofessionals who transcribe clinical visit information into the EHRs (electronic health records) in real time under physician supervision," as defined by authors of the study (jamanetwork.com) published online Sept. 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine -- "may be one strategy to mitigate the increasing EHR documentation burden among PCPs (primary care physicians), who are at the highest risk of burnout among physicians," the authors wrote.
Decreasing this burnout is a critical part of solving the worsening problem of a primary care physician shortage, and the study notes that addressing the frustrations of EHRs may be one way to do so. "Although scribes do not obviate the need for improving suboptimal EHR designs, they may help alleviate some of the inefficiencies of currently implemented EHRs," the authors noted.

EHRs, financial instability contribute to physicians' pessimism

By Rachel Z. Arndt  | October 19, 2018
More than half of surveyed physicians think electronic health records limit them from providing high quality care to patients, according to a report from Leavitt Partners.

Those physicians were more likely to have a pessimistic outlook on the overall practice of medicine. Chief among their complaints are the amount of work that EHR software requires, the software's lack of user-friendliness and how the software interrupts their time with patients.

To improve physicians' experiences with EHRs, vendors and purchasers should work with physicians to help make the software more user-friendly and integrated into daily workflows.

Report: Successful cyberattacks cost healthcare organizations $6M each year

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | October 18, 2018 | Print  | Email
Fifty-six percent of healthcare organizations have been compromised by an endpoint attack in the last year, slightly less than the 64 percent of organizations across industries that reported so, according to a recent report sponsored by endpoint security company Barkly.
Barkly tapped the independent research firm Ponemon Institute to conduct the survey of 660 IT and security professionals for a report on the cost of endpoint attacks, or cyberattacks originating in remote devices connected to a network, such as laptops, tablets or smartphones.
Endpoint attacks cost the average healthcare organization $6,499,500 annually, according to the survey's findings, suggesting the healthcare industry as a whole spends $1.6 billion on endpoint attacks each year. The major drivers of this steep cost include loss of IT, loss of end-user productivity and theft of information assets.

AMIA pushes ONC to push its EHR Reporting Program beyond a Consumer Reports platform

Oct 22, 2018 2:10pm
The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) wants federal officials to take a much more aggressive role in measuring EHR performance data.
Responding to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s request for information (RFI) regarding the creation of an EHR Reporting Program, AMIA criticized the agency’s “constrained scope” that closely resembles a “government-sponsored ‘Consumer Reports’” approach.
ONC issued its RFI in August asking for public input about the 21st Century Cures-mandated platform. Some, like AMIA Vice President of Public Policy Jeff Smith, quickly questioned whether the program, as outlined by ONC, met its legislative purpose.

Health IT Roundup—IBM Watson Health CEO out; Study shows EHR alerts reduce unnecessary testing

Oct 22, 2018 2:27pm

IBM Watson Health CEO departs after three years

IBM Watson Health CEO Deborah DiSanzo has resigned after three years at the company’s helm, according to Stat News.
As the news outlet points out, it’s been a tumultuous three years for DiSanzo. IBM Watson was pitched as the technology that would change healthcare, but the company has weathered ongoing criticism and struggled to meet lofty expectations.
John Kelly, senior vice president for Cognitive Solutions at IBM Research will fill the role of CEO as DiSanzo joins the strategy team for IBM Cognitive Solutions. Last week’s third-quarter earnings showed IBM Watson Health showed growth despite the tech companies 6% decline in revenue. (Stat)

Data of 75,000 at risk after breach of federal insurance exchanges

Published October 22 2018, 7:29am EDT
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reporting unauthorized access to consumer data in systems that support federal insurance exchanges.
The agency says the breach affects personal information of thousands of individuals who get their health insurance from Federally Facilitated Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
The exchanges enable agents and brokers to assist consumers with applications for insurance coverage. Late last week, CMS announced that earlier in the week the agency detected unusual activity in the exchanges, known by the acronym FFEs.

Boston Medical Center trims unneeded tests with EHR-based prompts

Published October 22 2018, 7:19am EDT
Electronic health record-based interventions enabled clinicians at Boston Medical Center to reduce unnecessary diagnostic tests and increase the use of postoperative order sets, through the use of Choosing Wisely recommendations.
In a study, published in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the hospital evaluated Choosing Wisely recommendations integrated into its Epic EHR to alert providers to the best practice information.
The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s Choosing Wisely initiative is based on guidance from medical specialty societies and has identified nearly 500 common diagnostic tests and procedures that may not have clear benefit for patients and sometimes should be avoided.

HIT Think Why improving OR efficiency must address 3 issues with technology

Published October 22 2018, 5:34pm EDT
Operating rooms are typically the largest revenue-generating areas within a hospital. And because they are resource-intensive, they are also one of the highest cost centers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that OR efficiency plays a key role in a hospital’s financial performance.
Consider, for example, the cost of an OR minute. A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study cites that OR time costs an average of $36 to $37 per minute in California. Given these numbers, it’s easy to see just how quickly costs can add up when an OR is left sitting idle.
As hospitals look for ways to save money, maximizing OR time by reducing delays and last-minute cancellations is an obvious place to start.

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