FDA, NIH's newest app asks clinicians to log case data when treating difficult infections
The CURE ID online data repository’s crowdsourcing approach could help the agency to identify novel uses for approved drugs.
Health system deploys cost calculator to offer patients price transparency
University Health Care System has replaced the manual process of creating price estimates with a digital tool that’s accurate within 5% – and patients’ upfront payments have been steadily increasing.
Taking cybersecurity up a notch: 4 steps to shut down threats
Healthcare organizations have been fighting the good fight against cybercrime for many years. But they still need to up their game. As such, they need to take the following steps as they more proactively deal with cybersecurity threats.
Cerner to Launch Voice-Enabled Technology to Aid Clinician Burnout
Cerner will address the ongoing issue of clinician burnout with this advanced voice-enabled technology.
Using video games to tackle health challenges
Gaming can be used to prepare for space health emergencies, says Level Ex founder and CEO Sam Glassenberg, who demonstrates the VR technology involved.
John Halamka named president of Mayo Clinic Platform
The longtime CIO and health IT evangelist will leave Boston’s Beth Israel Lahey Health to lead digital health strategy at the Rochester, Minnesota, academic medical center.
Healthcare compliance and cybersecurity: Examining the needs
Hospitals are alive with activity and awash with information. Just a single healthcare complex can contain hundreds of staff members who are using thousands of devices to tap into a vast ecosystem of healthcare data. As such, hospitals and just about any other healthcare setting are ticking time bombs in terms of cybersecurity and are constantly at risk for major violations.
While organizations in every industry face similar scrutiny and risk for violation, health care is unique in two ways. First, medical information is extremely sensitive, as the very nature of the data could potentially contribute to a life-or-death scenario for an individual if that data is compromised. Secondly, health care relies on a huge number of network-connected devices that haven’t necessarily been updated at the same pace with technology advancements and, therefore, may lack appropriate cyber-defense measures or even capabilities. These unique hurdles place the healthcare industry at a much higher risk for noncompliance, an important distinction because violations with healthcare data often come with elevated consequences for the healthcare provider.
This situation will not get any better as health care becomes even more reliant on technology. Now that patients are using at-home devices to transmit health information, the sheer number of devices that hackers could target is growing significantly.
Is Hyperconvergence Helpful for All Healthcare Organizations?
Hyperconverged infrastructure combines storage, computing and networking into a single system. This architecture, compared with traditional data centers, makes HCI cheaper to operate, easier to manage, more scalable and more agile. It’s no wonder that enterprises in just about every industry are migrating to HCI — and healthcare is no exception.
Transparency Market Research predicts the healthcare industry’s share of the HCI market to have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 42 percent through 2025.
This shift is partly the byproduct of two trends: the growing adoption of digital information storage systems and an increasing use of smartphone-based technologies for patient interaction, the firm says. For example, healthcare vendors such as Epic have spent the past few years making it easier to migrate applications such as electronic health records to an HCI environment.
HCI’s benefits to healthcare are still being realized, but the technology is worth the consideration of IT teams hoping to simplify their workloads, enhance performance and reduce system maintenance — even though its advantages might not be immediately obvious.
For instance, one hospital migrated its picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to a Nutanix HCI cluster. “PACS might seem like an odd candidate for virtualization,” says Logan Ayers, CDW principal inside solution architect for data centers. “But for them, eliminating the expense of owning and operating storage arrays made it worth the effort.”
How to Rapidly and Effectively Respond to a Suspected to a Data Breach
Ideally, organizations will have a breach response plan in place that they regularly practice and refine, based on emerging types of attacks and risk management strategies. (See part one of this series: To Survive a Data Breach, Create a Response Playbook.)
“In terms of preparedness, companies have progressed in a good and thoughtful way in recent years,” says attorney Nicole Friedlander, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, where she’s a member of the firm’s criminal defense and investigations group and co-heads its cybersecurity practice. “They have moved from a largely reactive stance - acting only if and when a breach occurred - to a world in which they appreciate preparedness matters. It affects how well they are able to respond and recover from the breach and can reduce the likelihood of follow-on criticism from regulators or the public.”
Here are eight incident response essentials for any organization that suffers a security incident.
AWS launches Amazon Transcribe Medical
The new HIPAA-compliant tool will be able to capture physician dictation or doctor-patient conversations.
Consumer satisfaction lower for hospitals, higher for payers
Consumer satisfaction with health insurers is on the upswing, according to an annual report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Hospitals, however, aren’t quite so lucky.
In 2018, hospitals earned a score of 76 on ACSI’s indicator. Their most recent score is a mere 72, with the decline driven largely by a sizeable drop in consumer rankings for emergency department care, which dipped from a 73 to a 67 over the same period.
Inpatient care also declined but not as steeply, falling from a 77 on the indicator to a 76.
Perhaps reflecting emerging models of care that emphasize growing consumerism in the industry, outpatient care settings are garnering more satisfaction. While outpatient care provided by hospitals dropped on the index from a 78 score in 2018 to a 75, ambulatory care netted a 77 for the second year running.
Depression in physicians linked to medical errors, study shows
As the clinician burnout epidemic continues, a new JAMA report shows how provider well-being is critical to patient safety.
Underestimating the social, digital revolution
Cianflone Domenico, associate professor at San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, says it’s “mandatory” to adopt new technologies that empower the patient.
How Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Can Improve Patient Care
Electronic health records do more than collect and store patient information. Increasingly, these records compute and communicate the data, providing insights that can make a difference in treatment.
HealthIT.gov reports that 75 percent of healthcare providers say their EHR enables them to deliver better patient care, which results in higher patient satisfaction rates and fewer medication errors, among other benefits.
These systems, though associated with higher physician stress and burnout, can be lifesaving when managed efficiently. Data shared in an EHR can help clinicians choose the right medication for a patient with allergies, for example, or provide history on an unresponsive patient when they arrive at an emergency room.
An EHR can also play a role in public health outcomes by allowing clinicians to look more meaningfully at patient data when it comes to their current medications and specific conditions such as high blood pressure or low blood sugar.
The path to high functionality is a slow process. But most improvements in today’s EHRs can be attributed to the ever-growing prevalence of technology in patient’s lives and a demand for medical tools to be more intuitive and user friendly, says Dr. Bruce Darrow, chief medical information officer for Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
Top of Mind 2020: Patient engagement, data analytics and precision medicine
With the ongoing transition to value-based care, the importance of technology is growing, for patient engagement increase, data management for informed decision-making and introduction of more effective treatments. However, the advancement of all these is complicated by limited resources and lack of reimbursement. Such are the conclusions of the third annual Top of Mind for Top Health Systems survey from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM) conducted in partnership with KLAS Research.
How Healthcare Organizations Use AI to Improve Healthcare Data Security
As cybersecurity threats to healthcare grow in number and severity, artificial intelligence is helping providers detect vulnerabilities and respond to data breaches faster and with greater precision.
Given that 63 percent of organizations of all types don’t have enough staff to monitor threats 24⁄7, according to a 2019 Ponemon report, the added defense is crucial. It’s arguably even more important for the healthcare industry, whose data is often considered more valuable than Social Security and credit card numbers.
As a healthcare tool, AI can help predict falls in seniors and identify early signs of sepsis. It’s also poised to shape many other facets, from disease detection to administrative tasks. As an IT defense mechanism, however, AI may be employed to recognize network behaviors unlikely to represent human action, keep watch for fraud threats and predict malware infections based on previously identified characteristics.
Such intuitive IT capacities offer “preventative medicine, helping prevent the infection in the first place,” says Rob Bathurst, an adviser for anti-virus software firm Cylance, in a recent white paper about AI and healthcare infrastructure.
Patient Data: Access, Privacy & Ownership
Perspectives from the patient and provider were shared about the complexities of access and use of patient data at a panel discussion at the HIMSS Australia Digital Health Summit.
Why Medical Devices Require a Modern UI
Preventable patient harm is a major issue in modern healthcare. One in 20 patients experience preventable incidents during treatment, with roughly 12 percent of those incidents resulting in permanent disability or death, according to a recent study published by BMJ.
Although preventable harm typically relates to drug dosages and invasive procedures, healthcare organizations are considering other factors that cause these incidents.
When it comes to medical devices, preventable harm is often the result of human error because of device complexity. One way to combat this problem: software that provides a modern user interface.
“Medicine, especially medical devices, are way in the past compared to other industries, particularly consumer industries,” says Roger Mazzella, senior project manager at The Qt Company. He says medical devices should be more intuitive, with a UI that’s more like what people are used to seeing on smartphones.
Involving key stakeholders in EHR selection process
In this virtual tour of Mediclinic Middle East, learn why key stakeholders from doctors to allied health professionals must be involved in the selection and customization process of the EHR to ensure optimum engagement.
Digital tech can give cardiovascular patients more control of their health
The landscape of heart health technology for nurses and patients is evolving, says Nancy M. Albert, associate chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic Health System.
Attackers Demand $14 Million Ransom From IT Services Firm
Virtual Care Provider Inc., which provides cloud hosting and other services to more than 110 healthcare entities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, is struggling to bounce back from a ransomware attack in which hackers demanded a $14 million ransom.
Increasing downstream referral revenue with telemedicine
In this guest post, Joel Barthelem, founder and CEO of a virtual health company, explains how implementing a virtual health program, can provide a foundation for consistent care coordination, exceptional patient experience and advantages for physicians.
Google Tests EHR Search Functions, Addresses Data Privacy Concerns
November 22, 2019 - Google is testing its new EHR search function, a tool that will allow medical providers to search within the medical record for specific information, the health tech giant revealed in a new demonstration video.
“With a single login, doctors can access a unified view of data normally spread across multiple systems. All the types of information clinicians need are assembled together such as the vitals, labs, medications and notes,” Alvin Rajkomar, MD, Google product manager and practicing physician, explained in the video.
The search technology will allow providers to parse through their EHRs to find individual pieces of medical information, making these tools more usable and, ideally, satisfactory for patients. Ultimately, this endeavor aims to address a key issue plaguing the medical industry.