News Clips

Study Shows Electronic Health Information Exchanges Could Cut Billions in Medicare Spending

Press Release | University of Notre Dame | September 13, 2017

Spending on entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid consumes some two-thirds of all federal spending, but new research from the University of Notre Dame shows that information technology investments in health care lead to significant spending reductions — potentially in the billions of dollars...

How Congress Ignored Science and Fueled Antibiotic Resistance

Maryn McKenna | Wired | September 12, 2017

The study was being conducted by Dr. Stuart B. Levy, a researcher in Boston. Levy was 36 in 1974. He was the son of a family doctor from Delaware and had grown up accompanying his father on house calls and discussing cases afterward. He was a faculty member at Tufts University School of Medicine, in a part of Boston that is gentrified now but was cheap and seedy then, and he had taken a circuitous route to get there, studying first literature, then medicine, and then microbiology in Italy and France...

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Former ONC Leaders Cite Challenges in Maximizing EHR Benefits

Joseph Goedert | Health Data Management | September 12, 2017

Four former national coordinators for health information technology have penned a perspective on achievements made in using electronic health records under the HITECH Act and where providers and the HIT industry still must go to continue past progress. The law spurred rapid progress toward digitizing the industry, which now is at an inflection point, say the authors, who include Vindell Washington, MD, Karen DeSalvo, MD, Farzad Mostashari, MD, and David Blumenthal, MD. EHRs have primed the industry to now achieve several positive results, including improving clinical guidelines, and sharing patient data seamlessly and securely...

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Christians Beat FEMA, and in So Doing, Tame Big Government

Cheryl K. Chumley | The Washington Times | September 12, 2017

Faith-based groups — Christian nonprofits, specifically — have been busy bees of late, providing more aid to hurricane victims than even FEMA, the federal agency that’s supposed to swoop to the scenes of natural disasters, assess the situation and speed the recovery and rebuilding process. Just goes to show: Where charity exists, government is not needed. Look at this, from the Daily Caller: “Faith-based relief groups are responsible for providing nearly 80 percent of the aid delivered thus far to communities with homes devastated by the recent hurricanes”...

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How Hospital Administrators Are Obstructing Medical Record Exchange APIs

Bruce Fryer | Programmable Web | September 12, 2017

Medical record exchange is a major topic in healthcare, needed to improve healthcare outcomes (and reduce costs) for multiple patients receiving care at multiple sites.  The discussion in the industry primarily focuses on technical challenges. In reality, many of the technical challenges have been addressed. A big factor in the inability of medical record exchange is the hospitals themselves. They block information and APIs. I’ve had two experiences with getting medical records...

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How Hospital Administrators Are Obstructing Medical Record Exchange APIs

Bruce Fryer | Programmable Web | September 12, 2017

Medical record exchange is a major topic in healthcare, needed to improve healthcare outcomes (and reduce costs) for multiple patients receiving care at multiple sites.  The discussion in the industry primarily focuses on technical challenges. In reality, many of the technical challenges have been addressed. A big factor in the inability of medical record exchange is the hospitals themselves. They block information and APIs. I’ve had two experiences with getting medical records...

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EHR Tasks Take Up Half of the Primary Care Physician’s Workday

Erin Dietsche | MedCity News | September 12, 2017

It’s practically become a mantra in healthcare: EHRs take up too much of physicians’ time. But just how much time do doctors spend on EHR-related tasks? A new study out of the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association dug deeper. From 2013 to 2016, researchers analyzed 142 family medicine physicians, all of whom used an Epic EHR, at a system in southern Wisconsin. All data was captured via EHR event log data during clinic hours (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) and non-clinic hours...

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Critical Bluetooth Flaws Put Over 5 Billion Devices At Risk Of Hacking

Lucian Constantin | Forbes | September 12, 2017

Bluetooth is one of the most popular short-range wireless communications technologies in use today and is built into many types of devices, from phones, smartwatches and TVs to medical equipment and car infotainment systems. Many of those devices are now at risk of being hacked due to critical flaws found in the Bluetooth implementations of the operating systems they use. Over the past several months, a team of researchers from IoT security firm Armis have been working with Google, Microsoft, Apple and Linux developers, to silently coordinate the release of patches for eight serious vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to completely take over Bluetooth-enabled devices or to hijack their Internet traffic.

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Interoperability by Design: FDA Issues New Final Guidance for Connected Medical Devices

Jodi G. Daniel and Maya Uppaluru | C&M Health Law | September 12, 2017

The FDA is focusing on safety and effectiveness of interconnected medical devices with the issuance of final guidance on medical device interoperability, released last week. As the FDA notes, medical devices are becoming increasingly connected to one another and to other technologies, and it is critical to address their ability to exchange and use information safely and effectively. For device manufacturers, this guidance provides clarity on how the FDA is thinking about interoperability and patient safety in the premarket submission process and provides considerations for manufacturers in the development and design of interoperability medical devices...

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What Harvey Is Teaching the Health Care Sector About Managing Disasters

Neil A. Gandhi and Ranu S. Dhillon | Harvard Business Review | September 12, 2017

The damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey has posed enormous health challenges in Houston and neighboring areas hit hard by the storm. As regional medical director of emergency medicine for the Houston Methodist Hospital System, one of us (Neil) has been on the front lines of the medical response. The other (Ranu) has been involved in responses to such public health disasters as the Ebola crisis in Africa, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The response to Harvey is ongoing, but there are early lessons that could help governments and health systems in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and other major catastrophes down the road...

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NHS Swindells Urges Vendors to Take Open Approach to Data

Claire Read | Digital Health | September 12, 2017

In his keynote address to the 2017 Health and Care Innovation Expo, Matthew Swindells said software providers should “not be protective about ‘your’ data – the data belongs to the patient”. He continued: “If the patient wants you to share what you’ve got with another clinician who’s treating them, I don’t want to see vendors locking the data down, and I don’t want to see hospitals treating patient data as if it were some sort of market opportunity.”...

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Providers Spend More Time in Front of Computers than Patients, Study Concludes

Chris Nerney | Healthcare IT News | September 12, 2017

Primary care physicians spend more than half of their workdays in front of computer screens, reducing the amount of time they spend with patients, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association (AMA). During a typical 11.4-hour workday, primary care physicians spent an average of 5.9 hours on data entry and other tasks with electronic health records (EHR) systems during and after clinical hours, researchers found...

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Skilled Nursing Facilities Lag Acute Care Settings in EHR, HIE Use

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | September 11, 2017

The first nationally representative survey on electronic health record adoption and health information exchange among skilled nursing facilities has found that they are lagging behind acute care settings. While data released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT shows that most SNFs (64 percent) used EHRs to manage patient health information last year and a fifth of facilities (18 percent) used both an EHR and a state or regional health information organization (HIO), a HIT gap persists with their acute care counterparts...

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How We Made a Health App That Works in Remote Rural Areas without Internet

Biraj Swain, Dr Meenakshi Jain, and Dr Gauri Bisht | Youth Ki Awaaz | September 11, 2017

Over half a century ago, communications guru and public intellectual Marshall McLuhan predicted that electronic interdependence will make the world a global village. But last month, Simon Tisdall of The Guardian called out the international media for creating a hierarchy of suffering by focusing on Hurricane Harvey more than on the devastating floods in South Asia and South East Asia. The reason: distance! The distances that marginalize are not just physical. They manifest in governance gaps in justice, cultural atrophy and social dystopia. Nowhere is the tyranny of distance more manifest than in health care delivery. And the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand has the double burden of a hilly terrain along with metaphorical distances to bridge...

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The 8 Steps to Amazon Entering the Health Care Market

DJ Wilson | State of Reform | September 11, 2017

This is a thought experiment:  What if Amazon really wanted to go all in in the health care sector?  What might that look like?  What would their strategy be?  Where could they deliver value? Amazon looks for industries that are not sensitive to the customer, that have profits or premium pricing based on barriers to entry (often capital related), and looks to exploit those opportunities. It’s pretty straight forward.  And, whether that industry is cloud storage space or groceries or “last mile” distribution networks, Amazon is thinking about it...

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