US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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15 Blockchain Whitepapers Awarded Winners of US Department of Health and Human Services Challenge

Luke Parker | Brave New Coin | August 30, 2016

A challenge held by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  to encourage Blockchain use in the Health Information Technology field resulted in 15 winning whitepapers. The Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) first announced the “Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-Related Research” challenge in July...

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5 Health Challenges The World Will Face In 2015

Julia Belluz and Steven Hoffman | Vox | December 23, 2014

What comes next for the future of the world's health?... But these are the issues reason would suggest will set the world's health agenda next year...

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A Bureaucratic Mess Leads to Shutdown of HHS Cybersecurity Center

Jessie Bur | Federal Times | May 11, 2018

In May 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services decided to stand up its own version of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in order to address the increasing cybersecurity risks to the health care sector. But creating the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, or HCCIC, was the easy part. Soon after, the newfound center landed in the spotlight, sparking agency and industry drama about the role and scope of HHS authorities in information sharing.

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Academic Biomedical Research Community Should Take Action to Build Resilience to Disasters

Press Release | The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine | August 10, 2017

The academic biomedical research community should improve its ability to mitigate and recover from the impacts of disasters, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The consequences of recent disasters, from hurricanes to cyberattacks, have shown that the investments of the U.S. federal government and other research sponsors -- which total about $27 billion annually -- are not uniformly secure. The report recommends 10 steps that academic research institutions, researchers, and research sponsors should take to bolster the resilience of academic biomedical research.

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AcademyHealth Becomes Host Organization for 2016 Health Datapalooza

Press Release | Academy Health | November 23, 2015

AcademyHealth will host the 7th Annual Health Datapalooza, May 8-11, 2016, in Washington, DC. “As the national organization working with the producers and users of evidence to improve health and the performance of the health system, and the home of the EDM Forum, AcademyHealth has long been a champion for data liberation and a catalyst for its use in decision making and quality improvement,” said AcademyHealth President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Simpson. “As hosts of the Health Datapalooza, we’ll build on our work in this area to shape an agenda that engages the broad community of data liberation champions -- patients, advocates, researchers and delivery system and industry leaders -- in focused discussions about how we turn data into evidence, and evidence into actions that improve health outcomes.”

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Advancing the Coordination of Health IT for Military and Government

Press Release | Defense Strategies Institute | August 12, 2016

Defense Strategies Institute is proud to announce their 11th DoD/VA and Gov Health IT Summit occurring on October 4-5, 2016. With the central theme of “Advancing the Coordination of Health IT,” the Summit will bring together senior leaders from DoD, VA, HHS, Federal and State agencies, along with leaders from Industry and Academia that support them, for two days of Government briefings and informal discussions in their "Town Hall" setting in Alexandria, VA. DSI has created a Summit that will bring together a variety of stakeholders in order to build out two days of discussion and debates that tackle many of the areas involved in modernizing the DoD and VA health systems in order to provide better care to our warfighters and veterans.

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Apple Is Quietly Working on Turning Your iPhone into the One-Stop Shop for All Your Medical Info

Christina Farr | CNBC | June 14, 2017

Imagine turning to your iPhone for all your health and medical information — every doctor's visit, lab test result, prescription and other health information, all available in a snapshot on your phone and shared with your doctor on command. No more logging into hospital websites or having to call your previous doctor to get them to forward all that information to your new one. Apple is working on making that scenario a reality...

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Assisting California Wildfires Victims Retrieve their Medical Histories

Press Release | Humetrix | November 19, 2018

The horrific California wildfires which have devasted entire communities, caused loss of life and displaced tens of thousands of Californians is touching all of us. At Humetrix our public health driven mission has led us to develop tools for individuals to help be prepared and be safe during emergencies, we want to step in and help those with ongoing health care needs, while their physician offices or hospital-based care have now been destroyed. With this destruction, the health records of thousands of fire victims with chronic conditions, or on daily medications and special needs are now gone, leaving many with the incapacity to fully recollect their important medical history when seeking care away from what was home.

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Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Calls for Action to Support SLTT Response to Biological Events

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | October 11, 2018

America's hometown heroes are on the front line when responding to biological incidents. These include health care providers, public health professionals, EMTs, firefighters and police. But a new report from the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense says the thousands of first responders at state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments that form the backbone of our nation will have to fend for themselves for far too long until federal assets arrive to assist with response. Holding the Line on Biodefense: State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Reinforcements Needed recommends eight key steps that will increase the capability of the SLTT public and private sectors to share with the federal government the burden of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from large-scale biological events.

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Burgess Bill Addresses Interoperability, the Leading Health IT Issue in the US

Health care reformers around the country should be jumping up to thank Representative Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), an MD who is working with his staff to write a bill to promote Health IT interoperability. Readers of Open Health News probably know that interoperability--in simple terms, the ability of any authorized user to read a medical record from any source--has emerged as one of the two top burning issues of health IT, the other one being the lack of usability of proprietary/lock-in electronic health records (EHRs).

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careMESH Receives 2015 Edition ONC Health IT Certification

Press Release | careMESH | September 18, 2019

careMESH, the only service provider to guarantee digital delivery of patient health information to any U.S.-based clinician, announced that it has achieved ONC-Health IT 2015 Edition Health IT Module Certification for reporting on the delivery of transitions of care. This ONC-Health IT Certification gives customers the assurance that careMESH can be used for digital communications and its reports can be used in Promoting Interoperability attestation. "Achieving 2015 ONC certification was important so that our customers could not only rely on careMESH for digital communications with the outside world, but also on our reports for attestation," said careMESH President and COO, Justin Sims. 

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Clade X pandemic exercise highlights policies needed to prevent or reduce the worst possible outcomes in future pandemics

Press Release | Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security | May 15, 2018

The outbreak of a moderately contagious and moderately lethal novel pathogen precipitated a catastrophic end to the scenario in Clade X, the day-long pandemic tabletop exercise hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security on May 15 in Washington, DC. Clade X simulated a series of National Security Council–convened meetings of 10 US government leaders, played by individuals prominent in the fields of national security or epidemic response. Their dialogue as the scenario unfolded addressed significant uncertainties in current prevention and response capabilities, hamstrung by policy challenges at the federal level.

Community Health Network in Houston Leverages Open Source Tech to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Undaunted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network (SFA) responded to the crisis by leveraging open source technology to reach out to their patients and victims of the hurricane in areas of Texas that are virtually inaccessible. The Health Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) covering Brazoria County, is one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey and currently recovering. Using an advanced cloud-based version of the OpenEMR software, the SFA Community Health Network has been able to treat patients in clinics physically unreachable by their medical providers.

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Complaints about Electronic Medical Records Increase

Bill Toland | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | August 3, 2014

Last month, the nation’‍s largest union of registered nurses sent a letter to the FDA asking for broader and more stringent oversight of electronic records systems and of computerized physician-order entry systems, which allow clinicians to log treatment instructions for patients. The National Nurses United, as part of its broader campaign highlighting the potential dangers of “unproven medical technology,” says FDA officials should test electronic medical records as rigorously as they might a new drug or an artificial hip implant...

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Congress Passes Legislation Authorizing Critical Biodefense Programs

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | June 5, 2019

The House yesterday passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act. The bill reauthorizes existing statute governing public health efforts at the Department of Health and Human Services. Additions made by the bill - some of which were recommended by the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense - address biodetection, hospital preparedness, medical countermeasures and response. Many of these programs will enable HHS to better defend the nation against biological threats. Both chambers of Congress have passed the bill, and it will now go to President Trump for signature.

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