Posts in Category: healthcare reform

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 1/4/16 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology and healthIT communities? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

2016 may bring slower patient growth, higher wages, more expensive drugs

Late 2015 data support health systems' anticipation that the demand surge from patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act would fade this year. Economists with the Altarum Institute say spending acceleration from the coverage expansion may have peaked last February. 

FDA clears Biotronik's peripheral stent 

The FDA has cleared Biotronik's Astron Peripheral Self-Expanding Nitinol Stent System, a device for improving luminal diameter in patients with iliac atherosclerotic lesions. The stent system is described as a self-expanding stent loaded on an over-the-wire delivery system. 

Patients increasingly turning to mobile health apps

More than 30 percent of consumers last year said they have at least one health app on their smartphones, and 60 percent are willing to have a video visit with a doctor through a mobile device, according to an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. An increased use of telehealth apps is one of the predictions for 2016 from the PwC Health Research Institute.

Diagnostic errors, measuring performance among top healthcare quality issues for New Year

Zeroing in on individual doctor performance, reducing diagnostic errors, standardizing performance measures, and rethinking the patient experience may be among the top agenda items for healthcare quality and safety leaders this year. There could also be a greater focus on individual doctor performance as it relates to value-based payment and quality reporting.

Family satisfaction increases when ICUs relax their visiting hours

A survey published in the American Journal of Critical Care shows patients benefit when families visit throughout the day and night. "These findings support open and patient-centered visitation guidelines in critical care settings," the researchers wrote.
 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 12/7/15 

Good news, bad news: High cholesterol rates are down, but fewer than half of patients are taking their statins

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

The good news: High total cholesterol rates declining among U.S. adults

Rates of total high cholesterol and low high-density protein (HDL) in U.S. adults decreased between 2011 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  From 2009 to 2010, 13.4 percent of adults had high cholesterol and 21.3 percent had low HDL cholesterol. From 2011 to 2014, those percentages dropped to 12.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The bad news: Most patients not making changes to reduce cardio risk

Fewer than half of patients considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatments are actually implementing the treatments, which include exercising more, taking statin medication and losing weight. “Cholesterol treatment gaps” are greater among non-white ethnic groups in the United States than they are for Americans who are white.

Mood matters! Patients with negative emotions before interventional procedures have more adverse outcomes    

Adverse effects after angioplasty and interventional radiology procedures are more common in patients who are fearful or distressed prior to the procedures. Patients who went in with negative emotions were more likely than those with positive or neutral emotions to experience prolonged lack of oxygen, low or high blood pressure, post-operative bleeding or an abnormally slow heart rate.

Hospital staff don’t feel prepared for a mass casualty event

Are critical care and emergency room (ER) staff ready to handle the next terrorist or other mass casualty event? Two-thirds of the physicians and nurses surveyed recently said no. They’re concerned about shortages of available surgeons, beds and blood supplies. 

What healthcare leaders must do to improve patient outcomes

Outcomes-based patient care requires a paradigm shift that has yet to occur for many in healthcare management, according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Successfully adapting to this new business model requires investing time and money over the long haul, plus taking two other key actions, the post says.

The best of healthcare news, week of 11/30/15 

The future of healthcare, according to one cardiologist

In the future, smart phones might help prevent heart attacks and strokes. That's according to Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Topol predicts that patients will use their smart phones to provide doctors with continuous data on themselves, as opposed to waiting for office visits--a practice that would provide for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Doctor strikes don't increase patient deaths

In wealthy countries, patient mortality doesn't suffer because of work stoppages by physicians, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Mortality rates even fell during  some strikes. Researchers theorized that patient mortality didn't increase during strikes because hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and continued to offer emergency care, among other reasons. They also noted that many doctors continued to work during strikes, and theorized that those who worked were better rested, enabling them to provide better care.

Age a big determinant of stroke rates in adults with ACHD

Patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) face a substantially higher risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes than the general population, according to a retrospective study.  "Compared with the general population, patients with ACHD who were younger than 55 years old had a 9 to 12 times higher rate of ischemic stroke, and a 5 to 6 times higher rate of hemorrhagic stroke," the study found. "Patients with ACHD who were 55 to 64 years old had a 2 to 4 times higher rate of ischemic strokes." Heart failure, diabetes and recent MI were the biggest predictors of ischemic stroke. 

One-third of healthcare organizations leave records vulnerable to cyberattacks

Despite the prevalence of hacking, many hospitals haven't implemented strong web security programs, according to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics and Akamai, a content delivery network. More than 39 percent of hospitals in the survey reported that they don't have web application firewalls in place. And 35 percent of healthcare organizations are "vulnerable to a type of  cyberattack that is increasing in frequency and size across all industries," the survey said.

Paper demonstrates efficacy of repeat BAVs in high-risk population

Patients deemed to be at too high a risk for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) can benefit from balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV), according to a new study. "For patients in whom BAV is the only structural treatment available to relieve their symptomatology, repeat BAV performance is one of the only means to maintain symptomatic control in an otherwise very high-risk patient population," the study's authors note.

Posted by Wednesday, December 02, 2015 10:48:00 AM Categories: cardiology healthcare reform HIPAA hospital management hospitals

Best of Cardio and Healthcare News: Week of 11/23/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? We've captured the top industry stories from this week that you won't want to miss.

After Obamacare implementation, public still rates healthcare good or excellent

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) hasn’t changed how Americans rate their healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll. More than half of the respondents rated their healthcare good or excellent, but less than 24 percent were satisfied with healthcare costs. Healthcare coverage was rated positively by only 33 percent.

Diagnostic ECG waveform reading in Carestream Vue Motion viewer cleared by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given clearance for diagnostic reading of electrocardiogram (ECG) waveforms on mobile tablets and desktop displays using Carestream’s Vue Motion universal viewer. The new capability would allow physicians to give faster responses to ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and other serious heart conditions. It would also allow physicians to simultaneously view current and prior ECGs using tools that include pan, zoom, line measurement, caliper, and gain and speed adjustments.

Cardiac outcomes improved after using intravascular ultrasound in stent implantation

After one year, patients with long coronary lesions who were implanted with an intravascular ultrasound-guided everolimus-eluting stent had a significantly lower rate of major adverse cardiac events compared with those implanted with an angiography-guided stent, according to cardiovascularbusiness.com. “Patients were implanted with an everolimus-eluting stent (Xience prime, Abbott Vascular) for long coronary lesions and randomized to receive intravascular ultrasound-guided or angiographic-guided stent implantation immediately after their pre-PCI angiogram,” the site reports. One year later, 2.9 percent of patients undergoing intravascular ultrasound-guided stent implantation suffered major adverse cardiac events, compared with 5.8 percent of patients in the angiographic-guided group.

Cardio-diagnostic processes improve with smart ECG stethoscope attachment

Rijuven’s CardioSleeve for Pediatrics, the first device that adds electrocardiogram (ECG) capabilities to transform stethoscopes into smart, mobile-connected devices, has been cleared by the FDA. The device, which can be attached to any stethoscope, can analyze for arrhythmia or murmur and identify heart failure. 

Number and severity of migraine headaches reduced by dual antiplatelet therapy following transcatheter ASD closure

The use of dual antiplatelet therapy consisting of clopidogrel and aspirin–as opposed to aspirin alone–led to fewer and less severe migraine headaches for patients undergoing transcatheter atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. That’s according to a randomized, double-blind trial. About 15 percent of patients had new-onset migraine episodes following transcatheter ASD closure, previous studies found. 

Remote monitoring system for patients with implantable pacemakers gets FDA approval

The first app-based remote monitoring system in the U.S. for patients with implantable pacemakers–called MyCareLink Smart Monitor–was approved by the FDA on Nov. 17. The system, manufactured by Medtronic, has a mobile app that is available for free on Android and Apple platforms. It also features a handheld portable device reader.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 07/23/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

CMS Updates Hospital Star Ratings, More than 500 Earn Top Marks 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has published its latest patient satisfaction survey results, which shows that the number of hospitals earning a 5-star rating has more than doubled. 548 hospitals earned a 5-star rating for the reporting period between October 2013 and September 2014. 

Health Specialists Call for $2 Billion Global Fund for Vaccines 

Several global health experts have written a paper calling for the creation of a $2 billion global fund to support vaccine development. The fund would come from governments, foundations and the pharmaceutical industry, and would be used to develop new shots against high priority diseases such as Ebola, MERS and the West Nile virus. 

AMA Docs Fed Up with EHR Woes 

At a recent American Medical Association Town Hall, physicians expressed their frustrations over EHR challenges and experiences. According to AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD: "They have so much potential to improve healthcare, improve quality, improve our efficiency, improve patient engagement, and yet that's not the current state of reality." 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 05/07/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Will Healthcare Data Analytics Suffer if DeSalvo Leaves ONC? 

According to Healthcare IT Analytics, Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, may soon move from her role as the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare IT (ONC) to become the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. In her short time at the ONC, DeSalvo has overseen early attestations for Stage 2 meaningful use while promoting interoperability, clinical analytics, and population health management. 

HHS, USDA Invest $1B in Rural Health, Care Coordination 

The Department of Health and Human Services is working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to financially support rural communities as they take on health IT improvement projects including EHR adoption, health information exchange, telehealth services, and more. 

Health IT Holds the Promise to Help Improve Health

In a column for Health IT Buzz, Chief Medical Officer of Million Hearts Thomas A Mason, MD, and Executive Director Janet Wright, MD, FACC, argue that a critical component of chronic disease management is EHR integration. In order to manage conditions like high blood pressure, healthcare providers must increase their use of EHRs, clinical analytics, and population health management programs. 

43% of Orgs use Clinical Decision Support for Patient Safety 

According to a HIMSS15 survey conducted by LogicNets, 43% of healthcare organizations believe that clinical decision support technology reduces the occurrence of errors. The study also found that a third of providers who already have CDS in place believe that it improves efficiency. Additionally, a recent ONC study found that automatic medication calculators reduced dosage errors between 37-80%.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 10/31/13 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Focus on the Patient, Not the Device 

Dr. Iverson Bell spoke at the AHIMA Convention and Exhibit in Atlanta and discussed how doctors should adapt to the proliferation of mobile devices in their lives and practices. His tips include incorporating digital technology into a practice workflow, maintaining security, and engaging patients with digital technology. 

Sebelius Takes Responsibility for Healthcare.gov, Vows Fixes 

Government Health IT covers the big news this week, which is the problematic Healthcare.gov website. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has claimed responsibility for the issues and states that "the application at this point does not work end-to-end very well." 

Docs Making Strides on Data Exchange 

According to Healthcare IT News, a new study has found that the majority of office-based physicians are now able to view lab results and send medication data electronically. The study from the ONC goes on to state that adoption of an EHR is the single strongest predictor of an electronic exchange capability for e-prescribing, lab test viewing or ordering, and exchanging clinical summaries. 

8 Ways to Manage Change, Not Just HIT Implementation 

Over at FierceHealthIT, the chief medical officer for Healthcare IT Leaders discusses eight things that are a critical part of managing change associated with healthcare IT. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 10/17/13 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Cardiology at Saratoga Hospital Adopts LUMEDX Web-Based Information System

In LUMEDX news, the cardiology department at Saratoga Hospital has deployed LUMEDX’s HealthView in its cardiovascular service line to improve access to comprehensive patient information across the continuum of care.

Health IT Investments in Q3 Reach Record $737M, According to Report

iHealthBeat reports on Q3 2013 numbers, which show that there were a record number of health IT investments with over 150 deals totaling nearly $737 million.

Health IT Is Not a Single-Minded Monolithic Being

HIT Consultant offers up a perspective on the growth of the health IT market and argues that there are still a great deal of factions, competing ideologies, and more dividing factors within the health IT market – especially in the areas of surveillance and consolidation.  

Health IT Job Growth Has Been Underestimated?

In health IT hiring news, it appears that new data from an analysis of online job postings shows that the number of health IT jobs available has exceeded projections. The job market for employees working with EHR systems continues to be robust.  

4 ways to make EHR data more personal

Government Health IT discusses what EHR developers and providers need to do in order to provide patient-centric care. Some ideas include integration of all settings, integration of all users across the enterprise, and accurate and timely documentation.  

Healthcare IT: Looking to the Future 

By Gus Gilbertson and David Wayne

In honor of National Health IT Week, we would like to examine the value of investing in healthcare IT as we look to the future of healthcare. Technology has already changed the way that many other industries – from retail, to customer service, to publishing – operate and engage with customers. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that technology is currently disrupting the healthcare industry and giving care providers a way to improve operations and quality of care.

As the healthcare landscape continues to shift, providers are being prompted to adopt more evidence-based systems. Healthcare providers need accurate, comprehensive data that can be made readily available for government payers, insurers, registries, and other parties in order to remain competitive and maximize reimbursements. With healthcare IT solutions, care providers have an efficient way to disseminate and access patient information. Using a computer-based system as opposed to a paper-based one also significantly reduces the risk of adverse events.

In addition, healthcare IT solutions provide real-time insight into patient care for clinicians, staff members, and patients. As consultants, we have worked closely with healthcare providers who are surprised when they find out how much useful knowledge can be derived from their facility’s existing data. With easily accessible and comprehensive data at their fingertips, providers can spot and understand trends in their current programs. And armed with this knowledge, healthcare providers can then make the informed decisions necessary to improve clinical and operational performance.

It is clear to us that the healthcare IT industry is here for the long term, and we consider revolutionary healthcare IT solutions positive opportunities for the healthcare industry. The use of innovative technology in healthcare is driving improved efficiency and quality of care, and has enabled providers to make data-driven changes for their patient populations and care processes. It is critical that government agencies, care providers, vendors, and other stakeholders continue to work hand in hand as we deliver the next generation healthcare IT industry solutions and continue to improve the patient care experience.

To learn more about the LUMEDX Consulting Group, visit our website here 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 9/19/13 

Happy National Health IT Week! There are plenty of healthcare IT related stories on the Web this week, so we’ve captured the top industry news that you won’t want to miss. And if you’re looking for ways you can participate in National Health IT Week, check out yesterday’s blog post here.

3 ways FCC is fostering telemedicine

Government Health IT covers the ways in which the Federal Communications Commission is supporting telemedicine technologies, including allocating more money to rural providers for broadband services so that they can reach more patients.

ONC: HIE governance framework puts emphasis on trust

FierceEMR covers an announcement from the ONC that it will continue to make “trust” a priority as it supports HIE governance.

EHRs Are Not a “Digital Menace”

InformationWeek tackles the misconception that EHR systems are more dangerous for patients than paper files. According to a recent report, 0.2% of adverse events involve healthcare IT systems as opposed to 2.9% when paper files are used.

An industry retrospective demands a call to action

In response to National Health IT Week, mHealthNews has published a “call to action” for the healthcare IT industry with a look at several challenges that have contributed to the strain that hospitals and health systems are facing.

Mostashari Reflects on Tenure at ONC

In iHealthBeat, Farzad Mostashari reflects on his work at the ONC, and gives advice to his successor. He also discusses his decision to step down and what he plans to do in the future.    

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