Posts in Category: health IT

Parts of Obama's Healthcare Legacy Will Likely Continue Under Trump 

As the dust settles after the presidential election, it appears that Donald Trump is already softening some of his positions, especially his position on Obamacare. Media outlets have speculated that President Obama pushed hard for the continuance of his signature healthcare program when he met with Trump at the White House following the election.

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Early Reaction to MACRA Rule Mostly Positive 

Last weekend was a busy one for those trying to parse the new MACRA rule released on Friday. At 2,202 pages, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act rule wasn't exactly beach reading, and it gave the health IT community plenty to talk about on social media and in policy statements.

The dust is still settling, but it appears that early reaction to the rule was mostly positive. Healthcare organizations praised the CMS for being responsive to concerns they had raised during the comment period leading up to the rule's finalization. In fact, about 80 percent of the 2,000+ pages are comments CMS received and its responses.
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Clinician mobile device use increasing as healthcare organizations struggle to protect data 

The number of clinicians who use smartphones and other mobile devices on the job is rising rapidly, and so is the number of facilities that have created mobile device management strategies to cope. "Organizations with a documented mobility strategy have nearly doubled, and in-house use of pagers has increased slightly during the past two years," according to Health Data Management. Almost 90 percent of physicians surveyed reported using smartphones, while about half of nurses and other staff members use them. In response, more than 60 percent of hospitals surveyed have a documented mobile device strategy. (The survey, by mobile messaging service vendor Spok, included responses from about 550 hospitals.) The leading mobile devices used in hospitals are: Smartphones (78 percent) In-house pagers (71 percent) Wi-Fi phones (69 percent) Wide-area pagers (57 percent) Tablets (52 percent) Security and privacy, of course, are huge concerns for those setting mobile... read more
 

Healthcare Cybersecurity Failings Draw the Ire of Accountability Office 

GAO Recommends Corrective Action by Department of Health and Human Services More than 113 million electronic health records were breached in 2015, a year that saw a total of 56 cybersecurity attacks in healthcare alone. That's a 13-fold increase from 2006 to 2015. The Government Accountability Office isn't going to let those cybersecurity failures go unremarked upon. The GAO last week came down hard on the Department of Health and Human Services, pointing out a number of weaknesses in efforts by HHS to help health plans and other providers protect data. "HHS has established an oversight program for compliance with privacy and security regulations, but its actions did not always fully verify that the regulations were implemented," wrote the GAO in a report released Sept. 26. The report also called out HHS for giving technical assistance "that was not pertinent to identified problems" in cybersecurity, and for failing to follow up on cases it investigated. In short, the GAO... read more
 

Heart Attack Patients Get Faster Care When Medical Teams Use Smartphone Social Network System 

18-month study tracked 114 STEMI patients
New research shows that patients in need of a hospital transfer were treated 27 minutes faster when their medical teams used a smartphone app-based social network system (SNS) to set up the transfer, compared to medical teams who didn’t use the smartphone technology. The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, monitored the time that patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) suffered from ischemia (reduction in blood supply) while they waited to have a procedure opening their blocked arteries. On nights and weekends, the treatment time reduction was even greater than during the regular work week. One of the study’s senior researchers, Jin Joo Park, M.D., pointed out that there is a higher risk of death for patients who get to a hospital during off hours—a worldwide trend. “Transferred STEMI patients rarely achieve timely reperfusion due to delays in the transfer process, especially when transferred during off-hours,” Park told... read more
 

Enhancing the EHR 

Why Department-Level Systems Remain Critical to Quality The need for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has become widely accepted, and methods to accelerate hospital adoption are proving to be successful, albeit resource-and cost-intensive. While EHRs are highly useful tools for collecting certain kinds of information and making that information available widely across services, cardiovascular care is complex; the data generated by this care is equally complex; and therefore cardiovascular service lines require systems that can match this complexity. Chris Winquist, LUMEDX President and COO, explains how the CVIS augments the EHR to provide CV services with the deep data needed for clinical and business excellence. Publicly Reported Measures & the Need for Deep Data Even with the rapid pace of innovations in treatments and technologies, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.(1) Unsurprisingly, today a large percentage of ... read more
 

Improving the Business Performance of Your Heart Hospital 

An effective CVIS strategy can improve the business performance of your hospital The primary goal of any healthcare provider is to improve the lives of patients through effective treatment. However, because they are also businesses, hospitals have concerns that entail much more than this. To be viable in the long term, hospitals must manage their margins to fund their mission. There are three main pillars of business concern for any hospital: Clinical—health outcomes are measured with the goal of healthier patients leaving the facility. Financial—the dollars must add up to keep the enterprise solvent. Operational—staffing and facilities are measured against cost and need. Ultimate success for a hospital demands strength in all three areas. It's incumbent upon clinicians and service line managers to work together to seek out efficiencies in each of them. Praveen Lobo, VP Strategic Products New Operational Realities Payers' shift away from a ... read more
 

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 4/18/16 

We've found the stories you won't want to miss!
ACA, population health will be game changers in next three years, say hospital execs C-suite leaders predict that their most important areas of focus in the next three years will be high-value post-acute care networks and innovative approaches to care delivery, according to Premier Inc.'s spring Economic Outlook. The impact that the Affordable Care Act and population health management will have on care delivery is the reason these areas of focus will be so important, executives say. "About 95 percent said expanding high-value post-acute care networks is crucial to population health efforts," FierceHealthcare reports. "In addition, 94 percent said such networks are one of their greatest challenges." ACC notifies 1,400 institutions of potential data breach More than 1,000 institutions have been notified by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) that patient data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) might have been breached. "After discovering the issue in... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/28/16 

A sampling of this week's healthcare stories that you won't want to miss. Female cardiologists remain underrepresented, report more work-life challenges than men Two decades have brought little change for women in cardiology, according to a new study. Women account for only 20 percent of cardiologists who see adult patients, and are more likely than their male counterparts to face professional discrimination. Study eases concerns about antidepressants and cardiovascular risk Patients who take antidepressants are not increasing their risk of arrhythmia, MI, stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to new study. Prior research had suggested a link between depression and negative cardiovascular outcomes. ACC honors 18 people for their contributions to cardiology Eighteen people have been selected for a Distinguished Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The recipients will receive their awards on April 4 during the ACC’s annual scientific session... read more