Posts in Category: Health IT

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
 
Posted by 09/26/2016 Categories: ACC Health IT Mobile Devices Mortality

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
 
Posted by 08/31/2016 Categories: Analytics Best Practices EHRs Health IT

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
 
Posted by 08/02/2016 Categories: Analytics Health IT Hospital Management

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
 
Posted by 03/28/2016 Categories: ACC Health IT Healthcare Reform Hospital Management Mortality

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 3/14/16 

Best workplace rankings, ACOs, and CEO turnover
Fortune releases annual list of best medical workplaces Baptist Health South Florida, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital are among the 100 best places to work, according to Fortune. Fortune's annual list of the 100 best places to work included 11 hospitals this year, with Baptist Health South Florida in the No. 1 spot among medical workplaces. The rankings take into account workplace culture, benefits offered, and career paths, among other considerations. Integrated health technologies have a bright future, HIMSS survey says The trend toward connectivity within healthcare systems has a positive future, according to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey. More than 50 percent of hospitals surveyed reported using at least three connected technologies, and many plan to improve engagement and quality of care by implementing additional technologies. ACOs serving sickest patients may be penalized under proposed new benchmarks A Harvard... read more
 
Posted by 03/14/2016 Categories: Health IT

This Week in Cardio and Health IT News 

EHR developments, top hospitals list, and more
Here are some of this week's top stories in cardiology and health IT. Big names in healthcare pledge to facilitate interoperability, EHR accessibility The Obama administration has announced an agreement to increase interoperability by top U.S. health information technology developers and many of their larger customers. Signing on to the pledge--which requires signees to ease patient access to electronic health records--were Allscripts, Athenahealth, and Cerner Corp., among others. About 90 percent of U.S. hospitals use at least one of the vendors who signed on. Top 100 Hospital List released by Truven Truven Health Analytics has released its list of the 100 top hospitals in the United States. In researching the hospitals, Truven discovered a trend toward reduced expense per patient among the majority of top-performing hospitals. This year's trend appeared for the first time in the awards' 23-year history. More patients survive when hospitals adhere to cardiac arrest... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/22/16 

Security breach, telehealth, and Obamacare
LUMEDX does the research for you! Here are some of the top stories in healthcare this week. Security: Hospital pays ransom to get its data back from hackers Security experts are concerned that a Southern California hospital paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its network, saying that agreeing to the ransomers' demands could set a bad precedent. The hackers had encrypted the hospital's computer network and demanded the ransom to provide a digital decryption key to unlock it. Healthcare could be major issue in presidential race The future of U.S. healthcare--especially Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid--will be determined in this year's presidential election, and the candidates are offering starkly different visions. Democrat Hillary Clinton would uphold and expand the Affordable Health Act, while her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, would replace it with a single-payer system. Republican Donald Trump expressed support for some facets... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/15/16 

Don't miss out on this week's top stories
CMS and health insurers announce alignment and simplification of quality measures The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America's Health Insurance Plans (the health plans' trade group) announced that they have agreed on seven sets of clinical quality measures. The standardized measures are designed to help payers and consumers shopping for high-quality care. "These measures support multi-payer alignment, for the first time, on core measures primarily for physician quality programs," according to the CMS. This work is informing the CMS’s implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Supreme Court: What will happen to healthcare cases after Justice Scalia's death? A number of healthcare-related cases are in limbo following the death of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 12. "The court is weighing a case about data sharing with potential implications for insurers and state... read more