Posts in Category: best practices

Latest Healthcare Cyberattack Highlights Need for Prevention 

How would you like to have to tell 34,000 patients that their data had been hacked? That’s the situation that Quest Diagnostics found itself in recently after hackers stole health information including names, birth dates, telephone numbers and lab results.

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Leveraging Appropriate Use Criteria for Better Outcomes—and Collateral Benefits 

Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) is intended to help physicians achieve the best outcomes using the most appropriate treatment plan for any situation. Ensuring that physicians comply with established AUC guidelines is crucial to the overall success of a facility.

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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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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
 

Medical Errors Are Made at an Alarming Rate 

How Integrated Systems Can Help Medical errors are dangerous, deadly, and all too common. Research published in The Journal of Health Care Finance found that these mistakes cost the United States $19.5 billion in 2008 alone. A 2016 study estimated that medical errors cause 251,000 deaths a year in the U.S., where they are the third-leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer). To Err is Human, the groundbreaking report by the Institute of Medicine, found that nearly half of all deaths attributed to medical errors were preventable. What's even more disturbing is the limited improvement that has occurred since the publication of that 1999 report. "The overall numbers haven't changed, and that's discouraging and alarming," Kenneth Sands of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told the Washington Post. Mickey Norris, National Vice President of Sales for LUMEDX, discusses how a CVIS can help reduce medical errors. Medical errors can obviously result from... 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
 

Spotlight on Analytics, Part 5 

Q & A with Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX
Predictive Analytics Q: How much of the healthcare industry has adopted predictive analytics? A: By definition, negotiations between providers and payers are a game of who can better predict patient outcomes. Win-win scenarios can certainly be devised, but a lack of predictive ability puts an organization at risk for poor contract structuring. Clinical outcomes are increasingly a game of predicting outcomes and identifying the levers that affect those outcomes so providers are able to improve on future outcomes. Operational predictions are also important, as misunderstanding patient care needs can lead to expensive outlier care patterns or care variations that break capacity management efforts and budgets. Q: How do you see predictive analytics having an impact on healthcare organizations, and specifically on heart hospitals? A: Outcome prediction and risk profiling will increasingly guide care pathway selection and tailor care patterns to targeted patient profiles. ... read more
 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: 4/14/16 

News stories you won't want to miss!
Higher patient ratings equal fewer readmissions, lower mortality The scores patients assign their hospitals appear to correspond with the quality of the hospitals' patient outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed the scores patients assigned to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' star-rating system for more than 3,000 hospitals. Hospitals' star ratings were inversely proportional to their rates of death within a month of discharge. Hospitals reap $1.6M from specialists, including cardiologists While the average primary care physician is generating less income for hospitals ($1.4 million in 2016 versus $1.56 million in 2013), that’s offset by specialist doctors, whose contribution to hospital revenues jumped 14% to $1.6 million, compared with $1.42 million three years ago. Among specialists, orthopedic physicians bring in the most business ($2.75 million each), followed by invasive cardiologists ($2.45 million) and ... read more
 

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 HealthIT News: Week of 2/8/16  

Population health, Obamacare, and cost containment
Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss. Companies Form New Alliance to Target Healthcare Costs Hoping to hold down the cost of healthcare benefits, 20 large companies—including American Express, Macy’s and Verizon—have come together to use their collective data and market power. Members of the new alliance will share data about employee healthcare spending and outcomes, possibly using the data to change how they contract for care. "Some members say they could even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or try to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers," Yahoo news reports. Federal Insurance Marketplace Signs Up Millions of New Obamacare Users The Obama administration reports that approximately 12.7 million new patients signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or automatically... read more