Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links -11th July, 2015.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.

Telehealth Poised for Huge Growth, Analysts Say

JUL 2, 2015 7:36am ET
According to new research from market intelligence firm Tractica, telehealth video consultation sessions will increase from 19.7 million in 2014 to 158.4 million per year by 2020. 
Though clinical consultations currently account for more than three-quarters of the market, the firm predicts that growth over the next several years will be especially strong in non-clinical settings. In fact, Tractica forecasts that non-clinical video consultations will outnumber clinical consultations by 2019.
“While many elements of digital and mobile health technologies are still emerging, the market for telehealth video consultations (TVCs) is one that has a firm foothold and is poised for strong and stable growth in the coming years,” states the report. “TVCs, also referred to as eConsults, eVisits, remote video consultations, or even the broader term telemedicine, are expanding in terms of use cases, deployments, and adoption.”

July Cover Story: Using Data to Save Lives

JUL 1, 2015 9:26pm ET
John Showalter, MD, is a student of medical history. And one of the reasons he's passionate about analytics is his sense that a new chapter is being written. "I firmly believe that predictive analytics is going to be as significant as penicillin and anesthesia in the history of medicine," he says. "And the truth is, we're barely scratching the surface of what's possible."
But Showalter is scratching as hard as he can. As the chief health information officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he has led an effort to apply analytics to significantly enhance the health system's ability to predict heart attack risk. For that effort, Showalter has been chosen as the recipient of Health Data Management's Clinical Visionary award for its Analytics All-Stars recognition program. (The full list of recipients can be found below).
The program recognizes organizations and individuals implementing analytics in innovative ways to improve the health of their patients and the financial performance of their organizations. The Analytics All-Stars program showcases those who are providing pioneering leadership, spurring innovation and driving improvement across their organizations. The recognition program reviewed projects and achievements from 2014 and is built upon the themes of HDM's Healthcare Analytics Symposium, being held July 13-15 in Chicago.

HIT Standards task force: Suggestions for interoperability all over the board

June 30, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
There's been considerable interest in expanding the scope of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory, but very little consistency regarding how, according to the Health IT Standards Committee Advisory Task Force.
In its June 29 meeting, the Task Force reported that 59 comments had been received on the advisory, which is ONC's first deliverable in support of its national interoperability roadmap. The advisory is aimed at providing a single, public list of the standards and implementation specifications for data sharing. The advisory is not binding, but it's meant to provide clarity, consistency and predictability regarding the best standards and specifications for interoperability.

Nonintrusive CDS tool enhances communication, improves outcomes

June 30, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
An integrated and workflow-aware clinical decision support (CDS) tool is "critical" to improving patient/provider communications and influencing patient outcomes, according to a new study in eGEMS (Generating Evidence & Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes).
CDS tools can be effective, but usually only target an individual risk factor. To that end, researchers from Ohio State University designed the Stroke Prevention in Healthcare Delivery Environments (SPHERE) tool to aggregate and display data relevant to cardiovascular health together, making it relevant to patients and providers. The aim of the tool was to create more discussions on stroke prevention, effect corresponding behavior change and treat risk factors, such as smoking and weight. The alert, created using user-centric design (UCD), was nondisruptive, provided automatic data retrieval and a non-intrusive view.

Top 10 stories of 2015 so far

Posted on Jul 02, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
As the summer dawns, we look back on the first six months of the year's biggest stories – from population health to ICD-10, meaningful use to privacy and security – that had Healthcare IT News readers clicking, tweeting, liking, sharing and commenting.
1. Entering a new era of population health
With health IT having been embraced in earnest these the past fews years, now it's time to actually put that technology to work. This story explored the vast potential for pop health improvement as
patient engagement takes hold and providers make smarter use of data exchange and analytics. A follow-up story, "What to look for in population health at HIMSS15," was almost as popular.
2. 10 tech trends to watch for in 2015
January look-ahead lists are perennially popular, and this one was no exception. Six months into the year, how are ECRI's predictions – from 3D printing to fitness devices –  playing out? At least one ("Google Glass: Dead for consumers but maybe not for healthcare") has already come true.

Digital health market continues to 'mature' in 2015

July 2, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
The digital health market continues to mature as we move into the second half of 2015, with Fitbit's IPO and a focus on personalized medicine leading the way, according to a mid-year report from StartUp Health.
While digital health funding is not outpacing 2014, which was a record year for investments in the market, capital flow is remaining steady this year, the report says.
In the second quarter of 2015, digital health saw investments totaling $1.7 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in Q2 of 2014.
The largest deal in the market this year was a $500 million investment in wellness provider Zenefits, which makes the wellness/benefits subsector the most active of the year so far, the report says. Government initiatives that support personalized medicine have also lead to a "surge" in genomic analytics companies, according to the report.

Leapfrog Group CEO: HIT funds should go toward ensuring systems are safe

July 2, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Technology is meant to make work at hospitals easier and improve patient care, but often installing new systems can go awry and many health administrators lack experience with the new tools, according to Leah Binder, president and CEO of the nonprofit Leapfrog Group.
Administrators make rookie mistakes, and when things go wrong they panic, Binder writes at the Wall Street Journal. In addition, they look to technology to solve all issues, be they human or managerial.
"This management problem is very serious, at the roots of widespread dissatisfaction ... from physicians, nurses and other clinicians who are not happy when their hospitals convert to digital solutions," she says.

Healthcare Mostly Fails on App Security, Study Shows

JUN 30, 2015 7:21am ET
A study on the state of software security for web and mobile applications across seven industries finds healthcare performing poorly, but none of the others shine particularly well.
Technology vendor Veracode, which offers cloud-based security services for web and mobile applications, regularly analyzes the data of its clients to assess how effectively they reduce application security risks. The vendor notes that web application attacks account for more than one-third of breaches in some industries and enterprises often spend far more on securing network perimeters than web applications.
Veracode analyzed billions of lines of code from more than 200,000 application analyses that clients performed on its platform during a recent 18-month period.

CHIME Highlights Need to Improve Certified EHR Technology

By Kyle Murphy, PhD on July 01, 2015
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has shared a handful of recommendations with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions with the purpose of realizing the potential of certified EHR technology to improve patient care.
The organization's letter to the Senate HELP Health IT Working Group outlines challenges and solutions for five use cases, the first centering on improving care quality and patient safety.
According to CHIME, the "most significant challenge" is the lack of a unique patient identifier:
"As our healthcare system begins to realize the innately transformational capabilities of health IT, moving toward nationwide health information exchange, this essential core functionality – consistency in patient identity matching – must be addressed," the letter states. "As data exchange increases among providers, patient data matching errors and mismatches will become exponentially more problematic and dangerous."

Health IT Underused in Care Coordination

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , July 2, 2015

The capabilities of health information technology tools aren't always aligned with physician priorities, research finds. And the care coordination activities that matter most to clinicians aren't ones that are best supported by health IT.

Using health IT to support care coordination is inconsistent in primary care practices, especially when it comes to the care coordination activities that matter most to clinicians, according to new research in the Annals of Family Medicine.
"The activities that the clinicians were most interested in were not ones that were necessarily most supported by health IT," says lead author Suzanne Morton, MPH, MBA, senior healthcare analyst for the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
In addition, the research found that the care-coordination activities that practices had most commonly implemented were not the ones with the greatest degree of health IT support.

HITPC Gears Up to Tackle Interoperability Barriers

JUL 1, 2015 7:25am ET
At the request of Congress, a Health IT Policy Committee task force will develop recommendations for removing technical and financial barriers to the interoperability of electronic health records.
“We have been discussing interoperability in various venues. We’ve had hearings, workgroups, and the JASON report—there’s been a number of times that we’ve deliberated on this—and we will go back and summarize all that,” said Paul Tang, vice chair of the HITPC, during Tuesday’s virtual meeting. “In addition, we’ll look at sort of a new area that we haven’t talked about in depth, which is the financial barriers to interoperability. And, we all know that plays a key role.”
According to industry observers, including some former National Coordinators for Health IT, the main challenges to interoperability are not technical—but business related—and economic disincentives are why health information exchange is struggling to gain traction. For its part, Tang said that the HITPC task force will provide “input” to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on the financial barriers to interoperability to help inform ONC’s report back to Congress.

IoT to fuel revolution in digital healthcare

July 1, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
The Internet of Things in the healthcare industry will fuel a revolution that could result in nearly $305 billion in savings for the industry in the near future, according to Business Insider, which cited a new report from Goldman Sachs.
This "first wave" of healthcare IoT is still early on in its development, states the Business Insider article on the report. However, the article says Goldman sees increasing opportunities for use of telemedicine, behavior modification and remote patient monitoring.
In addition, the number of consumers using home health technologies globally will grow from 14.3 million in 2014 to 78.5 million by 2020, according to market intelligence firm Tractica.
Jul 1, 2015 @ 8:30 AM

New App Could Save Lives Through Early Pneumonia Detection

A team from Uganda’s Makerere University is the only African winner in the 2014-2015 Big Ideas Contest for its app that could aid in early detection of pneumonia.
The app, which won Makerere a tie for second place in the global health category of the contest, combines a cell phone prototype with specially developed cell phone applications. This enables it to make a detailed analysis and preliminary diagnosis of “lung crackles” through digitized audio recordings from a patient’s chest.

The Perils of Cut-and-Paste Documentation

Case Management Insider Staff , June 30, 2015

Not only is the practice of copying a block of prewritten text and pasting it into a patient record a questionable billing practice, it also creates the potential for adverse patient outcomes.

This articile originally appeared in Case Management Insider
It may sometimes seem easier for a physician to grab a block of prewritten text and paste it into a patient record. But while this quick cut-and-paste may shave a few minutes off initially, it can create some major headaches down the line, says Glenn Krauss, RHIA, BBA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, CCDS, C-CDIan independent revenue cycle consultant in Burlington, Vermont.

Gap Remains with Patient-Physician Online Communication

JUN 30, 2015 7:54am ET
A national online survey of more than 2,200 CVS retail pharmacy customers finds that patients want to leverage email, Facebook, and physician websites to communicate with their doctors.
However, there remains a gap between patient interest for online communication and what physicians currently provide.
The survey results, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, reveal that patients are interested in using web-based tools to fill prescriptions, track their own health, and access health information (37–57 percent), yet few are currently doing so (4–8 percent).

Healthcare Mostly Fails on App Security, Study Shows

JUN 30, 2015 7:21am ET
A study on the state of software security for web and mobile applications across seven industries finds healthcare performing poorly, but none of the others shine particularly well.
Technology vendor Veracode, which offers cloud-based security services for web and mobile applications, regularly analyzes the data of its clients to assess how effectively they reduce application security risks. The vendor notes that web application attacks account for more than one-third of breaches in some industries and enterprises often spend far more on securing network perimeters than web applications.
Veracode analyzed billions of lines of code from more than 200,000 application analyses that clients performed on its platform during a recent 18-month period.

Innovation Pulse: A better road to data interoperability?

Posted on Jun 30, 2015
By Tom Sullivan, Executive Editor, HIMSS Media
In the national discourse about interoperability, much of the focus is on enabling a doctor using one electronic health record to access patient information residing in a different hospital’s EHR, even when another vendor built it.
But is that really the best way to give doctors the data they need?
"Having the government mandate interoperability is completely wrong," JaeLynn Williams, president of 3M Health Information Systems, told me. "I think we should let the market drive it – and the market says physicians want a single workflow."
-----, and N4 get red lights

30 June 2015   Thomas Meek
The successful delivery of, and N4 “appears to be unachievable”, according to a report published by the government’s Major Projects Authority.
The report, published last week, tracks the progress of all major government projects giving ratings ranging from green to red.
It gives urgent red confidence assessment ratings to NHS England’s plans to roll out; to overhaul NHS Choices as; and to launch the Health and Social Care Network, formerly known as N4.
The red rating means: “successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable,” the report says. Projects may also need “re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed.”

Global telehealth market to reach $6.5B value by 2020: 5 things to know

Written by Carrie Pallardy | June 29, 2015
The global telehealth market is expected to grow rapidly within the next five years, according to a Markets and Markets report. 
Here are five things to know about the market.
1. The global telehealth market was valued at $2.2 billion in 2015.
2. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.2 percent, which means the market is projected to be worth $6.5 billion by 2020.

Industry Seeing Gains in EHR Usability and Safety, but Challenges Remain

by Bonnie Darves, iHealthBeat Contributing Reporter Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Usability improvements that could enhance patient safety are occurring in electronic health record systems, but not at an acceptable pace and not necessarily for the expected reasons or even the right ones, some industry gurus and researchers report.
On the upside, market consolidation among EHR vendors and the intensifying regulatory environment -- notably the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's recently issued EHR user-centered design (UCD) reporting requirements -- are producing the net effect of weeding out vendors whose systems have usability issues or that have decided not to invest in improvements, according to Joshua Lee, CIO at USC Health in Los Angeles.  
"The market consolidation is working in favor of potentially improving EHR safety because the world is splitting into health systems using a smaller number of systems," said Lee, who has commandeered EHR implementations at major U.S. health systems, including Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire.

EHR Implementations Linked to Revenue Risk

JUN 29, 2015 7:50am ET
As the rate of EHR adoption by hospitals increases, so does an unpleasant side effect: lost revenue caused by disruptions related to system conversions.
Avoiding these shortfalls and expediting a smooth transition was the focus of a packed session at last week’s Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Annual National Institute conference in Orlando. Entitled “EHR Implementation and the Revenue Cycle,” panelists described the challenges that an electronic health record system deployment poses to a hospital’s bottom line and detailed the ways these challenges can be addressed.
 “Setting expectations is very important,” emphasized Patrick McDermott, senior vice president for revenue cycle at Sutter Health. “You don’t want surprises.”

Louisiana creates campaign to educate residents about health IT

June 29, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
A new campaign by Louisiana has the goal of educating residents in the state about health information technology.
The D-T-C program will include a consumer advisory council, created by the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and the state's Department of Health and Hospitals, that will promote use of health IT among patients, including advocating for use of electronic health records and patient portals, according to Health Data Management.
Cindy Munn, CEO for the quality forum, said the 13-member council will help educate consumers on the tools, as well as do research on what patients need to be able to access the tools.

Hospitals turn to big data to identify risks in the ICU

June 29, 2015 | By Zack Budryk
Intensive care units (ICUs), seeking to reduce avoidable deaths, can harness big data to identify trends that may increase patient risks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
ICUs admit more than 5 million patients a year, and mortality rates range from 10 percent to 29 percent. Many of these deaths have roots in preventable complications, such as hospital-acquired infections, blood clots and delirium due to oversedation. Hospitals have taken numerous steps to address avoidable ICU complications such as investing in more robust infection prevention programs. Now, however, the WSJ reports, some hospitals are testing an approach that incorporates years of medical data and records, many of which have never been analyzed together before.
While simpler strategies such as checklists have helped ICUs reduce more predictable risks, less predictable hazards are a greater concern for healthcare providers, Kenneth Sands, chief quality officer and senior vice president at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told the WSJ. Beth Israel, in collaboration with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and information technology company Aptima Inc., is developing an initiative called Risky States, which uses big data to gauge an ICU's risk level.

The downside of medical screening

The Atlantic, June 29, 2015
If you had a disease, and you could find out sooner rather than later, why wouldn't you? Medicine has long focused on early detection of diseases as part of a move toward preventive care. But imperfect tests, false positives, and overdiagnosis mean that sometimes the tests do more harm than good, and in recent years, there have been more recommendations to reduce some kinds of screening, including pap smears, colonoscopies, mammograms, and even annual pelvic exams. The more you look for disease, the more you find it. And in the case of cancer, it's hard for doctors to know if what they find is dangerous and needs to be addressed, or if it's just a small tumor that won't grow and poses no threat.

AHRQ Teeters on Brink of Extinction

Tinker Ready, for HealthLeaders Media , June 25, 2015

The Agency for Healthcare Quality Research says its mission "is to produce evidence to make healthcare safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable." But that mission may soon be over.

This column was slated to be titled "Ten things you don't know about the AHRQ." But, in reality, there are probably a lot more than ten things you don't know about the agency, including its name: The Agency for Healthcare Quality Research.
The AHRQ says its mission "is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable." But that mission may soon be over.

How to Take Charge of Your Medical Records

Patients have a lot to gain by getting access to their health information. They just need to know where to get it—and what to do with it.

By Melinda Beck
Updated June 29, 2015 12:01 a.m. ET
It’s your health. So it’s time you took control of all the information about it.
That’s the message that a growing number of patient advocates are trying to spread to American health-care consumers.
For most people, of course, it’s all too easy to simply leave their health records in the hands of doctors and hospitals. But that’s a big mistake, the advocates argue. First, it gives doctors too much power over information that is vital to patients, and it creates opportunities for errors. Perhaps more important, it keeps patients from using the information themselves for their own benefit.
“For consumers to start requesting and using their health information will be a game-changer for the health-care system,” says Christine Bechtel, a consultant for the National Partnership for Women and Families who spearheads the Get My Health Data campaign to get patients to ask doctors for their records. “Once we unlock the data, there’s an enormous amount we can do with it.”


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