Technology companies including Amazon, IBM and Oracle, along with the Information Technology Industry Council, pledged during the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference to enhance data interoperability throughout the health care sector by making data more accessible for providers and business entities while boosting ease of access to curb costs. "Today's announcements represent a watershed moment toward fostering more innovation in America's health care systems," White House senior adviser Matt Lira said.
A partnership between the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing and software vendors Cerner and Statline aims to speed up the process of providing organs to transplant patients. Cerner will offer EHR data to organ procurement organizations, while Statline will provide services including donor registry and screening and a communication center.
St. Augustine, Fla.-based Flagler Hospital is using AI tools from IT vendor Ayasdi to improve the treatment of high-cost diseases, such as pneumonia and sepsis, and reduce health care expenditures. The AI tools also helped the hospital reduce its readmission rate from 2.9% to 0.4%.
Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and DeepMind entered into a research partnership involving DeepMind's artificial intelligence system, which automatically detects eye disease characteristics from optical coherence tomography scans to make diagnoses, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. "In the long term, we hope this will help doctors quickly [prioritize] patients who need urgent treatment -- which could ultimately save sight," DeepMind wrote in a blog post.
Blockchain "can provide the data integrity, security, accessibility and interoperability of the most demanding requirements of the health care community" and can be designed to meet the requirements of a master patient ID, says Brad Pedrow of Grant Thornton. Lynn Carroll of HSBlox suggests developing a platform that uses machine learning, which is then "combined with blockchain to disseminate the relevant patient data" in order to solve patient-matching challenges.
Machine learning can make it easier to track security issues, but the new technology can pose challenges for security pros, writes Macy Bayern. Lack of transparency, data of insufficient quality and a shortage of tech talent are among the things that can cause machine learning problems for security experts.
Juniper Research predicts that in 2023 alone, cybercriminals will steal over 33 billion records, a 175% increase over the number of records expected to be compromised this year, and the trend will lead to cumulative losses of over 146 billion records during the next five years. Researchers also expect that by 2023, more than half of all data breaches worldwide will occur in the US.
New York-based Rochester RHIO is providing EHR patient data from 2008 to 2014 that will be used for the CDC-sponsored HPV Vaccine Impact Monitoring Project. "By knowing how much screening rates have decreased, we can determine what portion of the drop in disease we see is due to less screening and what part is due to the increase in HPV vaccination," said Dr. Nancy Bennett, director of the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
The CMS has proposed overhauling Medicare's Accountable Care Organization program, with proposed changes that include limiting from six years to two years the amount of time an ACO can remain in an upside-risk arrangement, authorizing termination of ACOs with multiple years of weak financial performance and allowing certain ACOs under performance-based risk to offer incentives to patients for taking steps to improve their health. The CMS expects the proposal, estimated to save Medicare $2.2 billion over 10 years, to result in the dropping out of about 107 ACOs.
Seven electronic clinical quality measures were removed from the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program under the CMS' final rule for the 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System because the costs outweighed the benefits of their continued use. Among the eCQMs that were removed include assessed for rehabilitation, hearing screening prior to hospital discharge and stroke education.
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