Scientists reported in Nature Biotechnology that they used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit the cholesterol-regulating PCSK9 gene in mouse liver cells. The researchers delivered the gene-editing components encased in nanoscale fat particles, and total cholesterol levels in the treated mice dropped by 35%.
An experimental drug corrected an electrical signaling imbalance in the brains of mouse models of autism spectrum disorder, reduced abnormal behaviors and boosted the rodents' performance on cognitive and behavioral tests, researchers reported in Nature Communications. Testing in animals continues, but human trials are also planned.
A small study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found patient advocates, computer experts and health care providers have mixed feelings about OurNotes, a new tool that permits patients to directly contribute to clinicians' notes in EMRS, but they generally expressed support for having patients review records and add information ahead of medical appointments. Such tools have the potential to save time, enhance care and make appointments more efficient, but reviewing patients' notes may unintentionally add to the workflow of already busy clinicians.
Telehealth through video consults fits well with value-based care models, but there is a lag in network connectivity among primary care physicians, subspecialists and hospitals, panelists said at a Capitol Hill forum hosted by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care. Family physician Wally Adamson, M.D., said telehealth can expand access to care and provide a lower-cost option for patients who have high insurance deductibles.
King's College Hospital in London is testing a thermal camera that can detect hot spots on the feet of patients with diabetes that could indicate the possible appearance of dangerous foot ulcers. Researchers are now studying 100 patients to see if the technique can reduce the risk of ulcers through early treatment.
A security lapse that led to the exposure of the personal information of over 700 patients at Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago is being investigated by the HHS Office for Civil Rights. Experian Health notified the hospital system in August that it had erroneously sent patient information, including names, medical record numbers and account numbers, to other health care facilities when it upgraded a computer system in March.
The US Court of Federal Claims released a court document stating the Department of Veterans Affairs' plans to use a shared Cerner Millennium EHR platform to build a single common EHR system with the Defense Department. "We believe that it's in the best interests of our service men and women, veterans and American taxpayers that we are in as close alignment as we can -- to the extent of making it one system," said David Norley of Defense Healthcare Management Systems.
CHIME named Deborah Gash, CIO and vice president at Saint Luke's Health System in Missouri, and HCTec in Tennessee the recipients of its Collaboration Award at the CHIME17 Fall Forum for their partnership on a strategy that lowered turnover and boosted productivity and morale. In addition, New Hampshire-based health IT company Connection received the Foundation Partner Award for developing tools and services to meet health care consumers' needs and linking consumers to technology solutions, while Encore Health Resources co-founder and former CEO Dana Sellers received the Foundation Industry Leader Award for advocating for health IT and EHR strategy throughout her 30-year career.
Comments on the online edition of the Interoperability Standards Advisory will be accepted by the ONC until Nov. 20, and the release of the 2018 reference edition will likely come later this year. "Based on public comments, we hope to continue to expand the ISA and anticipate getting feedback for more frequent and granular references to [Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources] specifications," said Steven Posnack, director of the ONC's Office of Standards and Technology.
Mark your calendars. The 2018 CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum is scheduled to take place March 4-5 in Las Vegas. The focus will be "Leading the Next Wave of Healthcare Transformation." A special block of rooms has been set aside for CHIME members at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and the Venetian/Palazzo (the location for the CIO Forum and the HIMSS18 Conference). More details are available.