The Government Accountability Office interviewed 23 health care stakeholders participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, and it found small and rural physician practices struggle to select, invest in and maintain EHR systems. Such practices also struggle with interoperability and must rely heavily on vendors for support, according to the report.
Recall notices from Abbott say about 740,000 St. Jude Medical implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resychronization therapy defibrillators are eligible to have cybersecurity firmware updates to boost device protection against unauthorized access. Patients with eligible devices are advised to get the updates, labeled Class II by the FDA, during their next regular doctor visit or at the most appropriate time.
There still are key questions about telehealth reimbursement and privacy, but Pam Hepp of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney said the technology is on its way to rivaling the quality of in-person provider visits. Hepp said telehealth enhances access to care, and there are multiple applications, such as hospital-to-hospital, home health and consumer devices that collect health data.
Researchers from Igloo Software found that 53% of 1,000 US health care employees surveyed are only somewhat confident that they are accessing the most updated version of a file when working with it, while about 50% are only somewhat confident that their organization's intranet stores information securely. Meanwhile, 30% of respondents cite ease of use as the reason for using nonapproved apps on the job, the survey found.
Stress can affect employee health, motivation and morale, leading to significant costs for employers, said Matt Miller, StayWell vice president of behavioral science. Wellness programs can help address the problem by including mental health benefits, such as stress management, that incorporate technologies such as digital health games, wearable trackers, virtual reality-guided meditation and online platforms that connect people to health coaches, Miller said.
An email phishing scam that targeted employees of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., may have compromised the personal data of over 60,000 people. The attack was the second-largest health care data breach in Missouri since 2010, and the hospital has notified those affected.
Researchers are developing technology that makes it less burdensome for providers to use EHRs. New York City's Northwell Health plans to test EMRbot, a system that lets nurses and doctors talk to patients' EHRs, at its hospitals this summer.
Installing alerts for prescribers in the EMR system led to a 25% and over 60% reduction in opioid prescriptions for chronic and acute pain, respectively, in the past 18 months, according to officials with MetroHealth System in Cleveland. In addition, an alert that adds a Naloxone prescription when opioids are prescribed resulted in a 5,000% increase in prescribing the antidote drug in the last three months.
The American Medical Association selected three mobile health startups as winners in its Health Care Interoperability and Innovation Challenge. Gainesville, Fla.-based HealthSteps will receive $25,000 in Google Cloud credits for the creation of a digital care plan that is accessible on mobile devices, while I-deal Health, a company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, will receive $15,000 in Google Cloud credits for the use of EHR data to empower patients to reduce disease risk, and FUTUREASSURE in Omaha, Neb., will get $10,000 in Google Cloud credits for the assessment of patient risk during surgery.
Thirty-five percent of health care executives said artificial intelligence will be used widely in health care in the next three to five years, while 91% said AI would improve clinical decision support and predictive analytics for intervention, according to survey by Intel and Convergys Analytics. Concern about the potential for fatal errors was the leading reason given for skepticism about AI.