Health care organizations can leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence tools to improve existing EHR systems, experts say. AI may make EHRs more user-friendly, enable providers to increase productivity, personalize recommendations for treatment, improve data extraction and discovery, and support clinical note composition and data collection.
Despite years of warnings about creating secure passwords to protect personal data, in 2018 the two worst passwords of all time -- "123456" and "password" -- are still being used, according to SplashData, a company that provides password management applications. "It's a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks such as Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year-after-year," says SplashData CEO Morgan Slain.
Between 40 and 50 doctors have reportedly been hired by Apple in the past few years as the technology company continues to place an emphasis on healthcare technology. This may help the company appeal to physicians as it launches health tech to integrate into its Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone.
The healthcare market is unhealthy and uncompetitive but that can be improved with transparency and regulation, says NEJM Catalyst New Marketplace Theme Leader Leemore Dafny. When the next recession comes, employers and taxpayers are "going to demand competition, transparency focused on the supply side where it might be useful, and regulation," she says.
Practices that are seeing their profits decline should avoid making a quick change and should instead take the time to fully investigate and determine the reasons why. Before cutting expenses, it's important to ensure the cuts don't hurt productivity or create unnecessary hardship for employees.
A final rule has been released by the FDA for the simplification of its medical device classification and reclassification procedures. The rule clarifies that the agency can reclassify any device from Class III to either Class II or Class I, makes convening a panel to consult on a device reclassification optional and removes the two-form requirement for reclassification petitions.
A report from Deloitte describes how cybercriminals use and adapt readily available tools and services, often with minimal expertise. Simple phishing and data harvesting tools are available for less than $30, and ransomware tools are available starting at about $390.
An interagency collaboration called TOP Health has delivered results since it was launched in October, says Gil Alterovitz, a Presidential Innovation Fellow working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, including three clinical trial datasets in machine-readable format from which Flatiron Health, Microsoft Healthcare, Oracle, Philips, Rush Medical and TrialX developed artificial intelligence tools. TOP Health's goal is to develop a testing platform and standard protocols for AI applications, Alterovitz says.
A Black Book survey of health care executives found that an EHR implementation or replacement caused concerns about the future of their employment in 64% of respondents, while 5% reported that they or their colleagues were asked to resign or were fired because of the effect of EHR rollouts on costs or productivity. Ninety-three percent of respondents had little regret over their choice of EHR vendor, but 88% of those from smaller regional health systems expressed dissatisfaction, listing issues such as physician and clinical burnout, hidden costs, reliability issues, consumer frustration and time-extended rollouts.
The new Physician Fee Schedule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will ease some burdens for practices but improvements are still needed, writes Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association. "CMS must work with the physician community to meaningfully reduce the regulatory burden and allow practices to allocate precious time and resources to providing high-quality care that meets the needs of their unique patient population," he writes.
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