The inability of some state and local public health agencies to handle reports submitted electronically leaves hospitals with no choice but to use fax or phone to submit COVID-19 reports. "Had electronic data sharing been in place, hospitals could have quickly transmitted COVD-19 testing results and syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies to supplement their testing and provide greater clarity on disease prevalence and incidence," researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
The redesign of PubMed, a database of biomedical literature run by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, has not impressed some users, who have taken to social media to criticize the new search function and layout. Some have used colorful language to express their displeasure.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT committed $1.1 million to the Sequoia Project for continuing work on the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement for another year. The Sequoia Project is drafting TEFCA standards and a technical framework for qualified health information networks.
Direct-to-consumer gene testing companies 23andMe and Ancestry have launched COVID-19 studies and are asking existing customers to take an online survey about the virus. Catherine Ball, Ancestry's chief scientific officer, says the research aims to determine whether any genetic variants contribute to vulnerability or resistance to COVID-19, and the data could inform drug and vaccine development.
Forty-eight percent of respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey said they or a family member had forgone or delayed seeking health care sometime in the past three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eleven percent of respondents said they had experienced difficulty paying medical bills, and nearly 25% said they or a family member will probably need to apply for Medicaid coverage within a year.
MDMetrix CEO Warren Ratliff says he's seen an uptick in demand for the company's free software that analyzes hospital operational data to identify opportunities for quality improvement, and the software recently helped hospitals expand surgical capacity without having to add staff. MDMetrix also uses artificial intelligence to plot trends related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A misconfigured website led to the exposure of 3,000 coronavirus test results on the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit's COVID-19 dashboard. Names and test dates, locations and results were potentially accessible until the data was removed, and although the data was not easily accessed, potentially affected patients are being notified.
Two Somali language interpreters are producing audio clips to share coronavirus information from the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health with St. Cloud-area residents who speak but don't read Somali or English. Somalia did not adopt a written language until the 1970s, and many of Somalia's war refugees never learned to read the language.
A tele-echocardiography program, which includes nurse administration of imaging exams and remote result interpretations from cardiologists, in an outpatient heart failure clinic allowed left atrial and left ventricular dimension, volume and functional index evaluation and quantification in a minimum of 94% of heart failure cases, according to a study in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. "[B]y using expert support by telemedicine, more patients with heart failure can gain the benefit of diagnostic ultrasound," said researchers.
The CDC bases coronavirus infection rate estimates on data provided by states, some of which combine figures from both antibody and polymerase chain reaction tests, which skews data on testing, active infection and recovery rates, scientists say. Combining the two types of tests gives a false picture of the number of new infections and the overall positivity rate, and CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency hopes to be able to differentiate data from the two types of test soon.
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